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So is it actually cheaper to run lead instead of FMJ? What are the potential hazards? Is it possible to damage a bore running straight lead? I know that almost all rounds have a lead core, and they are designed to contract a little from the heat and pressure of shooting. My question is that does running straight lead come with inherent risk beyond that of lead poising?


Also storing reloads? How long should I keep them before I HAVE to shoot them. I like havering a nice little stock pile on hand.
 

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So is it actually cheaper to run lead instead of FMJ? What are the potential hazards? Is it possible to damage a bore running straight lead? I know that almost all rounds have a lead core, and they are designed to contract a little from the heat and pressure of shooting. My question is that does running straight lead come with inherent risk beyond that of lead poising?
in order: YES.....None......No......Only if you are on the receiving end.
 

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Assuming we're talking about reloading for 1911s, right? If so, no worries. Your wallet will indeed thank you, and your barrel will last forever.

Glocks however (and others), have polygonal rifling and will get clogged with lead a lot faster than "standard" rifling. Glock states to never shoot lead for fear of the much over-rated (IMHO) "kaboom". My experience has been that lead is still fine to shoot in polygonal rifled barrels, but definitely do need to be scrubbed a lot more often.
 

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Hey Bubba, it is actualy much cheaper to not only run lead but cast your own. Go on a few of the cast bullet forums (castboolits, etc) and read up on this from guys who have put hundreds of thousands of cast lead downrange in about any gun you can think of from 25acp to 375 Win Mag rifles. Its quite interesting and much better to get the info from guys that do it than from gunshop experts or buddies that start out saying "everyone knows....".
Great deal of discussion on polygonel barrels and leading. Glock forums and lead bullet forums plus guys here are a good place to read this stuff. I have several Kahrs but no Glocks so everything I know about Glocks is what I have read about them which you can do as well or better than I.
Short answer is the same as chancesr: much cheaper, will not hurt anything and if you get a bunch of leading you are probably not using the right powder, powder charge or size lead bullet.
If you do see leading and it looks heavy then soak the barrel in kroil, hoppes or something for a little bit and take a few strands of all copper choreboy, wrap them around an old barrel brush and scrub a little and the lead will come right out.
 

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All I run in my 45s is Missouri Bullet Company 200 gr RNFP. I use to cast my own but I do not think it is worth the time/effort/lead exposure when you can buy 1000 for $85.
 

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Also storing reloads? How long should I keep them before I HAVE to shoot them. I like havering a nice little stock pile on hand.
If you store them in a cool, dry place - you should be able to store them for years (decades?).

Funny you ask - I recently came across 100 rds. of some old 225 gr RNFPs I reloaded back in 2002, and every one of them fired perfectly.
 

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Two 'Reloading Bench' posts by Shane in one thread, and I'm smiling.
Nice to have you back here, bud.
We've got a REALLY good Reloading Bench subforum here!

:) <- this is me.
 

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Just to add something even though it wasn't directly asked. Cast bullets tend to produce more smoke due to the wax lube. Sometimes, a lot more. If you shoot indoors, the extra smoke can be really noticeable. I don't know if the smoke carries any additional lead vapor since it's the wax lube that's actually smoking. But, I don't like breathing it, regardless. I started loading lead but stopped doing so pretty quickly because I shoot indoors primarily.

Maybe the cast bullet experts can comment on whether there is more lead hazard from that smoke when shooting indoors. If you shoot outdoors ... well then, nevermind :D
 

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There is a lot of "Chicken Little" thinking involving shooting lead bullets. Some think it's a perilous undertaking, that if you do it a lot, you'll die from lead poisoning. I don't. I have been casting and shooting lead bullets for at least 25 years, and I have had no elevate lead levels in my blood (tested annually at my last job). More than that fact, or my experiences, I know/read of/met no hobby bullet caster that has suffered from lead toxins from making and shooting lead bullets. I started casting just to see if I could. Now it's an enjoyable pass time and I have learned a lot about the guns I make bullets for (you need to know certain dimensions/facts about the guns you're gonna shoot lead in).

Just use common sense (don't stand with your face directly over the melting pot and do deep breathing exercises, and don't chew on yer boolits), and you'll never have a problem...
 

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Just to add something even though it wasn't directly asked. Cast bullets tend to produce more smoke due to the wax lube. Sometimes, a lot more. If you shoot indoors, the extra smoke can be really noticeable. I don't know if the smoke carries any additional lead vapor since it's the wax lube that's actually smoking. But, I don't like breathing it, regardless. I started loading lead but stopped doing so pretty quickly because I shoot indoors primarily.

Maybe the cast bullet experts can comment on whether there is more lead hazard from that smoke when shooting indoors. If you shoot outdoors ... well then, nevermind :D
Not an expert on cast but I do cast and shoot almost exclusively lead in all of my guns. The smoke is mostly if not all from the lube. I have not heard of lead in the smoke.
 

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99% of all the caliber bullets I use are lead that are lubed one way or another.
The only exception is 223 Rem's. I do not have a fancy smancy 223 rifle, only a Win. Mod-70 bolt. ( which I really like )

I just need to get a good .224 mold and cast some, I'll be uptown then.....:cool:
There are +'s and -'s with both type bullets, then there are the new'ER plated bullets which are right in between the lead and jacketed IMHO.



Use lead and be happy, your wallet will be.


Don2
 

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600 (for really light range loads) to about 1000 fps-depending on load and bullet weight-at the pressures .45 ACP develops is perfect for lead!

I've still got some XTP's I bought, loaded about 50 of them, everything else has been lead...
 

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There is no reason not to shoot cast bullets if you want to. They are normally very accurate and will cost less. You need to check your barrel for leading to make sure the bullet and load that you are using are working well.
 

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There is a lot of "Chicken Little" thinking involving shooting lead bullets. Some think it's a perilous undertaking, that if you do it a lot, you'll die from lead poisoning. I don't. I have been casting and shooting lead bullets for at least 25 years, and I have had no elevate lead levels in my blood (tested annually at my last job). More than that fact, or my experiences, I know/read of/met no hobby bullet caster that has suffered from lead toxins from making and shooting lead bullets. I started casting just to see if I could. Now it's an enjoyable pass time and I have learned a lot about the guns I make bullets for (you need to know certain dimensions/facts about the guns you're gonna shoot lead in).

Just use common sense (don't stand with your face directly over the melting pot and do deep breathing exercises, and don't chew on yer boolits), and you'll never have a problem...
What was your most recent blood lead level results?
I just had mine done last week and was wondering what others are seeing in their results.

Thanx :)
 

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If you store them in a cool, dry place - you should be able to store them for years (decades?).

Funny you ask - I recently came across 100 rds. of some old 225 gr RNFPs I reloaded back in 2002, and every one of them fired perfectly.
I have a cigar box full of 158 gr SWC that I loaded sometime in the 50's I know, I know but I like to have a box of each caliber I own stored for rainy days. Just used some 38 SPL's that were loaded in the 60's to qualify revolver HR 218 Thought it might be time to rotate them :))
 
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