Shooting Lead Reloads in a new Pistol

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Insulation Tim, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    I just purchased a new Kimber 1911, just as I have started reloading 45 ACP's. I've heard tales of lead bullets (SWC) gumming up the riflings and all of that. I have also had reloaders tell me that once you've "burnished" the barrel of a new gun with FMJ Factory loads, that it is just fine to shoot LSWC through the gun.

    What are you folks' thoughts on this?

    MODS: On second thought, maybe this should be posted in the Reloading Forum. Feel free to move it. I'll blame it on the Cabernet.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  2. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    The opinion I got when I asked a friend about this same subject was that LSWCs are fine as long as they're relatively low velocity rounds. Supposedly, the higher velocity rounds smear a lot of lead in your barrel. I was asking about .44 Magnum but I would assume the same applies to .45s, only at a lesser velocity. My .44 LSWCs were 1150 fps and the friend said they were fine at that velocity, for whatever that's worth. I'm sure some of the guys here have more experienced opinions than mine... I look forward to hearing those. :)
  3. Gabob

    Gabob Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Just my personal preference but I always shoot about 200 jacket bullets thru a new barrel then clean throughly before shooting lead bullets. After that all I usually shoot is lead reloads
  4. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I believe that you are right ponycar about the lower velocity rounds, that is what I have always heard, too. I cast my own lead .45 bullets using linotype, which is pretty hard, but I will always shoot a few jacketed rounds through the barrel after the lead ones.
  5. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Shooting lead at medium velocities is just fine in a smooth barrel. Shooting lead at any speed through a rough barrel will give you grief.

    I've been exposed to the idea that shooting metal jackets after shooting lead with "clean out the lead." It will only if the lead deposits are small and the barrel is slick. If you have heavy deposits or have a rough barrel, all the metal jackets do is smear the lead even tighter into the grooves.

    If you are having problems with a barrel that is already heavily leaded, get one of the electrolisis cleaners. They work great.


  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Most guns will "lead up" (leave lead bits in the barrel) if lead bullets are shot at velocities over about 1000 FPS. Soft lead swedged bullets are more prone to this than "Hard cast" bullets that contain more tin and antimony.

    I quit shooting bare cast or swedged lead bullet in all my guns when I tired of digging the lead out with a dentist pick after using all the other remedies for removing the lead and I did keep the velocities below 1000 FPS!

    I now shoot Rainier plated cast lead bullets in all my popular caliber guns. They are cast bullets but with a flash plating of copper. They are accurate and never leave lead behind. They are a bit more expensive but my time wasted digging lead out of the barrels is worth something to me. They also are the prefered bullet for indoor range shooting as they minimise the lead dusting problems of the bullet hitting the steel backstops and exploding into fine lead dust. They are quite a bit less expensive than jacketed premium bullets.

  7. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    If bullets are properly sized, well lubricated, and not too hard or soft, leading will not be an issue. I shoot lead out of my 30 cal rifle at 2800fps, because the bullets meet the above criteria.:p

    I don't trust other peoples lead alloys, any more than I trust their re-loads.
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