"a little confused to the fact of which is better as a whole for the barrels of my pistols. I see the price savings of the lead over the copper and under stand that you cant run the lead as "HOT" as the plated but im just punching holes in paper.. Can you give the fact and some guidance?"
I can produce no facts but some known generalities.
Lead is 'slicker' than copper. Thus, lead in it's self will do less damage to barrel steel. The key is to run the proper alloy/hardness bullet for the velocities needed for the job. Killing paper doesn't take a lot of energy, but you will want a flatter trajectory to make the shots easier. I wouldn't wasted my money on plated bullets.
The problem with soft bullets is that they strip off in the rifling. That's leading. Lead is a very inert metal (sewer pipe!). So chemicals to remove it must be less than pleasant for the barrel steel. That leaves brute removal. Bronze brushes or copper screened 'Lewis Lead Remover' (that could be Louis) are brute removal. Both can and will damage barrel steel. Not one or two passes, but several.
This is where harder cast bullets, plated/coated bullets and jacketed bullets come into the mix. The down sides are greater costs for the bullets and they too will strip off in the rifling. The up side of this is that chemicals the 'eat' copper have very little effect upon steel. (But, boy do they stink!)
What to do?
Buy or cast hard/harder lead bullets and size them to the proper size, lub with GOOD lub (not motor oil and bees wax) and load to levels that don't lead for punching paper. [Side note: casting your own is both a lot of fun and a lot of work.] There are many lead bullet producers and none what to make bad product. If you can't find any local, try 'Missouri Bullet' or 'Illinois Bullet', I've use both and several others as well or just Google it.
Gona move on up to hunting levels? Two ways to go, jacketed or heavy lead bullets. Different view for bought of these, I can see both.
Good bullets can make just plinking more fun and will make for better target loads.
Load safe and enjoy,
Last edited by oldpapps; February 23, 2012 at 02:36 PM.