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Plated bullet comparison

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by josephbw, May 25, 2010.

  1. josephbw

    josephbw Well-Known Member

    Has anyone used both the Berry plated bullets and the Rainier plated bullets? I would like to know how the quality and the construction compare. I have used Berry bullets, and was curious how the Rainier bullets stack up to the Berry's.

    I'm am most interested in .40 S&W & 9mm hollow point. I wasn't too impressed by the construction of the Berry hollow points.

  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    First you have to understand that Berry's doesn't make a hollowpoint bullet that is intended to expand. Their hollowpoints were made in response to target shooters who like to shoot hollowpoints in the belief that they are inherently more accurate. This is what Gilbert Berry told me at the SHOT Show a couple of years ago and I've found it to be true.

    I've shot literally thousands and thousands of Berry's bullets and have found them to be of good quality and very accurate.

    I've tried Rainier bullets, but prefer the Berry's, since I have a wholesale account with them and they're great people to deal with. I really, really like their .45 and .40 caliber hollow base round nose bullets, since they have the profile of the heavier bullets, but allow for flawless functioning and accuracy with a lighter bullet.

    There are many threads on these two companies on THR. If you'll do a search, I'm sure you'll come up with some of them.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Neither companies hollow points will expand and hold together like any decent jacketed bullet can. Not designed to.

    I was not impressed with the Ranier 200 Gr HP, although their 200 Gr SWC shoots very well. The Berrys 200 Gr HP feeds great and shoots great. I like that bullet and the Berrys 185 GR SWC in .45. Some guns may like like the SWC, but any gun will feed their 200 Gr HP. It also cuts really nice holes in paper. It's one of my favorites.
  4. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Well, let me cloudy the muddy water further.

    I have shot Rainier extensively in 40 and some in 9. I also have shot Berry's over the years and while the quality of Rainier remained the same (very good and accurate), Berry's improved significantly in recent years (used to be not as good compared to Rainier for me).

    Last year I bought Berry's plated bullets in 9 and 40 and did a side-by-side comparison using same powder and OAL with mid to higher end load data. They shot as well as Rainier and I would buy them again.

    As to accuracy of both, they are on par with Montana Gold FMJ bullets with MG bullets having a slight edge. YMMV
  5. raz-0

    raz-0 Well-Known Member

    My take on it is that rainier has thinner plating, and is a softer bullet. Under 100fps, the only difference is price, and how much abuse they will take during reloading before you scrape through the plating. Berry's I can almost treat like jacketed rounds. The price varies. I also find that rainier generally chronos out in line with the reloading manuals recipes for lead bullets, and berry's usually is similar to jacketed loads. I find accuracy to be similar.

    Once you go over 1000fps, I find berrys to perform better. Better is relative though, as the berry's is still worse than most jacketed rounds.

    As fro HPs, none of the cheap bulk bullets are meant to expand. making them a hollow point just shoves the mass to the rear of the bullet, which helps a bit with stability and accuracy.
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Both are quality bullets.

    I still have a few Ranier 9MM 115 GR RN bullets I bought in quantity some time back. I have run the Ranier 9MM 115 gr at up to 1400 FPS in a Carbine with good accuracy and no problems at all. The Hornady jacketed (Encapsulated) 9MM 115 GR RN bullets I have run almost exactly the same velocities as the Raniers when shot with the same loads. I have shot them both with a wide variety of powders and power levels and this has held true across the board. Almost the same velocity results (statistically indifferent) with either bullet using the same load.
  7. josephbw

    josephbw Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, I usually use Hornady, Nosler, Speer, and Winchester in HP's. But I did buy some Berry's and wasn't particularly impressed with them, and was only wondering about the Rainier's from a cost perspective. I didn't have any misconceptions about the ability of the plated bullets to expand, and would never use them for SD. But I like variety, so I thought I would give them a chance.

    I did just order some bullets from RMB (Jake), so I'm going to see how they work out too. From what I've heard, they should be good bullets.

    Thanks again for your comments,
  8. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Another point to consider, different bullet types from different manufacturers may have different "sweet spot" for accuracy depending on the pistol, barrel length, powder, charge and OAL (and even the shooter).

    So different shooters may end up experiencing differing results and varying accuracy?

    While I have been doing comparison load tests for different powders (Bullseye, Promo, Green Dot, W231, HP38, WSF) and different bullet types (Winchester FMJ, Montana Gold FMJ, Rainier Plated, Berry's Plated, 24 BHN lead, MBC 18 BHN lead - I got Moly coated, but I am leaving them out for now), I have found each bullet type with specific "sweet spot" for accuracy at different charges.

    So, simply using a designated X grain of powder at X OAL for comparison may give accuracy advantage to one bullet over another. I think this is why we may have different THR members saying, "Rainier is accurate over Berry's" "No, Berry's accurate over Rainier" :D

    For 40S&W, I got additional Montana Gold JHP in 165 gr and another plated in 165 gr TCFP (I do not believe it is Rainer) coming from longdayjake so I will add those to the comparison pot too.

    It is for this very reason why I run the full multiple charge test loads for each bullet weight at specified OAL (latest example for 180 gr 40 S&W - 3.5, 3.8, 4.1, 4.4, 4.8 of Green Dot at 1.125") to identify the "sweet spot".

    Of course, I am primarily shooting these out of G22/G27. Heck, I may get entirely different results if I used another pistol. :uhoh: :eek:

    FYI, at the last range test, I got the smallest shot group of 1" at 15 yards with 180 gr Rainier plated out of the G27 - I will be duplicating the load using Berry's to compare. This is smaller than what I usually can get with Montana Gold FMJ.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  9. Seedtick

    Seedtick Well-Known Member

    Joe, you won't be disappointed with plated bullets you get from longdayjake (RMR). I have been shooting them in a .357 Blackhawk and they shoot great. They are just as accurate as jacketed bullets and they even run a few fps faster.

    I like 'em!



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