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Discussion Starter #1
I have been helping a friend off and on to start reloading . He has been reloading for his .45 cal. 1911 used FMJ round nose bullets but has run out . He has found some Hornady Frontier Lead bullets and asked me if it was ok to use them . I think they are to soft to use but not sure . I remember hearing before about don't use lead bullets in a automatic on revolvers . He sent Hornady a email last week but never got a response back . Anyone got some input on this subject ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok thanks . I didnt know and was worried the "frontier" might of been for light loads or something . I knew of people using hard cast bullets but really I dont know a lot on the subject . I cast mostly pure lead for my older black powder stuff and just recently getting into casting for smokeless . . From the picture it just looked soft compared to pictures of the hard cast bullets if that makes sense or not . One is gray and the other is more silver looking .
 

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I'm not familiar with those 'Frontier Lead Bullets' - but mostly what I shoot in my 1911A1 are 210 grain cast SWC bullets.

Two things to understand about the 1911 and lead bullets - one is to make sure they are .251 or .252 diameter, and the other is the bullet weight and bullet style. Most 1911s will handle SWCs very well, but a few don't. To add more advice, we need to know what those bullets weigh and what the design is.

I looked up Hornady Frontier Bullets - and two came up. One is a 230 grain Lead Round Nose (#12308) and the other is a 255 grain Lead Flat Point (#12548). The 230 grain lead round nose would be fine, but the 255 grain flat point won't work.
 

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I know jim meant .451 or .452. Find out what the BHN is. That will tell you a lot. Anything about 12 BHN on up ought to be fine if it's sized correctly. Lyman #2 is 15 BHN as is 50/50, lead/lino and that's fairly hard.

I didn't shoot jacketed bullets in a revolver for 35 years or more. Still don't in most. I started swaging and have a surfeit of 44 cal. jackets so I've started shooting some in my 44 Spl.
 

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Jim, search as I may, I just could not find any information for a Hornady Frontier lead 230 grain bullet. Then I added the stock number 12308 and came up with two places that listed them. In both places the picture of the product was clearly a full wadcutter hollow base bullet. Both places said that the bullet had been discontinued by Hornady. One of the places was Optics Planet and I had never heard of the other place.

But to get back to the main point of the thread, I cast my own 230 grain round nose bullets and do shoot a lot of them. I have gotten into the habit of firing a few FMJ or plated bullets after shoot the lead, even though I know they are hard enough and slow enough to NOT lead my barrels.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is the round nose 230 gr . Thanks for the help . There are some things I would not try and BS my way thru and reloading advice to someone is for sure one of them . I will pass on the info . 👍

Yes the hardness was something I was thinking about but couldn't find any on it .
 

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The guy that used to reload for my Colt 1911 LW Commander (to my spec) used 200gn round nose lead. Maybe I can find the specs if I dig some-they were never an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Hawg that's what I have been trying to look and find out . At what pressure or fps need to worry about .
 

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sooner, scratch the bottom of a bullet with you thumb nail. Then scratch some of your straight lead. It should be real easy to know if the bullets are much harder.
 

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Jim, I have 255 grain hard cast that I cast myself and carry for bear loads since my Dan Wesson 44 mag is just too danged bulky and heavy on hikes.

They shoot fine, I use a 22 lb spring in my Colt Commander. It's only that last one in the mag that never feeds properly so I carry a 230 gr bullet in that bottom one. Granted, they do have enough radius to feed correctly on the ramp.



 

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I’ve shot over 200,000 rounds of H&G #68 dry Teflon lubed lead 200 grain SWCs that I paid $22/1000 at about 900 FPS through my now retired IPSC 1911. But I have to warn you, that is through 3 different barrels I had on it😎

But only the first one I retired due to leading...about halfway through m first full season as a “C” class I started getting keyholes, first at about 20 yds then as close as 10...the barrel looked like a smooth bore.😎. One match I absolutely know I bobbled the draw and dropped the first round completely off the target but the RO scored an “A” keyhole as a “double” and I didn’t lose the points.

But the next match I got “caught.” And had to argue “keyhole” to keep from getting penalized for an extra hit. I bought a “Lewis Lead Remover” which kinda worked because it stopped the keyholes at least and the next year I bought a series 70 Gold Cup barrel for $50 from a buddy who bought it and sent it off to make into a 6” comp race gun...funny thing is I never leaded that one with about the same load but with W231 instead of 700x, in fact when I converted it back to 5” I still have that barrel on it.

Because the next year I took second place “C” class and won a 6” Bar-sto barrel and converted it to a comped 6” with an Armson OEG for NRA Action Pistol...again thousands of the same bullet from the same caster and when I converted it BACK to 5” (Action pistol at the time was dominated by ex PPC model 10s with Aimpoints shooting powder puff .38s ...) when I sold the 6” Bar-Sto it still looked brand new...

It now shoots as good as ever, with the second of the three barrels I had in it, and I still have about 1500 of those old lead SWCs left over from the 1980s that I still occasionally shoot through it.

For me the big thing was switching the powder, your results may vary, but while 700x is a great overall handgun powder, W231 was a difference for me...
 

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Only shoot lead out of mine. Do have some 230FMJ for SHTF but otherwise I cast all my handgun bullets. Shoot lead out of full size SIGs, little Taurus, and 1911's with comp barrels.
 

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That's all I've shot for YEARS-230grRN and 200grSWC....my firearms think it's Christmas if they get a jacketed bullet.
Agree.

I make lswc for my 1911.

Most of my revolvers get lrn or lswc.

Many of my rifles get some sort of lrnfp or other wide meplat style projectile.
 

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If I'm reloading jacketed bullets I use .451 and if its lead I use the .452 bullets. It's all good.
 

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Hornady swaged bullets are hard enough for hot loads in my .38 Supers. They are more than adequate for .45 Auto, which can do well even with pure lead bullets (of the proper size and lubricant).
I asked all the swaged bullet manufacturers I could find about their alloy and ALL of them were in the 11-14 BHN range--they same as I use for EVERYTHING (except for loads exceeding 1800 fps, where I use a gas check on my bullets of that hardness). Someone reported to me that I was a liar as they contacted one of the companies and got a lower hardness number. All I do is report what they wrote me.
If you are making your own swaged bullets on a hand press, you will need to use almost virgin lead. Commercial companies have the power to swage copper, much less any lead alloy. Don't confuse what is needed for a hand press with what an industrial press can do.
Ask the Bullseye crowd (NRA Precision Pistol?) and they will tell you that swaged lead or jacketed bullets are very popular with the winners
 
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