Interchanging Jacketed and Lead Bullets

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  • Last Post 26 January 2020
VinceInJax posted this 01 January 2020

Hello All,

Happy new year to all! I will be acquiring a Bergara HMR in .308 to begin my cast rifle bullet journey. Will shooting jacketed bullets occasionally have any effect on accuracy with lead bullets?

Thanks, 

Vince

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 01 January 2020

Yes copper fouling will play hell with cast bullet accuracy. So before any session shooting cast bullets, be sure to clean all copper fouling from the bore first. With having said that, many new rifles are tested for accuracy potential with jacketed match bullet loads.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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lotech posted this 01 January 2020

This has been covered here previously.

For years, "conventional wisdom" dictated that it was necessary to completely remove all copper fouling, no matter how light, from a bore before shooting cast bullets. Allegedly, if the copper was not removed, accuracy of cast bullets would be adversely affected. This may actually occur with some bores, probably those that aren't in good shape to begin with, or have been neglected from a cleaning perspective.  

There are exceptions to everything, but after decades of shooting cast bullets, I've yet to see evidence that shooting cast bullets in  copper-fouled bores is detrimental to accuracy. Of course, for the serious shooter, this is something that will have to be evaluated by proper testing with the gun in question.  

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VinceInJax posted this 01 January 2020

Thanks for the reply. My club has monthly 200 yard matches and I would like to occasionally like to shoot. The rifle will primarily be used for shooting cast bullets but it’s nice to know I have flexibility.

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VinceInJax posted this 01 January 2020

David, thanks for the reply. The rifle will primarily be used for shooting cast bullets but I’d like to occasionally shoot a club match with jacketed.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 01 January 2020

..it isn't the copper bullets .. it is amount of powder you burn with hot full loads ...

the main barrel will get better but the throat ( the key to accuracy ) ...  will get rougher almost from powder count...

for 200 yard mj position shooting, consider reduced loads  ... maybe something about 2400 fps ... less prone to jerk the trigger, 99 per cent as accurate as hot loads ... and much easier on the throat.  

just some thoughts, ken

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RicinYakima posted this 02 January 2020

Vince,

A hundred years ago, when 300 meter rifle shooting was a world wide event sponsored by governments, the .30 caliber ruled with 150 to 180 grain bullets at 2200 f/s. Ken's concern with throat erosion is valid if you want a long, 10,000 rounds, cast bullet accuracy life.

I shoot mostly 1903 Springfield barrels that are not as smooth as modern barrels plus having unknow number of ball rounds through them. Twenty five years ago I would electro-plate all of the copper out with an Outers bore cleaner. Starting with a modern smooth barrel, the new chemical cleaners will take so much out in 15 minutes, I don't think it will be hard work to go from one to another.

HTH, Ric

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VinceInJax posted this 02 January 2020

Hey Ken, thanks for the reply! I plan on trying out the Speer TNT 125 grain HP with IMR 4198. The Speer reloading data designates this as a reduced load ranging from a starting load of 25.0 grains (1978 fps) to a max load of 29.0 (2201 fps).

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max503 posted this 02 January 2020

I'm heading out the door to try some cast 223 loads.  First I'm going to shoot some jacketed reloads to clear any lead fouling there may be.  

If my CB loads don't work I'll have something (else) to blame it on.

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Brodie posted this 04 January 2020

 Jacketed loads don't clear our lead fouling; they just smear it the rest of the length of the barrel.  Easiest way is to fill barrel with liquid Mercury metal.  Absorbs the lead and takes it away.

 

B.E.Brickey

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VinceInJax posted this 04 January 2020

I’m not familiar with liquid mercury metal. Is this something that’s commercially available?

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Brodie posted this 04 January 2020

Mercury metal is available from chemical supply houses.  For your own safety: Do not heat the metal (bright silvery stuff like in a thermometer), Wash if it comes in contact with you.  Clean the barrel of all solvents, plug well and pour in.  Mercury is a liquid when in its metal form, also very heavy.  I dropped the mercury will shatter into an uncountable number of droplets.  Mercury cases are incredibly toxic.  The old miners got mercury poisoning from treating their crushed ore with mercury metal and then boiling it to remove the mercury and leave the gold.  THe Vapors are very toxic.

Or you can just use Ed's Red and scrub the lead away.

B.E.Brickey

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 04 January 2020

I have been using mercury to remove lead from barrels and cylinders for more than 40 years. A friend owned a scientific store and acquired some for me then. I believe that it is still available from Fischer Scientific   https://www.fishersci.com. where he received his supplies from. I know when I got it, the cost was about $40 for a pint size bottle of it. I am sure it is much more now. However it never degenerates and the lead can be skimmed from the top whenever it becomes excessive.With that I have to say I haven't skimmed it in many years, but I don't need to use it often. As earlier stated, use all safety precautions such as gloves, eye wear and such. Use it over a container so it can easily be gathered up if spilled.  

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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lotech posted this 04 January 2020

Mercury may work well for removing lead, but so will many solvents. Someone already mentioned Ed's Red and it works well with some brushing. Hoppe's #9 will do the same. So will a lot of others. Consider also finding  the cause of a leading problem to eliminate or minimize it.  

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John Alexander posted this 04 January 2020

Brodie mentioned that if dropped it shatters into tiny spheres. This increases the surface area available for evaporation by orders of magnitude. I got a dose by working in a lab that it had been spilled everywhere over the years -- all the cracks in everything. The safety folks came and dusted sulfur everywhere, which apparently combines with the mercury, and vented the room to the outside. Later claimed the air was safe and let us back in the lab.

John

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max503 posted this 06 January 2020

White vinegar and peroxide are just as fun dangerous.

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BudHyett posted this 06 January 2020

On revolvers that are heavily leaded, I use one or two Speer plastic shotshells. I discovered this many years go when I shot several at the local indoor range to pattern. Checking the barrel after two shots, it was absolutely clean.

This was a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special that leaded when shooting Speer 240 grain swaged soft bullets, 6.5 grains Unique. This load would lead where the wheelweight bullet sized .431 and the same powder charge did not lead. So I tried it again, twenty shots downrange, results in leading, then one Speer shotshell - leading gone.

Sunday at Windhill range, same experiment and same result. We looked for the remains of the shotshell and found several strips of plastic. These had long lead smears on the sides. The sides actually rubbed the lead out of the grooves in passing.

Now I am more careful about my loading and do not get this problem.  Hopefully.  

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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John F. posted this 20 January 2020

When in college many years ago, I was an avid meat hunter on a strict budget.  I had a Win. 70 XTR Featherweight in 7x57 that I shot a lot of rifle Silhouette with, and also hunted with extensively.  I should have been assigned the mineral rights to that barrel -- it copper fouled very severely, but shot well enough with both cast and jacketed that I had a great deal of fun with it before I finally shot the barrel out.  I was using the RCBS 145 gr. GC Silhouette mould and heat treating wheelweight alloy, a la' Merrill Martin's work in Precision Shooting.  I got excellent results out to 265 yards -- the farthest distance my home range had.  I used IMR 4227, RCBS green "rifle" bullet lube and as I recall, the cast bullet velocity was 1800 fps.  My deer loads used IMR 4320 and 139 gr. Hornady Interlocks with great effect.  At 2800-2850 fps, the rifle had mild recoil and was very deadly on deer, with instant/quick kills and very little meat damage on lung shots.

 

At times, I found myself hunting over small pastures that attracted cottontail rabbits from the surrounding woods.  I often went home empty-handed after leaving the rabbits alone for fear of "disturbing" the deer.  Then, I decided that if the deer hunting was slow, I'd snag a rabbit for supper with a cast bullet now and then -- a great meal, at only a nickle a shot!  I carefully tested the accuracy & zero at 100 yards with cast bullets after shooting jacketed, & jacketed bullets after shooting cast.  I never found any problems caused by the different fouling.  So, when a rabbit was on the menu, I'd go 7 clicks up from my 139 gr. zero with my Leupold scope.  This routinely put the cast bullets ON a .284" bullet hole at 25 yards, and into a postage stamp at 50.  I'd head-shoot the rabbit with cast, then go back down 7 clicks, chamber a jacketed round, and I was back to hunting deer.  This worked like a champ for years, despite the axiom that any jacketed bullet fouling would hurt cast accuracy.  FWIW, I always hunted with a (copper) fouled barrel due to "clean barrel" first-round fliers.  

Those were good times!

John

 

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R. Dupraz posted this 20 January 2020

Nothing works better to de lead a hand gun barrel in quick time  than a few strands from a copper Chore Boy scouring pad wrapped around a bore brush.

Have never had a serious leading problem in my rifles, but don't know why it wouldn't work with them as well.

 

R.  

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Larry Gibson posted this 20 January 2020

Best solution to leading, I've found, is use an alloy/lube/load that doesn't lead.  

Unless you, your load and your rifle are capable of sub moa accuracy switching back and forth between jacketed and a cast load that doesn't lead really does not affect accuracy one way or another.  Also I have shot enough jacketed loads after shooting cast bullets in pressure test to know there is little affect, if any, on pressure.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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John Alexander posted this 20 January 2020

Larry,

I think you are right and I believe more and more shooters, at least on this forum are coming to agree.  What is interesting is this is counter what we have been told for 100 years and what is still printed by various authorities.  Our testing last fall even produced some weak evidence that a few rounds of jacketed may improve CB accuracy.  I plan to do more shooting when the weather gets better to try and see if that is real.

Another question -- is it true even for shooter, load and rifles capable of sub moa as well?

John

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