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Thread: Cast bullets - lead in the barrel?

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    Scout Draven's Avatar
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    Default Cast bullets - lead in the barrel?

    Howdy folks!
    I'm pretty new to reloading, and just shot my first 100 rounds of cast bullets in .45 ACP. The bullets are 230gr RN from Missouri Bullets - I've heard nothing but good from them so I don't doubt their quality. Accuracy was decent when I took the time to aim right, though I'm not a bullseye shooter by any means - might have been hitting a bit low. I was mainly shooting to check that the COL was good for reliable feeding, the crimp was right to prevent setback (one of the main complaints I've had with factory ammo was very noticeable setback after only one chambering) and that the Lee Factory Crimp die wasn't sizing the bullets down enough to prevent a good seal in the barrel. They fed 100%, went bang every time and the barrel cleaned up fine with no residual, so I think they sealed just fine, too.

    However, before I cleaned the barrel I did see what looked like very small wisps of lead - maybe 1/4" long - inside the bore. This is my first time shooting cast bullets in a pistol, so I have no idea whether some lead shaving is normal as the bullet hits the rifling or what. None of the lead was stuck on to the barrel, a scrub with a rem oiled brush got it clean, but I thought I'd check to see if anything's amiss.

    It did occur to me that I had perhaps not flared the case enough, and had gotten some shavings when seating the bullets without realizing. I loaded up another hundred with a touch more of a flare, will probably get a chance to try it this weekend.

    Any advice and experience would be hot - as I say, everything shot fine so I'm not worried, just want to improve my reloading if it's necessary.

    Thanks all,
    Pete

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    Been normal from my experience. Ive got about 6k of 200 gr lead wadcutters though my .45apc with no issues. But I'm not fanatical with cleaning and the like. But yeah you get leading in the barrel. A good flare before bullet seating definitely helps though.
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    Blissful simpleton Supporter brionic's Avatar
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    Lots of possibilities.

    First, what kind of handgun are you using, and where is the lead accumulating?

    Axe mob oaf

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    Thanks 556mp!

    brionic - it's a Taurus PT1911. The slivers seemed mainly concentrated towards the chamber-end of the bore.

    Thanks,
    Pete

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    Could be the feed ramp shaving the bullet. Check it for sharp edges.
    In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir

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    Bushwhacker Bush Class Intermediate Certified Shnick's Avatar
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    If it cleans up easily and isn't caked into the headspace area after your 50th round I'd just keep an eye on it.
    If it causes a "failure to breech" after just a few rounds then I'd look at trying a different bullet, just to rule it out.
    Whatever you use, make sure the wax isn't melted out of the base grooves.
    Hot weather storage will do that.

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    Blissful simpleton Supporter brionic's Avatar
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    Are the shavings semi circular?

    Axe mob oaf

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    Leading is normal with cast bullets. The hardness of the alloy, the velocity of the load, and the condition of the bore surface all are elements determining how much.
    A good cleaning with a phospher bronze (NOT plastic) bore brush will normally handle the residue without any strain.
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    Thanks all
    Brionic - nope, just flat - and very thin, too.
    quietmike - thanks for the suggestion, I don't think it's the feed ramp but that's something that didn't even occur to me!
    Shnick - thanks for the heads up on melting wax, something else that didn't occur to me. Does get awful hot here in TX but as of right now, the hottest the bullets have been was sitting on the bench at the range - they haven't spent any amount of time in the car or sitting in the sun for an age.
    GreyOne - aye the bronze brush cleaned it up just fine - I don't know why they included a plastic bristled brush with the gun, it's nice to have one that fits in the case but my, it doesn't seem good for anything at all!

    Thanks again for the help folks - I'll keep an eye on it, but not stress about it too much. I'm going to try for accuracy next range trip, so that should be the real test for me and the new bullets!

    Pete

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    Bushmaster Supporter Bax 40's Avatar
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    Are the bullets you are using swaged from lead wire or are they cast, swaged bullets are always worse about leading because the are usually made from pure lead, inquire about hard cast bullets with more antimony in them , they lead up less.
    Also many new guns lead more till they get a few hundred rounds through them.
    Another trick that often works is to shoot cast bullets and then finish with a magazine of jacketed bullets and it takes the lead out if it has not built up too much.
    Also do not push them past the speed they are designed for as often happens with magnum revolvers.
    Just my two cents!


    Larry
    Just my opinion, I COULD be wrong!!

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