plain lead rounds, if you had to use them?

This is a discussion on plain lead rounds, if you had to use them? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; This might be sort of a variant of the "how much ammo do you stockpile" thread that comes up here from time to time. Background: ...

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Thread: plain lead rounds, if you had to use them?

  1. #1
    Member Array xsquidgator's Avatar
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    plain lead rounds, if you had to use them?

    This might be sort of a variant of the "how much ammo do you stockpile" thread that comes up here from time to time.

    Background: I grew up shooting, went 10-15 years without doing much if any and about a year and a half ago got back into shooting/collecting with a vengeance. I've probably fired about 5-7 thousand rounds over the last year, and since I started reloading early last spring, my round count as gone up quite a bit. I'll probably settle out shooting maybe 10,000 rounds or more a year, now that I'm finding a groove.

    Almost all the pistol ammo I have and shoot for practice is plain lead rounds that I've reloaded myself. I like the lead for 9mm/38/45 and even 357 magnum because, well, they're cheaper than plated or jacketed bullets. When my hobby time allows, I really like the therapy if you will of going into my shop for an after-work evening and crank out a couple hundred rounds of practice ammo on my turret press, maybe 150 an hour or so.

    So I have all this lead practice ammo that I've accumulated. Looking at all these boxes of 9mm 125LRN, 45 230LRN, and 38/357 158LSWC ammo I have stacked, I got to wondering after reading one of these how much ammo do you stockpile" threads, how effective would this lead ammo be in a pinch if I had to use it for self-defense?

    I started making my lead rounds as light as possible on the charges, in order to have light recoil-ing practice loads. Later I worked up to the max published loads in my reloading guides (Lee #2, Speer #13, and Hodgdon/Alliant website) and started loading my lead towards the max side. I don't PLAN on ever doing anything with these but punching paper, but I thought what the hell, another 0.5 cents of powder per round may make these things hit as hard as a plain lead round can hit, and they'll be closer to "factory sd ammo" in performance and felt-recoil.

    The only exceptions to these plain lead (lubed and sized of course) bullets I use is sometimes I'll buy plated bullets or perhaps a few hundred FMJs from somewhere. But for the most part it's plain, hardcast lead.

    I'm sure these have some punch to them (e.g. for 45ACP, maybe 5.5 grains of W231 under a 230LRN, the max per my guides), and being lead, wouldn't these also expand sort of like defensive ammo would? Would you feel ok relying on ammo like this if for some reason you couldn't replenish your usual store-bought supply?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    just use gaschecks and steer clear of using lead in glocks ;)
    I am sworn to protect the Constitution of the U.S.A. from all threats both foreign and domestic.

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Put rounds COM then run a line of bullets up to the head.

    $2 per round JHP or $0.001 reloaded ammo - same shooting method.

    Shoot them to the ground.

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Depends on the alloy you use whether they will expand or not - if you're using a LSWC shape bullet then they should perform well in flesh. If you use a good hard alloy and the bullet has a sharp shoulder and a large meplat you should get a good size hole and straight through penetration. With softer lead you will get some expansion - depends on what the bullet hits though. A gut shot even with soft lead would be unlikely to expand much.
    One way or another its a bullet travelling at 750+fps so no one is going to want to stand in front of the thing.

    Austin

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    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    Lead projectiles have been performing well in self defense and on the battlefield for a couple centuries now... I hardly think the bad guys have gotten that much tougher to kill during that time.

    There's some concerns that using reloads for self defense could cause you legal problems, but I've never seen any documented cases where it's happened. Even if it is a legal liability, the old principal that it's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 would still apply.

    Me? I shoot lots of lead, and wouldn't hesitate to rely on it in an emergency.
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    Member Array nuparadigm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmidkiff View Post
    Lead projectiles have been performing well in self defense and on the battlefield for a couple centuries now... I hardly think the bad guys have gotten that much tougher to kill during that time. ....
    What that guy said.
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    Member Array amlevin's Avatar
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    If lead bullets are all you have they are better than throwing rocks. Most lead bullet are either designed for target practice or in some cases as large penetrating rounds for bigger game. For Self Defense, Hollow-points are favored and most development work has gone into jacketed rounds.

    In a SHTF scenario, and your gun is loaded with lead bullets, shoot for the center and move up.
    ""If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying, I either won't need more or, more won't help me.""

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    Member Array Eddie's Avatar
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    Seems to have served the FBI well for years (38 spl +p LSWC-HP).
    A lot of people still swear by this load for their snubbies.

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    Would you feel ok relying on ammo like this if for some reason you couldn't replenish your usual store-bought supply
    If push comes to shove and Hillary takes over and bans ammo because the United Nations is trying ot outlaw civilian ownership of guns, I would have NO qualms about using lead ammo.

    FWIW...awhile back I did some experimenting...
    I have a hollowpoint setup that uses a bell centerdrill in the crimp stage of my Dillon. I run it with a battery drill. The centerdrill has a stop on it so that the deth is the same. The press arm is down and the bullet is held in tension by the crimp die. These hollowpoints showed expansion that was not much different from most jacketed hollowpoints when shot into different media. Pure lead bullets would splatter. Wheelweight bullets did great as well as heattreated wheelweight bulets dropped into a 5 gallon bucker of water straight from the mold..although they showed less expansion in sand, I suspect they would penetrate greater.
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    Member Array Eddie's Avatar
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    Any of you guys ever try one of these? I've looked at these a lot, but never purchased.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...491&t=11082005

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    No I haven't but I think the ability to cast my own bullets is worth while for me to persue
    Sometimes I wonder who the old man in the mirror is....

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