Coated bullets and revolvers

MonkTx

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Oct 24, 2005
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118
Hello all,

I recently purchased an sp101 in 327mag and have some questions about loading for it. I have a lot of 32 h&r and 32 s&w long cases and I plan to order a few thousand wadcutter bullets.

I have switched over to coated bullets for all my autoloaders and taper crimp them but was wondering if I should stick to lubed lead for revolvers.

It is my understanding that revolver loads respond better to a firm roll crimp with better ignition. Do I have that right?

Or, have any of you found the coating can handle a good roll crimp without being scraped off?

Thanks,
Monte
 
+1 above. My full magnum load for 357 Mag is a Missouri Bullet Company 158 grain SWC. It has a crimp groove even with the coating in place, so I use it. It seats a little longer than SAAMI max of 1.590" but still works without any trouble and is as accurate as any load I've tried other than wadcutters.
 
As with all things reloading, it depends.
Mostly it’s the “full magnum” loads with slower Ball-type powders that need a roll crimp to get going and build pressure. Even near-max loads of flake powders are going to build pressure with just a taper crimp or a minimal roll crimp. You just need to keep the bullet from pulling under recoil.
 
After seeing how easily the coating (even Hitek) scrapes off the bullets, even during seating, and cleaning lead out of barrels, I've started moving away from them. I consider standard cast with a good lube every bit as good as coated. And I consider the slightly higher cost of plated as a good value in many handgun applications.
 
I shoot coated cast in all my pistols without leading. The coating doesn’t scrape off unless I forget to flare a case. There was that one instance in a 30-30, but I don’t like to talk about that one. They’re sorted out now, 135 and 165 grain cast and coated are my primary 30-30 loads now too.
 
I use my own cast bullets for a wide variety of handguns from 32 ACP and mouse loads up to things like full power 9mm, 327, 357 Mag, 357 Max, 44 Mag, 7 TCU.

I use tumble lube for anything I can and still get zero leading. This ends up being mostly lower power stuff. I use powder coat for stuff that is too powerful to get zero leading with tumble lube.

My 4.2" Ruger SP-101 327 is typical for bullets. Very low power loads get tumble lube. Medium to full power get powder coat.

Note that powder coat alone does not ensure zero leading. I fought 9mm for while. At first I was getting a lot of leading even with powder coat. I eventually got success when I started using a custom expander.
 
After seeing how easily the coating (even Hitek) scrapes off the bullets, even during seating, and cleaning lead out of barrels, I've started moving away from them. I consider standard cast with a good lube every bit as good as coated. And I consider the slightly higher cost of plated as a good value in many handgun applications.

Any fine coating will be scratched if a sharp edge is taken to it. If you're losing coating during seating and getting leading with coated bullets you're doing something wrong in case preparation and using bullets that are sized too small for your bores.
 
The coated bullets from three different commercial sources have measured about .001" to.002" over the size of jacketed bullets. All were bevel base style. Most seated without scraping the coating, but too many lost a portion of their coating. When using bevel base bullets I'm not going to bell the mouths excessively as a cover-up for coating loss due to poor adhesion, improper application, or incorrect curing.

Standard flat base cast with lube work as well or better. I choose to use those or plated. Others prefer coated.
 
I had to go back and read every comment. The OP is going from Taper crimping his auto bullets to a new project with revolver cast coated bullets.

He will have a crimp Grove to roll into instead of a flat surface.
My magnum cartridges with jacketed bullets get a tight crimp tight just short of bulging.

His wadcutter loads like my cast loads just need a roll into the groove that you can feel with your finger.

Powder I would use with wadcutters ignite easy plus light crimp is easier on your brass.

Bottom line l can't see a reason to do a " damaging crimp " loading a cast bullet with the powders used with cast bullets.

Not including my gas checked mag or rifle loads. Or the heavy shooting hunting hard cast or specialty crowd I'm not a part of.

Next I've seen mention of proper belling of your case. With a Lee system you adjust a perfect bell at your Powder measure.
Bullet pusher set to roll it in. Factory crimp to post size and finish if needed.

If I'm captian obvious and late then oh well
 
Yep taper crimp works fine in most applications as long as lead stays put and dosent tie up the revolver. Belling the mouth more helps but *might* reduce case life. If one is getting leading and purchases coated or plated bullets to solve this your money is better spent slugging your barrel and correcting the undersized cylinder throats first. Then you can use regular lead bullets without all the drama. Just sayi'n!
 
Yep taper crimp works fine in most applications as long as lead stays put and dosent tie up the revolver. Belling the mouth more helps but *might* reduce case life. If one is getting leading and purchases coated or plated bullets to solve this your money is better spent slugging your barrel and correcting the undersized cylinder throats first. Then you can use regular lead bullets without all the drama. Just sayi'n!
Yes, very good for you and other hobbyists but take a fella loading for several handguns and rifles in the same caliber. (357) It's like a bunch of toddlers wanting something different. That's why I went to one main flat point round nose gas check to end it. Plus sticking to my main charge ends resighting in. Yes different for every one.
 
Yes, very good for you and other hobbyists but take a fella loading for several handguns and rifles in the same caliber. (357) It's like a bunch of toddlers wanting something different. That's why I went to one main flat point round nose gas check to end it. Plus sticking to my main charge ends resighting in. Yes different for every one.
I also reload for 8 different 357 firearms. I also use a single load that is accurate enough for my needs. I actually purchased a cylinder reamer to fit my largest bore that opened up several/all throats in almost every pistol. Good lube and bare lead bullets sized big enough and no more leading for me. YMMV
 
I also reload for 8 different 357 firearms. I also use a single load that is accurate enough for my needs. I actually purchased a cylinder reamer to fit my largest bore that opened up several/all throats in almost every pistol. Good lube and bare lead bullets sized big enough and no more leading for me. YMMV
You've got it under control. Hopefully you didn't go to the school of hard knocks like me.
 
Here is an example of what led me away from coated bullets.

 
Hello all,

I recently purchased an sp101 in 327mag and have some questions about loading for it. I have a lot of 32 h&r and 32 s&w long cases and I plan to order a few thousand wadcutter bullets.

I have switched over to coated bullets for all my autoloaders and taper crimp them but was wondering if I should stick to lubed lead for revolvers.

It is my understanding that revolver loads respond better to a firm roll crimp with better ignition. Do I have that right?

Or, have any of you found the coating can handle a good roll crimp without being scraped off?

Thanks,
Monte
I roll crimp my 357 cast bullets over a load of 13.7 grains of #9. Not many bullets live a harder life.
 
• For 32 cal, I've really been liking the "polymer coated" bullets from T&B. https://tbbullets.com/bullets/polymer-coated-handgun/32-caliber/
• To roll crimp or not depends upon amount of bullet-to-case engagement and the violent nature of the recoil. When I shoot cylindrical DEWC seated almost flush with the case mouth in target loads, I do not crimp. They have lots of engagement and not much recoil.
• In all revolver loads, you'll want to minimize the amount of roll crimp. I didn't say "none", I said use the minimum required. This is because the cold working of the case mouth caused by using a "heavy roll crimp" on every cartridge is a major contributor to the early death of your brass cases. Yes, a "heavy roll crimp" might be the minimum on some big bore loads, but for most loads a "light roll crimp" works fine.
• The bottom line is you need to experiment and find what works for you. There are plenty of "guidelines", but not many hard "rules".
 
The coated bullets from three different commercial sources have measured about .001" to.002" over the size of jacketed bullets.
That is the norm for coated bullets. It is usually noted in the bullet description on their site

Most seated without scraping the coating, but too many lost a portion of their coating.
Since you're not having it happen with every bullet, I'd suspect that it is happening with bullets that aren't started straight

When using bevel base bullets I'm not going to bell the mouths excessively as a cover-up for coating loss due to poor adhesion, improper application, or incorrect curing.
What you're experiencing doesn't sound like a matter of adhesion, application or curing, but more a matter of not expanding the case mouth enough for the bullet being used

It isn't a matter of belling the mouth excessively, but expanding the mouth enough to allow the bullet to start straight. Many of use who use coated bullets use an expanded with the Lyman M-profile...these are also available from RCBS and Redding. Lee has recently made this profile expanding insert standard for their powder measures
 

Try Missouri Hi-TEK coated wadcutters. They are made for H&R speeds. You can get a sample pack of 100 for $14.

I love Missouri bullets. Loaded them in 5 different calibers and many different weights and styles with no leading problems in any of the firearms. This includes .357 and .44 Magnum with firm crimps (in the cannelure).

I have loaded several pounds of Blues as well with no issues, but they don't offer .32. Bayous worked fine but were not as accurate in my guns and took over a week to process the order.

Summit City coated bullets suck. Horrible leading and worse customer service.
 
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