Originally Posted by Lefty7mmstw
It all depends on the hardness of the lead. As far as swaged lead bullets JE hits the nail on the head squarely, but with hardcast and gas checked lead you have a totally different animal. I'm driving gas checked hardcast lead at over 1800 fps in my 375h@h with virtually zero leading. I'm also using plain base hardcast lead in my 44 and my 405 win with little to no leading. I get a bit of leading with recycled range lead in my 44 when I want cheap pills, but I throw about anything with lead in it in the pot for those bullets, so even with a cool water quench they are a bit soft. The trick with lead is to get your pressures to the point where the bullet obdurates without blowing the base of the bullet to heck; not too high, not too low. That alone may cause cycling issues in some auto's, but I've never seen it.
Hex rifling isn't a good choice with lead though, no mater the hardness. We had a baby eagle 45 for a spell that shot with lead, but it would lead up more than expected and pressures would rise. A better option for hex rifling is plated bullets.
I absolutely agree with you that It can be done. My question is , Is it worth the trouble and the loss in velocity. Also I have had and seen problems with gas checks and will not use them at all, especially in a semi auto where failures can be catastrophic .
I admit that I am very carful about not taking short cuts or trying to save a little money but sometimes the savings are just not worth it IMO.
In this game, velocity and BCs are king so using hard cast bullets are just not worth it as long as we can still get good jacketed bullets.
I shoot hard cast bullets in my cartridge black powder rifles (Because no one makes 600+ grain bullets for them and load them to 1700 ft/sec+ but I do have to remove the lead fouling after accuracy starts dropping off.
To each his own, Not trying to start an argument, Just my opinion.
J E CUSTOM