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Old November 22, 2020, 03:43 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Leading. Causes and solutions.

Two new experiences for me recently: loading magnums with a LSWC and leading in my barrel.

I recently developed .44 Magnum loads to give me Special velocities from magnum cases. The idea being easier reloads and fewer carbon rings.

The result was a charge 1.2 gr higher than my specials.

They fly well, burn well, load well but they lead the barrel.

That, and and stiffer recoil told me that the charge could do with dropping by 0.5gr.

Am I right that the higher velocity will be causing the leading and what tricks are there for cleaning the barrel?

At my disposal here are:
  • Hoppes No 9
  • Hoppes Elite Bore Gel
  • A .44 cal jag and wire brush
  • a 44 cal bore snake
  • Lots of patches.

Any suggestions about either end of the problem?
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Old November 22, 2020, 03:55 PM   #2
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Lots of folk here will have lots of really good advice, making sure the bullet fits the barrel (really fits based on measurement not just specifications).

Also the "classic" remedy for leading is the "Lewis Lead Remover".
https://www.brownells.com/gun-cleani...prod21587.aspx

Note: the Lewis product has been around roughly forever and there are many alternatives and home made remedies too there's even a couple semi-recent threads right here on this site too.
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Old November 22, 2020, 04:47 PM   #3
Super Sneaky Steve
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Choreboy on a brush works great and is cheap.

If you haven't slugged your barrel and chambers do so. After you get a good fit you'll need to adjust your hardness.

I usually get less leading with powdercoat as well.
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Old November 22, 2020, 07:15 PM   #4
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Ive pretty much quit using plain lead bullets of any kind, and moved up to plated or coated bullets. Cost really isnt much different, and its a lot easier on the cleaning side.

Havent had to deal with lead in the barrel or chambers since.
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Old November 22, 2020, 07:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Choreboy on a brush works great and is cheap.
ONLY if it is the pure copper ones and NOT the copper-washed steel ones.
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Old November 22, 2020, 11:22 PM   #6
Pond, James Pond
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Brownells don’t deliver to Estonia, sadly and I’d like to keep shooting what I have.

So cleaning is achieved with what I have in my box of tricks as listed in the OP.

Or I just go back to specials for the last 600 of these bullets.
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Old November 23, 2020, 12:23 AM   #7
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leading

I'm not a bullet caster, but have experienced leading issues w/ about all my revolvers through which I shoot lead bullets. Here's what I've concluded over time:
-velocity too high,bullets too soft, which seems a particular problem with "brand X" lead bullets that you acquire randomly and have no idea of their hardness. Some of the bulk bullet mfg's will provide a hardness rating and a velocity range, and that's good
-bullets cast undersize
-chamber throats undersize or bore diameter oversize or rough bore

My understanding, is that if you do not cast/size your own slugs too an appropriate hardness and dia (by sizing and fitting your revolver) it's a crap shoot as to whether commercial cast bullets will match your gun w/ minimal leading. If you find a commercial slug that your gun shoots accurately with minimal leading, stay with them. It is also a common practice to ream tight cylinder throats to a larger diameter so slugs do not reach the bore undersize. Cast slugs get their hardness by alloys added in the casting process. By skimping on alloys, casters can produce bullets cheaper ( and yield higher profits). As a shooter, you can get bullets too soft, for which you still pay full price. Shooting commercial cast lead has given me fits, especially in .357 and .44, no matter how slow I run them. Premium plated bullets have done better, provided I do not push them too hard. BAck in the day, when I could still get them and jacketed bullets were somewhat more affordable, the old Speer jacketed SWC .44/240gr and .357/160 became my standard GP revolver bullet due to headaches with cleaning lead.
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Old November 23, 2020, 12:58 AM   #8
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In my case the bullets were 1500 200gr LSWC bought for a good price. I didn't have leading issues in the .44 Spls, so logic tells me to go back to those and I may well do.

In the meantime I still have 147 of the mag cartridges.

This will mean leading.

So, still trying to workout the best way to clean my barrel that has heavy leading with the products I have...
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Old November 23, 2020, 01:56 AM   #9
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powder coat the bullets.
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Old November 23, 2020, 02:09 AM   #10
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OK.... none of the options above are possible for me. I have my bullets. They are as they are. I lack the materials, supplies and resources to do anything to them.

I have my cleaning products, bought locally. I can't buy stuff from the US.

So, I'm just going to load my remaining LSWCs in Specials, but I need tips on cleaning lead out of my barrel.

Help?
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Old November 23, 2020, 02:54 AM   #11
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The copper potscrubber material technique explained above should work. Applying a penetrating oil to the barrel first and letting it sit for awhile should help some.

Another option, is to see if you can find a Lewis Lead Remover from a source that will ship to you. Or, you could look at it and maybe some videos about how to use it, and make something that would function similarly. It's not a complicated device.

If you can get some Flitz, or something similar to use as a bore cleaner, that should help with getting the last little bits of leading out of there once it's almost clean and also smooth the bore to minimize leading in the future.

If you can't get anything like that, you can just use your bore brush and bore solvent and a lot of elbow grease. I remember one really bad case of leading when I was a new gun owner--I just brushed it out. It took a very long time to get the bore clean.
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Old November 23, 2020, 02:57 AM   #12
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Using gas check bullets would be best

You could try the trick black powder cartridge rifle shooters use. Seat the bullet over a slightly oversize cardboard or polyethylene wad. You can make the wads yourself with a punch and 1-1.5 mm thick sheet of cardboard or polyethylene and a small hammer. A 45ACP case or 45 Colt case with a sharpened mouth makes a good expedient punch.
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Old November 23, 2020, 04:25 AM   #13
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
You could try the trick black powder cartridge rifle shooters use. Seat the bullet over a slightly oversize cardboard or polyethylene wad. You can make the wads yourself with a punch and 1-1.5 mm thick sheet of cardboard or polyethylene and a small hammer. A 45ACP case or 45 Colt case with a sharpened mouth makes a good expedient punch.
Is the idea that the wad cleans the barrel once the bullet has passed through the bore?
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:03 AM   #14
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It sounds like youre not having the issue as much with the 44 Special velocities, which kind of makes sense.

How about just loading the Mags to Special velocities? I pretty much do that anyway for blasting ammo (not into getting beat to death ), and when I do load to Mag velocities, I use jacketed bullets.

I know a lot of people do like to use 38's in 357's, 44 Specials in a Mag, etc. Ive done it in the past, but got tired of dealing with the "ring" you get in the cylinders because of the differences in case lengths. Its just as easy to use the proper case and load it down.

My experience in the past with most of the lead bullets of any caliber Ive used, has been anything loaded over 850-900 fps tended to cause leading problems. Stay below that threshold, and youre usually OK.

If you dont cast your own (I dont), youre pretty much stuck with what you can buy, and that can be hit or miss, even with the same company from box to box. Thats the main reason I went with plated, and now, starting to look at coated. The coated seem to be working OK, but Ive only tried them with one gun and load so far. Still, they look encouraging.

Another thing to consider here, is how you clean and how often. I clean my guns every time I shoot them, I know a lot of people dont. I would think if this is an issue, youd be better off cleaning after each use, instead of waiting until things really start to degrade. Its going to a lot more of a PITA to get a biuld up of lead out, than a few streaks of it here and there.
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:21 AM   #15
74A95
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Tip for cleaning lead:

https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2017/...om-your-barrel
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:39 AM   #16
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
How about just loading the Mags to Special velocities? I pretty much do that anyway for blasting ammo (not into getting beat to death )
That's kinda what I was hoping to do! :O

The mag loads were 1.2gr higher than the Specials with about 4mm greater OAL.

Not having my chrono available (fluorescent lights at the range), I had to go by felt recoil to see if the load was similar.

They seemed close enough on the test run, but after 160 rounds in a competition, and a patch of skin nicely worn away by the recoil, I guess they weren't quite the same.

Ordinarily I clean every but this time I didn't: too busy. So there was one comp when I shot a bunch of the Specials and then last Saturday when I shot up those Mags.

I still have about 150 to go and I want to use those as pulling the bullets would mean they are spent and wasted.

I really only bought these as they were 50% cheaper than what I could normally buy and they have kinda served me well.

I just wanted longer cartridges as the specials make for messier reloads, between the SWC profile of the bullets catching the rims of the cylinder and then not dropping straight in.

I have another 1000 of those, then back to plated!

Until then, specials only...
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:43 AM   #17
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Now I know what a chore-boy is!!

Usually I don't bother looking up stuff people suggest if it's a brand or product name as no one in Estonia is gonna stock US products.

But I now recognise that as a scrubbing pad which I can locate locally, so that's the one for me!

The only problem is whether or not they are pure copper or not.
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond View Post
Now I know what a chore-boy is!!

The only problem is whether or not they are pure copper or not.
Here in the USA they have both pure copper and copper colored types = confusing. But the pure copper is labeled on the box.

I found them at a hardware store. But if one hardware store doesn't have them, try another because there is no logic to what they have.

You might be able to find which stores carry them by doing a Google search. That's how I found them where I live.
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Old November 23, 2020, 08:57 AM   #19
Jim Watson
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There are two main types. Real Chore Boy copper and cheap copper plated steel. Take a magnet shopping.

There is a common chemical approach, acetic acid (vinegar) and hydrogen peroxide.
There are a lot of cautions, look it up and decide if you want to deal with them.
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Old November 23, 2020, 09:09 AM   #20
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This will give you an idea as to one of the differences between the plated vs plain lead.

This is my S&W 696 (44 Special) that was Mag Na ported after just a couple of cylinders full of LSWC's.





Same gun and a tad hotter load shooting plated lead and after 100 rounds....


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Old November 23, 2020, 10:58 AM   #21
Pond, James Pond
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Take a magnet shopping.
As if I didn't already have a reputation in these parts....
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Old November 23, 2020, 12:59 PM   #22
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I stopped using cast bullets, twenty years ago, as I was tired of lead and lube residue in the gun, in the press, on my hands, etc.
I tried a half-dozen brands of bullet, bought Lewis Lead Removers in two sizes, lead removal cloths, etc., then discovered Precision Bullets, and never looked back.

When I was loading lead, there seemed to be a "hardness war" among bullet makers, with everyone seeming to think that harder bullets were always better, so it may have been the case that the problem was pushing bullets with Brinell hardness of 22 at only 750-850fps, when a hardness of 12 would have been more appropriate.
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Old November 23, 2020, 01:55 PM   #23
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This thread seems to have deviated from what the original post was actually asking. He has posted that he has some .44 Magnum loads that lead, and wishes to shoot them up albeit that they are leading his gun. He also posted that he would use the remain bullets in .44 Special loads which he knows does not lead. In short, he was looking for some method or removing lead.

One method that is going to raise eyebrows is the Mercury method. Inasmuch as he does not live in the U.S., he may still have access to elemental Mercury. Mercury in this country is considered to toxic to allow common citizens to buy it. Nevertheless, as a youth, we handled Mercury in high school chemistry class, gained access and coated Silver coins with it (and one's Gold class ring if not careful) without any apparent effects from Mercury poisoning.

Therefore, Mr. Top-of-the-Baltic, if you have access to Mercury and wish to risk Mercury poisoning, you can plug your revolver barrel and fill it with Mercury which will form an amalgam with the Lead (as it does with Silver and Gold, etc.), let it sit over night and the Lead-Mercury amalgam will easily brush out with a common Bronze bore brush...the risk is yours. I did the Mercury amalgam method some years ago and can attest to its effectiveness.
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Old November 23, 2020, 02:09 PM   #24
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If you're running too soft of a bullet too fast they will strip out in the rifling and cause leading. The more they strip the less accurate they are and the worse the leading is. If you cast your own try harder lead. I have run full power .44 mag loads with home cast bullets and didn't get much leading. The copper Chore Boy is the best advice I've seen on removing lead. If the gun is a newer S&W and hasn't fired many jacketed bullets that could be your problem. The way S&W cuts their rifling now makes barrels lead until they get smoothed out with a couple of hundred rounds or so of jacketed. My wife has a S&W 637 in .38 Special and man can that thing lead a barrel.
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Old November 23, 2020, 02:37 PM   #25
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Leading is caused by trying to drive a cast bullet too fast. Regardless of its hardness.
"...developed .44 Magnum loads to give me Special velocities..." That's not or should not be, Magnum loads at all. You just load Magnum cases using Special data using Magnum OAL. Exactly how one loads .357 cases using .38 Special data.
There's lots of cast bullet .44 Special data on Hodgdon's site. Just an example.
"...cleaning the barrel?..." If you have leaded your barrel, plug the muzzle with a rubber 'cork', fill the barrel with solvent from the chamber end and leave it there for a couple hours. Then clean the way you always do. There's no need for endless patches and scrubbing.
"...Brownell's don’t deliver to Estonia..." Brownell's Europe does. Go here. Probably not cheap though.
https://www.brownells.eu/
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