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Old August 22, 2012, 03:46 PM   #1
hells.saints
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This Again: Glocks and Lead Bullets

Yeah, I have a Glock 19. And I've heard all the rumors about lead bullets. I've found most people's views on this fall into three categories:
  1. Do NOT use lead bullets in your Glock. You WILL blow it up because of excessive pressures caused by barrel leading.
  2. You can use lead bullets, but clean it out every couple hundred rounds. Just be careful.
  3. Don't worry about it. Those blowing up stories are few and far between and are probably flukes.

I tend to lean on the second option with normal, plain, hard-cast bullets.

However, few people talk about soft cast bullets...with GAS CHECKS. Could it be possible that the addition of gas checks will reduce/virtually eliminate dangerous leading within the context of a Glock?

And don't anybody tell me to just get a Lone Wolf barrel or something like that.
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Old August 22, 2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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I thought the rifling was inaccurate with lead bullets and was best suited to FMJ. Did not know it was a safety issue. Learn something new...
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Old August 22, 2012, 03:54 PM   #3
hells.saints
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I've only heard things relating to excessive barrel lead fouling causing excessive pressures after X number of rounds.
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Old August 22, 2012, 04:56 PM   #4
fishbones182
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I own three glocks a 19,26 and 36 and have shot thousands of lead rounds through them. If you allow any gun to lead up that bad you can blow the barrels apart. If you load your lead bullets correctly with the proper BHN hardness for what you are doing with them you will not get leading at all or a very small amount. My 44 magnum i use a hardness of 18 and push those bullets to 1200fps with zero leading. My 9mm glocks im using BHN 15 with zero leading at 1040fps. My 45 acp BHN 15 at 820fps with minimal leading that comes right out with one or two passes of a bore brush and thats after 150 rounds or so. I use no gas checks on them either. There is alot to learn when it comes to the art of lead loading. To avoid the leading in my 45 i could go to a softer bullet to better fill the barrel and more then likely stop all leading issues in it. My first suggestion would be to slug your barrel and see what size bullet that glock of your really needs. You may find you need something a bit smaller or larger to properly fit your barrel. On a revolver you should slug your cylinders to check the size of the throats as well as many are incorrectly sized from the factory.
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Old August 22, 2012, 05:53 PM   #5
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I don't shoot lead in my G-19's, but have shot several thousand of them in my G-21 with an early XL serial number. These are 200 Gr SWC running at 185PF. Never had a problem. The reason for lead, was what I collected as an RO at many state and area matches in the 1990's. Still shooting the lead and smoking up the range.
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Old August 22, 2012, 06:04 PM   #6
Kevin Rohrer
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Supposedly, the "no lead" warning for these pistols is due to the square-cut rifling Glock uses, which is supposed to be susceptible to leading. Notice I used the word 'supposed' twice.
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Old August 22, 2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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I tried lead in my G21 once, never again. It was a pain to remove the leading from the barrel. I now use plated bullets at medium FMJ loads and have never looked back.
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Old August 22, 2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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Hardness is not nearly as important as fit. Slug your bore and size or buy your lead bullets .001"-.002" over groove size. GC's and hardness are important, but fit is king. GW
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Old August 22, 2012, 08:06 PM   #9
fishbones182
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Kevin you are correct in your statement because of the type of rifling they use is their reasoning behind it. Goatwhiskers I have found in my experience The hardness can play a role. You are correct about the fit but i have found real hard bullets with a lighter load you can get some blow by with the gases and cause some leading as well. I wonder if they don't expand if they would slide more then spin with the rifling. I bet they would even if they are .001 or 2 larger. arch308 dont give up on lead at all there are so many variables to the loads and cleaning can be fairly easy. I prefer shooter choice lead remover and you can get the brass chore boy scrubbing pads. Wrap a little around your cleaning brush and it will come right out in about 10 to 15 strokes or so with it. Also if your bores are not completely free of copper fouling that will cause leading as well.
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Old August 22, 2012, 08:14 PM   #10
Nathan
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Quote:
Supposedly, the "no lead" warning for these pistols is due to the square-cut rifling Glock uses, which is supposed to be susceptible to leading.
Are you sure?



Glock on the right!

I think Glock is concerned because polygonal rifling and lead is an unknown. They have no dog in making it work. If Glock made lead bullets, you can be damn sure it would work with polygonal rifling!
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Old August 22, 2012, 08:46 PM   #11
David Bachelder
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Arent there other manufacturers using the polygonal rifeling? Don't these weapons support the use of lead bullets?

So Glock says do not use lead bullets. They also say do not use reloads, as do all other manufacturers.

I have a Glock 23 and I bought a Lone Wolf barrel, just to be safe. Maybe I wasted my money? There are many, many Glock owners using lead bullets and stating there is no danger. I also believe they are using the dreaded reloaded ammo.
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Old August 22, 2012, 09:05 PM   #12
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Actually, that illustration of Glock rifling is inaccurate. Rather than look like a stopsign in cross section, it has more of a smoothbore-speedbump design. My G21sf didn't lead at all, less than my Sig 220.

Now my Kahr has that stopsign shape and leads something fierce. It only gets FMJ now.

Oh and just how would someone crimp a gas check on a handgun bullet?
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:15 PM   #13
hells.saints
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Quote:
Oh and just how would someone crimp a gas check on a handgun bullet?
You just run it though a bullet sizing die and it crimps.
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:30 PM   #14
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The problem with leading and Glock bores isn't that it's certain to happen or that it always progresses rapidly, but rather that it's impossible to predict how rapidly it will progress 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" Glock pistols shooting identical ammunition leaded dramatically different amounts resulting in dramatically different discharges. One G30 after 75 rounds showed TWICE the pressure increase due to leading as another "identical" G30 using the same ammunition showed after 300 rounds.

Basically, the only person (a co-author of the book referenced above) I know of who has done actual pressure measurements on Glock barrels using lead bullets recommends against shooting lead bullets in Glock barrels and stopped doing so himself.

Here are some other posts I have made on this topic.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...9&postcount=15

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...0&postcount=74

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...3&postcount=22
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:46 PM   #15
hells.saints
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I appreciate the information, and I read those other posts that you linked to, but I'm not sure that you answered the question I asked in the original post.

Quote:
Could it be possible that the addition of gas checks will reduce/virtually eliminate dangerous leading within the context of a Glock?
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Old August 23, 2012, 01:38 AM   #16
Pond, James Pond
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As others have said, I understand the issue with lead bullets to be two-fold. The hexagonal rifling of the Glocks and other pistol-types does not get a good purchase on the bullet. This results in reduced accuracy.

However, it also results in lead getting stripped from the bullet by the rifle ridges. This lead can build up and could cause all the pitfalls of a very dirty barrel. Mostly again, a loss of accuracy.

That is how it was explained to me.

I suppose if it built up very heavily, then perhaps you could get a pressure spike if the barrel was marginally occluded by the build up.... dunno for sure
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Old August 23, 2012, 07:05 AM   #17
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"Could it be possible that the addition of gas checks will reduce/virtually eiminate dangerous leading within the context of a Glock? "

Doubtful. Gas checks are mainly useful in really high speed cast loads, like about1,500 + fps. Not many autoloader bullets attain those speeds.

A Glock owning friend of mine often shoots my cast .45 ACP stuff, no leading, excellant accuracy and flawless function. Heck, his costly pistol is almost as good as my surplus 1911!
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Old August 23, 2012, 08:32 AM   #18
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I have a G20. I cast and load lead bullets for my 40s. I tried the same bullet through my Glock barrel in a 10 mm load. I got no leading but the accuracy was 3 out of 5 shots in a piece of printer paper at 25 yards. I put my Lone Wolf barrel in it, and with the same loads, I could get baseball size groups in the center of the paper with no problem.

Jacketed bullets in my Glock barrel give me about the same accuracy as my Lone Wolf barrel at 25 yds.

I have no fear of damaging my gun shooting my cast lead bullets in the Glock barrel, but the lack of accuracy makes the aftermarket barrel well worth the money to me since I shoot mostly lead bullets.

Just my personal experience, yours may vary.

Edited to add that I was shooting from a solid bench using sand bags.
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Last edited by plateshooter; August 23, 2012 at 08:41 AM.
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Old August 23, 2012, 03:32 PM   #19
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I own a Glock 26 9mm. I shoot it every weekend too. I tried some cast 9mm. Accuracy was OK, lead in the barrel was minimal after 100 rounds. I stick to plated. I have five thousand of them, and shoot about 30 a week so they should last me for quite a while.

Oh and for the polygonal rifleing thing. My BP revolver has polygonal rifling. All I shoot out of it is lead. Then again the pressure is not that high either.

Note I cast my own for several calibers, and for my BP revolver. I do not shoot the Glock a whole lot due to the fact that I have several other hand guns that I do shoot a lot. I shoot the Glock enough to stay proficient with it. I carry it most of the time.
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