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Dec 4, 2008
I had been using 4 grains of Unique with these 158gr LRN bullets I cast earlier this year. Use straight lead I got from a guy in Bucyrus Ohio.

Well, they did pretty good, hardly any leading, so last evening I loaded some with 5 grains of Unque to see if they would lead.
Again they seemed to do fine. Didnt see much lead at all, definitely no more than with the 4gr loads.

At what point would pure lead bullets start to lead the barrel and around the forcing cone normally ?
I used Lee Liquid Alox to lube the bullets, Ive heard really good things about it, so Im guessing that the LLA is probably the reason Im not cleaning half a pound of lead off the Ruger.


Sep 13, 2006
Tabor City, NC.
boolit fit is first ,good fit seals the gases behind the boolit as pressure goes up it`ll do 2 things stay behind boolit or go by causing gas cutting ,resulting in smeared mess of lead in the bore.
secondly if pressure stays behind boolit & pushes it faster& faster it`ll get to the point the lands can`t spin the boolit fast enuff & string leading results.
it`s a balancing act of fit & pressure then ya gotta tthrow lube in the picture.
alox has been used from the start , ease of application & availability plus it works , but most any will work for low speed pistol& revolver boolits.

to say exactly a number you can`t too many variables, but if it works don`t fix it

i hope this helps even if a little

Rick Courtright

Mar 10, 2002
Redlands CA USA
RugerSP101":3gmgbfqj said:
At what point would pure lead bullets start to lead the barrel and around the forcing cone normally ?


There's a little more to leading than just velocity...

Hardness/softness of the alloy can tell you something, but not always. The speed of the powder can have its effects. As can the overall condition of the barrel and forcing cone.

Just some examples from my personal "experiments":

My straight wheelweight bullets, cast in 9mm, .38/.357 and .30 caliber variants, all air cooled, should all be the same hardness within the variance of whatever they put into wheelweights. Thru my 9mm, loaded to about 1100 fps, the barrel's still shiny at the end of the session. My GP shows a tiny bit of leading above about 1000 fps. My Bisley will keep me busy all night w/ the lead remover cloth unclogging the horrible leading, regardless of velocity. Fitted w/ gas checks, I can run 'em up to about 1750 fps in my .303 or .30-06 loads, and I'll be using copper cleaner before I need to worry about lead. ALL are lubed w/ Lee Liquid Alox.

Some people will find very hard bullets (not your "pure" lead ones) lead less when driven harder, so they obdurate, or "bump up", better, helping seal the barrel against gas blowby and the resulting leading problems. Some people find faster powders help when loading lower velocity ammo. You'll find reports where folks found softer lubes work better than the harder ones often found on commercial cast bullets. I'd suggest LLA works at least part way on that theory. Sadly, there's no "one size fitzall" rule, despite the fact one sees the "magic" 1000 fps figure in article after article. That old "in MY gun" thing pops its ugly head up more often than not!

If you haven't rustled one up already, you probably want to find a copy of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, and maybe go to the Beartooth Bullets site and get a copy of their handbook as well. Both have a lot of info on the "variables" that might cut your experimenting time down a little!

Rick C

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