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jacketed Vs lead

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by deadeye dick, Apr 22, 2014.

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  1. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    Is there a difference in accuracy between lead cast and FMJ or plated bullets? I shoot lead a lot because of the cost. I see a lot of FMJ bulk at the gun shows and would like to try them on for size. I do all my shooting in the back of my property out to 25 yds. Is there a safety factor involved? I shoot steel plates (flip and stationary) and pizza boxes. There seems to be a lot of recipe's for the XTP's also. are they as accurate as FMJ for self defense?
     
  2. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    No difference in accuracy (for me), but the difference in cost is usually prohibitive to me for volume-type shooting. My XTP bullets in all calibers hit right where they are supposed to - these are loads I use for self-defense and are far better suited to the task than any FMJ. Functionally, the XTPs are identical to any FMJ in terms of flight performance. I'm not sure about steel plates with FMJ as I don't have any steel to shoot at.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    In order of accuracy performance in my pistols.

    Lead, Jacketed, then plated waaaay down the road from the other two. YMMV
     
  4. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I have to respectfully disagree. I have had much better accuracy out of plated bullets than I ever had from lead. I don't have the mess to clean up after shooting lead either.

    Personally for me, I would rank them at Jacketed, plated and lead for MY SHOOTING HABITS. Plated are soft lead and have to be treated that way.

    You can't crank them up like you can with "hard cast" lead bullets. Out of my 23 guns, I have one that comes close to jacketed accuracy with lead bullets.

    I have no doubt that if you really work with lead bullets and cast your own you can make them very accurate. As far as store bought variety that's available to us, I stick with heavy plated bullets like Xtremes since I haven't seen jacketed anything for over a year.

    Just my opinion.
     
  5. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I have found that jacketed bullets are the easiest to get good accurate loads with. It is nice to not have to worry about sizing them or have issues with leading.

    I have only very little experience with plated but found them to be no better or worse in accuracy than hard cast lead (at least in my guns).

    I have never had any luck getting good accuracy with lead bullets that I have purchased and they almost always caused leading in my barrels. There are a few commercial casters that will let you pick your diameter but not many.

    Having said that, with a little work and patience, lead can be every bit as accurate as jacketed bullets. It is true that you usually can't push them as hard but the fact that you can cast your own and size them to match your barrels makes them the clear winner for me.

    I hate that too, which is why I powder coat my bullets after I cast them. I have not seen any leading since.
     
  6. bds

    bds Member

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    I used to think jacketed bullets were more accurate than lead/plated bullets but I think depending on the barrel/powder/charge used, accuracy from each bullet type can vary.

    This is from Herco testing with 9mm - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9375519
    This is from Herco testing with 40S&W - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9362819#post9362819
     
  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    My experience is, if you're loading for one gun, and you've fit the bullet to the gun, you can get very accurate loads using lead. If you're wanting to load one bullet for several firearms in the same caliber, your most consistent bullet for accuracy is going to be jacketed. It also comes down to what you consider accurate and what kind of accuracy you desire. Accuracy for shooting milkjugs @ 25 feet is different than trying to shoot the eye outta a turkey @ 50 yards. Lead is cheaper, but is harder to find a truly accurate load for and will require you to spend more time cleaning your bore. If you have access to free lead, than casting your own makes sense. If you need to buy gas checked cast bullets, you may as well buy jacketed. There are pros and cons to both, with plated coming in between. One needs to figure out what their priorities are before they know which is the right way to go. I myself use some lead, mostly in .45ACP as I have only one and have found a lead bullet that works well in it. In my other handguns, I have several different models in each caliber and none shoot the same lead bullet with similar performance. Not wanting to load a different bullet for every gun, jacketed works better, as the same jacketed load shoots well in all.
     
  8. beeenbag

    beeenbag Member

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    I think that developing an accurate load with jacketed is easier, but once you get a good lead load, they are just as accurate if not more so.
     
  9. plmitch

    plmitch Member

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    No real difference, cast might have a slight edge......
     
  10. Nordeste

    Nordeste Member

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    I thought lead would be the most accurate option, just because it would hold onto the rifling better due to the material it's made of, compared with the copper jacket on a FMJ. I also heard that plated were the worst in terms of accuracy, but being soft lead, I don't know what reason this statement is based upon.
     
  11. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    I use the lead (.45 acp, 9mm, 38spl., 357 mag. from one specific caster and they claim a brinell hardness of 18. I do not have a problem with leading at all. I clean the weapon usually after shooting 100 rnds. or so. As for powder I use green dot , w231,& titegroup when I can find it. Thanks to all!
     
  12. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    What mess??? If you're getting leading, you're doing something wrong.
     
  13. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    The mess is because I don't have the time to devote to shooting a separate bullet for each handgun I have. I have tried most of the brands of lead bullets and have had no luck with them.

    I started to cast my own with lead around 8brn hardness to have softer bullets and it made no difference.

    Maybe I am doing something wrong, maybe I don't have to put up with that because I can shoot plated bullets and get the same or better accuracy than the lead was doing and don't have to clean up all the leading I ended up with.

    Craig, if you have lead bullets that work well in your handguns, good for you, I wish I did, but I don't.

    So I shoot plated and jacketed.
     
  14. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    In some cases, jacketed can be much more accurate. If your bore has a constriction in it or a bad crown job, cast lead bullets will usually go wonky way before a jacketed bullet. But if your gun can handle it, cast is usually just as accurate, for pistols and short range rifle work, anyway.

    The only caliber I shoot more jacketed than lead is in 40SW. And that's cuz I haven't nailed that particular gun, yet. I still get a tiny bit of fouling. I think it's cuz my one gun in that caliber is not a Glock. I have my Glocks and rifles shooting cast bullets like clockwork.

    I have to add that IME there IS a mess that comes with cast bullets... in revolvers. Lube spitting out of the cylinder gap makes quite a mess after 100 rounds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I don't do that. I have dozens of revolvers I shoot cast bullets in and I don't do anything special for any of them.
     
  16. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I've shot a lot of big bore competitive and I've won more than my share of matches. I've loaded/shot both jacketed and cast, and I never got more accuracy out of the jacketed, so my own cast bullet it is!

    And, NO there's no mess or leading, I'm with Craig on this one, either you are doing something wrong or have some rough bbls!

    DM
     
  17. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    DM, I have no pistols with rough bores. I had them checked. My revolvers, except for one, are all 1972 or older Smith& Wessons revolvers in mint condition. They have polished barrels from the factory. They are very accurate with any plated or jacketed bullets. They are accurate with lead bullets until they lead up after about 100 rounds of store bought bullets that are under sized.

    Your casting your own, is there a reason your not buying factory made lead bullets.

    What alloys are you using? What hardness.
     
  18. 32_d3gr33s

    32_d3gr33s Member

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    i shoot mostly plated and lead. i found no increase in accuracy shooting jacket over the other 2. my plated seem to have the best accuracy and you dont have to worry about leading. A lot of it has to do with the manufacturer of the bullets, and the powder choice as well. different hardness lead will perform different. ive had the best luck with plated bullets from X-treme, and lead from Falcon
     
  19. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I see no reason to buy bullets that are so easily made and nearly FREE... In 44cal. for instance, I size them to .430" and lube with alox...

    I start out with wheel weights and add tin until the bullets cast, can just be scratched with my thumb nail. I found it interesting that after checking hardness that way for years, Skeeter S wrote that, that's how he checked his too, so I guess it's a pretty good test as he prefered "his own" cast bullets tested that way too. Like anything else, after doing it that way for years, you learn to to keep things pretty close to the same.

    I don't do this in my melt pot, I make it up a "kettle full" at a time, then pouring it into 2# ingots to use later in my melt pot. Each lot is kept separate...

    Anyway, here I am, melting FREE wheel weights to clean the lead, then pouring it into "home made" molds that give me 20 pounds ingots.

    [​IMG]

    I set these aside, to be remelted and "alloyed" later...

    DM
     
  20. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    See that's what I was talking about. You casters are working with your alloys, working with your sizing and tuning your bullet hardness in so you don't have leading problems. That's what I don't have the time to do or learn right now.

    That's why I have leading problems.

    A bullet that fits the bore of a pistol or rifle and has the best powder charge behind it will be accurate no matter what it's made out of.

    The OP never said a word about casting his own bullets, he indicated he is buying them from his original post. He is at the mercy of the bullet mfg to sell him a bullet that fits his particular barrel. So in a certain sense plated or jacketed could be more consistently accurate unless he works with the lead bullets to get one that properly fits his particular barrel or is lucky to start with and the store bought bullets work well for him with out leading his barrel and destroying his accuracy.

    That's all I meant by my comments about lead bullets.
     
  21. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I've never cast a bullet in my life. I buy them because I don't have the time or inclination to cast my own. They're only "nearly free" if you put no value on your time, enjoy doing it and get free lead. Like I said, I don't do anything special with any of them. I buy standard sizes, make sure I match the hardness to the velocity and can't remember the last time I had to clean lead out of a revolver's bore. If you're leading up after 100rds, something is wrong. Either the bullets are undersized, too hard or too soft.
     
  22. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    My own experience was that when I switched from jacketed to my own cast lead bullets my accuracy went up.

    The reality though is that I'm a plinker so ultimate accuracy is not the point. Fun is the point. The last time I calculated what a box of .45acp costs me using my own cast bullets it was $3.50 for a box of 50. At that rate I can have all the fun I want.

    As for time, I shoot about 5,000/yr of 45acp. I spend two days/year casting those bullets.
     
  23. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    In pistol BE shooting you will find that most are shooting lead, even HP SWC. At low velocity. Some say a flat bottom HP-SWC preforms the best over rounded. Every gun is different in what it likes. Some guns prefer a particular weight where others it does not matter. I know HP are more accurate in the jacketed that I shoot. It's all about stabilizing the the mass.

    Most of my handguns shoot lead more accurate than jacketed.
     
  24. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I loved this statement and I agree with it 100% although I am on the other side of the coin:) While I wouldn't agree that I don't value my time, I sure spend a lot of time doing something I love.

    I enjoy casting and reloading as much as shooting. For me, that is one of the biggest reasons I spend so much time working on different and better ways to do it. I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing old scrap lead turned into slick looking bullets that shoot well.

    It isn't about the money either. I am quite sure I have spent as much on casting supplies as a few years of jacketed bullets would cost. It is kind of that same adage that says you won't save money by reloading, you will just shoot 5 times as much. I have even picked up a few calibers that I would not normally be interesting in just for the fun of having a new bullet to cast for.
     
  25. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I'm truly jealous of you guys that enjoy it, casting and reloading. Reloading is a process I don't particularly enjoy but I don't mind doing so I can shoot as much as I want. I love cast bullets and truly believe in them but casting doesn't interest me at all. I came close a few years ago. I was going to take the plunge on a Winchester 1876 replica .50-95 and it almost requires you to cast your own bullets. After spending two hours on the phone calling every tire shop in three counties looking for free lead and coming up with nothing, I gave up on it.


    I would spend a lot more time than that with all the cartridges I load cast bullets for. How much time do you spend scrounging, hauling and processing your lead?


    It costs me less than $3 more a box to use commercial cast bullets. I can live with that.
     
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