Glocks and Lead Bullets

Discussion in 'Glock' started by animalspooker, Aug 1, 2020 at 2:56 PM.

  1. animalspooker

    animalspooker G&G Evangelist

    So what is the story with Glocks not being able to shoot lead bullets? I know you can shoot them but they say that because of the barrels rifling, lead bullets will eventually clog things up and could cause a catastrophic failure. Why is this?
     
  2. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

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    The problem is that Glock stole his every design from old patents - including the rifling. The pattern chosen was ganked from a Volunteer pattern of rifling from the 1850s.

    The English Volunteers were a sort of self-organized militia working with the British government. They mostly armed themselves with surplus smoothbore rifles, and then paid to have them rifled.

    Several polygonal patterns came out of this as they were considered easier to do than some more traditional methods.

    The Glock has a polygonal rifling based on a Boucher design - a design that was quickly abandoned because it increased fouling, and needed constant cleaning and maintenance. Basically it was a pattern designed for lead that did not work well with lead.

    Gaston was not a gun guy. He was an interior decorator with an injection molding machine. He saw a quick, cheap, and easy system of rifling that no one was using, and ran with it - not realizing there was a reason no one used it. The rifling pattern is fine with jacketed bullets, but the 160-plus year old design has never handled lead well.

    Add to that the fact that the problem is compounded by the higher pressures and speeds of modern loads, versus those of the 19th Century, and you have a potential recipe for disaster.

    Every feature of the first couple of generations of Glock were stolen from Edwardian and pre-Edwardian designs save for the magazine and the plastic - stolen from the 1930s and 1970s (technically, late 1960s) respectively.
     
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  3. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

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    ^ Barrel not designed for it ;)



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  4. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

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    Gaston gets a penny for every jacketed pistol caliber projectile sold, lol


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  5. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    animalspooker: Sir; I read lots. One persons argument.
    My argument. I shoot everything thru mine. Should the firearm get finicky. Into the trash it goes (firearm)

    These units need to work; and; work every time. Otherwise a clumsy rock or hammer. My-your life can depend on the simple. G-17-22-23-27-30 get cleaned occasionally; they have exhausted lead many many times along with jacketed

    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/the-myth-about-polygonal-barrels-cast-bullets.1507453/

    As any of the revolver shooters who shoot lots of lead will tell you, not all lead is created equally. Some brands of lead bullets will shoot dozens, if not hundreds, of the rounds without depositing any visible lead in the barrel. Other brands will start to leave visible deposits in just a few rounds.

    Why the difference? It is due to a combination of developed pressure, velocity, and hardness of the lead bullets.

    Looking at 9MM values, the max pressure (as listed by NATO, SAAMI, and CIP) is around 35,000 psi, with 9MM+P being about 38,500 psi. It's a fairly high pressure round. For comparison, the 45 ACP spec is 21,000 psi.

    The hardness of lead is measured by system that uses Brinell Hardness Numbers (BHN). The higher the number, the harder the lead. Optimum lead hardness for "no lead deposits" is generally considered to be the pressure in psi divided by1400.

    For 9MM, this comes out to 35,000/1400 = 25 BHN. That's one hard bullet. For comparison, 45 ACP is 21,000/1400 = 15 BHN.

    Most commercial lead bullet manufacturers do not make a 25 BHN 9MM bullet. In fact, most lead bullet manufacturers do not inform you of how hard (or not) their product is. More and more are starting to, as consumers go out in search of certain hardnesses for different purposes.

    The point of all this, is that, various folks comparing "You can shoot lead just fine" and "You cannot shoot lead at all" may be both correct. It all depends on which lead bullet you are using, and how hot your loads are.

    If you reload, you have a head start on finding a lead bullet load that will work just fine in your Glock.

    If you do not reload, and are restricted to what commercial loads you run across, you may have a harder time coming up with a suitable lead load for your Glocks.

    Edited to add: There is a "sweet spot" for no leading for each gun and power loading.

    You can get bullets that are too hard for your particular power load - that will cause leading also. At whatever pressure you are using, the lead bullet must be soft enough to be able to be "formed" to fit the barrel or hot gases will get by the bullet and vaporize the lead which is then deposited on the inside of the barrel (the visible lead deposits you see).

    If a bullet is too soft, the same thing happens as with bullets that are too hard. Pressure will breach the seal and cause very hot gasses to blow by the bullet. Again, it causes the bullet to erode and leave lead deposits in the bore
     
  6. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Addict

    And the issue goes on and on. Tim Sundles at Buffalo Bore claims hardcast bullets do not lead anymore than a jacketed bullet. https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=59.
    I tend to believe most of his articles and do on this issue. The swaged or soft lead bullets supposedly coat the bore, but the biggest risk of soft lead is that it builds up at the front of the chamber over time and when a hot jacket bullet comes along, that buildup may burst a barrel.

    Hickock has a couple videos on the subject and claims that in the 10mm the bigger cast bullets do not stabilize well, so he uses a replacement Storm Lake barrel to get accuracy out of the actual hot 10mm hardcast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP96z_MCJHA.
    He found that the regular rifling did better with the hard cast bullets.

    Then there is a third trend and that is bullets that are powder coated. Lots of people think powder coating solves the problem, if there is a problem. https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/coated-bullets-in-glocks.866240/

    Personally, I only use Glocks for defense and never shoot cast in them. I have lots of other guns that I use for hunting, plincking, and whatever that I cast and load for, so not a real issue for me. FWIW
     
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  7. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

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    Personally, I only use Glocks for defense and never shoot cast in them. I have lots of other guns that I use for hunting, plincking, and whatever that I cast and load for, so not a real issue for me. FWIW[/QUOTE]

    Worth quite a bit!
    That’s my situation with the one G22 I own. I don’t shoot .40 enough to warrant dies. On a good range day, I have a Wolf 9mm barrel and can make it go bang all day with 9mm reloads lead or otherwise.



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  8. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Addict

    Worth quite a bit!
    That’s my situation with the one G22 I own. I don’t shoot .40 enough to warrant dies. On a good range day, I have a Wolf 9mm barrel and can make it go bang all day with 9mm reloads lead or otherwise.



    Sent from my iPhone using Gun and Game mobile app[/QUOTE]
    I do not own any but think buying a Glock 22 or 23 which takes the conversion barrels is a really smart move. The conversion barrels give the option of 9mm and 357 Sig for a total of 3 calibers. During the last ammo crises I was traveling every week through small towns for work. I took my breaks as I passed any gun store or Walmart. All the common calibers were gone, 380, 38 Spec, 9mm, 45 acp. I saw a lot of 40 and 357 Sig, lots of the latter., not everybody had them in small towns. I bought lots of 40 and wished I had a 357 Sig just for that reason. Same deal with the 10mm and 40 SW barrel and 45 acp to 10mm conversion. Just too simple of a plan to have 2 or 3 calibers with a 30 second barrel change. If I ever buy another Glock, it will be with that in mind.

    I bought my Glock 19 in 1990 long before we had conversion barrels. Wish I have bought the model 23 instead with an extra 9mm barrel. FWIW
     
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