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How many of you shoot lead bullets? I'm about to start reloading, but I've also been considering getting together equipment to cast my own bullets.

My thought is to use cast bullets for target ammo only. My concern is what will happen to ammo during the upcoming administration. Cast bullets may be the least expensive way to continue to target shoot/train.

On a side note.... making my own .223 jacketed bullets from spent .22 LR brass would be a nice idea too. Corbin Rimfire Jacket-Maker Die Set RFJM-22 Too bad it cost too much.

Hardwarz
 

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I can't say about about xd until after christmas when I am geting a 9mm xd,but I have shot thousands of lead bullits through a tauras & a highpower with no problems.The barrels lead some but I find it not much harder to clean a leaded barrel than any other barrel.
 

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I shoot lead through my .40 and 9mm. Started casting my own a few months ago using wheelweights and haven't had any problems with them, before that I would buy from a local guy show casts bullets or through the web.
 

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I shot a few hundred lead reloads through my XD9 and have never seen a barrel lead up so much. It was a real PIA to get it clean! The bullets were Speer that someone gave me (I reloaded them), were mild loads and I will never put any more lead through it. Maybe I got a rough barrel but the Montana Gold Jacketed bullets I have been putting through it is not loading the barrel any more than would be expected!
 

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Hardwarz - been using lead cast in the XD45, as well as 45LC for a while now. Not cast by me, but purchased from Meister bullets. Have had no problems with leading. In fact, these handloads are the most accurate of any I shoot. From research and experience have found several factors affect leading. Mixture of lead, hardness, good lubrication, load hottness, and/or presssures. Here are some links to help:

Meister Bullets – Full line of hard cast lead cowboy and ISPC/IDPA bullets, new brass, cartridges, black powder SPG lead bullets, reloading supplies, hard swaged lead bullets, shooting supplies, T-shirts, hats and patches
The Antimony Man - Bullet Metals
The Antimony Man - Bullet Metals

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
 

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I have never cast my own, but I just ordered some "black bullets" from Precision Bullets. I haven't had a chance to load any up yet, but they look really nice. I shot probably 500 lead reloads through my XD, and the leading was a pain to clean. That is why I looked at Precision Bullets. The black coating should solve that problem. I also thought the pricing was fair - $66 for 500 or $111 for 1000 230RNF 45acp. Again, I haven't actually shot any of these yet, so we shall see. I think I read about them here on XDtalk.
 

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I shot a few hundred lead reloads through my XD9 and have never seen a barrel lead up so much. It was a real PIA to get it clean! The bullets were Speer that someone gave me (I reloaded them), were mild loads and I will never put any more lead through it. Maybe I got a rough barrel but the Montana Gold Jacketed bullets I have been putting through it is not loading the barrel any more than would be expected!
Most if not all Speer's lead bullets are swaged. These work best when they are .002 larger than the bore. They allow the gas to get around them and melt the lead/lube if they aren't oversized.
 

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I use 124 cast conical over 3.7 of HP 38 for 1100 FPS. No problems and very accurate. Yes there is a little leading but you will all have that with a cast bullet. No real issues. If you get too much or have a problem get a Lewis Lead remover. I started using one in the 70's with my model 29 smith loading 44 magnum cast bullets designed by Elmer Keith.

For the price difference it is a small price to pay for an extra couple of minutes to clean the barrel
 

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I get my lead bullets from the Missouri Bullet Company, and I have been really happy with them. Their Smallball for 9mm, and Cowboy for .38spl make some great loads.
 

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Most if not all Speer's lead bullets are swaged. These work best when they are .002 larger than the bore. They allow the gas to get around them and melt the lead/lube if they aren't oversized.
All lead bullets work best when at least 0.001" larger than bore diameter. I shoot lead bullets almost exclusively from all of my handguns, in calibers from 9mm-45colt. I used to cast quite a bit, but it is time consuming & unless you have access to cheap or free alloy, it's hardly worth it for blasting ammo. Just buy them from a hobby caster, there are many.
 

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Most if not all Speer's lead bullets are swaged. These work best when they are .002 larger than the bore. They allow the gas to get around them and melt the lead/lube if they aren't oversized.

I've shot 1000's of 185 gr. Star Swaged HPSWC's threw my bullseye guns and have never had a problem with excessive leading. I will dig up the Speers, see exactly what they are, and push one through the barrel to see how much larger than the bore it is, if it is!
 

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I have never cast my own, but I just ordered some "black bullets" from Precision Bullets. I haven't had a chance to load any up yet, but they look really nice. I shot probably 500 lead reloads through my XD, and the leading was a pain to clean. That is why I looked at Precision Bullets. The black coating should solve that problem. I also thought the pricing was fair - $66 for 500 or $111 for 1000 230RNF 45acp. Again, I haven't actually shot any of these yet, so we shall see. I think I read about them here on XDtalk.

I've been using their 155gr. for the last year and they are very consistant and accurate. Load them like you do for lead and leading is no problem. Little bit slick to hold is the only problem I've had with them:D
 

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Today, I had time to look into my XD9's barrel to try to figure out why it leads so much when using lead bullets. After a moderate cleaning, I pushed a few bullets through the barrel, to see how tight the bullet is in my barrel.

Bullet- Speer 125gr. lead round nose #4602. This is a swaged bullet with some kind of factory lube on them. .356 diameter which measure just a bit less, .3555.

I pushed the bullets through the barrel, holding the barrel in a three jaw lathe chuck (very lightly) and pushing with a 3/16 diameter hardwood stick in the tailstock. Would have preferred a larger diameter stick but it was handy!

I found that the bullets diameter were reduced by the lands from .3555 to .3485, equaling an engraving of .0035 per side. The lands look like they are pretty sharp and a bit rough on the edges. Bullets diameter was reduced by just under .001 (.354), which is probably a bit on the loose side. Initial penetration into the barrel had some resistance for about an inch, loosened up until it reached about 1 inch from the muzzle, and then tightened up again. I guess it's a typical mass produced barrel.

What does this prove, that I should try another brand of lead bullet or lube, or stick with the Montana Gold jacketed bullets that group just fine? I think I'll stick with the jacketed bullets.

I'll try to post a pic of the bullets later but am not optimistic about the detail that will be shown.
 

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I have never cast my own, but I just ordered some "black bullets" from Precision Bullets. I haven't had a chance to load any up yet, but they look really nice. I shot probably 500 lead reloads through my XD, and the leading was a pain to clean. That is why I looked at Precision Bullets. The black coating should solve that problem. I also thought the pricing was fair - $66 for 500 or $111 for 1000 230RNF 45acp. Again, I haven't actually shot any of these yet, so we shall see. I think I read about them here on XDtalk.
You're still gonna get lead in your grooves......not much if any in your chamber. Shooter's Choice lead remover is a great chemical solution to the problem if you don't like lead in your grooves.

Unlike normal lead bullets, Precision bullets wpn't gum up your press or chamber with bullet lube.
 

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If you can get a cheap or free source of lead casting your own is cheap, once you get the equipment. I get free lead, except for my labor, and can reload any pistol caliber (380, 38, 40 and 45) for from $3.00 to 3.50 per 100. Only cost is primer and powder as free brass is all over the place. I understand it is getting more and more difficult to get wheel weights. I get mine from our range berm but it is easy to screen out the lead.

How easy or hard you want it to be is up to your pocket book. A bottom pour pot is fast, 4 or more cavity molds are faster than smaller ones, a sizer that both lubes and sizes is great but you can also pan lube for initial savings and then expand later-Star is the most popular and preferred lubrisizer by many.

Leading can be a problem if you don't stay, as already mentioned, 0.001 to 0.002" over bore diameter. Any leading that does occur can easily be removed by wrapping a little piece of COPPER Choreboy around a jag and pass it through a couple of times. Takes a few minutes and probably less time than cleaning copper out of the barrel. I don't get leading in my barrel as much as I get a lube buildup that I still haven't figured out how to eliminate. I know it's lube because it simply "washes" out with one patch of Bore shine but I still have some lead buildup after about 200 rounds. Again, quickly removed.

Bullet shape is another problem with the XD as has been mentioned on this sight elsewhere. SWC seem to give feeding problems whereas TC and RN designs seem to be better. I use a TC and have no problems with feeding but did until I got the OAL worked out.

I got into casting some 5 years ago because Star bullets (not same as Star lubrisizer maker) went out of business soon after I spent hours and hours finding a good load for my 45 Bullseye gun. I was never going to be dependent on someone else again. Now, like you mention, we may have trouble getting bullets etc and I would rather be in control of what I can. Casting is a lot of fun too. Tedious but it is very rewarding to know you made your own bullets and they shoot really well.

Go for it,

John
 

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on a side note. When you use the copper chore boy, do you put any type of solvent in with it, or dry? and the jag you use, is the one made for your caliber, or one smaller to allow for the extra thickness of the chore boy?
 

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on a side note. When you use the copper chore boy, do you put any type of solvent in with it, or dry? and the jag you use, is the one made for your caliber, or one smaller to allow for the extra thickness of the chore boy?
Don't use a jag, rather an old bore brush. Just wrap some strands around it & I add a little Kroil oil. A few passes & done. Lead wipw away cloth can be cut into patches & used w/ a bore jag, works well too.
 

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Use HARD lead bullets and it'll work fine, but most indoor shooting ranges no longer allow lead bullets - if you shoot indoors.

Soft lead bullets will lead-up badly in an XD.
 
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