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Berry's Plated Bullets in .357 Magnum

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ArchAngelCD, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have never loaded plated bullets before. I was at an auction and won a box of Berry's 158gr plated bullets and was wondering how tough/fragile they are? Can I use them in a .357 Magnum load with W296? If not how much pressure can they withstand?

    Thanks...
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    They probably will not take a full load of W-296. It will be on the edge of what they can take. Your gun makes a difference as well. You could always try a few, but I believe you will be better suited keeping them a bit slower with medium speed powders.

    Only way to know is to try it. I truly believe you are right there on the ragged edge of what they will take loading to max with W296.

    I can push the X-Treme 158 Gr SWC to almost 1300 FPS with no problems in a couple of guns, but in one I used to have, they would shoot like crap. (Serious crap) Everything looked OK, and it shot jacketed great, but it hated those plated bullets. Go figure.
     
  3. 4895

    4895 Member

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    I treat them like a standard lead bullet but with a cleaner burn. I keep them under 1100 fps but haven't tried to really push them. I really like them with a load of 231. Very clean.
     
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  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  5. Ex

    Ex Member

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    I can't speak to .357 with Berrys, but I have used them in 9mm. In said caliber using TiteGroup powder and a 124 gn bullet, I found that with 4.2 gns powder, they were key holing the paper. At 4 gns powder they did OK.

    My conclusion is that they become unstable at the higher velocity.

    4.0 gns is what Hodgdons recommends as max in 9mm and they "felt" like a normal round with that load. 4.2 "felt" like a +P and resulted in tumbling.

    As it's been said, treat them like a cast lead and they'll be fine.
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    How about 14.5gr 2400 under those 158gr Berry's bullets?

    If not I'll shoot them at .38 Special +P pressures...
     
  7. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I have loaded a good amount of Berry's 158's. I found the best accuracy at 1000-1100 fps. If I tried to push them any faster, my groups opened up.
     
  8. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I have loaded 158gr Rainier and Extreme bullets in 357 mag. I use a taper crimp, you can use a 9mm luger die crimp if you don't have one for 38/357.
    I use powders that are suitable for 38spl like AA#5, HS-6, W231 ect. and load somewhere between 38spl and 357 mag. keep a eye out for bits of copper in the cylinder, forcing cone and barrel.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That might very well work. Should be in the 1200 to 1275 FPS range if I am guessing correctly. Worth a try IMO.
     
  10. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Even if you could push them to max velocity, I don't think you'd be able to get a good enough crimp on them to keep the bullets in.

    I stopped using Berry's in 357 because
    1. No crimp groove
    2. I've had pieces of jacket spit out the cylinder gap fast enough to cut my friend's lip. Using a light crimp and 6 grains of Unique.

    I'm now shooting 158 MBC Action! bullets, mostly. They seems to handle full charges of H110 just fine.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I taper crimp them, just for the reason you mention, they cannot take a heavy roll crimp.
     
  12. greenlion

    greenlion Member

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    Berry's is recently making some of their 9mm and .40 bullets with a thicker plating so they can be pushed to much higher velocity. I don't think they have done the same for their .38 caliber bullets yet, but they might before long..
     
  13. 1911 Nut

    1911 Nut Member

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    Many plated bullets will demonstrate degraded accuracy much past 15 yards when pushed to velocities beyond 1100 FPS. I have seen it happen in 9mm, 10mm, and .44 Magnum. If you're going to push MV to the 1100 FPS number, you will be better off with a hard cast or jacketed bullet.
     
  14. germ

    germ Member

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    I believe Berry's says to not exceed 1200fps. Yep, here it is
    "Velocities depend on the caliber, but as a rule of thumb, we recommend you don't shoot our plated bullets over 1200 feet-per-second. Our 44's actually shoot best around 1150 fps. 45's are generally good at 850-900 fps. Our bullets are not recommended for magnum velocities."

    More from Berry's FAQ's
    "Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads. "
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Not my experience, and I have shot 1000's of them from many makers.
     
  16. ryan3465

    ryan3465 Member

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    With 14.5 grains of 2400 in .357 Mag you most likely will be going well over what the Berry's bullets can handle. In .357 with 158 grn lead bullets 13.5grn of 2400 is a really hot load in my .357 revolvers IMHO
     
  17. greenlion

    greenlion Member

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    If you think about which bullet weights most people load, and what people usually use Berry's bullets for, Berry's bullets make a lot of sense.

    If you are loading 230gr .45acp, or 180gr .40S&W, or 147gr 9mm loads at or near 1200 feet per second, you have WAY bigger problems than degraded accuracy. I've never had any problems or inferior accuracy when loading Berry's 158gr .357 caliber bullets to +P .38special velocities.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I am looking forward to the range report on 14.5 Grs of 2400.
     
  19. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Me too, walkies.

    I would love a 45 acp that could handle 230 gr @ 1200 fps !

    Please keep us posted, arch- I've never tried plated .... seems like a compromise to me, but there may be a sweet spot of satisfaction to be had there !
     
  20. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    14.5gr of 2400 and a 158 swc is a classic load for 357 mag. Not really "hot" either. I can remember a thread here where people were asking for favorite recipe with a 158gr bullet, and the majority of the responses with 2400 were 14.5 gr.
     
  21. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    I never shoot plated bullets above ca 100fps and most at 900 or below.
     
  22. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I've never had anything but good results with plated bullets in .357 and many other calibers at speeds up to 1,275 fps.
    In .357 and other revolver calibers I use a roll crimp die, but adjust it for a light crimp. In the bullets I've recovered you can see the crimp mark, but no peeling or any other problems.
     
  23. chrisf8657

    chrisf8657 Member

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    Berry's says to use Lead bullet data with their bullets, but I've loaded some 40 S&W's to 1200fps in a Glock 22 (beyond their maximum) and still had good accuracy and no issues. YMMV, though...
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    From Berrys web site FAQ page:
    Ranier is the one who says to use lead data on their web site, despite the old data they published.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6195350&postcount=11
    .
     
  25. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Not being able to put a good roll crimp on the bullet also hampers the ability to shoot true "magnum" loads.
     
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