Ammunition prices are higher than they ever have been (when you can find it) and even new shooters are considering reloading to reduce ammunition costs. Since lead bullets are a fraction of the cost of copper jacketed bullets many people want to shoot it through their Glocks, but are afraid that may damage their gun and void their warranty.
The reason Glock prohibits shooting lead is in the shape of their polygonal barrel.
When the gun is fired the bullet is actually swaged into the barrel, providing a gas seal so that it can be pushed down the barrel by the expanding gases. Traditional rifling is cut into a barrel and consists of lands and grooves that the bullet can “bite” into. The rifling twists along the length of the barrel and imparts the stabilizing spin that the bullet needs.
Glock’s polygonal barrel is formed by hammer forging the barrel around a mandrel that is a negative of the chamber, bore and rifling. Rather than being swaged into the sharp edges of the lands and grooves the polygonal barrel is nearly round and the soft lead can skid across the rifling, smearing onto the surface.
Over as few as 50-100 rounds the lead fouling the Glock barrel can reduce the bore diameter to the point that it faces increased pressures and damage the barrel or even the gun.
With this risk, it begs the question…
Why does Glock use a Polygonal Barrel?
The main reason is that no other barrel manufacturing method turns out as many barrels, as fast, and as efficiently on a cost-per-unit basis, but there are others as well.
The polygonal barrel design…
- provides a better gas seal around the bullet which permits a more efficient use of the combustion gases, increasing the muzzle velocities & consistency and slightly increasing accuracy
- deforms the bullet less improving accuracy
- reduces the buildup of copper in the barrel which results in easier maintenance characteristics.
- typically has a longer barrel life
So, how can you shoot a Glock cheaper?
It is possible to shoot a lead bullets in a Glock provided you…
- Clean the barrel every 50 rounds, or…
- Find lead bullets that are sufficiently hard enough to not smear on the rifling, or…
- Change your barrel to a conventionally rifled barrel.
Lone Wolf Distributors replacement & conversion barrels
The most common aftermarket barrels for Glock’s are conventionally rifled and made for Lone Wolf Distributors.
Lone Wolf’s barrels are available as direct replacements, compensated, threaded or even extended models, but they are also available as caliber conversions from 40 to 9mm, 357sig to 9mm or any other combination you can think of.
With a Lone Wolf barrel you can reduce your costs from $0.35 cents a factory round to under $0.10 a reloaded round; and pay for the barrel in as little as 400 rounds.
Over the past 6 months Lone Wolf Conversion Barrels have been in high demand, but at the time of this post we have the 2 most popular barrels in stock.
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