Berry's 200 SWC - OAL ? Experiences ?


November 2, 2005, 10:52 PM
Hi guys,

I just picked up a box of Berry's plated 200gr SWC in 45 ACP.

I load a lot of plated bullets in RN and have had good success. My local caster has decided to go into the bug exterminator business (???) instead of cast and sell bullets.

I have been using a 200 gr H&G profile LSWC for years, but now they aren't available locally for a decent price. I have decided to give the plated SWC's a try.

The profile is pretty close, but the angle from the base to the meplat is a little different and the overall height of the plated is slightly longer.

I have in the past always used 1.240 OAL and had excellent results with the lead.

I haven't loaded any of the plated SWC's up yet, and was hoping to get some input regarding experiences with the Berry's, any OAL recommendations (if any) and a starting point for load data.

I have bee using 8.3 gr AA#5 or 5.0gr Titegroup with good results.

What do you guys use ? Any problems with the Berrys SWC ? Load/OAL recommendations ?

Thanks in advance for the help...


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November 3, 2005, 12:27 AM
I have loaded and shot thousands of the Berry's .45 caliber 200 grain SWC bullets. They shoot extremely well in both of my 1911's and in my three Witness .45's. I've standardized on a load of 5.5 grains of Winchester 231 with this bullet and an overall loaded length of 1.185". This load will go where you aim it all day long.

With the plated bullets, you just have to bell the case mouth, as you would when loading lead bullets, and only enough crimp to remove the bell. Too much crimp will cause the plating to separate and can cause keyholing.

Hope this helps.


I corrected the posted OAL length to what it actually is. Hope this didn't cause a problem.


November 3, 2005, 09:26 AM
Hey Fred, are you sure on the 1.285 OAL ? JDGray

November 3, 2005, 11:42 AM

Thank you for catching that. I had 1.285" written down in my data book, and on the labels, but when I saw your post I pulled some out and measured them and they are 1.185". That's what they should be, 1.185". I'll edit my prior post.

Thank you again for pointing that out. Now I have to go back and correct all the labels on my boxes...............


November 3, 2005, 12:00 PM
I've used them at 1.25" OAL with no troubles feeding. To be honest, I haven't experimented a lot on length, so I can't say at what point it's too short or too long, unless it doesn't fit in the mag.

I have found that none of the plated bullets seem to feed as smooth as their lead counterparts, but they feed.

November 7, 2005, 11:15 PM

Funny you should ask. I emailed Berry's about the same question just a week or so ago. Here's the response:

Ref: 45-200-SWC OAL - It's important to limit the amount of full diameter shoulder above the crimp to .050 to .060 so that the full diameter shoulder does not encounter the leade at the end of the chamber before firing.

Our 45-200-SWC has a shorter nose than the traditional Lead SWC, so suggest you try an OAL of 1.20 (+ or -) .010 and you should be right on.

Good Shooting,

Bud Watson
Berrys Mfg Inc

I loaded to 1.185" and it seemed a little too short but shot fine.

November 8, 2005, 07:10 AM
I load that rnd @ an oal of 1.275 auto rim( NO MOON CLIPS) for my S&W 625 4" brl with 5.3 grs of win 231 & cci large primer, it is one sweet load, hope this helps, Greg:)

November 8, 2005, 01:31 PM
Need to find an OAL that will feed in your gun? Cheat, and use a round of ball ammo to set your seating die. Screw your seating die down on a ball round and lock it down, this matches the high spots of the new bullet profile to the ball profile. Measure OAL of the new bullet, crosscheck a couple manuals for starting loads and go from there.

This sure makes loading bullets of a new profile easy and painless.

The Drew
November 9, 2005, 07:56 PM
The one thing you have to watch with Lead SWC though is that if they are too long they engage and do not fully chamber and that could cause a KB as the gun never fully returns to battery... (I know, I had this happen...)

November 10, 2005, 07:54 AM
I have been using HSmith's method for 30 years.

In fact I've loaded over one million of rounds of .45acp and I couldn't begin to tell you what the OAL of any of it was. It was all loaded to match the ogive of GI Ball.

November 10, 2005, 09:16 AM
Like , TheDrew ,said watch them swc! 1.220 works for them. JDG

Ky Larry
November 10, 2005, 07:51 PM
My pet load for my Kimber is 5.1 gr Unique, 200 gr LSWC, C.O.A.L. 1.195"

Last week at the range,at 10 yards this load put 7 rounds thru one hole that could be covered with a quarter.

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