How Much Difference Does Bullet Quality Make?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Billy Jack, Jan 30, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Billy Jack

    Billy Jack Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    I have been buying 45-70 bullets from one manufacturer and recently decided to try another.
    The new bullets on the left in the photo look pretty good, but the lube is flakey and tends to not stay in the groove uniformly. The old bullets on the right look even a little better. The old bullets lube seems to be very uniform and well seated into the lube grooves. Also the gas checks on the old bullets on the right look to be deeper than the new ones on the left.

    My question is from an accuracy and leading point of view will it really make any difference?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,261
    Those on the left would be an embarrassment to me if I sold them. The ones on the right look very similar to some of my loadings.

    I'm not even sure if there is enough lube on the left ones to work. Too hard and brittle=can't do it's job as a lube=leading, possibly severe.

    I wouldn't load them, but I'm particular.
     
  3. blarby

    blarby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,201
    Location:
    Calapooia Oregon
    I know who they come from, so I won't be too hard....

    Anyway, yes- bullet quality in general makes a difference.

    In your situation, a little lube isn't going to make any difference you are going to be able to see.

    In general, shipping is real, real hard on lube- especially in the cold when its brittle as bone china.

    Now, I'd still do some other quality compasrisons not related to lube if you feel quality is an issue.

    I am, and I'm sure they'd work.

    You generally use so little from each bullet, that the lube grooves can be deceptive.

    Lube grooves are a great way to make an otherwise overweight bullet design an "ideal" or marketable weight, and to allow enough lube that even if some is missing- that whats there can do its part.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,076
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    What's important from an accuracy standpoint is a perfectly flat base.

    That insures the bullet is leaving the muzzle crown without uneven gas leakage starting them tilting and wobbling right out of the barrel.

    A flat base is very dependent on a full bullet pour, and a level & flush sprue cut-off before the gas check is seated.

    The one bullet on the left looks like the gas check is seated crooked.
    The other one does't look quite right either from a 'level' standpoint!
    So it cannot possibly be perfectly flat & level on the base.

    So?
    I'd have to put my money on the two on the right shooting rings around the other two.

    rc
     
  5. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,298
    Location:
    Freeport, IL
    I've ordered from the same mfg MANY times.
    I had one box show up that maybe 25-30 bullets had lube missing in chunks like the ones shown.

    I contacted the mfg & showed him a pic of the bad bullets.
    He sent me about a 100 replacements.

    As blarby said, the cold weather & gentle handling during shipping (NOT!) will crack the lube off of some.
    If you contact the mfg, I'm sure they'll wanna make it right.

    If they don't, then take your business elsewhere.
     
  6. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,458
    Location:
    Minnesota
    You also have two different profiles which may affect accuracy as well.
     
  7. Billy Jack

    Billy Jack Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Yes the profiles are different, but I knew that going in. I was not able to find the exact profile as I had been buying.
    The ones on the right are what I had been buying direct from the bullet maker. The ones on the left were purchased from Midway USA, but of course made by someone else. I'm sure I could just return them to midway, but what alternatives do I have. Beartooth makes great bullets, but deliveries are terrible.
    The problem is the bullets on the right are no longer available and I am trying to find a new supplier of something close to what I was using. This was my first attempt.
    I guess I'll go ahead and load some up and just see how they do. Maybe, like has been said, the lube will probably work OK.
     
  8. idcastandblast

    idcastandblast Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Meridian, Idaho
    If you are looking for an alternative bullet, check out Leatherhead Bullets out of Nampa, Idaho. They are making moly coated cast bullets, and are getting really good reviews. You can find them on facebook (not sure if the website is up and running yet).

    Disclaimer: I am NOT affiliated with Leatherhead. I have seen their products and talked with them about their process and background. I think that you will be impressed.
     
  9. Billy Jack

    Billy Jack Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    I found Leatherhead Bullets and the coated bullet idea does look very interesting.

    However, for now it looks like they are just getting started and only have a very few moulds. Mostly pistol bullets in 9mm, 40, and 45 cal. They look like a great choice for high volume pistol shooters.

    But I am needing large heavy rifle bullets as follows.
    44 mag 260gr WFN in .432 dia. for Marlin Lever 44 mag rifle (Micro Groove barrel)
    45-70 405 gr LFN in .459 or preferably .460 dia. for a Buffalo Classic Rifle
    45-70 450 gr LFN in .459 or preferably .460 dia. for Marlin Guide Gun and Ruger #1
     
  10. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    7,681
    Location:
    Florida
    Beauty is only 'skin" deep. Sure the bullets with the nice lube look better but an actual test of the 2 brands side by side with the same load is the only way to tell how much if any difference there is in accuracy,

    But certainly some bullets (brands ) are more accurate then others.
     
  11. Rushthezeppelin

    Rushthezeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Hutto, TX
    Powder coating is the way to go. Grab stuff from powder by the pound. Super easy to coat. Just dump some dry powder in a small container, drop in bullets, shake then bake. Eliminates leading if sized correctly and generally provides better accuracy. Also eliminates the need for gas checks on higher velocity bullets.
     
  12. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    656
    My handcasts look much better than those on the left I sure would not pay for bullets with such a crappy lube job might as well make em yourself.
     
  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    15,710
    Location:
    Hot and Humid FL
  14. Kuyong_Chuin

    Kuyong_Chuin Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Messages:
    621
    Location:
    Hickman County Tennessee
  15. Billy Jack

    Billy Jack Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Going Ballistic Bullets looks really promising. They cast in the dia I need in the 45-70's. In the 44's they only go to .431 not .432, but that might be OK. Definitely worth a try.
    I think I'll send these back to Midway and try Ballistic.
    Thanks
     
  16. Billy Jack

    Billy Jack Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Re-evaluated this morning and mic'd and weighed the bullets and looked them over really good.
    They are consistent in dia and weight, the casting looks good, and about 25% are full of lube.
    I took RC's advice and really looked closely at the base and fit of the gas checks. They look more than acceptable. I think the photo I took had some distortion to it.
    I have contacted the manufacturer, not Midway as all they could do is give me a refund on the whole lot. I want to try the bullets to see if they will work as a future source. Maybe the manufacturer will give me some advice, help, bullets, or something.
    I'll load a few today and see how they go. I am not going to start low and work up since my load for the 450's is so far below max any way. It's actually below starting for Ruger. I am just going to back off the 37 gr of Rel #7 to 36gr since the new bullet is 10 gr heavier.
     
  17. blarby

    blarby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,201
    Location:
    Calapooia Oregon
    If the lube thing still really bothers you,rub some crisco in the missing lube grooves.

    honestly i dont think its gonna matter either way, but hey,we all have our qwirks.
     
  18. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    7,681
    Location:
    Florida
    ^^^^
    What Blarby said above. Or melt some crayons or candle wax Stuff it in the groove.. There is usually enough lube left from the first bullet before you shoot one that has lost some.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice