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About Lightfoot

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    Steve Lightfoot

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  1. I was running an RCBS 45 seating die and getting weird results. Depths were off, i even had exposed lead through the coating at the crimp area.......but before the crimp! I kid you not, the brass still looked like a trumpet and yet there was a shiny ring around the front driving band. I gave up trying to figure it out. I don't even care at this point. I bought a Hornady die and changed nothing else and all my problems have gone away.
  2. Great question. All I can think of is that you need to chase down where it it interfering. Mixed brass is a good place to start. Maybe case length. I've had inconsistent seating depth issues recently with a die. Switched to another and no more issues. We do have 135 grain available if that helps. I bet someone here knows more than I do on this subject.
  3. One thing that is certain to me, re-loading is one thing, shooting is another. They do intersect, and at that spot, we need to know what to do. For my personality and goals though, I just want to shoot and get better and better at that. Learning all the data, equipment, procedures, etc of re-loading is overwhelming. That's why I love forums and groups that can help. Like this one!
  4. Leading is more about barrel fit than hardness or even lube type to a degree. Undersized bullets allow the pressure to cut between the slug and the bore. This "gas cutting" causes the lead to melt and smear into the rifling. The escaping gas can also de-stabilize the bullet as it exits the muzzle which causes poor accuracy and tumbling at times too. Think about a 22lr. The lead is mostly pure and soft. The lube is really thin too, but it shoots at 1200-1400 fps without leading. So the hardness, the speed, the lube, are all in play here. The trick is the fit! Soft lead can conform to the bore with less pressure and seal it. This gives more accuracy and cleaner shooting. This is why we have chosen to go softer than most of our competitors. Loading, especially seating and crimping, needs a little more development with 13 bhn as opposed to 18 bhn. Swaging happens easier with softer lead, so the whole benefit is lost just when you think you've got it. NOE expander plugs have proven very useful and economical for loading without issue. So loading a larger projectile helps seal the bore and reduces leading rather than scraping excess lead off. There are limits, but usually .002"-003" over bore will be fine. It is something to test with a sample pack prior to ordering thousands of rounds. http://www.brazosprecision.com/Samples_c_28.html Simply state a size in the comments, otherwise we will ship out .356" for 9mm. It could take a week to get out custom sizes if we don't have them on the shelf. Our casting rotation at the moment is pretty flexible though. So I don't expect much delay.
  5. I've been busy working, shooting, vacationing and casting/shipping bullets lately. I haven't checked in on this thread in a while. Paul and I (Steve) are the primary owners of Brazos Bullets. We both have "day jobs" too. We've recently hired help to get orders out more promptly and to get orders cast and packed in shorter order. For the most part it's been successful. We've been fighting our equipment and finally gave up on two casting machines and sent them back to the mfg for a full inspection and re-build as needed. We're running a single caster about 16 hours per day 6-7 days a week to keep up with demand. So we are really trying to serve customers as quickly as possible. I apologize that we are sometimes late in shipping and replying to inquiries. Part of that was due to a failed attempt at hiring some help with both shipping and customer service. A few observations and announcements after about 3-4 months into the business: Our 9mm 125 grain coated bullets are either the most awesome shooting bullets ever or they lead barrels. .357" or .358" sized projectiles seem to fix the issue. NLG bullets seem to be more forgiving as to the leading issue. I'm not ready to call it a rule, but it seems to be the case. Now I don't know if the LG vs NLG accuracy tests favor one over the other across the board, but in 45 acp I do believe LG is more accurate. We've only had one report of a NLG bullet leading. Curious too though, we've had so many reports of exceptional accuracy of the LG 125 grain 9mm and really no one has commented on the exceptional accuracy of any or our other 9mm profiles. Makes me think LG bullets shoot the best but only when precisely loaded and matched to the firearm. 125 grain NLG moulds will be the next purchase. We'd like to offer this option for those who need this size and might benefit from a likely easier load recipe. We will still offer the LG version. 300 blackout subsonic 215 grain tips are almost ready to release! The National Champion Bullseye shooter for the last two years in a row is now shooting our 45 180 grain coated bullets and is super pleased with them. He bought from us at full price and as soon as we realized that Jon Shue just bought our bullets we bit our lips and waited for feedback. He let us know that they shot wonderfully and we obviously offered a sponsorship. This is relevant because very few of us can shoot as accurately as him. For a guy like Shue, the bullet quality matters. For me, it kinda matters, but only when I'm at the top of my game. My 7's don't become 10's due to my bullet maker. But Jon's scratch 10's may well be due to the quality of our bullets. We're just gleaming with pride to know that when precision matters, Brazos Bullets are the top choice. Our customers are the best. We have had so many wonderful customers offer to help us in many ways. From suggestions on website issues, to new bullet profiles, to actually promoting our brand with their friends, we are truly fortunate to have such a loyal customer base in such a short period. This forum and this thread has been very helpful to our success and growth. I will be contacting the admins about becoming an advertiser/sponsor so we can continue to promote our bullets and our low prices without bending or breaking forum rules. So, Paul and I would like to thank each of you for trying us out and helping spread the word. Don't hesitate to contact us with any need or question. Steve
  6. I've recently examined some bullets that were returned. I got back some that were loaded and pulled (caused leading). The pulled bullets measured .3555" and the un-seated (new) bullets measured .3560". The bore measured .3555" so what is really going on is the bullet isn't oversized anymore. (it was only a .0005" over anyway.) It is important to know for sure what size the bullet is in a loaded round. (It takes a micrometer to know since a caliper isn't really accurate in tenths.) Expander plugs and crimp dies can swage down the lead and make it too small for the barrel, I'd say it could happen regardless of the initial size of the projectile. So get those hammers out and pull a few bullets if you are having leading issues.
  7. Good to know! Glad we could help you figure out the recipe.
  8. That’s the plan going forward. Any sizer that falls a few tenths under the stated size will either be lapped or relabeled. This will apply to all profiles and calibers. Current inventory will not be changed so if you want to specify a minimum size we can double check the order before shipping.
  9. Thanks for all the replies to my questions. We have decided to go with the stated size minus 0 plus as much as .0007" So a .356" will be between .3560" and .3567". Lots of sizing dies actually drop a little small and we are basically going to make sure we are rounding in a helpful direction. BTW we just launched a new 9mm 135gr nlg round nose and it's worth a look.
  10. The most unsafe thing I've seen was a older guy passing out while shooting a 45. He stumbled and fell with his pistol cocked finger on trigger and muzzle touching his temple. A guy got there an instant before me and gently removed the 1911 from his hand. At that time his lights came back on and he moved his hands. If he'd squeezed his hand he'd have blown his brains out. That was tough to see. All the safety protocols assume one major thing: consciousness. Without that.......we're screwed.
  11. Hoppe sells wipes. Also there's a brand called D-lead. I don't know if they are actually different from normal wet wipes though. My lead tests are off the chart thanks to our local indoor range that I spent about 4 hours a week inside for the last 3 years.
  12. Most Bullseye shooters that shoot 9mm for the 50 yard line use jhp and push them pretty hard. In fact in my humble opinion, there is no reason to load 9mm for bullseye because a 45 can hold the X ring with much lighter loads and with lead swc tips; therefore the recoil is easier to deal with than a snappy 9. As soon as I can get the time, I want to test and develop loads for all of our bullets that will be "Bullseye accurate" just so we can have the confidence and personal experience. There is a rumor that the 38 super can be loaded with lead in the ranges of 38 special target loads and be quite accurate and soft shooting, but I've been shooting bullseye for 3 years now and haven't seen a single 38 super on the line (at least that I'm aware of). I'm tempted to try it just for a project.
  13. For coated lead bullets, I've noticed that .356" seems to be the most common size on the market. Brazos Bullets (brazosprecision.com) is considering making .3567 (just a touch shy of .3570") our standard. Does anyone see a problem with being a little big? I've had a few guys with leading issues and I think this would solve it. We'd still offer other sizes but the "stocked" size would be a ~6-7/10ths of a thou big. I'd love to hear from y'all on this topic. Pros/cons/concerns/etc.
  14. As for velocities, I'd say stick with "normal" pistol velocities and everything should be fine. I'm not that guy who wants to find the top end just for the sake of it. I've heard of people pushing coated lead past 1400 fps without issue though. Weekends have been pretty busy lately. Eventually we will show up at CCC though. What days are the matches?
  15. We have had a couple of folks have this issue. The coating seems to pass inspection via smash and acetone testing. The loading seems within the normal ranges. It may be as simple as upping the size. In fact I believe that is the key. I'll be watching the thread for other ideas too. I'm an Expert Bullseye shooter. I can reload what I need, but I'll admit that I don't have all the answers.
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