Glock 26 and lead bullets

This is a discussion on Glock 26 and lead bullets within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It's a myth that you cannot shoot lead out of a stock Glock barrel. I have shot thousands of lead bullets through my G34 without ...

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Thread: Glock 26 and lead bullets

  1. #16
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    It's a myth that you cannot shoot lead out of a stock Glock barrel. I have shot thousands of lead bullets through my G34 without any problems. I usually don't shoot more than 200 rounds per session and I always clean the gun afterwards. One cotton swab with Hoppes No. 9 makes the barrel shiny as a new barrel inside.

    Lead is a softer metal than copper, so yes it will foul more, but I doubt you plan on shooting hundreds of bullets through a G26 without cleaning. The good part is that lead is a lot easier to clean than copper (if your barrel should get copper fouling due to lack of cleaning). On page 15 of my Glock manual it says "Glock does not recommend the use of unjacketed lead ammunition. The use of reloaded ammunition will void the Glock warranty". This is something pretty much every gun manufacturers says so they won't know what people might load and that's understandable. It has nothing to do with the barrel not being able to handle it.

    I have also heard a lot of people saying that you should NEVER shoot lead out of a glock barrel, but it's always someone who heard it from someone else. Pretty much everybody that have done it themselves have not had any problems. The few that claim the gun blew up have not been able provide any data that it blew up because of leading. They claim the pressure increased until the gun blew up, but no body have been able to say how they measured the pressure, which is not easy to do either. If you shoot thousands of rounds without cleaning, then I can see that you might have a problem, but if people don't clean their guns more often they shouldn't be using them in my opinion.

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array Adkjoe's Avatar
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    I didn't read the other posts so sorry if this has been said.

    I've talked to glock directly about this here is the deal. The say do not shoot lead because if they did some jackbut would probably try casting pure plumbers lead which is way to soft and WILL cause problems. Do as you will but I have shot hundreds of lead rounds through my G23 without a problem. I check constantly to make sure there is no lead build up in the barrel. I'm currently using 200gr lead flat nose double tap rounds in .40 for a woods gun. For me it has not caused a problem but you have to have a strong lead MIX. I shot 500 rounds of lead SWC recently and it had such little lead fowling that pressure build up that would cause a kaboom would never happen. Stay away from pure lead and you will be fine.
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  4. #18
    Senior Member Array Lewis128's Avatar
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    Glock 26 is rather thick and heavy for pocket carry. Just my opinion.
    Otherwise its a darn good pistol!
    The Kel tec PF9 is a good pick for pocket carry, in terms of weight and size.
    The Ruger LC9 is nearly identical in size, but a few oz heavier.
    Only you can decide what fits you best.

    As to the question of lead bullets. It's a good idea to get the lone wolf barrel if you insist on shooting reloads.
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  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandalitten View Post
    It's a myth that you cannot shoot lead out of a stock Glock barrel. I have shot thousands of lead bullets through my G34 without any problems. I usually don't shoot more than 200 rounds per session and I always clean the gun afterwards. One cotton swab with Hoppes No. 9 makes the barrel shiny as a new barrel inside.

    Lead is a softer metal than copper, so yes it will foul more, but I doubt you plan on shooting hundreds of bullets through a G26 without cleaning. The good part is that lead is a lot easier to clean than copper (if your barrel should get copper fouling due to lack of cleaning). On page 15 of my Glock manual it says "Glock does not recommend the use of unjacketed lead ammunition. The use of reloaded ammunition will void the Glock warranty". This is something pretty much every gun manufacturers says so they won't know what people might load and that's understandable. It has nothing to do with the barrel not being able to handle it.

    I have also heard a lot of people saying that you should NEVER shoot lead out of a glock barrel, but it's always someone who heard it from someone else. Pretty much everybody that have done it themselves have not had any problems. The few that claim the gun blew up have not been able provide any data that it blew up because of leading. They claim the pressure increased until the gun blew up, but no body have been able to say how they measured the pressure, which is not easy to do either. If you shoot thousands of rounds without cleaning, then I can see that you might have a problem, but if people don't clean their guns more often they shouldn't be using them in my opinion.
    It's not a case of heard it from someone else, it's a case of heard it from Glock. Please see the Wiki quote below.

    Lead bullets and polygonal rifling


    This section may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. More details may be available on the talk page. (September 2009)
    The manufacturer Glock advises against using lead bullets (meaning bullets not covered by a copper jacket) in their polygonally rifled barrels, which has led to a widespread belief that polygonal rifling is not compatible with lead bullets. Firearms expert and barrel maker, the late Gale McMillan, has also commented that lead bullets and polygonal rifling are not a good mix. Some have made a point of the fact that neither H&K nor Kahr explicitly recommend against lead bullets in their polygonal rifled barrels, and feel that it is probable that there is an additional factor involved in Glock's warning. However, Kahr's FAQ does include a warning that lead bullets can cause additional fouling[7] and recommends special attention to cleaning after using them. In addition, while H&K doesn't warn against the use of lead, at least one well-documented catastrophic incident in an H&K pistol[8] may be related to this issue. Furthermore, Dave Spaulding, well-known gun writer, reported in the February/March 2008 issue of Handguns Magazine that when he queried H&K about their polygonally rifled barrels that they commented: "It has been their experience that polygonal rifling will foul with lead at a greater rate than will conventional rifling."
    One suggestion of what the "additional factor involved in Glock's warning" might be is that Glock barrels have a fairly sharp transition between the chamber and the rifling, and this area is prone to lead buildup if lead bullets are used. This buildup may result in failures to fully return to battery, allowing the gun to fire with the case not fully supported by the chamber, leading to a potentially dangerous case failure. However, since this sharp transition is found on most autopistols this speculation is of limited value. The sharp transition or "lip" at the front of the chamber is required to "headspace" the cartridge in most autopistols.
    Another possible explanation is that there are different "species" of polygonal rifle and perhaps Glock's peculiar style of polygonal rifling may be more prone to leading than the particular styles employed in the H&K and Kahr barrels.
    Leading is the buildup of lead in the bore that happens in nearly all firearms firing high velocity lead bullets. This lead buildup must be cleaned out regularly, or the barrel will gradually become constricted resulting in higher than normal discharge pressures. In the extreme case, increased discharge pressures can result in a catastrophic incident.

    Polygonal rifling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  6. #20
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    Lead is a softer metal that copper so there will be a little more fouling, I am not disagreeing with this, but that doesn't mean that it's not safe. Like I said in my earlier post, the firearm should be properly cleaned after use. The quote in my post was from Glock's manual, and while they don't recommend lead bullets, you don't void the warranty by using lead bullets. However, you will void the warranty by using reloads regardless of bullet.
    This is from Kahr's website:
    A. Kahr Arms does not endorse any particular brand of ammunition. However, not every brand of ammunition produces the same results. Please check the markings on the barrel hood of your firearm to determine the proper caliber. Kahr suggests a visit to a pistol range to test fire different brands of ammunition in the proper caliber. Kahr cautions against the use of reloads. Lead (unjacketed) bullets can cause excessive fouling and extra attention to cleaning the bore is recommended after firing lead bullets. The Kahr pistol is rated to +P.
    There is no evidence of reference #8 from the wiki link that the kaboom was due to lead fouling:
    I have picked up a bit of information regarding the possible cause of this failure: apparently some folks3 don't recommend shooting solid lead bullets in barrels with rifling like HK's.
    The Gun Zone -- HK USP Expert kB!

    If someone doesn't feel comfortable shooting a particular ammo/bullet out of their firearm, then they probably shouldn't do it. However, I don't have any problem with it myself and I know many Glock owners that shoot lead as well.

  7. #21
    Member Array Martial Archer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandalitten View Post
    It's a myth that you cannot shoot lead out of a stock Glock barrel.

    I have also heard a lot of people saying that you should NEVER shoot lead out of a glock barrel, but it's always someone who heard it from someone else.
    The "someone else" who says lead bullets are not recommended is Glock. It is clearly printed in owners/instruction manual in red ink. But hey, what do the Glock engineers know right!?
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  8. #22
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    I don't think you will find any manual that says they recommend lead bullets. The Glock manual also says you void the warranty by shooting reloads, but I don't think many pay much attention to this. Most manufacturers say this, and that's understandable since they don't have any control over what people load. You don't void the warranty by shooting lead bullets (unless they are reloads).

  9. #23
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    I can't speak for Glock, but I once had a S&W 659 that I tried shooting cast bullets out of. It was fine for about the first 30, but was shaving Lead on the feed ramp. Eventually the build up resulted in continuous FTF's. Using jacketed, this never happened.
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  10. #24
    Senior Member Array Adkjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martial Archer View Post
    The "someone else" who says lead bullets are not recommended is Glock. It is clearly printed in owners/instruction manual in red ink. But hey, what do the Glock engineers know right!?

    It's printed in the manual because if they didn't someone would probably try casting pure plumbers lead or really soft lead which can definitely cause a problem. It's printed in the manual to save there butt. It's a myth with some truth to it. Don't shoot soft lead and clean the gun regularly and you have nothing to worry about.

    I don't understand why this is continually brought up, think logically about it. If your shooting a hard lead mix (like double taps WLFN rounds) it's going to leave such little lead behind it will never become a problem unless you never clean your pistol. Soft lead will shave off in any barrel regardless if it's polygonal rifling or not. And if your not shure, shoot some rounds and check the barrel, if it's building up lead then either clean it or find harder lead rounds, it's simple.
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adkjoe View Post
    It's printed in the manual because if they didn't someone would probably try casting pure plumbers lead or really soft lead which can definitely cause a problem. It's printed in the manual to save there butt. It's a myth with some truth to it. Don't shoot soft lead and clean the gun regularly and you have nothing to worry about.

    I don't understand why this is continually brought up, think logically about it. If your shooting a hard lead mix (like double taps WLFN rounds) it's going to leave such little lead behind it will never become a problem unless you never clean your pistol. Soft lead will shave off in any barrel regardless if it's polygonal rifling or not. And if your not shure, shoot some rounds and check the barrel, if it's building up lead then either clean it or find harder lead rounds, it's simple.
    Guys like you and I clean our guns often (I do after every outing), but not everyone is like us. There are quite a few ignorant people out there, and when you mix it will all the Glock folklore about being bullet proof and never needing to be clean or lubed is where you could have issues.
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  12. #26
    Member Array Martial Archer's Avatar
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    Clean my Glock after outings......I shoulda thought of that...

    But seriously, how many lead bullets can one fire before the barrel would be fouled to the point of potential failures?
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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martial Archer View Post
    Clean my Glock after outings......I shoulda thought of that...

    But seriously, how many lead bullets can one fire before the barrel would be fouled to the point of potential failures?
    Well if you keep shooting and not cleaning you will find out sooner or latter. Good or bad. Why don't you do a new Glock torture test for us all?
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  14. #28
    Member Array Martial Archer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C hawk Glock View Post
    Well if you keep shooting and not cleaning you will find out sooner or latter. Good or bad. Why don't you do a new Glock torture test for us all?
    No problem. You provide the Glock...a 19 please... (and make it a Gen 3)
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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martial Archer View Post
    No problem. You provide the Glock...a 19 please... (and make it a Gen 3)
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  16. #30
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    I shoot primarily LRNs in my Glock 30. I bought a Storm Lake barrel for the lead but it isn't as reliable as the OEM barrel. To the naked eye, I can't see any difference in the rifling between the two. Neither barrel has had anything except the "slightest" lead residue after a range session, no more than any other handgun I've fired lead in.

    Keep the velocity down to target range levels and clean the gun afterwards.
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