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bullet weight question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Rolando, Apr 24, 2009.

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  1. Rolando

    Rolando Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    What are the differences (other than weight) or reasons to choose between two different bullet weights. For example 200 grain vs 230 grain 45acp. What leads you to choose one over the other? How is performance different? Recoil? Point of impact?

    I'm thinking target shooting, not hunting.
  2. Shoney

    Shoney Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Transplanted away from MT
    You select the bullet that gives you the best accuracy. Easy a pie!:what:

    In the helter skelter market of today, it will be difficult to get a wide variety of bullets and powder to test. However, individual weapons will like some bullets better than others. It is your job to test, provided you can shoot well enough to tell the differences.
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    There are many reasons to pick one weight over another and I'm sure I don't know them all. I'll try and list a few I know and I'm sure others will ad to the list.

    1. Fixed sight handguns are sighted in at the factory with a standard bullet weight. Examples: 158gr .38 Special and a 230gr .45 Auto.

    2. Velocity. Lighter bullets will attain higher velocities without exceeding the SAAMI pressure limits.

    3. Felt recoil. A lighter bullet will generate less felt recoil.

    4. Energy. A heavier bullet will generally deliver greater energy on target.

    5. Nostalgia. Some shooters like to shoot the bullet weight which was originally used when the caliber was developed. (although you usually get the best results with that weight bullet because when they developed the caliber that weight bullet performed best)

    6. Your gun likes that weight bullet best. As we all know all guns are different. Some guns are more accurate with one weight bullet while another gun of the same make and caliber may be more accurate with another weight bullet.

    There is much more but I'll leave some of the fun for others. If I got anything wrong I'm sure I will be corrected soon.
  4. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    I have an interesting dilemma similar to this, traditionally I have used Golddots in my reloads of 9mm, .40sw, 10mm and .45 at traditional weights but with the scarcity of reloading components and the technological advance of using green bullets like the all copper ones I am having to rework or draw up my own data. I recently purchased directly from Barnes several boxes of M/LE .40/10mm 155gr. bullets, these are identical to the XPB's. Being all copper makes them lighter, I can put a same caliber 155gr, side by side to a 180gr. and the Barnes 155 is a lot longer, a LOT longer, Barnes sent me an email saying it was designed for the .40sw but offered some data for the 140gr. in a 10mm case. I want a fast flat 10mm load as I have that caliber as my number one choice for personal defense.

    But any data for the 155gr. XPB or the M/LE is non existent for the 10mm. I am going to treat it as a 180 or 200gr (NOT lead) data starting load and build up and look for any overpressure. The performance of this extremely deep cavity all copper bullet is interesting against barriers and gelatin with consistent depth and expansion of petals for an extreme wound channel.

    The 10mm is my carry when I am out fishing in Alaska, I use Barnes almost exclusively in my rifle cartridges because it does a lot better than traditional bullets.

    Also in places like ********** lead will be phased out and the green bullets will be what everyone must use, and they are lighter, so I would say that its going to be commonplace to have to use these and having a different load data for them, plus getting the best performance which is now speed and barrel twist. Long ranges usually prefer a heavier weight to maintain velocity against drift so long range hunters will be facing problems there as well. For me to get 168gr or 180gr performance out of my M1A .308 the all copper bullets would be too long for my magazine, same for the .223.
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