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Can I shoot lead bullets in my Glock barrel?

Barrel bullets Glock lead shoot

Can I shoot lead bullets in my Glock barrel?

Brian Brown

I have been loading 9mm and 44mag pistol ammo for years; many thousands or trouble free rounds.  Enter a new Glock 19 and only five rounds of lead bullets and I get the scare of a life time.  Upon the firing of the 5th round out of a NEW gun, there is powder debris flying out the gun and materials I assume were case fragments.  There was an excessive amount of ‘smoke’ and poweder smell.  The case was stuck half way backward, leaving the action part way open.  I am one of these "Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire’ guys and immediately his the mag release to drop the mag and remaining bullets to the floor.

What I saw was that the case literally blew out a small hole to the back of the case, near the rim.  In talking with some gun smiths on this issue, I was told that the Glock can lead up quickly near the forcing cone and at the very start of the bore, causing the bullet to not seat all the way to where it SHOULD head space, leaving a dangerous portion of case at the rear to be exposed and unsupported.  The Glock doesnt ‘care’ that it has not seated all the way and the striker hits the primer anyway and you have case failure.

I shoot a ton of 9mm.  I’ve had mostly Beretta full size (92)….and no problem.  I had a similar situation in a Sig as well. 

In an old world philosophy trend: If you are unsure, play it safe.  Do not shoot lead bullets in a Glock.  Because that is 99% of what I shoot, the Glock is gone.  Great gun, but does not work for my purposes.  


It is time. Here is my experience: I’ve shot about 25,000 cast lead bullets through Glock 40’s with stock barrels (23, 27, and 35). I never hot rodded with lead bullets in the stock barrel, and generally stuck to middle or lower end loads using Unique and other medium speed powders. When switching bullets or loads, I’d do some testing to see how many rounds I could fire before leading started to build up. With good bullets, I could get to ~150 rounds before I felt the leading was going beyond “minor.” The lead bullets worked fine for me in the stock barrels. I don’t have any experience with Glock 9s or 45s with cast bullets in the stock barrel. Please add your experience with lead bullets in Glock barrels.

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