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Old July 29, 2012, 07:50 AM   #1
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.22LR ammo: copper vs lead

I stopped by Dick's Sporting Goods yesterday to pick up a 100 pk of CCI .22 ammo for my new Winchester 9422 and the salesman said I should stick with the copper plated rounds because the lead .22 ammo will foul up the barrel. Is this true or will fouling of the barrel occur regardless if it's copper or lead? what .22 ammo do you use for your .22 rifles?
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Old July 29, 2012, 08:59 AM   #2
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Never had a barrel fouling problem in a 22lr regardless of bullet used.
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Old July 29, 2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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I use lead bullets almost exclusively and no lead fouling whatsoever in my .22 rifles. Just about all target ammo is lead, even the expensive match ammo. The lead ammo has a wax lube on it to prevent leading.

Last edited by B.L.E.; July 29, 2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old July 29, 2012, 11:38 PM   #4
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Always shoot lead, never a problem.
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Old July 30, 2012, 12:43 AM   #5
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Same here- never had a problem with lead. In fact, I'd be kinda leery of digesting copper through my S&W 41 or Rem 540X.
Rednecks... Keeping the woods critter-free since March 2, 1836. (TX Independence Day)

I'm going to use the words "clip" and "Long Colt" every chance I get. It grinds my gears to see new members attacked when we all know dang good and well what's being refered to.
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Old July 30, 2012, 05:59 AM   #6
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I don't think being a firearms expert is a perequisite for working behind the gun counter at Dicks.
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Old July 30, 2012, 06:08 AM   #7
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I shoot copper washed almost exclusively.

I don't know that it keeps my gun cleaner, but it keeps my FINGERS a lot cleaner - especially during an extended range session of a rimfire match where I'm loading several hundred rounds.
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Old July 30, 2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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Fired a lot of both and never had any barrel problems but the lead bullets with a tacky lube that you can feel will foul a match chamber quicker than the plated bullets. That is the only reason I prefer plated bullets in my semi-autos but will happily shoot all lead bullets in my bolt actions without a care or worry.
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Old July 30, 2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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I shoot CCI Blazer 22 lr lead round nose, it's the best cheap 22 lr I have found.
CCI Blazer shoots well in semi-autos and bolt action 22's.
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Old July 30, 2012, 04:31 PM   #10
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I shoot mostly plated but some lead as well.

CCI and Federal bulk.
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Old August 3, 2012, 01:26 AM   #11
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All I shoot in my CZ are lead ammo and don't have any problem. Sorry I can't say the same about the salesman in most gun shops. Most of them don't have a clue.
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Old August 3, 2012, 07:36 AM   #12
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After shooting thousands of plain lead ammo through my Ruger 77/22, I cleaned it and found a considerable amount of lead fouling in the bore. Some tough to remove. The thing is, this didn't really affect the accuracy of the rifle. I shoot plated or plain according to cost and how long I've had it in storage. I buy a case at a time choosing the best buy on the market when I have the funds to use. The last case I bought was Blaser plain lead roundnose but the 2 previous cases were Federal plated HP. I don't waste much time cleaning my 22's until they start disappointing me.
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Old August 3, 2012, 08:22 AM   #13
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The amount of leading you'll see with bare, lubed lead bullets is completely dependant on the gun and the bullet. What doesn't foul up one gun may foul up 100 others and vise-versa. Back in the 80's, being young and broke, we not only shot the cheapest guns we could find but also the cheapest ammo and yes we had mucho leading problems. Due to that I switched exclusively to copper washed/plated when shooting bulk ammo and I've never had a problem since. Only use bare, lubed lead when shooting better ammo for punching paper.

Now some have argued with me that the copper wash is too thin to have any bearing on leading what so ever. I can't argue that's it's thin but in almost 30 years of shooting I have had zero leading issues with any copper washed/plated ammo I've used. Maybe it's the extra lube qualities of the copper, maybe the copper isolates the lead, maybe ammo quality but the fact remains is there is a difference.
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Old August 3, 2012, 12:55 PM   #14
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The copper wash is just a different type of bullet lube - shoot what you want, clean & oil the gun when it needs it. Done.

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