any precautions to take when shooting lead bullets out of a 357 and 44 magnum?
will leading become a problem? or will cleaning it well take care of it?
will keeping velocity lower on lead bullets help?
am I just worrying over nothing?
any advice on shooting lead and not getting a leaded barrel is appreciated.
There are so many different variables that can cause leading. And there can be a combination of some as well. Here are a few that I think are the major ones:
1. Hardness. Hard cast boolits will generally not cause leading or lead significantly less. If you are looking for the boolit to obfuscate, then a softer lead boolit should be used.
2. Gas check or no gas check? Having a gas check will help eliminate leading. And it will allow you to push the boolit faster without leading or with little leading.
3. Diameter. If you properly match the diameter to your barrel, you won’t have to worry about obfuscation so you can use harder lead and gas checks.
4. Velocity. I have found leading occurring with some boolits at near magnum velocities and no leading just slowing velocity down.
5. Condition of barrel. If the barrel is new and not broken in you can see leading occur more often. This is due to sharper edges in the rifling. Once the barrel is broken in leading will become less prevalent.
6. Rifle or pistol? I find that most leading starts to occur as you approach magnum velocities in pistols. So for magnum loads I use hardcast with gas checks. I don’t see any significant leading in my pistols. For velocities below magnum velocities I use hardcast without gas check. However, I always have the option of using a gas checked boolit. I don’t usually expect obfuscation when I shoot lead. I make sure I match the diameter properly for my guns. With rifle, I found that around 1,400-1,900 fps seems to be a sweet spot for hardcast gas checked boolits. When I push them faster I seem to lose accuracy. When I get past 2,000-2,200 fps I seem to get keyholing.
7. Lube. Even the type of lube used can help prevent leading.
I generally just use hardcast for everything and gas checked for most and I don’t have a leading problem. If you have any specific calibers you are concerned with we can discuss further.
All of my comments are generally speaking of course. There are so many variables, I can’t list them all.