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Thread: severe leading on first cast boolits

  1. #1

    severe leading on first cast boolits

    45 ACP in a 5" 1911
    should be a starting load or just over a starting load in CFE pistol or IMR RED

    200gn lee mold SWC
    1.19" OAL
    lubed with alox (v&m naptha with a few drops of alox, swirled around in a glass jar with a few dozen rounds, then baked in oven at 220F for 40 mins)

    the lead is on the soft side...100% range pickup (from jacketed rounds), with maybe a small amount of tin from a single tin/lead 111 bar

    this is the amount of lead after 7 rounds! I know because I saw this before those 7 rounds so I cleaned it and tried again..yep 7 rounds (maybe 90% since I couldnt get all of it out when I cleaned it before the last 7)

    I was unable to do any serious accuracy tests. In general at 10 yards they seemed to generally hit what I was generally shooting at.

    so questions:

    a) this is indeed severe leading right? more than acceptable?
    b) if so, whats causing this?
    c) I do have everything I need to do powder coating instead...would that fix this?
    d) maybe I didnt have enough alox? I heard the horror stories of too much so I thinned it with naptha and I dont see any yellow or brown..they do feel very very slightly tacky though
    e) can I do a basic lead hardness test? I am imagining the lead is very soft


  2. #2
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    a) this is indeed severe leading right? more than acceptable?
    Yes.

    b) if so, whats causing this?
    in only 7 rds, typically it's caused from bullets being sized too small, but alloy too soft can do that also. If the barrel throat is rough or has a burr or burrs can also be problematic.

    c) I do have everything I need to do powder coating instead...would that fix this?
    Maybe.

    d) maybe I didnt have enough alox? I heard the horror stories of too much so I thinned it with naptha and I dont see any yellow or brown..they do feel very very slightly tacky though
    Probably fine, poor lube job wouldn't cause that bad of Lead fouling in 7 rds.

    e) can I do a basic lead hardness test? I am imagining the lead is very soft
    I would test Lead hardness.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    a) this is indeed severe leading right? more than acceptable?
    Yes.

    b) if so, whats causing this?
    in only 7 rds, typically it's caused from bullets being sized too small, but alloy too soft can do that also. If the barrel throat is rough or has a burr or burrs can also be problematic.

    c) I do have everything I need to do powder coating instead...would that fix this?
    Maybe.

    d) maybe I didnt have enough alox? I heard the horror stories of too much so I thinned it with naptha and I dont see any yellow or brown..they do feel very very slightly tacky though
    Probably fine, poor lube job wouldn't cause that bad of Lead fouling in 7 rds.

    e) can I do a basic lead hardness test? I am imagining the lead is very soft
    I would test Lead hardness.

    thank you. the boolits were cast from a LEE mold, then sized using a lee sizer to .452

    the gun is a new springfield 1911 with only a few hundreds rounds through it..if I recall it has a barrel on the tighter end of things (not sure where I'm getting that..I may have done a measurement of some kind in the past few months and it indicated to me that the barrel was "on the tighter end of things". I dont think the barrel has a rough spot or burr yet because its so new

    I thought pistol lead could be very soft for a slower 45 ACP? what hardness should I shoot for?

    I'll see if I can do a test

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Castaway's Avatar
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    Slug you barrel, measure your bullets and add some more lube. Try straight Lee Liquid Alox. If too soft, and you’re at the bottom end of charge weight, add a little more velocity

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy nueces5's Avatar
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    What you have answered above is perfect. I would suggest that you start by measuring the diameter of your barrel and your boolits.
    Measuring the hardness of your alloy, although it is probably too soft.
    If you have everything to start PC, then start making PC.
    You will make your dies less dirty, and you will have more to entertain yourself.
    With these data, it will be easier to know where the problem is.
    Greetings from Argentina

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Definitely measure one of your sized boolits, seat it in a dummy case using your normal reloading procedures. Then pull the boolit from the case. Check the diameter, it should be the exact same as before you seated it. If it is not, there could be some over crimping. Are you seating and crimping in the same step? If not, I would separate these two steps. Just food for thought.

  7. #7
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    the gun is a new springfield 1911 with only a few hundreds rounds through it..if I recall it has a barrel on the tighter end of things (not sure where I'm getting that..I may have done a measurement of some kind in the past few months and it indicated to me that the barrel was "on the tighter end of things". I dont think the barrel has a rough spot or burr yet because its so new
    your thinking is opposite of reality.
    Gun barrels get smoother (less rough and machining burrs worked out) the more they are shot. New barrels can be just fine, but they can also be rough from tool chatter or dull cutters...many gun makers cut corners to save money, Barrels only need to be finished to a certain level for jacketed bullets, so that's what most makers do, since that's what most shooters shoot. I've seen new barrels with awful looking throats that will causing Lead fouling using boolits, but will shoot jacketed bullets just fine.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by guy_with_boolits View Post
    lubed with alox (v&m naptha with a few drops of alox, swirled around in a glass jar with a few dozen rounds, then baked in oven at 220F for 40 mins)
    Why did you bake them? You probably melted the lube right off of the bullets. In the same glass jar, add a handful of bullets, and a drip or two (pea size drop would be too much) of straight alox lube, then swirl to coat. Let dry over night. That should fix the problem.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    - Use full-strength Lee ALOX -- a dab on thumb/forefinger ("greasy fingers")
    - "Grease-up" the bullets as you pick the up one at a time/place vertical/base down on a plate. Thin film. Bullet groove fill plays no part.
    - (Renew the ALOX on your fingers every 4-5 bullets to keep things greasy)

    Bake (yes bake) at 225 for 40-45 minutes/allow final cool/dry overnight. Thin-film/ALOX'd bullets will not be tacky at all at that point

    Shoot them.




    postscript:
    ... just over a starting load...
    Depending on the results when using the pure/thin-film/baked/cooled/dried ALOX method above, consider upping the charge/fast powder
    ( I know it sounds paradoxical, but trust me. Lead bullets like enough pressure to bump up a bit at the very start)
    Last edited by mehavey; 11-01-2020 at 06:02 PM.

  10. #10
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    I would coat them with JPW first.
    After you have done what the other people have said.
    IF your boolit is .002 over size of your bore.
    you should not get leading.
    With a little help we can get through this.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy Castaway's Avatar
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    I don’t hand lube the individual bullets. I put them in a plastic tub, spill lube on them and shake, not stir. Every few hours I swing by the container and shake some more. No muss, no fuss.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Microwave the bottle of alox, use a hair dryer on the bullets. Dump them in a ziploc bag when warm, squirt in a dab of alox and knead the bag to coat. Let them dry on a wax paper over night. Yes they may be slightly tacky. Load them and shoot an see if they still lead.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Your lead is not too soft. I shot pure lead in my 45's just because at the time I had an excess of it. never had any problems. Only time I ever had any leading was using ALOX. It was the 45-45-10 mix from LARS. I ended up throwing it all away. Conventional lube and powder coat has never given me any problems.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    OK... you're gonna make me do it.

    When following the procedure in Post #9 I've run bullets -- light & heavy -- up to 2,450fps with spotless bores.
    223/308/30-06/357/350Legend/375H&H/44Mag/45Colt/45-70/458WinMag....

    Now you're gonna make me do it with 45 ACP/1911.


  15. #15
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Use IMR Red 4.8 grs . More pure Alox. Bullet diameter thats close to barrels grooved diameter. .451 or 452" Do not taper crimp to much. It can size the bullet smaller. Dont use a Lee factory crimp die.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    They aren't fat enough. Size them larger if you can. If not, try bumping them up one or two thousandths of an inch.

    Sent from my VS880 using Tapatalk

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I was curious what kind of load he was using and this is what he says in the first post.
    "45 ACP in a 5" 1911
    should be a starting load or just over a starting load in CFE pistol or IMR RED

    200gn lee mold SWC
    1.19" OAL
    lubed with alox (v&m naptha with a few drops of alox, swirled around in a glass jar with a few dozen rounds, then baked in oven at 220F for 40 mins)"

    Looking in the Hodgdon manual 2014 Data for the 45 ACP 200 grain cast LSWC bullet diameter .451 and cartridge OAL 1.225".

    CFE starting load 7.4 grains, 1042 fps 15,000 PSI

    Seems kind of hot for a starting load, seems kinda short OAL, very soft lead. No comment on how old the casting is, perhaps the casting has not had time to age harden. I did not even bother to look for data on the other powder. Perhaps a bit more information would be helpful? Maybe the bullet being used has a short nose. Conventional lube or TL style?

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I thin the ALOX with mineral spirits and then let the bullets air dry. Why would you bake them? Never had any leading issues in .38s or .357s.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    Why would you bake them?
    Because it accelerates drying (remarkable discovery!)/is no big deal.
    Also the discovery that the thinnest coat is the most effective.

    Thick/Tacky/Wet ALOX not completely dried provides almost no protection.
    Fully dried/cured/thin -- the Cat's Meow

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    WOW !!!
    That's the most impressive leading a barrel jobs in 7 shots I've ever seen ...but don't throw in the towel just yet . What I'm seeing is a combination of things all adding up to a perfect lead storm.
    I'm going to hit on what's obvious to me . I've been casting and loading 45 acp since 1967 and have learned a few things the hard way .
    1.) Check bore dia. and size boolit +.001 or +.002 over that dimension .
    2.) You bullet lube isn't doing the job ... not enough lube is on the boolit
    3.) Stop baking the lubed boolits ... 220 degrees for 40 mins. ??? this is softening the bullet and cooking the alox lube off .

    Add some Clip on wheel weight metal to your range scrap 50-50 mix and air cool them .
    Do Not Bake boolits unless you are powder coating them .
    You need alox tumble lube w/o baking and make sure size of boolit is over size of barrel dia.
    Small boolits will lead and ultra soft boolits with poor lube will lead .
    It's not the alox lube in your case it's the oven baking that's hurting the lube .
    Tumble lube , let dry and load .
    Hint ... I tried tumble lube and it is ok but a Lyman 450 and Lithium Beeswax Lube is so much better .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

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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