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Old 03-15-2009, 04:29 PM
5_Shooter 5_Shooter is offline
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We have all heard and know about the pitch that tells us "not to use lead round nose.....etc...type of projectiles in our revolvers"......because "you will spend all day getting the lead deposits out of your barrel."
How many of you, including me....have used lead for many years and do not have any problems with said theory?
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:29 PM
5_Shooter 5_Shooter is offline
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We have all heard and know about the pitch that tells us "not to use lead round nose.....etc...type of projectiles in our revolvers"......because "you will spend all day getting the lead deposits out of your barrel."
How many of you, including me....have used lead for many years and do not have any problems with said theory?
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:37 PM
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I've used lead for some time. I've found that I get different results at different velocities with different lead bullets. Swaged bullets seem to lead at lower velocities than cast bullets with proper hardness and lube. But, "proper hardness and lube" require some skill to guarantee. Jessie at Tennessee Valley Bullets does it right, as do a few caster friends I know who've been kind enough to send me bullets.

I've had leading in my bores, no doubt. Even with cast bullets of the best possible hardness with the best possible lube - the wrong powder apparently can do that. But I've also had hardcasts up to almost 1500 fps with no appreciable leading whatsoever.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:08 PM
NiklasP NiklasP is offline
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For me it has long been first and foremost a matter of how well bullets fit chamber throat (in revolvers),having slightly larger chamber throat than forcing cone (again revolvers), bullet exiting cylinder throat being slightly larger than groove-to-groove diameter of barrel. This has been especially critical for hard cast bullets.

Stop blowby of hot powder gases past bullet and you will stop or greatly reduce leading. Good lube helps, as can proper sized gas checks (for velocities over 1400 fps).

SOP for lead bullets in revolvers is bullets just small enough diameter to allow easy chambering in whatever brass is being used, bullet diameter larger than cylinder throats, throats slightly larger than groove-to-groove of bore. Soft cast or swaged bullets have been essential for low chamber pressures (like standard pressure 38 Special) and often do not lead at velocities up to 1200 fps or more from revolvers (smooth bores, good lube, properly dimensioned throats, forcing cones, etc.) and over 1400 fps from rifles.

Recent personal experience with my first S&W revolver in .357 mag found that Remington factory 38 special ammo with soft, swaged LRN bullets did not lead at all, nor did Remington HBWC (another swaged bullet) at 800 or so FPS. Speer 158 grain swaged SWC at 900+ fps also did not lead. However factory remanufactured 38 Special ammo with hard cast LSWs leaded quite abundantly in forcing cone and first cm of bore.

I have yet to take time to slug chamber throats, forcing cone and bore. I may do so in process of shooting Remington SWC 158 grain swaged bullets to velocities of 1100 fps or more -- especially if I encounter more than neglidgeable leading.

Niklas

In cases of revolvers and rifles where bullets are too small, I put soft fiber wads under bullets to stop blowby of powder gasses, which greatly reduces or stops leading.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:08 PM
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Eric covered the subject pretty well. I've found that the smoother your bore is the less it will lead but driving just about any lead bullet too fast or with too hot a powder will cause a certain amount of leading. And, no, simply shooting a cylinder full of jacketed bullets through your gun will NOT clean the lead out!!!
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:18 PM
arkypete arkypete is offline
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Leading is a function of bullet diameter, at reasonable velocities.
If you are shooting a revolver the bullet should be a tight fit to the chamber mouth. Hopefully the chamber mouth is larger then to bore diameter.

Jim
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:04 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Bullet fit and hardness with the proper pressure is what it is all about. Lube and powder are secondary issues IF the other things are correct.

I drive some of my H&G #503 44 250gr loads to 1800fps out of rifles with no leading at all.

9mm is another story though!
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:45 PM
Ernie L Ernie L is offline
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my first time with un-jacketed bullets was this week..230 RNL .45 ACP at 850 fps..no leading at all..I'm a happy camper..now I just need to find a cleaner burning powder than unique..

..I'm going to try the Oregon trails .30 cal 200 GN lead bullets that just arrived in my 30-06....I'm looking forward to see how that turns out...
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:09 PM
Calaveras Slim Calaveras Slim is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ernie L:
my first time with un-jacketed bullets was this week..230 RNL .45 ACP at 850 fps..no leading at all..I'm a happy camper..now I just need to find a cleaner burning powder than unique..

..I'm going to try the Oregon trails .30 cal 200 GN lead bullets that just arrived in my 30-06....I'm looking forward to see how that turns out...


May I suggest Winchester 231? Hi-Skor 700X? Tite-group?

I prefer Win 231 over all the others
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by smith crazy:
Bullet fit and hardness with the proper pressure is what it is all about. Lube and powder are secondary issues IF the other things are correct.
+1 Truer words....seldom spoken.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:30 PM
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Over the last 35 years, have shot tons of lead bullets over HP38/W231 out of .38 and .45 ACP.
More than a few cast loads out of other calibers.

Initially experimented and produced some crud loads with various powders/bullets, but settled into ones that work consistently and don't lead.

Most of lead bullets I shoot now are from Lee TL molds with ordinary wheelweights lubed with alox. Plinking bullets of the right size don't have to be particularly hard.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:32 PM
5_Shooter 5_Shooter is offline
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Thanks, all good info here. I do most of my .38 special loading with Unique and 148 gr. wadcutters for practice, and load a pretty good
amount of 110 to 158 gr. Hornady XTP for carry loads. Very little problem with the WC practice loads in my snubbies or my 4 inch M10 or M19.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:57 PM
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I shoot tons of lead. Get yourself a Lewis Lead Remover Kit and cleaning is no problem at all.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:46 AM
walnutred walnutred is offline
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I've had a few revolvers that it took a little experimenting to get the right diameter, hardness, lube thing worked out. Frankly they did not stay around very long. I have also had more leading because of undersized bullet than anything, it seems. Once I learned that cast bullets and jacketed bullets are NOT the same diameter a lot of my problems went away.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:58 AM
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I shoot lead in almost everything I own, rifles and pistols.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:08 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Quote:
Lee TL
OKFC,
What molds/bullet types do you use?

I have one of the 230gr RN molds in 2 cavity. There are days I would gladly give that mold away! Things have to be just right to get it to fill correctly. Almost to the point of getting frosty bullets. Nothing wrong with them, I just don't like their looks. I suppose they hold Alox better!

One thing I did start doing that seems to help. I started cooling off the sprue plate instead of the mold when things got too hot. I get better fill and the bullets "freeze" fast.

Suggestions?
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:33 AM
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Some people consider Lee molds cheap but they work very well. They are also considerable more affordable in 6 cavity than any of the others. I can cast several hundred bullets in the 6 banger in less than a couple of hours.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:49 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Raider,
I have several Lee 6 cavity molds. Only two of their molds have been hard to get to work well. Both of them have been the 45 caliber round nose versions. The one I mentioned above and their 228gr RN in 6 cavity. It casts big and that makes chambering difficult.

I also have a bunch of H&G molds and would rather use a 4 cavity one of those than a 6 cavity Lee. I get better bullets faster.

The H&G aren't cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but they are the best, at least in my opinion. I would like to get one of their #34 or #16 molds.

FWIW
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by smith crazy:
The one I mentioned above and their 228gr RN in 6 cavity. It casts big and that makes chambering difficult.

I also have a bunch of H&G molds and would rather use a 4 cavity one of those than a 6 cavity Lee. I get better bullets faster.
Skip, run those oversized bullets thru the .452 Lee Sizer. My 45's cast slightly oversize and thats what I do.

As for H&G, I would love to have some of their molds but they are out of business. Best I can do is the RCBS copy of the H&G68 and thats a 2 bullet mold.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:32 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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I know we shooters are suppose to boycott ebay but that is the only place there seems to be any H&G molds anymore. Get your wallet out when you go to buy one though! They are pricey.

As for the H&G #68, I have one of those in the original but the Lee 6 cavity version is just as good, in my opinion.

The only problem I have had is with their round nose bullet molds. Even when I run those bullets through the .452" sizer, there is too much of the ogive that is that size. In order to get them to fit my chambers properly, I have to have an extremely short OAL. Something I'm not real fond of in an auto round.

I will have to get some pictures of them when I cast them next. I know the description isn't giving much of a mental picture.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:56 AM
NiklasP NiklasP is offline
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What I hear from my bullet-casting friends about Lee moulds is that the tolerances are rather wide, apparently mostly on the large side. Some will be just fine, others cast bullets some folks find too big, even to size down without unacceptable distortion. Supposedly this is consequence of machining Al alloy on the cheap.

At least a few of us like to find folks with specific Lee moulds that cast oversized bullets. We buy them "as cast" to use either in cartridges requiring larger bullets than anything standard today or in old guns with oversize bores and chambers.

Niklas
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:39 PM
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I've used lead bullets since I started reloading, almost 25 years ago. I still use lead bullets, but NOT the plain cast, then lubed with old crayons kind.

I use poly-coated bullets; first Bear Creek and now Master Blasters (since, like BC departed) and Precision. The bullets are as clean as jacketed, while almost as inexpensive as the messy, smoky plain old cast projectiles.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:07 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Quote:
poly-coated bullets
Since I can't make them in my garage, I'll stick with the old style bullets. There is no way that purchased bullets can compete with the cost of making my own. I can put up with a little smoke since I am saving so much money.

I have noticed this though. If a bullet is undersized and the wrong lube is used, it can be a "black powder" type of shooting event.

When sized properly, the right lube is used and pushed to the correct velocity, there is no other way to shooting bliss than by home-cast bullets.

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