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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering a PPQ in .45 and have some concern about the polygonal rifling because I cast and shoot lead bullets. It seems that there are many out there who swear that one shouldn't use lead in a polygonal barrel because "you'll experience sever leading which will causer extreme pressures resulting in a Kaboom".

When I called Walther they simply stated that I should check the barrel frequently while shooting cast bullets, and clean it thoroughly afterwards, which made me feel more comfortable about it.

I guess that I'm just looking for responses from some who have used cast bullets in their Walther polygonal barrels, and what amount of leading you experienced.

Thanks,

Granville
 

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One of the big reasons for the fear of cast bullets in polygonal rifled pistols is because of the propensity of Glock owners to leave their guns as filthy as possible at all times, in a misguided effort to prove that when the zombie apocalypse happens their gun will last longer than others will.

I used to shoot cast lead out of my first generation G 17 semi regularly. Never had an issue, but I did always clean it after each range trip, and I never felt the need to shoot several month's worth of cartridges at one range session as fast as possible.

Admittedly I never shot more than 50 cast lead rounds at a range session, but I always shot that much and usually 50 or 100 fmjs as well.

That's my take on it.
 

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You won't find a single manufacturer that recommends shooting hand loads out of their guns either, but how many do that?

Polygonal rifling will work fine with cast bullets. There's really no magic in polygonal rifling at all, it's simply another method of manufacturing. If you're getting leading in your barrel with ANY kind of rifling, you're either using a bullet that's too soft, you're pushing it too fast, or the bullet is undersized for the bore. Make sure those three aspects are taken care of and you'll have no issues.
 

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Evening ghh3rd;


I shoot a LOT of lead bullets in my Glock Poly barrels.

I am not a cleaning freak that cleans after every day's shooting but do live by a few common sense rules.

-First thing is to watch the lead alloy to make sure the bullet used is not too hard or too soft as that really limits barrel leading. Until you figure that out inspect the barrel often to look for signs of leading.

-Next, watch the bullet speed to keep the FPS in the safe zone.

-For me the biggie is to never shoot jackets bullets in a Poly barrel after shooting lead without cleaning first. (this one area is what causes most Glock blow ups). Jacketed bullet pressures really go up if any lead in the bore increases bullet resistance.

-Until you figure out the lead bullet leading effect also inspect the front of chamber frequently. This is another place of impending Kaboom. If a lead deposit builds up in the front of the chamber it can limit the next round from FULLY chambering therefore not allowing the slide to go fully back into battery. Firing just slightly out of battery is another point of gun blow up's.

Lead in a Poly barrel is safe (I go many hundreds of lead rounds between cleaning & have been doing it safely for years) but a shooter needs to stay very aware of the possible problem areas & watch those for issues until you get a handle on how many rounds you can go & with what type of alloy/speed you can go with.
 

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One way to reduce or eliminate leading is to shoot powder coated bullets. I have shot powder coated bullets in both my pps 9 and ppq 9. Both had no leading when cleaned after 100 rounds. Of course, neither the PPS or PPQ have polygonal rifling, but I am convinced that there is little or no leading with coated bullets.

I powder coat my 9 mm and 45 acp myself, but if you want to try powder coated bullets before investing in equipment and materials, you can buy 100 rounds of 9mm 124 Gr. RN - 100 Ct. - Bayou Bullets for $7.50 plus shipping. Bayou Bullets prices are so good that when I run out of wheel weights, I will probably just start buying from them in 1000 round lots. By the way, Bayou bullets is owned and operated by Donny Miculek. I assume Donny is related to Jerry Miculek, but don't know for sure.

The guys over at the castboolits forum are very knowledgeable about both cast bullets and powder coating. Here is a thread over there about powder coated cast bullets and polygonal rifling. powder coating and polygonal rifling?

Do some searches on castboolits and glean whatever information you can about the subject.

If you have any questions on how I powder coat my cast lead bullets, let me know.

Pudge

Edit: By the way, you don't use any lube with powder coated cast bullets. So you also eliminate fouling and smoke from the lube burning. Also, after re-reading your post, I realized you need 45 acp. Here is what I have bought from Bayou bullets for a light load for short barreled 45 acp such as the Taurus PT145. .45 ACP 200 Gr. RN - 100 Ct. - Bayou Bullets I cast my own 230 gr 45 ACPs.
 

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Trooper and Mildot both nailed it, apparently within seconds of each other. All you need to know.

M

P.S. The rougher the bore finish, the worse it gets. Hammer-forged and chromed-bore barrels do better than others. Still, it proves there's no free lunch. You want cheap bullets, better figure on spending lots more time scrubbing.
 

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One way to reduce or eliminate leading is to shoot powder coated bullets.
Does your wife know you're using her powder puff?

I couldn't help it. Just sittin' here waiting for the epoxy to dry on the start button/switch I'm cobbling together. Yes, its a little linux machine....I weenied
out and went with Mint 17.3 on this puppy.

 

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Hee, hee, hee.....it does pretty much anything windoz does, without all the personal information gathering/sharing/selling.....snooping....etc.
 

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Does your wife know you're using her powder puff? I couldn't help it.
I know you're just pickin' on me, but no I don't use the wife's powder puff.

Here is what I use



The tumbler is a 4 inch long piece of 4 inch PVC pipe, filled with Harbor Freight powder coating material, and plastic Air Soft BBs. I put about seventy five 9 mm bullets in it or about Fifty 45 Long Colt bullets in it. Then I tumble the bullets for 5 minutes on a Harbor Freight rock tumbler.

Then the coated bullets are put on a rack covered with non-stick aluminum foil and baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes in a toaster oven.

I started out using the method described here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFlUzQW-h6M. But instead of shaking them in a container I ended up tumbling them in a rock tumbler. Otherwise I do it almost exactly like the video.

Cast the bullets, powder coat them, resize after coating with NO lube. Reload as usual. The results.



For reference, on the left is a commercial (bayou bullets) coated 9 mm 124 gr Round Nose. In the middle is a 45 acp 200 gr round nose bullet that I powder coated, and finally a 45 Long Colt 255 gr flat nose bullet that I powder coated.

From my experimenting with powder coated bullets, it is just as easy if not easier to clean the barrel after shooting powder coated bullets than it is with copper clad bullets.

Pudge
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Powder coating -- yes! I'm very familiar with that, but hadn't considered how that would eliminate leading... great thought.

I have powder coated a few hundred .40 175 gr. bullets (boolits) that I cast, but not in the past six months or so. I bought a powder coater from Harbor Freight a year ago, but found the cool whip and air soft pellet method worked well too, with less work. (I've gotten some strange looks from people at the range when they noticed my bright red bullets.

Thanks for all of the great responses.

Granville
 

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Powder coating (it's actually a polymer coating) is completely and utterly unnecessary. It's used as a gimmick to attract people who simply don't understand the process involved, or are simply to lazy to bother. Once again, use a hard cast bullet, keep it below 1200 feet per second and MAKE SURE IT'S PROPERLY SIZED and you will have zero problems with leading. It doesn't take me more than five minutes to clean a barrel and I've been using cast bullets for thirty years. If you're scrubbing for an extended period of time please reference the afore mentioned points.

Oh, and the wonderful polymer coating? That's the same stuff benchrest shooters use to fire lap their barrels. Let me know how your barrels shooting after a few thousand rounds. There's no such thing as a free lunch, but we're not launching a rocket to mars folks.
 

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Once again, use a hard cast bullet, keep it below 1200 feet per second and MAKE SURE IT'S PROPERLY SIZED and you will have zero problems with leading.
Yes you are quite right. Shooters have been using this method for decades and if done properly, it will suffice. Using the old method is like using conventional motor oil in your car engine. It's old school, but it will do the job. But why not use modern technology and put in synthetic motor oil instead. Synthetic motor oil has been proven to protect your engine better and for more miles between oil changes. Why continue using old technology when new technology is available?

Oh, and the wonderful polymer coating? That's the same stuff benchrest shooters use to fire lap their barrels. Let me know how your barrels shooting after a few thousand rounds.
You obviously don't understand the physics involved here. Polymer has a lower friction coefficient than copper's friction coefficient. Shooters have shot thousands of rounds of copper jacketed bullets through barrels without shooting out the barrel. What makes you think that a polymer jacket with a lower friction coefficient would ruin a barrel faster than a copper jacket with a higher friction coefficient?

Pudge
 

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Yeah, just clean the barrel and no k!booms!

Though I admit that when I was choosing between a PPQ and a VP9, I chose the PPQ partially for it's traditionally rifled barrel.
 

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Er, also, use coated bullets, they don't have any leading problems and are cheaper than plated or jacketed bullets.
 

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Yes you are quite right. Shooters have been using this method for decades and if done properly, it will suffice. Using the old method is like using conventional motor oil in your car engine. It's old school, but it will do the job. But why not use modern technology and put in synthetic motor oil instead. Synthetic motor oil has been proven to protect your engine better and for more miles between oil changes. Why continue using old technology when new technology is available?
When the old school way is perfectly adequate and not detrimental to barrel life and accuracy there's no reason to change. You're promoting a solution looking for a problem.


You obviously don't understand the physics involved here. Polymer has a lower friction coefficient than copper's friction coefficient. Shooters have shot thousands of rounds of copper jacketed bullets through barrels without shooting out the barrel. What makes you think that a polymer jacket with a lower friction coefficient would ruin a barrel faster than a copper jacket with a higher friction coefficient?
Thanks, I have a good grasp of the physics involved. What you obviously don't have a clue about is the decades of experience of benchrest shooters using this technology to fire lap their barrels, and why they don't engage in prolonged use of it. Also, thanks for reminding me why I typically don't hang around on amateur forums like this. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
"I chose the PPQ partially for it's traditionally rifled barrel."

Yeah, I want the PPQ in .45 and thought it would be traditional rifling, but they decided to make this one polygonal. It sounds like I'll be able to get by with my cast bullets if I keep the BHN in the correct range, size them correctly, and don't shoot 3 months worth in one session :)
 
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