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LRN bullets in a G19

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TomB985, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. TomB985


    May 13, 2011
    Hey everyone,

    I'm very new to reloading and thus far have reloaded around 190rounds and have fired about 90 of them. The gun hasn't blown up yet, so I figure I'm either doing something right or just being lucky!

    From the other thread:

    I mentioned in THIS THREAD that I was shooting LRN bullets out of my G19, and it was brought to my attention that shooting these type of bullets out of a Glock can be a bad thing.

    I hadn't heard this before, and I originally assumed that was because of the short OAL required due to the shape of the bullet. I'm seating to around 1.072 s they will chamber, and from what I can find online about this type of bullet this is a safe thing to do.

    So what is it about polygonal rifling that makes it inadvisable to shoot lead? Just curious....

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  2. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    I'll start by quoting myself from your other thread. It's always cool to quote yourself :supergrin:

    From an internet site on Glocks Polygonal Rifling:

    The Glock design incorporated some innovations in addition to polymer frames. Glock used polygonal rifling on the barrel, a technique that had been all but abandoned after the 1800's. Only a few companies, such as Heckler and Koch, had employed the rifling in the 20th century. The photo on the right shows traditional rifling and polygonal rifling.

    Polygonal rifling doesn't have [​IMG]deep rifling cuts in the bore, so the thickness and strength of the barrel isn't compromised. Polygonal rifling also provides a better gas seal around the bullet than does traditional rifling, which gives greater muzzle velocity. The rifling also doesn't deform the bullet as much as traditional rifling, which reduces drag and also helps increase velocity. While polygonal rifling isn't as accurate for target shooting applications as traditional rifling, its accuracy is more than adequate for defensive shooting distances. Polygonal rifling faded in use in the late 1800's because metals at that time were too soft, and polygonal-rifled barrels didn't last long with soft metals.

    Basically this is the way I understand it. If a projectile leads a polygonal barrel, it in essence is making that barrel slightly smaller. Imagine hundreds of bullets making a barrel slightly smaller with each shot. Eventually the smaller barrel will create higher pressures because it's harder for the barrel to travel down the barrel.

    In reality shooting a couple hundred lead bullets and then cleaning the barrel is most likely safe and you would never see a change in pressure levels. But most reloaders tend to error on the side of safety and avoid shooting lead through factory Glock and HK barrels.

    The good news for a diligent hand loader is that with time, know how, and patience you can design a load that won't lead. But how to do that is a question for another thread.

  3. ColoCG


    Mar 18, 2011
    I started loading my first glock a G23 in .40 about 15 yrs ago and started using cast lead bullets for IDPA shoots with no problem. I had never heard that that was a bad idea.

    It wasn't until I got on the internet and heard stories about KB's in the glocks.
    Anyway can you load them, yes but you want to make sure you don't have a leading build up in your gun that can cause problems.

    Judicious cleaning every 100 to 200 rds and not loading anywhere near max loads should keep you safe.
    You can also buy an aftermarket barrel for around $100 that has standard rifling to be extra safe.

    If you get leading it can be cleaned with bronze bristle brushes, if it is stubborn you can wrap fibre's from a pure copper Chore Boy pad around your brushes.
  4. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    Of course, you have to STOP and remember to clean the barrel every so often. Perhaps right in the middle of a match. I tend to go through 300+ rounds every time I go out and cleaning the barrel 2 or 3 times just isn't on the program.

    A number of people have had great success with moderate velocity loads and lead bullets particularly when the bullets are relatively hard. But Glock goes out of their way to state that lead bullets shouldn't be used. Of course, they also caution against reloads but everybody does that.

    For the moment, I will use Zero brand FMJ bullets in my G21SF while using lead bullets in my Sig P220 and my Colt Combat Government. I may eventually change the barrel on the Glock.

  5. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    You don't need to clean the lead out. The carbon will gunk up your gun maybe, but lead isn't a problem if you use a load that doesn't lead. The OP's Unique at the charge he is using won't lead. I usually go 5-600 rounds with that load before I get tired of looking at the crud under my extractor and decide to pick it out with a toothpick.

    OP, since you are allready using the perfect powder, just keep up what you are doing. If you want toi see what barrel lead looks like, use a max load of a fast powder like TG or Bullseye (AFTER WORKING UP) and see what you get. With a load like that, you'll likely get heavy leading. If your bullets are super hard, you may get away with it, but soft bullets will definately lead badly with a full does of fast powder.

    Light charges of fast powder work fine with lead bullets. 3.5 Bullseye is a nice plinker for 9mm.

    All of the above is true of any gun. Glocks aren't any different.
  6. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    I shoot hardcast lead from my G22 and G20, lead semi wad cutters. I have had no problems and run them a little warm. As long as you clean any lead build up out before shooting too many should be no problem.
    If you can find any LSWC's try them, they are very accurate from my handguns. :supergrin:
  7. I also used lead bullets in my Glocks long before Glocktalk hit the worldwideweb. I have shot more than hundred rounds in my matches without any severe leading but have noticed slightly decreased accuracy in 9mm Glocks with lead bullets. But then I also clean my barrels with jacketed bullets with moderate velocities:wow:.

    I know ... that is dangerously increasing the pressures, too. But so do my gas checks, don't they? They work basically on the same principle.
  8. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Sorry, but shooting jacket bullets out of any gun after shooting lead does not remove the leading.

    And no on the gas checks.
  9. It doesn't?!

    Well, I retrieved a bullet shot through my barrel and, whether you believe it or not, there was lead on it.

    So what does it do? Avoid the lead???
  10. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Yes there was probably lead on the bullet. Did it get all of the lead out? No. All you are doing after that is imbedding the lead in the groves of the barrel and then being covered over with copper fowling.
    I don’t really care if you want to believe me or not. But whom do I want to listen to you or the experts on the subject. I think I will go with the experts. There is a way to prove what I’m saying but you would not believe me or do it anyway. And yes at one time I use to shoot lead then followed up with jacket bullets. Till I learned what was happening by doing so.
  11. TomB985


    May 13, 2011
    Very interesting discussion everyone, I appreciate the replies!

    One thing that makes me nervous with these bullets is the short OAL that I have to use to get them to chamber. Its very hard to find data for 115 gr LRN bullets, and its also not common to see acceptable OALs under 1.100" for 9mm. The longest I can make with these bullets without contacting the rifling is ~1.075", so I seat to around 1.072".

    Because of this I'm nervous approaching the max loads, is this OAL acceptable?
  12. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    SAMMI shows an OAL range of 1.000" to 1.169" for a RN bullet. They don't talk about bullet weight.

    The forcing cone of the chamber starts at 0.358" (larger than the bullet diameter) and tapers to 0.354" (smaller than the bullet diameter) over a distance 0.171". This cone starts just beyond the ledge where the case contacts the chamber.

    Why don't you pick up a copy of the SAAMI manual - Google for it, it's free.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  13. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Those lengths don’t even sound right for a 115 gr any shape bullet to be hitting the lands. If it is right I would be sending the barrel back to Glock.
    Why are you loading approaching max loads?
  14. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    The document would be easier to find if I spelled SAAMI properly.

    So, here is the link for the pistol cartridges:

    I load Winchester 115 gr FMJ to 1.125" OAL and they drop in the chamber just right. The bullet does not hit the rifling in a Springfield Armory XD9 and the cartridge can be easily rotated while sitting in the chamber.

    The cases also fit the test gauge.

  15. TomB985


    May 13, 2011
    Not real sure, but the factory FMJ rounds have no troubles chambering. One of my newbie lessons was that not all 9MM rounds are the same OAL. So much to read in that Lyman's book that I must have overlooked that part, so when I loaded my first 5 I seated to the same OAL of the Blazer 115 gr FMJ that I had on hand. I then spent the rest of the night trying to figure out why it wouldn't chamber! Seems that the MBC bullet shape doesn't start tapering nearly as fast as the FMJ rounds I've seen.

    Hell no I'm not loading that hot! When I started out I was suspicious of my new Lee scale and therefore didn't want to load right at minimum for fear that I would undercharge and cause serious problems for myself. Never heard of anyone blowing up a gun due to undercharging, but they are very careful to spell out that you shouldn't undercharge things. So to give myself the largest margin of error I started out a few notches under the bare minimum and loaded 4.5 grains of Unique. After shooting 20 or 30 of these with no ill effects or signs of overpressure I went up to 4.7 and then 4.8 grains.

    I'd eventually like to get up to the max, but I want to be completely sure of the load data and OAL before I do this, and I'm having a tough time finding data for 115 grn. LRN rounds.
  16. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    Hodgdon has a lot of data for 115 gr LRN but only for their powders.

    Click Here To Enter
    Select Cartridge Loads
    Select Load Type - Pistol
    Select Cartridge - 9mm Luger
    Click Get Data
    Select bullet weight
    Click Get Data again.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  17. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Lead loads really short. My 147gr load to 1.080 just like your much smaller 115gr. Lyman shows that in their book.
  18. cole

    cole Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Many run lead in a poly-barrel Glock. Dilligent cleaning helps. Hardless and quality of lead matters as well. I run 200-300 rounds each session. I buy the cheapest projectiles I can find. I just run an aftermarket barrel. Lower risk, less maintenance.
  19. Steve Koski

    Steve Koski Got Insurance? Millennium Member

    Jan 31, 1999
    You fired 90 reloads and didn't die? Good job!
  20. DMAR


    Dec 15, 2011
    I agree with the comment that the 115gr fmj should not come close to the Glock rifling at 1.075... And you are correct that each bullet has a different shape that really affects OAL.

    I have a seating depth issue with my 9mm CZ, and need to go down to 1.085 to avoid the rifling, but this is not an issue in my two Glocks (19, and 26). For Glock, I believe I've used 1.115 (I don't have my data in front of me...).

    For 9mm, I am using 115gr LFP bullets, and the flat point bullet has a different affect on seating, compared to the round nose. I load with Win 231, and did not have excessive pressure signs with the 1.085 depth, using 4.2gr of W-231. Of course, YMMV, so be careful... I use Precision bullets, and they are a molly type coated bullet. No leading issues, and have been pretty easy to clean the bore fouling. They can be a little smokey at the lower powder levels, but I think this is more of a powder burn thing, than the bullet themselves, as I don't notice the smoke in hotter loads.

    Definitely frustrating trying to come up with good load data for 9mm lead bullets. You need to really look around, and you can come up with enough to get you going. I'm not sure about Alliant, but Hodgdon's site lists several 115gr lead bullet loads, for their powders...