Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Loading lead VS JHP/FMJ

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Mikej, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,164
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    So I've been told that if I'm going to load and shoot lead that I need to lower velocity to avoid leading the barrel. We're currently shooting compact 9mms, .38 2"and 4" barrels, and a full size 1911. I've been given 20 .452 LSWC to try and my Spear loading manual is giving me charges with stated velocity higher than the velocity for the 230g .451 JHPs I've loaded(And tested with good results).

    The SWCs are weighing about 204-209gs. Is it normal for lead bullets to be off stated weights in the books? These are not home cast bullets, molly coating I'm told.

    It looks like I'm going to need to get the Hornady book too, they don't seem to have the info free on their site.

    Hope that's not too jumbled to get what I'm asking.

    Thanks loading GURU'S!

    Mike
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    When using lead bullets it's important to know just exactly what bullet your using. If buying bullets are they cast, hard cast, or swaged lead. The powder load will be determined by the hardness of the lead. A swaged lead bullet which is the softest will use one charge and a hard cast bullet with a high brinnel number might be shot at speeds approaching that of a jacketed bullet.

    There is no "one size fits all" answer. The Moly Coating can change the formula as well.

    Start by contacting the bullet manufacturer and asking them for suggested loading data. I've found that most have something that they will at the minimum, mail to you. When I had some Oregon Trail bullets I wanted to shoot in my 9mm I contacted them and they sent me several pages of load data at no charge.

    Last but not least, you could also do the old fashioned "load workup", stopping when you get to either pressure signs or more lead than you want in the bore.
     
    SPU and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    169
    Most lead bullets are safe up to 900fps,some mfgrs. using various alloys will 'ok' theirs for highe velocities,I think Lasercast does. .
    451 seems a little small,most 45 cal. bullets are.452 to fill the grooves in the rifleing.Too small a bullet can allow flame cutting,thus leading i the barrel.Load a few up and try them,every gun is different.
    Yep,,cast bullet weights run all over the place,so to speak.Lyman's book has some good loads and varieties of cast bullet styles and weights.
    To me,the little bit of extra effort for cleaning is well worth it when I look at the cost of cast vs. jacketed bullets. I can buy 500 cast bullets,locally,for about 33 bucks,and they shoot fine.
    the downside is if u have to shoot at an indoor range,they do smoke some as the lube burns off
    Moly's,not so much.
    What ;powders are u going to use for the acp rounds?
     
  4. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,164
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    My BAD, just making an ASSUME of myself. I measured they're .452s.
    As I said these bullets were given to me, no manufacturer info.

    I'm using Titegroup at 4.4gr for 230gr XTP HP. My Speer book nor the Hodgdon site had the EXACT bullet powder combo so I loaded for 230gr FMJ. I shot my FIRST ten right after a mag of factory 230gr FMJs. It was a pleasurable experience! I noticed little if any difference, maybe a bit hotter. I inspected several of both shells for anything unusual and found nothing. I'm shooting a full size Kimber 1911 so I don't think I can blow the thing up unless I get stoopid.

    So if the consensus is 900fps is a safe bet to reduce leading I'll be OK with loading for a 200gr cast, 4.8gr of Titegroup, to get 877fps, that is according to the Hodgdon website. I may even reduce that by .2gr the first time just to be on the safe side. A max load is listed at 5.4gr for 957fps, I'm not interested in going anywhere near that, at this point anyway. The Hodgdon site says I would get 744fps with 4.4gr of powder with a 230grFMJ, that's the stat that gave me the question about possible leading at HIGH fps.

    ""Last but not least, you could also do the old fashioned "load workup", stopping when you get to either pressure signs or more lead than you want in the bore.""

    That's where I'm at with these I believe. I may be overthinking this a bit, but it is much better than underthinking and just GOING FOR IT!!

    Thanks for the input.

    Mike
     
  5. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    90
    Every gun, lead composition, bullet shape, ambient temperature, powder (even different powder lots of the same manufacturer shoot differently), inherent scale or powder drop variances, and countless other variables change the numbers. They are only guides. You can afford to shoot more by reloading, so take advantage and reduce printed load data by 10% or even more, and slowly work up until you are happy with the results or see pressure signs. If you see primers piercing or the headstamp wiping out you went way too far, put the gun down, walk away and think it through.

    Running a few (4-6) FMJ factory bullets through the gun after shooting lead cleans the barrel up a lot, then normal cleaning is a breeze. I have even run a few FMJ bullets through if I notice accuracy really getting bad from leading while using test loads. Groups tighten up when you go back to lead.


    But have fun. Then find the right powder, load and bullet for your gun with you shooting it and start over.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  6. Grommit327

    Grommit327 Buckley Active Member

    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    74
    One thing to remember with lead, the harder the lead (higher Brinnell number) the higher pressure you want to have behind it. Too hard of lead at less pressure won't expand and seal off the gas which will cause leading. You have to find that happy medium of hardness of lead and pressure. Also not sure if it was mentioned but many times equal bullet weights of lead vs FMJ with the same powder charge, the lead will be a bit faster.

    Here is a link describing it better than I can missouri bullet
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    Another tip I learned years ago was to add a little "conditioning" to the barrel before shooting lead bullets.

    Remember those old cans of Lock-Ease every tool box used to have? Just shake it up and squirt some in that stubborn car door or ignition lock? Likewise for the padlocks that were on tool boxes, barn doors, etc.

    Take some of this product and liberally soak a patch with it. Swab the bore of your pistol or rifle several times before shooting your lead bullets. The powdered lube (mostly graphite) works into the pores and scratches of the bore. It may not keep the lead from depositing on the bore but it sure makes it easier to remove.

    If you do this you just have to get past the idea of making a bore so clean it doesn't leave any black marks on a patch, and then putting a bunch of black stuff back in;);)
     
  8. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    50
    I would recommend AGAINST this practice. All you do by running jacketed bullets through a leaded barrel is burnish the lead into the barrel micro-pores and against the rifling which makes cleaning that much more difficult. If you're getting minor leading at the range, run a boresnake through the barrel a couple times. Ultimately, you want to develop loads that result in very little or no leading for a particular firearm.
     
  9. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,164
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    Thanks guys, I'm soaking it all in.

    Mike
     
  10. Puddin99

    Puddin99 Scappoose, OR Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    10
  11. Tilos

    Tilos Idaho Active Member

    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    71
    Mikej:
    Regardless of the load, lead loads and shoots dirtier than jacketed.
    A few pulls of a Lewis lead remover will clean a lead fowled barrel quickly and is sold by the best lead bullet supplier:
    Missouri Bullet Company

    And these jacketed bullets don't cost much more than cast:
    Precision Delta - Competition Ammunition

    Tilos
     
  12. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,164
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    Wow yeah....That's quite the site. I think I've decided to stay with jacketed bullets at this point. I do find the science of matching hardness to powder/pressure/leading fascinating though.

    I'll be doing an order with either Ariel (local), or from Montana Gold in 9mm for sure and most likely .45acp too. I've been told HPs will be more acurate than FMJ, so if the price/1000 is not too different.....

    Thanks

    Mike