We train a lot of students every year at TDI. When students come to a four-day class, we want them to get a good value and be able to concentrate on the instruction, rather than battling gear issues.
TDI staff instructor John Motil has the following advice after seeing a couple students suffering through our level 4-5 handgun class:
Bring Quality Ammo!
If you haven’t checked your Glock Owners Manual or the FAQ section of their website they don’t recommend the use of unjacketed ammunition. Page 15, Paragraph 26 for those of you who need proof. The polygonal, hexagonal, or octagonal rifling does not do well with lead bullets, they tend to leave a coating in the barrel and pressure will build and accuracy will suffer. We even had a gun that didn’t like plated bullets, either because of the velocity or the barrel’s interior finish.
Also if you are going to pay tuition for a 4 day class, travel expenses, and lodging does it make sense to bring reloads that don’t function? I saw a gentlemen waste 4 days of training by fighting ammo that didn’t work in his 2 guns. It didn’t work in mine either. He had so many ammo related malfunctions that by the time the class was over he wasn’t tapping the magazine anymore, just racking the slide because he knew his ammo was the culprit. Nice training scars he may never be able to overcome!
Don’t waste your time and money at a training class by bringing cheap ammo. It will cost you more in the long run! To add to what John wrote, any pistol without conventional rifling will not do well with lead bullets. The bullets are a tighter fit in the polygonal rifling, allowing the lead to fill up the rifling grooves. This will eventually cause over pressure issues and could even blow up your gun.
Besides Glocks, we see it occasionally in HK pistols as well. If you want to shoot cheap lead bullets, spend $150 and buy an aftermarket barrel with conventional rifling!