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Old May 3, 2000, 08:54 AM   #1
Deathwish
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Join Date: March 13, 2000
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I have heard that the stock barrel was not designed to fire lead bullets.(something about the rifling)

What I really need to know is:1) What is the fastest speed I can send lead down range(without turning my gun int a smooth-bore)?
2) How often should I swab out to barrel of lead when firing?
DW
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Old May 3, 2000, 02:37 PM   #2
Banzai
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That all depends on the hardness of the lead bullet and how hot you lead them. The softer the lead and/or the hotter the load, the more leading you will see.
I'm not familiar with the Beretta, but if it has conventional cut lands and grooves, you're in there!
Usually, you can safely send lead bullets downrange at about 1000 fps without any leading of any significance from most commercial bullets. I've used D&J leads, which advertise that you can go to 1450 fps with no leading. That is BS for their product!! At about 1100 fps their 9mm and 40 bullets lead like nobody's business, and I tried 4 different powders and load levels.
3-D makes good lead bullets, and work well to about 1200 fps with minimal leading.
I usually shoot about 300 leads at around 1000 fps before even beginning to see any lead flakes in my bores in my handguns (rebarreled Glocks, Sigs, and S&W's). All the hype you hear about leading problems is MOSTLY carryover from the rifle community, where the slightest leading will affect long range accuracy greatly ( I shoot lead rifle bullets, too). Let's face it, our pistols can shoot way better than we can, so what little accuracy degrade you see at anything below 25 yards is mostly psychological.
My club tried something one day, we shot 200 lead loads through 5 different guns. Then, without cleaning, had other shooters fire 100 rounds without knowing that we had "Lead fouled" the bores. Suprise, suprise, suprise, no accuracy problems!!!

That said, I clean most effectively by sending a magazine or two of copper jackets downrange before any regular cleaning. This seems to scour off most of any build up that I get. Follow that with some Shooters Choice, and use a spiral brush as well as a conventional bristle bore brush, and you're golden!

Tom


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[This message has been edited by Banzai (edited May 03, 2000).]
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Old May 3, 2000, 05:59 PM   #3
Unkel Gilbey
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Something that the previous poster failed to mention (I think) were Gas checks.

Gas checks are small copper disc's that are attached to the base of the lead bullet. They start life a tad larger than bullet diameter, and are crimped on when the bullet is run through the resizer. They (GC's) allow you to use hotter loads then would normally be possible with just straight lead bullets. Hotter loads with un-GC'ed bullets would result in extreme leading and much grief on the shooter/weapon cleaner!

I have always used a rule of thumb of 1000 fps as a speed limit for lead pills. I know that really hard cast bullets don't lead as much as softer cast bullets, and GC'ed bullets aren't always available - so I'm happy with 1000 fps.

I'm curious. How did you plan to 'swab' out the lead from your barrel while on the firing line? I am aware of several lead removal solvents on the market, but in using these - there is usually some time and elbow grease involved. There are other means of lead removal which are mechanical in nature - meaning that there aren't necessarily any solvents involved - just your effort.

Lead in the barrel is IN THERE! It doesn't easily come out. There is no easy or quick way to remove it while on the line - but that really shouldn't pose any problem with you. Unless you are going for extreme accuracy AND you are getting extreme leading - there is no reason why you couldn't send two to three hundred rounds down range with normal loads and have virtually no reduction in the size of your groups.

Last thing. The only barrel that I have ever heard that you should never fire cast bullets through are those which are polygonal in cross section(ie: Glocks/Baby Eagle) Could be wrong - would ask to be corrected if I am, but seems reasonable to me.

Let us know how you fair. Good luck!

Unkel Gilbey
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Old May 3, 2000, 09:35 PM   #4
Deathwish
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Join Date: March 13, 2000
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Polygonal rifling! THAT's what it was called. I experimented at the range today and found that using a stainless tube brush I could keep the thing fairly clean(I cleaned it ever hundred rounds). I used a medium load of 5.5grs of Power Pistol. The only annoying part was the "lead dust" that seemed to remind me of BP musket fire... I had reasonable accuracy, 2 inch groups at 15 yards.... Cheap as dirt, 500 for $15.

Now these gas check things, would they solve the polygonal rifling probem??
DW

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"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
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Old May 4, 2000, 09:47 PM   #5
Banzai
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No, gas checks won't solve the rifling thing. Only using a conventional barrel will. Read=replace the barrel with a BarSto or equivelent.
Here's why using leads in polygonal barrels is DANGEROUS: The forcing cone (the part of the barrel without rifling just after the chamber but before the main part of the bore) is the part that squeezes the bullet to the barrel, and allows for bullet heel expansion, which seals the bullet to the bore. In a polygonal barrel, this part is tighter than conventional rifling. Also, being smoother than the other, allows the lead to "skid" instead of spinning. This will spike pressure levels, no matter the hardness of lead alloy being used. As copper jackets are harder, and take longer to form to the bore, this is a benefit as it seals in more pressure, thus allowing for more velocity with any given powder.
Conventional land and groove rifling will "cut" into lead bullets as they enter the forcing cone/bore transition, thus eliminating the "skid" and starting the spin of the bullet.

If you're looking for a cheap alternative to copper jackets, try copper plated. Here are a few links to some of the best and cheapest around, and use the start charges for any powder with these. It's what I do, and works wonderfully. I can get better accuracy with these than with lead. All the accuracy, none of the mess, anywhere!
http://www.berrysmfg.com/
http://www.westcoastbullet.com/

Tom


PS Gas checks are almost exclusively used for rifle bullets.


------------------
A "Miss" is the ultimate overpenetration!
You can never be too rich, too skinny, or too well armed!

[This message has been edited by Banzai (edited May 04, 2000).]
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