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Old February 17, 2019, 01:07 AM   #1
Marco Califo
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Glock factory barrels Lead Bullets

I own Glocks in 9mm, 40, and 45 ACP. I do load Jacketed and Plated bullets from Berrys and Rainier. I am interested in loading 185 gr SWCs in 45 ACP.
The Lead SWCs are 20 to 50% less expensive. Mv ~1025 fps

I asked a lead bullet maker and got this response (edited):

"many shoot hard cast lead in factory Glocks. Double check over-all-length . . . don't seat up against the land and leave a lead ring. Clean barrel often, while shooting. We use bore snake after every few mags."

This sounds like a reasonable approach. What have you experienced Glocks and lead bullets?
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Old February 17, 2019, 01:37 AM   #2
chris in va
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If you scrub the barrel with Chore Boy every 100rd or so it should be ok.

There is a relatively easy workaround. Buy unlubed bullets of your choice, then powdercoat them with a cheap toaster oven, small plastic tub, powder and airsoft bb's. It really is very easy to do and it won't lead your barrel. Plus you can use any number of crazy colors.
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Old February 17, 2019, 02:07 AM   #3
74A95
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There are various polymer coated cast bullets available that will help reduce the chance of leading. They're worth a try.
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Old February 17, 2019, 02:29 AM   #4
Marco Califo
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Thank you for your replies, both of you. And powder coating may be great. But, this question is specific to the polygonal bore rifling used in Glock pistols. I have heard of extreme cases of leading becoming a barrel obstruction. Have you used your powder coated bullets in Glocks or H&K pistols with these kind of barrels?
My question includes has anyone experienced that kind of leading in Glocks and what they may have done to reduce or eliminate it?
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Old February 17, 2019, 10:59 AM   #5
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I'm getting a fair amount of leading with 40 cal 175gr SWC in my G23. I clean it after every range session, usually 75-150 rounds. I won't be buying more of this bullet and will try and find a different one that leads less. In the meantime, the pistol has not blown up and I don't believe it will.

I had a hard time finding actual incidents of this actually happening. And I suspect the times it has happened, we should be looking at the possibility of a double charge before blaming a leaded barrel.

Regarding powder coating, it may be worth it to buy powder coated lead bullets. Seems to be all the rage and should still be cheaper than plated/jacketed right?

I have a fair amount of lead bullets in 9mm and .40 due to circumstances, once those are out I may try powder coated for the Glocks.
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Old February 17, 2019, 11:14 AM   #6
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I just bought an aftermarket barrel, which I use when I'm running my lead reloads. Then I put the factory barrel back in when I'm done. For me it was a no-brainer, and the easiest solution.
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Old February 17, 2019, 11:21 AM   #7
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An aftermarket barrel is an option. Although I'd describe that solution as "most expensive" and "most aggravating" before I described it as the "easiest."
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Old February 17, 2019, 11:32 AM   #8
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While I like this forum and respect the members, I would suggest you go to the castboolits gunloads site. This topic has come up many times and the results are now many shooters use lead bullets in poly barrels with little/no problems... http://castboolits.gunloads.com/
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Old February 17, 2019, 11:43 AM   #9
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Slug your chamber and barrel. Shoot lead bullets that have adequate lube and fit your chamber. The barrel will not lead.

Beware meister cast lead bullets. I am sitting on a pile of them that mike .355. They lead every barrel I have shot them in. I shoot .358 dia cast bullets in glock 17 and 19 with no leading in factory barrels.

some day I will get around to boiling the lube off the meister cast bullets and powder coating them up to .358. There are 3,000 left.
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Old February 17, 2019, 02:24 PM   #10
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The conventionally rifled aftermarket barrel is the safest solution. The thing that is spooky in the reports of trouble I've read is they suggested the gun digested rounds just fine and with little build-up of fouling until suddenly a rapid build-up to the point of raising pressure occurred in as little as one magazine full. My best guess is the grooves near the throat packed gradually until a round had too little grip and stripped. Stripping bullets would add rapidly to the metal fouling build-up. You'll hear from lots of people who've had no problem at all, but this is one of those statistical problems where the people with the issue will be out on one tail of the fouling bell curve such that the problem doesn't rear its head frequently; just not never.

I wonder if a bore lubrication treatment might be helpful to repelling the fouling. It does with copper fouling in conventionally rifled barrels. You could try soaking in Sprinco Plate+ Silver or treating with Moly Fusion.
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Old February 17, 2019, 04:10 PM   #11
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I do have a conventional barrel to take 40 to 9mm. Never bothered with cast, as I found out I was working a 9mm post with a 40. I do not want 2 45 barrels. In my case, although lead bullets may work fine, it looks more like an unnecessary risk and complication. Powder coated may also work fine. With Berrys direct free shipping, I can get plated bullets delivered for a couple dollars more than cast deals. Thanks for the replies.
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Old February 17, 2019, 04:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Califo View Post
Have you used your powder coated bullets in Glocks or H&K pistols with these kind of barrels?
Any decent powder coat bullet will work without issue.

Regular lead bullets will work but you have to watch for leading. I’ve never got severe leading but it’s a possibility.
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Old February 17, 2019, 04:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by huntinaz View Post
An aftermarket barrel is an option. Although I'd describe that solution as "most expensive" and "most aggravating" before I described it as the "easiest."
I hear what you're saying, and can agree. I just found it to be the quicker, easier thing to do. If I'm going to be shooting my lead reloads I put my "lead" barrel in before I go to the range. Not a big deal, it takes a couple of seconds, and I'm done. I usually will do a swap at the range, and shoot a mag of my defense rounds every so often. I guess like they say; to each his own.
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Old February 17, 2019, 08:17 PM   #14
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I admit, I just think it's extra frustrating that Glock says "don't shoot lead through our barrels." Like that's no big deal. And buy an extra barrel if you want to.

However, they do say that. And I do like them.

For what it's worth, the lead I'm shooting thru my Glock 23 right now is leading very badly. According to GLock and the internet, it should be toast. It has not yet blown up. I don't think it will, because why would it? Show me a case where factory lead ammunition has blown up a Glock. I think crappy reloading is to blame for most of the "accounts" of Glocks blowing up with lead. That of course doesn't explain why Glock specifically says not to.

My pistol, my hands, my risk. I get it. But I am going to find a bullet that doesn't lead so badly and I'm going to shoot a pile of them.

Also, truth be told, you can probably sell your OEM barrel for $80 and buy an aftermarket barrel and come out ahead pretty quickly if you shoot the pistol much. I have considered this, but it just pisses me off that I should have to and the evidence that it's really dangerous is lacking in my opinion.
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Old February 17, 2019, 08:53 PM   #15
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I am qualified (sometimes) to carry all three of my Glocks. Maybe its just me, but I won't monkey with a duty or carry gun. They always need to be ready to go with JHPs or ball ammo, and clean barrels. I also only like to shoot higher end loads, only. So, for me, no powder coating, no barrel swapping to shoot cast. I am just going to spend more for plateds. For quarterly combat course qualification. I just need one jagged hole in the middle of a B27 target. SWC make cleaner holes.
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Old February 17, 2019, 09:34 PM   #16
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A buddy of mine has a Model 21 in .45 ACP. I had him buy a standard rifling barrel before I would give him my cast bullets to put thru it. About $100 as I recall. I fail to see why anyone would swap barrels back in forth, just use the new barrel for everything like he does.

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Old February 17, 2019, 11:08 PM   #17
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Put an aftermarket 40 cal in my G27. Never looked back.
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Old February 18, 2019, 02:40 AM   #18
chris in va
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Lead bullets will foul ANY barrel after a while, it's just poly barrels can get restricted faster and become dangerous with increasing pressures. I used to fire lubed through my standard rifling CX4 and 50 rounds later the groups became blunderbuss results.

Powdercoating does away with all that nonsense, I can use them in anything I darn well please. Zero residue, save for powder deposits. Copper jacketed can't even boast that.
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Old February 18, 2019, 07:23 AM   #19
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The operative term here is, ",...I've heard reports." To me when I get two diverse reports on anything it's time to look for additional information. One set of reports is the gun blew all to pieces after eight rounds. The other is I have shot thousands of rounds with no problem. With the right bullets none of the reported problems happen. It's gotta be done right.

I have loaded lead bullets in several Glock's including a 357 SIG. Your bullets must be hard...no way around it. Mine are water quenched. Sized near as cast. My experience is that not using hard bullets will yield heavy leading and terrible accuracy. If you do not feel comfortable shooting lead bullet in you Glock's don't. You may find benefits from the powder coated bullets. Do not use conventional lead bullets from Bubba's Custom Gun and Bumper Works.
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Old February 18, 2019, 09:54 AM   #20
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I’ve shot thousands of rounds of hard cast lead bullets through .40 and .45 Glock OEM barrels without issue. Usually a couple hundred at a time. The thing is “lead” bullets can vary quite a bit in hardness and type and amount of lube between manufacturer and model. So it may well be possible to build up a dangerous amount of lead but I have personally not seen it nor no anybody in my reloading friends that have ever seen it. I think normal cleaning after a range trip and using BRN 14-18 lead bullets with good lube band pretty much prevents such build up.

On the other hand, commercial powder coat bullets are now widely available at a cost about midway between lubed lead and plated. So if you have any worries about lead I would just buy the coated bullets. Totally prevents lead and copper build up. To me the coated bullets are about the ideal for price, cleanliness, and availability. Or make your own.

Obviously plated and jacketed bullets are fine but even plated is nearly twice the cost of lubed lead.

I did buy an aftermarket barrel in the early days of Glocks due to rumors of this being an issue. But I can’t remember the last time I used it. I shoot everything through the OEM barrel: lubed lead, powder coated, plated, and jacketed without issues and clean the same regardless of bullet type.
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Old February 18, 2019, 11:59 AM   #21
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Why not just own something like a CZ that shoots ANYTHING that fits in the mag?
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Old February 18, 2019, 05:59 PM   #22
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I own Glocks in 9mm, 40, and 45 ACP. I do load Jacketed and Plated bullets from Berrys and Rainier. I am interested in loading 185 gr SWCs in 45 ACP.
What model Glock are you loading for? I tried some Bayou Bullets 185gr SWC in my G36 (the small one...) and had more feeding problems than they were worth. The small pistol just didn't digest the SWC well and I was told SWC can be problematic in others, too.

So much so that I've sworn off SWC altogether. There are just too many types, sizes and profiles to bother with one that didn't work worth a ....
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Old February 18, 2019, 06:00 PM   #23
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I cast ww water quenched and they are hard. I load them up and shoot a few hundred through my glock 10 mm about every few weekends. I powder coated quite a few and I couldn’t tell much difference in the two other than powder coating was just an extra step. After every range trip I used the old chore boy technique and didn’t take much to clean it. I lubed mine with Carnuba Red. The Carnuba Blue showed a few more signs of leading but not enough for concern. I’m pushing these at some pretty decent velocities but they are around 24 BHN. Sizing 1/1000 over slugged bore size. No problems. My lone wolf barrel wouldn’t feed consistent so I sold it off and stuck with the factory barrel. That’s my gun and my limbs at stake. Just my opinion of a few thousand down the barrel. Don’t take my advise. I sure wouldn’t want your gun to be the one that won’t.
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Old February 19, 2019, 09:44 AM   #24
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I have shot cast bullets in both my Glocks a 21 and a 30 with no lead problems. I have shot up to 200 rounds checking the barrel every 20 shots with no problems. Then I decided to buy an after market barrel just for added safety and accuracy is the same.
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Old February 19, 2019, 12:07 PM   #25
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The operative term here is, ",...I've heard reports"
. I agree! I know what I would do is find out for myself. Fear has stopped many folks from an improvement and I've seen many reports of Glock owners successfully shooting lead in their poly barrels. I would fit bullets to the poly barrel (slug and size appropriately), and fire a few rounds (10-20 at first, then 25 -50, and maybe more) and check often for leading. I'm not "fearless" but I don't dictate my life by internet wisdom...
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