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45 ACP Excessive Leading


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I'm loading Bang and Clang 200 gr RNFP .452 coated bullets over 4.5 gr Titegroup. They shoot accurately and reliably... However I get excessive leading. Like hours of scrubbing after only 100 round match. Same load with just plain lead (not coated) leads very little or not at all, but they smoke too much, so I need advice on a coated bullet that won't lead like crazy???
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GJ's advice is a great starting point to solve your mystery. Too small in diameter will as a rule result in barrel leading.

Perhaps the incorrect size was purchased? This vendor you mention makes different diameters in most offerings and will go to great lengths to resolve any issues to achieve customer satisfaction. You would be hard pressed to find a bigger supporter of WB and CAS.

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Suggest contacting B&C to see what they tell you.  Perhaps they have changed their poly coat process.  Yours is the first complaint I've heard with HyTek coating leading in a pistol velocity load.

 

The place where I used to get leading in my Colt 1911 with conventional lubed .45 auto loads was right at the beginning of the rifling (the leade).  I softened my bullet alloy (from 16 to 10 Brinnell Hardness) while leaving diameter at 0.452", so that the bullet would not gas cut from the alloy being too hard to quickly upset to fill the grooves tightly.  Now I rarely have any leading to clean out.

 

The .452" bullet diameter is correct for most 1911 barrels.  As shown by your experience with B&C conventional lubed bullets not leading. 

 

So, it just about HAS to be a poor batch of HyTek.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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Ranger Dan

I can sympathize with you concerning this barrel leading problem.

Not long ago, on my main match Remington, I had to have the barrel replaced. A local barrel manufacturer (KKM) replaced one of their older barrels with a brand spankin' new, case hardened match grade barrel that was double tricked out. And yes, the barrel they gave me is much a much better shooter that I can ever hope to be.

The new barrel they replaced the old one with has a very nasty habit of leading up after a match. For years I have been using the same Bear Creek 200 RNHB molly coated bullets on my backup Remington and Colt Mark IV without this problem. I have not, however, miked out the new barrel to see what the diameter it is. Perhaps this is something to accomplish on a cold morning here shortly before leaving for EoT.

My solution to this problem was to use a .475 diameter bronze brush, an old cutoff end of a rifle cleaning rod and my electric cordless drill. After running the brush through the barrel a minute or so all of the excess leading is gone. I have absolutely no idea of this is cleaning method is damaging that expensive match grade barrel, however with my shooting skills, I have seen no shooting performance issues and can not see any visible scratches or damage to the barrel after several cleanings.

Again - good luck. I understand your frustrations.

J. J.

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I like your cleaning method JJ. Gonna have to try that next month. As for barrels, I shoot a Ruger SR1911 and an IAC traditional. The Ruger takes a little less time, but they both have a lot of lead compared to my 44s which clean up quickly and easily with only carbon.

thanks ya'll

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Any possibility you are shaving the poly coating off the bullet bands while seating?  Pulling a couple of rounds apart might show if there are bare lead spots on the bullets.  Fix might be a larger diameter expansion (bell) put on the case at the expander or powder-through station. Should be enough bell to be able to seat with your fingers a slug for at least the half of the bullet bottom band. 

 

And if you are using beveled base slugs, the potential for gas cutting and depositing lead becomes higher.  I stick with flat based bullets out of this concern.

 

good luck, GJ

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Would it be possible you have a couple of pards with 1911's that would allow you to put some rounds through to determine a repeat of the initial result in your barrel? Seems we are all missing something here.......
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HI Gang; as to lead remover, Lewis lead removing's kit of course but I have used a brass pot scrubber pad wrapped around a cleaning brush and stroked through the barrel is faster. Brass pot scrubber pads are like unicorns these days, I bought the last bunch the local store had 10 years back.
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Any possibility you are shaving the poly coating off the bullet bands while seating?  Pulling a couple of rounds apart might show if there are bare lead spots on the bullets.  Fix might be a larger diameter expansion (bell) put on the case at the expander or powder-through station. Should be enough bell to be able to seat with your fingers a slug for at least the half of the bullet bottom band. 

 

And if you are using beveled base slugs, the potential for gas cutting and depositing lead becomes higher.  I stick with flat based bullets out of this concern.

 

good luck, GJ

 

Other than a few now and then, not shaving the coating off. I use a dillon 650 and lee dies. These are bevel base, but so were the non coated bullets that did not lead excessively. Ordered some bullets from SNS casting. will see. Thanks for all the tips.

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  • 1 month later...

I fairly new to the 1911, but I have removed my share of lead from my revolvers and a nice FN 9mm Browning Long.

 

The Hi-Tek coated bullets I've used have always worked well in my revolvers, and they seem to rather tolerant on fit, IOW, they don't need to be over groove diameter to run clean. At or slightly below groove diameter is golden.

 

Coated bullets were not available when I was buying bullets for my 1911, but 230 grain hard cast were. They are standard commercial from a Magma mold. Being 230 grains lets me run them a bit slower than you'll be running your 200s. As velocity increases, so does the possibility of leading.

 

In addition, for a 45 Auto, I want a step from the shank of the bullet to the ogive. Elmer said on many occasions that a cast bullet needed a step to push the crud out the barrel. In a 1911 there is another issue, the transition from the chamber to the bore. IMO there needs to be some clearance for the bullet to fit easily into the throat of the barrel.

 

Depending on the barrel dimensions, the short shank on a 200 gr bullet may be skidding, not getting grabbed by the rifling.

 

I have one suggestion, size and lube your bullets. I have sized and lubed some of my coated 357 bullets and was able to gain about an additional 100 fps before leading was noticeable.

 

BTW, nothing special about my 1911, and out of the box Springfield Government with the dots on the sights blacked out and a lighter recoil spring. With the 230 gr @ less than 700 fps, it's a pussycat to shoot.

 

I've also shot this bullet in my 45 Long Colt revolver, no problem.

 

My bullets come sized 451, which matches the groove diameter of my 1911.

 

Big Boston

 

45_Auto_230_Magma.thumb.jpg.28dcaf5533b4f4482734ca71fc1477cb.jpg

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Appears I have been running a little too hot. Loaded the same bullets with 4.2 gr titegroup (normally use 4.5 gr) considerably less leading, didn't "feel" any lighter recoil. I don't have a chrono for pistols so just guessing on velocity. Gonna keep working down and test some other powders as well.
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I avoided using a chronograph until I realized not testing the velocity was just making my reloading efforts mostly guesswork.

 

Chronograph testing is especially important with below normal pressure loads. Loads with less than ideal loading density and occasionally powder charges that were below tarting loads. Chrono testing is the cheapest way to check ignition issues, and powder position sensitivity. My testing is fairly rudimentary, not that scientific. I shoot two 5 shot strings. For the first string I point the muzzle towards the ground and slowly bring the gun horizontal, and for the second 5 shot string I point the muzzle skyward and slowly bring the muzzle horizontal.

 

The two strings should have near equal average velocities, and each string should have near equal and a small Sd (Standard Deviation).

 

Surprisingly, that is not what usually happens.

 

The first goal is to have a velocity high enough to meet minimum power factor. This is a function of how much of what powder you are using.

 

The next criteria is to have the powder forward and the powder rearward strings to be equal in velocity. Important in a 1911 because when the slide is in battery the powder could be anywhere in the case. The first shot is from the holster, it will have the powder resting against the bullet.

 

After those are satisfied, the Sd may need some fine tuning, usually with a primer swap.

 

That being said, when I wanted a good 1911 load, I lsearched this forum and the first load I tried was 3.6 gr of WST and a 230 gr bullet. The primer wasn't specified, so I started with a CCI LP.

 

Here's what I got.

 

Calibre 45 ACP Date Loaded unknown

Powder WST         Weight in Grains 3.6 app

Bullet Cactus 45 230 RN 452 Weight in Grains 236 to 239

Primer CCI 300 LP Loaded OAL 1.225

Case 45 AUTO △ (Norinco) Weight in Grains 86 to 88.9

Times Loaded Number loaded

Rifle 1911-529 Barrel clean/fouled

Velocity Av 682.6/686.6 Es 33/19 Sd 13.26/8.77 Shots 5>/5<

Comments: This was from the Dillon, sorted cases and sorted bullets.

 

I weight sort bullets and cases to test, to remove some of the variables. I skip that for ammo, a bit more deviation can be tolerated.

 

I didn't feel the need to test other combinations to any great extent.

 

I did test some factory, as it turns out, pretty consistent.

 

Calibre 45 AUTO Date Loaded

Powder Weight in Grains 230 TSJ

Bullet Weight in Grains

Primer SP Loaded OAL 1.235

Case 45 AUTO FEDERAL Weight in Grains

Times Loaded Number loaded

Rifle 1911-529 Barrel clean/fouled

Velocity Av 780.9/779.9 Es 20.3/18.9 Sd 8.48/8.54 Shots 5>/5<

Comments; American Eagle 45 AUTO 230 gr TSJ (Syntech)

 

My chronograph is not very special, a cheap Chrony, good enough for government work.

 

 

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