joromu
joromu
16 posts
Joined November 2009

Using Lead Bullets in 9MM Handgun

I have been told by some friends that the 9MM handgun IS NOT made for lead bullets as they foul the barrel quickly and only copper coated or jacketed bullets should be used in them. This is the first that I have ever heard of this and would like some feedback on this. Thanks.
andyjr11
andyjr11
1 post
Joined August 2017

RE: Using Lead Bullets in 9MM Handgun

I have been shooting lead bullets in my 9mm's for years. There is no leading with the proper sized bullet and they shoot great.
Bucolic_Buffalo
Bucolic_Buffalo
64 posts
Joined June 2016

RE: Using Lead Bullets in 9MM Handgun

The only real warning I am aware of is, that Glock recommends not shooting soft, or swaged lead bullets in their polygonal barrels. Some manufacturers of hard-cast bullets have said that there should not be any problem using their products in those type of barrels.

I have no experience with lead in a Glock. Just something to be aware of and monitor.

As far as lead fouling any firearm. Something to watch. Maybe try a different bullet. Change the cast alloy. Change the powder or amount of powder in the load. I have a couple newer revolvers that appear to be leading quite badly. I am just going to keep shooting them and see if they improve with a thousand or so rounds through them. I clean them frequently, so it's easy to keep tabs on the problem.
dillon
Administrator
dillon
3,090 posts
Joined July 2007

RE: Using Lead Bullets in 9MM Handgun

Polygonal rifled barrels, such as Glock, SIG and HK use, are not recommended for use with lead bullets. The "Land - to - land" dimension is tighter than in conventionally rifled barrels, and it can cause lead to strip off the bullet and build up on the throat of the barrel. Sufficient buildup can cause pressures to increase to unsafe levels.
coderpitt
coderpitt
95 posts
Joined November 2012

RE: Using Lead Bullets in 9MM Handgun

2x on the glock polygonal barrel issue with lead bullets. But you could always get a different barrel (normal rifling) for use with lead bullets. I've used uncoated lead bullets in my Browning and Grizzly for years with no issue. About every 200-400 rounds I'll run a bore snake down the barrel just to be safe.
rfwhatley
rfwhatley
41 posts
Joined December 2007

RE: Using Lead Bullets in 9MM Handgun

This is a falsehood based on partial truth.

The old-timers "rule of thumb" for reloading lead is that special care is needed when shooting bullets faster than 1000 fps. Obviously that is very non-scientific, but it does hold some truth.

1) 45ACP, 38Spcl... all your popular lead shooting guns are doing so between 700 and 850 fps. On the other hand, hardly anything the 9x19 Luger shoots is below 1050 fps. So special care is always needed with 9mm.

2) The next issue is that early 9's like the Browning HP, had bores that could measure anything from 0.355 to 0.359", and when you deal with lead the bullet MUST be at least 0.001" larger than the bore, and hopefully 0.002" larger. (So you can see how rumors got started way back when and simply never went away.) Thankfully, the popularity of the 9 has made manufacturers tighten their tolerances and most guns now measure in the 0.355-0.356" range. The bottom line is that with lead you MUST "slug" your bore and order the correct bullet size. Lots of vendors out there offer bullets in 0.356, 0.357, and 0.358" so that you can get the fit right.

Hope this helps.