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My Bullets are too Soft

AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,002 ✭✭✭

I used some cast bullets that I got from an unknown source in some of my Ruger Blackhawks. I noticed that the bullets were a good bit heavier than they should have been which indicates too much lead in the mix, but it's what I had, so I used them anyway. After an extended range session, I found that later, in the cleaning process, the brush dragged pretty hard in the rearmost part of the barrel. A bore light showed a heavy, lumpy coating of lead. I've got 3 Rugers with that affliction! I've tried Hoppes, Shooters Choice, and JB bore paste. My latest try is Kroil and letting it soak. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  • TANK78ZTANK78Z Member Posts: 1,279 ✭✭✭

    if you can find one, borrow one , buy one.... a Lewis lead remover.. is will work wonders

  • TANK78ZTANK78Z Member Posts: 1,279 ✭✭✭

    Brownells has them !!!

  • JIM STARKJIM STARK Member Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭

    If you're casting your own...Let me know...I've got hundreds of pounds of line-o-type (hard lead ) available...... [email protected]

  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭

    The Lewis Lead Remover, a good stiff brass brush, maybe a stiff nylon brush. The only chemical that will remove lead is Mercury which is hardly used anymore. I have read of wrapping a brass brush with fine steel wool and running it with an electric drill. Reducing the powder charge may help in the future. A brass brush will remove it but will take many strokes.

  • chiefrchiefr Member Posts: 13,013 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    In most cases using the wrong diameter bullet is the main cause of leading: Not bullet hardness and lube.

    With over 40 years of casting bullets, I have found using the wrong diameter bullet is the number one problem for leading. This problem can only be addressed by first slugging your bore and using bullets that best fit the lands and grooves in your bore.

    Variations in land and groove diameters vary between not just manufacturers, but within a specific manufacturers same product.

  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,002 ✭✭✭

    Thank you gentlemen for your suggestions. I have ordered the Lewis from Brownells. I will let you know my results.

  • TXBryanTXBryan Member Posts: 26 ✭✭

    I seated some hollow-base wadcutters backwards in a .38 Special years ago (seems lots of hand-loaders have to reinvent this particular wheel and I was one of them). Ended up with poor accuracy beyond 20 feet and some serious leading. I was successful at removing this very stubborn leading by wrapping modest layers of a "Chore Boy" copper scouring pad around a brass brush of appropriate diameter. It takes a little elbow grease but does not harm the bore as the strands of the scouring pad are copper. It seems to add the extra "traction" one needs and physically scrapes the lead out. It works. Through trial & error I have found Frog Lube works really well as a lubricant/cleaner for this process. Pull or cut the Chore Boy pad into strands and wrap them around the brush and change them frequently. I use Gun Scubber to clean the brass brushes and it pretty well blasts the gunk off and allows for some extended use. Bet your local grocery store has Chore Boy pads. When the only lead left was alongside the rifling grooves and quite small I switched to copper wool as it's much finer than Chore Boy and that finished the job.

  • pip5255pip5255 Member Posts: 1,614 ✭✭✭

    I use a stiff brass brush first to remove all leading then clean as usual.

    I always lube my guns before shooting cast bullets and have found it helps keep the leading down.

    just because you could doesn't mean you should
  • TANK78ZTANK78Z Member Posts: 1,279 ✭✭✭

    All of the types of cleaning tips given will work to some degree, proper chemicals and tools will do the job faster and easier.

    Oiling the bore might be somewhat effective for a few shots with properly hard bullets.

    With soft lead and the high temps developed by the powder burning down the barrel it is very doubtful that preventive protection would last long enough to be of any real help, I never experienced any useful difference when I tried oiling the barrel when a friend urged me to at least try it.

    Just bite the bullet and get a Lewis Lead Remover, and use as it is instructed , in a few minutes and with just a little effort all your leaded revolver barrels will be as new.

    I have used the LLR for many years on 44 mag Super Blackhawks after long sessions of shooting hot lead loads at steel silhouettes, so I know how they can get leaded up even with many harder bullets, cleaning the barrels out had never been faster or easier or more effective on my revolvers.

  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,002 ✭✭✭

    I got the Lewis lead remover this afternoon. I "got the lead out" of all 3 Blackhawks and had no problems. I thank you again, gentlemen, for your advice. I probably should have got one in .357 and .41, too.

This discussion has been closed.