Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bangbig, Sep 13, 2017.
Is there any out there?
Looking for actual comparisons at 50+ yards from magnum handguns.
I followed this on one of the BE forums, when the coating was starting to take hold. The over all senses was the coating hurts accuracy for the top shooters. The problem with the coating is it's not always even (thickness). Which changes the friction coefficient.
Same question was posed on this discussion thread - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...bullets-versus-plain-lead-at-distance.819423/
From the discussion, general consensus was that for average shooters, not much difference was seen at 25 yards but noticeable at 50 yards and none of the top bullseye match shooters were using coated lead bullets (They use JHP bullets).
Properly sized and lubed lead bullets producing greater accuracy than inconsistently coated lead bullets is understandable as coating simply act as lubricant allowing gas leakage while lead lube under pressure acts as lubricant and also as "O-ring" to seal high pressure gas and "flow" to seal small gaps between bullet and barrel surface to produce more consistent chamber pressures which translates to more consistent muzzle velocities/smaller SD numbers which likely will lead to smaller groups on target.
This was my reply post to that discussion thread - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...-lead-at-distance.819423/page-2#post-10514751
"As to lubed lead vs coated, I think what Glen Fryxell discussed in chapter 5 of his book is pertinent to our discussion - http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_5_Lubrication.htm
Coating on lead bullets simply act as a lubricant which allows gas leakage around the bullet while lube can act as both lubricant and "O-ring" sealant to better trap/reduce gas leakage to produce more consistent chamber pressures and greater accuracy.
'The fluid dynamics of lube flow has many components: simple displacement, compressive pumping, linear acceleration, radial acceleration, and pressure-induced pumping.
When the bullet is engraved, the lands displace not only bullet metal in the driving bands of the cast bullet, but they also displace a certain volume of lube in the lube grooves. This displacement serves to compress the lube somewhat, thereby forcing it into contact with the rest of the bore, as well as into the nooks and crannies of the bullet/bore interface.
This is the first and simplest lube pumping mechanism. As the pressure builds, the force applied to the base of bullet may grow to the point that it surpasses the compressive strength of the alloy. At this point the central core of the bullet in the lube grooves is compressed, getting fatter and shorter, which in turn reduces the volume of the lube groove. Once again this compresses the lube within that groove and forces it to the bullet bore interface.'"
I think the op is asking about taking the same cast bullet and wax lube/sizing the bullet vs hi-tek coating and sizing with the same die, without the wax lube.
If that's the case there isn't that much difference between the two accuracy wise out to 100 yds in my testing.
The problem with testing is you almost have to cast your own bullets to be able to compair the two side by side while eliminating all of the other variables that can exist.
LOL. Shortly after I posted, I found that thread.
Looks like I'll order more lead and just get some hytek samples to play with, cause, well, it's an excuse to go out and shoot more!
Yeah, my question should've been, can similar loads yield similar group sizes at 50 - 100yds with cast or coated. With coating being the only variable.
So application of the coating is subject to variability form bullet to bullet?
It's more like getting a cast bullet from "A" and comparing it to a coated bullet from "B".
Just the same as buying regular cast bullets from a half dozen different different manufacturers at that point. Different alloys, temperatures, molds, lubes, size dies, shipping and handling, etc.
If you really want to see the difference between wax lube and coating you need to eliminate all of the other variables and that's pretty easy once you cast your own and do the two different process to the projectiles and run them through the same size die.
All that said JHP's beat my best cast bullets at 100 yds with "magnum" loads. For that matter, regular loads too.
Yes, as amount of coating in terms of thickness and evenness can vary from bullet to bullet.
jmorris, I agree. I have MBC 124 gr RN (SmallBall) both in Hi-Tek coated and lead lubed. So with these bullets made from same alloy, moulds and sizing, only variable would be the Hi-Tek coating.
bangbig, I can either send some bullets to you for testing in your pistol or do a comparison test using my Glock 22 and KKM 40-9 conversion barrel.
I thought he was asking about different bullets vs many from the same lot but yes they can be different in the same lot as well and that will also be dramatically different by what method is used for application.
I could only assume coated are not as accurate as lead lubed, assuming equal quality cast bullets. Simply because the coating isn't going to be equal all the way around. When we have jackets that are not equally thick all the way around it hurts accuracy by moving the center of mass of axis a hair.
Since I doubt I can shoot the difference, I am using coated over bare lead these days. I have had good enough luck with them I have switched to coated on a number of applications.
Looks like it's time for coated vs lubed lead bullet comparison test including chrono test to check difference in muzzle velocity.
Wife got me remodeling bathroom in son's house for my vacation but will add comparison test to my next range trip.
No way I can shoot any of my 9mm at 50 yards to tell a difference in group size if they only vary an 1". But if you happen to perform an accuracy test between the two, I would be VERY interested in what you find!
I find it interesting that they would use the same molds for lead and coated. Aren't the coated bullets sized after coating? Wouldn't the mold be slightly smaller? Sorry for my newbie questions! I've shot and reloaded a lot, however I know nothing about the casting/manufacturing process.
I went an looked to see what naked bullets I had and there was a box of 125g 9mm RN bullets from a mold I don't like, rather none of my firearms like the bullets from it.
Anyway I loaded up 20 lubed up the old fashioned way and 20 hi-tek coated, 3.1 gn of N310 @ 1.155" with WSP and stuck them in a 9mm rifle with a 10x zeiss optic in a rest, just to make sure I was wasting my time I used mixed brass.
The 20 coated ones averaged 983.3 fps and turned into a 5 7/8" pattern at 60 yards.
Changed the target and loaded up the 20 wax lubed and they went 6 1/8".
Just to show them up I put in 20 of my 115g JHP backyard coyote killer loads, matching head stamp 1371 fps average a ragged 15/16" sized hole was the result.
So with my quite unscientific test, the bullet itself matters more than what its wearing.
I have no doubt that is a fundamentally sound supposition.
That said, I'd be willing to bet a small amount (Cold drink?) that bare lubed lead would out shoot coated lead in a large sample test of bullets the guns like. Simply because getting the coating exactly even all the way around would be problematic. It would throw off the center of balance, just like poor jackets.
+1 to Walkalong's post.
Another factor is the use of "9mm rifle" with longer barrel where lube on "naked" bullet would have run out long before reaching the muzzle which definitely could affect accuracy.
IMHO, properly lubed lead bullet that can deform/seal with the barrel better should outperform inconsistently coated bullets.
I'd wager a cold drink as well, lol. What is a "large sample"? With 20 of each jmorris had only minor variation and the "win" went to coated.
Is coating that hard to get consistent?
I don't know enough about coating to say if it's difficult to get consistent but have bought enough coated bullets from different makers to say that some makers are a lot better at coating than others.
FWIW the rifle I was using has more suppressor length than barrel length. It would be an SBR if the can could be removed.
I just used it because it is a more accurate platform for me to use as a test bed. The results would be even more useless if I were using something less capable of achieving accurate bullet placement.
I don't thing my quick test is really enough to draw a conclusion other than there are other variables that can effect accuracy more than a coating or lube.
Now I need to take a sample and weigh them before and after coating. I have to say I have no idea how much weight is added by the coating much less how much of an imbalance could exist.
I am using 5ml of the liquid coating, 1ml of the catalyst and 5ml of acetone for 200 bullets. The acetone flashes off while they are tumble coated and I don't know how much weight loss the rest of the mix looses when baking. I suspect he weight added is less than copper electroplated bullets that are also tumbled for the process and could suffer the same disparity.
My coating method is about 17 seconds into this video.
Rainier's plating process is around 13:15 in this one.
I had forgotten the 2.5-8 hours it takes them to do it, depending on the bullet. So I imagine the weight the plating adds varies quite a bit depending on what type of bullet as well.
Ah, for every answer there are two more questions...
It isn't the weight of the coating, or jacket that is important, it is how even or concentric they are. The heavy spinning lead core needs to be as centered as possible for best accuracy.
I see what you are saying. I haven't noticed any difference in thickness by looking around fired bullets. My powder coated bullets have a thicker coating for sure but looking around the circumference of them everything appears uniform. Like the little strip on the right side where the land made it through the coating. That brings up another question though, how much difference in coating thickness from one side to another would it take to have visibility different wear from one side of a bullet to another?
On my hi-tek coated and precision coated bullets the lands are in contact with lead, not coating.
I don't have a good way to measure coating thickness to bullet, even of the thicker powder coat though.
Match jackets are made from the most consistent jacket material. All of the jackets are really consistent, but the match ones are the best, and it makes a difference. I don't remember the numbers off the top of my head. It's small though. Tens of thousandths.
This a great thread! I am a new reloaded and have been buying Hi-Tek coated 158 gr .357/.38 from Acme Bullet Co. I've been through 1500 or so in the last 6 months. I bought the coated bullets thinking that I would be handling less lead(I wear gloves when I reload anyway, just an extra precaution). I had not considered the effect on accuracy of an uneven coating, but that makes a lot of sense. While I will say that most of the bullets seam to be coated pretty evenly that is not always the case. Not that my eye is considered scientific measuring equipment. A small fraction of bullets though have very small spots that coating did not stick to and you can see the lead.
Up until now I had been blaming any poor groups(some great, some not so great) on grip, trigger control, powder selection, sun in my eyes...etc. All this time it's been the coating! It's nice to have a non me related excuse.
I think next time I order I'll try the standard lubed lead bullets and see if I notice a difference.
Thanks for a reason to spend more time at the range!
LOL, I know the feeling, but I'm going to keep blaming poor shots on myself. (Only because that is the real reason 99.9% of the time.)
A man can dream...
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