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Thread: Interesting way to remove lead

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Interesting way to remove lead

    Not sure where to post this - so admins, please move it if needs be.

    Anyway - recently picked up a taurus 92, and some 9mm hardcast bullets someone else gave up on.... and I can see why. they're leading the barrel somewhat aggressively.

    in the process of determining why, slugging the barrel and so forth, I decided to slug the barrel with one of the actual bullets and see what the end result looked like for fitment. Interestingly enough, when I drove the hard cast through (with some difficulty I might add), it came out with a rather surprising amount of lead preceding it. I thought I had cleaned the bore fairly well preceding this - but on inspection It had scraped the lands and grooves cleaner than I had thought possible. I was absolutely amazed at the bore after this.

    While the method isn't certainly one I'd want to do over and over, and certainly isn't very practical for certain firearms- I thought I'd share as it certainly did the best job I've ever seen in cleaning lead in a single pass.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    In the old days we ran a swab of Dr Bens in the bore and the next morning the lead pushed right out. Now Dr Bens is too dangerous to touch, although I still haven't found anyone who admits using it in the first place!

  3. #3
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    if nothing else you found out that a proper .358 diameter bullet won't leave lead deposits behind in your Taurus.
    but an undersized hard cast one will.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    if nothing else you found out that a proper .358 diameter bullet won't leave lead deposits behind in your Taurus.
    but an undersized hard cast one will.
    actually, the one I shoved through was .356, and it looked like it fit well. But someday I might try a .358 sized through it, just to see if things improve. Seems like a lot of other 9mm users of lead do that with no ill effects.

  5. #5
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    I doubt it. If it leads up again right away you'll know Runfiverun was right. Generally "barrel slugging", a waste of time as far as I'm concerned, is done with an oiled, dead-soft lead slug. Soft lead is easier to push through the bore and gives true groove dimensions. Antimony in the alloy makes the slug spring back after passing through the bore, giving a false measurement.

    Gear

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Hardcast + undersized = lead in the bore.

    Try 50-50 COWW and Lead sized to .357, this = no lead in four different 9mm pistols tested with four different cast boolits . Same alloy and same size .
    Hardness can be over rated.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Both my 9’s shoot.356 sized boolets, cast from Wheel weights. I get no leading in either of my guns
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    Since the boolit fits the barrel, I am thinking the lube is failing somehow. Try a light coat of tumble lube and see if that cures the problem.

  9. #9
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    shoot a couple jacketed bullets through the gun at the end of the day. that removes 99percent of any lead fouling. that is about the extent of my handgun barrel cleaning. Once a year when there put away for the winter I actually take a brush to them.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    shoot a couple jacketed bullets through the gun at the end of the day. that removes 99percent of any lead fouling. that is about the extent of my handgun barrel cleaning. Once a year when there put away for the winter I actually take a brush to them.
    I usually finish up a shooting event with the last magazine of jacketed or even plated bullets and no more lead.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    Since the boolit fits the barrel, I am thinking the lube is failing somehow. Try a light coat of tumble lube and see if that cures the problem.
    I'm thinking that the bullet needs to be larger than the bore. That is what I do with my 9mm and for that matter the 44, and 45 cal bullets I shoot. I have found that proper fit is far better than trying to get a hardness of 15. I can shoot pure lead if I wish and stay around 1000fps and not have a problem.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    Since the boolit fits the barrel, I am thinking the lube is failing somehow. Try a light coat of tumble lube and see if that cures the problem.
    exactly my thinking as well. coated a few in 45/45/10 the other night and will by trying them this saturday.

    It's in a powder puff load as well, so maybe they need to be driven harder. right now it's 3.8gr 231 and the length is set just a hair short of failing the plunk test. something like 1.16 or so.

  13. #13
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    Careful slugging with a hard cast bullet, need to use soft lead like a fishing sinker etc. Got one stuck in my 30-06 rifle and had a bugger of a time getting it out. Lesson learned.
    You're on the right track with the tumble lube or if they are just a little undersized powder coat them.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
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    Just remember, while you are pounding that bullet through the barrel, you are obturating the bullet (squashing it) far more than what a short burning powder blast will do. That's one of the reasons it was so difficult.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
    Just remember, while you are pounding that bullet through the barrel, you are obturating the bullet (squashing it) far more than what a short burning powder blast will do. That's one of the reasons it was so difficult.
    That & a hard cast lead bullet is not the right choice for slugging as noted. Dead soft lead is just easier to work with when slugging.
    Shooting jacketed after lead is NOT a good way to clean the bore & you run risk of an over pressure issue if your loads are maxed out. CHorBoy wrapped around an old bore brush w/ a squirt of Kroil easily removes most leading issues with a few passes.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  16. #16
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    If your leading is so bad that its going to jack up pressures to dangerous levels then you've got one crappy gun. Ive done this as have about every experienced shooter I know for over 30 years and haven't even seen a flattened primer. Now if you have a gun so bad that leading has filled the rifling completely then nope I wouldn't do it but if its that bad your going to have a lot of work with some chore boy too. If I had a gun that leaded like that it would be at the guns shop traded off tomarrow. At the pressures bullets are shot the bullet will "bump up slightly" to fit the bore. It will also go through a slight restriction in a bore without even showing pressure signs. Many guns (especially ruger DA guns) tend to have a constriction at the barrel threads from tightening into the frame. Also lead is a lubricant. It is used as bearing material so if its not excessive could possibly even lower pressures. This myth of guns blowing up shooting jacketed through to clean out lead is just that, a myth. Show me ONE documented example of a gun blowing up even with heavy leading from doing this. that said if your out there with your RG or Jennings and its about plugged solid with lead I wouldn't shoot a bullet through it but then I wouldn't waste 5 minutes of my life shooting bullets through crappy guns and guns that lead severely.
    Quote Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
    That & a hard cast lead bullet is not the right choice for slugging as noted. Dead soft lead is just easier to work with when slugging.
    Shooting jacketed after lead is NOT a good way to clean the bore & you run risk of an over pressure issue if your loads are maxed out. CHorBoy wrapped around an old bore brush w/ a squirt of Kroil easily removes most leading issues with a few passes.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
    That & a hard cast lead bullet is not the right choice for slugging as noted. Dead soft lead is just easier to work with when slugging.
    Shooting jacketed after lead is NOT a good way to clean the bore & you run risk of an over pressure issue if your loads are maxed out. CHorBoy wrapped around an old bore brush w/ a squirt of Kroil easily removes most leading issues with a few passes.
    I'll have to disagree 100%. I've always cleaned a barrel by shooting jacketed thru them and NEVER had a problem and I have been reloading now for almost 50 years as Dad started me out young leaning me the ways of proper reloading. I as a young man watched as he finished a shooting session by shooting jacketed thru his guns. Never seen a flattened primer and Dad always used the old reloading books that had a lot stiffer loads in them than what we have now with the newer reloading manuals. Over pressure is a myth when it comes to shooting jacketed thru a barrel after shooting lead.

    I have a Colt Officers 1911 in stainless that I leaded the **** out of accidentally. I took the barrel out looked down it and you could see the spirals of lead in the barrel. I put it back together and shot a magazine full of jacketed thru it and watched the lead leave the barrel and drop to the ground. In seven rounds the barrel was absolutely clean no bulges and no blown up gun and no flattened primers.

  18. #18
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    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    The issue w/ shooting lead out w/ jacketed bullets is you can "iron" the lead into the barrel. You may not remove all of it and what's left will be "ironed" into the barrel. It looks fine when looking at it through your eyes. Under magnification w/ a borescope will show the true condition.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    looked at mine under a borescope and no lead.

  20. #20
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    done it hundreds if not thousands of times and never once has it ironed lead into a barrel. If it does you sure need a new barrel because that bullet is rattling down your bore. Bottom line is even if it did leave a tiny amount "ironed" into the barrel it would probably be beneficial to a gun that was so rough or out of spec that it leaded bad. Lead is a lubricant and also would fill tiny imperfections in our bore. Its kind of why lead and tin are used as bearing material. A lot of avid handgun shooters would never enter a competition with a gun that had an scrubbed clean barrel because in a lot of cases a gun doesn't even settle down and shoot its best with lead until you've got 30 or 40 rounds down range. Let me ask this question. Now this is probably the largest cast bullet shooting sight on the internet. LOTS of guys with LOTS of lead down range. So if it really happened there should be a number of cases here. That said CAN EVEN ONE PERSON HERE tell me that they damaged a gun by running a jacketed bullet through it to clean it up after the end of a shooting session? Ive been doing this for years. Ive been on this forum and many others for MANY years and have heard many say that it will happen but funny thing is NEVER one case of it being proven to have happened. Heck I can look around on the internet and find many people that wont use cast bullets because they been told there dangerous and wear out guns. SHOW ME THE BEEF!
    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    The issue w/ shooting lead out w/ jacketed bullets is you can "iron" the lead into the barrel. You may not remove all of it and what's left will be "ironed" into the barrel. It looks fine when looking at it through your eyes. Under magnification w/ a borescope will show the true condition.
    Last edited by Lloyd Smale; 03-11-2018 at 08:49 AM.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check