Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Shit Stains


I dunno what it is about cast lead and polygonal rifling. But it gives me the heebeejeebies. In the manual you get the usual legaleze, weasel words and ass covering:

Any modifications to the gun void the warranty

Shooting reloads voids the warranty

Shooting cast lead in the gun voids the warranty

Cheating on your score card voids the warranty…

I have been assured by any number of knowledgeable shooters that hard cast lead is not a problem in guns with polygonal rifling and they do it themselves all the time with no problems. 99.9% of the ammo I shoot are reloads. Corporate and legal paranoia are a big downer in this sport, so much so that most of us pay lip service to it - but that’s it. I don’t mess around; if I need a trigger job my gunsmith can do the job. And all my ammo is reloaded and safe, and easily as good as the factory stuff. Of course I will lie and cheat on my score card! That’s half the fun of it!

But for whatever reason, the cast lead thing makes me uneasy. I fired 20 through the big HK and then soaked it in a lead solvent… and the patches came out looking like….GAH! All that brown stuff on the cleaning patch is dissolved lead. Maybe I need to cast my boolits harder? That’s a lot a lead to be pulling out of a gun with only 20 rounds through it…


  1. Not much you can do about leading of the barrel if you shoot unplated bullets.
    All that really happens is that you MUST clean regularly. Can't allow the lead to build up.

    If you want to go cheap a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar works well to remove the lead. It is fun to watch it fizz.

  2. Powder coat your cast bullets, effectively making your own jacketed bullets.... no lead, no lube, no mess.... easy to do...

  3. I did/do the same thing.
    At first I was worried enough about it to buy an aftermarket barrel with conventional rifling.
    Years later I came across and bought a book called IIRC "The Glock in Competetion" and the author was a for-real P.E. mechanical engineer. He devoted a chapter to the subject of lead bullets in poly rifling and even investigated it himself.

    I still have the book somewhere. The gist of what he said (and he is a P.E. after all) is that you can get away with shooting lead in poly rifling for a while. It could be as few as 100 rounds at worst case before the bore obstruction gets up to dangerous overpressure situations.
    Most of the time, it will take more than 100 rounds to get there.
    You can also do things to mitigate it such as mentioned above, powder coat the bullets, experiment with powder charge/bullet hardness, etc to get a combination that doesn't lead as much.
    But there was a lot more going on there than I had anticipated.

    Being a kind of lazy hobbyist, I limit my cast bullet shooting with the stock barrel and mostly just use the Lone Wolf barrel when shooting the cheap blasting cast bullet ammo. (I scored a half ton of lead and alloy over the years from old x-ray room shielding that was being thrown away, only a half million more rounds to make and shoot before it gets used up. )

  4. Slow them down a bit. I also remember guys using a tumbler to make moly coated bulletos. I wonder if that would work with lead? hmmmmmmm...... needs more research.....

  5. Hard cast lead is way soffer than copper clad, thats why they make special bullet molds to allow for a tin butt-plud on high velocity cast bullets.

    But the big point is your warranty is probably s**t anyway. Do what you want.

  6. Agree on powder coating.

    A pound of powder will run you about as much as a pound of smokeless, and last long enough to mystify your heirs.

  7. I wonder if a harder alloy wouldn't solve the issue? Gawd... I don't want to get involved with powder coating or gas checks if I can avoid it...