Hard cast vs. plated bullets in handguns

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Smaug, Sep 26, 2022.

?

Which bullet type do you prefer

  1. Hard cast

    39 vote(s)
    66.1%
  2. Plated

    20 vote(s)
    33.9%
  1. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Another vote for coated cast here
     
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  2. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    No not really. Poly coated bullets are the hardcast bullets with the poly coating. Plated bullets a soft lead, not real accurate. Sure they are OK, but for mag calibers you can not crimp them hard nor shoot really fast. They cost more than coated (at least they used to) I haven't bought bullets for a while.
    Powder coat and poly coat are different.

    Heck I still have regular lube cast bullets and can't wait to get rid of them (dirty mess) and have all poly coated,
     
  3. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    You can mail them to me. :)
     
  4. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    Handguns or Rifle bullets ? ... Never mind , I didn't read the title well enough ...
    The Poll is handgun bullets ... my vote is cast bullets but not necessarily Hardcast .
    A bhn of 8 is what my handgun alloy is rated ... that isn't very hard but mine fit and I use a good bullet lube .

    Something else ... Hardness is way over rated , fit beats out hardness every time .
    A small hard , undersized , bullet will lead the Bejeezus out of your rifle's barrel .
    While a properly sized , softer bullet , that fits the bore properly , with a halfway decent bullet lube will leave no leading .
    The rules for rifles and handguns differ some but one thing they both require is a proper fit .
    You won't know what that is if you don't slug and measure your rifle's bore .
    Gary
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2022
  5. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Lead is Smokey because of the lube. My only complaint about shooting and loading lead. 90% of my loads are lead. Lately I use RimRock Cowboy Cast at a medium hardness level. I look for flat based bullets and have zero leading issues. Too hard cause problems, beveled base cause problems in some applications. If your shooting is mostly 950 fps and below 8 to 12 hardness is fine and clean. Plated bullets are saved for moderate .357 Magnum 1000+ fps loads. It’s really up to you though. If you want to clean things up look at coated bullets, eliminates the need for lube but a few cents more per bullet. You keep all the advantages of a nice crimp grove as well.
     
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  6. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I did take a box of 500 45 acp and melted the lube off, cleaned with solvent and then powder coated them. I may have to get inspired and do some more, But then I would need to buy more sizing dies for the 38, 40, 44, 9mm. That was the only part I didn't like, Then I would have those dies and no more use for them
    It's been so darn hot I have not been shooting much (get rid of them:))

    IMG_0538.JPG
     
  7. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I prefer coated and plated over bare lead/lube bullets because I shoot mostly indoors and lead/lube are far too smoky.

    Of the two, coated are my first pick and plated my second. I like the bullet shape/style options coating offers, and I have cut plating with too little flare as well as with too much of a roll crimp.

    Stay safe.
     
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  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Both cast bullets and plated bullets have their limitations.

    Plated bullets generally have a velocity cap imposed by the manufacturer. Exceeding the maximum can cause issues with your gun

    Driving cast bullets too fast cause leading. Bullet diameter, lead alloy and lead hardness in the correct levels will minimize leading at higher velocities. This is somewhat gun specific and the combination may not work for low leading in a different hand gun.

    Powder coating or some other magic coating material may allow the reloader tondrive cast bullets to higher velocities. While I have dabbled in coated bullets, I have not tried to find the velocity limit with those bullets. Ditto with using a gas check.

    It can be done, running cast bullets at magnum velocities. It just takes a lot of work to find the right combination.

    I use cast bullets for low pressure/velocitiy loads, like 45 Colt or 44 Special or plinking ammunition for Magnum guns. For Magnum loads in cartridriges like 357 Magnum or 44 Magnum I use jacketed bullets.

    I’ll admit to being too lazy to develop a cast bullet that will work at magnum velocities without leading in my guns.
     
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  9. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    For range fodder, I use coated hard cast projectiles, but usually finish off with 5 or 6 rounds of plated to "shoot the lead out".
     
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  10. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    I only shoot at two indoor ranges and while they have modern HVAC systems and permit lead bullets, the smoke from the lube is so distracting to me and often close by shooters, it’s embarrassing. But it’s the distraction that’s most bothersome.
     
  11. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Same here. I’ve had shooters next to me stop shooting a couple of times due to the fog rolling in from my shots. After that, I relegated my remaining lead/lube bullets to outdoor use and went exclusively coated/plated indoors.:thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  12. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    You can still mail them to me. Do it on a day the post office has the A/C turned on. ;)
     
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  13. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I've gone the other way. I found 2 of my rifles prefer lubed cast too coated. But I shoot outdoors and have only been running 200 rounds per month. This year has been too busy.
     
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  14. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    A good home cast square base bullet is nearly unbeatable for benchrest accuracy out of a handgun. Commercial cast, bevel base bullets are fine and great for plinking. I’ve shot cast bullets for many years and just never had a problem with leading even at maximum 44 Mag loadings. I don’t like coated lead bullets at all. Bench them at 25 yards with a good gun and you can tell the difference. Xtreme plated bullets are my favorite plated bullets and very accurate. They perform great just a bit more expensive,
     
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  15. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    I have shot plenty of both over the years, but now I definitely lean more towards coated cast. Better value IMHO, as plated prices have gone up dramatically to where many of them are right there near jacketed, and I just don't see any major added value over Hi-Tek coated cast.

    As far as straight cast? I'm done with that completely. There is no reason in my mind to shoot straight cast any more at all unless you're casting yourself and you're doing it for the love of the process and product you produce, I respect that as an "art". But for a bulk shooter, every day shooting, hunting, whatever........coated cast has sooooo many benefits over straight cast, and you can't split the coating with a heavy crimp ala plated. Plus, anybody who's ever had to ungunk bullet lube out of a MBF likely has a special hate for lubed bullets.
     
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  16. rperyam

    rperyam Member

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    EricBu read my mind. I agree 100% with everything said. I have some Summers wadcutters that are plain lead left to reload, then going with their coated bullets.
     
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  17. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I have not done any testing myself but I was watching the entire series where fortunecookie45 lc did direct comparisons. Across several calibers and guns they are even. Some guns prefer one over another but that is equally true with different jacketed bullets. I would have to see further testing to justify your position.
     
  18. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I came to the same conclusion when loading 9mm. I would rather have a real jacketed rmr bullet for the same price or cheaper than any plated bullet.
     
  19. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I’m using up a supply of plated bullets I bought at the height of the pandemic because they weee all I could find. They’ve gone up now and are more than jacketed bullets. I have cast and coated bullet loads for 9mm, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, and 30-30. They’re considerably cheaper than most jacketed bullets though some are very close in 9mm.

    The cast and coated bullets are ahead in accuracy over plated bullets IME. Jacketed are more accurate than C&C bullets but the margin is small in my guns to the point that only in my best days can I tell a difference.

    I doubt I’ll use plated bullets again unless the price comes down or I stumble upon a load by luck that shoots really well.
     
  20. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    I cannot vote. I use 50/50 of each in different calibers for different loads.
     
  21. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    Cast coated for me. My loads are mid range[.45 Colt, .45 acp and .357]. All of 'em. I use either Missouri or T & B, flat base, other than T&B 230gr, those have a bevel. I don't use those, I use Missouri for those. Never really took to plated. Which reminds me; need to place an order with T & B.
     
  22. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Well, and also less cleaning due to your first point.


    Correct; I was thinking about handgun bullets.

    The Lyman manual has cast bullet data and even says when to use gas checks. The typical rifle cartridges with cast bullet data are the bigger bore, slower ones.
     
  23. CCSIG

    CCSIG Member

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    I use either plated or cast, preferably poly-coated; whichever is easily available at the time. For my purposes, it's not a difference that I spend much time ruminating on.
     
  24. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    I'm having a hell of a time getting clean patches to come out of my barrels. I think it's from burnt bullet lube.

    The barrels LOOK clean, but the patches with solvent keep coming out dirty...
     
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  25. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I get the never ending dirty patches too. As long as the bore is nice and shiny im good to go.
     
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