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Thread: Leading in 9mm. Using wrong size?

  1. #1

    Leading in 9mm. Using wrong size?

    I've noticed a slight bit of leading in a 9mm when shot with reloads. The leading I speak of almost looks like a rifling groove (in that it's a streak that is parallel to one of the rifling grooves for most of the barrel), and usually goes for at least half to two thirds of the length of the barrel. It requires a pass of a bronze brush about 50 times to clear out after shooting off 50 to 100 rounds.

    The reloads I am using are soft target loads. 115gn SWC - .356 in diameter, coated with lubricant and travel around 860fps.

    I was wondering for this type of shooting if this is the wrong size? I've done a google search and see that some people use .357, even .358 sized bullets in their 9mm. Does larger diameters on slower loads reduce leading, or can someone point me into the right direction of what else could be causing this / what I can look at changing to reduce this?

  2. #2
    Site Supporter 5pins's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Charles Town, WV
    I haven’t loaded lead in the 9mm for a long time now. I don’t know if it still the case or not but bore diameters among the manufactures used to very a bit. This isn’t normally a problem with jacketed bullets could cause problems with lead. The only way to find out if you need to change to different diameter bullet or not is to slug your barrel and measuring what size it is.
    What gun are you shooting it in? I have heard the Beretta can still be finicky. Are you shooting swaged bullets or cast?

  3. #3
    If you want to shoot lead, then you should slug your barrel first to find the exact diameter. Sigs are usually .355", but other makes can vary.

    Other issues that can result in leading are not matching the brinnel hardness of the alloy to the cup pressure of the load you are using. High pressure cartridges like the 9mm/.40 are notorious for leading because it is a very finicky business to get everything right. The easiest calibers to load with reduced barrel leading are going to be your low pressure revolver calibers like .38spl, .44spl, and .45 Colt. There's a reason why those old cowboy cartridges were low pressure.....

    I stopped casting and loading lead alloy bullets years ago. With all the cheap bullets on the market now days, I just didn't find enough of a savings in casting(or buying) lead alloy bullets......unless I was melting down buckets of old wheel weights which I found to be a nasty, toxic business after my blood tests came back. These days I keep my lead exposure to a minimum.
    Last edited by Flintsky; 01-07-2017 at 08:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Member Luke's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    I shoot COATED lead in 9mm at 1400fps with no leading. have you thought about using the coated? What gun is this? That seems insanely slow.

    I'd also second slugging your barrel.
    i used to wannabe

  5. #5
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    Nov 2013
    What kind of gun? Polygonal rifling?

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Thanks. Should I be looking at shooting faster projectiles to reduce leading, or using smaller projectiles (as opposed to bigger which I've been reading about on googling)?

    Just found out what slugging a barrel is - will look at doing this and see if I can find the diameter.
    Last edited by -ad-; 01-07-2017 at 11:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Slugging your barrel to determine the proper bore size and running coated lead bullets will go a long way to reducing any leading issues you might have. My Beretta 92 barrel will lead with any bullet less than .357 in diameter.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
    Last edited by andre3k; 01-08-2017 at 12:17 AM.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter 5pins's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Charles Town, WV
    What bullets are you using? Switching to a coated or plated bullet would probably a quick fix.

  9. #9
    Either way, he should slug his barrel if using anything other than standard FMJ bullets. If the bore is too large, then plated bullets may not stabilize enough and will keyhole. I have experienced that with some guns and calibers.

  10. #10
    Member SecondsCount's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Utah, USA
    What powder are you using?
    -Seconds Count. Misses Don't-

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