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Old April 4, 2013, 12:30 PM   #1
exnodak
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I Love My ruger SR9c, but---

I have put over 3300 reounds of reloaded ammo (mine) thru this pistol with 100% functioning. However, it is a lead gathering hog. I have been reloading 125 grain lead bullets, Brinell 18 hardness, and after 50 rounds the bore looks like a sewer pipe. Takes a lot of time to clean, even using Chore Boy around a brass brush.
I haven't yet had the barrel slugged, but I suspect it is somewhat oversize for 9mm. Rumor has it that Ruger is known for this.
Thinking that maybe that my load is not hot enough for Brinell 18 hard bullets, I plan to up the powder charge within safe limits to see if that helps. My current load is 3.8 grains of bullseye under a Missouri Bullet Co. 125 grain roundnose or cone bullet.
If that doesn't alleviate or cure the leading problem, I will have the bore slugged. If it is oversize, I will look for proper bullets of more than .356 diameter.
Failing all that, I guess I will invest in a Lewis kit.
Suggestions and comments are most welcome.
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Old April 4, 2013, 03:00 PM   #2
TimSr
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Thinking that maybe that my load is not hot enough for Brinell 18 hard bullets, I plan to up the powder charge within safe limits to see if that helps.
I would suspect the same, but i'm not sure boosting the bullseye will help. I never shot cast 9mm over Bullseye, but with jacketed bullets the accuracy was horrible. On the same day I tested Bullseye is also tested Blue Dot, and it immediately became my pet load. I have since become a cats fan, and my 125gr cast over 8.0 gr of Blue Dot shoots both clean, and super accurate. I got good results from unique as well, but not as good as Blue Dot. I've never found a Bullseye load for 9mm I was happy with. I think its a little fast for an auto bigger than .32acp.
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Old April 4, 2013, 04:24 PM   #3
LE-28
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I don't care for Bullseye with lead bullets either but I recently tried lead in my sr-9 and the first loads I made were max lead data loads and they shot very accurately with titegroup powder, (again to fast of a powder for lead but it works), then I cooled the loads down and the accuracy went to hell.

My bullets are 18 brinell Missouri small balls. They are just to hard to seal up in the barrel with lower pressures.

I cast some 124gr round nose bullets at around 10 Brinell but haven't got to try them yet.

I have heard that HS-6 is a really good powder for lead in the autos but can't find any to try.
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Old April 4, 2013, 06:46 PM   #4
mikld
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Slug the barrel and measure the diameter of your bullets. Bullet to bore fit is the single most important aspect of shooting lead bullets. Size (or purchase) bullets starting at .002" over groove diameter. I have 2, 9mm pistols, one has a groove diameter of .356" and the other .357". To shoot leading free, I size bullets to at least .358".

Also, I wouldn't shoot a bullet much harder than wheel weight alloy; BHN 10-12. Bullets need to be soft enough to obturate...
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Old April 4, 2013, 06:48 PM   #5
pre64win
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If you are using a Lee type factory crimping die with a carbide insert that may be your problem. This die may be sizing the loaded round enough to reduce the diameter of the cast bullet enough that it is too small to fit your barrel.
The lead bullet will not rebound from the compression like brass will. If you are using one of these dies tray a few loads crimped with the seating die and see if that solves the problem.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:17 PM   #6
Punisher_1
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Fire a few FMJ through it after firing the lead. I do this and it helps alot in clean up.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:32 PM   #7
jepp2
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Suggestions and comments are most welcome.
1. Did you make sure you thoroughly removed all the copper from your bore before you shot any lead? And I don't mean running a patch with Hoppe's #9 through it. I am talking about using a copper removing solvent until the patches have no blue on them.

2. I suggest you use a mid burn rate powder. Then select a load that starts at the pressure that Missouri Bullets recommends for the BHN of the bullet you are using. And keep in mind how sensitive the 9mm is to bullet seating depth and how critical it is that you use the same seating depth as the bullet listed in the manual. You can use this link to compare bullet lengths. It isn't the OAL that is critical, it is the bullet seating depth that determines the pressure.

3. Adjust from there.

I would think you have a problem currently with using too fast a powder and loading it to too low a pressure. You also might have a fit problem, but at least give the bullets a chance.

And the last thing you should do is shoot a jacketed round through a barrel with heavy (or any) lead deposits.

Soaking the barrel in Ed's Red or Kroil will make the lead come out much easier. But if you are getting that much lead after 50 rounds, you have major adjustments to make.
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Old April 5, 2013, 06:07 AM   #8
Punisher_1
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Explain that to me. Is it because the barrel diameter characteristics have been modified by the build up of lead and could increase the pressure on the barrel or hurt the lands and grooves since FMJs aren't able to compress as easily?
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Old April 5, 2013, 08:48 AM   #9
tomf52
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#1 - DO NOT fire fmj loads to clean out the lead. What a perfect way to destroy your barrel!
#2 - Bullet fit is most likely the cause of your leading. All my 9mm"S I shoot .358 or .359 through with no lleading. Air cooled wheel weight material.
#3 - Bullseye powder has given me the best of results through many 1000"s of rounds.
#4 - Use a good lube. Lee Liquid Alox on any style of bullet works well for me.
Mid range loads always seem to work the best with best accuracy for me.
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Old April 5, 2013, 12:43 PM   #10
Punisher_1
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Can someone explain how the barrel could be damaged by firing FMJ after lead.
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Old April 5, 2013, 02:43 PM   #11
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Personally, I have never heard or read of damage to a barrel due to shooting jacketed after lead, even with a lot of barrel leading. I think it's one of those "facts" that come from Uncle Bob's cousin's brother-in-law who has a friend who heard it at the local gun shop...
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Old April 5, 2013, 03:29 PM   #12
floydster
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At 18 Brinell your bullets are too hard, I cast for my 9mm's and use 12 Brinell hardness with nary a prob, wether I tumble lube or use my lube sizer and size to .002 over bore.
Very minimal leading, one swipe with Chore Boy and the bores are mirror clean, I don't use any solvent.
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Old April 5, 2013, 06:43 PM   #13
Hydrostatic Shock
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I Love My ruger SR9c, but---

My sr9c eats Missouri 124 grain smallball all day. Zero leading
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Old April 5, 2013, 07:18 PM   #14
57K
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There's nothing wrong with using Mo. Bullet Co's. 18 Brinell bullets. I use them at even lower velocity in my .45 ACP loads. The trick to eliminate your leading issues is to use a cast lead bullet that is .001" over the barrel's groove diameter, you don't need to go any larger in dia. for proper obturation/bullet seal. So, yes, you need to slug the bore and you can make slugs from old fishing sinkers or you can simply use a soft swaged lead bullet and if you had access to some that were .358" that should be large enough in dia. to cover any potentiality as far as the Ruger having a larger bore dia. From what I understand, if you don't mind waiting just a bit longer for delivery, Mo. Bullet Co. will custom size your bullets to the dia. you need and again, anything over .001" greater than groove dia. gains you nothing but increased pressure at the same powder charge.

You might want to consider a slightly slower burning powder as well, and personally I like to use dense spherical (ball type) powders because they meter better and flash less. Better metering will help ensure better consistency of chargeweights. One powder that's not quite as dense but is still a spherical is WST. It will give very good case fill in 9mm to at least 100% load density once you work up to the mid charge level. Data for 9mm is a little hard to come by, though. A good dense ball powder that can be used in any handgun load would be Ramshot True Blue. Like Unique it's as versatile, but being a dense ball powder it meters better than anything else you're likely to use and there's very good cast bullet load data @ www.ramshot.com and ZIP wouldn't be a bad choice either for cast lead loads, but True Blue would be better for when you load jacketed bullets as well.
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Old April 6, 2013, 01:00 PM   #15
bfoosh006
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Punisher 1,

If you don't lead out excessive lead build up, firing jacketed bullets could slightly bulge your barrel and or cause excessive pressure.

IMHO, Best to just clean the barrel of the lead , it doesn't have to be spotless, just a few of minutes spent with a bronze brush and solvent.
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Old April 6, 2013, 02:57 PM   #16
Punisher_1
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I see what you are saying. I shoot IDPA occasionally and run through about 60 to 90 rounds of lead reloads and fire a couple FMJ at the end. I still clean my firearm thoroughly at home but it helps alot. I've used screen jags before but it's still a pain.
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Old April 8, 2013, 08:36 AM   #17
TimSr
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Personally, I have never heard or read of damage to a barrel due to shooting jacketed after lead, even with a lot of barrel leading. I think it's one of those "facts" that come from Uncle Bob's cousin's brother-in-law who has a friend who heard it at the local gun shop...
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