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With the recent ammo shortage the copper-plated rounds seem to be the first to disappear. In modern semi-auto pistols and rifles is barrel leading an issue with non-plated ammo that are advertised as "lead round nose" or "lead hollow point" ?
 

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I don’t think so. I shoot a lot of lead bullets, and if they fit the bore properly, leading is minimal to non existant. Even if you do get some leading, if you clean your guns regularly it’s not a problem.
 

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No just clean it. If need be use a lead remover cleaner such as Shooters Chose Led Remover. I did take a brush covered in a brass dish washing scrub pad and ran it up and down the barrel on very bad fowling. Just cut off a little of the pad and rap it around the brush if need be. You will be fine. I would not buy round nose but hollow point will work on humans as long as you do not need to shoot through cars or other heavy duty cover.
 

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I started reloading and casting bullets in 1967. The 357 magnum Blackhawk in my avatar , was bought in 1971 and for many years was the only handgun I owned and I love to shoot .
A buddy's dad owned a tire shop ... my buddy took over after his father retired...
I've had free unlimited wheel weights and I enjoy casting bullets .
Cast , sized and lubed , plain based or gas checked , I've never had a lead problem .
I do use a good bullet lubricant and I clean the bore and cylinders after every range trip .
98% of the loads have been loaded into 38 special cases ...there is no ring of build up in my chambers ....
I've never measured bore or throats but I size my home cast bullets .358 or .357...it doesn't seem to matter , no leading , same accuracy .
That's 49 years of shooting lead ...so the answer is Leading is NOT an issue , if you use well cast bullets with good lubricants and CLEAN the gun with a bore brush and Ed's Red Bore Cleaner (or cleaner of your choice) after every session .

You also MUST use the data and powders listed for lead bullets ...data for jacketed bullets may not work .
Gary
 

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It can be. I've seen pistol barrels so leaded up you couldn't see the rifling.

On the other hand, I've seen barrels that have had over 1000 rounds run through them that take two patches to clean.

Bullet fit is #1, good lube is #2, and bullet hardness is a distant #3.
 

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Never had a leading problem with .22s. Overly hot .357 cast are another matter ... too soft for the velocities involved.
 

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As long as the velocity is below 1000fps leading should not be a problem. To fast and the lead is striped off the bullet. Bore smoothness is important as well.
 

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Only time i had leading bad. Was with using tite group powder. With cast. Jacketed and plated the T'G did not cause leading.
 

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With hard bullets not a problem. I have purchased firearms that the ownr thought would not shoot wll and all that was needed was a scrubbing of the barrel and use of a lead remover.
 

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It can be. I've seen pistol barrels so leaded up you couldn't see the rifling.

On the other hand, I've seen barrels that have had over 1000 rounds run through them that take two patches to clean.

Bullet fit is #1, good lube is #2, and bullet hardness is a distant #3.
^^This.^^ Properly fit, lubed cast bullets can be fired up to around 1400 FPS without leading without gas checks. With gas checks, they can be launched at velocities around 2500 FPS. The proper alloy, lube, and rifling twist rate become increasingly important as velocities increase.

Most commercial cast bullets are actually much harder than absolutely necessary for optimum performance. This is done to reduce damage to the bullets during shipping - and for no other discernible reason. The mantra that one needs hard-cast bullets to prevent leading is myth, and nothing more.
 

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Only guns I think I have had leading issues with are my rimfires when I shoot a lot of cheap lead round nose from them, like thunderbolt... It still cleans fairly easily. I have never had issues with lead round nose in my centerfire revolvers, and most other guns I have use semi jacketed and there's no issue there.
 

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With good cast bullets that fit the bore you will have little leading. I shoot cast in .45, .38 and 9MM and they work in my guns with the exception of an LC9. I don't know what's going on with the LC9, continue to use plated bullets in it. I've not tried cast in my G19 and I won't. I usually clean at approx. 200 rounds.
 

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Nothing a little Hoppes #9 couldn't take care of. Clean after shooting and you won't have to worry about leading.
 

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I run lead in my pistols, the best way, (my experience) I’ve found to remove the majority of the lead is to run a couple of rounds of hardball through them at the end of a session. It makes clean up pretty easy. YMMV
 

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I run lead in my pistols, the best way, (my experience) I’ve found to remove the majority of the lead is to run a couple of rounds of hardball through them at the end of a session. It makes clean up pretty easy. YMMV
Not a good idea. It can lead to a bulged barrel.
 

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Not a good idea. It can lead to a bulged barrel.
That would have to be a lot of lead, enough to cause an obstruction..... it takes an obstruction to bulge a barrel.

I’ve been doing it for over 40 years with zero issues, I doubt I’ll change my route now.
 

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Leading is related to Pressure (not speed)

I shoot 45 Colt (among other things) and I bought a lot of 45 Colt hard cast so I had to find out whether I needed gas checks. I learned that almost nobody knew ... BUT Richard Lee wrote a whole chapter on it. Chapter 10 The short answer is NO for a pistol because it does not develop the pressure (not speed) to cause serious leading (it does require good cleaning always) The key is Brinell Hardness. Mastercast (pennsylvania) tells you his hard cast bullets are 19 BH and the do not exceed pressure is 24703 PSI When you look at the loading for 45 Colt the pressure is always<14000 except in Ruger Only 45 section .. the max pressure is 29300 (so you'd need a gas check) But we dont need max loads to shoot paper targets. SO we are able to avoid leading and gas checks by using loads between starting and max loads .. and never worry about leading. THAT SAID .. in the Ross 45 Colt rifle we need to chronograph the bullet (to figure out the pressure .. from the speed). That is where speed is seen as the determiner .. but but us pressure [Richard Lee, Modern Reloading, Chapter10 "Bullet metal to Pressure " .. p103 to 114 and use the Lee loading charts (very reliable charts)
 

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Thunderbolts in my S&W 22 Victory & my Ruger SR22 choke up the barrel pretty good. They work great in my Single Six however.
 

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Thunderbolts in my S&W 22 Victory & my Ruger SR22 choke up the barrel pretty good. They work great in my Single Six however.

The bulk packed Thunderbolts were much worse than the bricks of 50-round boxes (based on 2013 purchases when .22LR was hard to find). Oddly enough, the Charger loved shooting the Thunderbolts and at the time they had the best groups.

Never had a leading issue with CCI or Aguila unplated lead bullet ammo.
 

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I think that the reason that the Thunderbolts don't lead up the Single Six barrel is that the barrel has a slightly wider diameter because they are made to also fire the 22 Mag.
 
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