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Hi,

Can you use cast bullets (lead) in a Glock? I was reading an article in Gun Digest stating it was not good for them. This is the first time I heard of this.

Mike
Hi AM.
Glock says not too. For every person that says "no" two will say yes. If you snoop around this site a bit, using the search function, you'll probably get more answers than you ever wanted too.
Good Luck....

FT.:cool:
 

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Hi,

Can you use cast bullets (lead) in a Glock? I was reading an article in Gun Digest stating it was not good for them. This is the first time I heard of this.

Mike
CAN you use them? Yes.
SHOULD you use them? No.

Quoting the Armorer's Manual (©GLOCK, 2009), page 82:

"Use of non-factory loaded ammunition or ammunition loaded with non-jacketed (lead) bullets will void the warranty."​

Quoting the Instructions for Use manual (REV. 11/08), page 31, Under the section heading "Exclusions from Warranty", item 4:

"No liability can be accepted if inexpertly manufactured or inexpertly filled ammunition is used."​

The first reference pretty clearly says no reloads and no lead bullets. The second quote, in a publication a year older than the Armorer's Manual, leaves the door open to reloads, but it seems to have been superseded by the first quote. Since customers are not getting the Armorer's Manual, I think Glock is actually leaning toward accepting reloads..it will just be the owner's problem to establish his/her "expertise" if a warranty claim is disputed.

As a practical matter, if you use lead in a Glock barrel and it blows up, if you send it to Glock I'm willing to bet that they will be able to tell that you used lead. Also, I have read (but can't provide references) several messages where it is believed that the Glock polygonal rifling somehow is more prone to lead build-up, apparently because the bullets tend to skid across the rifling rather than being gripped tightly. That skidding would logically leave some lead residue.

There are others who will swear that lead bullets are perfectly OK, and that you can ignore Glock's warning. Well, you can do that, if you don't care about the warranty. Personally, I use jacketed bullets in Glocks.

Chris
 

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UPDATE on Glock Warranty related to Ammunition

In an earlier post I quoted the Glock INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE manual dated 11/08. Opening the literature package that was included with a new Gen4 G34, I found that this manual was updated in January 2013, and now includes the following warning on page 17:

"WARNING Do not use reloaded, remanufactured, or hand loaded ammunition because it may not meet applicable SAAMI, CIP or NATO standards and could cause death, serious personal injury, and/or property damage. Only use high quality commercially manufactured ammunition in the same caliber as your Glock pistol. (Note: Use of reloaded, remanufactured, or handloaded ammunition will void the warranty)."

While I admit I didn't read every single word of the manual, I found no reference to the use of lead bullets. However, the Armorer's Manual does contain that warning.

Chris
 

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[INDENT said:
"WARNING Do not use reloaded, remanufactured, or hand loaded ammunition because it may not meet applicable SAAMI, CIP or NATO standards and could cause death, serious personal injury, and/or property damage. [/INDENT]

While I admit I didn't read every single word of the manual, I found no reference to the use of lead bullets. However, the Armorer's Manual does contain that warning.

Chris
I would suggest that warning is because they are concerned about vicarious liability. There is nothing inherantly unsafe about lead bullets, cast or formed. They may make your gun dirtty and hard to clean, buit, they will not perminately damage a gun. If I were to use lead bullets, I would cast them out of a hard mixture, like wheel weights, and with a gas check. ..............Robin
 

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I would suggest that warning is because they are concerned about vicarious liability. There is nothing inherantly unsafe about lead bullets, cast or formed. They may make your gun dirtty and hard to clean, buit, they will not perminately damage a gun. If I were to use lead bullets, I would cast them out of a hard mixture, like wheel weights, and with a gas check. ..............Robin
Agreed, there is nothing inherently wrong with cast or swaged lead bullets. In this case, Glock is specifically warning against using cast lead bullets in Glock's polygonal-rifled barrel. For some reason, a traditional cut- or broached-rifling barrel is less prone to the kind of lead build-up that seems to be a problem with Glocks.

I have never personally used cast lead bullets in a Glock, so my information is admittedly second-hand. But I do believe that this warning is given at least partly because there's a technical reason for it, and partly as you suggest, just to avoid liability.

Frequently, I rely on advice that I consider authoritative, especially on topics such as this. Here are three excerpts that I think are worth considering.

THE COMPLETE GLOCK REFERENCE GUIDE Third Edition, © copyright 2006 PTOOMA Productions LLC, page 36:

"Lead Ammunition

The problem with lead bullets and Glock factory barrels starts with the rifling. Traditional rifled barrels incorporate grooves and lands. The lands actually engrave the lead bullet and cause it to spin as it moves down the bore. Glock rifling, referred to as polygonal poly(many) gonal(sided) incorporate multi sided flats that are not conducive to use with lead bullets. The lack of lands in the polygonal rifled Glock barrel tend to allow a lead bullet to skip down the bore rather than spin, leaving larger lead deposits while creating build up and reducing bore diameter. A restricted bore builds excessive pressure. Excessive pressure coupled with an unsupported chamber can leat to a Glock KB (Ka-Boom).

Many IDPA and USPSA patrons shoot lead from Glock factory barrels but are meticulous at maintaining a clean bore. They are keenly aware of the dangers they impose upon themselves. The easiest fix to this potential problem is to simply use jacketed or plated bullets in your factory barrel. Use an aftermarket standard rifled barrel for lead bullets.

Federal Ammunition has offered a lead .40 S&W cartridge that works very well in Glock handguns. This is because the lead is very hard and does not foul the barrel at the same rate as traditional lead cartridges."​

(The comment about unsupported chambers is old news and is discussed elsewhere on this Forum. The comment about Federal Ammunition cannot be verified, but since the book is over seven years old, I would research that before making any assumptions.)

ARMORER'S MANUAL, © Glock 2009, page 82:

"Use of non-factory loaded ammunition or ammunition loaded with non-jacketed (lead) bullets will void the warranty." (emphasis is mine)

The Glock in Competition, © copyright 2005, Robin Taylor, pages 65-68:


"DO GLOCKS FAIL WHEN FED LEAD BULLETS?

Yes, they do, and here's why: The problem lies with barrel geometry. Glock barrels are hammer-forged polygon-rifled barrels. In cross-section, a Glock bore looks something like a stop sign. There are no "grooves" per se, only a series of flat lands. If you measure a conventional .40 barrel, the diameter across the grooves will be larger than the distance across the corners of a Glock. The diameter across the lands will be similar to the distance across the flats, but the total cross section of a Glock bore will be less than the conventionally rifled bore. Because of this, Glocks actually swage bullets down to size. Nothing in the Glock barrel cuts like rifling; instead, the Glock "mashes" the bullet into a polygon shape. Put another way, instead of rifling cutting grooves into an otherwise intact bullet, the polygon rifling mashes the entire bearing surface until corners form at the edges.

Because of this swaging and "mashing" effect, the dynamic forces on the bullet going down the bore of a Glock are significantly higher. I have performed scanning electron microscope (SEM) evaluations on test bullets before and after they were fired from Glock and conventional barrels, and the results confirm that grain boundary separation and tearing occurs to a much larger degree.

The design of the Glock barrel was intended to optimize performance of jacketed bullets with inconsistencies. As such, with the crappiest jacketed bullets you can find, Glocks will usually outperform most other pistols. However, with lead bullets, lead gets stripped off the bullet as it travels down the Glock bore. Copper holds together better because of its ductility, but the lead tears away from the slug and is left in the bore as deposits. The first few lead slugs leave flakes of lead behind. With heat and pressure, these flakes eventually "solder" to the bore. Even with the unusually hard and small-grained Oregon Trail bullets, this occurs some. Combine these progressively higher pressure levels with the partially unsupported chamber in a Glock, and you have a potential problem."​

The author goes on to describe some testing he did in connection with a lawsuit, where he was able to induce a failure in a Glock 22 by using lead bullets. I encourage you to buy or borrow that book to read the entire article, I'm simply tired of transcribing it.

That has been sufficient for me to avoid using lead bullets in Glock barrels.

Chris
 

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Interesting, but, as I previouslyy stated, " IF, I were inclined to use lead bullets, they would be of hard cast lead, like wheel weights, AND a gas check ". The purpose of a cas check is two fold, 1: to keep the flame and heat from burning gases from melting the base of the bullet, and 2: to strip of any lead deposited by the lead bullet. I didn't see where any tests done with this combination. I have pushed .44 mag, gas check bullets to 2200 fps, in an 1894 Marlin, with no evidence of leading........Robin
 

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Interesting, but, as I previouslyy stated, " IF, I were inclined to use lead bullets, they would be of hard cast lead, like wheel weights, AND a gas check ". The purpose of a cas check is two fold, 1: to keep the flame and heat from burning gases from melting the base of the bullet, and 2: to strip of any lead deposited by the lead bullet. I didn't see where any tests done with this combination. I have pushed .44 mag, gas check bullets to 2200 fps, in an 1894 Marlin, with no evidence of leading........Robin
Even with the speed of the .44 mag rounds, the Marlin doesn't have polygonal rifling. If you "know" what you're doing, you can "probably" use gas checked hard cast bullets in a Glock stock barrel. In my experience, I can buy plated or even jacketed for less than hard cast gas checked bullets. If you "roll your own", have at it, just check your barrel often for signs of leading... The polygonal rifling will (if it's going to) lead up quickly.

The key is "knowing what you are doing"... We get new Glock owners that reload (but maybe more for CASS) and they load up some bullets with a 12 Brinnel rating and can't understand why their barrel is leaded up... All gun manufacturers put in their owners manual not to shoot reloads, and millions of us do it. The only difference here is the specific issue with the polygonal rifling. If you are a competent bullet maker, you can most surely come up with a cast that will suit your needs... But no one is going to get this forum to say shooting cast bullets out of a Glock is a good idea.
 
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Even with the speed of the .44 mag rounds, the Marlin doesn't have polygonal rifling. If you "know" what you're doing, you can "probably" use gas checked hard cast bullets in a Glock stock barrel. In my experience, I can buy plated or even jacketed for less than hard cast gas checked bullets. If you "roll your own", have at it, just check your barrel often for signs of leading... The polygonal rifling will (if it's going to) lead up quickly.

The key is "knowing what you are doing"... We get new Glock owners that reload (but maybe more for CASS) and they load up some bullets with a 12 Brinnel rating and can't understand why their barrel is leaded up... All gun manufacturers put in their owners manual not to shoot reloads, and millions of us do it. The only difference here is the specific issue with the polygonal rifling. If you are a competent bullet maker, you can most surely come up with a cast that will suit your needs... But no one is going to get this forum to say shooting cast bullets out of a Glock is a good idea.
Exactly what I was going to say, Ed. There are some differences in a Glock and an 1884 Marlin .44 Mag.
 

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Yall just like to argue, for the sake of arguing. Nowhere, in any of my posts, does it say that I use, or have used, am contemplating the use of, or advocate the use of lead bullets, ( I have not ). I MERELY STATED THAT, IF I WERE TO USE LEAD BULLETS, HOW I WOULD GO ABOUT IT. Robin
 

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"Yall just like to argue, for the sake of arguing."

That is the sound of table-thumping, the tone of this thread just headed South.
We are finished with the facts and information.

I am closing the thread.

Chris
 
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