Lead vs. jacketed bullets?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by emvbva81, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. emvbva81

    emvbva81 New Member

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    I have purchased a Ruger .45 Blackhawk and would like to reload. With very little experience reloading pistol cartridges, my question is: disregarding price and using published load parameters, is there any difference using lead or jacketed bullets?
  2. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Not much. You can push a jacked bullet to faster speeds without danger of leading the barrel. Some lead bullets are hard enough to push fast too. What are your goals with reloading your own ammo? Some reload to save money, some reload to hunt, some just for target practice. Most of us shoot lead no faster than 1,000 feet per second, and some of us won't go past 850 feet per second.
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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  4. emvbva81

    emvbva81 New Member

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    I am looking to reload primarily to save money, however, I do enjoy reloading. What I don't know is, for occasional weekend shooting, is one (lead or jacketed) better or worse for the barrel (assuming a routine brush and patch cleaning after each outing)?
    With the same bullet design (round nose-flat point) does it matter for the life of the barrel?
    Using published load parameters, is there a difference (the art of reloading) in loading one (lead or jacketed) over the other?
    Thanks for the help.
  5. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    850 fps for me........generally.
    That being said, on store bought lead projectiles.
    If you cast your own you can 'harden' the mix to whatever you wish, basically.
    More tin etc. for bumpin up the speed.....although my favorite all-around 'mix'
    is simply lead from regular car/truck batteries.
    Are you gonna cap them is also criteria. Some have told me caps don't matter,
    but I think, to a degree, as they pass thru after the lead, they help keep some of
    the lead from sticking in the barrel. A self cleaner, if you will.
    Car battery lead I have no problem @ 1000fps - with a cap, even without.
    Caps are a pain to mess with.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    the 'caps' ozo mentioned are known properly as gaschecks....

    And yes, casting your own is THE BEST way to reload for less. I use wheel weight (WW) alloy purchased from local tire shops to make my boolits. I find WW alloy to be sufficient for shooting in handguns up to 1500 fps and rifles up to 2000 fps (with gaschecks on the latter of course) and assuming the bullets are sized properly for the bore and lubed with a quality bullet lube (I make my own boolit lube as well).

    It costs me around 7 bucks to put together a box (100 rounds) of .44 magnums loaded with my own 240 gr RN castings, and they are more accurate than anything factory I have tried...
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Lead is by far less stressful on the bore of a firearm. Over time jacketed bullets will smooth out the rifling grooves in a bore and deteriorate accuracy (it takes a few thousand rounds) Lead, even hardcast, is nowhere near as hard as a bullet jacket. Thus barrels fed a steady dies of lead ammo will last just about forever. How many old .22s do you find with fantastic bores??? Thats because .22 ammo is soft lead or plated lead, not jacketed...
  8. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    took the words right out of my fingers.... ;)
  9. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    JLA said it all, he is right on. I drive bullets poured from linotype and gas checked up to 2,200 FPS with out a problem. These loads fired mostly in 30-30 rifles. I have taken Elk, Deer, and Antelope with cast bullets. These were all taken with cast lead in a 4" S&W Mdl. 29. The WW metal works for most plinking and hunting. And besides casting is also a fun hobby.

    RC
  10. tech16024

    tech16024 New Member

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    I've seen unserviceable flack jackets melted down and rounds dipped in the melted kevlar - what does that do to the barrel?
  11. Oti-1

    Oti-1 New Member

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    I have been shooting Oregon trail LRN 230 exclusively in my colt 1911 and my fnp tactical. Also a buddies p 220. It is the least expensive option for sure. Shoots very well. And safer than fmj's for deflection off rocks or sign posts. However, since my fnp exploded, I've been asking around to see if lead is the right choice. Doug and old reloading guru in my area said he would never ever pull his lever with lead in the chamber. This came as a great disappointment to me. But as I thought about the cleaning process on my guns after shooting I understood. I have to clean my barrels for no less than an hour after The lead build up in the first inch of the lands is almost filled to the rifleing. I use sweets, kroil, Otis bore cleaner a tiny pick, twelve large patches and a 50 cal brush. I almost never have the patients to get the barrels looking factory. Plenty clean, but I can still see small signs of build up.

    So for the clenliness factor I will be switching to Montana gold. 20 $ more per 500 box. It may be worth the saved cleaning time.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    properly sized and lubed lead bullets wont lead the bore...
  13. dammitman

    dammitman Member

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    really?
  14. tech16024

    tech16024 New Member

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    yeah, a fellow Marine was doing it years ago I only shot a few rounds they looked like "black talons??" if I remember right a flat black looking round
  15. Oti-1

    Oti-1 New Member

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    Jla. What brand do you recommend and what method of lube? I've been using Oregon trail 230 grn round nose They have two wax rings at the base.
  16. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I cast my own and size them to fit the bore plus .001", my lube recipe is also my own and is made using SBGO, beeswax and carnauba wax.. I dont get lead as long as I dont push the bullets beyond thier capabilities. They have no problem running 1200 from a .44 magnum without leading...

    As far as commercial cast, I prefer in this order, Dardas cast bullets, Missouri bullets, then oregon trail...

    The dardas and missouri bullets are equals IMO and both are half the price of the oregon trail bullets.

    Compare these 3 links to the .452" 230 gr RN from each mfgr...

    http://www.dardascastbullets.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=dardas&Category_Code=45RN

    http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=59&category=5&secondary=13&keywords=

    http://www.laser-cast.com/45Cal.html

    Note how 'THE SAME' they all are by design, and how different the prices are between Dardas/Missouri and oregon trail...
  17. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Hey Josh, That damn bug finally got the best of me. It took me three shots with my 40, but I finally killed the little bastard. Now all I need to do it go buy a new Monitor. Thanks!

    OH crap. he's still there!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  18. JohnTheCalifornian

    JohnTheCalifornian Member

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    All this talk about lead bullets and Im starting to get an itch for casting my own...............
  19. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    its a hobby that is very worthwhile john. I highly recommend it.

    Sorry about the monitor steve, I have some stick figure porn I could stick up there;)
  20. Kestral

    Kestral Member

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    I would like to use the type of bullet lube such as Dardas Blue, Are there any similar makes that can be used in the LYMAN 450 Lubersizer.
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