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Very disappointed with quality of Speer bullets...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by <SLV>, Jan 7, 2008.

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  1. <SLV>

    <SLV> Member

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    I get my components at Sportsman's Warehouse, and one thing I hate is the fact that you can't actually open the boxes to see the bullets you are buying. I wanted to get 150 gr. FMJ .30 caliber, and I had a choice between Speer 150gr. FMJ/BT and Hornady 150gr. FMJ. The Speer were about $0.50 more, and I figured that was because they were in a plastic case. I ended up picking up the Speer because I have other .30 cal weights in Hornady. When I got home and opened the box I was very disappointed. Besides the fact that the copper jackets were dull and tarnished (and appeared to have crud stuck in the cannalures) the base of the bullet was not jacketed. That's not the end of the world, but the bottom of every bullet had a different shape/indentation. They were VERY uneven on the bottom with large marks and slanting lead. From what I've read it is impossible to get accuracy out of a bullet that is not flat on the bottom.

    I ended up tumbling the bullets, and they came out much better, but still not as bright as some of my Hornadys which I didn't polish.

    I really wish I would have purchased the Hornadys. I feel like I wasted $20 on something I won't enjoy shooting.
     
  2. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

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    I bought a box of Hornady .243 bullets that were badly corroded with green everywhere. I thought about tumbling them but brought them back to the store (not Sportsman's Warehouse) for a refund which is what you probably should have done.
     
  3. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    Aren't bullets with base jacketing termed TMJ for "total metal jacket" or is that just a manufacturer specific term?
     
  4. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    i guess i don't get excited about discolored bullets. they shoot the same, and i don't have 'em around long enough to get excited about it.

    rusty- no, many rifle bullets are of a cup and core design. the cup is the copper cup that the lead goes into. i expect my rifle bullets to have a copper base, not lead - unless i am shooting cast bullets for whatever reason, in which case there should be a complete lack of copper...
     
  5. Sheldon

    Sheldon Member

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    Most all of the FMJ bullets will have an open base, so the Hornady would have been the same in that regard.
     
  6. <SLV>

    <SLV> Member

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    I picked up a box of 165 gr. SN Hornady (non-BT) and they are copper jacketed on the bottom.

    Like I said, I don't mind the lead on the back side, but the construction is VERY sloppy and uneven. I just don't see how they could be that accurate --- and what other practical use is there for FMJ bullets?
     
  7. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

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    Jackets have to be open on one end to allow inserting the core. They will normally be open either at the base if the nose is closed, or the tip if of SP or HP design. Some like the Nosler Partition are open on both ends. Plated bullets are the only ones I`m aware of that are always closed on both ends.

    The core not being square to the body though is a quality problem and you should complain to Speer about it. (And poor polishing to a point, we don`t know how they were treated after leaving the factory though. Polishing compound - usually green- in the canalure has happened to me with more then one brand in the past and is not much to worry about IMO)
     
  8. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Must be lucky. Never got a box of Speer bullets that weren't shinny and bad quality. All have been shinny and of good quality...Lucky I guess...I would have given them a call about it though...Bet they would have sent you a new box...
     
  9. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    They're fodder sold for plinking. FMJ bullets (.mil design) are usually open at the bottom. They're usually at the bottom of the scale as far as quality and accuracy.

    The Speer 125gr TNT is an awesome .308 bullet.
     
  10. <SLV>

    <SLV> Member

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    I just got back from Sportsman's Warehouse, and they were good enough to exchange the box for a box of Hornadys. They agreed with me that the bullets were "defective", and they were going to send them back to Speer. I must say that the difference is NIGHT AND DAY between the Speers and the Hornadys I just brought home. You live and you learn... I've learned to stay away from the .30 call Speer FMJ. However, I think I'll keep using the Gold Dots for my 9mm.

    PS - I even got $1 back. :D
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Speer bullets in the past have never been as bright & shiny as Hornadys.
    They just don't put as much into unnecessary polishing as Hornady does.
    (Shiny doesn't make them shoot or kill any better!)

    I also have always felt they used a slightly different jacket material, with more copper content. They just won't polish quite as nice, and tarnish in storage sooner perhaps?

    Used to be that was reflected in Speer bullets costing a little less then Hornady & Sierra.

    Not so much anymore though!

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Speer match bullets shoot fine. Shot thousands of them.

    As far as tumbling bullets, I tumbled a bunch of 308 174 FMJ's to remove the tar. They never shot well. I have shot thousands of 174 FMJ's that I removed the tar with kerosene, and they shoot well. But not those tumbled bullets.

    Discolored match bullets shoot the same as bright shiney match bullets.
     
  13. <SLV>

    <SLV> Member

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    Awww, you guys are spoiling my theory. I think shiny, smooth, polished bullets go faster, just like a nicely waxed car gets better gas mileage due to reduced friction.
    :D

    I did notice that the jackets were a different color. I'd say that the Speers looked more brassy and the Hornadys more red. No big deal... what I really didn't like was the non-uniform casting at the base. It is all flat and smooth on the Hornadys and for $1 less. Besides... they sure are pretty when they shine!
    ;)
     
  14. K3

    K3 Member

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    Sierra bullets aren't as shiny as Hornady either. Color is different lot to lot in my experience.

    In spite of all this, they shoot great.

    I think the Speers probably would have shot just fine, but that's JMHO.
     
  15. GearHead_1

    GearHead_1 Member

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    I agree with the above statement on Sierra but I really like both Sierra and Nosler bullets.
     
  16. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    We had a saying on the submarine about overly-refining a perfectly adequate firing solution--"Polishing the cannon-ball." It means you're wasting time.
     
  17. <SLV>

    <SLV> Member

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    One man's relaxation is another man's waste of time.:)
     
  18. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Load'em...Shoot'em...Load'em again...
     
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