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Why are FMJ bullets preferred?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RM, Jul 14, 2008.

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  1. RM

    RM Member

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    In terms of reloading and shooting, why are FMJ bullets preferred over plated bullets, lead cast bullets, etc? Thank you.
     
  2. 308sc

    308sc Member

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    I would like to know too :)
     
  3. Griz44

    Griz44 Member

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    Guess that depends on who you talk to. I prefer lead cast....
     
  4. LJH

    LJH Member

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    I am with Griz44, I perfer lead
     
  5. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    Generally, a jacketed bullet can be pushed to higher velocities, and thus better penetration and/or longer range. The ability to get a rigid, sharp point on them, as well as better and stronger wall-uniformity, lend to accuracy as well. Generally better aeros.

    Lead has one major advantage in the accuracy department, that being the way it fills the rifling to get a more stable spin. You can't get a spire-point to maintain shape with lead, however, and even if you could, the lack of uniformity along the bullet's sides can cause long range accuracy to be spotty. You can cast harder bullets to offset that, and to take more pressure, but it still pales to jacketed for 1000 yd accuracy.

    Use lead for hunting ranges (100-400yds) Past that, you're probably going to need a jacketed.
     
  6. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    No lead fouling from FMJs. That said, I load almost exclusively cast bullets.
     
  7. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Copper jacketed FMJ tend to feed more reliably in semiautos than bullets of other material/construction.
     
  8. Griz44

    Griz44 Member

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    Great explanation Fiero... One problem.... I can't even see a 1,000 yrds anymore... :(
     
  9. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    Plated are mainly driven as a safe/cheap alternative to exposed base jacketed and the obvious lead. Since plated isn't as strong as the drawn jackets, it can fill the rifling some, but is inconsistant and even fragile when expanding on impact. The surfaces are also not as consistantly aerodynamic as their jacketed breathren. Not a great choice for hunting/long range work. Great for cheap plinking and pistol range practice.
     
  10. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    I prefer lead I cast myself.

    Dave
     
  11. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    I completly forgot the feed issue, thanks RBernie.

    I'm not a flight-ballistician, so my knowledge comes from what I observe and what makes sense. Some guns like certain ammos. Some guns like lead better than copper. So long as there's 357 Magnum, there's going to be a 357 wadcutter. It's just the way it is.
     
  12. wally

    wally Member

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    Price? I prefer hard cast lead since they are cheaper to shoot, but if FMJ or JHP were the same price I'd use them instead.

    --wally.
     
  13. Otto

    Otto Member

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    FMJ's can be driven at higher velocities.
    FMJ's are harder and provide better penetration.
    FMJ's are don't require lubrication and are cleaner.
    FMJ's help reduce the exposure to lead metal.
    FMJ's are not gun specific, (ie. lead bullets are not recommended in Glocks or Hk's.)
     
  14. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    RM: Who is making that claim? Please site your sources.

    FieroCDSP: 1. there is a difference between jacketed and FMJ bullets! 2. jacketed bullet get a rigid, sharp point on them. What about polycarbonate tips??????????
    3. jacketed bullet give better penetration and/or longer range. Really!!!!!!!!!!! Lets see, a 55gr FMJ 223 will shoot farther and have better penetration than a 510 gr cast lead 45-70 bullet????????????? and those buffalo hunters shooting buffalo from 500 to 1000 yards is just a Fairy Tale??????????
     
  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    In rifles, that's usually true. But hardcast gaschecked lead bullets can be driven a bit beyond 2000 FPS without difficulty. In a handgun there is no practical velocity limit with cast bullets.

    The former is true, but the latter is extremely debatable. Nothing outpenetrates a properly designed cast bullet, at least in handguns. And anyone who has done penetration tests with heavy cast bullets from a 45-70 or similar can tell you that nothing gets deeper except perhaps the Nitro Expresses.

    I'd rather clean lead fouling out of a gun than copper fouling.

    Got me there, especially when totally encapsulated bullets are used.

    Funny that plastic guns require jacketed bullets. :neener:
     
  16. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    Otto:
    FMJ's help reduce the exposure to lead metal.
    Only TMJ bullets will do that. FMJ,s have exposed lead at the botom, an it does vaporixe when shot and upon impact.

    FMJ's are not gun specific, (ie. lead bullets are not recommended in Glocks or Hk's.)
    Please don't repeat these Urban Myths. I dare you to go to Glock Talk or the HK Pro Boards and say them.
     
  17. 1911user

    1911user Member

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    Hardcast lead and jacketed bullets have hardness in common; they are relatively hard. Plated bullets are soft lead with a thin copper coating.

    Hard bullets are more forgiving in terms of reloading errors especially when people severely overcrimp. When squeezed too much, soft bullets do not spring back as much as the brass case resulting in loose bullets. That sets up a situation where bullet setback can happen easily. Plated are also harder to set the right amount of crimp for semi-auto rounds. If not enough bell is removed, then they may not chamber reliably. If crimped too much, then the copper coating gets cut and accuracy goes to hell quickly.

    IMO new reloaders should learn the craft with hard lead or jacketed bullets THEN move to plated if plated bullets are somehow a requirement. With cheap jacketed bullets priced about the same as plated, I really don't see the advantage of using plated for anything.

    Also with FMJ you don't have to worry about velocity or leading. If jacketed and lead bullets were priced the same, I'd use jacketed almost exclusively. However, hardcast lead is cheaper so I use a mix of jacketed and lead depending on the caliber and load.
     
  18. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

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    Lead bullets are note recommended in octagonal rifling, because they cause excessive leading. Glocks (as far as I know) ship with octagonal rifling in the barrel. A simple aftermarket barrel fixes that problem, and voila! lead bullets out of a glock.

    Actually, certain weapons do NOT function well with jacketed bullets. Pretty much anything black powder (muzzle loader, or black powder cartridge) does much better with soft lead. Also, schuetzen rifles use strictly soft lead. Rimfire ammunition works much better as plain lead.
     
  19. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    fireflyfather: If what you are saying is not Urban Myth (no lead in polygonal barrels), please cite the authority which say you are correct.

    I have shot tens of thousands of hard cast lead in each of my polygonal barreled pistols.
     
  20. TAB

    TAB Member

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    Glock recomends that you not shoot lead.

    The only reason I know of too shoot lead vs FMJ is cost.
     
  21. AgentAdam

    AgentAdam Member

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    Lead increases barrel life, or should i say jacketed decreases barrel life.
     
  22. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    TAB: put up a copy of that statement in a Glock Warrantee.

    I have read over mine many times and it only mentions that the warrantee is invalid if you shoot reloaded ammunition. No mention of lead. The same is true with my HK warrantee.
     
  23. TAB

    TAB Member

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    Thats going to be rather hard since glock does not put any warrenty and/or owners manuels on line.
     
  24. Otto

    Otto Member

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  25. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    hard-cast slugs shoot as well as many jacketed and are cheaper - sometimes (as for .32acp) much so. with gas checks (where required) and the right powder fouling is kept down with the right size diameter.
     
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