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Old June 10, 2014, 08:04 AM   #1
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45 ACP leading help

Good day all, and thanks for any help you can pass along.
I've been reloading and casting for about 25 years, and over that time I've had many issues that I eventually worked out, but this time I'm stuck.
I'm load for a Ruger SR 1911 45 ACP. I'm casting a 225 grain bullet using a Lyman mold and WW air cooled. I'm sizing these to .452", bore is slugged to .451". Using a lyman 4500 to size and lube. The load I'm using is 4 grains of 700X, which is the lowest load listed. The load is very accurate, but I'm getting some barrel leading in the first inch of the barrel after about 50 rounds. An idea as to what could be causing this? I'm thinking about increasing the charge, to see if I can get a better seal. Could it be the powder, not creating pressuer fast enough?
Any help would be great. Thanks
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Old June 10, 2014, 09:01 AM   #2
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The general consensus is that light loads need a softer lead alloy and hotter ones need a harder one, to help prevent leading.
Maybe another type of powder could help, too, although IMR does recommend it for the .45acp.
Probably just need a little more of it.
Running the 200 grain SWC at 825-850 f/s has never leaded for me, using many different powders.
Can't be too picky these days.
Even after hundreds of rounds downrange, sometimes.
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Last edited by g.willikers; June 10, 2014 at 09:11 AM.
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Old June 10, 2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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First of all, "leading" is not all bad. A bore will only lead so much and then settle down. So IMO most leading is cosmetic.

Secondly, I've found that the best way to avoid leading is to use a slow powder loaded towards the hot side. And the only way to avoid leading with a fast powder is to reduce the load. So if you were using a slow powder, I would advise you to load it hotter. But since you are using a fast powder I advise that you either ignore the leading or reduce the charge.

Lubes help somewhat, e.g. Lee Liquid Alox will help considerably, but most folks don't like to mess around with a messy lube in the 45acp. I use LLA a lot in revolver loads with great success.
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Old June 10, 2014, 01:11 PM   #4
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Totaldla, although I have owned my Svea for 39 years I have to throw the BS flag on your post. Leading is all bad, and your barrel will continue to lead up until you find what is causing the build up. I'm not sure I buy your fast slow powder theory either. The bullet to barrel fit has been the issue for a lead free barrel in my experience. I have very little lead problems in any of my three 1911s and can shoot hundreds maybe a thousand of my cast bullets without loss of accuracy due to leading. I usually end up cleaning these shooters when powder and lube fouling start to cause ftf. The barrels have to be cleaned of powder fouling but very seldom lead. I load these cartridges with titegroup and bullseye anywhere from 750fps to almost 900fps.

I do like your choice of stoves tho.
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Old June 10, 2014, 01:15 PM   #5
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oops, sorry randyralph, sounds like your load is similar to what I shoot in my 1911s. I wonder if the barrel is damaged somehow, maybe a burr or something.
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Old June 10, 2014, 03:01 PM   #6
chris in va
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I made the mistake of using 700x last year. It's just too fast for lead 45 IMO. Snappy, quick recoil even with reduced charges. Try something slower.
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Old June 10, 2014, 05:11 PM   #7
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I personally think you simply need to bump your charge weight up a touch. Maybe load up 20-25 rounds in 3-5 round groups with the charge weight increasing around .2gr at a time and see if it slows down or stops. It wouldn't take much to get the pressure up to match the alloy hardness. Once there no more leading.

Having said that, I pulled this short list down from one chart,

# R-1, Norma
# VV N310
# AP-30N (ADI)
# Bullseye, Alliant
# Titegroup
# AA #2
# Clays
# Red Dot
# VV N320
# HP-38
# Win 231
# Trap-100
# Hi Skor 700-X
# Win 452 AA
# Green Dot
# AS-50N (ADI)
# VV N330
# AA #5
# Unique
# Hodgdon Universal

Moving down the list from the top to bottom is relative quickness of burn rate. It is pretty clear that Bullseye, Titegroup, AA #2, Clays, Red Dot, and Win 231, are all listed as "faster" than 700. However I have shot plenty of loads with all of them and experienced no leading in my Colt Govt 1911 or my 1991 A1. These were used with bullet weights ranging from 200 up through 230. However by the same token I have also leaded up my barrel really nicely using Unique, as well as a couple of the above mentioned ones as well.

Usually when the leading is in the lead area of the barrel it is related to either size or alloy. Since your size appears to be correct, your alloy is probably harder and needs a bit more punch than your giving it.

With just a little bit of quick reading on the following link, you should be able to see exactly what I am referring to. Cast Bullet Notes

Also when referring to powder, quick is a relative term. When loading for cast bullets you will find that in most cases those "quick" powders will usually end up working out better, than the "slow" ones.
Mike / TX
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Old June 10, 2014, 05:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by salvadore

Leading is all bad, and your barrel will continue to lead up until you find what is causing the build up
Do you shoot a 22lr? Why don't they plug completely and explode?

All barrels "season". Leading only continues for awhile. Even when the grooves are filled and your bullets are keyholing the barrel stops adding lead. So a 45acp barrel will lead to point and then stabilize.
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Old June 10, 2014, 06:01 PM   #9
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I use a 230 gr. cast round nose bullet over 4.6 grains of titegroup and I'm not getting any leading in my E series S&W or in my Kimber Pro Carry II. most accurate load I have fired.
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Old June 11, 2014, 12:25 AM   #10
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I'm leaning toward totaldla's thoughts on this.

Yes, in a perfect world, there would be zero barrel leading.

I can't think of a day of shooting with my 1911 where it didn't come home with some leading (unless I was shooting jacketed/plated that day). The breech always has a little buildup.

I take a brush, scrub it out, and move on. I never considered it a problem. It's certainly not effecting accuracy, that's for sure.

Yes, there may be ways to improve the OP's leading condition. (I was thinking of either loading a little hotter; lowering the BHN - if that's possible; or using HS-6 - because it burns cool.) But how deleterious is this "problem" to accuracy, etc? How important is it really, in terms of the big picture? Are we striving for perfection for perfection's sake?
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Old June 11, 2014, 05:17 AM   #11
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Want no leading

Thanks for the reply's so far, with a couple of good suggestions. To the responses that say leading is not an issue, I have to disagree strongly. If everything is good, you should be able to shout all day, and have a clean barrel with no lead. Why waste time cleaning lead, better taking that time to load more rounds. One thing I should of mentioned, the gun in question is new, with only 500 rounds through it. I wondering if polishing the barrel would help any. So far I think the best advise is to increase the pressure, and try a softer alloy.
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:55 AM   #12
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I use 700x behind a 230 lead bullet at near max with no significant leading.
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Old June 11, 2014, 08:07 AM   #13
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OK, then it's agreed.
Randyralph, get a little more spendy with the powder.
And report back with the results, please.
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Old June 11, 2014, 04:41 PM   #14
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Leading is typically worst where the bullet base is located in the barrel during the highest pressure portion of its travel. Same for copper fouling. This is because the bullet's mass has inertia that squashes it under all the g's of acceleration it is experiencing. The base experiences the most, as the column of lead is tallest above it. That means the force radially outward against the bore (normal to the bore) is greatest at the base during the peak acceleration. That means the friction between the bullet and the barrel is also highest at that point, as it is the product of the normal force and the kinetic coefficient of friction between the bullet and barrel materials.

But there are ways to make it worse. Probably the most common is for the bullet not to go straight into the bore, but to be sheered slightly by the edge of the chamber before the freebore and throat. This can prevent full seal on one side for part of the period the bullet is swaging into the bore. It also hurts accuracy. The way I avoid it is to get the bullet started into the bore and kissing the rifling at chambering, which a soft lead bullet allows. This also tends to make the start pressure more consistent. In the illustration below, I set my press up to seat the bullets so that a bullet dropped into the chamber stops on the bullet before the case mouth stops on the end of the chamber, and holds the case head flush with the back end of the barrel (third image from left). It both improves accuracy and reduces leading if your bullet's shape is short enough to allow it to feed that way. If not, seating to the maximum that still feeds is the best you can do.

Another trick is to try sizing 0.453". For some guns that extra thousandth improves accuracy considerably by having some extra lead to seal despite the shaving.

Your idea to polish the bore is perfectly good, since the gun is new enough for the throat to have all the reamer marks intact. Take some JB Bore compound or some Iosso Bore Cleaner paste, and push a patch smeared with it through the bore. Keep pushing it through until it doesn't seem to be doing much, then get a fresh one. In the end, you want total of about 50 passes through the bore. You can also skip the lube and put the JB in the lube groove of the bullet, then fire it at airgun velocity. Probably 2.5 grains of your 700X is enough for that if you watch out for stuck bullets.

But before all that, as already mentioned, clean your bore well. I like Wipe-out NO-LEAD. You put it in and let it sit for an hour, and the lead is turned into a black crumbly substance that just patches out easily. If the lead is very heavy, you may have to use more than one application, as someone else on the board did, but I never have. The basic idea, though, is to use a method that truly removes all the lead. If you know someone with the discontinued Outer's Foul Out who is willing to let you use it with lead solution, that's another very complete removal method.
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Old June 12, 2014, 05:45 AM   #15
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Seating depth

Thanks Unclenick, the seating depth is one thing I did not think about, really didn't think it would make a difference in a pistol. I will try it out, and respond in the near future.
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Old June 12, 2014, 03:54 PM   #16
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"Leading" is not scary

First, so what?
Is function affected?
Is accuracy deteriorating?

Read what a real rocket scientist, one who offers barrels many consider "Best", thinks about lead in bores.
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Old June 13, 2014, 07:30 PM   #17
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OP, you didn't mention which dies you are using. I have found that I get better results with the RCBS or Lyman expander plugs and cast bullets. I have not pulled and measured any bullets, so take it for what it is worth. When compared to the Lee die which only flares the case mouth, the RCBS or Lyman plug goes deeper in the case to open it up more. It is my belief that perhaps when seating cast bullets in straight walled cases only flared by the Lee die, the bullets are swaged down at the heel, where they are most vulnerable.

I shoot fairly soft bullets in my 45s and have not experienced leading using the RCBS expander plug where using the same bullets with the Lee set I did get leading at the throat of the barrel.

Too, I use a 60/40 beeswax to crisco lube and it seems to help. It is quite soft.
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