The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 13, 2013, 09:23 PM   #1
deerslayer303
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2011
Location: Leesville SC
Posts: 1,119
Lead Round Nose bullets for S.D.?

I was recalling someones signature, that said something to the effect of "The plain lead bullet is the most reliable projectile, it mushrooms consistently, and never breaks up". So with that said. What do you guys think of having them in the wheel gun for self defense? I'm sure the bullets that are loaded in commercial lead RN rounds are pretty hard to prevent leading. Or better yet the bullets that, we cast up and load. That way we can control the hardness. The lead bullet has killed many a man in the past, so I really can't see why it wouldn't work today. Why pay over 2 bucks a round for "Self Defense" ammo. Does that 2 bucks a round give us warm and fuzzies? Lets discuss.
__________________
"You're so drunk you cant hit nothin, In fact you're probably seeing double"...."I have TWO GUNS one for each of ya"
deerslayer303 is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 09:37 PM   #2
mete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 5,151
Bullet shape is important and a Keith type is best !! There are many copies but the original is they one to use .A complete discription can be found in " Sixguns" by Elmer Keith ,A book well worth getting.
__________________
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 09:38 PM   #3
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,017
I think a lead round nose would have the same (in)effectiveness as FMJ. Good penetration, but little else.

They didn't call 'em widow makers for nothing.

But better than having no ammo in your gun...
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 09:46 PM   #4
pete2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 715
If lead RN is what is what I have it's what I would use. Soft lead HP SWC bullets are available for reloading as well as in factory loads and would probably be better for self defense. We're talking handguns so bullet placement is the most important thing to be concerned with. 2 or 3 hits for best results.
pete2 is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 09:51 PM   #5
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 17,947
Lots of better choices for self-defense, especially in a revolver where bullet profile has essentially no effect on reliability.

If FMJ ball or lead roundnose is what you've got, use it. If you can get something else--practically anything else will be better for self defense.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 09:56 PM   #6
deerslayer303
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2011
Location: Leesville SC
Posts: 1,119
Oh without a doubt, I use them 2+ dollar a round SD ammo (I guess I get the warm and fuzzies ). I was just wanting to open up the discussion of the effectiveness of the lead projectile.
__________________
"You're so drunk you cant hit nothin, In fact you're probably seeing double"...."I have TWO GUNS one for each of ya"
deerslayer303 is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 10:07 PM   #7
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,022
Lead projectile is good. Round nose is not so good (but a lot better than nothing)
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 10:09 PM   #8
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 17,947
There's nothing wrong with lead, it's the profile of the bullet that makes the LRN bullets a poor choice for self-defense.

You don't have to move up to the high-dollar SD rounds to make a huge improvement. You can stick with a lead projectile, just use something besides LRN. Flat nose, semi-wadcutter or wadcutter lead bullets are far better choices for self-defense than LRN. The old semi-wadcutter hollowpoint bullet was quite effective, and that bullet can still be found in a few loadings. I believe Winchester offers it in .38Spl +P.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 11:30 PM   #9
Frasier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 10, 2011
Posts: 188
38 Special ammo is still available in most of my FLGS. Two weeks ago, I picked up a box of Winchester LSWC-HP +P for $35 for a box of 50.
Save the LRN for the range.
Frasier is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 04:45 AM   #10
CajunBass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 6, 2005
Location: Chancellorsville, Virginia
Posts: 3,332
Quote:
I'm sure the bullets that are loaded in commercial lead RN rounds are pretty hard to prevent leading.
Actually in my experience commercial LRN bullets seem to be pretty soft. They don't lead barrels because they're not being pushed very hard.

LRN are on the list of acceptable bullet profiles, but there isn't much below them.
__________________
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
CajunBass is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 05:51 AM   #11
PawPaw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by CajunBass
Actually in my experience commercial LRN bullets seem to be pretty soft. They don't lead barrels because they're not being pushed very hard.
That's my experience too. Generally those bullets are just about pure dead-soft lead. They don't get pushed very hard, so they're okay for general pistol work. They generally don't lead barrels if the pistol is set up correctly. With lead bullets, fit is everything and you don't need to worry about hardness if they fit correctly and you're not pushing them too fast. When you get into the higher ranges of speed and pressure, fit becomes extremely important, as does lubrication and hardness.

I'm not a fan of LRN bullets except in very limited circumstances. However, I shoot a lot of Keith-type, semi-wadcutter, and wide meplat bullets. When you consider that jacketed bullets were invented in the late 1800s, everything prior to that was lead bullets and simple lead bullets had killed everything on the planet.
__________________
Dennis Dezendorf

http://pawpawshouse.blogspot.com
PawPaw is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 10:24 AM   #12
deerslayer303
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2011
Location: Leesville SC
Posts: 1,119
Thanks for all the replies guys. Lots of good info here. I haven't really seen ANY lead projectile round available commercially around here. Or maybe I'm not looking hard enough.
__________________
"You're so drunk you cant hit nothin, In fact you're probably seeing double"...."I have TWO GUNS one for each of ya"
deerslayer303 is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 10:29 AM   #13
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
Quote:
"The plain lead bullet is the most reliable projectile, it mushrooms consistently, and never breaks up"
I'm not sure what the speaker means by "plain lead bullet", but I don't think that a lead round-nose will "mushroom" much at all, much less "consistently".
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 10:37 AM   #14
newfrontier45
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2012
Posts: 921
Terrible choice, the only thing worse being FMJ or no gun at all. You need something that doesn't have to travel through several inches of flesh before it becomes destructive. The old FBI load (lead SWC/HP) is a vastly superior stopper.
newfrontier45 is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 10:57 AM   #15
salvadore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,643
I've just cast 250 dead soft 358156 HPs and will work up a load for my smaller shooters. I have a 454190 HP I use in a '73 win. copy that I intend to try in my SAAs with a softer alloy in a reduced load. I like Keith style bullets in my larger .44 spec.

Currently using a turn of the century, 1900 not 1999, design round nose about 200grs at approximately 750fps in my 396 mountain lite. its very accurate in all of my .44 spec. and wont rip your hand off in the 396 and do carry for sd on occasion.

I do carry round nose bullets in speed loaders for my sd shooters.
salvadore is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 05:48 PM   #16
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 4,318
Which is more effective?
A LRN that hits the heart or brain?
Or something "better" that hits a leg or arm?
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 06:05 PM   #17
newfrontier45
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2012
Posts: 921
Quote:
Which is more effective?
A LRN that hits the heart or brain?
Or something "better" that hits a leg or arm?
Is shot placement an excuse to use a vastly inferior projectile???
newfrontier45 is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 06:32 PM   #18
.38SPL enthusiast
Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 35
I think shot placement and penetration are among the best determiners of how well a bullet will work. That being said, not all lead round nose bullets are created equal. I carry the blunt RN Lyman 358430 bullets over a small charge of powder in my .38 when I'm out around the farm. In my experience, the bullet invariably tumbles creating a really large wound; and is consistently very effective against varmints.
.38SPL enthusiast is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 07:46 PM   #19
L_Killkenny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,676
IMO, using FMJ's and LRN's is like stepping down in power and/or caliber. Using a LRN .357 as an example.............. .Is it now on par with a .38sp? How bout 9mm? .380? .32 H&R? I don't think any of will ever have enough info to make the call and know for sure how much worse it is. But one thing for sure, you do step down in effectiveness but retain ANY and ALL negatives that come with more recoil and bigger guns.

Quote:
Actually in my experience commercial LRN bullets seem to be pretty soft. They don't lead barrels because they're not being pushed very hard.
My experience is the exact opposite. You can order lead bullets in many different hardness's but most off the shelf stuff you find at gun stores, box stores and gun shows are hard. Very hard and too hard in fact. Check the hardness of many of the common cast stuff and you'll see why it's referred too as "hard cast". Also, lead that is the right hardness and sized right can be pushed plenty fast. In many cases as fast as jacketed bullets. But most of the "hard cast" stuff (even sized right) will tend to lead a barrel faster than many softer lead alloys. Lead will indeed mushroom/deform if it's the right alloy. As a matter of fact if your lead isn't deforming some it's probably too hard.

Last edited by L_Killkenny; March 14, 2013 at 09:56 PM.
L_Killkenny is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 07:51 PM   #20
SPEMack618
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2010
Location: Central Georgia
Posts: 1,376
I've read, both on here and a couple of police history books, that the 158 grn LRN loading was oft referred to as the "widow maker".

However, this was due to the belief that it resulted in more dead police officers than dead bad guys.

However, the 158grn LRN and like 92 grn FMJ are generally the only non- +P loading for .38 Spl comercially available in my area.
__________________
NRA Life Member
"Had King Kong showed up in Texas, Frank Hamer would have taken him down with his Model 8 in .35 Remington...well, he was kind of big, so maybe his BAR"
SPEMack618 is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 07:55 PM   #21
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 18,647
Gee, you guys don't understand the important issues. If folks used lead round nose bullets, the gunzines would have nothing to write about. Think of all those "mushroom" pictures we wouldn't have. Think of all those pages of flower-petal expanded bullets. Think of all those writers and photographers and editors in the unemployment lines.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 08:18 PM   #22
shouldazagged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: Louisville, KY, USA
Posts: 273
The +P 158 grain .38 Special LSWCHP is alive and well. The old "FBI/Metro" load has been getting the job done from 2" and 4" revolvers for many years. I've carried it in my EDC for twelve years plus, and my head-of-the-bed Model 10 is loaded with it. Vastly preferable to LRN standard-pressure rounds.

Buffalo Bore sells one they bill as standard pressure and safe for all .38 Special guns that they claim exits a 2" barrel at over 1000 fps with minimal flash. I'll have to try that to believe it, but I may just do that.
__________________
"Don't let macho be your epitaph."
---Ed Lovette
shouldazagged is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 08:18 PM   #23
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
Which is more effective?
A LRN that hits the heart or brain?
Or something "better" that hits a leg or arm?
If you can put a LRN in the heart or brain you can put a better bullet there too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James K
Think of all those writers and photographers and editors in the unemployment lines.
We certainly don't need any more folk on welfare. Another great reason for better and better bullets!
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 09:25 PM   #24
peacefulgary
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 523
Sure, the LRN can stop an attacker....with a little luck and some very precise shot placement.

But these days it's still just about the worse self defense ammo one could choose.
peacefulgary is online now  
Old March 15, 2013, 04:38 PM   #25
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,708
The round nosed lead bullet is just not reliable. It will penetrate deeply some times, not penetrate at all other times.

Years ago, when Memphis Police carried the Model 10 S&W loaded with .38 Special with the 158 gr. RN bullet, a Memphis police officer was shot with his own revolver. The entrance wound was just below his nipple on the left side, the exit wound in the middle of his back near the left shoulder blade. Penetration?

None. The bullet struck between two ribs, skidded along in the groove between the ribs and exited in his back. A flesh wound.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13655 seconds with 9 queries