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Lead bullets and velocity question

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Hogpauls, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Hogpauls


    Nov 6, 2009
    I ran my first batch of 44 mag over the chrony and did some accuracy testing. When I got home and started cleaning the gun I noticed quite a bit of leading, well after a much painful session with patches, brushes and solvents I finally got it cleaned up.

    I'm using a Missouri Bullet 240 gr. that has a 18 bhn. What would be the best velocity to push these at to prevent or lessen leading? Or is it a powder/bullet combination that I should be looking at?
  2. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    Take one of your old bronze brushes and wrap some 0000 Steel Wool around it. Dip it into your solvent and clean, it'll remove all the lead and won't hurt anything since 4 Ought is non-scratching. I've used this trick for years and never had a problem.

  3. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I don't put steel anything thru m ybbl. A better bet is copper wool or ChoreBoy.
    Leading is almost NEVER about the vel you drive the bullet but the bullets fit. You want a bullet a min of 0.001" larger than groove dia. If your cyl throats are undersized, the bullet gets swaged down passing thru the cyl gap & then has to bump up. As it's doing that, you are getting gas cutting in the first 1"-2" of bbl. I run 18BHN 45-70 @ 1650fps w/ little to no leading. They are lower pressure than most 44mag loads running 1300fps though.
    So first things first, check your cyl throats by pin gages or at least a measured bullet & see how they fit. If small, then you are screwed w/ lead bullets unless you open the cyl throats up. If the tnroats are at least groove dia, then time to slug the bbl. Most 44mag will run fine w/ a bullet 0.430" but yo umay need to go 0.431" to seal the bore & prevent the gas cutting that causes leading.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  4. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    What gun are you using? I have a Smith 629 that's impossible to slug the bore, as it has 5-groove rifling. :burn:

    While I'll agree that most leading issues have to do with properly sizing the boolit and making sure your cylinders aren't smaller than bore diameter, my issue was with hardness. If yours are really 18BHN, I can almost guarantee that isn't your problem.
  5. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    The biggest bullet you can fit in the chamber is the correct size regardless of bore diameter. Tight throats will negate that as Fred says since the will size the bullet down regardless of what size it was when it started out.

    Slower powders seem to make the biggest difference IME. If you're already using a slow powder, then work on bullet size.
  6. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    I wouldn't exceed 850 FPS. I'll tell you my success story. I was looking for a cheaper way to shoot my G17 decades ago, so I tried reloading 124gr hard-cast LRN bullets. To cycle the action, I had to drive them at over 1100 FPS. They leaded the bore badly. So I tired casting 147-gr LRN bullets and driving them at 850 FPS. This cycled the action just fine, and there was NO bore leading. So if you want to avoid bore leading, use hard-cast bullets at 850 FPS with a good bullet lube. If you need a higher velocity .44 bullet, you'll have to use a jacketed bullet.
  7. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I get over 1400fps in 357 mag with no problems using commercial hardcast bullets. I haven't tried my home cast soft bullets at that velocity, but I expect they'd do fine. My home cast bullets are soft enough to dig your fingernail into and they do fine at 1300fps in 357 mag.

    I shoot bullets cast out of the same soft lead at 125 grains at 1150 in my G17 stock barrel with no leading.

    The bullet has to big enough, and a slow enough powder used.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  8. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    The 9mm is tough to get great results w/ lead bullets, but not impossible & velocity HAS NOTHING to do with it. You really just don't know what you are talking about with regards to lead bullets & high vel. Plenty of rifle shooters running 2100fps + with lead bullets, good accuracy & minimal leading. I have shot maybe 1 ton of high vel, 1300fps+ 44mag loads over the year, all lead bullets.
    Let me guess, you were trying to get the 9mm to run w/ TG? Try a proper fitting bullet & Unique or WSF. I can easily run 124grLTC @ 1200fps all day w/ minimal leading & jacketed accuracy.:dunno:
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011