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Do plated hollowpoints expand?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by silicosys4, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Well-Known Member

    I picked up a 250 rd box of HSM .401 165 gr. plated hollowpoints to reload with, thinking I was going to make up some SD ammunition.
    I loaded up some rounds of .40S&W at a verified 985fps, and then did my standard expansion test of a gallon jug of water in front of a box of tightly packed wet newspapers. This method has worked well for me in the past in checking expansion in other loads I've developed.
    Shot out of a P229, I got absolutely no expansion, and 100% passthroughs.
    I loaded them a little hotter, almost to max, at about 1050fps, and tried again with the same results. In each instance there was no deformation at all and the cavity was plugged with material.
    Is this a common thing with plated bullets? My guess is the copper plating is holding the lead core in shape, not allowing for the cavity to expand and deform, or perhaps its my medium....

    What plated HP bullets have people had luck with, as far as reliable expansion at reasonable velocities?
    Thanks everyone, for your responses
  2. kerreckt

    kerreckt Well-Known Member

    The old Berry's plated HP bullets did not expand. Although everything else about them was good. I say old because I understand they are coming out or maybe they have come out with a redesigned hollow point. The old ones I tried were in 10mm ( shot from both a 10mm pistol and .40S&W pistol) and 38spl. loaded hot but not maxed out.
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    No, they are not designed to. The may open up a little etc, but will not perform anything close to a jacketed hollow point.
  4. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Well-Known Member

    I don't have experience with the bullets you ask about, but my understanding is most HP bullets are for target shooting. HP makes the bullet linger with weight in the back.

    Berry's new HP design is not out yet but those are supposed to be SD bullets.

    Only others I know of is gold dots. They are plated SD HP. Which expand very well.

    Sent from my CZ85 Combat
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    The hollow point give the bullet a longer bearing surface.
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    Nope - the Berry's do not expand. They will deform, but the cavity is just for accuracy, nothing else.
    Berry's does have a new defensive hollow point design ready to go...but the demand for the regular product is so high that had to be shelved to allow all available machines to try to meet current demand.
  7. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    Use them as cheaper practice ammo to duplicate the expensive JHP you use for self defense.

    They are probably not *bad* for SD, they start with a '4' and have good penetration and a wide meplat.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    They only expand if you shoot them against a steel plate target.

    Other then that?

    Not so's you'd notice.

  9. david bachelder

    david bachelder Well-Known Member

    Right on target. I shot some of the old Bery's hollow points out of my 9mm. I found one after the shooting laying on the ground. The end was full of trash and the bullet looked almost new, less the rifling groves and a little powder burn.
  10. Sport45

    Sport45 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't expect the cheap(er) plated bullets such as Rainier or Berry's meant for practice to expand.

    On the other hand, plated bullets like the Gold Dot HP should expand just fine.
  11. kelbro

    kelbro Well-Known Member

    If your hole is already .4 or larger, expansion is just a bonus :)
  12. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Well-Known Member

    Man, they would work ok if it weren't for the fact that i couldn't stop them......the darn things went through 3 gallons of water then 10" of wet newspaper the last time I tried when I was loading them hot to try to get SOME expansion.
    Out of 20 some odd rounds fired into increasing thicknesses of newspaper and water, I found 1 that was retained....barely
  13. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    I've tried several brands of plated bullets.
    And it's been my experince in 9mm, 38 spl & 357 mag, that no, they don't expand.

    The question begs, why buy 'em?

    Well, they're usually cheaper than jacketed.
    I like 'em for the looks & for plinking.

    For SD, I prefer larger holes, as in .452"
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Please stop with all the "Gold Dot Bullets are plated" stuff. Yes the process they use is the same as plating but the outer layer on the Gold Dot bullets is just as thick or thicker than normal jacketed bullets. Speer is using that process to bond the "jacket" to the core preventing separation. So, while the process is the same you really can't compare Gold Dot bullets to any plated bullets made.
  15. Sport45

    Sport45 Well-Known Member

    I didn't lump them in with the cheap plated bullets, now did I? :)

    To answer the OP's question:

    I'd have to say Gold Dots are good.
  16. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    Again, these are not defensive bullets that you purchased, they are target/competition bullets. They are not designed to expand (unless, as rc mentioned, they hit steel), they are designed to be more accurate.
  17. total recoil

    total recoil Well-Known Member

    I believe they will expand when driven to at least 1200 fps or slightly more. That is a no-no with plated bullets as they may start to flake off the plating. Plated hollow points are like liquid drain cleaners. They very seldom work.
  18. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Well-Known Member

    They work just fine. They aren't designed to expand. But they work as designed.

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