Plated bullet (Berrys) question


June 4, 2011, 05:15 PM
OK, so I went and bought a bunch of Berrys bullets before I realized that plated and FMJ are not exactly the same... Reading their website they not totally clear on what load data to use.

In one place ("how do I load these bullets") they say this:
Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.

But, for "how fast can I shoot these bullets" says this:
Velocities depend on the caliber, but as a rule of thumb, we recommend you don't shoot our plated bullets over 1200 feet-per-second. Our 44's actually shoot best around 1150 fps. 45's are generally good at 850-900 fps. Our bullets are not recommended for magnum velocities.

My confusion is that I am loading 38spl with 125 and 158gr bullets. In the Lyman manual, none of the .38 loads are over 1200fps, they are all well subsonic even at max. Add to that the gun they will be shot through has a 2.25" barrel and I am kinda confused. Are .38spl velocities just so low that it doesn't matter? The listed max velocities for the .38 are lower than even the starting load for a .357, so it doesn't make sense that the same bullet would have problems being shot at, say, 800fps from a .38 but OK at 1000fps from a .357.

I'm looking at the same confusion on the .45's I bought; they claim 850-900fps is good for .45, but that is basically a max load according to Lyman which seems to conflict with their statement to stay at mid range loads. :confused: Really looking for advice from someone who has shot plated bullets and what load data you used because I want to get out to the range and start testing out different loads and powders!

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June 4, 2011, 05:16 PM
For a .38, you will be fine using jacketed data.

June 4, 2011, 05:51 PM
This link has some good info.

Your Berrys bullets will be just fine in .38 Spl. So will your .45's.

June 4, 2011, 08:45 PM
Don't over think the use of plated bullets. They're just bullets, and in the two calibers you mention, you'll be fine with jacketed bullet data.

When Berry's tells you to limit your velocities to 1,200 fps, that's a general rule for the bullets in handguns, not caliber specific. You're thinking strictly .38 Special, but when they put out a general rule, they have to consider that some people will use the same bullet in a round that is capable of pushing that weight bullet considerably faster than the .38, but the same bore diameter.

I use lots and lots of Berry's bullets. There isn't any mystery about them. Work up your loads just as you would with jacketed bullets and you'll be fine.

Hope this helps.


PS: They will tumble at 1,450+ fps from a handgun..............

June 4, 2011, 09:57 PM
Any issues with loading plated bullets for a 10mm?

June 4, 2011, 10:08 PM
I load Berry's 165 gr. and 180 gr. plated bullets in 10mm without any problems, but I keep the velocities down around 1,200 fps with the 165 gr., and about 1,100 with the 180 gr. I also load the Berry's 165 gr. in the .400 Cor-bon, and they shoot quite well.

Hope this helps.

June 4, 2011, 10:30 PM
To add more confusion the berry do not have a cannlure so you cant apply a firm rolll crimp on the rounds. You have to adjust your dies to more so taper crimp. If you crimp too much you can break through the cooper jacket causing problems. But they do have to be crimped enough to prevent bullet jump. This shouldnt be an issue with the 38 but with higher end 357s you may have to play with a little.

June 4, 2011, 11:53 PM
I'm driving the .357 HPs at 1250-1400fps and nary a problem.

Hondo 60
June 5, 2011, 01:08 AM
ReloaderFred is right, don't over think it.

Plated bullets need a bit more umph than lead, but not as much as jacketed.

Just use common sense when figuring out the charge weight.

June 5, 2011, 08:20 AM
I use a anywhere from a light to a medium taper crimp on Berrys in .38 Spl, and have never had a problem with the bullets pulling out further under recoil. Neck tension is what keeps them put, not the crimp. In heavy recoiling calibers that use a roll crimp, especially with heavier bullets, yes, the crimp plays a vital part in helping the bullets stay put under recoil.

And use a taper crimp die to taper crimp. You can not properly taper crimp with a roll crimp die, period. :)

June 5, 2011, 10:07 AM
Here is a couple loads that work well for me:
5.5 Grains of Unique

6.8 Grains of VV 3N37

June 5, 2011, 10:14 AM
For a .38, you will be fine using jacketed data.
Yes. And adjust your crimp die so the case mouth *just* bites into the copper plating a little. (you don't want to cut all the way through it or deform the bullet any more than you have to)

June 5, 2011, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys! Had a feeling I would be OK but figured it is always safer to ask...

I still need a chronograph, so I'll rely on Lymans recipes for now. Will see how things go!

June 8, 2011, 01:18 AM
+1, just be careful with the roll crimp. In a revolver, too much crimp can lead to pieces of plating spitting out the cylinder gap at high velocity.... enough to draw blood if your shooting buddy is standing too close!

June 8, 2011, 07:37 AM
I use taper crimps on all plated bullets.

June 10, 2011, 11:14 AM
IIn my limited expereince I keep the velocities of plated bullets to a maximum of 1050 fps and insure the use of a taper crimp to prevent damage to the plated shell.

Berry's MFG
June 10, 2011, 01:29 PM
Once we have published data (which is in the works) it will help answer most of the questions. I've shot many of our bullets through my 10mm's since I have four of them with no problems. I've gone above the 1200fps with them but I find they shoot best around the 1150fps mark.

June 10, 2011, 03:07 PM
I use taper crimps on all plated bullets.

I do too (.38 Special, 9mm, .45ACP, .45 Colt). On the .38 Special I use my 9mm taper crimp die, on the .45 Colts I use the .45ACP taper crimp die. They work perfectly. I love Berry's bullets.


Berry's MFG
June 10, 2011, 03:37 PM
I've got all Dillon dies, they use their Accu-crimp die for all the rimmed cases which is more like a taper than a roll crimp die.

June 10, 2011, 10:52 PM
All -

Starting this JULY, the Hodgdon web site will have Berry specific load data for a lot of their powders in most calibers.

June 11, 2011, 01:09 AM
Well, all the rounds shot fine. I ended up using a light roll crimp on the .38's because I measured some slight bullet creep with the first test loads. I didn't see anything other than nice holes in the paper, so assuming there was no problems with the plating stripping off or anything like that.

Berrys: looking forward to you guys having some load data up on the web!

Berry's MFG
June 13, 2011, 01:00 PM
No more than I, it will be a good thing.

June 13, 2011, 03:46 PM
All -

Starting this JULY, the Hodgdon web site will have Berry specific load data for a lot of their powders in most calibers.
Most excellent.

June 13, 2011, 08:57 PM
Great, It will be interesting to see what they recommend for the upper end.

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