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Cleaning out leading with a copper jacketed round


Quiet Burp
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I've been told by a lot of people that you can shoot a few copper jackets rounds through a barrel to clean out leading.

 

I've been told by a lot of people that the worst thing you can do is fire a copper jacketed round through a leaded up bore.

 

Can I have some clarification insomuch as which camp has got it correct?

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I would not do so. Not to clean it.

 

If you have a clean gun, a few rounds of mix and match should not hurt it. IMO.

 

But I've read running a jacketed round after a lead round can press lead into the barrel lands... Not sure I believe it, or why a jacketed round wouldn't press copper the same way into a steel barrel. But that would be one reason to not do this.

 

OTOH, if the barrel is seriously lead-fouled, running a jacketed round through it can cause an over-pressure "event" with or without a squib.

 

But the shooters here don't seem to be the type to ever let a gun get that fouled.

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You can burn it out with a few black powder rounds.   But firing jacketed rounds will usually iron in the lead deposits in guns that are firing pistol-caliber cartridges.

 

You really need to fix the root problem (leading) with bullets that:

* are soft (no more than 9 Brinnell hardness) (which is just about wheelweight hardness)

* fit the groove diameter of the barrel (and a great fit is one thousandths of an inch  over groove diameter.)

* contain soft lube which actually works as a friction fighter

* and DO NOT have  a bevel base.

 

And, in revolvers, the throat in the cylinder shouldn't be tighter than the groove diameter of the barrel, and each throat should be consistent with the rest.

 

The modern "cheap and easy" approach is to use poly coated bullets, but even those need to be a good fit to groove diameter.

 

Load right, and you won't get leading that then has to be cleaned out.  I've not had to scrape out lead deposits in cowboy guns for the last 7-8 years now.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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9 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

You can burn it out with a few black powder rounds.

 

I surely would like to know the physics behind this theory.  The real, measurable, factual physics...not opinion or anecdotal BS. 

 

:huh:

Edited by Jackalope
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I would just clean the barrel properly. If a quick clean was needed, I believe draging a bore snake through would be a better choice than just shooting a regular jacketed cooper round. Many years ago I use to see special coated bullets designed to polish the gun's bore.

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1 hour ago, Snakebite said:

... Many years ago I use to see special coated bullets designed to polish the gun's bore.

 

I seem to recall they were VERY pricey.

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When one fires jacketed bullets in a leaded barrel it doesn’t “clean” the barrel so much as it smears some of the lead. Some my be removed. 
 

Cleaning lead from a barrel can be quite a task. 
 

My fix was to quit using bullets and loads that leaded the barrel badly. I switched to Bear Creek Supply “Moly” coated bullets and as long as I keep cartridges loaded under 1200 FPS I haven’t had ANY leading in any of my guns in 20 years. 
 

Oh, I did get some lead g a few years ago from some factory Winchester .45 Colt loads. I simply used a stick bore brush and some “Lead Away” patches.
Kleen Bore and Birchwood Casey make lead removal cloths. Cut them into patches and run them down the bore. THEY WILL REMOVE BLUING!!! 

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3 hours ago, Jackalope said:

 

I surely would like to know the physics behind this theory.  The real, measurable, factual physics...not opinion or anecdotal BS. 

 

:huh:

Not sure why but it will clean the smoke rings from the end of revolver cylinder after shooting smokeless powders.   Think it might be the same as sand blasting using hot  carbon.

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1 hour ago, Cusz M. Dutch SASS Life 55326 said:

Not sure why but it will clean the smoke rings from the end of revolver cylinder after shooting smokeless powders.   Think it might be the same as sand blasting using hot  carbon.

I've seen this, too.  But we must agree, carbon build-up on a cylinder face is not the same as barrel leading.  I'm still anxious to hear Garrison Joe explain the real, measurable, factual physics supporting his claim.  Not opinion or anecdotal BS.

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Now that I use soft bullets -BHN 12 or less  I haven't had leading anymore. However, the BP thing sure works for the carbon. After shooting 6 stages there were no more rings on the cylinder and all the carbon on the backstrap above the barrel forcing cone was gone. The easiest way I've gotten rid of carbon in my Rugers, and it was fun as hell to boot! Np physics info needed for me, the proof is in the pudding. Anecdotal or not.

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On 9/19/2021 at 5:27 AM, Jackalope said:

I surely would like to know the physics behind this theory.  The real, measurable, factual physics...not opinion or anecdotal BS

 

Well, there is certainly no BS in my original answer.

 

Black burns with a LOT more flame temperature than do any of the smokeless powders.  Check barrel temperature on a thin walled shotgun after running 4 or 6 BP rounds through it.  Temperatures that get the interior wall of the barrel up over 650 F will certainly soften any leading.  There may ALSO be some chemical reactions between the (largely potassium carbonate) fouling with the metallic lead in the barrel.  Never seen anyone who has ever presented the chemistry of this.

 

But it is WELL KNOWN among black powder shooters that there will be little  lead fouling to clean out.   Really doesn't matter what the internal chemistry or thermodynamics are, it does truly work that way.    And it's not BS.

 

But most important point made above - shoot the right bullets which match bore and chamber pressure generated, and there's no leading to fight.

 

good luck, GJ 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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Copper chore boy strands wrapped on a brush will get lead out. Make sure it's  copper. While it's been my experience when shooting real black powder with bullets that hold a lot of soft bp lube that I  don't  get leading that's not the same as those loads cleaning out a barrel that is already leaded. 

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Gator's solution is a long-used and very effective method to remove lead fouling.  If you can find it, brass or bronze chore boy/wool works just as well.  This is the lead removal recommended for years by Veral Smith in his book, Jacketed Performance with Cast Bullets.  In my opinion, removing lead this way is more effective than firing a jacketed bullet.

 

1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Black burns with a LOT more flame temperature than do any of the smokeless powders.  Check barrel temperature on a thin walled shotgun after running 4 or 6 BP rounds through it.  Temperatures that get the interior wall of the barrel up over 650 F will certainly soften any leading.  There may ALSO be some chemical reactions between the (largely sodium carbonate) fouling with the metallic lead in the barrel.  Never seen anyone who has ever presented the chemistry of this.

 

Now, I must admit, in my many years of black powder shooting, I have never measured the "flame temperature" of my loads, but do you seriously think the interior barrel walls reach over 650 F after 6 BP rounds and stays hot long enough to soften lead deposits?  And since the OP was asking about jacketed bullets, shotgun barrels really don't enter the discussion.  Ten rounds of 38 grains of FFFg through my 44-40 rifle barrel get it pretty warm, but I can still hold it with my bare hand.

 

1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

But it is WELL KNOWN among black powder shooters that there will never be any lead fouling to clean out.

 

Are you now suggesting that it is not possible to lead the barrel of a gun when loaded with black powder?  That is simply not the case.

 

You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but I was interested in the facts to support them.

 

An area where we agree is that by using the right bullet diameter and material, lubrication, bore condition and pressure, lead fouling will not be an issue.

 

Regards,

Jackalope

Edited by Jackalope
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On 9/18/2021 at 6:47 PM, Quiet Burp said:

I've been told by a lot of people that you can shoot a few copper jackets rounds through a barrel to clean out leading.

 

I've been told by a lot of people that the worst thing you can do is fire a copper jacketed round through a leaded up bore.

 

Can I have some clarification insomuch as which camp has got it correct?

I think it takes quite a few rounds to lead up a barrel. If you clean it after every shoot or at least every two shoots you shouldn't have a lead buildup problem to begin with!

 

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On 9/18/2021 at 6:47 PM, Quiet Burp said:

I've been told by a lot of people that you can shoot a few copper jackets rounds through a barrel to clean out leading.

 

I've been told by a lot of people that the worst thing you can do is fire a copper jacketed round through a leaded up bore.

 

Can I have some clarification insomuch as which camp has got it correct?

Yes, it works for me. Reducing the leading is another discussion. I no longer do it, given coated bullets that don't leave coating behind. I also had real success going to softer lead on uncoated 44 Special, but I don't think the gun's forcing cone is cut right...no visible angle. Ruger has already had it back once for a new cylinder. My local gunsmith quit, or I would just get it looked at.

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6 hours ago, Kid Rich said:

I have used unlubed BP rounds in a rifle and you WILL lead the bbl a lot, if just shootin BP loads will remove lead this would not happen.

kR

 

Of course a bullet with no bp lube will lead a barrel when shooting real black powder. It's the bullet that holds enough soft blackpowder lube when shot with bp that reduces the chance of leading.

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And a properly-lubed BP load is what I have heard will clean out leading left by smokeless loads.  Not a bare soft bullet load.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Smokin Gator SASS #29736 said:

 

Of course a bullet with no bp lube will lead a barrel when shooting real black powder. It's the bullet that holds enough soft blackpowder lube when shot with bp that reduces the chance of leading.

I realize that.

However shooting lubed  lead bullets with BP in a bbl with leading WILL NOT remove the leading. It will just make it worse.

kR

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20 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

And a properly-lubed BP load is what I have heard will clean out leading left by smokeless loads.  Not a bare soft bullet load.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

Another anecdote...not supported by facts.

 

Your barrel and bullet don't care if you use black powder or smokeless.

 

If your barrel is excessively rough, if your bullet doesn't fit the bore, if the lube doesn't accommodate the hardness, and if the pressure is excessive for the combination, expect to find lead fouling.

Edited by Jackalope
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52 minutes ago, Kid Rich said:

I realize that.

However shooting lubed  lead bullets with BP in a bbl with leading WILL NOT remove the leading. It will just make it worse.

kR

 

First of all its needs to be soft black powder lube, not just any lube. I said the bp lubed bullets shot with real black powder will not lead your barrel. I already said it would not clean out a barrel that was already leaded.

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Part of that reply was intended for someone other than you. Please read my post. I was replying to the person that inferred that BP bullets will clean leading from a leaded barrel. I only shoot 50+  lbs of black a year and do not agree that shooting BP lubed bullets will clean the leading from a bbl.

kR

PS yes it is real BP ranging from a 45-90 to a 1911 45 acp.

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In all my born days of shooting cast bullets,  I've never had a lead buildup other than a little at the forcing cone on a new revolver.  I used a Lewis Lead Remover to take care of the problem. 

 

But I had one gun give me fits. The old Marlin 1894 that I rebuilt and installed a new barrel liner caked up with lead something awful.

 

People at TJ Enterprises (maker of liner), Missouri Bullet Company (who's bullets I was using) ,  and John Taylor (gunsmith that came in to advise) worked with me to get the upper hand.

 

1391985719_TJsbarrelliner38WCFaJuly2018.jpg.30e951e41d70424b2df6e9c83a9998a9.jpg

 

The liner looked beautiful.  But turned into a smooth bore after a few shots.  I brushed and scrubbed with Hoppes, and Leadout repeatedly and removed some.  But the endoscope still showed lead in the corners and spots.  I'd shoot again and it would lead up again.  I even used 50/50 vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. That only turned the lead black. 

 

In the process that spanned weeks,  I was advised to shoot jacketed bullets through it.  (Can't remember who advised this).  I did and it seemed to rase slivers of lead but didn't get nearly all of it. 

 

Finally good buddy and Colt gunsmith Bill Fuchs told me to use Flitz on a brush wrapped in copper wool.  That with elbow grease did the trick. Plus Missouri Bullet Company made up some bullets just a little bigger.

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Barrel leading has 3 causes.


1. Bullets too small for the bore diameter allowing hot gasses to get between the bullet and the bore. 
 

2. Bullets being driven at too great a velocity. 
 

3. Using the wrong lube for the velocity of the bullet. Again allowing hot gases between the bullet and the bore. 
 

#1 is the problem 99.999% of the time in CAS.  

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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On 9/19/2021 at 9:23 AM, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

 

I seem to recall they were VERY pricey.

People still do fire lapping to break in/polish a barrel. Bar fights start over how to break in barrels and clean them :) 

Many respected bbl makers have various methods 

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