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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I went to an indoor range today for the first time and enjoyed it immensely. Took my trusty ol' M66 6-shot. It shot as accurately as always with 1-holers at 5 yards and 2" groups at 15. I did notice today that my gun was spitting lots of tiny specks of lead and I've never noticed it do that before. Everything is tight as always. I did use a new type of ammo - can that cause a gun to spit?
 

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If the cast bullets are on the soft side spitting can happen. As the rear of the bullet passes the cylinder gap pressure can cause the rear of the soft casting to expand slightly before entering the forcing cone and shave some lead off.

I assume these are .357 mag reloaded ammunition?
 

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Ohhhh - I love my old M66 six shot-actually, I have two and they look just like yours! love 'em for their accuracy and how they feel in my hand. I mainly shoot 38's thru 'em, but haven't noticed lots of spitting;)
 

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Lead spitting is due to a misalignment between the chamber mouth and forcing cone. It is worse with SWC lead bullets because the side of the slug is shaved off. A gunsmith will check for alignment using a range rod with the trigger at full cock. However, all spitting is not lead; unburned powder grains can feel very similar.
 

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It can be ammo, but also check your forcing cone for cleanliness. Once a lead deposit forms in the forcing cone, it worsens rapidly.
 

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those powder grains can burn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the quick response. I'm gonna go with the powder grain theory. After further inspection I notice that the "lead" is tiny circular graphite-colored bits, most of which are identical in size. I'm gonna check the cone again, but initial inspection was that it was ok. The bullets I shot were Remington UMC metal case bullets - cheap stuff.

Of course, I will watch carefully again when I get to go shooting next time. Thanks again!
 

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Lead spitting is due to a misalignment between the chamber mouth and forcing cone. It is worse with SWC lead bullets because the side of the slug is shaved off. A gunsmith will check for alignment using a range rod with the trigger at full cock. However, all spitting is not lead; unburned powder grains can feel very similar.
This is the Major cause of lead spitting and is not acceptable and indicates cylinder is out of time ! Get it fixed !
 

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Thanks for all the quick response. I'm gonna go with the powder grain theory. After further inspection I notice that the "lead" is tiny circular graphite-colored bits, most of which are identical in size. I'm gonna check the cone again, but initial inspection was that it was ok.
That sounds like unburned powder. Lead is usually silver colored and uneven in size. There is usually a splash of lead smeared on the rear of the forcing cone that goes with the lead spitting.

This children is why we always wear eye protection when we shoot!!!! Not most of the time -- every time.
 

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Based on your description, it is unburnt powder, leaking from the cylinder gap. "Lead spitting" is properly known as "lead shaving" and indicates an out-of-time cylinder, which needs correction. Unburnt powder suggests you may need to go to a slightly faster powder if you are reloading. If they are factory rounds, you are stuck. Otherwise it is annoying but not a problem with your gun (unless you have a cylinder-gap issue, that is!)
 
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