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Old February 1, 2013, 06:05 PM   #1
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45 acp lead bullets

Some years ago, before I really became aware of the dangers and risks of shooting someone else's reloads, I fairly regularly got some 45acp reloads from an old WWII vet that I knew. I have to guess that they were around 200 gr lead RN. I must have shot several hundred of them through my Star PD, and they were quite reliable and consistent. I didn't get the impression that they were any milder or hotter than any factory ammo I had shot. Some time later, I got to looking closely at the barrel of the PD, and it was leaded up pretty badly. It took me hours to get it all cleaned out.

I read in here that loaders regularly use lead bullets in their autos without any leading problems. The loading data all says to keep the velocity under some limits. Do you think those loads I was shooting were just too hot for lead, or are there other things that could have caused that leading? I ask because I might consider loading some lead 45's in the future if I can hope to avoid leading problems.
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Old February 1, 2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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First thingthat comes to mind is they were too soft. Pure lead is for muzzle loaders.
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Old February 1, 2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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Or they could have been too hard. That would prevent the bullet base from deforming enough to make a good seal with the bore. That allows hot gases to flow past the bullet, melting some of the lead and depositing it on the bore.
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Old February 1, 2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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Don't be afraid to load lead. The bullets you buy these days are not a too soft/hard problem. Keep velocities low. You'll be golden. It's the only way to shoot cheap. Copper is way too much money.
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Old February 1, 2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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I always 'de-lead' my barrel after every range session. Just good practice whether it needs it or not.
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Old February 1, 2013, 10:36 PM   #6
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Iv been shooting lead out of my 40. Super light loads and havnt had a problem with leading yet.

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Old February 1, 2013, 10:58 PM   #7
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Don't be skeered of lead boolits in 45acp. Size to .452 and keep them under 1600 (sic) and you'll be loving life. I have run thousands of lead boolits through many different guns with no leading. I cast from straight wheelweights, size to .452 and have driven them up to close to 1000 fps in pistols and ~1050 out of a Beretta Storm with no leading.
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Old February 2, 2013, 09:23 AM   #8
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Slug the bore of your pistol. Your lead bullet should be .001 larger.
If you get some leading it's very easy to remove with some Chore-Boy all copper scrubbing pads.
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Old February 2, 2013, 10:39 AM   #9
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Bullet fit is key to cut down on leading. After that bullet hardness, velocity & lube play a lesser role in leading. As previously stated, slug your barrel & use bullets sized .001" larger. I shoot 90% lead in my handguns & do not have a leading problem.
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Old February 2, 2013, 10:52 AM   #10
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Most mil 45 aps are 230 grainers, but as you implied, they may have been handloads. Bullet lube dries out. Believe me. I store all my cast a swaged bullets in sealed metal coffee cans or 50 cal metal ammo boxes. Swaged bullets are much softer than hard cast, but if lube has deteroated, you will get lead, regardless of make up. I have shot 10K or more of hard cast lead and am now shooting more swagged. They appear more accurate but are a lot softer. I don't think that you are pushing the 45s too fast or your targets would have keyholes. Do they???? I believe Lee makes some bullet lube to tumble older bullets to minimine future leading, but for me personally, I wouldn't worry about it. Just be prepared to clean a lot.

But, what I have found to be very interesting is that becuse of the softer lead used on swagged bullets, if you have a squib load the bullet may and has for me stuck deep into the barrel cone and I could roll the cylindar to a new round. The results could be extermely dangerous. Most progressive presses are bad about quib loads, if YOU are not observant. I have never experience a squib load pushing a hard cast bullet far enougn into barrel that would allow a new cartridge to load to battery.
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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What "gp357" said. I cast from wheel weights, lube and size to .452 and shoot in several 45 ACP guns. No leading. Fit is king, I've driven cast bullets to 1500 fps in 44 mag without leading.
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