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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reloading 45 Colts for my Judge Public Defender. I've been using Missouri 185 grain lead bullets with 8.5 grains of Unique. There is a significant amount of leading in the barrel, and it's a pain in the butt to clean.

I was watching a Hickok45 video on youtube the other day and he was reloading 45-70s with lead bullets. He put cardboard wads in, which he said he does to prevent leading. Anybody try this?
 

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I didn't look up the load. Is it a minimum load? Sometimes too light of a load will lead worse than a hotter load.
 

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8.5 of Unique doesn't sound like a light load to me. IMO there may be something to a wad under a 45/70 bullet due to weight and velocity. I use a similar load in 200 gn loads from a Ruger BH .45, .41 mag Rugers & S&W & for .44 Specials with no leading problems.

Leading in big bore revolvers at those velocities can come from,

Bullets being under size for the bore, either by mold size or being squeezed down by cylinder throats smaller than bore diameter. this allows hot gas to blow aound the sides of the bullet and erode them.

Bullets being too soft , but to a certain point, a softer bullet can bump up if under sized. If that is the case the leading will generally be in the forcing cone and first 1-2 inches of barrel.

A rough bore or frame crimping the barrel and down sizing the bullet . The cure for that is firelapping

Of course there is always improper/no lube.
 

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Be careful adding wads made from anything to loads that don't call for one. You can increase pressure significantly. That said, I use a fiber wad in my 45 Colt loads when using Black Powder but that is to keep the bullet lube from contaminating the powder.
 

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Very common in black powder loads but not smokeless powder. As stated above, pressures can increase dramatically. Leading can also be from the long jump the bullet has to make in a .410 chamber. .45 Long Colt also like a large bullet 250 grain or bigger. Try a larger bullet because the 185 is very light for it. You may also need a larger diameter like a .454 and not a .452 or .451 bullet. Cast bullets like to shoot the best when sized .001-.002 over bore diameter. Sounds like your bullet may be skidding before it reaches the rifling in the barrel.
 

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I load my 45LC with 200 grain RNFP Lead and 8.8 grains of Unique with much satisfaction. I've never used a wad and wondering if lubed wads would be OK.
 

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I use 250 and 255gr. hardcast bullets from Missouri Bullet Co. I was using WW231 powder, but due to only being able to find a little Bullseye, and 2400, I gave the Bullseye a try in my .45 Colt loads. 6.1 gr. is a fairly light load. Leading is minimal. I actually like it. Being such a small charge in a big case, take care to insure there is no double charge.
If this powder insanity ever passes, I'll probably go back to the WW or Unique.
 
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I use a card wad under cast bullets in 43 Spanish, 45-70 and 38-55; but, and that's a big BUT, I use either black powder or a BP substitute. Have never seen card wads used with smokeless.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
8.5 of Unique doesn't sound like a light load to me. IMO there may be something to a wad under a 45/70 bullet due to weight and velocity. I use a similar load in 200 gn loads from a Ruger BH .45, .41 mag Rugers & S&W & for .44 Specials with no leading problems.

Leading in big bore revolvers at those velocities can come from,

Bullets being under size for the bore, either by mold size or being squeezed down by cylinder throats smaller than bore diameter. this allows hot gas to blow aound the sides of the bullet and erode them.

Bullets being too soft , but to a certain point, a softer bullet can bump up if under sized. If that is the case the leading will generally be in the forcing cone and first 1-2 inches of barrel.

A rough bore or frame crimping the barrel and down sizing the bullet . The cure for that is firelapping

Of course there is always improper/no lube.
Thanks for the post.
The leading is in the forcing cone, and up to 2 inches in the first part of the barrel like you described. They are brinell 12 on the hardness scale which from what I've read is normal for pistols and revolvers. The diameter is .452. I was wrong about the weight. They are 180 grain not 185 as I said.
cowboy8.jpg

I'm wondering if the revolver, being a Judge and having to be able to shoot 410s and colt 45s, the tolerances are different than a regular revolver that shoots only 45 colts. I'm also wondering if the bullet is too light, like what was mentioned here. I wouldn't care except I bought 1000 bullets. Also the rifling isn't as deep as a normal revolver.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I didn't look up the load. Is it a minimum load? Sometimes too light of a load will lead worse than a hotter load.
Yes I've heard that also. 8.5 grains of Unique is between mid and max range loads.
Thanks for the post.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I use 250 and 255gr. hardcast bullets from Missouri Bullet Co. I was using WW231 powder, but due to only being able to find a little Bullseye, and 2400, I gave the Bullseye a try in my .45 Colt loads. 6.1 gr. is a fairly light load. Leading is minimal. I actually like it. Being such a small charge in a big case, take care to insure there is no double charge.
If this powder insanity ever passes, I'll probably go back to the WW or Unique.
Are you shooting them through a Judge? I also use Missouri lead bullets with my Ruger LCP with no leading issues.
Thanks for the reply.
 

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Thanks for the post.
The leading is in the forcing cone, and up to 2 inches in the first part of the barrel like you described. They are brinell 12 on the hardness scale which from what I've read is normal for pistols and revolvers. The diameter is .452. I was wrong about the weight. They are 180 grain not 185 as I said.
View attachment 102076

I'm wondering if the revolver, being a Judge and having to be able to shoot 410s and colt 45s, the tolerances are different than a regular revolver that shoots only 45 colts. I'm also wondering if the bullet is too light, like what was mentioned here. I wouldn't care except I bought 1000 bullets. Also the rifling isn't as deep as a normal revolver.
I don't think the bullet weight will be the problem. Just as a hunch, or a SWAG, since your bullets are a 12 on the scale they should be capable of bumping up. I don't shoot bullets that light in that cal, but I would clean the barrel well and after checking with a manual, try a load closer to the top end for your gun. it could be that a bit more "oomph" might bump them up to seal . I don't think your load would be fast enough for skidding to be the culprit at this point.

If a few rounds of this don't change the leading or the location of it, then I'd slug the cylinder throats and the barrel and check for frame crimp or a diameter mismatch.
 
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I load my 45LC with 200 grain RNFP Lead and 8.8 grains of Unique with much satisfaction. I've never used a wad and wondering if lubed wads would be OK.
Hmmm - what lube? Aren't you risking contaminating the powder?!
 

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I bought some swaged 148 gn WC that leaded barrels something terrible, I relubed them with liquid alox and the problem went away....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't think the bullet weight will be the problem. Just as a hunch, or a SWAG, since your bullets are a 12 on the scale they should be capable of bumping up. I don't shoot bullets that light in that cal, but I would clean the barrel well and after checking with a manual, try a load closer to the top end for your gun. it could be that a bit more "oomph" might bump them up to seal . I don't think your load would be fast enough for skidding to be the culprit at this point.

If a few rounds of this don't change the leading or the location of it, then I'd slug the cylinder throats and the barrel and check for frame crimp or a diameter mismatch.
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to try a hotter load. I'm going to the range Sunday and I'll let you know the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I bought some swaged 148 gn WC that leaded barrels something terrible, I relubed them with liquid alox and the problem went away....
I'm going to Cabelas first of next week and see if they have any. Might be the key. Thanks
 
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