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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure this subject has been talked to death but I didn't need to pay attention until now. I find myself with 3-400 rounds of 9mm LRN ammunition and 2 Glocks and a Smith 59 to shoot them in. What is the reason for not shooting lead in Glocks? If I do shoot, say, 400 rounds through them should I use lead remover to clean them every hundred rounds or so? What's the best procedure?
 

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The polygonal rifling in the factory Glock barrel does not handle lead well. The bore can plug with lead and you can get a kaboom from that. Also, an out-of-battery detonation might result in a kaboom. The Smith, with its conventional rifling, will handle lead just fine.
 

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The Smith M 59s are still great pistols, go to the range and enjoy. I don't shoot lead or copper washed/plated lead in my Glocks.

Jerry
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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I wouldn't put ANY cast bullets through a Glock.

Working at the local gunrange, I've personally witnessed several of these blow up due to excess lead buildup in the factory barrel. So far, only minor hand injuries have resulted, but the potential for more serious injury is there. Also, sweeping up the debris from the exploded handguns is interesting. Parts seem to scatter over a wide radius. The stunned look on the shooter's faces is priceless.
 

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The only way I will EVER fire a lead bullet in one of my GLOCKS, is to change out the barrel to a WOLF BARREL or other after market barrel. Then you can shoot all the lead bullets you want and not have a KaBoom!
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I've shot them, well before the current warnings about the guns coming apart. The bullets were hard cast and there was no lead build-up, which is the key to success I think. Polyagonal rifling will do just fine with lead bullets that are the correct size and hardness, same as any other rifling.

However, it is up to you. A cautious person would test a few at a time (remove the mag between shots to leave powder gasses a place to vent if necessary) and see how much build-up there was. A more cautious person would get an aftermarket barrel, and the most cautious of people would not shoot lead bullets of any kind in any Glock.

Keep in mind Glocks are occasionally reported as coming apart with factory loads. Sometimes things happen.....
 

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I shot 300+ rounds of lead bullets through my P220 one time during a tactical pistol training school. It took me forever to get the barrel cleaned. The only reason I bought them was because they were discounted. I don't think I will ever do it again.
 

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There are cases where the Glock pistols have come apart with police officers when shooting "range" ammo supplied by the department, generally it is ammo from some where over seas, The bullets on these are jacketed, one Sergeant in the local Sheriffs department is on desk duty because his Glock can apart while shooting these less expensive rounds. The FBI reports that this has happened many times and has an open investigation at the moment.

I have never seen a Glock shooting lead come apart, but I have seen some pictures of them. The HK P7 pistols use the same style rifleing as the Glocks, there I have seen where the magazine blew out of the bottom and the slide locked in the back position. That shows Too much pressure, so the barrel was probably heavily leaded.

As far as the P220, which BTW is a really great pistol IMHO, that is my field carry pistol, if the barrel is leading up, I get my Lewis Lead Cleaner out and the problem goes away faster than I could do it any other way.

Jerry
 

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My shooting pard recently installed a .40 S&W Bar-Sto barrel with conventional rifling in his 10 mm Glock. Now, he has plenty of range pick up brass and less worries about a ka-boom.:D
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I think that an aftermarket barrel oversimplifies the nature of the problem. A case head can let go in any firearm. The question is, when it does, what is the outcome? A steel-framed autoloader will survive. A plastic framed gun (whether Glock or otherwise) will likely not.

A Glock with an aftermarket barrel may be less likely to have the problem as described, but don't say it's impossible. If a case head lets go the outcome is probably the same.
 

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. . . A case head can let go in any firearm. The question is, when it does, what is the outcome? A steel-framed autoloader will survive. A plastic framed gun (whether Glock or otherwise) will likely not.

A Glock with an aftermarket barrel may be less likely to have the problem as described, but don't say it's impossible. If a case head lets go the outcome is probably the same.
Agree. Forgot there are those who shoot and thrive on pushing the envelope. For the rest of us, a case head letting go is unlikely but still possible.
 

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I feel very positive that those who are making the 9mm Luger, 40cal S&W and the 10mm ammo in self defense loads are not concerned about a Ka-Boom from a GLOCK pistol. Now enters the Red-Neck reloader who wants to get all he can and then some from his plastic pistol ugly as it is perhaps, This is were you are most likely to see a Ka-Boom or some Police Department who spent their money on cheap foreign reloaded ammo.

Granted a steel frame pistol is stronger but it seems to me that GLOCK has been selling pistols for many years now and their batting average would put them in the hall of fame on the first go around. There I guess always going to be those who try and paint a sad picture of the Glock but common sense tells me they are still one of the very best semi-autos on the market today with one heck of a track record period.

I saw Colt Commanders frames fracture in less than 10,000 rounds some years ago and it was a lot stronger than todays plastic right gents. Well how come the GLOCK can shoot over 200,000 thousand rounds and keep on truckin down the road compared to anything else on the market. Ask yourself this one question folks, now when has Smith & Wesson, Colt or any other pistol manufacturer ever run tests, like those that have been run on a GLOCK or H&K pistol? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Gee, sorry 'bout that!

As much as this subject has been hashed over in the past (as I now find out in hind sight) I sure didn't mean to open another can of worms. Apparently it just won't go away. Here's my take on the subject now that I've looked, listened and tried. The Poly rifling system is more prone to lead build up than is conventional rifling. Soft lead bullets more, hard less. I've now run 300 rounds of LazerCast LRN through the gun, 100 rounds at a time between cleaning. That's all I had around and I'll be reloading Jacketed from now on. Anyway. On inspection between cleaning at the 100 round marks, I would run some Lead Remover though, then a brush, then a clean patch. Only once did I find a small amount of lead still there at the last 1" of barrel. (Mine's a comp barrel, so I think the comp cuts may have contributed to that.) I let some Lead Remover soak for 10 minutes, brushed and swabbed again and it was perfectly clean. There was never any sign of lead at the breach end. In any event that's surely not a through test but then since we know there is a possible problem, why push the envelope? Anybody with a lot of lead to shoot and only Glocks to shoot them in just need to keep the rounds down to a minimum and check the barrel every 50 rounds or so until they know what's happening. Then clean good! Worked for me but now I'm outta that game! Thanks for all the opinions. That's what keeps forums like this valuable!
 

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My rule of thumb is to practice with the ammo that I will be carrying. It maybe more expensive, but there are no surprises. So my Glocks all shoot jacketed bullets which many of them I reload, but I use a middle of the road load. Plus I think I still have 10 boxes of factory ammo, it was on sale a couple years before this current economic crisis.

Jerry
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Stress on the frame from cycling is an entirely different event than a high-pressure gas release where you don't want it. No comparison between the two events at all.

As far as polyagonal rifling being more prone to leading.... I call hogwash. Why would it? Do the bullets fit? Do Glock shooters slug their barrels, and measure throat dimensions? We discuss leading issues all the time on this forum, nobody says, "Well, your brand X revolver leads, best have a smith unscrew the barrel and put in a different one." No, we check dimensions, see if there are constrictions or rough spots, lap or polish them, make sure our bullets fit the bore, etc., etc., etc.

I'd like to hear from some Glock owners who have slugged barrels as to what dimensions they have. I did not and for other reasons don't have a Glock right now. What about the chamber dimensions, up by the throat? Oversized? Sharp edges? We know those things contribute to leading.

What about firing out of battery? Easy test, prime 50 pieces of brass (no powder, no bullet). Head to the range. Gently clamp gun in a vise or fixture. Chamber a primed piece of brass. Take out an auto feeler gage set, and gently slip the feeler gage in between the barrel shroud and breechface (but not far enough to let the firing pin hit it). Will it fire? If so, go to the next larger. Find out how far out of battery it will fire. Before you say it won't, there must be some tolerance, or the least bit of crud would put it out of commission. OK, find the range where it will operate. Now, to be scientific, try the same experiment with your favorite other type of autoloader (ie 1911, sig, smith, taurus, ruger, HK, et al).

To blindly proclaim it's a rifling issue is to ignore a great many other factors that are relevant. Why we ignore these factors with a glock and not other makes of firearms is beyond me.
 

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Mike,

I agree with you, and I have slugged the barrel on my G37 because it not a common caliber, 45 GAP. I will have to find the notebook that I recorded all of the information in, but for factory jacketed .452 bullets to reload in 45 GAP brass, the barrel is tight. When I first got the pistol, I "miked" the factory ammo and the spent case. Then I slugged the barrel because this was considered to be a shorten high performace cousin of the 45 ACP, it isn't.

Jerry
 
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