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Old August 13, 2012, 12:41 PM   #1
Stressfire
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Is this normal for lead?

Just started reloading with lead for 9mm and am using MBC 125gr .356

So far, they have handled very well and I have had no leading, per se, as in no lead melting to the barrel. But I have been noticing that the rifling seems to be cutting into the bullets enough to leave strips of lead in the rifling.

Again, doesn't appear to be a result of the lead melting, but I was firing 5-10 at a time and would take a peek down the barrel after each set to see what can best be described as "strips" of lead hanging down out of the rifling

Until yesterday, the gun had never had lead through it, only FMJ....so, is this normal or is something wrong? I tried taking pics with my phone, but you couldn't really see anything.
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Old August 13, 2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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No that is not normal, lead bullets of the proper size for your barrel, and lubed should leave little or no lead in the barrel.
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Old August 13, 2012, 03:23 PM   #3
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Before shooting lead, did you thoroughly clean all the jacketed residue from the barrel?

What load/velocity are you using? What hardness bullets are you using? Since they are Missouri Bullet, I will assume they are BHN 18. That is a pretty hard bullet. If you shoot a hard cast lead at too low a velocity, it will lead. If the bullet is undersize for the bore, it will lead.
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Old August 13, 2012, 03:23 PM   #4
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Well, measured the barrel at .354 between grooves, and bullets are sized at .356 - which I double-checked with calipers before loading.
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Old August 13, 2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Before shooting lead, did you thoroughly clean all the jacketed residue from the barrel?

What load/velocity are you using? What hardness bullets are you using? Since they are Missouri Bullet, I will assume they are BHN 18. That is a pretty hard bullet. If you shoot a hard cast lead at too low a velocity, it will lead. If the bullet is undersize for the bore, it will lead.
Yes, cleaned after my last range trip.

Load is 125gr over 4.5 of Bullseye at OAL of 1.13.

Does not appear to be melting...more like the rifling is shearing it off
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Old August 13, 2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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I am surprised no has said this yet. Ok clean the barrel very well. I mean squeaky clean. Wait 15 minutes or more. Now get some copper solovent, and clean according to the directions. Or after cleaning put some amonia on a pacth run it through with a plastic jag, or patch loop. Wait about a half hour. Do the same thing. See how much blue is on the patch. If there is any it means that there is still copper in the barrel. Use a copper disolving solovent, and clean it as per the directions.

Any copper in the bore tends to make the lead stick to it. Also streaking lead is big sign of under sized bullets. It shows that is possible gas cutting.
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Old August 13, 2012, 04:02 PM   #7
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Soaked the barrel in Hoppe's last night.

Am I pushing the lead too fast with the 4.5gr loading? I stepped up from 4.0, which actually did it a lot worse

It wasn't streaked on the lands - it looked like the rifling was actually shearing off a bit of lead - in some cases it was even hanging down out of the grooves
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Old August 13, 2012, 05:03 PM   #8
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The load sounds a bit on the warm side from the manuals I have. Though I doubt it is bullet melting.

If it is a gas cutting melting type thing from under sized it is usualy closer to the chamber. If it is from not enough lube then usualy it will be closer to the end of the barrel.

Do the amonia test as well. If the problem still presists I would think that there might be a rough spot in the rifling. I ran into this problem once with a friends gun. A little J&B BoreBrite and some elbow grease smoothed it out.
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Old August 13, 2012, 07:50 PM   #9
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I think you're pushing a very hot load... hodgdon.com says the load should be 3.6 min and 4.0 max under a 125 grain lead bullet. The first thing I would do is bring that load back in spec (in addition to cleaning the lead out of the barrel).

Also... what kind of pistol? Glock by any chance?


Oops - my bad, for some reason I thought the OP was using Titegroup. 4.5 gr. of Bullseye should be fine for a 125 gr. lead bullet.

Last edited by spacecoast; August 14, 2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Corrected information
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Old August 13, 2012, 09:55 PM   #10
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Does Hodgdon list loads for Alliant Bulleye? I couldn't find it on their website.
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Old August 14, 2012, 04:46 AM   #11
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No, only their own powders.

Oops - my bad, for some reason I thought the OP was using Titegroup. 4.5 of Bullseye should be fine for a 125 gr. lead bullet.

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Old August 14, 2012, 08:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
The load sounds a bit on the warm side from the manuals I have.
Shouldn't be, I wouldn't think. The manual I have been running with is the 2005 Alliant (last one that isn't all Speer, all the time). That lists maximum at 4.9 for Bullseye. I started out at 4.0, but they seemed to leave even more lead. The 4.5 load seemed to do it the least - I was running a brush through every ten rounds or so once I noticed the lead in the barrel.

Quote:
Also... what kind of pistol? Glock by any chance?
Beretta 92FS - wear should be minimal as it's only about 500 or so rounds old.

I'm not much of a tinkerer and much better at following directions The pistol itself seems to like the load 4.5, I was drilling 3" at 25 yards or so - I'm not that accurate with factory ammo even, but the lead buildup is obviously a concern.
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:44 AM   #13
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What you are seeing in normal. The bullets you are shooting are too hard for the pressure you are shooting them at. This is very common for people who shoot commercial cast bullets. If accuracy is fine I would work up the powder to max load and see if it helps (if you haven't already). Accuracy is the key to knowing if gases are cutting the bullet and you'll know it when it drops off a cliff.

I shoot bullets that are too hard for my 45acp out of convenience and get leading like this. After about 400-500 rounds the accuracy is still fine and it is time to clean the gun anyway. 30 seconds of scrubbing with a copper brush and Shooter's Choice Lead Remover gets rid of 99% of the leading.
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Old August 14, 2012, 12:14 PM   #14
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What you're seeing is leading, although it may appear to be "shearing". I just had a bad experience with my new 9mm plastic gun. My first major attempt at reloading 9mm (been reloading since '86) and I purchased some commercial cast bullets (I'll not name them 'cause the fault wasn't the mfg., but mine). The bullets are 18 BHN sized to .356" and my bbl. slugs at .357". I got leading. After routine cleaning I had the streaks on the corner of the rifling and I could scrape the leading away from the rifling. The leading was mostly at the end of the barrel so I suspect the lube failed also. I first used the "normal" cleaning to remove lead; bore solvent, and a Lewis Lead Remover. I've never had this much trouble trying to get lead out of the barrel! I soaked the bbl. in Kroil for 2 days (which usually works for my revolvers), scrubbed with the Lewis tool several times, in a dry barrel, tight patches, etc. I think I got most of it out, but it's there 'cause the bullets were too hard and too small, and mebbe a hot load (med. Bullseye load for a 124gr. lead bullet?).
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Old August 14, 2012, 01:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamantium
If accuracy is fine I would work up the powder to max load and see if it helps (if you haven't already). Accuracy is the key to knowing if gases are cutting the bullet and you'll know it when it drops off a cliff.
I tried 4.7 and there didn't appear to be much difference in leading, but a big drop in accuracy. They didn't go every which way but straight, but they did not seem as accurate. Being a bit on the green side of the reloading spectrum I have tried to avoid maximum loadings.

If I might ask, why would more powder make a difference? Might a slower burning powder be something to look into?
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Old August 14, 2012, 05:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
If I might ask, why would more powder make a difference? Might a slower burning powder be something to look into?
More powder means more pressure and more velocity. If your bullet is undersized at all, you will get severe leading (as you have described already). With a very hard cast bullet, high velocities will cause it to "skid" down the barrel, rather than allow the rifling to grab ahold of it and spin it. As it skids down the barrel, the rifling will strip lead from the bullet. The bullet will also not "obturate" (expand to seal the bore) and that will result in the flame cutting of the bullet as well.

You typically want your bullet to measure .001-.002 over groove diameter for good seal. If you are using a Lee Factory Crimp Die, make sure you have it set to just barely remove any flare you put on the case mouth to facilitate bullet seating. If the FCD is adjusted to put too much of a "crimp" on the case, it can swage the bullet down to where it is undersized. To see if this is happening, pull one of your bullets you have loaded and re-measure its diameter. It should still be the .001-.002 over groove diameter. Most 9mms that I have heard about prefer the cast bullets to be sized to at least .357" and often to .358". As long as they chamber easily, there is no problem with going to those diameters.
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Old August 14, 2012, 06:49 PM   #17
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It is all explained on Missouri's website, http://www.missouribullet.com/technical.php

When I say accuracy will drop off a cliff you will know it. Bullets will be in random spots on the target, some bullets will completely miss the target and bullets might even pass through the target sideways. If you have gas cutting the entire length of a bullet you will see more than your groups open up a little. Since you have already slugged your barrel I wouldn't worry about all this talk of undersized bullets, bullets skidding over the rifling and shearing off lead. If your bullets are consistently passing through the target nose first then these are not issues.

Also let me say a word on max load because I see this mentality a lot from newer reloaders. I will use the 9mm as an example. SAAMI defines maximum pressure for the 9x19mm as 35,000psi and +P as 38,500psi. Both standard pressure and +P are safe to shoot in a modern firearm like your Beretta. Alliant doesn't publish pressures anymore but if you are using the 2005 manual you will see they rate that load at 32,100psi. So not only are you well below +P but you are also below standard pressure, not where you are at right now, but at max load. These days max load = factory ammunition. Would you worry about excessive pressure if you were to shoot some WWB through your gun? Winchester didn't even work up from a reduced load in your gun while watching for pressure signs. So why worry about ammo that generates an equal amount of pressure that you put together yourself?
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Old August 14, 2012, 07:11 PM   #18
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Sounds as if ya need to step up in bullet size & a step down in powder burn speed .

Alot of good things happen with Hodgdon`s Universal powder.

But I`m a revolver shooter , casting since `83 though.
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Old August 14, 2012, 07:12 PM   #19
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You said Beretta?? Your barrel IS .357 to .358, I will garrantee that!!!
I have slugged 9 of them and know a number of others that have done theirs. They are all big. You will need .358 sized bullet to get proper fit. I have several molds now and all issues I've had in the past are gone.
Remember when shooting lead FIT IS KING.
Take a lead sinker and shave it through your barrel, then measure the od with a micrometer, not calipers, you will see what I'm talking about. Then get Missouri's 140gr "ZINGERS" ,sized .358,and enjoy.They were the best shooting in all my 92's. I even bought a Magma mold to make my own.
You can also do what I did to several of mine.It makes them shoot as good as they get.
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Old August 15, 2012, 12:22 PM   #20
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I don't think the bullet is to small - before I started loading them up I dropped one down the barrel and it stuck about a quarter of the way down. Even by the measure of my cheapo Home Depot calipers there is about a .001-.002 difference between barrel- and bullet size.

the 92 is a 2010 production and the matte version rather than Inox, not sure if that makes a difference with regard to variance in barrel diameters.

Quote:
When I say accuracy will drop off a cliff you will know it. Bullets will be in random spots on the target, some bullets will completely miss the target and bullets might even pass through the target sideways.
Sounds like what happened when I was using WWB and even .355 FMJs that I loaded myself - and here I was thinking I was just a crappy shot
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Old August 15, 2012, 12:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
I don't think the bullet is to small - before I started loading them up I dropped one down the barrel and it stuck about a quarter of the way down.
If your bullet "...stuck about a quarter of the way down...", it is very definitely undersized. A cast lead pistol bullet should not go into the barrel at all, let alone go a quarter of the way down. Your bullets are under-size.
In all my years of casting and shooting cast bullets, I have found that it is much better to shoot oversive bullets than undersized.
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Old August 15, 2012, 02:45 PM   #22
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If you can start the bullet at all, it's way too small. Just slug the bore of your Beretta and shoot bullets that are .002" larger than groove diameter. If not, you're just guessing. If you still have leading look at different powders. Bullet fit is key to shooting lead bullets!
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Old August 15, 2012, 04:20 PM   #23
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I'm guessing he means 1/4 of the way down the bullet, guys, not 1/4 of the way down the barrel.
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Old August 15, 2012, 04:26 PM   #24
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I'm guessing he means 1/4 of the way down the bullet, guys, not 1/4 of the way down the barrel.
Nope, stopped about an inch into the barrel

Well, I still have just shy of 900 left
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Old August 15, 2012, 04:27 PM   #25
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Oh....

Oh....

Yeah.....

That's bad....

Unless you're counting the chamber. That's bad.

Seems odd though. They shouldn't stop at all. The barrel's all one size. Unless they wedge sideways, they should fall right through if they make it 1/4 of the way.

Unless your counting the chamber, in which case they're just stopping at the rifling, which would be expected.
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