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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the cost of ammo going up and up I've been talking to guns and ammo sales men about non jacketed lead ammo because it is cheaper.

I've been told if you shoot it out of a semi auto the lead will foul the barrel and it's hard to clean out.

Also been told if you shoot it out of a single action revolver it's not a problem because the barrel doesn't get hot enough.

Opinions please on those two statements...

Also how to clean lead out of the barrel. One guy said shoot a jacketed bullet before it builds up too much??

Can I clean the lead out using slandered bore clean techniques Copper brush and solvent? Or is there a better way?

Thanks in advance for feedback.
 

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Howdy Mr. Headhunter,

Over the years, I have reloaded and fired a lot of lead loads, especially in 9mm, 45acp, and 38/357. Now most of my lead loads are for 45 Colt and 45-70. I will just offer some thoughts, and hopefully others will do the same for you sir.

I have found the harder the lead the less likely it will be to cause a problem with leading, as long as the velocity is not extreme anyway. The hotter the lead load, the more likely the barrel is to lead heavily. Yes sir, with some good ole elbow grease you can certainly remove the leading, but it will take a bit of work if very heavily leaded.

I do generally try to end a long range session of lead loads (except for 45 Colt and 45-70) by firing some jacketed rounds. First I want to keep my practice up with something more akin to my carry load. Second I think it does help to remove some of the leading if it is there. But to be honest, with most reasonable hard cast loads at reasonable velocities, I have not really had a serious leading problem.

Times I have encountered it is normally when shooting commercial ammo that did not use hard cast bullets. Then I found the Lewis Lead Remover to be a real time saver in removing most of the leading for me.

Hope this might help a little anyway sir.

twoguns
 
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Depends on the lead, the caliber and the loadings, I made the mistake of firing factory full power 180 gr 44 magnum lead Remington ammo once, It can also depend on your barrel, Supposedly octagon rifleing and lead dont get along, and some fery tight match grade barrels dont like it either, other than that it's fine, Just use your normal cleaning methods a few swipes with a brass brush and swab it out, dont get aggressive with it, Yes I know if you look down the barrel you'll see some lead smudges but they arnt hurting anything and you'll put alot more wear and tear on your barrel trying to get every last smudge out .
 

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A few random thoughts. (seems like thats all I have lately)

Lewis Lead Remover is the classic and still best tool. Getting harder to find.

The Bore-Snakes do OK on mild cases, like if you use them every 30 rounds or so.

Single-actions definitely will lead; trust me on this. Autos are easier to clean as there's only one chamber and no forcing cone.

Shooting the lead out with a few jacketed rounds is controversial. I think we've all done it, but I've also heard it can crack forcing cones. Done occasionally after a few rounds of lead probably does no harm.

I think its best to clean every 50 or so rounds at the range rather than let it build up.

One thing that surprised me was the lack of leading with fullhouse blackpowder loads in .45 Colt. I think the powder scours the bore or something.

Dead soft loads are the worst, like Joe says.

Gas checks help a lot, but are a PITA to deal with.

What we've found in rifles is if the lube is right, you only get leading if there's gas blowby. Sizing hardcast revolver bullets to seal the chamber throats reduces leading.

I've less experience with cast loads in autopistols. My peak reloading activity coincided with a time when I didn't load for autos. Lots of lead loads in resolvers, mainly .44 Special, and lots of .38 wadcutters.


Regards,

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice guys. Looks like I will be shooting a lot of lead rounds with the suggestions provided.

I'm not a hand loader. Is there any way to determine how hard the lead is on a box of factory ammo?
 

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Factory ammo is rarely hard lead.

When I get a leaded bore, I run Kroil through it, and then a jag with some threads from a copper Chore Boy scouring pad. Poor Man's Lewis Lead Remover. ;)
 

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Some barrels lead more than others. I about only shoot the H&G 68 200 gr swc in my 45 acp's All bought over the counter in 500 round boxes. My old Remington Rand GI 1911 never leaded, my Series 70 Colt always has a bit of leading in the leade after 100 rounds or so.

Bronze brush with some Hoppes cleans it out everytime. It's a non issue.

You ought to reload if cost is a consideration. It's simple cost effective and lets you tailor the load to your requirements Most of my stuff has been paid for years ago but I bet you can outfit yourself with Lee tools for under a hundred bucks.

Boats
 
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