conflict btwn bullet mfr & powder manual guidance


November 10, 2010, 02:06 AM
I've been reloading using Hodgdon powders and Berry's bullets for a few years now; for .32 H&R Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45-70 gvt. But as I started this week to research a 9x19 load using Hodgdon powder for the 124 gr plated round nose bullet from Berry's, I noticed the following;

Berry's recommends ( using using low- to mid-range jacketed bullet data.

Hodgdon warns users of their 2010 Annual Reloading Manual to load plated bullets using load data for a same-weight lead bullet. (See "Warning" at the bottom of page 70. The same warning is in the Hodgdon 2008 Annual manual).

For a 124 gr plated round nose bullet, that translates out to either:

4.0 - 4.7 gr WSF for a lead RN, or 4.7 - 5.3 gr WSF for FMJ RN.

VERY little overlap. Any thoughts which I should use? Are they really mutually exclusive, or do you think I can blend a bit here?

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November 10, 2010, 04:07 AM
I've heard many opinions that Berry's plating is much thicker than some of the other plated bullets. I have pulled one of my Berry's .357 loads with an aggressive roll crimp, and the plating was still intact. Hodgden has to consider the bottom of the barrel when they make blanket recommendations about plated bullets. But this is all just from what I've read on the web. So take that for what it's worth.

November 10, 2010, 07:25 AM
Keep it under 1200 and you will be fine. 50 to 75% of jacketed data won't get you in trouble with that bullet in 9MM. Load at a reasonable O.A.L.

November 10, 2010, 08:40 AM
If I had to make a choice, I would go with the manufacturer's (Berrys)recommendation first. After all, they made the bullet and know both its loading specifications and it's it's limitations.

November 10, 2010, 11:26 AM
FWIW, I recently loaded some Rainier (I know, I know, different brand but still) plated bullets in 38 Special and, following conventional wisdom, started at the bottom of the lead bullet loads per Hodgdon's data for Clays. Bullets stuck in the (7.5") barrel of my Single Action Army until I got half way to the top of the lead bullet loads, which was getting close to the starting load for jacketed bullets of the same weight.

So (especially) if the bullet maker is recommending use of jacketed data for their bullets I'd certainly believe them.

November 10, 2010, 11:40 AM
It takes more oomph to get a plated bullet going than lead. Start in the middle of lead data if using lead data.

November 10, 2010, 11:57 AM
It takes more oomph to get a plated bullet going than lead. Start in the middle of lead data if using lead data.

NOW you tell me. ;)

This obviously comports with my recent experience, but I don't recall actually seeing this advice offered before. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but my memory regarding plated bullets is just "use lead data", without the "but not the lightest" addendum.

Oh well, so soon old and so late smart.

Shadow 7D
November 10, 2010, 02:17 PM
What about Lee's data chapter on lead?

I believe the cover plated bullets, personally I thought you started at high lead/low jacketed and work up?

November 10, 2010, 04:32 PM
I too use the high end of lead to low/mid of jacketed data myself. Same procedure for Ranier or Berry's plated. For indoor range target use I don't have any need for more 'oomph' than that to put a hole in a paper zombie.

November 11, 2010, 12:28 AM
Thanks, all. I did start at the top end of the lead data, and worked my way up to middle-of-the-road plated. Hopefully, I can get to the range tomorrow AM & validate :-)

November 11, 2010, 12:36 AM
Personally, I start at the lowest starting load I find in any reloading manual. Why take a chance, when it is simple to work up a load? It's not like the lowest starting load is going to blow up your gun and think about the risk you MIGHT be taking by not starting at the low end.

November 11, 2010, 01:07 AM
I've loaded, and shot, well over 20,000 Berry's plated bullets over the last several years. For the 9x19, I just use jacketed data and they shoot great. You won't be able to run that 124 grain bullet over 1,200 fps in the 9x19, so all you have to worry about is pressure.

Hope this helps.


November 11, 2010, 04:38 AM
noylj; I think I'm as concerned over too low (see wrangler5's first post in this thread) as too hot.

ReloaderFred; Another area where I had trouble was Trail Boss loads with Berry's pro-jos. At first, all I could find for published loads were for lead-only, But then I learned Hodgdon's 70% capacity rule of thumb ( TB.

Edited to add: Got a real nice plinking load for my Blackhawk & Marlin .44 mags out of that process :-)

November 11, 2010, 07:05 AM
I have loaded Berrys bullets in .38 spcl. .357 mag and .45acp and all at higher velocitys than lead but lower down on the jacketed scale with good reults. I started low and had to come up a little to get better accuracy.

November 11, 2010, 09:30 PM
That's what I found at the range today, too. optimum accuracy was in the lower end of the jacketed data. Funny; even the least-accurate batch of the re-loads were more accurate than my control; 7 rds of factory speer jhps.

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