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Brass vs. copper jackets in handgun calibers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by IMtheNRA, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    I plan to start load development using a trial batch of brass jacketed bullets for the first time. Generally speaking, do you view brass jacketed bullets as if they were copper jacketed, plated, or something else entirely?

    How do brass jackets compare to copper in terms of friction,hardness, and barrel metallic residue in handguns?
     
  2. Otto

    Otto Member

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  3. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    Thank you Otto, but there is no mention of brass jacketed bullets at Berrys link.
     
  4. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I deal with brass jacketed bullets the same as copper, or cupra-nickel, jacketed bullets. In fact, I swage handgun bullets from brass cartridge cases and I find no difference at all, other than the added length of the base of the case on the bullet.

    Just load them like copper jacketed bullets, but work up your loads like you would with any other bullet/powder combination.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Cartridge brass is certainly harder than the usual gilding metal, but I would not think it enough different to affect gun operation. After all, there are steel jacketed bullets out there, and that is definitely harder.

    As it happens, I am at present loading 9mm with some brass jacketed bullets pulled from dud S&B ammo. When they are gone, I will go back to regular Winchester copper jacketed. So I will one day soon have ammo loaded the same except for bullet jacket material. I'll take some with me the next time I have the chronograph out.

    I'll keep an eye on barrel fouling with the two types.
     
  6. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    Thank you, Jim and Fred. After I fired a small test batch of 9mm brass jackets, the lands of my pistol rifling turned bright yellow from the brass deposits.

    If I am getting more metal buildup on the rifling, I'll scrub more often. I suspect that greater metal buildup, if any, could increase pressure and reduce accuracy. I don't know if there is more brass fouling than there would be copper from my currently unavailable Winchester bullets, or if the brass is just easier to see than copper.
     
  7. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    As you probably know, the reason that manufacturers are using cartridge brass for jackets is that they're cheaper to produce. Since brass is tougher than 90:10 copper the jacket thickness can be reduced and optimized so that there isn't a significant change in the engraving force. Fouling should be less compared to copper and accuracy has proven to be equal or better.
     
  8. Presto

    Presto Member

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    How about cleaning the brass from the barrel? It is any harder than the copper? I've been thinking about one of the 22rf jacket kits, but this has been my big hang up.
     
  9. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    Montana Gold bullets with that pretty gold jacket color have more zinc mixed with the copper = brass. The jacket is harder as can be shown when taper crimping 9mm bullets. Copper jackets quickly show signs of overcrimping, MGs do not mark near as easily.
    I've also found they take a skosh more powder than the softer copper jackets in similar nose-shape & weight bullets to reach the same speed/PF. As a guess, I suspect the "Completely" jacketted MG's don't obturate as much as copper jacketted bullets do---just a guess.

    They run just fine.

    As far as cleaning the bbl, I've seen no noticeable differences when using the MG bullets.

    Several UNVARIFIED posts talk about more bbl wear using the harder brass jacketed bullets.
     
  10. bds
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    bds Member

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    Been using Montana Gold as my match bullet in my Glocks for years with no noticeable barrel wear and easy cleaning ... however, Glock barrels are surface hardened. :D
     
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