Accuracy Bayou Bullet vs Jacketed in 9mm


July 8, 2014, 05:47 PM
I would like to test some alternatives to the LSWC 125gr bullets I have been using. My goal is greater accuracy. Plunk testing the barrel I'm trying to achieve greater accuracy from, the OAL max is 1.115 with a crimp of .365.

I'm trying to achieve "Bullseye" type accuracy at 25 yds without breaking the bank.

(1) I'm wondering what the cheapest 9mm jacketed in a wad cutter type is out there...

and (2) if anyone has compared coated Bayou or similar vs jacketed for accuracy?

Thanks in advance

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July 8, 2014, 08:15 PM
I have compared Bayou Bullets (BB) to plated but not jacketed. The BB bullets are just as accurate as the plated bullets, but they are cheaper. I just placed an order for 200 more bullets from BB as a surprise sample pack to a friend of mine. There will be a few cases that follow for me in the near future!

July 9, 2014, 08:11 AM

I don't really know the difference between plated and jacketed bullets ...?

July 9, 2014, 09:12 AM
I don't really know the difference between plated and jacketed bullets
When I shot USPSA matches, I did accuracy comparison between jacketed bullets (Montana Gold) and plated bullets (Berry's/Rainier) in 9mm/40S&W/45ACP.

What I was told by more experienced regional shooters and my reloading/shooting mentor (who shot bullseye matches) was that FMJ with soft lead base expanded better to seal with the barrel than plated bullets with harder lead alloy core that really did not expand so FMJ produced more consistent muzzle velocities and lower SD to produce greater accuracy.

With plated bullets, accuracy trend tended to increase as I approached mid range jacketed load data but shot groups got larger as I approached near max load data. So I started out using FMJ for my match loads.

Then in subsequent years, more and more match shooters started to switch to JHP citing cleaner loads when using compensators, less lead exposure from jacketing covering the bullet base, longer bullet base that produced greater rotational stability in flight, deeper bullet seating for more consistent chamber pressures, use of slightly less powder charge than comparable FMJ loads (yes, many match shooters are squeaky frugal), etc. I did some FMJ vs JHP comparison tests and JHP loads shot comparable or slightly better so I switched to JHP bullets for match loads.

When Berry's MFG released hollow based plated bullets that were thicker plated, they produced more accurate 9mm loads with Bullseye/Titegroup/W231/HP-38 powders than Winchester FMJ bullet so I would say Berry's hollow base plated bullets are exception to jacketed bullets being more accurate than plated bullets.

But now Winchester sells hollow based FMJ so I may need to do some more comparison accuracy tests.
I'm trying to achieve "Bullseye" type accuracy at 25 yds without breaking the bank
RMR is selling pulled 9mm 115 gr hollow based FMJ at $95/1000 with free shipping -

Although I got better accuracy with 9mm SWC bullets from Dardas/Missouri compared to RN bullets, I would also try JHP bullets. RMR is also selling pulled 9mm 115 gr JHP for $105/1000 -

As for Berry's hollow based plated bullets, Powder Valley has 115 gr HBRN-TP for $79/1000, 124 gr HBFP-TP for $78/1000 and HBRN-TP for $83/1000 -

anyone has compared coated Bayou or similar vs jacketed for accuracy
As to coated lead bullet accuracy, I think most "action pistol" match shooters use them as cheaper alternative to jacketed bullets but less smoke than lead loads and not particularly for greater accuracy.

Most bullseye match loads are lower powder charge loads that require softer lead bullets oversized to the barrel with preferably flat based bullets for better sealing of high pressure gas. I think you may do better with regular lead SWC bullets with longest bullet base that are flat based (like Dardas 9mm SWC) than coated bullets.

Dardas offers 5% THR discount ( with promo code HIGHROAD and sells 126 gr flat base SWC for $56/1000 with .356"/.357"/.358" sizing -

July 9, 2014, 12:08 PM
Thanks BDS, again you provide outstanding recommendations and information.

I had read about Bullseye shooters preferring the JHP's and part of their reason was that the base was not beveled.

I just want to be sure I understand, the Dardas flat based is different than the MBC because of its flat base?

The Dardas are a cheap alternative. I wonder what the BN is for the 9mm SWC...The MBC 9mm's have a BN of 18 which may be too hard for my loads.

I do get leading with a MBC 9mm 125 g LSWC, OAL 1.110 with 3.4 Titegroup, which is a load I have seen many folks say are good for them.

That price from RMR for the JHP's seems very good, which puts them in the ballpark of being reasonable enough to use - especially if the leading is unavoidable. How has leading been for you when you used lead in the past?

July 9, 2014, 12:18 PM
Dardas 126 gr SWC bullet definitely has flat base compared to Missouri 125 gr SWC with bevel base (see picture below). As to hardness, Dardas advertises use of 92-2-6 alloy with a BHN of 16 but I think the actual hardness maybe slightly higher IMO.

My 9mm KKM/Lone Wolf barrels have .355"-.356" groove diameter and both Dardas/MBC SWC bullets sized at .356" have not resulted in any leading in both barrels, even with "relative" low to mid range W231/HP-38 load data referencing 1999-2005 loads which are lighter than current published lead loads from Hodgdon. Although I like Titegroup for plated/jacketed bullets, I do not prefer to use it for lead loads. Instead, I would suggest you try Bullseye powder which downloads very well for lighter loads or W231/HP-38. But if Titegroup is all you got, then you may want to try larger sized bullets to reduce leading.

Dardas 9mm 125 gr RN "bevel base", 9mm 126 gr SWC "flat base", 40S&W 180 gr TCFP and 45ACP 200 gr SWC

July 9, 2014, 02:40 PM
I wasn't aware that barrels with different diameters were available/possible - would you measure from the muzzle end?

Have been thinking about replacing the stock barrel from my 9mm Springfield Armory 1911 with the thought that it was the inaccuracy problem. Would specs be available when buying barrels and is the .355/.356 barrel the desired diameter?

I have Red and Green Dot available but the reason for buying Titegroup was for 9 mm use. The Green Dot chrono'd very well with a low SD for 9mm. What are your thoughts about Titegroup performance in 45 ACP with a BN 12 bullet from MBC? Have not tried Titegroup in the 45's ...

I've also thought about practicing more self-defense shooting with a couple of Sigs that have "looser" barrels so leading with the Titegroup wouldn't be a factor... That kind of shooting makes the 5.5 cent Dardas lead bullet a good prospect.

July 9, 2014, 02:49 PM
Instead of running out and buying a new match barrel, I would try to work with components you have to see how much accuracy you can squeeze out of them.

The components you have on hand should be capable of decent accuracy from your pistol but you should do some deliberate load development:

- Determine the longest working OAL for each bullet type

- Once the working OAL is determined, conduct a "full" powder work up noting at what powder charge the slide reliably cycles to extract/eject the spent cases and reliably feed/chamber rounds from the magazine

- Once you have reliable slide cycling, pay attention to shot group size trend at 10/15 yards using sand bags/pistol rest and incremental powder charge increase of .1 - .2 gr. At this range, look for loads capable of shot groups less than 1" to 2" measured center-to-center.

- Once you identify the most accurate loads, verify accuracy at 20/25 yards.

Since I do not use Titegroup for lead loads, I would first conduct my work up using Red Dot.

July 9, 2014, 04:16 PM
Thanks. I will indeed not buy a match barrel right now.

Due to uncertainty about powder I am hesitant to "waste" my Dots on 9mm as I know they'll do well with 45 acp and lead. I can compete with the 45 and do without a 9mm size.

I'm more inclined to buy 9mm JHP's and Berrys plated as you have given me resources for, to use with the Titegroup. I have a Hyskore rest and will do the calibrating with Titegroup bottom up. I have the max OAL and minimum crimp required for the barrel in question. My other 9mm barrels fortunately will accomodate whatever this Springfield barrel requires as they handle longer OAL's and wider crimps with no issues.

July 9, 2014, 06:09 PM
Well, it looks like bds is taking good care of you. Sorry for the confusion.

Jim Watson
July 9, 2014, 06:29 PM
Titegroup is often ranted against for leading and smoke with cast bullets.
This is supposedly due to its "high nitroglycerine content" but I don't think that is the cause. People have been shooting cast bullets satisfactorily with Bullseye for over a century now, and it is one of the highest NG content powders made.

I have not rest tested coated or plated bullets.
But JHP's are generally more accurate than FMJ. I think it is due to the closed base of the hollowpoint and possibly the rear center of gravity. The only 9mm FMJ I found to be competive with a good JHP was the Nosler roundnose. Now discontinued, naturally.

July 10, 2014, 08:16 AM
I put in an order for 1000 / 125gr pulled JHP's from RMR which shipped at 10 cents apiece is pretty good.

and 1000 Berry's plated hollow body 124 gr HBFP-TP, oddly the invoice from Powder Valley doesn't show the shipping charge, I know they add it later as I've bought from them before. So the plated will be about 9 cents apiece with shipping. Berrys does make a plated hollow point which Powder Valley didn't have available.

I am not familiar with the shape of the HBFP-TP. It looks kind of like a truncated cone?


July 10, 2014, 08:39 AM
Yes it is similar to a truncated cone. Just as an FYI, plated "hollow points" are usually a bit of a misnomer (Gold Dots are a notable exception). The plated HPs don't expand reliably and are actually just "hollow cavity".

July 10, 2014, 12:36 PM
Thanks, the Berrys and pulled JHP's were not purchased for self-defense, rather for target use as an experimental replacement of LSWC's for accuracy.

If Berry's plated "hollow point" were available I would have bought them to compare to the pulled JHP's as that's more of an apples to apples comparison than the FP's I ended up buying.

Speer Gold Dots are a plated hollow point vs others JHP's?

July 10, 2014, 02:03 PM
Speer Gold Dots are exception to plated HP bullets with proven expansion performance like many "premium" jacketed HP bullets.

Jim Watson
July 11, 2014, 01:01 AM
Berry's is showing HPs made like Gold Dots; plated and then punched for a hollowpoint with lots of exposed lead. Will they work?

I wish you luck on improved accuracy with pulled bullets.
I have done fairly well with bullets gently pulled from target rifle ammo, the charge adjusted and bullets reseated, but bulk stuff... I don't know.

July 11, 2014, 05:40 AM
cheapest 9mm jacketed
My initial suggestion was going to be 124 gr Montana Gold JHP bullets but their webpage was showing $102 for 500 bullets and 124 gr FMJ for $146/1000. Price break below $100/1000 would not happen unless OP ordered a case lot of 3750 JHP for $368 or FMJ for $365.

I have shot pulled jacketed bullets from RMR and they would provide affordable testing option at quantity pricing of 500, especially with free shipping. I think pulled jacketed rifle bullets maybe one thing but pulled jacketed pistol bullets may provide the OP with enough accuracy for testing purposes.

Based on my range tests, Berry's hollow base plated bullets would be a good choice of bullets to test 9mm accuracy loads, especially at lower price point than jacketed bullets -

Depending on OP's range test results, higher volume quantities of bullets could be ordered later for lower cost per 1000.

July 11, 2014, 05:47 AM
BTW, here's more accuracy testing with Winchester 115 gr FMJ, Berry's 115/124 gr HBRN and Z-Cast 124 gr RN using Herco (I would have used SWC bullets but the high bulk fill of case with fluffy Herco limited testing to RN with higher bullet seating depth) -

Smallest shot groups were obtained with 115 gr Berry's HBRN loaded with 6.1 gr of Herco to 1.160" - 0.85" shot group at 10 yards using the KKM barrel. With the Lone Wolf barrel, had I not pulled the flyer round, it would have produced even smaller shot group.

July 11, 2014, 07:32 AM
bds, you post the greatest threads with pics and good info!

What differences would one expect between the 115 gr and 124 gr bullets? I stuck with 124 because that's the weight lead bullets that are being compared to.

Jim, I changed my order to the Berry's that are target hollow points as you mentioned. When perusing the Powder Valley selection the first time I missed that these were available (cancelled the order of 124g HBFP-TP)

Havok thanks for the info on defensive options with Berry's. I perused their website more carefully and I see the "real" hollow points but only for 40 and 45. I wonder if they will make them for 9mm eventually?

July 11, 2014, 08:51 AM
What differences would one expect between the 115 gr and 124 gr bullets?
With 115/124 gr jacketed and plated bullets, I always seem to get better accuracy from heavier 124 gr bullets. Another factor to consider is that with lighter 115 gr bullets, I have to push them harder at high+ range load data to reliably cycle the slide of my Glocks while with 124 gr bullets, I could use mid range load data.

When Berry's 124 gr HBRN-TP bullets tested more accurate than Winchester 115 gr FMJ, I expected 115 gr HBRN-TP to be less accurate but when I tested 115/124 HBRN-TP bullets side-by-side with Herco, to my surprise, 115 gr bullet produced smaller shot groups.

This just goes to show that actual range tests and holes on target is the final word on accuracy regardless what notions we apply to our theories about accuracy.

But with lead bullets, I think the heavier 124/125/126 gr bullet with longer bearing surface still provides better accuracy as there are many factors at play such as bullet-to-barrel fit, initial chamber pressure build up from bullet seating depth, bearing surface engaging start of rifling vs seating depth for chamber pressure build, softness of alloy, etc. that contribute to more consistent chamber pressures for greater accuracy. I think for these reasons why lead SWC flat base bullets with longer bearing surface hold advantage over lighter 115 gr lead bullets in any nose shape.

July 11, 2014, 09:15 AM
If you still can't get your 9mm Springfield 1911 to shoot accurately, consider contacting customer service and find out what the barrel twist rate is. If the barrel twist rate is the culprit, your accuracy may benefit from a different twist rate barrel but I would consider barrel swap only if the barrel has been deemed to be the culprit using known accurate loads that group well in other pistols/barrels.

Here's what Hilton Yam found out why his M&P9 barrel could not group well with 115/124 gr bullets (BTW, Lone Wolf 9 mm barrels used for my range tests have 1:16" twist rate which is common for 9 mm match barrels except for Wilson Combat which is 1:10" and factory Glock is 1:9.84") -
Barrel / Twist Rate:

- Pistol #1: Original production barrel / 1:18.75”
- Pistol #1: KKM Match barrel / 1:24”
- Pistol #3: Original production barrel / 1:18.75”
- Pistol #3: Storm Lake Match barrel / 1:16”
- Pistol #4: New production barrel / 1:24" (looks equivalent to KKM)

Original Production Barrels with 1:18 twist: These barrels tend to shoot about 3” or better with 147gr ammunition. They do not shoot very well with 115 gr and 124 gr ammunition, and groups larger than 8” at 25 yards were common.

KKM Barrel: Despite the inexplicably slow twist, this drop in barrel is a performer in all bullet weights. I have only done limited accuracy testing with it so far (consisting of shooting 1 group for each bullet weight, standing off hand), but it shot 3” or better with each load, and 115 gr Atlanta Arms match ammo shot around 2”. The improvement in accuracy has been apparent during regular training at 15 and 25 yards.

New Production Factory Barrel: As best as I can determine, this new style barrel started being phased in earlier this year. It removes the various stress risers ahead of the chamber area, tightens lockup, and brings in a new twist rate. I was not able to get an official answer from any of my points of contact at S&W, but visual comparison of all the barrels has determined that the new barrel has a slower twist rate than the original production units, and more closely resembles the 1:24 twist of the KKM. This new barrel fits almost as tightly as the KKM match barrel. It also delivers performance – it shot a 2.5” 10 shot group at 25 yards off a rest using Atlanta Arms 115 gr match ammo. It shot a 3” group with 147 gr ammo, also off a rest.

July 11, 2014, 02:28 PM
I had read on one of the bullseye sites that a slower twist rate was used for more accuracy in 45 barrels and that a faster twist was commonly used in 9mmbarrels to stabilize the bullet.

So perhaps some don't need the fast twist on stock 9mm barrels because we handloaders are using better than factory ammo or more expensive match grade factory ammo?

Can we draw those conclusions based on Hilton Yams information?

July 11, 2014, 07:23 PM
Can we draw those conclusions based on Hilton Yams information?
Although I have respected Hilton Yam's recommendations and opinions in past years, his more recent opinions have made me pause and wonder "Really?" One of them is he no longer recommends 1911s for service/duty use due to high level of maintenance/support they require.

As to 9mm barrel twist rate, I was disappointed that he did not conduct further testing as I have used Lone Wolf barrels with 1:16" twist rate that is common to other match barrels like Barsto, Storm Lake, etc. As to KKM barrel with 1:24" twist rate being more accurate with 9mm, I would agree as most jacketed/plated loads have produced slightly smaller shot groups with KKM barrel but not so much with lead loads.

But I could almost hear someone yelling out, "But what about Wilson Combat's 1:10" twist rate and Glock using 1:9.84" twist rate?" I am not sure, and perhaps maybe that's why Glock doesn't recommend using lead bullets in their barrels? The fast twist rate and smooth rounded rifling will allow the lead bullet to slide down the barrel instead of rotating with rifling, especially if bullet diameter is too small and alloy too hard?

At this point, regardless of the twist rate of your Springfield barrel, I would try some known accurate loads and see how they do at 10/15 yards using the longest OAL/COL your barrel will support. If you are able to identify accurate loads, then try them out at 20/25 yards.

July 11, 2014, 07:34 PM
92-2-6 alloy with a BHN of 16 but I think the actual hardness maybe slightly higher

The alloy that we use is a 92-2-6 alloy and we have tested it at 18. That said, hardness can be affected by how they worked or cooled. You can actually make them a little harder by sizing them several times or by water cooling them. Not that you would really want to.

July 11, 2014, 10:20 PM
Jim, I changed my order to the Berry's that are target hollow points as you mentioned. When perusing the Powder Valley selection the first time I missed that these were available (cancelled the order of 124g HBFP-TP)

Havok thanks for the info on defensive options with Berry's. I perused their website more carefully and I see the "real" hollow points but only for 40 and 45. I wonder if they will make them for 9mm eventually?
I assume they will introduce a 9mm version once they figure out the engineering (or possibly production). This has been seen in other manufacturer's offerings in the past. Apparently there's enough difference between the 9mm and .45 ACP to warrant different designs. I would assume it has a lot to do with the velocity difference.

July 12, 2014, 06:47 PM
LongdayJake, I'm wondering if leading occurs in a Springfield 9mm 1911 barrel because velocity is inadequate for the LSWC with the BN of 18 that I'm using?

I've had to crimp tighter to plunk the rounds for this barrel around .365.

July 12, 2014, 11:12 PM
Could be a few reasons. Your barrel is likely one that has a little larger bore. The biggest reason people get lead fouling is because hot gas escapes around the base of the bullet and "gas cuts" the lead. A lot of companies make their bullets really really hard to try to make up for that. Some say it works and other say it just makes for much harder lead stuck in your barrel. 18 has kinda become the go to hardness because it is still soft enough to obturate in the barrel and hard enough to resist leading caused by abrasion. Also, if you are shooting it too slow, it may not have enough pressure to obturate enough to fill any gaps in the barrel.

But to answer your question, 18 will probably work well in your gun so long as it is sized properly for your barrel. You may have heard the term "slug your barrel." Well, basically what you do is shove an oversize lead bullet through your barrel and measure the diameter of it when it comes out the other side. That will give you a better idea of the size of bullet you need. There are a lot of guys out there that know more about shooting lead than I do so you may want to ask around for more info on why you are getting fouling. I'm still pretty new at shooting lead and most of what I have shot has been powder coated. I am currently working on coming up with a method to mass produce coated bullets. It is much harder to do in bulk than you might think. So, until I get a perfect product out there, we will only be able to offer the lubed lead.

July 12, 2014, 11:15 PM
Actually, you may also be resizing the bullets too small by using a heavy crimp. In fact, that is the first thing I would probably try doing differently. If you are having to make the bullet smaller to "plunk" in the chamber you are probably making it too small to fill the bore. What size are the bullets you are loading?

July 13, 2014, 12:17 AM
Take apart a loaded round and measure the diameter. If it is less than the diameter it started out with, then you are decreasing the size of the bullet which will contribute to the leading problem, which is probably affecting your accuracy issue.

As long as you are leading your barrel, your accuracy issue won't be resolved by simply changing reloading variables like powder/charge, OAL, etc. If you are trying to develop an accurate "bullseye match" like load with lighter powder charges, you would need to resolve the leading issue first.

Good thing you got some JHP bullets on its way from RMR along with Berry's hollow base plated bullets to verify the accuracy of your barrel as you may not be able to readily resolve the leading issue.

Jim Watson
July 13, 2014, 06:25 PM
I think too much is being made of rifling twist rate in common pistol calibers.
There has been good accuracy reported for all available rates in well fitted barrels.
The European 250mm/10in standard might not be the best for lead bullets, but good work has still been done with them.
The search for a cure to inaccuracy in the S&W Plastic M&P is barking up the wrong twist rate tree. Hilton Yam's aftermarket and revised production barrels are doing better because they fit better, not because they have changed the twist rate. To something he could not be bothered to measure and they could not be bothered to tell him. Hmm.

July 13, 2014, 07:26 PM
Jim, I agree. Looking at the barrel twist rate at this point is putting the cart before the horse.

I really think the OP should give the load development of jacketed and hollow base plated bullets a "proper" chance before looking at other aspects of accuracy.

And I do hope the OP gets all the lead out of the barrel before commencing the range test of jacketed/plated bullets. (just kidding) ;):D

July 14, 2014, 08:00 AM
LOL BDS. Received my RMR JHP's Saturday. They are in very good shape visually and would have no problem with them as an alternative to new JHP's.

I don't know which manufact. these are, they're a bit shorter and the nose is more rounded than Hornaday's 124gr JHP. I'm eager to give them a try.

I recently tightened the crimp for the lead bullets to plunk test better. With a lighter crimp they were a tad high in that I had to press on them with my finger to have the edge even with the barrel's edge.

I have lots of rounds to deconstruct and measure, and was never that comfortable with crimping tighter because it's against the conventional wisdom.

July 14, 2014, 09:26 AM
Although RMR doesn't post that information, chances are likely they are from major manufacturers like Federal, Remington, Speer, Winchester, etc.

July 14, 2014, 11:35 AM
Which hp did you buy? I am guessing it was the 115 hp? We got about 100k of them a while back. Most of what we get from our suppliers comes from Federal so it is pretty safe to say that they came from there. However, the pullers also have contracts with border patrol and various police agencies that sieze ammo that could be from any manufacturer.

July 14, 2014, 04:10 PM
124 gr.

July 29, 2014, 07:26 AM
Plated and Jacketed bullets suggested earlier in this thread by bds are being tested with Titegroup powder, vs a token comparison to lead which really had not been working out well in prior accuracy testing.

124 gr target hollow point (THP) plated bullet by Berrys, OAL 1.095 with crimp of .377, Titegroup 4.0.

124 gr pulled JHP's from a major manufacturer, OAL 1.095 with crimp .376, Titegroup 4.0.

125 gr LSWC, OAL 1.095, crimp .377 with Titegroup 3.7.

Shot from a Hyskore rest, the 124g Berrys THP was the most accurate of the three. The best group was from the Berrys , about 1 3/4". Repeated that test twice more and the groups were not as good.

The next test is upping the powder for both jacketed and plated to 4.2 gr of Titegroup and shortening the OAL of the RPR pulled JHP's to 1.075.

The 124 gr JHP's are shorter than the 124 gr THP's and to have better comparison considering load bearing surface the JHP's needed to be sunk a bit lower. (if memory serves the difference in length is about .050, will verify with next tests data).

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