Lead Bullets

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jpg5324, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. jpg5324

    jpg5324 Member

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    Has anyone had problems with reloading lead bullets....I was reading some where that lead bullets cause problems in reloading presses...is this true.:confused:
  2. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    jpg, I have been loading lead bullets for around 35 years and have had no problems. I have to clean the die due to build up of lube from the bullet with some brands of bullets I have used in the past but that is not really a problem. I don't know what they would be referring to in the way of problems.
  3. X Ring

    X Ring Member

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    I also have had no problem, other than the aforementioned maintenance, loading thousands of lead bullets over the past 30 years.
  4. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Some dies don't expand pistol cases enough to accept cast bullets that may be a bit larger than jacketed. This can cause cases to catch on the heel and collapse or cut a ring off the bullet. Usually this is an easy fix and cast bullets sure are cheaper to shoot--especially if you cast 'em yourself.
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i ran into a guy who hated loading with lead , but could not explain what his issue was

    point questions totally ignored so i dunno

    i've loaded lead for 22-250's through to .45 ACP

    no real hassles , i was burring some up but that was a loose lock ring i stupidly put in the wrong place but being lead i pulled em remelted them and cast em again , no worries
  6. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Other than lube build-up, nope, never had a problem.
  7. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

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    I had problems with some that I casted. Not sure why they did not function properly but they were jamming up or not ejecting completely. This was in a 9mm. Went to other LRN or FMJ and JHP and not a problem with any of them.
  8. jpg5324

    jpg5324 Member

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    Thanks for the feed back.
    I have some .38's that I want to load with SWC.
    Don't really know what the problem was in the artical I read, But just
    wanted to make sure.....:eek:
  9. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I had this same problem with some .45 ACP. Once I figured out that I needed to seat them a tiny bit deeper, the problem went away.

    To answer the original question - no problems except the lube buildup and what I just mentioned.

    EDIT: Come to think of it, I had the problem also with .380 too, but again I seated a tiny bit deeper and that problem went away. jpg, try that with your .380s and see it that fixes the problem.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  10. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a 9mm, but was told that 9mms didn't like lead. That they would jam up alot.
  11. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    What problems did you read about?
  12. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    Lead is all I have been loading....no issues here in the press or guns.
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The "problem" with lead bullets is not in the reloading press (except for lube buildup in the seating die) but in the gun.

    Lead is much softer than the gilding metal or the copper plating used on other bullets. If you get the diameter wrong or the lead/tin ratio wrong or the velocity too high then you get a buildup of lead in the barrel. It can be so bad that it completely fills the grooves of the barrel rifling or as little as small lumps near the chamber end of the barrel. It is a bugger to remove and I have literally had to pick it out with a sharp tool. The worst bullets for this are swaged bullet of pure lead.

    I, for years, bought pre-cast bullet from others. The variation in lead/tin content was all over the place and regardless that I kept the velocities below 1000FPS (supposedly the magic point where the barrel will not lead up) I still had to dig small quantities of lead out of the barrel with a pick. So I finally quit using cast lead bullets. I have cast with friends and decided it was a very onerous task I did not wish to do myself. If I had I may have been able to control the diameter a bit better which may have reduced the leading.

    I still buy cast bullets but they are flash plated with copper (Rainier bullets). I still load below 1000FPS and all is well. But for semi-autos I prefer to use the "bulk" bullets packaged in baggies and sold by Winchester and Remington that are true jacketed bullets. They seem to feed better and do not lead up the barrel. They are less expensive than the boxed bullets from others.

    LDBennett
  14. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    80+% of the negative stuff you hear about lead bullets is balogna (I cleaned that up!). Most of it is spread by "experts" that have little or no experience with shooting lead bullets. I have been casting and shooting lead bullets for my 5, .44 Magnums (rifle and pistols), 3, 38 Specials, 1, 357 Magnum, 2, 45 ACP, 1, 30-30, and soon 9mm. Some of my guns have had no jacketed bullets since they left the factory and most have had no jacketed ammo since they came into my posession. I haven't tried any plated bullets as I began casting before they became popular.

    I had leading problems, but I worked them out by properly sizing my bullets. I had seating die problems, but I worked that out by different lubing techniques and keeping my tools clean. I have had no problems with feeding in my .45 ACPs nor excess gunk in the action from shooting lead bullets. I've shot my magnums to prolly 1400 fps, and my 30-30 to about 1600-1700 fps with no stripping or leading. I'm not dying from lead poisoning.

    Prolly the most satisfying aspect of shooting/reloading is taking some dirty, greasy wheel weights and/or scrap lead, melt it down and produce some fine bullets custom made for your particular gun, and shooting good groups with them...

    Later; forgot to include the guns I don't cast for, .223 Rem., 7.62x54R, 6.5x55, and 7.62x39. But mebbe soon...
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  15. Gahunter12

    Gahunter12 Active Member

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    I agree with all the above. I use Dillon dies which are extremly easy to clean. So that being said I clean my dies after every 1000 lead rounds loaded. I load and shoot nothing but lead in my 1911's.
  16. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    To counter my previous statement, I do shoot swaged lead wad cutters in my S&W Model 52 in 38 Special. But it was designed for that bullet, pushed all the way into the case with NO exposed lead. There are specific loading specs for that gun that can not be deviated from. The velocity is about 760FPS with a 148 grain Hollow Base Swaged Wad Cutter made especially for this gun (it can be used in others). This semi-auto gun is a Bullseye gun from the 1960's and is based on a modified Model 39. It is one beautiful and accurate pistol! It REQUIRES this LEAD bullet and these loading specs... exactly. It does not lead the barrel at all.

    mikld:

    I hope you caught in my previous post that diameter (sizing for lead bullets) may be the key to successful use of lead bullets without leading. I wish not to cast and size bullets so I have never verified that. For you casting bullets works. For me and others(??) it may not because we choose not to cast bullets for various reasons.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  17. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    Yes sir, I read your post and I hope my post wasn't contridictory to yours, just sharing my experience. You're correct; casting isn't for everyone, just like I'm not attracted to swaging my own bullets. I've worked with metal in one way or another for most of my life so my reloading moving into casting/reloading was a given. I have the room, the area to work in safely, and enjoy burning myself with those shiny little pellets of lead...:p
  18. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I helped friends in the 1960's cast and swage bullets in large quantities and decided at that point that neither was for me.

    And your post was not contradictory. I just wanted to point out the importance of correct sizing was part of the key to no leading, as you have noted here many times before.

    LDBennett
  19. jpg5324

    jpg5324 Member

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    With all that said............Can anyone suggest a good .38cal lead bullet??

    Thanks
  20. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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