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Yesterday I had a great day at the range. Shot my 45 and 9mm; both were stuffed with lead bullets. Today I spent well over an hour getting the lead out of my barrels! I guess I'm going back to Berry's plated for all my needs.

Sorry, I just needed to vent.
 

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Yesterday I had a great day at the range. Shot my 45 and 9mm; both were stuffed with lead bullets. Today I spent well over an hour getting the lead out of my barrels! I guess I'm going back to Berry's plated for all my needs.

Sorry, I just needed to vent.
Don't blame you. I'am getting old and tired of cleaning lead from barrels.:tumbleweed:
 

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Leading is caused by two conditions: too soft bullets and too fast velocity - or a combination of the two.

Hard cast (and properly lubricated) bullets and moderate velocities (1,000 fps) reduce leading problems to not much more of a problem than removing the copper fouling from jacketed bullets.

I've been shooting them for years and never spend more time cleaning the barrels than I did with jacketed rounds. Proper cleaning methods help, too. :wave:
 

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I used to shoot lead in my 9mm. Hated cleaning, however the last couple years I have been casting my own,due to economics, with Lee Micro-groove molds and using Lee liquid Alox lube. I chose the micro-groove bullet as they do not need to be sized. I go to the range with 50 to 200 rounds and clean my gun when I get home or at least before my next trip to the range. I found if I use Shooters Choice Lead remover solvent I can make about 10 brush passes through the barrel, let it set for about 10 minutes followed by 10 more passes and the barrel swabs clean. Seems to be easier than removing copper. My bullets are wheel weight and soft lead mixed. I have the same results with 45 and 38. If the lead gets built up which has happened a couple times due to my negligence, a 3 minute soak wit a 50%-50% mixture of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar dissolves the lead and cleans up quite easily. Like was said earlier, slow down the speed and it will be quite tolerable. In lieu of lead I used Rainier and West Coast Plated until they became too expensive. Montana Gold were my favorites and if you buy in bulk, they are cheaper than plated.
 

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hey, lead is easier on your barrel. it is also easy to clean if you use a piece of copper scouring patch and push it through your barrel a few times. heck, i cast my own and my cost per bullet for reloads for first time fire is about 8cents. i retrieve all my brass and don't shoot hot loads. i estimate that i will use each piece of brass 8-12 times--so cost will lower (only be primers/powder and cheapo lead-bought about 100bs for 20.00). my range mates may think i'm nuts, but i can do some serious practice without breaking the bank. (ps--bought all my reloading gear for about 500--funded by selling shooting stuff that was just hanging around.:rofl:
 

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Leading is caused by two conditions: too soft bullets and too fast velocity - or a combination of the two.

Hard cast (and properly lubricated) bullets and moderate velocities (1,000 fps) reduce leading problems to not much more of a problem than removing the copper fouling from jacketed bullets.

I've been shooting them for years and never spend more time cleaning the barrels than I did with jacketed rounds. Proper cleaning methods help, too. :wave:
Maybe I am just unlucky, but I have not found that true, even if I use Oregon Trail bullets. My loads are 200 or 230 grain bullets with 5.3 grains of AA2. Velocity is somewhat less than 800 fps.

Using pieces of a copper chore pad I can clean the bore in 50 - 100 passes, but there is always leading.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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Prep your bore with JB Bore Bright & use JB Bore Cleaner regularly. Amazing stuff.

Polish your bore and then coat your bore with either WeaponShield or Gunzilla...leave that coating your bore overnight.

Next day run your clean patches through.

You can really cut down on Leading & fouling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe I am just unlucky, but I have not found that true, even if I use Oregon Trail bullets. My loads are 200 or 230 grain bullets with 5.3 grains of AA2. Velocity is somewhat less than 800 fps.

Using pieces of a copper chore pad I can clean the bore in 50 - 100 passes, but there is always leading.

Regards,
Jerry

I guess I'm unlucky too. My 9mm load was a 147gr. sub-sonic load and the other was 230 gr. LRN 45 ACP. Each load well under the 1000 fps mark. The leading in the 45 was actually a little worse than the leading in the 9mm.

.
 

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Leading is caused by two conditions: too soft bullets and too fast velocity - or a combination of the two.

Hard cast (and properly lubricated) bullets and moderate velocities (1,000 fps) reduce leading problems to not much more of a problem than removing the copper fouling from jacketed bullets.

I've been shooting them for years and never spend more time cleaning the barrels than I did with jacketed rounds. Proper cleaning methods help, too. :wave:
There's also the opposite combination. Too hard a bullet and too slow a velocity. Probably wouldn't see it much in an auto because if the velocities got slow enough to cause the problem the action wouldn't cycle. But I've seen it several times in pistol caliber lever rifles and revolvers. When I first started cowboy shooting, I and several others were having a heck of a time with leading using Oregon Trail Laser-Cast bullets. We finally figured out that the bullets were so hard that at the velocities we were shooting them the bullets wouldn't obturate and seal the bore. This allowed hot gas to get to the sides of the bullets and was actually melting lead from the sides of the bullets. Went to softer bullets and problem solved.

Hoss
 

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There's also the opposite combination. Too hard a bullet and too slow a velocity. Probably wouldn't see it much in an auto because if the velocities got slow enough to cause the problem the action wouldn't cycle. But I've seen it several times in pistol caliber lever rifles and revolvers. When I first started cowboy shooting, I and several others were having a heck of a time with leading using Oregon Trail Laser-Cast bullets. We finally figured out that the bullets were so hard that at the velocities we were shooting them the bullets wouldn't obturate and seal the bore. This allowed hot gas to get to the sides of the bullets and was actually melting lead from the sides of the bullets. Went to softer bullets and problem solved.

Hoss
That's something I forgot about. I personally never had that problem but I have read about others having it. Thanks for the reminder.
 

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I'm grateful for plain ol' lead bullets. Allows the shooting dollars to stretch farther. Rarely have leading problems in my modern guns, only occurring in the oldies with less than perfect bores.
 

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For info on lead hardness, see the "technical" page at Missouribullet.com. Might enlighten some, and disprove some theories.
 

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I run some pretty hot loads out of my .357 and 44 mags, all in home cast lead. I have almost no leading , and am very satisfied with the results. A person should read Glenn Fryxells articles on lead bullets and lubrication. The articles will give you some new ideas on lead bullets.

Lubricating Cast Bullets. Bullet lube does more than you thought

Cast bullet alloy's and bullet obturation

A quote from Glenn Fryxell that tells a lot to most of us hand gunners. For those who have never read his writing he is a lot more than just a hand gunner, he is a PHD in material sciences , and does not write commercially.

Bullets cast of very hard alloys seem to be quite the rage these days, especially with the commercial bullet casters. Sure, hard alloys have their place, but there's not really much need for ALL cast bullets to have a Brinell hardness of 24, especially not for use in everyday sixguns. In fact, these hard bullets may well be inadvertently causing leading. How?

These commercial alloys are commonly too hard to "bump up" (or obturate) and seal the bore at typical revolver pressures. The resulting blow-by of the hot gases past the bullet's bearing surfaces can leave significant lead deposits in the barrel.
 

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Everyone has pretty well given most of the reasons for leading.
Too fast,too slow, too soft,too hard.

I shoot lots and lots of lead bullets. I have little problem with leading.

One thing that I have done that made a major difference is to fire lap my barrels.

If you have a rough barrel, it doesn't matter what you do because you will be shearing lead off as the bullet passes. Polishing a barrel that is rough will iron out the high spots, polish the smoothh spots and make everything more uniform.What ever burrs you have will be removed.

Its like running a your hand down a silk stocking. If you have a smoot hand it'll be nice and easy.
If you have a rough calloused hand, you'll snag and tear up the stocking.

Barrels are no different. My Colt Anaconda had a rough barrel. Although sometimes you cant see the imperfections without a bore scope, it is obvous when the barrel leads up after only a few dozen rounds. I read an article about Fire Lapping in the Guns and Ammo magazine and I figured I had little to lose. I did just what it said to do and it made a big difference. Asa result of that, I can fire lots more with less effort to clean.

Another thing that helps are bullets that are consistent. I cast my own and I size and hot lube them. I have used commercially cast bullets that varied as much as .010 in diameter that caused much leading.

Since I haven't actually bought any lead bullets in years, I haven't had any problems.

Just something to think about.
 

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Leading is caused by two conditions: too soft bullets and too fast velocity - or a combination of the two.

Hard cast (and properly lubricated) bullets and moderate velocities (1,000 fps) reduce leading problems to not much more of a problem than removing the copper fouling from jacketed bullets.

I've been shooting them for years and never spend more time cleaning the barrels than I did with jacketed rounds. Proper cleaning methods help, too. :wave:
there you go.
 

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I think it's been kind of touched on, but actual bullet diameter is a major factor. Most leading occurs when expanding gasses blast past the bullet and melt and smear the hot lead to the inside of the barrel. This occurs when the bullet is too small a diameter and cannot fully seal the hot gasses behind it.

So, yes, too HARD a lead will not allow the bullet to fully obturate (expand at the back) and seal gasses. It will also not fully deform in the barrel to seal all the nooks and crannies (i.e. grooves) in the barrel. A softer lead will deform/conform easier.

Hard cast bullets are great for higher velocities (like magnums for instance) where it needs to be hard enough to stand up to the higher pressures and speeds.

I notice in my 1911's that if I use .452" diameter bullets, it's just dandy. Hardly no leading at all. .451's are ok. With .450's, leading and tumbling bullets within 2 magazines!

Emrah
 

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I average shooting about 500 rds of lead bullets a month out of a .45 ACP and a .40 S&W.

I can't remember when I have any leading problems.

My G35 with an after market Storm Lake barrel gets cleaned about every 3 months, not lazy, that how often it needs it, (1500 rds) and it never takes over a couple of minutes as 99.9% is powder residue. A couple of swipes with a bronze bore brush and the barrel is good to go.

I am casting my own out of wheel weights and 2% tin- water cooled.
 

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I average shooting about 500 rds of lead bullets a month out of a .45 ACP and a .40 S&W.

I can't remember when I have any leading problems.

My G35 with an after market Storm Lake barrel gets cleaned about every 3 months, not lazy, that how often it needs it, (1500 rds) and it never takes over a couple of minutes as 99.9% is powder residue. A couple of swipes with a bronze bore brush and the barrel is good to go.

I am casting my own out of wheel weights and 2% tin- water cooled.
Where are you getting your tin at? Or are you using solder?
 

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I shot nothing but hard cast round nose from Dillon in my S&W 5904. I'd always finish with 1 mag of copper jacket immediately after finishing up the lead rounds. Never had a hard time cleaning my barrel.
 
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