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Accuracy Bayou Bullet vs Jacketed in 9mm

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by chiltech500, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Well-Known Member

    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
  2. Havok7416

    Havok7416 Well-Known Member

    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!
  3. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Well-Known Member


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

    bds Well-Known Member

    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.
    RMR is selling pulled 9mm 115 gr hollow based FMJ at $95/1000 with free shipping - http://shop.rmrbullets.com/9mm-115-...-FMJ-PULLED-1000-Ct-9mm-HBRN-FMJ-115-1000.htm

    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 - http://shop.rmrbullets.com/9mm-115-...PULLED-1000-Count-9mm-115-JHP-Pul-1000-Ct.htm

    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 - http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/

    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 - http://www.dardascastbullets.com/mm...=dardas&Product_Code=91261000&Category_Code=9
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  5. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Well-Known Member

    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?
  6. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    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
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  7. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  8. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Havok7416

    Havok7416 Well-Known Member

    Well, it looks like bds is taking good care of you. Sorry for the confusion.
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Well-Known Member

    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?

  13. Havok7416

    Havok7416 Well-Known Member

    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".
  14. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Well-Known Member

    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?
  15. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Speer Gold Dots are exception to plated HP bullets with proven expansion performance like many "premium" jacketed HP bullets.
  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    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 - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7266869#post7266869

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

    bds Well-Known Member

    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) - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=745656

    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.

  19. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Well-Known Member

    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?
  20. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    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.

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