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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a beginning reloader with 100 rounds of 45 Auto loaded but not yet fired. The bullets I used were copper plated and had a dia. of .451".

It appears that .451" is the diameter for plated or jacketed bullets, but lead bullets are usually .452" in diameter. I'm willing to accept that the extra thousandth is O.K., just wondering if anyone can tell me "why?". :???:

Thanks.
 

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Because lead is soft and as it enters the rifling, it swages into it. If it's slightly smaller, you can get "stripping", where the soft lead gets stripped of the grooves and fails to spin. I even size a .358 bullet to .357 and fire it from .355" barrels with great results. I do size my wadcutters to .357 with no accuracy problems from a .357" barrel. The general practice is to have lead bullets .001" over groove to groove barrel diameter, though for the above reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for the information.

The reloading book I have: Modern Reloading, Second Edition by Richard Lee has a picture of a lead bullet with the rifling stripped, but its in regard to a discussion of maximum pressure versus cast bullet hardness. That seemed like a lot more info than I needed and didn't mention bullet diameter anyway, so I skipped over it. ;D

Glad you were able to help me out.
 

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When you push a lead bullet too fast, normally, a soft bullet will lead the barrel badly well before you get any stripping of the lands. Adding some tin to the bullet or using a high antimony alloy will harden it. Also, I anneal my bullets, IOW drop them into cold water out of the mold. That hardens the exterior surface of the bullet.

For really hot loads like magnum loads, best to use a gas check on a lead bullet. Keeps the leading to zero. I don't really pay any attention to my alloy much anymore and I don't get any leading or stripping from my gas checked 158 .357 magnum bullet even at 1900 fps in my Rossi carbine. It's a non-issue with gas checked bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi NativeTexan,

Right now I only shoot 9mm and .45acp. I decided to just buy the 9mm and try to reload the .45 for range practice, so all my loads are going to be on the mild side.

I don't shoot enough to warrant casting my own bullets, so I'll be buying those too.

The information you give is interesting even if I won't be using it right now. Thanks.
 

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The .45 ACP does well with cast bullets. You really don't have to worry about hard cast bullets at velocities as low as the .45 shoots. It's very forgiving. The 9 can be a different story. 9s can lead with light/fast bullets. I shoot a 105 grain light load and it's quite accurate. I've tried a 124 that wasn't worth a toot. LOL Once you find a bullet that works, stick to it. Like I say, the .45 will be more forgiving. One advantage of casting your own is that once you have a bullet that shoots well and you like, you'll always be able to get it. Commercial casters come and go. You can find good deals out there on a cast bullet, but there's no guarantee that it'll be available next time you need bullets, so buy i bulk if you find one you like from a mall company.

I load for 9, but loading the cheapest jacketed bullets, bulk Winchester I get from midway, I pay 5 bucks a box. Casting really cuts the cost. 9 is cheap enough, a lot of folks would rather just buy it at Walmart and I have bought my fair share of WWB. But, it's been going up lately. I don't shoot all that much anymore, either, don't seem to have the time. But, when I was shooting IDPA, my reloader kept me shooting in 9mm for less money. Shooting competition requires practice to hone the skills.
 

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NativeTexan said:
When you push a lead bullet too fast, normally, a soft bullet will lead the barrel badly well before you get any stripping of the lands. Adding some tin to the bullet or using a high antimony alloy will harden it. Also, I anneal my bullets, IOW drop them into cold water out of the mold. That hardens the exterior surface of the bullet.

For really hot loads like magnum loads, best to use a gas check on a lead bullet. Keeps the leading to zero. I don't really pay any attention to my alloy much anymore and I don't get any leading or stripping from my gas checked 158 .357 magnum bullet even at 1900 fps in my Rossi carbine. It's a non-issue with gas checked bullets.
Very good points. However, there is just one minor correction. When you heat metal (or anything) and cool slowly it softens the substance and that is called Annealing. When you water quench or oil quench metal to cool quickly it hardens the metal, and can create some crystallization, and that is called "tempering".
 

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Okay, whatever, but quenching it is the ticket. :D
 
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