9mm cast bullets--leading?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Lindenwood, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Hey, I am trying to decide between 124gr and 147gr hard-cast bullets for plinking. My defensive loads are 147gr, plus 147gr loads would allow lower velocities and thus less leading. However, with moderate loads pushing a 124 to probably 1000-1050fps, will I get much leading?

    The only reason I ask is 124gr bullets are about $10 cheaper per 1000, and because the slightly higher velocities will allow for a little flatter trajectory.

    But, about how fast can I push them before I get any leading?

    I will be loading with Unique powder.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Depends on how hard the cast bullet, how rough the bore. In general, you should be fine at the velocities mentioned.
     

  3. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    In my experience, the small case of the 9mm causes the velocity of the bullet to go from 0 to significant in a very short distance. The alloy is less important than the OAL. Loading cast bullets as long as possible is the key to prevent leading. Try to load at or very close to max OAL and test to see if the round will chamber w/out contacting the rifling. I have yet to find the bullet design that will not allow this at the max OAL.
     
  4. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Would it be better to use the 124gr bullets for the extra case capacity, or does it not really matter much?
     
  5. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    I run 147gr Missouri Bullets Subsonic. I get some leading but not so much that it is really a problem. I'd rather clean a leaded semi auto than a revolver.
    I use Unique (3.6 gr) and there is not a problem with case capacity. Heavy bullet, small charges.
     
  6. lonewolf101

    lonewolf101 New Member

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    are 115 good for target shooting? or should I use a heavery bullet?.

    hard Cast or soft lead?.
     
  7. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Definately hard cast. I shoot 125 gr round nose and round nose flat point bullets cast pretty hard, but not crazy hard.
     
  8. lonewolf101

    lonewolf101 New Member

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    thanks robocop10mm! the ones I'm thinking of getting have a hardness of 18 brinel I think.
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    18 BHN should be GTG. Just remember to load long.
     
  10. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    Your cast bullets should run out at .356. Bullets that run .354 or .355 will lead as gas will pass around the bullet allowing melted lead to stick to the bore. I assume you have slugged the bore and know what size it is. You should run one number over bore size in cast bullets. The 9MM is more difficult with cast than some of the other calibers.
     
  11. noylj

    noylj Member

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    The first consideration for lead bullet usage is WHAT IS THE GROOVE DIAMETER OF YOUR BARREL?
    I have 9x19s with barrels that range from 0.355 to 0.360".
    I find that all my 9x19 guns work just fine with 0.357" jacketed bullets and 0.358" lead bullets (except for my one Browning HP with the 0.360" grooves).
    Soft or hard both will work. If your barrel is 0.3550" groove diameter, you will need to use 0.356" or larger bullets. If you barrel has very shallow grooves, you will need a harder alloy. If your barrel has comparatively deep grooves, a softer alloy will perform very well.
    For starting out, you need to slug your bore with a lead ball/sinker/bullet that is at least 0.358" in diameter. You only need to get in maybe one inch into the barrel and then you can tap it out (some go all through the barrel looking for tight/loose spots). Measure the groove diameter with a good micrometer.
    If your grooves are, let us just say, 0.356", then you should contact a commercial cast company and see if you can get a sample pack of 0.357" and 0.358" bullets to determine which size your gun prefers. Most will work with you and will special size bullets for you.
    Hopefully, if it is a new gun, your barrel will be 0.3550-0.3555" and you can try 0.356" and 0.357" bullets.
    I shoot almost exclusively L-SWC in all my 9x19 guns, including 1930 era P08s and WWII era P38s and all my guns handle the L-SWC without issue.
    If you get leading and determine that the bullets are just barely too small, try tumble lubing the bullets with Lee Liquid Alox. I have found that I can get slightly small bullets to shoot very well with one or two thin coatings of LLA.
     
  12. stick_man

    stick_man New Member

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    The last two posts hit the nail on the head when it comes to preventing leading. Fit is king! A properly fitting bullet of 9 bhn can be shot at a higher velocity than a poorly fitting one of 18 bhn with no leading. It is possible to go too hard a bullet and get leading as the bullet skids down the barrel, not obturating to fill the grooves and seal the bore. 99% of what I shoot are cast from air cooled wheel weights with a bhn of approx. 11. 1200-1300 fps is about all I push them to without a gas check. If I am wanting hot hunting loads from a .44mag, I would choose a bullet sized .0015 over my groove diameter, gas checked, and with a bhn of 9-10. I would then push it to 1400-1600 fps, depending on the actual bullet weight. You can shoot a good fitting soft bullet to 1200 fps all day long with very little if any leading at all with virtually any lube.