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Old 06-07-2012, 18:57   #1
Chris Brines
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Factory Glock barrels and cast lead bullets

Just waiting on my reloading equipment to come in any day now. One of the reasons I decided to start reloading is because I like to shoot, and the price of ammo was killing me. I have taken a break from shooting, to save up money for my reloading equipment, and am in no huge rush, but trying to find the safest, yet most economical materials to use, without sacrificing accuracy, since this will be my "target practice" ammo. I only plan to load 9mm "range ammo" for now.

I have heard 2 different responses when I ask people if it is really a hazard to shoot cast lead through a factory Glock barrel. One side says they've shot thousands of rounds through theirs, with no problems, the other side says DO NOT do it, the polygonal rifling will cause lead to slowly build up on the inside of the barrel, gradually increasing pressures and eventually leading to a "kaboom". Definitely something I do not want.

So since I am by no means, an expert, or even someone who has any experience with reloading, or shooting cast lead bullets, I am hoping someone can shed some light on that subject for me. I have a Gen 4 Glock 26 that's got roughly 5,000 rounds of factory FMJ under it's belt already. I'd love to start reloading cast lead bullets for shooting in the G26, since it is a little less expensive (fyi, not planning to cast my own right now, I'm just learning to reload and won't be ordering my bullets for a good while, at least a month), but don't want to put myself in danger in the process.

So the questions I have are:

1. Is this really an issue?
2. Is it possible to adequately clean leaded Glock barrels, eliminating the hazard?
3. Can anyone suggest a specific bullet (either cast or FMJ) that would be good for loading and shooting medium pressure loads (as in as close to factory ammo as possible, not sure if that is considered "medium" or not) through the G26, and/or where the best deals on stuff like this is?

I have nearly all of my reloading equipment on order, minus a few non essential things, but know pretty much nothing about ordering specific ammo parts. I know the reloading manuals will suggest powders, etc.., but the bullets are something I'm still not too sure about. I was looking at the bullets from this vendor:

http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...Id/564/page/2?

And some seem pretty reasonably priced, while some of them are nearly the cost of factory ammo! LOADED factory ammo...and this is just the bullet. I just figure if it is like any other new undertaking of mine, I am probably overlooking something, and will end up spending a ton more $$$ than I need to, unless I get some suggestions.

Just basically trying to get an idea of the most affordable products to use on a Glock 9mm, without sacrificing accuracy and/or safety.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:03   #2
NYcarry
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precisiondelta.com and berrys bullets.


Berry's are plated so they need to be loaded under 1200fps.

Precision Delta are jacketed.

Both are great pricing. I use the Precision Delta personally with great results.

Last edited by NYcarry; 06-07-2012 at 19:05..
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:24   #3
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If you develope a load that doesn't lead then it's perfectly safe to shoot in a factory Glock barrel.

If you shoot a load that slightly leads the barrel then it's perfectly safe to shoot if you clean the barrel after every hundred rounds or so.

Or you can simply buy an aftermarket drop in barrel and not worry about it at all. All three viable options IMO.

PD are just about the cheapest bullets you can find anywhere, plated or jacketed. I really like Berry's plated bullets and shoot them exclusively in 9mm.

Last edited by XDRoX; 06-07-2012 at 19:26..
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:26   #4
Chris Brines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYcarry View Post
precisiondelta.com and berrys bullets.


Berry's are plated so they need to be loaded under 1200fps.

Precision Delta are jacketed.

Both are great pricing. I use the Precision Delta personally with great results.
Thanks, that's a start. I'm trying to get a rough idea of how much my ammo will cost once I start loading it myself. Still not too sure about the lead in Glock barrel issue, but I think I have heard of more people who DO do it, than people who advise against it. I may just start off with jacketed/plated till I have a better understanding.
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:28   #5
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Originally Posted by XDRoX View Post
If you develope a load that doesn't lead then it's perfectly safe to shoot in a factory Glock barrel.

If you shoot a load that slightly leads the barrel then it's perfectly safe to shoot if you clean the barrel after every hundred rounds or so.

Or you can simply buy an aftermarket drop in barrel and not worry about it at all. All three viable options IMO.

PD are just about the cheapest bullets you can find anywhere, plated or jacketed. I really like Berry's plated bullets and shoot them exclusively in 9mm.
So how do I know which ones will lead the barrel, and which ones won't? And if the barrel is leaded, is cleaning it the same as just cleaning it any other time? (I just run a Hoppes 9 soaked pad through it, then follow with a dry one), Or does it require an extra measure to get the lead fouling out? I read about cleaning leaded rifle barrels in the ABC's of Reloading, but not sure if cleaning a leaded Glock barrel is the same or diff't.

Last edited by Chris Brines; 06-07-2012 at 19:30..
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:46   #6
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I have shot hard cast since I bought my first glock in 98ish, was before I was on the internet and was told it was wrong. I also use titegroup and load 40sw, I guess I have been lucky so far. I keep a bore light in my range bag, check it after every few mags, have yet to see any leading in the barrel.
I am not telling you do use lead, just saying I have not had any issues with it.
Barrys prices are not bad, but I still get about 500-750 more using lead. Adds up when you shoot that in a month.
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:53   #7
Chris Brines
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I have shot hard cast since I bought my first glock in 98ish, was before I was on the internet and was told it was wrong. I also use titegroup and load 40sw, I guess I have been lucky so far. I keep a bore light in my range bag, check it after every few mags, have yet to see any leading in the barrel.
I am not telling you do use lead, just saying I have not had any issues with it.
Barrys prices are not bad, but I still get about 500-750 more using lead. Adds up when you shoot that in a month.
Yeah, I'm hoping to be shooting that a month. Or close to it. So lead fouling is visible inside a barrel? I wouldn't even know what it looks like to tell.
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:58   #8
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You can notice it, I have shot 500 round days and not had any issues, get home run a bore snake threw it and comes clean in 1 pass.
Only time I really had any leading issue was when I picked up some bullets from my local range that where really soft, was first and only time I bought bullets from them. Good hard cast bullets come out as clean as the FMJs I have bought.
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Old 06-07-2012, 20:04   #9
Chris Brines
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You can notice it, I have shot 500 round days and not had any issues, get home run a bore snake threw it and comes clean in 1 pass.
Only time I really had any leading issue was when I picked up some bullets from my local range that where really soft, was first and only time I bought bullets from them. Good hard cast bullets come out as clean as the FMJs I have bought.
That makes sense. Well I guess I just need to pay extra special attention when I am buying bullets the first time or two. I read somewhere (don't quote me on this), that sometimes the leading in the barrel is due to someone loading a bullet that was a little "bigger", or had a "tighter" fit in the barrel....does that sound familiar or did I just imagine that? I thought all bullets of each caliber were the same exact size, regardless.

I've figured out, after doing enough research, that shooting hard cast lead in a Glock is not hazardous, but that the shooter/reloader must pay attention to ensure the barrel is not leaded, and if so, to clean it out from time to time. I just need to know which ones to use and which ones not to I guess.
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Old 06-07-2012, 20:08   #10
michael e
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If you are looking for bulk check out precision bullets, I just ordered from them . 3500 9mm is 222, was cheapest I found in searching several places. The 9mm shot clean, 40sw same , my 45s just came in last week and havent had a chance to load any of them up and try them yet.
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Old 06-07-2012, 20:15   #11
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Hoppe's won't necessarily remove leading. But the Lewis Lead Remover will:

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2...S-LEAD-REMOVER

Some people use shreds from a bronze scouring pad.

Since Glock has no way to tell how hard the reloaders bullets will be, they have to assume they will be really soft and will definitely foul the barrel. Most reloaders use fairly hard bullets and it's less of a problem.

So, with an abundance of caution, Glock says "No Reloads" and "No Lead Bullets". Glock doesn't want us to use reloads or lead, yet here we are...

I have tested MY .45 ACP lead reloads in MY G21SF and they work fine. I'm not going to recommend it to anyone else but, for me, they work fine.

It is somewhat moot because I have direction for the powers that be stating that my grandson will NOT be handling lead bullets. So, at a minimum, 1/3 of my reloads are FMJ. If I shoot the Glock, I just shoot some of the FMJs.

If you go for the replacement barrel, search this forum. People shooting lead bullets tend to like the KKM barrel.

Richard
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Old 06-07-2012, 20:48   #12
Chris Brines
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Hoppe's won't necessarily remove leading. But the Lewis Lead Remover will:

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2...S-LEAD-REMOVER

Some people use shreds from a bronze scouring pad.

Since Glock has no way to tell how hard the reloaders bullets will be, they have to assume they will be really soft and will definitely foul the barrel. Most reloaders use fairly hard bullets and it's less of a problem.

So, with an abundance of caution, Glock says "No Reloads" and "No Lead Bullets". Glock doesn't want us to use reloads or lead, yet here we are...

I have tested MY .45 ACP lead reloads in MY G21SF and they work fine. I'm not going to recommend it to anyone else but, for me, they work fine.

It is somewhat moot because I have direction for the powers that be stating that my grandson will NOT be handling lead bullets. So, at a minimum, 1/3 of my reloads are FMJ. If I shoot the Glock, I just shoot some of the FMJs.

If you go for the replacement barrel, search this forum. People shooting lead bullets tend to like the KKM barrel.

Richard
Thanks, and yeah I can understand not wanting to suggest that I shoot lead in my Glock barrel (that's what nearly everyone I've asked about this subject says lol...then they say they've shot however many thousand rounds with no problem). But from what I have learned, and now that I understand WHY it is a concern, I don't think it will be a problem. I just wanted to be sure I was ordering the right bullet, and was able to spot potential danger signs.

I run the bore snake through my gun after every range trip (200 rds per trip or so), and I clean it every 500 or so rounds. Just a regular cleaning.

I read the ABC's, but haven't read any other type of "manual" yet (one is coming with my press kit, I intend to read it for a while before even taking the equipment out of the box), but I don't remember it explaining what this meant:

MO BULLET CAST 9MM (.356) 125gr RN

What is the number in parentheses? and MO? and the RN? I know (I hope anyway), that 125gr is the weight of the bullet.

Last edited by Chris Brines; 06-07-2012 at 20:53..
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Old 06-07-2012, 21:07   #13
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MO BULLET CAST 9MM (.356) 125gr RN

Missouri Bullet Co. Cast 9mm .356" diameter 125gr round nose.
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Old 06-07-2012, 21:18   #14
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Originally Posted by Chris Brines View Post
So how do I know which ones will lead the barrel, and which ones won't? And if the barrel is leaded, is cleaning it the same as just cleaning it any other time? (I just run a Hoppes 9 soaked pad through it, then follow with a dry one), Or does it require an extra measure to get the lead fouling out? I read about cleaning leaded rifle barrels in the ABC's of Reloading, but not sure if cleaning a leaded Glock barrel is the same or diff't.
You'd have to strip the gun every few rounds to check for lead - which seems ridiculous. That's why I wouldn't bother. To me, it's not worth the risk or hassle to save a few bucks. It also gets the rest of the gun much dirtier too. I also wouldn't bother spending the money on another barrel just for lead.

If you choose to do it, a good way to clean lead out of a barrel is to wrap copper mesh (Chore Boy) around a bronze brush & push it back & forth through the barrel DRY. You'll see the lead slivers come out.
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Old 06-07-2012, 21:45   #15
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I shoot a g21 and shoot lead bullets exclusively. I have absolutely no leading problems with it. I have heard speculation that the 45acp glocks do better with lead, but I also have an uncle that shoots 9mm glocks with lead. I guess its really about bore fit and load than anything. I can shoot hundreds of rounds, multiple range trips without having to clean the barrel. It leads no more than any other handgun I load for.
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Old 06-07-2012, 21:53   #16
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due to some range safety issues my club requires us to use plain lead no jacketed bullets when we shoot steel targets. I load typical cast lead bullets from any number of makers and use them in my 9mm glocks. brushing the bore every 100 rounds or so is all I have done and it gets the lead right out- no special magic potion or specific cleaning liquid. I will say the best result is obtained using a BRASS brush( not the nylon one that comes with the glock or a bore snake). I use a brush that is a little worn from the next highest caliber (Ie a.40 brush in a 9mm) and never had any lead realted issues.
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Old 06-07-2012, 21:56   #17
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I load lead in all my Glocks. I have friends that swear it leads up bad in their barrels, I have not had that experience. I always get a little lead, regardless of which barrel I am shooting, never a great deal.

I agree it makes your gun dirtier, a lot dirtier. I also agree on the choir boy advice, works like a charm. I am not sure why, but getting lead out of the Glock and H&K barrels is always quicker and easier than standard rifling barrels, maybe because the Chore Boy doesn't reach into the notch in the rifling as well as the blended lines in the Glock barrel.

As far as problems, I have far more problems with after market barrels and lead. Most after market barrels have tight (so called match) chambers and little or no free bore. This makes the chambering issues you encounter with lead more frequent. My stock Glock barrels all feed and chamber lead without fail.

On the other hand, plated or jacketed shoot cleaner, have fewer chambering issues, come to think of it only a cheap screw would shoot lead...
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Old 06-07-2012, 21:58   #18
Chris Brines
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You'd have to strip the gun every few rounds to check for lead - which seems ridiculous. That's why I wouldn't bother. To me, it's not worth the risk or hassle to save a few bucks. It also gets the rest of the gun much dirtier too. I also wouldn't bother spending the money on another barrel just for lead.

If you choose to do it, a good way to clean lead out of a barrel is to wrap copper mesh (Chore Boy) around a bronze brush & push it back & forth through the barrel DRY. You'll see the lead slivers come out.
Yeah, the hard cast bullets I saw were about $72 per 1000 and the plated were $81. I can't see how shooting lead would make a profound difference in price. The FMJ's I saw were more expensive than the plated ones. I can see that I'm going to need to spend some time reviewing all the different specific bullets. Check this out and let me know if this is a "good price" for just range ammo:

http://xtremebullets.com/plated.htm

And then there's this:

http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...ategoryId/564?

The very first one is $54 for 500. Not sure exactly what makes it so much more expensive, or are the plated bullets just not as accurate?

Last edited by Chris Brines; 06-07-2012 at 22:01..
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Old 06-07-2012, 22:07   #19
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Yeah, the hard cast bullets I saw were about $72 per 1000 and the plated were $81. I can't see how shooting lead would make a profound difference in price. The FMJ's I saw were more expensive than the plated ones. I can see that I'm going to need to spend some time reviewing all the different specific bullets. Check this out and let me know if this is a "good price" for just range ammo:

http://xtremebullets.com/plated.htm

And then there's this:

http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...ategoryId/564?

The very first one is $54 for 500. Not sure exactly what makes it so much more expensive, or are the plated bullets just not as accurate?
Manufactured lead bullets in 9mm will be about 75% what a similar plated bullet from Xtreme will cost (about the best price on plated you will find). Obviously if you cast your own you will be down far less than half price.

Not a big deal if you are buying in 500 at a time. If you are buying 5000 at a time, it makes a difference.
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Old 06-07-2012, 23:18   #20
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Yeah, the hard cast bullets I saw were about $72 per 1000 and the plated were $81. I can't see how shooting lead would make a profound difference in price.

Because most of the folks around here aren't interested in just 1000 bullets, they're thinking in terms of 10,000 and there is $90 difference on that quantity.

Make sure you check

http://www.precisiondelta.com/product.php?indx=5

Shipping is included in those prices.

If you move to plated bullets you will find not one shred of actual published data.** What you will find is a recommendation to load them somewhere between midrange lead and midrange jacketed.

Just for reference, you can check lead bullet prices against these:

http://www.dillonprecision.com/conte...earchVar=s%26s

Shipping isn't included from Dillon but it is always nice to cross check prices.

Richard

** Actually, I think you can find some data in "Modern Reloading" by Lee.
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Last edited by F106 Fan; 06-07-2012 at 23:19..
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