jacketed Vs lead


PDA






deadeye dick
April 22, 2014, 05:19 PM
Is there a difference in accuracy between lead cast and FMJ or plated bullets? I shoot lead a lot because of the cost. I see a lot of FMJ bulk at the gun shows and would like to try them on for size. I do all my shooting in the back of my property out to 25 yds. Is there a safety factor involved? I shoot steel plates (flip and stationary) and pizza boxes. There seems to be a lot of recipe's for the XTP's also. are they as accurate as FMJ for self defense?

If you enjoyed reading about "jacketed Vs lead" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Havok7416
April 22, 2014, 05:27 PM
No difference in accuracy (for me), but the difference in cost is usually prohibitive to me for volume-type shooting. My XTP bullets in all calibers hit right where they are supposed to - these are loads I use for self-defense and are far better suited to the task than any FMJ. Functionally, the XTPs are identical to any FMJ in terms of flight performance. I'm not sure about steel plates with FMJ as I don't have any steel to shoot at.

Hope this helps!

steve4102
April 22, 2014, 06:45 PM
In order of accuracy performance in my pistols.

Lead, Jacketed, then plated waaaay down the road from the other two. YMMV

tightgroup tiger
April 22, 2014, 07:27 PM
I have to respectfully disagree. I have had much better accuracy out of plated bullets than I ever had from lead. I don't have the mess to clean up after shooting lead either.

Personally for me, I would rank them at Jacketed, plated and lead for MY SHOOTING HABITS. Plated are soft lead and have to be treated that way.

You can't crank them up like you can with "hard cast" lead bullets. Out of my 23 guns, I have one that comes close to jacketed accuracy with lead bullets.

I have no doubt that if you really work with lead bullets and cast your own you can make them very accurate. As far as store bought variety that's available to us, I stick with heavy plated bullets like Xtremes since I haven't seen jacketed anything for over a year.

Just my opinion.

Schwing
April 22, 2014, 07:44 PM
I have found that jacketed bullets are the easiest to get good accurate loads with. It is nice to not have to worry about sizing them or have issues with leading.

I have only very little experience with plated but found them to be no better or worse in accuracy than hard cast lead (at least in my guns).

I have never had any luck getting good accuracy with lead bullets that I have purchased and they almost always caused leading in my barrels. There are a few commercial casters that will let you pick your diameter but not many.

Having said that, with a little work and patience, lead can be every bit as accurate as jacketed bullets. It is true that you usually can't push them as hard but the fact that you can cast your own and size them to match your barrels makes them the clear winner for me.

I don't have the mess to clean up after shooting lead either.

I hate that too, which is why I powder coat my bullets after I cast them. I have not seen any leading since.

bds
April 22, 2014, 07:45 PM
I used to think jacketed bullets were more accurate than lead/plated bullets but I think depending on the barrel/powder/charge used, accuracy from each bullet type can vary.

This is from Herco testing with 9mm - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9375519
115 gr Winchester FMJ:
6.1 gr @ 1.160" - 1.30"

115 gr Berry's plated HBRN:
6.1 gr @ 1.155" - 1.04"

124 gr Berry's plated HBRN:
5.8 gr @ 1.155" - 1.43"

124 gr Z-Cast lead RN:
5.2 gr @ 1.160" - 1.12"

This is from Herco testing with 40S&W - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9362819#post9362819
180 gr Missouri lead TCFP:
6.1 gr @ 1.137"/1.142" - 1.10"

180 gr Berry's plated TCFP:
6.1 gr @ 1.130" - 1.50"

buck460XVR
April 22, 2014, 08:09 PM
My experience is, if you're loading for one gun, and you've fit the bullet to the gun, you can get very accurate loads using lead. If you're wanting to load one bullet for several firearms in the same caliber, your most consistent bullet for accuracy is going to be jacketed. It also comes down to what you consider accurate and what kind of accuracy you desire. Accuracy for shooting milkjugs @ 25 feet is different than trying to shoot the eye outta a turkey @ 50 yards. Lead is cheaper, but is harder to find a truly accurate load for and will require you to spend more time cleaning your bore. If you have access to free lead, than casting your own makes sense. If you need to buy gas checked cast bullets, you may as well buy jacketed. There are pros and cons to both, with plated coming in between. One needs to figure out what their priorities are before they know which is the right way to go. I myself use some lead, mostly in .45ACP as I have only one and have found a lead bullet that works well in it. In my other handguns, I have several different models in each caliber and none shoot the same lead bullet with similar performance. Not wanting to load a different bullet for every gun, jacketed works better, as the same jacketed load shoots well in all.

beeenbag
April 22, 2014, 08:36 PM
I think that developing an accurate load with jacketed is easier, but once you get a good lead load, they are just as accurate if not more so.

plmitch
April 22, 2014, 10:15 PM
No real difference, cast might have a slight edge......

Nordeste
April 23, 2014, 02:10 PM
I thought lead would be the most accurate option, just because it would hold onto the rifling better due to the material it's made of, compared with the copper jacket on a FMJ. I also heard that plated were the worst in terms of accuracy, but being soft lead, I don't know what reason this statement is based upon.

deadeye dick
April 23, 2014, 06:11 PM
I use the lead (.45 acp, 9mm, 38spl., 357 mag. from one specific caster and they claim a brinell hardness of 18. I do not have a problem with leading at all. I clean the weapon usually after shooting 100 rnds. or so. As for powder I use green dot , w231,& titegroup when I can find it. Thanks to all!

CraigC
April 23, 2014, 06:31 PM
I don't have the mess to clean up after shooting lead either.
What mess??? If you're getting leading, you're doing something wrong.

tightgroup tiger
April 23, 2014, 07:34 PM
What mess??? If you're getting leading, you're doing something wrong.

The mess is because I don't have the time to devote to shooting a separate bullet for each handgun I have. I have tried most of the brands of lead bullets and have had no luck with them.

I started to cast my own with lead around 8brn hardness to have softer bullets and it made no difference.

Maybe I am doing something wrong, maybe I don't have to put up with that because I can shoot plated bullets and get the same or better accuracy than the lead was doing and don't have to clean up all the leading I ended up with.

Craig, if you have lead bullets that work well in your handguns, good for you, I wish I did, but I don't.

So I shoot plated and jacketed.

GLOOB
April 24, 2014, 07:05 AM
In some cases, jacketed can be much more accurate. If your bore has a constriction in it or a bad crown job, cast lead bullets will usually go wonky way before a jacketed bullet. But if your gun can handle it, cast is usually just as accurate, for pistols and short range rifle work, anyway.

The only caliber I shoot more jacketed than lead is in 40SW. And that's cuz I haven't nailed that particular gun, yet. I still get a tiny bit of fouling. I think it's cuz my one gun in that caliber is not a Glock. I have my Glocks and rifles shooting cast bullets like clockwork.

I have to add that IME there IS a mess that comes with cast bullets... in revolvers. Lube spitting out of the cylinder gap makes quite a mess after 100 rounds.

CraigC
April 24, 2014, 01:24 PM
The mess is because I don't have the time to devote to shooting a separate bullet for each handgun I have.
I don't do that. I have dozens of revolvers I shoot cast bullets in and I don't do anything special for any of them.

DM~
April 24, 2014, 07:49 PM
I've shot a lot of big bore competitive and I've won more than my share of matches. I've loaded/shot both jacketed and cast, and I never got more accuracy out of the jacketed, so my own cast bullet it is!

And, NO there's no mess or leading, I'm with Craig on this one, either you are doing something wrong or have some rough bbls!

DM

tightgroup tiger
April 24, 2014, 08:36 PM
DM, I have no pistols with rough bores. I had them checked. My revolvers, except for one, are all 1972 or older Smith& Wessons revolvers in mint condition. They have polished barrels from the factory. They are very accurate with any plated or jacketed bullets. They are accurate with lead bullets until they lead up after about 100 rounds of store bought bullets that are under sized.

Your casting your own, is there a reason your not buying factory made lead bullets.

What alloys are you using? What hardness.

32_d3gr33s
April 24, 2014, 09:17 PM
i shoot mostly plated and lead. i found no increase in accuracy shooting jacket over the other 2. my plated seem to have the best accuracy and you dont have to worry about leading. A lot of it has to do with the manufacturer of the bullets, and the powder choice as well. different hardness lead will perform different. ive had the best luck with plated bullets from X-treme, and lead from Falcon

DM~
April 24, 2014, 09:47 PM
I see no reason to buy bullets that are so easily made and nearly FREE... In 44cal. for instance, I size them to .430" and lube with alox...

I start out with wheel weights and add tin until the bullets cast, can just be scratched with my thumb nail. I found it interesting that after checking hardness that way for years, Skeeter S wrote that, that's how he checked his too, so I guess it's a pretty good test as he prefered "his own" cast bullets tested that way too. Like anything else, after doing it that way for years, you learn to to keep things pretty close to the same.

I don't do this in my melt pot, I make it up a "kettle full" at a time, then pouring it into 2# ingots to use later in my melt pot. Each lot is kept separate...

Anyway, here I am, melting FREE wheel weights to clean the lead, then pouring it into "home made" molds that give me 20 pounds ingots.

http://www.fototime.com/5133F5B9485B253/standard.jpg

I set these aside, to be remelted and "alloyed" later...

DM

tightgroup tiger
April 26, 2014, 08:45 AM
See that's what I was talking about. You casters are working with your alloys, working with your sizing and tuning your bullet hardness in so you don't have leading problems. That's what I don't have the time to do or learn right now.

That's why I have leading problems.

A bullet that fits the bore of a pistol or rifle and has the best powder charge behind it will be accurate no matter what it's made out of.

The OP never said a word about casting his own bullets, he indicated he is buying them from his original post. He is at the mercy of the bullet mfg to sell him a bullet that fits his particular barrel. So in a certain sense plated or jacketed could be more consistently accurate unless he works with the lead bullets to get one that properly fits his particular barrel or is lucky to start with and the store bought bullets work well for him with out leading his barrel and destroying his accuracy.

That's all I meant by my comments about lead bullets.

CraigC
April 26, 2014, 10:39 AM
Your casting your own, is there a reason your not buying factory made lead bullets.
I've never cast a bullet in my life. I buy them because I don't have the time or inclination to cast my own. They're only "nearly free" if you put no value on your time, enjoy doing it and get free lead. Like I said, I don't do anything special with any of them. I buy standard sizes, make sure I match the hardness to the velocity and can't remember the last time I had to clean lead out of a revolver's bore. If you're leading up after 100rds, something is wrong. Either the bullets are undersized, too hard or too soft.

dbarnhart
April 26, 2014, 11:06 AM
My own experience was that when I switched from jacketed to my own cast lead bullets my accuracy went up.

The reality though is that I'm a plinker so ultimate accuracy is not the point. Fun is the point. The last time I calculated what a box of .45acp costs me using my own cast bullets it was $3.50 for a box of 50. At that rate I can have all the fun I want.

As for time, I shoot about 5,000/yr of 45acp. I spend two days/year casting those bullets.

Blue68f100
April 26, 2014, 02:15 PM
In pistol BE shooting you will find that most are shooting lead, even HP SWC. At low velocity. Some say a flat bottom HP-SWC preforms the best over rounded. Every gun is different in what it likes. Some guns prefer a particular weight where others it does not matter. I know HP are more accurate in the jacketed that I shoot. It's all about stabilizing the the mass.

Most of my handguns shoot lead more accurate than jacketed.

Schwing
April 26, 2014, 02:51 PM
They're only "nearly free" if you put no value on your time, enjoy doing it and get free lead.

I loved this statement and I agree with it 100% although I am on the other side of the coin:) While I wouldn't agree that I don't value my time, I sure spend a lot of time doing something I love.

I enjoy casting and reloading as much as shooting. For me, that is one of the biggest reasons I spend so much time working on different and better ways to do it. I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing old scrap lead turned into slick looking bullets that shoot well.

It isn't about the money either. I am quite sure I have spent as much on casting supplies as a few years of jacketed bullets would cost. It is kind of that same adage that says you won't save money by reloading, you will just shoot 5 times as much. I have even picked up a few calibers that I would not normally be interesting in just for the fun of having a new bullet to cast for.

CraigC
April 26, 2014, 04:13 PM
I enjoy casting and reloading as much as shooting.
I'm truly jealous of you guys that enjoy it, casting and reloading. Reloading is a process I don't particularly enjoy but I don't mind doing so I can shoot as much as I want. I love cast bullets and truly believe in them but casting doesn't interest me at all. I came close a few years ago. I was going to take the plunge on a Winchester 1876 replica .50-95 and it almost requires you to cast your own bullets. After spending two hours on the phone calling every tire shop in three counties looking for free lead and coming up with nothing, I gave up on it.


I spend two days/year casting those bullets.
I would spend a lot more time than that with all the cartridges I load cast bullets for. How much time do you spend scrounging, hauling and processing your lead?


The last time I calculated what a box of .45acp costs me using my own cast bullets it was $3.50 for a box of 50.
It costs me less than $3 more a box to use commercial cast bullets. I can live with that.

stubbicatt
April 28, 2014, 09:16 AM
It has been years since I cast a bullet, but I am on the edge of doing so again. Not so much for cost savings, though that is a factor, but more because I found that using my home made lube, all I ever needed was a moistened patch down the bore and in the chambers, followed by a dry patch, and I was done cleaning.

I also found that I was able to obtain consistent accuracy in the firearms I was shooting by using my own hand cast slugs.

Also, the odor from the lube smells like McDonald's french fries. I found myself giggling more than once when someone shooting downwind of me at the range would turn to his buddy and say, "let's go to McDonald's" -- I probably should ask the McDonald's folks for advertising money to defray the cost of ingredients in that lube!

The elephant in the room here, at least in my view, is the toxicity of lead vapors. This is the primary reason I am not casting these days. I know if you keep your melt down around 700 degrees farenheit, and cast in an open area, with a fan pulling the air from the area around the pot you can minimize exposure, but to me, this is a valid concern.

buck460XVR
April 28, 2014, 01:38 PM
I'm truly jealous of you guys that enjoy it, casting and reloading. Reloading is a process I don't particularly enjoy but I don't mind doing so I can shoot as much as I want. I love cast bullets and truly believe in them but casting doesn't interest me at all. I came close a few years ago. I was going to take the plunge on a Winchester 1876 replica .50-95 and it almost requires you to cast your own bullets. After spending two hours on the phone calling every tire shop in three counties looking for free lead and coming up with nothing, I gave up on it.



I would spend a lot more time than that with all the cartridges I load cast bullets for. How much time do you spend scrounging, hauling and processing your lead?



It costs me less than $3 more a box to use commercial cast bullets. I can live with that.


I'm much like CraigC. Many of my friends cast and tell me I need to. Years ago I had access to tons of free lead and gave it to them. Now, altho they tell me to cast, those tons of free lead are now gold to them and they can't spare an ounce and my resource for more is gone. So is the time, the space and the desire to cast my own. So the few lead bullets I shoot are commercial and they do well in the limited guns I use them in. One friend spends many a Saturday, driving to the local tire shops in the surrounding area giving away 12 packs for a few buckets of wheel weights and then claims they're free. Time, gas and 12 packs aren't really free, and most of the local shops have realized the value of the lead and know what the scrap price is.

I enjoy making my own ammo, just as I enjoy making my own arrows and crossbow bolts. But I only have time and space for so much. I know those friends that cast get more satisfaction than just the monetary savings from shooting their own cast bullets and I admire them for that.

Vodoun da Vinci
April 28, 2014, 01:51 PM
I hand load but do not and never will cast. I buy all the bullets I shoot and have been shooting jacketed, cast lead, and plated lead. I have not had leading problems and shoot lead wad cutters in .38 and lead flat noses in .32. Plated bullets in .380, 9mm, and .38 and some jacketed in .38.

The accuracy is excellent with any/all. The only thing I do not like about lead is the smoke.

VooDoo

chiltech500
April 28, 2014, 01:53 PM
I've read this thread with interest. Until recently I believed that a properly cast bullet was as accurate as you could get. Reading on Bullsye pistol forums, for 45acp many use the JHP 185gr made by Nosler or similar 185 JHp's. They switched from cast, or use cast for the 25 yd line and jacketed for the 50 yd line. If they use cast they use more expensive casts from Zero Bullet or some company that does laser casting. We're talking about $0.15 to 0.18 bullets, at that cost it's not much more to shoot JHPs'.

Leading control is something I have not paid much attention to until recently and I sized down the width of my crimp from .472 to .470 and there seems to be some improvement. I learned from Bullseye shooters to put a drop of CLP on the top round on every mag. I took off my Les Baer barrel yesterday and voila no leading and ran a dry swab through and the barrel shined. Don't know if no leading was the tighter crimp or the CLP. My rounds plunked fine with .472 but I read most were crimping .469-.470 so I gave it a whirl. I have no idea about the accuracy implications yet as I just shot my first recrimped briefly yesterday.

I continue to use MBC and will do so because I am not good enough a shot to appreciate the higher cost bullets.

Blue68f100
April 28, 2014, 02:24 PM
A lot of the BE shooters are casting there own. They are using molds which has proven to them again and again that there is no better.

Lead is a different animal. But once you find that magic load you can shoot a very long time and not get any leading. I had worked up a BE load using WST at 4.0-4.1 gr behind MBC BE#2 185gr SWC. After 500 rounds I have no leading what so ever in my Kart Barrel. But I'm shooting the softer lead since these are considered mouse fart loads since they are so light. But they are accurate and that what counts when it comes to punching holes in paper.

oldpapps
April 28, 2014, 02:36 PM
deadeye dick,

I'm only going to address one part of the original question.

"Is there a difference in accuracy between lead cast and FMJ or plated bullets? I shoot lead a lot because of the cost. I see a lot of FMJ bulk at the gun shows and would like to try them on for size. I do all my shooting in the back of my property out to 25 yds. Is there a safety factor involved? I shoot steel plates (flip and stationary) and pizza boxes. There seems to be a lot of recipe's for the XTP's also. are they as accurate as FMJ for self defense?"

Accuracy is dependent upon many factors. For this discussion, I will center just on the projectile.
The consistency of a quantity of bullets is the key.
FMJ bullets like the 62 grain green tip 'SS109' with a steel core, I don't think were expected to be overly consistent. The size and weight may be the same but the balance of that core is going to be off. This introduced inconsistency will cause spiraling in flight and promote tumbling on target.
Hollow point target bullets are manufactured with great detail in the shape and squareness of the butt of the bullets. Planned consistency of pressure on the base of the bullet even after passing the barrel's crown.

You are getting the general idea here.

Now to the three bullet types. What ever the coating, the bullet can not be any better than the core. The core metal must be free of voids and homogenous in make up. For the home caster, this presents some challenges. Lead is 'hardened' with various add-in metals. None of these melt at the same temperature of lead. Even the many alloys of lead don't melt or more importantly solidify at the same temperature. Very seldom will an alloy be cast that is eutectic (no plastic state - goes from liquid to solid). As the lighter metals float about in the liquid lead, the chance of the same locations of the clumping is slim.
Lead wire being squirted from a vat of multiple hundreds of pounds of lead, stands a much greater chance of greater consistency. This lead wire is the normal core for jacketed bullets.

Summery, bullets that are manufactured with the same degree of constancy, no matter if raw lead or covered with plating or 'Powder Coated' or jacketing are fully capable of the same degree of precision. My question is, how much are you willing to pay and will you be able to see the difference. As for me, I cast the bullets that I can't/don't get (for several reasons) from commercial casters (Missouri Bullet Co). The greater number of bullets fired are from commercial makers. I don't see/shoot well enough to be concerned when popping off multiple rounds from my 40 or 44 or 45.
Some believe that they get better accuracy with (insert bullet type). To this I say, yep. But if the same effort to find the right mix went into the other types, accuracy would be very near the same. But then, if it ain't broke.....

deadeye dick
April 29, 2014, 05:47 PM
Great explanation. Just what I wanted to know. Thanks to all for the input

joustin
April 29, 2014, 06:49 PM
I bought 500 polymer coated lead bullets, they were $2 more than lead and can be driven a bit harder than lead. I recovered a bullet fired into the ground, the blue polymer was stripped where it hit the ground but the grooves were still well coated. There was a slight line from the edge of the lands but no leading or blue polymer in the barrel. I think I will switch to them over lead just to avoid the messy lube

If you enjoyed reading about "jacketed Vs lead" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!