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Old February 19, 2019, 06:20 PM   #28
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 18,068
Those cases of damage are where the pressure gets high. It has happened. Again, statistically the likelihood is limited, but it has been reported by some. It also may be a slightly different mechanism than I supposed. Bad leading may have to come first. It is, as Allan Jones points out in this article, most often a matter of gas bypass. That has little effect on jacketed bullets, so perhaps the random nature of the problem is about bullet fit. Also, some people run lead bullets hotter than others or not hot enough, as he gives an example of.

Up until the mid-1980s, I used to "clean" lead from barrels with jacketed bullets. I hadn't heard any of the warnings that the practice could result in high pressures. Then one day I bought a stainless steel bore brush to attack stubborn lead with (I also quickly abandoned them when I learned how hard they could be on barrels). But I discovered that after I had patched out a jacketed bullet "cleaned" barrel and got it to look all smooth and shiny when held up to a light source, that if I then ran the stainless brush through it suddenly had all these dull gray patches appear in it. That was lead that had been ironed into the bore by the jacketed bullet, reacting to its passage the way a super-heavy grease might do, being plowed through and burnished hard into the bore.

That hard ironing is also the cause of pressure spikes. In the same article I linked to, above, Allan Jones says that during his years at CCI/Speer he saw a lot of guns damaged by that practice.

A Big "No-No"

How many times have you thought it easier to shoot the lead out with a jacketed bullet? Well, don't even think about it. In extreme cases, this can cause irreparable damage. I've seen revolver barrel throats deformed and thin-walled barrels bulged. Either means a new barrel.

Allan Jones
This is the kind of advice that is almost always met by anecdotally-based derision. "I've been doing this for forty years without a problem." But that's the kind of thing that is only true until one day it isn't. And often that day doesn't happen to the fellow advocating the method but to some other unsuspecting fellow who owns a gun that is either weaker or looser in fit so that it leads more heavily. In any event, due to the damaged guns Jones has seen it cause, it cannot be recommended on the board without appropriate warning that it also could destroy your barrel.
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