I just placed an order for my first lead bullets to load in my 9mm. They are 125 grain lead Rn from xtreme bullets. I was just wondering if there is anything i need to be aware of or look out for when loading lead.
Keep a eye on the speed you are loading for. The faster the bullet, the more leading you will have to deal with. AIR - Please confirm with others, I think I saw 800fps listed as typical for lead bullets. My 45ACP lead bullets rounds are loaded to 760fps. Which is a nice target load in my tuned 1911, but too soft for my SR1911.
Make sure you flare your cases enough that they don't shave lead from the bullet but don't over do it either. You should have enough flare so that you can set a bullet on top of the case and it will stay there without any help. Your cast lead bullet needs to be at least .356" in diameter unless you have an oversized bore. The bullet needs to be .001" larger than your bore diameter whereas jacketed bullets are much harder and sized .355". I use cast lead bullets from Missouri Bullet Co. that are 18 brinell. That's a pretty hard bullet that can be pushed as fast as you're likely to load 9mm and experience no leading. Stargeezer may be talking about swaged lead but at 760 FPS he shouldn't be experiencing any leading and probably has a problem somewhere else like the bullets possibly being small fore the bore where burning gases will escape the seal and melt lead that sticks to the bore.
Are they lead or plated?
If lead, you really need to know the barrel's groove diameter since lead bullets need to be at least 0.001" over groove diameter. 9x19 barrels can range from 0.354-0.362", with 0.355" being a very loose nominal.
If plated, keep speed below 1200fps--easy with 9x19.
For both, follow suggestions above--need enough case mouth flare to allow bullet to seat without contacting the case mouth and deburr case mouth so burrs don't damage the plating. Load a couple of inert rounds (no powder or primer) and adjust COL so rounds feed and chamber easily. With plated bullets, pull a bullet and determine if crimp has damaged the plating.
You'll need to know the size of your barrel groove diameter (9mm is supposed to be .355"-.356", but many are larger). IMO, fit is king for shooting lead bullets and much more important than BHN (bullet hardness). Size/purchase bullets .001".002" larger than groove diameter. A good text on lead bullets is Lyman's' Cast Bullet Handbook. I'm shooting .357" 125 RNFP in my 9mm to about 1100 fps with no leading...