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Old November 23, 2020, 02:39 PM   #26
Pond, James Pond
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Well, I scrubbed with such vigour that brushing my teeth just now gave arm cramp.

The barrel is clean!

Some penetrating lube, a new copper brush, my bore snake and a o ring remover with a sharp end to lightly run up and down the edge of the rifle to dislodge the lead (no more pressure than the weight of my index finger).

So luckily that makes requiring mercury unnecessary!

A good idea but impossible! The EU makes sure toilet roll isn’t too abrasive so you can be sure over the counter mercury is impossible!!

So the lesson here is pack my bore snake the next time I go to the range until those mag loads have been shot up.

Thanks for all the pointers!
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Old November 23, 2020, 06:14 PM   #27
littlebikerider
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I'm a bit late to the discussion but maybe this will be helpful if you continue to experience leading:
Missouri Bullet Company wrote an excellent article on bullet hardness and leading related to barrel pressure. I suggest giving the article a read-through, you may be able to reduce leading with minor changes in your powder charge:
https://missouribullet.com/technical.php
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Old November 23, 2020, 07:32 PM   #28
lee n. field
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond View Post

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?
What works really, really well, is to wrap the bore brush with a patch of copper scouring pad. "Chore Boy" is a brand you'd see here in the United State. Just cut a little square of material off of one.
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Old November 24, 2020, 07:17 AM   #29
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CastBoolits, a forum here in the US has any and all answers regarding cast bullets. A good, and probably the best source for information on their use.

I've cast my own for over 50 years now...shoot lead alloy bullets in all of my revolvers 95% of the time and over 75% of the time in my auto-loaders. The following are some of the best techniques for avoiding leading.

For revolvers, the bullet dia. must fit the cylinder throat. You check that by driving a pure lead slug through the chamber throats and measuring with a micrometer. A caliper is not accurate enough. Throat dia.'s must be the same as or 0.001"-0.003" larger than the groove dia. of your bbl. By far the critical dia. is the throat measurement. If your bore dia. is smaller than your throat dia., you'll need to have the throats opened up to the correct dia.

Most commercial lead alloy bullets use hard lube, and are too hard for lower velocities. That lube does not do its job until magnum velocities are reached. Try re-lubing with Lee Liquid Alox, using their swirl lube method with these overly hard-lubed bullets...it'll help. In addition, most commercial offerings use alloys that are too hard for less than magnum velocities. Try Missouri bullet company for brinell ratings down around 12 for .44 special or magnum loads less than 1200 fps.

Leading deposits are easily removed with the Choreboy, all copper, scrubbing pads. I order mine here in the US via Amazon. A Lewis Lead Remover works as well, but is needlessly expensive...I used one for 40 years, cutting my screen patches from a sheet of copper bug screen back when it was available. I use cheap, Choreboy for clean ups now, tho rarely needed.

Mercury is toxic, forget using it if you value your health.

Plain base lead alloy bullets can be driven to 1200 fps from any good revolver with correct throat/bbl. bore measurements. I've never had a problem with bullets as soft as plain wheel weights with ~1% tin added to help mold fill out. Gas check bullets can be driven faster, but are needlessly expensive, adding 4 cents to the cost of the bullet, and that was before the current insanity. My revolvers will produce 5-shot groups down around 2" at 25 yds, some considerably smaller in fact, with loads that they like...comparable to my best jacketed loads. Point being that good cast bullets are every bit as accurate, without leading, as quality jacketed varieties, and with little add'l effort on the reloader's part.

In my Marlin 1894 .357 carbine, I get 1-1/2" groups at 100 yds with a 2.5x scope mounted and using Lyman 358156GC bullet cast of wheel weights and sized 0.359", for example. And my 1894 Marlin .41 Magnum carbine does as well with plain base cast bullets, if the muzzle velocity is limited to 1200 fps.

In 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, my autos (Sig's, Colts, Rugers, and one very old Luger P08) do very well with my own cast bullets. I size them to bore dia. plus 0.001": 9mm = 0.357", .40 = 0.402" & .45 = 0.453". All will produce groups rivaling those shot with best quality jacketed bullets, and they do not lead the bore even at velocities in 9mm & .40 S&W, of 1100 fps.

Shooters have routinely used lead alloy bullets for over a century with outstanding results. The "secrets", if any, to good performance are well known with a little research and some attention to detail while assembling loads. The site mentioned above is a treasure trove of information that'll help. For now, get a Choreboy or Lewis Lead Remover, clean up your guns...then order correctly sized bullets, re-lube with a 50-50 lube using the swirl method and have some fun.

Best regards, Rod
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Last edited by rodfac; November 24, 2020 at 07:31 AM.
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Old November 24, 2020, 09:45 AM   #30
LOLBELL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
Leading is caused by trying to drive a cast bullet too fast. Regardless of its hardness.
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That statement is false %75 of the time. Commercial casters cast their bullets too hard with too hard of a lube to prevent damage during shipping. Even if the bullet, throat, and bore are close to right you have to push a 18-22 BHN bullet pretty hard to get it to seal off. Too slow is just as bad to lead up a barrel as to fast.

Folks who immediately throw out “ you’re pushing that bullet to fast, slow it down” more than likely don’t shoot a whole lot of lead. Can you drive a lead bullet too fast and cause leading, sure, but more often than not with a commercial cast driving it too slow is what is causing the leading.
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Old November 25, 2020, 12:17 AM   #31
HiBC
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rodfac and LOLBELL beat me to it

Quote:
Leading is caused by trying to drive a cast bullet too fast. Regardless of its hardness.
When the only tool you know is a hammer,everything looks like a nail.

Yes,one of several factors involved with cast bullet performance is alloy/hardness.
But its certainly not the be-all.end all answer. I've loaded and fired hundreds of pounds of wheelweight cast 44 Magnum bullets since about 1975.Most full power H-110 loads.From 215 gr to 255 gr, With and without gas checks.
I was fortunate to be introduced by a knowledgable,experienced caster.
I fail to see any need to use anything but cast wheelweight bullets in a revolver and I don't recall ever scrubbing lead.
I've chrono'd my loads in excess of 1300 fps.

As rofac and Lolbell stated,bullet fit is most important to cast bullet shooting.
Gas leakage past the bullet puts tremendous heat into the surface of the lead
then flame sprays it onto the steel of your bore.

The lead on the base of the bullet stays mostly off the steel,spread across the bullet base.

This "stripping the rifling" stuff?? I'm no engineer,I can't do the fancy math.
We are talking about the rotational inertia ?? So what do we have? 6 grooves worth of driving surface area?Like a Torx drive? A 1 in 20 twist? or 1 in 16?

There are no other forces than the rotational inertia of the bullet being gradually accelerated by the shallow angle of the rifling. The lead is fully supported by the barrel geometry. Are you telling me it shears off like stripping out a Torx drive before the bullet spins??? Nothing but the bullet's weight resists the spin.? I don't think so.

Now,a jet of 30.000 psi hot gas spewing heat like a cutting torch?? Yeah,that cuts lead. Stop the leak,you stop carrying heat to the lead.

You may not have the options available,but I usually shot .431 dia bullets.

Does a bullet,just a bullet,rattle loosely through your cylinder?or does it fit with the slightest drag? just small enough to be easily loaded?

Is more complex than that,as rodfac says, barrel dimensions matter,too.

But a bullet that is loose in the cylinder throat is a bad start.
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Old November 25, 2020, 07:26 AM   #32
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Quote:
I fail to see any need to use anything but cast wheelweight bullets in a revolver and I don't recall ever scrubbing lead.
When I started out casting bullets in the sixties and for many years after, linotype was the premier alloy for the casting of bullets and wheel weights were looked at as only fit for bullet alloy with the addition of a judicious amount of Tin. Nowadays it seems that Lead-based wheel weights are viewed as more of a desired casting alloy rather than viewed with the historical contempt...if you can even find them. When it comes to Linotype (or any other type metal alloy) it is now so rare and precious that casters will only use it to enrich less desirable alloys. Times sure have changed.
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Old November 26, 2020, 10:04 AM   #33
rodfac
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Quote:
Nowadays it seems that Lead-based wheel weights are viewed as more of a desired casting alloy rather than viewed with the historical contempt...if you can even find them.
Too true Dahermit. I've got a local tire shop that still sells to me...a diaper pail of weights comes in at 100 lbs. and costs me $20. Of that 100 lbs. I get ~55 lbs. of lead alloy weights.

Some are stick on, very soft and which I treat as pure lead when mixing, and the rest are the older kind. Smelting them down, I try for a pure WW alloy, then add tin as necessary, usually far less than 2%, to facilitate good mold fill out. For hollow points, I mix the pure WW with pure lead in a 50-50 ratio that'll allow HP expansion at muzzle velocities of 1000 fps or better.

That 1st alloy, WW + a pinch of Tin, does well for me, and (with properly sized bullets that fit my revolver throats), leaves a barrel and forcing cone that is virtually leading free. And it also does as well in my 9mm, .40 S&W, .41/44 Magnums, and .45 ACP castings.

I sure wish to gosh that the auto manuf's would go back to the old WW composition....it'd be a God-send to us lead bullet shooters.

YMMv, Rod
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Old November 26, 2020, 11:30 AM   #34
HiBC
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I understand the WW supply has mostly fizzled out.
I used it as an example because its what I have experience with.
It was not particularly hard or exotic.It was not made of unobtainium.
It was a common,useable alloy. Too bad its fading into the past.

If you buy commercial hard cast bullets,they won't be too far from wheel weight alloy (my assumption)

My point is,those of us who have had success with cast bullets in revolvers and performance not plagued by leading did so with commonly used,moderately hard bullet alloy.
I have tried (Remington,I think) lead factory load 44 Magnum ammo.I'm pretty sure they were pure soft lead,and that was one time my Ruger SBH was leaded up badly.
As they were loaded amm,I have no idea what the bullet dia was.
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Old November 27, 2020, 07:51 AM   #35
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Quote:
I sure wish to gosh that the auto manuf's would go back to the old WW composition....it'd be a God-send to us lead bullet shooters.
It is not likely...the last Lead smelter closed a few years ago, not to mention that the reason some states require non-lead wheel weights is that they consider the lead-based ones to be a heavy-metal hazzard, and that is not likely to change either.

In sum, with the change in wheel weights to non-lead, the last smelter closing, lead not being used for cable sheathing, all the printing process now are photo-based rather than type-metal based, if one wants to be a bullet caster, one will have find a way to use any lead alloy they find and try to make it work.
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Old November 27, 2020, 12:18 PM   #36
pete2
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My experience with cast bullets and leading......................Lead can be too soft, it will lead the bore. I've only had 2 revolvers that would lead the bbl no matter what. One was a Blackhawk with oversized cylinder bores the other was a W&W 44 Special with over size cylinder bores, they even leaded with pure lino or any other alloy. The revolvers that I have with rather tight cyl. bores shoot just fine. I found that the copper Chore Boy actually works better than the Lewis Lead remover. Your mileage may vary.
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