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Old December 12, 1998, 11:05 PM   #1
dundee
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I read the very informative thread on lead bullets in glock barrels. Reports say they are more prone to leading. There must be a way to minimize this without spending on jacketed bullets. Has anyone done any testing to determine what can be done with moly coating, different hardness like the very hard Oregon Trail bullets or even different size of bullets. I shot a few thousand 125 gr lead 9mm bullets through a glock 17 during matches and practice with no problem so I know the problem can overcome.
Yes I hear the glock 40 is the bitch kitty in this so I am going to do some testing (unscientific) with my glock 24 to see what happens. Can anyone else comment on this??
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Old December 13, 1998, 11:51 AM   #2
fal308
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Have you experimented with copper coated(not jacketed) bullets, ie. Ranier?
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Old December 13, 1998, 02:13 PM   #3
Walt Welch
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Dundee; since the Glock polygonal rifling is more prone to leading, and there have been kB's even with jacketed bullet factory loads, and reloading weakens the brass slightly, making rupture more likely, why are you persuing this course of action?

I think the idea of plated bullets is a good one. If you want to fire plain lead bullets, get a 1911. My old GC works quite well with 4.0 gr Bullseye and a 200 gr. LSWC. This load only generates about 8,000 lb., but is quite accurate and realiable.

Be safe, not sorry. Walt Welch NRA Life Member, reloader since 1955
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Old December 13, 1998, 09:26 PM   #4
Rob Pincus
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I have ahd this discussion ad naseum, and I have finally found someone who feels exactly the way I do.. since he puts it so much nicer than I do at this point, I'll just say this:

Listen to Walt.

------------------
-Essayons
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Old December 13, 1998, 11:15 PM   #5
dundee
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If I still shot bullseye compitition I would be satisified with 22,38, and 45. I still have 3-1911's plus 1.5 in parts. I load for 7 different pistol calibers and enjoy trying new ideas. I reload to support my shooting habit without giving up all else.

Ranier plated bullets, moly coated bullets, and bullets of different compisition are possibilities to overcome the poor design of the Glock 40 cal. barrel. Replacing the Glock barrel with a aftermarket barrel may be the best bet in the long run, but this cost should be balanced against the cost of more expensive bullets.

I find it difficult to believe there arn't several thousand reloaders who own glock pistols. The cheapest way to reload any pistol cartridge is with mass produced lead bullets costing only $35-$55 per thousand.
Yes there are precautions to keep in mind, frequent barrel cleaning of the polyoctagon barrel comes to mind. I posted this question with an open mind to see if any one knows of real
expermenting going on. It is very easy to fall into the trap of repeating what is often heard without knowing the true facts.
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Old December 17, 1998, 02:49 PM   #6
Steve Koski
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I read an article on moly coating of cast lead bullets in the November, December American Handgunner (I think this was the magazine). The company coated them in moly, but didn't put lube in the lube groove. They reported zero leading with the bullets. They also said there was no smoke plume from the burning lube. I haven't tried them personally. Sounds good if the cost is right.

I have reloaded and shot more than 13,000 lead bullets through my Glock 23 and 27 with excellent results. Here's a summary of what I do.

1. I keep the powder charge in the mid or lower range when using lead bullets. If I want hot rounds I use jacketed bullets or buy factory stuff.

2. I've reloaded mostly 155 LRN lead bullets. About 10% of what I've loaded has been 180 TCL.

3. I use good quality lead bullets. I just purchased 5,000 155 LRN from Oregon Trail. I have been very happy with them so far, and they cost me 2.97 cents each. (I ordered with friends in bulk, plus I picked them up at a gun show -no shipping.)

4. I always catch hell for this but… every 100 rounds, and at the end of the range session I shoot 4 or 5 jacketed rounds down the barrel. This cleans all the lead out. The jacketed rounds are low-pressure reloads. Cleanup at home is extremely easy with this method. WARNING: Don't do this If you have moderate or severe lead buildup. I only do it if lead buildup is minor (and it has always been minor so far.)

5. I thoroughly clean the barrel after each range session.

6. I reload on a Dillon RL 550B press and use RCBS dies. I never have problems with bulged cases not fitting into my Midway case gage.

7. Case life always exceeds 15 firings, and I've had several last for 24 firings.

This is just my experience. Your results may differ.

Steve Koski
skoski@geneva.com

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Old December 24, 1998, 12:17 AM   #7
wolfz
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If you want to forego anymore concerns about shooting lead in Glocks, get an after market barrel (like an Accumatch, from Brownells) which have standard rifling and do not "bulge" the heck out of your brass.I've already payed back the purchase price in saving brass and shooting lead in less then a yer.
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Old December 24, 1998, 09:38 AM   #8
christian
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I've been firing lead bullets out of my 9mm glocks for years and find that polygonal rifling causes less of a lead buildup than normal rifling even after firing 500 hundred rounds in 20 minutes! I just recomend mild loads, hard lead, and a good crimp max O.A.L.
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Old December 26, 1998, 02:52 AM   #9
Walt Welch
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It turns out that there is evidence now to suggest that the old practice of shooting some jacketed bullets through a bbl. to clean out the lead may actually solder the lead to the bbl. Bill Wilson was the source of this info, if I recall correctly.

However, excuse me guys, but you can and should clean all the metal fouling, lead and gilding metal each time you clean the bbl.
Use an agressive solvent, such as Accubore or Shooters Choice, give it time to work, and then run some Lead Away cloth through the bore. If it comes out dirty, you still have lead there, if it comes out blue, you have gilding metal (Cu,etc.) there. Use more patches of Lead Away, scrub bore, apply more solvent with cloth patches, and wait an hour or so and repeat. You should get clean patches eventually.

I find that slopping some solvent through the bore at the range helps a lot with later clean up.

As far as firing lead bullets through Glocks, I fully support such a notion. Providing those of you who do so wear orange vests with 'Lead Bullets in Glocks Being Used', so that I can stay the heck away from you guys on the range.

Seriously, you are doing something that has specifically been determined to be dangerous. You are foolish to do this, unless your education and experience exceeds that of the ones who issued the warning.

Respectfully submitted, Walter Welch, NRA Life Member, reloader since 1955
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Old December 27, 1998, 02:56 AM   #10
dundee
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Thank you for the answers to this question. I know it probably has been beaten to death before, I just wasn't there to observe the facts. In response to our very well versed moderator, Thank You for your observations about barrel cleaning.
I have only been a reloader since the mid 70's and still have much to learn. However! it is my understanding that most firearms manufactured do not warrent the use of ANY reloads in their guns for obvious liability reasons. Having been a member of several gun clubs over the years I observed that ALL of the best shooters were also reloaders. We would not have much competative shooting were it not for cheap practice ammo.
My experence is like Christians, lots of lead bullets sent downrange from a Glock 17 with no problem. What is fact and what is often repeated fiction??

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Old December 27, 1998, 03:59 PM   #11
Walt Welch
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MODERATOR? ME??? BWWWAAAHHHAAAA!!!

I don't pretend to know as much as Paul Harlow. I'm just a guy that has been reloading since 1955, and has learned from my mistakes (no blown up guns yet!).

I am merely continuing the honored tradition of educating the people who don't know as much about a particular subject as you do. Also, I learn a lot from this forum myself.

But thanks for the compliment. Walt
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Old January 7, 1999, 02:17 AM   #12
Cheapo
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Just received the first edition loading manual from Oregon Trail Bullet Co., AKA Laser-Cast. Interesting notes and coverage in the .40 S&W section:

Basic data, like that from Alliant (or wazzit Hodgdon?), is prominently stated as _only_ for guns with supported chambers. Not Glocks. A few loads even "make major" for IPSC.

A short second section is for unsupported chamber guns. Test piece for their data was a Glock 22. The short summary: don't even think about "making major" with a factory Glock barrel.

A third section is for .40 S&W long-loaded. Turns out some people using M1911 type fatbody frames sometimes get a bit of a reliability problem with the shorter OAL of the .40, so they load 'em a bit longer.

The manual, unfortunately, does not list any Alliant powders in the Glock section. Rats!

General question: does the Bar-Sto Glock barrel have a fully supported chamber, or only the conventionally cut rifling? I've heard that Glock .357 SIG barrels have a supported chamber--any firsthand observations of this?

I may post a general review of the manual this weekend, if there is any interest...

Thanks for a decent discussion, folks!
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Old January 7, 1999, 02:31 PM   #13
Steve Koski
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Walt,

You should not shoot lead bullets through a Glock just as if they were jacketed. You have to do several things differently in order to keep it safe.

Lawyers and those issuing warnings have to do so to protect the average ignorant person. It's the only reasonable thing for the lawyer types to do. Some bozo may choose to fire 10,000 lead bullets through his Glock before cleaning it because he read that you don't need to clean a Glock very often. The lawyer is trying to protect this kind of fool (extreme example) as well as other semi-ignorant people.

Those of us that are more conscientions, knowledgeable, and careful can and do fire lead bullets with great success out of Glocks. This is because we take additional steps to insure safety that would generally not be taken by Joe-first-time-Glock-owner-non-reloader-just-want-to-shoot-a-few-times-a-year.

Take care,
Steve Koski
skoski@geneva.com

P.S. Where can I buy the orange vest? That sounds cool.
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Old January 7, 1999, 09:23 PM   #14
Bob Thompson
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If I may please sidetrack for one minute I would like to know as mentioned by wolfz about polygonal rifling and by cheapo on unsupported chambers if some of this could be the trouble I might be experiencing with reloading for my HK USP 45. Would you please refer to my entry under buldged cases. Trying to build loads for my HK I am getting buldged cases well before getting near max loads at least in 45 Super. What exactly is a supported vs unsupported chamber and what does the HK have. Also does the polygonal rifling induce higher pressure for any given load. Triton suggested that only the HK could handle the extra pressure of the Super without modifications, but maybe not...Bob
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Old January 8, 1999, 02:00 AM   #15
Cheapo
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Bob:

There is a difference between cases bulging to _fill_ a loose chamber, and cases bulging in places where the chamber is unsupported. It's an imprecise benchmark, but you really should buy some factory loads and compare their case expansion with that of your reloads. If it's the same, then don't worry about it--it's just the cases filling the throated chamber.

I can only speak to the USP .40, as my dad has one and we have many times fired the same loads through it side-by-side with a Glock 22.

I don't recall whether the USP chamber is fully supported, but it is slightly tighter and definitely MORE supported than that of the Glock. Loads that bulged in the Glock but did not show any "creasing" at the ramp cutout corner showed no bulging in the USP.

Loads that creased at the 6 O-clock ramp position in the Glock bulged only a little bit in the USP. But the bulge in cases fired in both guns sloped back down to the unfired diameter farther back at a point even with the web inside the case body--about 1 mm forward of the outer forward corner of the extractor groove, IIRC. But even in the Glock, the primers were not picking up little machine marks from the breechface--a sign of rifle-type pressures.

You have BIG trouble if your bulges abruptly end at the front of the web. You have even bigger trouble if the case heads start showing signs of "flowing" into any low spots in the breechface itself, such as the extractor cut. This last sign shows pressures beyond Magnum RIFLE cartridge pressures, unsafe with almost any firearm.

If full-length resizing completely irons out your bulges, I wouldn't worry about them. Most Carbide and Titn-Nitr dies don't size the case all the way back, so you might have to consult some pictures to "calibrate" your vision about how much bulge is too much.

It's messy, but you could lightly spray paint the case head and exposed portion of the outside case wall as the case sits in the barrel--disassembled from the slide, of course. That would mark the forward limit of where you would expect a bulge to be.

As I understand it, the slide/barrel mass does far more to retard opening the action, than any effects of the barrel link or even the recoil spring.

But if your bulges extend noticably farther forward than the area marked by spray paint, you should seek personal professional advice on the matter. .45 ACPs are low enough pressure that your cases will work fine through repeated cycles, and fully supported chambers protect against serious overloads that reach 9mm pressures. But your .45 Super is a different animal! IME, you just won't get classic pressure signs like extractor marks or even flattened (soft) primers at anything below 32K PSI. What is the operating pressure for .45 Super?

FWIW, I've fired a SIG P226 that bulged 9mms a lot more than a cheaper Spanish auto did. Sizing the minimum needed for the tighter-chamber gun worked great--until some cases fired in the SIG got mixed in with mine. That last tiny bit of bulge was just behind the fully resized zone. My gun's chamber finished the sizing operation, and the ONLY way to unchamber those other rounds was to shoot them!

Hope this helps.
Cheapo.
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Old January 8, 1999, 12:04 PM   #16
Art Eatman
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I think Christian gave the best answer to the original question.

The hardness of cast bullets is a prime factor; the harder they are, the less the leading in any barrel.

Reduced loads also play a part. Any lead softer than wheelweight-hardness will probably begin to lead the barrel or "strip" if velocities are over 1,000 ft/sec, as I vaguely recall.

If you look in a Lyman book, you'll note that many of the rifle bullets have a smaller base than the diameter of the main body. This is to allow use of a copper gas-check, which allows velocities over some 1,300 ft/sec or so.

So: If your lead bullet is on the soft side, and you drive it over 900 to 1,000 ft/sec, you could easily have lead-fouling problems in lots of pistols besides Glocks. I've scraped a lot of lead out of .45ACPs.
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Old January 16, 1999, 10:43 PM   #17
dundee
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I remember reading about a fellow using a Brit. 303 that caused case seperations after 2-3 loadings. This is apparently normal for the overlarge Brit. chambers at full pressure loads. The writer solved this by having his 303 die opened up to match the chamber. Since he was working the brass much less, not resizing it down and having it expand back, this gave him 10+ full loads with his gun before the brass gave problems. Should we be looking for a solution like this with the Glock large chambers??
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Old January 18, 1999, 07:16 PM   #18
bear
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as long as were on a roll, I'm not sure but if the Glocks barrel is the same as a H&K I would think you would have no problem with leading as long as the lead is hard enough and the bullet speed is kept low enough, I've run well over 6,000 possibly 8,000 rounds
though my USP .45 and have spent very little time removing lead, 200 gr swc at major power loads, as said before I also think liability might be the main reason for all the warning, if your a careful shooter and take care of whats going on, lead should be no problem.
Bob, if you remove the extractor on your USP you can see what not suported, I did it by a double charged round, I would suggest you just take it apart though. grin
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Old March 23, 1999, 04:48 PM   #19
Chris H
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so have three or four barrels sitting around and shoot 200 super soft lead rounds that are loaded so hot the slide almost breaks your nose and then throw that nasty barrel in a bottle of hoppes for about a week and use another barrel in the meantime.

this should definitely work... uhhmm... or just don't use lead bullets... whatever, just BE SAFE!
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Old March 24, 1999, 09:20 AM   #20
muddyboots
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Well here's what I did for my Glock 22. I'm cheap, didn't want to spend few hundred to have Glock repair a blown-up gun. So I though, don't take the chance. I shoot only very hard lead bullets and noticed the glock leaded up after about 150 rounds (always though that was kinda odd). I made it a point to always clean before shooting again. Still didn't like what I was hearing about k-boom with unsupported chambers.

The only options I felt I had were :
1. Get rid of the Glock (but I shoot it very
well)
2. Buy an aftermarket barrel.

I bought and aftermarket barrel (Federal from Brownells) Stainless steel ,looks good.
Problem was it didn't feed very well because of tight chamber. I had to super polish the ramp and back of chamber a lot. First time I spent about an hour polishing and helped about 90%. So, I spent a couple more hours polishing, now it works great.
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Old March 24, 1999, 11:34 PM   #21
Walt Welch
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Dundee; trying to use oversize reloading dies to prolong case life in the .40 S&W is truly an act of futility.

First, read the above posts about the difference between a case expanding to fill a chamber and a case bulging where it is unsupported. It is safe to reload brass which has done the first, but bulged brass is a sign of trouble.

Second, if you resize the case to a larger than normal diameter, you may have difficulty in making the bullets stay put. Remember that the bullets are not increased in size. Any bullet set back in a extremely sensitive caliber such as the .40 S&W is very dangerous.

Third, you are going to be strewing the range with poison pills. Your brass, reloaded conventionally after you have reloaded it a few times your way, may well overwork the brass, and cause it to give way.

Fourth, you are making ammo which will work only in your gun, or at least with a chamber as big as your Glocks. This could lead to a jam, if someone else uses your ammo.

Fifthly, full length resizing isn't. The cartridge case just above the webspace doesn't get resized. There was an article about a guy who was using .38 Super brass in a pistol with a very tight chamber. He let some other people use his ammo in their more loosely chambered gun. He wrongly thought that full length sizing would allow him to reuse this brass in his tightly chambered pistol.

Finally, the Hodgdon Powder Company felt compelled to list this in their .40 S&W reloading data section, 1997 Reloading Manual:

************

This data is intended for use in firearms with barrels which fully support the cartridge in the chamber. Use of this data in firearms which do not fully support the cartridge may result in bulged cases, ruptured cases, case head separation, or other condition which may result in damage to the firearm and/or result in injury or death of the shooter and/or bystanders.
*****************

Reloading the .40 S&W is, at best, a risky proposition. Your attempt to use lead bullets is foolish, an attempt to have oversize reloading dies constructed is even more foolish.

Cheapo; the working pressure of the .45 Super is 28,000 cup. There is also a 'tactical' load at a lower pressure.

Hope this helps, Walt
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Old March 26, 1999, 05:08 PM   #22
James K
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Walt and all,

I don't have a lot of experience with Glocks. Is the lead bullet skidding in that barrel? That was a common problem with lead bullets in Japanese and British rifles with Metford rifling. Even jacketed bullets sometimes skidded in those until they got it into their little pointy heads that they should follow the rifling.

Anyway, you are absolutlely right about a jacketed bullet not removing leading. Just where do folks who believe this think the lead goes? Where it goes is simply ironed onto the bore, where it looks shiny and makes people think the barrel is all cleaned up.

There is a way a bullet can be used to clean out lead, but I don't want to tell the world as some people don't read and they get hurt.
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Old March 30, 1999, 09:22 AM   #23
hal becker
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I've tried reloading with lead bullets and
allways get lead in piles after shooting,I
reload all calibers but 9mm has to operate
at a certain pressure to cycle action and
I could never reduce enough to stop leading
without fail to feed or eject, the 1 in 10
twist on most 9mms is too much for lead,I
buy 115 gr. FMJ bullets in bulk 3660 for $130
plus shipping,thats wholesale, so I buy powder and primers and spend alot all at once
but I saw your second post on prices you'd
like to spend, and I believe these bullets
are in your range, I don't know how I'd sell
to you that would save money on shipping,but
I'd sell at cost just to get my money back,
no profit, but shipping is a kick in the butt
with that many bullets,are there alot of FFLs
in here?
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Old March 30, 1999, 09:26 AM   #24
hal becker
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oops! i have to read posts better, you want
.40 loads,$162 for 180 gr. T. cone. 2340
bullets,not in your price range sorry for
last post,
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Old August 29, 2005, 10:41 AM   #25
rem243
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Lead go bang

If you want to shoot lead out of a Glock, just buy a Stainless barrel for it. I tried shooing lead through a 21 and It blew a hole in the base of a case, destroyed the Mag release and a Mag. Luckly it only blistered my hand.

Don't gamble on lead in the factory barrel!
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