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Discussion Starter #1
Any suggestions how to reduce barrel leading?

I have a NIB 2-1/4-inch SP101. Am experiencing worst leading I've ever encountered with my reloads; bore seems to be leaded full-length after a 100 rounds; doesn't seem to matter if its .38s or .357s. Bullet is the 158-gr Laser-Cast LSWC (BHN = 22):

.38 Spl / 4.5 to 5.2 gr W231 / WSP primers
.38 Spl / 7.7 to 8.2 gr Blue Dot / WSP magnum primers

.357 mag / 6.2 to 6.8 gr W231 / WSP magnum primers
.357 mag / 9.0 10.2 gr Blue Dot / WSP magnum primers

I don't have any chrono data; primers are flattened but cases extract easily.

NIB gun had 200 - 300 rounds of jacketed loads before I started using LSWCs.
 

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Never tried any Blue-dot, but 231 is just a tad slower burning than Bullseye and I don't think it requires a magnum primer. Double-check your scale/loads, as flattened primers and leaded barrels sure sound like a TOO Warm load. Especially in a short tube...
 

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I wouldn't use mag primers in any of them. You may have a rough barrel. If so, fire lap the barrel and then keep your fps below 1000- 1100 max with those bullets. Laser cast makes a good bullet, so their quality control should be good. If the leading stops after fire lapping, then you can bring the velocity back up a bit. Loads listed are within the load data I have but the mag primers are boasting the pressure up, probably causing the flattened primers, Iowegan can give a better explaination than I.
 

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Capn, Contrary to popular belief, hard cast bullets are not acceptable in lower pressure loads. Bullets bump-up in diameter (obturate) when enough pressure is applied to the base, The formula is: chamber pressure = bullet hardness (BHN) X 1440. For your BHN 22 Laser Casts, that means you need 357 Mag pressures of 31,680 psi before those hard bullets will obturate.

When bullets don't obturate, they tend to foul badly. You have two options ... find a bullet in the BHN 12 range or goose up your load. Try about 15 gr of H-110 and a small magnum pistol primer with those hard Laser Casts. You will be amazed how well it works!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the suggestions. I'll start with the H-110 powder -- it's easiest and I've been meaning to pick up some anyway.

Will keep an eye on my balance's zero setting. It did change on me one day (by 0.3 gr while doing 5.4 gr loads W231 for .45 ACP) after an accidental but gentle (!!!) nudge. Apparently the nudge was enough to shift the balance's left foot to a different spot on the wood bench. Glad I checked.

I haven't ruled out the possibility of a rough bore, though. In my PT1911 .45 ACP, my 200-gr Laser-Cast SWCs leave hardly any leading even after 100 rounds -- one swipe of Chore Boy mesh and the lead is gone vs. 48 passes of the same mesh in my SP101 after 100 .38 & .357 rounds.

I'll report back.
 

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I shoot a lot of hard cast and I use Win 231 and your loads are hotter than mine by a bit. I use 4.0grs for my .38's and have no leading. Very accurate and shoots well out of the J-frames.
I use 6.2grs for my mags and no leading or preasure signs. I use regular primers in both loads with a good roll crimp. I know I am more than a little low on the Mag load but I would use Win 296 if I was going for a full house magnum load.
 

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Lead bullets are a poorly suited for snubbies. Lead works real well for target loads in longer barrels. Personally, I would spend a little more and stay with jacketed bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Iowegan, thanks for the recommendation on H110 powder. You were right -- leading disappeared!

Think I'll save my 1988 hoard of 158-gr JHPs for .38 Special +P loads and use the Laser Cast LSWCs for the magnum rounds with H110 powder.
 

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You can use hard cast bullets at reduced pressures, but they HAVE to fit the cylinder throats and the bore. If you revolver has undersize throats, it will reduce the bullet diameter and produce leading and inaccuracy. Cast bullets only need to obturate if they are too small. If they are the right diameter to fit the throats and bore and provide a tight seal, they will work just fine. If they are too small, hot gas will leak around the bullet base and act like an acetylene torch. I'd suggest you slug the throats and the bore to see where you stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
454PB, thank you.

Another task goes on the list. Sure watching less TV these days (hurray!).
 

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Extreme leading problem!

Hi Guys;
I have two questions; both related to each other; even though they are not Ruger problems, it could happen to Rugers; or any firearm that has been neglected like this one. I Just bought a Remington XP100 in 221 Fireball. It seems the kid I bought it from didn't like cleaning his barrels. I have really heavy leading both at the muzzle and the chamber end. I have been scrubbing and soaking with Hoppes #9 and copper brushes for 3 days now; I am making headway but still lots of lead to go. I dont want to use any of the newer (to me) products out there without reccomendations from people that have tried them. Any ideas on how to speed this up without harming the barrel? I can see over 90% of the barrel where it is lead free and it looks great; but I am wondering about the parts that still are covered in lead deposits; if the barrel where it is still lead covered is ok or pitted I cant tell yet. This is the worst case of leading I have seen in over 50 years of shooting; I am really hoping that once the leading is gone that I still have a good barrel underneath it all.
Second question; Just what is "fire lapping"? How do you do it; and how does it help? How bad can a barrel be pitted and still be helped with fire lapping; just very minor pitting; moderate pitting; or major pitting? I feel kinda sure there is a limit as to how much damage can be repaired with fire lapping; but I dont know
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As a side note I now have about 300 rounds through my brand spanking new 9mm SR9 and I am tickled silly with it. I have been a wheel gun man all my life and was sorely disapointed with the accuracy of my first semiauto; a Hi Point 9mm. Then I spent some time with my kids Glocks and one Ruger pistol and was impressed with their accuracy; not as good as my S&W wheelies; but pretty darn good. So I bought the SR9 and WOW! Am I ever impressed! I had no idea any semi auto could be this accurate; and not one malf in 300 rounds. I have been a Ruger fan all my shooting life; but this SR9 exceeded all my expectations in a great big way. Kudos to Ruger for this one.
But back to my two questions; if you guys can offer me some suggestions it will be greatly appreciated.

Take care all;
Ken
 

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Sounds like a great tip Bullitholz; I'm gonna go get some right now and give it a try. Many thanks

You don't happen to know anything about "fire lapping" do you?
Ken
 

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I have read about fire lapping and there seems to be widely varying opinions on the subject. FWIW I have NO experience with doing it to any of my guns so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

A lengthy artical on the subject..and I can't recall where it is as I don't have the link saved, seemed to make a lot of sense to me. The guy that wrote it did some tests by using different grits through the bore on the lapping bullets and then measured the erosion at the lands. He came to the conclusion that it works but at a price, basically your wearing out your barrel prematurely by doing it. He had one caveate to going through the fire lapping process through....it DOES make an appreciable difference in the accuracy of the barrel but once the lands are excessively erroded your basically shooting down a worn out bore. He said he would only do it if he intened to fire lap the bore and then recut the chamber (moving it forward past the erosion into the uneroded rifling) and then re-headspace the barrel to the action.

Seems like a lot of trouble to me. If I was on a quest for the ultimate in accuracy from my rifle I would be looking at a custom barrel that was already lapped by the makers.
 

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Some of your leading problem could be from the previous jacketed bullets fired. Was all copper fouling removed before you started shooting lead?

Tom
 

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I have yet to fire it. I inherited the leading with the pistol; and I still working on it. As I stated previously, I believe the kid that I bought it from didn't even walk by a bottle of Hoppes, let alone clean it...NOT EVER! However, that tip I got from Bullitholz on the copper scouring pads is helping a lot.
 

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Jacketed bulltes made no difference. Now that the barrel has been scrubbed clean I am amazed at the accuracy of this handgun; fortunately the barrel was not damaged by all that neglect. The varmint grenade by Hornady is giving me ten shot groups of 1/2" MOA at 75 yards; can't ask for much better than that. I cant go out to 100 yards yet because the COMBINATION of an old (very old) Weaver K3 scope and my old eyes are not capable of doing a decent job at 100 yards. As soon as I can afford one, I will mount a used, but decent, scope on the XP100; try some other bullets and loads to see what I can come up with. All I can say at present is that this old Remington XP100 221 Fireball sure does live up to its reputation for accuracy.
I sure do hate this Nylon, space gun looking stock, that's on it though...talk about UGLY~!!! I mean it is UGLY WITH A CAPITAL UG! Due to it's inherent accuracy though this gun is a keeper. I am presently trying to find a semi-inletted wooden stock for it that I can afford.
That tip I got from Bulletholtz is a sure enough winner though; anyone with a severe leading problem be sure to try his idea... IT'S A WINNER!

Thanks again Bulletholtz.
Ken
 

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Always willing to help out a fellow gun nut!
 
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