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swaged bullet leading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RealGun, Aug 14, 2013.

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  1. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I have been shooting 4.6 gr Bullseye and 200 gr Zero LSWC, understanding that Zero bullets are swaged. I have had to find out what swaged means, as opposed to cast.

    I am getting leading in what is supposedly an 800 fps load. I have a serious lead removal project every time I shoot. It doesn't make sense to me. Any ideas?

    I measured the .45 bullets at .452.

    The guns are S&W 625JM, Springfield 1911A1, and Ruger GP100 5".

    I also have Zero bullets in .358 LRNFP but haven't seen any problems in the two Rugers that shot them.
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Swaged bullets are soft. Probably too soft. There have been a number of threads here where we've discussed how to calculate the appropriate hardness you want for the load you'd like to shoot. A quick search should bring those up.
     
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Drop down to 3.8gr Bullseye for soft swaged bullets.
     
  4. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    In my research I could not find out any hardness information about Zero's bullets. I am rather trying to make the load suit the bullet, considering how challenging it can be to buy bullets these days. As one just starting to use lead, I'm not sure what to buy, in spite of doing some homework.
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Well, if you want to use swaged you'll probably have to experiment a bit and drop the charge until the leading goes away. You already got a recommendation for that.

    As for bullets being hard to get? Try Missouri Bullet Co. http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php?category=5&secondary=13
    I've ordered recently and got them in just a few weeks. A lot shorter than the 5-6 weeks that they estimated. Things are getting A LOT better.

    Whatever kind you want, and under the Technical info heading there's a page explaining how to choose the right bullet for the load you want to use.
     
  6. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    800 fps is completely insufficient speed to suspect soft lead as the culprit. Were we talking 1500 fps, soft lead might be an issue for consideration.

    Bore slugs at? The first candidate is undersized bullet vs grooves. That it is an issue in several different pistols does however lean against this being the main culprit.

    The next is lube. What lube, how applied? Given the issue relates to several pistols, lube, or rather an insufficiency thereof would be a good place to start.



    Sent from my KFOT using Tapatalk 2
     
  7. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    So you know swaging involves pushing material through a die. Just like the play-do machine did. Same process as making extrusion such as angle iron. To swage hard lead takes far more force than soft lead.

    For cast bullets the lead is melted and poured in a die. It is now very uniform at that point, so most will size the bullet, a process similar to swaging, but much less force is applied. Either way you end up with a swaged bullet. The difference is usually the hardness of the lead you start with.
     
  8. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Well again, I can't very well pick a bullet if I don't know its specs (hardness). Zero doesn't tell me that. Midway's description doesn't tell me that. Why is it so important to dismiss the question? We're just starting to get some useful deductions here.

    I did some cursory searching here and didn't finding anything very on target for what I am experiencing.

    If the swaging thing is an entity unto itself, there should be separate loads for it. Perhaps many of the loads are in fact for the softer lead, because the accompanying documentation unfailingly cautions against going above 1100fps. I do see separate loads for "MEI" that run to higher velocities, but that is only in Hodgdon and even there it still says "cast".
     
  9. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    You can pretty much bet the swaged bullets are somewhere around Bhn 6 to 8, with Bhn 5/6 being pretty close to pure lead. Wheelweights average about Bhn 12, which is what I aim for with my alloys for casting bullets.

    Swaged bullets are soft, since it takes so much pressure to form harder alloys. When I'm swaging bullets, I use Bhn 6 for the cores. Even with my dedicated swaging press I can tell when the core is harder than that, just from the extra effort it takes to swage it.

    If you'll go to www.castboolits.com and do a search for "pencil test", you'll find a way to test your alloy hardness using a #2 pencil. I haven't done it, since I've got a lead hardness tester (Saeco) that works quite well and consistently, but I'm told it works.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Swaged Lead Bullets

    Read the part marked LEAD HARDNESS: http://www.corbins.com/lead.htm
    Patent hardening of swaged bullets heat treatment http://www.google.com/patents/US5464487
    Swaged is almost always, very soft alloy. Close to pure lead. [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] Click for larger photo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    That's why I sent you to a site where you can pick whatever bullets you want in several different stated hardness levels. I though you were unhappy because the bullets you have are causing leading and the manufacturer wasn't supplying adequate info.

    Right. As I said, I was trying to give you a source for a better option with all the info you need to get good results.

    Dismiss the question? We were ANSWERING the question. I haven't seen anyone dismiss it. You have leading problems. That's fixable with better bullets, better loads, and more information -- or a combinations of those.

    Just starting to? Naah. Lead bullets and leading have been well understood for a long time. It's just unfortunately easy to pick up components that don't work well together and/or with your gun.

    It's all a spectrum. You can buy swaged soft lead, mild 12 BN hardness, or upper-end 18 BN hardness, whatever you need for your kind of loads. The load books offer recipes that will work with any of those if you know how to build the right combination.

    It isn't really a matter of velocity, per se, but of pressure. You need to match the pressure of the load you want to use with a bullet which will obdurate properly at that pressure.

    Again, if you read the short write-up Brad posted at his Missouri Bullet Co. site it will explain it very clearly.

    Now, he doesn't sell dead soft swaged bullets, as very few people really want them, but at least he explains why leading can occur in terms applicable to your situation.
     
  12. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Brad does offer some bullets in BHN 12. Before the shortage he would make special runs for customers wanting a combination that wasn't in his catalog, but he was able to make from components in use. Say 38 wadcutters in BHN 18. Hopefully those times will return.
     
  13. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I've been swageing since the 70's and none of my swage dies involve pushing material THROUGH a die.

    You do push material INTO a die, but then it's ejected back out the same hole it went into.

    DM
     
  14. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I am very new to using lead but, thanks to some good resources here and lot of fiddling, I have been able to minimize the leading that I was initially seeing.

    As others have stated, my experience has been that most leading issues can be almost, if not completely, removed by properly sizing the bullets to your bore. I have recently started casting my own since it is far easier and much less expensive than trying to buy bullets that are not undersized. It seems like most of the bullets available are only offered in a standard size (like 9mm in .356 etc). I was able to find a couple of bullet makers (pennbullets.com) for example who sell the same caliber of bullets in several different diameters but it was taking weeks if not months to get them and I even had some orders just disappear and not get filled. I think most bullet makers are so swamped that they can't keep up with production.

    I can tell you that it will make little to zero difference whether the bullets are cast or swaged. The hardness is going to be the second biggest factor next to size. If you are driving them too hard, they are going to leave lead in the barrel. I would recommend backing your loads down by a couple of tenths of a grain, load about 20, then back down again and load about 20 until you get to the minimum load for bullsye which is around 3.5 grains. Shoot em, and see which shoot the best.

    I have found that the softer bullets tend to be the most accurate towards the low end anyway.
     
  15. Curator

    Curator Member

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    First check to see if your sized and expanded cases are sizing down your .452 diameter bullets when you seat them. Load one or two in an unprimed case with your standard crimp and use an inertia bullet puller to pull the bullet. Measure it. If it is sufficiently undersize get a larger case-mouth expander and limit the amount of tapir crimp so bullets stay at .452. Alternately you may find a harder bullet at .453" shoots better with no leading. All of my .45ACP handguns shoot better with bullets cast from Air-cooled wheel weight alloy (BHN12) and sized to .453.
     
  16. jim8115

    jim8115 Member

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    FYI

    I run the zero swaged LHP's ( .357 ) at 1000 FPS from a 6" GP100 , 900 FPS from a 2 1/2" 686, with no leading.

    JIM
     
  17. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    As per all reasonable expectations. This is useful confirmation. The OP says he is running these bullets at 800 fps. No way that is too fast for pure lead even with a fast twist. I run paper patched pure lead in a 1:16 barrel at 1500 fps very successfully. Naked, I'd want to stay below 1200. My guess, these would perform better sized .454

    Sent from my KFOT using Tapatalk 2
     
  18. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    You may well have hit on it, because the pulled bullets are under .451. I have never changed the crimp setting from when I was loading .451 FMJ, nor did I change the bullet seating. The OAL was close enough. I did have to change the expander to what will now work on both size bullets.

    So, I will start over with the setup. I do understand the problem, but I just never thought about it, when I tried these bullets (soft .452). I know what to do. I will make some more rounds and let you know the outcome. Many thanks.
     
  19. blarby

    blarby Member

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    No.
     
  20. joustin

    joustin Member

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    I shoot Zero 200gr round flat nose in my 45 over 4gr of Bullseye without leading

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  21. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I've never heard of a brass case swaging down a lead bullet when seating. I've seen many thousands of lead bullets expand a brass case noticeably when seating.

    I suppose it is possible, but I'd want to test that theory, myself, VERY carefully before I believed it.

    Your bullet stays in the case purely because it expands the brass as it enters the case. I don't honestly believe any normal pistol casing has enough rigidity to swage down a lead bullet. Even a very soft one.

    Of course, I don't actually load dead soft swaged bullets, so maybe there's something I'm missing...but I doubt it.
     
  22. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    Back when I was having this issue, someone suggested this and I tried to swage down a bullet and was unable to do so... at least my calipers could not see the difference. I made about 5 or 6 of them and was using so much crimp that the necks on the cases were separating on a couple of them.
     
  23. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I should add that I am using a Lee FCD, which supposedly is capable of post sizing bullets. However, I was feeling very little resistance when cranking that station by itself, say for the last bullet to clear the machine (LnL AP).

    I have ordered Hornady dies to dedicate to lead bullets at .452. I needed another bullet seater and a taper crimp, eliminating the legacy Lee dies I was using successfully for .451 FMJ. I also ordered their .452 expander plug for the case activated powder measure.

    The .357 will be covered by existing hardware for now, because I had an extra die set intended for .38 Special, as well as the fact that the Lee die set has a .358 PTX.

    While it makes sense that bullets are not being swaged during insertion, I still was getting just barely enough expansion to get the lead bullet to sit on the case mouth. I needed the .452 in any case, at least in a Hornady powder measure and PTX context.
     
  24. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    Lee FCD is very capable of resizing a seated bullet, especially pure lead. Try pulling a seated bullet and see if that is indeed what is happening. But again, slug your bores. .452 is fine for jacketed bullets but with lead, you really want the bullet to obturate and fill into the grooves. .453/.454 is more likely suitable.
     
  25. 918v

    918v Member

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    Zero lube sucks. That's why ur getting leading. It's not that they are too soft cuz 22LR is just as soft and don't lead.
     
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