What is your favorite FMJ (hard) bullet (not cartridge) brand?


January 23, 2005, 08:02 PM
OK, I tried plated. Not impressed. #68's and hardball seem more accurate in my guns, and the weights seem more consistent.

What is your favorite brand of hardball? We're talking .451 230 Gr. RN FMJ here. Not plated. Not flying ashtrays. Not LSWC. No flat points. No CMJ. Just honest to JMB hardball.

Consistent weights. Consistent size. The proper shape. Good materials. Accuracy, accuracy, and more accuracy. Loading/seating considerations (although I've never seen any hardball with a beveled base). Flat bottoms, cupped bottoms. Price matters within reason, but which stuff would you want in your best batch of hardball loads.

Rants on preferences are solicited...

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Black Snowman
January 23, 2005, 08:12 PM
Winchester or Zero, whichever I can get cheaper. Remington if those aren't available. I'll be trying out some Berry's plated. I had pretty good luck with their 185 gr SWC.

January 23, 2005, 08:36 PM
i didn't have much luck with plated either, although i just loaded another 500 rnds, just to get rid of them... actually reovered some of the plated bullets, rifiling was barely cutting, and sometimes not at all... all of them are undersized... i'm refering to the 95gr. rn .355 offering from berry's loaded in .380 and shot from a sig232...

won't buy again...

Black Snowman
January 23, 2005, 08:47 PM
yesterdaysyouth, were they undersized before loading or did the loading process reduce them? I'm curious because my .45s and 10mm Berry's mic OK (not great, .450 to .451 for the .45 and .399 to .400 for the 10mm) but I had problems with accuracy and Rainier plated bullets if I used a Lee FCD as they would reduce the cailber of the bullet in the case and actually lesson case tension. Apparently the soft lead of the plated bullets doesn't spring back as much as the brass.

January 23, 2005, 09:07 PM

One of the very few things I'm anal about is reloading. With respect to plated, I did have notes. On the the 230 Gr. FMJ (sorry I know you're a CZ guy, but I only tried Raineer's in 9mm, and you seem to have .40s), I measure.

The Raineer's (of 10) varied .450 and .451. They had a slightly cupped base. Weight varied more than random Zeros.

The Berry's were (of 10) .452. They had a flat base. Weight varied more than random Zeros.

Berry's shot better than Raineers (although it wasn't a perfect test, I just kept test targets...w/5.5 Gr 231, WLP, Starline +P cases)

Zeros shot much better for me. Groups seem two-thirds or smaller than with the plated bullets. Some of this could be my confidence in FMJ.

In 9mm, all I can say is Zero 124 Gr. FMJ was much better than the similar RN Raineers. Again, maybe two-thirds the size of the plated groups. Golden Sabres (JHP) did even better (just a tad). All the 9mm comparisons were 6.2 Gr Power Pistol, 1.15 (as I remember), and WSP.

January 23, 2005, 09:08 PM
They are all about the same, and I have yet to see a 1911 that will show an accuracy difference with a 5 grain deviation in bullet weight at 50 yards. Not even the 1.5" guaranteed Baer guns will show the difference. Brass and powder consistency is where the accuracy is with a decent quality bullet. Lead bullets are where the real accuracy is at, match grade 068's are as good as you will find.

Plated bullets make good blasting ammo, but that is about it.

January 23, 2005, 09:29 PM

Any take on the bases? I seem to remember that some are flat, and some have the jacket extend a bit below the lead. Being curious, I've pulled a few bullets from factory stuff. Wolf (hey, I had to try a box!) had very thick jackets, Lawman and S&B were thinner. I also wonder about the purity/material in the jackets. Golden Sabres, for example sure don't seem to have a pure copper jacket. I'm wondering what the effect is.

With respect to weights, my experience is different. As the handle implies, I spent decades in the black powder world, and used to compete (NMLRA) in muzzleloader shooting. Weighing my roundballs made a significant difference (excluding cap & ball). In that world, rifling was MUCH slower (1-48" .32 cal, 1-66" .50, 1-72" .54). Light bullets seemed to be the source of fliers. I'd weigh 'em and reject any swaged/cast bullet .2 gr below the heaviest. It made a big difference. (This was a bullseye world, not a IDPA/IPSC/USPSA thing, as you can imagine)

I agree with you that consistency matters...very much so. No doubt on your experience, I'm just trying to use the approach that worked for me with muzzleloaders and BPCR. There are quite a few proponents of weighing bullets in the BP world. Here is one (http://home.mindspring.com/~dr5x/) as an example, who won the nationals years ago. You should see how anal some of those BPCR gurus are. And they can hit a steel buffalo target at 600 yards with a .40-65 or .45-70...with iron sights (vernieer...with a level).

Just in pursuit of X's. I'm addressing bushing/barrel, barrel/slide fit...and seriously working on the trigger pull, form etc. It just floats my boat....

January 23, 2005, 09:46 PM
my bad these are rainier's....
i have 27 rnds left and here's what i found....

size measures .354 - .352 before loading...
weight is very good though, didn't vary more than .5gr.

i do use the FCD and it does reduce the caliber even more. pulled bullets from loaded rounds shows it too. the length of the jacket that actually engages the lands is small, but they do work.... :rolleyes:

Black Snowman
January 23, 2005, 11:26 PM
Thanks for the info RugerOldArmy. I don't follow as closely as you but I have had great luck with Zero bullets. I've put around 4000 through my Glock .40 and quite a few through my old Taurus 669.

I used to get them through Southern Belle Brass but they don't carry many bullets now so that's why I made the switch. If I could find them as cheap again I'd probably switch back. Also looking at casting my own, but not for a while yet.

January 23, 2005, 11:37 PM
I voted Winchester. Sorry, no real data behind that. If I remember, I'll get the caliper and scale out and take some measurments.

January 24, 2005, 08:40 AM
ROA, all things being equal I would look for the ones with the thinnest jackets, inconsistencies in jackets would have less impact on the balance of the bullet in flight that way. Sierra Tournament Master handgun bullets have been very accurate for me, and one of them just happens to be the 230 FMJ you are looking for. http://www.sierrabullets.com/bullets/caliber.cfm?Type=handgun&Caliber=.45

January 24, 2005, 10:05 AM
I have only used Ranier 115gr plated in my 9mm, and they work very well. With as cheap as factory ammo is, I buy the inexpensive reloading components, to make sure I am saving a buck or two over the factory stuff! :) I get good to very good acccuracy out of them, too.

January 24, 2005, 04:59 PM
Star FMJ's. They're about as cheap as plated. I get them from TNT reloading when they visit local gun shows.

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