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dabob

Give it some thought before buying a rifle for LEAD FREE bullets!

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If you are pretty sure you will have to use lead free bullets in the future check out what lead free bullets are available for the rifle cartridge, caliber and barrel twist rates that are available.

There are some great rifles out there for lead bullets that won't be that great with the lead free bullets being shot through them because you will have to shoot bullets that weigh 30% to 40% lighter in them because of the slow twist rate.

Quite a few calibers have only copper lead free bullets available, some calibers have bullets that are lead free bullets that are not solid copper and these bullets are much less expensive than the copper bullets are.

It may take the bullet manufacturers 10 years or more to start making decent lead free bullets for all the different calibers. The rifle manufacturers will also need to make more .224 cal and smaller rifles with faster twist rates so heavier lead free bullets can be used in them.

Before I had to use lead free bullets I never thought about the twist rate on rifles. If you even think you may have to use lead free bullets check out the lead free bullets that are available and what twist rates that are recommended for those bullets before you buy a rifle.

It really sucks having to go lead free, don't make it worse by not checking out the few options that we do have before buying a new rifle.

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Good post bob. My Tikka is a 1/8 twist, but I heard rumors that some are now being sold with much slower twist rates. As you say best to check the Manufacturers specs prior to purchase.

The Tikka T-3 223 Rem with the 1-8" twist is one of the rifles I was thinking about when I made this post. You can shoot a much bigger variety of bullets with the 1-8" twist over a 1-12" twist.

22-250s and 220 Swifts are mostly slow 1-12" and 1-14" twisted barrels. So you may have to shoot 35 gr to 40 gr lead free bullets out of them. If you are buying a new rifle a 223 Rem maybe a better choice because a 223 Rem will shoot the 35 gr to 40 gr bullets at up to 4000 fps.

243 Winchesters can shoot the 55 gr and 62 gr Lead Free varmint bullets very fast so you may want to go with a 243 Win over a 22-250 for lead free bullets, to get 22-250 performance with the 55 gr to 62 gr bullets out of a 243 Win.

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I have been playing with the 55gr NBT lead free bullets in one of my 6mm Rem rifles. It's a 1:9 twist and I have not been getting good groups. I think the only other option in a varmint type bullet is the 62 gr Varmint Grenades. Might be trying those next. Would be nice if there was something about 75gr that performed like a V-max

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Great post. My .223 Sako with a 1:12 and 50gr. Varmint Grenades is terrible.

Try the 36 grain Varmint Grenades

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Great post. My .223 Sako with a 1:12 and 50gr. Varmint Grenades is terrible.

Yes. The 50 grain Varmint Grenades require 1:10 twist rate or faster. They shoot fine in my 1:8 and 1:9 .223 Rem barrels.

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Two of my old hornets have 1 in 16 barrels. They dont shoot unleaded bullets well at all. But my newest has a 1 in 12 barrel and shoots the Varmint grenades very well. I use it most as a squirrel gun. So Its a good idea to know what your gun will shoot well. DR

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I have solved this problem by going back to leadded bullets for everything, as a protest. Screw these jackasses in Sacramento. 711 proves (as if we needed more proof) that the origional lead ban had NOTHING to do with protecting the condor, and had everything to do with eroding the second amendment.

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Dave, just kinda curious to the powder that you are using with the lighter bullets in 6mm? I have had good success with Win760 in my .243 with lighter bullets. The ball powder measures pretty well too.

IMR4895 for the 55gr in my 1:9 twist rifle.

H4350 for the 105gr A-max. No issues with that in my 1:8 twist rifle

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In fairness to the bullet, I really have not put a lot of effort into finding what works. This was just my initial results that are not too great. Going to play with it a bit more and see what I come up with

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Thanks bob, a 22-250 or 243 was my next rifle purchase, so after reading your info it looks like I will be going with a 243 because I already have an AR in 5.56/.223 that has a 1:9 twist rate. I will be moving out of Cali before 2019, so I will not have to worry about the lead free crap.

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Don't rule out how good 87 gr V-Max bullets can be shooting from 6mm Remmys.

There are several years ahead before the butt-head no-lead rules come into place.

I have worked out the formulas for the Noslers 55 Lead Free in 6mm, once you use up all of your real bullets.

Meanwhile....The Desert Fox gave me the formula years ago for the 6mm V-Max....I have loaded lots of them and now use my 6mm as the "afternoon" rifle.

The 22-250 is the morning rifle...how civilized...OK Bob...start pouring the Martys.

Great to have a varmint round, 6mm, that is less affected by windy afternoons in Alturas. No need to be nice about it...

Spring is just around the bend.....

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Ya, this bumms me out, I jsut found a money load on my 7mm mag with 168 VLD's... Shoots great for target and hunting... Looks like the highest BC 7mm is gonna be the nosler 150 grain (BC@ .498) then the Hornady GMX 139 (BC@.486)... This sucks!

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For anyone shooting .308win here has been my trials and tribulations with the whole leadless ammo issue. I have two rifles in that caliber, one a Winchester model 70, the other a Remington 700 BDL and I wanted to develope some leadless loads for my hunting rifles.

For a number of years now I have been shooting the 168gr Sierra Matchking bullets in my loads that I had worked up for my .308 Remington 700 PPS. In my online research I had found that both Nosler and Barnes made .308, 168gr leadless hunting bullets. Initially I kept my powder weight the same and the over-all length the same, and made up 50 rounds each with both the Nosler and Barnes bullets. I then went to the range and sighted in both of my rifles with the .308 Sierra Matchking bullets. Once I was sighted in with the lead ammo I then switched to the leadless ammo to see how each of them grouped. I was not impressed. With both rifles I was shooting sub minute groups at 100yards with the Matchkings, but both the Barnes and Nosler leadless rounds had groups averaging 3-5 inches out of either rifle. One of the guys at the reloading store upon hearing about my horrible groupings said, "those leadless bullets like a little wiggle room and don't like to be seated right up against the lands in the barrel."

Taking his advice, I went home and made up some more leadless ammo and made batches with the bullets seated .010, .015, and .020 inches deeper than previously. Going back to the range I shot again at 100 yards with both rifles. This time my groupings were much better. I found that in general that the Barnes bullets had better groupings than the Nosler bullets. When seated an extra .015" deeper, the Barnes bullets had the closests results to my Sierra Matchking ammo as far as velocity and placement to the bulleye on the paper. For example, prior to resighting in, the Barnes bullets gouped just under an inch, and an inch under the bullseye compaired to the Siera Mathckings. The Nosler bullets grouped about 2 inches at 100yards and about 4 inches low and to the right compared to the Sierra Matchkings. For what it is worth, the Noslers also shot best when I had seated the bullets .015" deeper.[/sub]

I was also pleased to see that there was very little difference in shot placement between the two rifles during any of the tests. This has led me to conclude in my limited scientific methodology (lol) that most of the variables were attributed to the bullets, and seating depth, and not so much to differences in the rifles themselves.

So what I've got now are leadless .308 win rounds with a 168gr. Barnes TSX bullet traveling at about 2550fps. With both rifles zeroed at 200 yards, I can go to the range and hit animal sized targets out to 500 yards with the first round. The bonus being that because my leadless rounds closely match my lead ammo in performance, I can practice with the cheaper lead rounds at the range and save a few bucks.

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Novaman I'm not sure your post was in response to mine, but when I started working up my loads and looking for bullets I specifically was looking for 168gr leadless bullets. I don't remember seeing the GMX bullets at that time and there is a chance that I overlooked them because they were 165gr. They look intersting though and maybe worth a try. Have you used them?

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