Lead vs. jacketed


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bullzeye8
May 3, 2014, 11:22 PM
I was just wondering for reloading pistol if you want the best accuracy from a pistol are lead bullets usually more accurate or a good quality fmj or hollowpoint?

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plmitch
May 3, 2014, 11:36 PM
What pistol, caliber, powder?

bullzeye8
May 3, 2014, 11:41 PM
I am just wondering in general but what about in 9mm luger and 45 acp?

Havok7416
May 3, 2014, 11:44 PM
It truly depends on the load. I shoot jacketed, plated and lead all with great accuracy. The only "better" part of lead is the reduced cost, but otherwise all things are equal with bullets.

Reefinmike
May 3, 2014, 11:46 PM
They say FMJ are more accurate... I cant tell a difference at 15 yards. Ill keep digging away and melting down the berm!

243winxb
May 4, 2014, 12:04 AM
Match grade jacketed is the most accurate. Cast lead is the least, because of trapped air bubbles. Swaged lead is more accurate than cast, but only for light target loads, as swaged is soft. Cast bullet molds have vent lines cut into the mating surface of the mold blocks. These help remove trapped air that doesnt make it out the sprue plate/hole. At times, pressure casting must be used to push this air out of the cavity. Pressure casing requires the bottom pour spout to be in contact with the mould. This makes for a better fill out with problem bullet types. Pure lead gets a better fill out with pressure casting. My cast bullets never have air bubbles in them and they all go into the X ring at 50 yards. :D http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_CastBullets_20090207_004.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/user/joe1944usa/media/CastBullets_20090207_004.jpg.html)

plmitch
May 4, 2014, 12:25 AM
My .45lc is more accurate with cast bullets. It all depends on the pistol and load you are using.

PapaG
May 4, 2014, 12:27 AM
I'll go with 124 grain jhp or jhp in the nine and a cast version of the H&G 68 (or 67, I don't remember the number) SWC 200 grain for accuracy. I use the Lyman 452460 200 grain which is quite similar.

Wreck-n-Crew
May 4, 2014, 12:32 AM
If your plinking at 25yds or less you can work up an accurate loads with either that are just as accurate. In the end a good load will be more accurate than you are.

I guess there are other differences that set them apart such as cost, possible leading with a bad load or not so good barrel. Also cost and smoke from cast is not fun indoors. Then you can always jump on the coated bullets. Cast bullets with coating don't smoke or lead.

vongh
May 4, 2014, 12:34 AM
Match grade jacketed is the most accurate. Cast lead is the least, because of trapped air bubbles. Swaged lead is more accurate than cast, but only for light target loads, as swaged is soft.
I didn't know cast bullets had air pockets in it. Ive been using cast bullets with 9mm for a long time, with comparable accuracy to fmj. Accuracy always depends on the person on the trigger. I would get different weights and both lead and fmj and see what gun/shooter combo is best.

hartcreek
May 4, 2014, 02:03 AM
Cast bullets do not have air in them if the person doing the casting is doing it right. I use cast for practice and jacketed for get serious time.... accuracy is the same.......tack driving.

35 Whelen
May 4, 2014, 03:16 AM
I'll explain my preference like this:

If I were offered the choice of a lifetime supply of unlimited, free jacketed bullets or to continue to cast my own, I'd continue casting my own without hesitation. Certainly jacketed bullets are potentially more accurate due to manufacturing processes and tolerances. But to find the real difference, one would have to eliminate the human element, as others have already noted.

35W

plmitch
May 4, 2014, 03:20 AM
Is there any way to get some more info on these air bubbles? Sounds interesting.

35 Whelen
May 4, 2014, 03:45 AM
Is there any way to get some more info on these air bubbles? Sounds interesting.
Yes, but it requires the use of mind altering substances and out of body experiences.

35W

41 Mag
May 4, 2014, 08:15 AM
I can honestly say that out of who knows how many hundreds of pounds I have poured, I have had a few (dozen to hundred) that were pretty messed up. Those however went right back in the pot. When I have the alloy up to temp and the molds up to temp, they all come out within a few grains either way of the desired weight depending on the alloy used, and they usually will shoot as good or most time better than I can hold.

Vodoun da Vinci
May 4, 2014, 09:18 AM
Having shot all kinds in 9mm I have settled on plated lead bullets which I purchase and do not cast myself nor plate myself. It is the best bang for the buck for me in hand loading.

Accuracy with all types of bullets has been good due to my ability to tune the load and build the round to my pistols. Whether shooting cast. plated, or jacketed the weakest link in the accuracy chain (in 9mm hand guns) has always been my skill. The rounds and guns can certainly shoot better than I can and I'm pretty good at putting them where I want them to go.

Unless we are slicing it very think I don't think one type of bullet is inherently more accurate than another in any way I can consistently evaluate.

VooDoo

bullzeye8
May 4, 2014, 05:17 PM
Ok guys thanks for the info

blarby
May 4, 2014, 05:32 PM
I love casting, but if someone offered me free unlimited lifetime jacketed bullets, that'd be a no-brainer for me. :D

With that said, I've developed lead rounds for the 45acp that are without question much more accurate than any jacketed i've ever tried.

The reality comes to exactly how much accuracy is needed when you aren't bullseye competition shooting.

For practice on 10x20 targets, a rough analogue of the intended target, points don't really matter. Practice matters, and thats where lead comes in for a lot of folks.


If you are trying to turn your pistol in a zombie quashing hand held sniper 3000- just stop. You aren't that good, and honestly, I don't know you. I personally know two people that can use a pistol in that fashion... and neither of them live in my household. They got there with years and hundreds of thousands of practice shots, many of them lead. One competes with lead, the other jacketed.

If you want to cast, or use cast bullets- thats great, and its very rewarding. The learning curve is not as steep as some make it seem, but its different than jacketed, for sure.

If you have access to cheap jacketed, or don't want to fuss with lead- you can be just as accurate when and where it counts with these bullets- you will just spend considerably more getting to that level of proficiency.

bullzeye8
May 4, 2014, 06:15 PM
Yeah I don't really want to get into casting my own quite yet but I am considering purchasing lead bullets as they are still cheaper than fmj

Magnum Shooter
May 4, 2014, 09:25 PM
I love casting, but if someone offered me free unlimited lifetime jacketed bullets, that'd be a no-brainer for me.


Me too, but I would keep casting anyway. I enjoy it.

35 Whelen
May 4, 2014, 09:49 PM
Years ago I before I began casting, I used jacketed bullets pretty much exclusively in handguns except for the occasional commercially casts bullets I bought. Then I got in to casting and after really getting a handle on it and figuring out how to make good cast bullets, I found less and less need for jacketed bullets until now where I have need for them at all.

35W

FROGO207
May 4, 2014, 11:45 PM
Cast bullets can be purchased in bulk for a good deal cheaper than jacketed or plated presently. Missouri Bullet has good cast bullets and I buy a bunch from them. One of the bigger reasons I use lead is the indoor range I shoot at has a lead only and 1000FPS max rule. Loading lead bullets is sometimes finickier to do than jacketed as you have to make sure the base seals so no leading occurs. Once you figure out a good load then off you go and load a bunch with no problem.

DM~
May 5, 2014, 01:10 PM
Match grade jacketed is the most accurate. Cast lead is the least, because of trapped air bubbles.


I'm just wondering how many cast bullets you've cut in half and seen with your own eyes, a void or air pocket???

I'm a bullet dissector, I've literally cut in half all kinds of bullets, probably in the thousands! As a bullet caster, I've cut in half one heck of a lot of my cast bullets, thinking about how I could make them perform better in a big game animal. I've yet to find even ONE void or air pocket, so I'm guessing it would be an extremely rare event to have it happen to an experienced caster...

DM

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