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  1. #1
    Plinker
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Maximum velocity for lead bullets

    Hi,
    I've reloaded off and on for many years. The only non-jacketed lead bullets that I've loaded have been low velocity .38 special and .45 ACP. Due to the current bullet shortage, I bought 500 "hard cast lead bullets" from Space Coast bullets in .44 caliber. I want to load them for a .44 magnum handgun. What velocity can I load for before barrel leading becomes a problem? Thanks for any advice ...tdmman

  2. #2
    Expert Robert Richardson's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Not knowing how hard their "Hard cast" really is ,I don't think I would go over 1000fps.

  3. #3
    LoaderHolic billybob44's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by tdmman View Post
    Hi,
    I've reloaded off and on for many years. The only non-jacketed lead bullets that I've loaded have been low velocity .38 special and .45 ACP. Due to the current bullet shortage, I bought 500 "hard cast lead bullets" from Space Coast bullets in .44 caliber. I want to load them for a .44 magnum handgun. What velocity can I load for before barrel leading becomes a problem? Thanks for any advice ...tdmman
    It depends on a lot of things:
    1. Hardness
    2. Diameter
    3. Lube
    4. Speed
    5. Powder burn rate.

    In general, 1000-1200fps. is the MAX bullet speed for most any hard cast bullets.(Without Gas Checks)
    I usually load my 9MM's at around 1050, in my Glocks (with aftermarket barrels), with my 124 cast RN, wheel weight alloy bullets. The rest-.38Spl.,.357Mag., .45acp., .44Mag. , are running less than 1000fps..

    Hope this helps..Bill.
    NRA Life Member since 1976+Outdoor Sportsman

  4. #4
    Expert XtremeVel's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Fort Wayne
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    2,304
    Assuming you bought the correct sized bullets for your barrel, the next step would be determining the proper pressure for the hardness of the bullet...

    You can also get leading by using too hard a bullet and not running high enough pressures to obturate the base of the bullet.

    I am not a caster. I buy my cast bullets from either Dardas or MBC. I have faired well using the information from MBC's site in regards to selecting the proper hardness for the intended velocities I load to.

    Here's a simplistic read on selecting the optimal bullet hardness for your intended use.

    Click here: Missouri Bullet Company
    Semper Fi USMC 1983-87

  5. #5
    Plinker
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    56
    Thanks all for the info. I'll "shoot" for somewhere between 1000 and 1100 fps.

  6. #6
    Expert 45fan's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    2,292
    Something else that may make a difference, the bullet shape. I have a box of 240gr BBSWC in .44, and they are plenty hard to shoot up to and past 1000fps, but in a revolver (cylinder gap) the beveled base creates a jet cone effect, and the flame splatters the base of the bullet, and leading becomes atrocious. The exact same load in either of my .44 rifles is just fine, without the first hint of leading. Try a few loads and see, worst case you have to do a little extra cleaning.
    I dial 1911, it stops the threat faster

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