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Old January 14, 2013, 04:23 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Would you agree with this assertion? 9mm Luger and Lead

I recently queried the general concensus that lead in Glocks was a bad idea.

Seems that it is and, with that, my value-for-money fueled objective of getting some cheaper lead bullet cartridges for my Glock has evaporated, along with any thoughts about a threaded barrel, for the time being.

This conclusion is partly due to the info on TFL, but also due to what a local range/gunshop manager told me.

He explained that even in a land and groove barrel, unless you use FMJs or hard cast bullets, the velocities of 9mm Luger bullets is such that a lead bullet would shed material considerably in any barrel, polygonal or not, resulting in possible accidents.

Is this true?
(not resurrecting my lead bullet ambition, just trying to build my knowledge)
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Old January 14, 2013, 04:42 PM   #2
Bob Wright
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Can't say about the 9mm, but in the .44 Magnum I've pushed cast bullets at 1500 fps without any problems.

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Old January 14, 2013, 04:50 PM   #3
Pond, James Pond
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I recognise that is true for other people who have spoken of their handloads, but please note that I had already conceded that hard cast bullets, along with FMJ/HP/SPs would probably serve the purpose.

I mean plain old LRN type bullets.
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Old January 14, 2013, 04:55 PM   #4
James K
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"unless you use FMJs or hard cast bullets".

That is why you use hard cast bullets. You can also use gas checks. I don't know if you can get them, but Hornady makes a .35 caliber gas check that seems to work fine in 9mm.

For those who are not familiar with gas checks, the main cause of lead fouling in barrels is not the friction of the bullet against the barrel but the hot propellant gas melting the base of the bullet. A gas check is a small copper, brass or aluminum cup that fits over the end of the bullet and is crimped on by the sizing die when the cast bullet is sized. Being between the hot gas and the lead bullet, it prevents the bullet base from melting and fouling the bore. It is best used, though, in conjunction with, not instead of, hard cast bullets.

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Old January 14, 2013, 04:55 PM   #5
carguychris
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Quote:
He explained that even in a land and groove barrel, unless you use FMJs or hard cast bullets, the velocities of 9mm Luger bullets is such that a lead bullet would shed material considerably in any barrel, polygonal or not, resulting in possible accidents.
Hogwash. ~1,100fps is not really very fast as lead bullets go. If you use quality lead bullets that are properly sized and lubricated, not too soft, and loaded properly, you should not have a problem in a conventional barrel unless you do something inadvisable like shooting multiple thousands of rounds between barrel cleanings.

I've shot a couple hundred rounds of cast lead through a 9mm pistol in a single range session. There was some visible buildup, but it was pretty minimal, and it was easily cleaned out with regular Hoppe's #9 solvent and a newish bronze brush. I didn't even have to get out the Chore Boy pads or the lead remover.

I've been told that polygonal rifling demands more frequent cleaning than conventional rifling if cast lead is used, but I don't have any personal experience with it, so YMMV.

[EDIT TO ADD NOTE: Yes, as with the other posters, I'm also talking about hard cast. Unalloyed "dead soft" lead will cause buildup at 9mm velocities, but this is common knowledge among handloaders, and most reputable bullet companies don't even offer bullets sized for 9mm unless they're hard cast.]
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:29 PM   #6
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
Unalloyed "dead soft" lead will cause buildup at 9mm velocities
This is what I wanted to know.

Thanks
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:43 PM   #7
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Hardness takes a very far back seat to fit in the barrel. Soft bullets do not lead the barrel in 9mm. Undersized bullets that get gas cut do. As far a polygonal rifling goes. All of my Black Powder pistols have polygonal rifling. They all shoot the softest lead you can get. I have a 9mm Glock 26 with the factory barrel. I have not shot lead in it. I use plated bullets due to the fact that I have 4 thousand of them left. When I get to one thousand of them I will slug the barrel, and get a mold for 9mm. (Note I have 3 other 9mm pistols.) I will try a few and see if it leads after a couple of shots. If it does then the lead bullets will be shot in the other 3 9mm guns I have. The Glock will then get plated bullets.

It is a personal choice for each. I have met, and seen several people that shoot nothing but lead out of factory Glock pistols. Two them swear they have never fired a jacketed round out of theirs.

Note as far as a the factory waranty goes. If you shoot ANY reloads out of it the waranty has been VOIDED.

Oh and as far as dead soft lead leading at 9mm velocity that would depend on the powder. I push darn near pure lead out of a .45-70 Govt. At over 1300 FPS with no gas checks. No lead in that barrel at all. Fit trumps hardness greatly. In fact at speeds under 1400 FPS you can push pure lead that fits with great accuracy. You just have to find a good powder to work with.

In the end it is your gun, and your decision.
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Old January 14, 2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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Would you agree with this assertion? 9mm Luger and Lead Reply to Thread
I don't agree with that assertion.

I don't own a glock but I shoot tons of lead in my Beretta 92FS. (As well as other pistols/revolver). Pretty much all I shoot.

I don't use hard lead either, I use recycled range lead. I lube them with Lee tumble lube and don't have any leading problems. I load mid range velocities (4.5 gr of Unique w/ 124 gr cast bullets.

Shoot them a lot in our action type (steel, etc matches) and its nothing for me to go through 100 rounds or more per match.

I do clean the barrel after each match or shooting session, keeps lead from building up.
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Old January 14, 2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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First, its not about the fps. velocity has nothing to do with it. It is chamber pressure vs alloy hardness& size that matters. the 9mm luger pushes 35000 psi. I cast my Lee tumble lube 124 gr RN bullets to around 18bhn, lube them, size them then lube them again. Im sure not suggesting you do it, but i have run these bullets(100 rds at a time) through my glock 19 with both 5.0 &5.5gr of power pistol cleaned just after each shoot and have never found any lead in my barrel. Use your better judgement, but this is my experience.
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Old January 15, 2013, 09:37 AM   #10
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I agree with the size matters crowd. I was sizing at .356 and was seeing quite a bit of leading from range pick up. Stasrted sizing at .358 and it all but disappeared. Now if you're buying preloaded lead then you don't have a choice.
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Old January 15, 2013, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
That is why you use hard cast bullets. You can also use gas checks. I don't know if you can get them, but Hornady makes a .35 caliber gas check that seems to work fine in 9mm.

For those who are not familiar with gas checks, the main cause of lead fouling in barrels is not the friction of the bullet against the barrel but the hot propellant gas melting the base of the bullet.
Exactly...
and Okie's comment about sizing also supports the blowby idea.

One of the problems though w/the 9mm Luger and other high pressure rounds in a semi auto is that they require a pretty specific operating pressure.
That limits the coices of powder.

I can drive a soft swaged lead bullet in a .44mag pretty fast (1600-ish) fps. w/out any leading at all in my Winchester Trapper.
I have to use a slow powder like Alliant 2400 to do it though.
If I try to use a faster powder, like Unique or 231, they burn too hot and blow past the base and cause leading.

I'd expand on this more,,,,but,,, I just had a glass of Vegtable juice w/a quarter spoon of Ghost Chili pepper sauce mixed in. It appears I didn't wash m hands well enough before I hit the bathroom to get rid of the two cups of coffee.
I need to get to in the shower a bit faster than that .44mag tossses lead.....

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Old January 15, 2013, 11:27 AM   #12
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I only shoot my home cast lead bullets in my 9MM's and .38 Super. That is all I have ever shot in them since the middle sixties. My standard alloy is wheel weights plus one and one half percent tin. I have owned and shot many different 9MM's including a war time P38, Star Firestar, Browning High Power, P08 Luger, S&W 59. None demonstrated any problems with home-cast bullets.
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Old January 15, 2013, 12:39 PM   #13
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I shoot nothing but lead out of my CZ's, both 9mm and 45.

9mm is sized to 357 using wheelweight alloy and tumble lubed. I shoot these as plinkers and competition fodder. The barrel gets scrubbed after every range trip, and while I do get some lead slivers out, I wouldn't consider it anywhere near dangerous.

Remember...before jacketed came out everyone used lead bullets.
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Old January 15, 2013, 01:47 PM   #14
Pond, James Pond
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Hmmm... New info into the mix.

TBH, though, I doubt this will impact my own shooting practices for the time being.

I can get FMJs (normally) and it is cheaper to buy than reload so I suspect that I'll just keep to my existing system.

But never say never and there may come a day when I decide to reload or shoot lead..
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Old January 15, 2013, 03:48 PM   #15
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I have gotten good results with lead bullets in my Browning HP, out of my S&W M-659 it can be a little tricky due to the shallower lands and grooves and different twist. Also gotten good results out of my Star Model B.
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:52 PM   #16
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The issue with lead bullets in guns with polygonal rifling, such as Glocks for example, is that the bullets tend to skid against the rifling, both at the beginning of the rifling (the leade) and the end (muzzle). This can cause lead buildup in these areas, which if not removed, can cause increased pressures. Too much buildup, as you can imagine, could be a real problem (boom). It is NOT a problem, though, if any leading which might occur is cleaned out of the barrel regularly.

It is by no means certain that leading will occur in such barrels, though. As mentioned by others, bullet fit, alloy used, powder speed and loads not beyond what the bullet alloy can handle will minimize the issue, if it occurs at all. Lead deposition can occur in ANY barrel, with ANY type of rifling, if the conditions are suitable for it.....it is simply that polygonal rifling tends to be somewhat more subject to this phenomenon

Regardless, diligent maintenance is the key.
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