Sell me on plated .45 ACP bullets


December 11, 2007, 05:24 PM
I plan on reloading for .45 ACP soon. I plan on shooting 230 grain, round nose bullets. This will be an outdoor plinking round and I have yet to find a gun that I was better than (i.e., I'm not the best shot out there!). The gun is an STI Spartan 1911.

I know that plated is cheaper than jacketed, but is there any other reason not to use jacketed? Since the 230 is such a slow bullet, is the plating possibly peeling off even an issue? I always use jacketed in my 9mm and rifles. I'm not shooting indoors, so I don't need a totally encapsulated bullet. How much of a concern is leading? Copper fouling? How "delicate" are they? I've heard seating and crimping (Lee FCD) require a bit more care than a jacketed bullet.

Thanks in advance!

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December 11, 2007, 07:13 PM
For plinking you will never know the difference. At least I haven't. Being cheaper is what drove me to use them.

December 11, 2007, 07:45 PM
My standard "plinking" and informal target bullet for most of my .45's is Berry's 185 grain Round Nose Hollow [U]Base[U] bullet. It's the exact same configuration as the 230 grain Round Nose bullet, only 45 grains lighter. I've yet to find a .45 they wouldn't feed through, or shoot well through. Might be something to consider for your intended purpose.

Hope this helps.


December 11, 2007, 08:11 PM
Rainier 230gr rn, 3.8gr Clays, win lp primers. I now load fmj, since the price is about the same, but the plated Rainiers are great bullets.

December 11, 2007, 08:14 PM
+1 to what presspuller said.

December 11, 2007, 08:47 PM
I tried to find economical plated bullets without much luck. i was talked into hard-cast lead. Turned out to be the right decision.

December 11, 2007, 09:32 PM
I've been loading 230gr Rainier RN's for a couple of years now. As long as the brass case is properly flared the bullet seats as any other. Accuracy is fantastic.

I have also found that the plated bullets do not suffer from jacket separation, they are a lot tougher than I originally gave them credit for. After having recovered them, I have found them uniformly deformed, and intact. Wish I had a picture for ya.

The following were out of my 5" RIA 1911A1.
#1 is 9 rds at 7yds slow fire.

#2 is 37rds at 10 yds rapidfire.

The load is:
230gr Rainier RN
5.1gr Win 231
Win Brass
CCI Lg Pistol Primer
OAL 1.25"

December 11, 2007, 09:38 PM
other than price, there is no advantage (well....besides reduced exposure to lead) you'll never know the difference shooting them, they are just as accurate

I use berry's plated 185 grain hollow base round nose. About the cheapes bullet you'll find. order directly from berry's manufacturing website and you save a lot. shipping is included

December 11, 2007, 09:42 PM
Thanks all. They're only $168 (free shipping!) with C&R discount from Midway. Without the discount, they're the same price as jacketed from Golden West. And since I started reloading to save money... (okay, you can stop laughing).

December 11, 2007, 10:14 PM
I'd almost hate to find out how many tens of thousands of 230gr Rainiers I've put into berms and plates.
I'm not a good shot, but I can hit a 12-inch ringer pretty frequently at 45 yards with them, telling me the accuracy is okay.
The case-flaring advice is important, as it is pretty easy to shave the jacket if you don't. The shaved slice can overhang the case mouth with a lumpy mess you might not notice right away.
If it wedges in your chamber, this fattened load can tie up your Colt Special Combat Government pretty solidly during a USPSA match in front of a couple of dozen friends. You probably don't need to ask how I know that.
But that's no problem as long as you stay ahead of yourself.
I've long since settled on 4.6gr WST as my competition major-level load. I tried a lot of different loads, using Unique, 231, VV 310, 320, 340, Titegroup, and maybe some others. The WST load is the softest-recoiling thing you can use and make 170+pf. Quiet, too, believe it or not.
About the only powder that comes close in .45ACP is Bullseye, but it is a bit cruddy, still.
Oddly, after decades of shooting cast, including my own, and then switching to Rainiers exclusively about three years ago, the smoke and smell of cast-bullets loads has become almost annoying.

evan price
December 12, 2007, 03:05 AM
I use Rainier 230RN's or hardcast lead 230RN's for my .45 autos. No problems with either. It all goes down to what you want. Hardcast lead is cheaper but if you ever shoot inside it might be a lead issue. The plated bullets are totally encapsulated with jacket material even the base. The only drawback to Rainier or Berrys' to me is they are a little more expensive.
If you had a Glock or other pistol with polygonal rifling a plated or FMJ would be necessary.

December 12, 2007, 09:04 AM
Berry's 185 Gr. SWC @ 1.190 O.A.L.

Berry's 185 Gr. HBRN @ 1.265 O.A.L.

Berry's 200 Gr. HP @ 1.200 O.A.L.

Ranier 200 Gr. SWC @ 1.260 O.A.L.

Berry's 230 Gr. RN @ 1.265 O.A.L.

These will all shoot through one hole with the right load. Cheaper than jacketed, no lead to fool with, super accurate, feed great, etc. The Ranier 200 SWC will cut very clean full caliber holes in the target like a full wadcutter.

If your gun(s) does not like the SWC style, it will feed the other three choices all day long.

Pump Gun Pimp
December 12, 2007, 09:09 AM
In a .45 acp, I don't think you'll have to worry about plating seperation. You won't never know the difference.

December 12, 2007, 09:47 AM
I am having issues with Berry's .45, 185-TC/FN and bullet setback. It seems there is not enough neck tension. On closer examination, but have not put a caliper on it yet, the base of the bullets, visually, seem to be a tad larger than the rest of the bullet and I think this is interferring with proper neck tension. I can push the bullet down with double-thumb pressure to ~1.180 OAL on about half of the loads and am sure cycling them through the G36 will cause them to seat down farther.

This is not something I am willing to risk and I just pulled all the Berry's loads and will be replacing them tonight with something else.

I do not have this trouble with Zero 185 JHP or Xtreme plated 200 RN when seating to the same ~depth. And the Ranier plated 165 and Cabelas bulk plated 165 work great in my G27.

December 12, 2007, 12:14 PM
I've shot thousands of the plated bullets with no problems. My favorite 45 is Berry's 185 RNHB. Very acurate, reliable, and until the last price increase, substantially cheaper than FMJ.

December 12, 2007, 04:28 PM
nothing wrong with plated- i shot them till i couldnt afford them- then i went to hardcast- then when i couldn't afford those i started casting my own.

December 12, 2007, 06:31 PM
Here is one for you . . .


December 13, 2007, 11:19 AM
7 rounds at 7 yards. One of my better efforts. Berry's 185 Gr. SWC @ 1.190 O.A.L. with 5.7 Grs. N320.

December 14, 2007, 08:25 PM
Wow, a box of the Berrys 185 is $77.54 for 1000. I just bough 1000 Raineer LF 230 RNfor 119.

What will shooting 185 instead of 230 do for me besides save me money? I basically plink aand IDPA/ Steel Match with Unique powder in a Sig 220.

December 14, 2007, 08:39 PM
Sorry, buenhec. I wish that was so, but you need to go one step further with the Berry's order system to see the "lead surcharge" they've had in place for a while.
The actual price for 1000 185s after the surcharge is $109.94, which with their free freight, is the delivered price.
Hard to keep up these days.

December 14, 2007, 08:54 PM
Yep. I got that far and figured it out. Thanks

December 14, 2007, 09:40 PM
If you buy the Berry's 185 grain RNHB, it's the exact same profile as the 230 grain RN. They're great bullets and I've sent thousands of them downrange.

Hope this helps.


December 14, 2007, 11:08 PM
I use Berry's 185 gr HBRN's with 6gr Unique @ 1.250
185gr SWC's with 6gr "" @ 1.230
I get 3/4" groups at 17 yds out of my Loaded Champ. They are a good bullet, but they Jumped in price from 19.99 to 30.99 per 250.

December 18, 2007, 12:05 PM
I shoot both Berry's 185 gr. HBRN and Rainier 230 gr. RN. The Rainiers are cheaper than Berry's through Cabela's at least.
I also shoot 115 gr. RN for 9mm. Never any problems with Titegroup for any of them.

April 7, 2008, 04:24 AM
Care to share your loads with Titegroup and the 185 gr. HBRN? I literally just got outfitted with a reloading kit this weekend and can't seem to find any load data for the hollow base shape. As you can imagine, being this new to reloading, I'm pretty paranoid about messing up a small detail that can cause a big jump in pressure. A post on another forum suggested 4.8 grains to start with....does this sound reasonable?

Steve in PA
April 7, 2008, 08:05 AM
Rainier's work for me.

April 7, 2008, 08:40 AM
I've used hardcast lead 200 grain SWC for most of my plinking/target shooting, but I've also used the Berry's and Ranier copper plated bullets with great success over Clays powder.

April 7, 2008, 09:35 AM
+1 on Berry's over clays.

April 7, 2008, 09:56 AM
There is no need to use and copper, plated or jacketed. They're more expensive than lead (plain or moly coated) and requires chemicals to clean the barrel (not so with lead)...and they're way cheaper. Loading is as straight forward as any round.

I like Bear Creek lead 200g SWC over 5.0g of WST for IPSC and IDPA competitions. For Bullseye, I use Oregon Trail lead bullets.

April 8, 2008, 11:24 AM
Keep in mind, not all plated bullets are the same. And some "plated" ones are really copper-washed. Personally I like X-treme bullets, which used to be called West-Coast bullets.

We organize a group buy at the club, and get a pretty good discount when we order over 25,000 (which isn't as many as it sounds as the last three orders we 52K 45K and 55K).

Besides the cost, I think the less handling of lead the better.

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