Berry's 148 Grain Plated HBWC...anybody use them?


July 12, 2007, 06:42 PM
Hey Folks,

I just picked up some Berry's .38 caliber 148 Grain Copper Plated HBWCs, and have a few questions.

Is loading data interchangeable with the 148 Grain Lead HBWC? I have used the search feature on several different forums, and surfed the powder and bullet sites also. I have been unable to find any specific data for the plated HBWC.

Is accuracy on par with the Lead HBWC?

Hopefully some of the experienced reloaders and match shooters here on THR have some experience with this bullet.

Thanks in advance,

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July 12, 2007, 08:42 PM
I've loaded a bunch of the plated HBWCs and DEWCs. People often say, go ahead and use the lead data. Rainier make equivalent bullets (supposedly with a slightly heavier plating) and they recommend on their website using lead data. I shot both types of WC over 3.5 gr W231 in a +P rated snubby and a .357 revolver. Since the WC is a target bullet, the loading data for lead WCs is for light accurate loads rather than max-pressure loads.

The copper plating is harder and causes more friction than lead, so you are going to lose some velocity (and get higher peak pressure) compared to a lead WC (maybe losing 50-100 fps depending on barrel length). If you use lead data, it's possible that the plated bullet will be moving too slowly to stabilize and you won't get the same accuracy as a lead WC. That's why I increased the W231 load from the 3.0 gr that is usually recommended for lead to 3.5 gr when I saw that my plated WCs would occasionally keyhole at 3.0 gr. Since I was shooting a +P .38 and a .357, I wasn't too concerned about the increased pressure. The plated bullets seemed to consistently fly straight with the higher charge.

I would say that it's possible to get the same accuracy with plated as with lead, but not by simply using lead data. You'd have to invest some time at the range to get the right load for your gun. Turns out I'm not a good enough shot to see any difference.:o

July 12, 2007, 09:06 PM
I used the Berry's plated WC and interchanged loading data with no problems. I wasn't all that happy with the results no matter what powder charge I used. I just couldn't get them to group like the lead version. I have good luck with their .40 and .45 bullets but the WC's just didn't do well enough for me to buy any more.

July 12, 2007, 09:41 PM
I tried them too, and could never get them to shoot as accurately as plain 'ol lead HBWCs, no matter what I tried, load-wise. I tried them anywhere from 625 to 850 fps, using BE, 231 and some VV powder (320 maybe?).

I don't really see a need for them anyhow. Regular swadged HBWCs have never leaded any gun I've ever shot them in, as long as the velocity is kept below 800fps. My standard 38 spl 148 gr HBWC load give me around 720-750 out of a 6" barrel, and is extremely accurate. No need to push them any faster than that, IMO.

July 12, 2007, 11:03 PM
OK, I'm going to be different. I found them at least as accurate, and maybe more accurate than lead out of my 3" barrel S&W Model 65. I loaded them over 3.1 grains of Titegroup. This load is a tad hotter than the 2.7 grains I use for lead.

July 13, 2007, 06:19 PM
I also get great accuracy with the Rainier 148 DEWC behind 3.0 grains of TiteGroup. Have had no problems with keyholing and the load is relatively clean to shoot. I'm shooting them in a S&W 686 6" but my brother shoots them in his Rossi 4" with the same positive results.

I just loaded a bunch of Rainier 158 FP's with TiteGroup but have not yet shot any of them.

These are the only bullets that my local supplier had on hand and has been having them for quite some time. The boxes were dusty and with old price stickers on them. I don't know why shooters are bypassing these bullets; I tend to like them. I took some more off his hands for $44/1000 plus tax.

July 13, 2007, 07:51 PM
Thanks to all for the great information.

Thanks again,

April 11, 2009, 12:00 PM

I'm in the same boat as the OP, just picked up some of Berrys Plated HBWC in .38spcl. and though Ive looked in Lymans, Speer, Hornady etc. havent found any load data for plated or jacketed in the HBWC profile.....

I'll be shooting these out of 4" and 3" S&W barrels, the 3" is a +p the 4" is NOT - so Im a bit concerned about getting it right. Generally Ive been loading W231 and Bullseye with Dardas cast SWC and have had no problems at 3.2 and 3.4gr, the guns seem to love them but they loads are smokey. In the hopes of reducing smoke I bought some of the plated and am now looking for data and experiences.

Anyone have any suggestions - at the moment I dont have a Chrony.


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