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Old December 30, 2010, 11:33 AM   #1
Nick70
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Glock barrel replacement?

Does replacing a Glock factory barrel with one such as a Lone Wolf solve the "no reloads" issue? Thanks for all replies.
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Old December 30, 2010, 11:36 AM   #2
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There is not any "no reloads" issue. Some folks believe you shouldn't use cast lead bullets in an OEM Glock barrel, and an aftermarket barrel with conventional and not hexagonal rifling does indeed address that.

You'd have to describe your shooting and reloading habits as well as your caliber and component choice for us to offer an opinion if an aftermarket barrel would be worth the expenditure.

Of course... if you simply want one, then have at it!
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Old December 30, 2010, 11:37 AM   #3
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If the replacement or conversion barrel has lands and grooves, like a conventional (non-polygonal) barrel, yes.
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Old December 30, 2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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Reloading for Glocks

I recently bought my first Glock, a Gen3 G22. As an avid reloader I'd heard all the horror stories about reloading for Glocks especially using lead bullets. Well, I disagree. I'm sure Lone Wolf, KKM, Bar-Sto, et al have made a lot of money off this fallacy.

First reloads I ran through my G22 were 170 grain LEAD semi-wadcutters. I pushed them with both Universal and regular Clays powder. After 150 rounds my barrel actually had LESS LEAD in it than my conventionally rifled Sigma barrel. As a further surprise the stuff came out of the Glock barrel MUCH easier than the Sigma barrel.

I started off running 5 rounds and checking the barrel. By the time I got to 25 rounds there was some minor leading in the barrel. I continued shooting a few and inspecting the barrel but after the first 25 rounds there was no further leading of the barrel.

Last week I ran another 150 rounds through it using the same bullet with regular Clays and Unique. Again I had minimal leading after 150 rounds.

Now this is my experience. Try your own experiment and see what happens. I wouldn't try this with TiteGroup as it burns hot enough to melt the bullet base leading to excessive leading. Clays seems to work well however I'm preferring Unique.

That $125 for the Lone Wolf barrel buys 4 pounds of Unique and another 1000 cast bullets.

All the Best,
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Old December 30, 2010, 07:32 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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If I had a 40SW Glock (especially and older model), I wouldn't shoot reloads without an aftermarket barrel with improved chamber support.

Other than that, as long as you avoid lead, the stock barrel is fine.
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Old December 30, 2010, 07:50 PM   #6
varoadking
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Quote:
That $125 for the Lone Wolf barrel buys 4 pounds of Unique and another 1000 cast bullets.
It won't buy another $500.00 Glock, though...

Not sure why folks insist on tempting fate...
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Old December 30, 2010, 09:03 PM   #7
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There's a thread on the Brian Enos Glock forum about this same subject. Putting lead through Glock barrels is done by many many people with very good results. In some cases people have put tens of thousands of lead pills through their pistol.

Glocks were on the market for many years without any warning about using reloads. After that it was still a few more years until the lead bullet issue came up.

Like I said, this is my experience. So far I'm comfortable with lead in my Glock.

<Quote>
It won't buy another $500.00 Glock, though...
</Quote>

The money I save shooting lead reloads over factory ammo over time probably will though!

All the Best,
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Old December 30, 2010, 09:38 PM   #8
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I have a Kkm barrel in my g20L. I run just about anything through it. The chamber is a bit better supported, which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. I prefer Kkm to lonewolf.
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Old December 31, 2010, 05:25 AM   #9
Amin Parker
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I would not shoot lead in a Glock barrel. I agree with above poster, it makes no sense and not worth the risk.

Buy an aftermarket barrel and have fun
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Old December 31, 2010, 07:06 AM   #10
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For those posters that do shoot lead through their Glocks, have any done a detail inspection of your barrel's bore (used a bore scope) for lead build-up after shooting lead bullets?
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Old December 31, 2010, 09:34 AM   #11
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Several years ago my son, who was going through basic LEO training, used my Glock 17 for the firearms segment. He shot several hundred rounds a day of school-supplied reloads (lead) and we checked the gun every night. We were very conscious of the potential risks, and he'd check it visually during the day for obvious problems. His gun ran like a clock, while the school-supplied S&W 5906s had lots of problems.

We'd clean the gun each night and found one or two very, very minor signs of buildup (streaks) of lead in the barrel, in the crease between two or three flats of the polygonal barrel.

An acquaintance who is a professional (sponsored) shooter (IPSC, instructor for the US Military, etc.) shoots lead exclusively in his factory Glocks. He says the secret is getting the proper size bullet and the proper hardness to the lead -- as the less tight Glock barrel will let gas around the bullet, causing it to melt/shed some lead, when using softer bullets. (I don't reload, so I may not have used the proper terms...)
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Old December 31, 2010, 09:36 AM   #12
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I don't own a bore scope. But where is there a place for lead to build up in a Glock barrel? My own informal test with lead bullet handloads were 100 straight rounds of 200 gr LTC pushed by a charge of Power Pistol through my 10mm G29.

After the first 20, I stripped the pistol to get a good look at the barrel and found nothing. Then I stripped after the next 20 rounds and still couldn't see anything. Fired off the next 60 and didn't notice anything of note when cleaning it later. The bore is so simple and completely lacks any crevices for anything to "build up" in.

I haven't made a habit of shooting lead through my Glock to this point, but I'm not scared to try it again. Given that the only Glock I own is chambered in 10mm, I'm pretty much sold on the idea that jacketed ammo is what I intend to build for it.

I did very much consider an aftermarket barrel for my pistol... but I abandoned the idea shortly after I actually got my hands on the pistol. I was more worried about case support and Glock'd up brass than I was about the style of rifling and it's ability to shoot lead handloads.

When I found that my brass was in fine shape, I no longer felt compelled to look in to an aftermarket barrel. But the biggest reason I elected not to do it? This G29 is my carry gun and I've got it thoroughly tested for feed, function, accuracy and reliability with the OEM barrel. It works way, way beyond my satisfaction in those departments, so switching out something that works even better than I demand from it for a new part is not something I will even consider.

Also, btw, with the exception about one 50 round box of Rem-UMC (crap), three boxes of Silvertip (60 rds) and one box of Hornady (20 rds), every other round I've fed this pistol has been handloads.

And it runs 100% of the time.
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Old January 1, 2011, 03:46 AM   #13
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KKM

Jarvis

And BarSto.
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Old January 1, 2011, 05:12 AM   #14
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I have and do shoot lead in my Glocks, a G23 and G21. I had an early G22 that would not shoot cast wheel weight bullets with out key holing but both of the newer ones shoot it just fine. Glock does not warranty there guns if you shoot reloads and they for sure will not cover them if you use non Glock parts (barrels). Like the already posted, I have less leading in the Glock barrels than the cut rifled barrels.

My personal opinion as to the cause of the k-booms reported with early Glock 40s were probably caused buy several things going wrong all at the same time.
1. Bullet set back as it feed into the barrel
2. A dirty chamber not letting it go fully into battery, early Glocks would fire a little out of battery
3. Some factory brass was weaker (Federal)
4. Just bad reloads

The barrels do seam to have a little better support than the gen 2 I had.
For me I will keep shooting lead but will also check the barrel often.
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Old January 1, 2011, 06:35 AM   #15
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The problem with leading and Glock bores isn't that it's certain to happen, but rather that it's very difficult to predict and so there isn't any good rule of thumb about what you can and can't get away with.

One book (The Glock in Competition) records the results of testing using pressure measuring equipment that showed that "identical" pistols shooting identical ammunition leaded dramatically different amounts resulting in dramatically different discharges. One went several hundred rounds with very little pressure increase while the other pistol which was apparently identical reached dangerous discharge pressure levels after only a couple of boxes.

People shoot lead in Glock barrels and most of them get away with it, especially if they're careful and know what they're doing. Some don't get away with it, and not even being careful is always enough to insure that you'll avoid an incident.

The first person who publicized this issue was a forensic engineer. He blew up his Glock using lead bullets. He had put around 23K lead reloads down his bore without incident before he finally shot a few too many rounds through his pistol in a single practice session and crossed the threshold of what the pistol could handle. Based on what I've read of his work, he was a very careful person but it didn't keep him from ruining a pistol. He later analyzed his pistol to see what caused the explosion and determined that the bore was sufficiently leaded to cause discharge pressures to skyrocket. He was able to duplicate the effect later in a test barrel.
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But where is there a place for lead to build up in a Glock barrel?
That's actually a big part of the problem. There's not any good place for it to build up. If you get any appreciable amount of leading it immediately starts competing with the projectile for bore space. Something's got to give when that happens.

The forensic engineer declined to give any advice on how to shoot lead bullets. He switched to plated bullets after he concluded his testing.

What follows isn't advice on how to get away with using lead in a Glock bore, nor should it be considered even tacit approval of the practice. It's merely an admission that some folks are going to do what they want to do no matter what.

I don't presume to step in where Passamaneck feared to tread, but I think there are some rules that can be followed to REDUCE, not eliminate the chances of an incident.

Don't push the length of your practice sessions with lead bullets and frequently check for leading, especially anytime you try a new pistol or a new load.

Don't use maximum loads.

Don't EVER put ANY jacketed rounds through a Glock barrel that's had lead bullets shot through it until the bore has been thoroughly cleaned and all leading removed from it. I read a posting on another forum many years ago by a person who blew up his Glock 19 with 51 rounds. 50 lead rounds followed by a single jacketed factory round. The gun came apart spectacularly when the jacketed round tried to fit down the constricted bore. This practice can cause damage even in standard rifling. Speer's ballistic's expert, Allan Jones, recommends against the practice in all firearms citing his examination of several firearms damaged by the practice and as I mentioned above, Beretta includes a warning against it in several of their pistol manuals.

Don't assume that just because you've never had a problem before you're home free. Little things can make a big difference. If you change loads/load components or start using a different Glock pistol or replace a barrel, don't assume that everything will still be the same. As mentioned above "identical" Glock pistols can behave very differently in terms of leading.

Finally, be aware that given the unusual nature of Glock rifling, leading may not be easy to detect. One shooter on another forum bought a Glock 17 for a pittance (under $200) because the barrel was "shot out". I suggested that it wasn't shot out that it was merely badly lead-fouled. He checked again and was certain that it wasn't lead-fouled. It wasn't until I convinced him to carefully test the inside of the bore by trying to gently scratch it with a small screwdriver that he verified that the smooth interior of the bore was actually the result of lead fouling. This story, by the way, is a testament to the sturdiness of the G17 and how overbuilt the original 9mm Glocks were. I do not believe that a .40 S&W Glock would have stood up to being shot with that much lead fouling in the bore.
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...they for sure will not cover them if you use non Glock parts...
I haven't ever heard anything like this from Glock. I can't imagine why the use of a drop-in part would void the Glock warranty, but if you have information to the contrary from Glock, please post it.
Quote:
...as the less tight Glock barrel will let gas around the bullet...
While the chambers may be a bit on the large side, the bores are actually tighter than found in most standard rifling. As mentioned above, that's part of why they don't tolerate leading well. The tighter seal between the bore and the bullet is also part of the reason that polygonal rifling is generally accepted to provide slightly higher velocities.

You are correct that an undersized bullet will tend to lead badly due to gas blowing between the bullet and the bore.
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Old January 1, 2011, 09:05 AM   #16
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That is what is great about a Forum you can learn something new most every day. Thanks John, from one 'DFWer' to another.
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Old January 1, 2011, 09:59 AM   #17
Walt Sherrill
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Quote:
Quote:
...as the less tight Glock barrel will let gas around the bullet...
While the chambers may be a bit on the large side, the bores are actually tighter than found in most standard rifling. As mentioned above, that's part of why they don't tolerate leading well. The tighter seal between the bore and the bullet is also part of the reason that polygonal rifling is generally accepted to provide slightly higher velocities.

You are correct that an undersized bullet will tend to lead badly due to gas blowing between the bullet and the bore.
Attribute the error noted above to me and not to my shooting friend. (As I said, I don't reload, so I don't always get the details right.) My shooter friend did mention loose chambers and undersized bullets, but I must've just inferred the bit about barrel size.

In years past, he literally shot many thousands of rounds a month, practicing and competing, and used lead. I'm sure he checked the barrel frequently, etc. He spends much of his time, now, at Ft. Bragg, working with Special Ops troops. (They use a lot of simunition for live-fire training in urban settings, and they get pretty bruised up as a result.)

He emphasized, as JohnKSa mentions, that's it is important to get the bullet size right.
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:12 AM   #18
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The lead bullets I've used are in the 18 Bhn hardness range. I DO NOT use maximum loads but prefer mid-range. I wouldn't tempt fate by trying to run 1000 rounds through my gun without cleaning the barrel thoroughly however 250 is not out of the question. (This seems to have been an issue in a number of Kaboom! events. Going match to match with your Glock without cleaning the barrel is bad juju.)

All the bullets I've used have been coated with Lee Liquid Alox. I've used this for years on all cast bullets I've shot regardless of hardness or lube already on the bullets. I can't prove it helps but it doesn't cost much and gets good reviews. It's just insurance.

Unique powder is referenced frequently giving very good results with lead bullets. I'll probably stick with it.

All the Best,
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Old January 1, 2011, 11:29 AM   #19
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KKM is the way to go ,100% drop in ,better support,no glock smiles on your brass ,and 50fps more in a standard lenth barrel . If you reload you already know what brass fired from a Glock barrel looks like ,and in the 40 and 10mm you realy need to be very carefull of the Glock smile/bulge or you can end up in trouble in a hurry . I for one do not trust brass after it has been fired from a Glock barrel ,the KKM ends all that and gives you better overall preformance .This is a must have for hot ( NORMA spec )10mm loads. I realy like the 6 inch KKM barrel for hot 10mm hunting loads. As far as lead ,I stay away from shooting any weapon with a polyligonal barrel to shoot lead ,it may work for some but I just won't do it . Hodgdon Longshot is my 10mm powder of choice ,it meters well,is clean,gives great velocity,and keeps preasure good with 180 and 200 grain full power loads . In a 6 inck KKM barrel with a 180 grain XTP it gets 1385 fps with no preasure signs .
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Old January 1, 2011, 12:02 PM   #20
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Is the original OP asking about reloads from a lead bullet perspective, or just shooting reloads?

I have been shooting plated and jacketed reloads in my Gen II since I bought it new without any issues (including using brass fired in Glocks..)

Not a big deal, but then I never load to max, since I prefer accuracy
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Old January 1, 2011, 04:43 PM   #21
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Once I started reloading, I replaced the factory barrel in my Glock 23 with a Storm Lake barrel. I only use FMJ bullets but would rather keep it on the safe side.

So far so good!
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Old January 2, 2011, 12:18 PM   #22
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I cast my own lead bullets using a Lee Tumble Lube bullet that requires no further resizing. I use wheel weights as my source of lead. I shoot my lead reloads using Titegroup powder at 4gr. 124 gr. bullet weight. I shoot these through my G17 with absolutely no leading whatsoever. I did have leading before I upped the powder charge a bit. I have shot lead through all of my glocks (19, 21sf, 30sf, 17) without incident. I do keep an eye out for it during my range visits just in case, but after 1000's of rounds I have had no excess leading at all.
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Old January 2, 2011, 12:31 PM   #23
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Lone Wolf barrel review here. I think their barrels are good overall; if anybody can get a dud on the first try, it'll be me. The small problem was easily corrected and this LWD barrel is entirely reliable and accurate enough. I'd certainly buy from them again.

Also, if you'll send them 5 'dummies' of your reload, they will ream your chamber before shipping the barrel. That's good for bonus points in my book.
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Old January 3, 2011, 03:49 PM   #24
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Loan Wolf is way too evasive as to Where thier barrels are made , they flat out will not say . IMHO I would not trust a company that will not devulge the origin of thier manufacture . I have hade first hand experiance with off shore Asian ( China) machined parts in the automotive industry . Buy American and save a job ,and help us all .
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