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Why I can't warm up to plated bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Grump, May 19, 2006.

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  1. Grump

    Grump Member

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    I think this A/B test yesterday will show you everything you need to know.

    I've tried 'em in 9mm. I've tried 'em in .38 Spl. I've tried 'em in .45 ACP. I've tried 'em in .40 S&W. This group is typical, can't seem to get any better no matter what I do. Some .40s were WORSE--5 inches at 25 yards.

    All I can say is that for a little more money than lead, I don't need to clean leading out of the rifling. Big whoop--an extra 5 minutes and 2 cycles of brush and patch last time (.40). But sometimes the price is hardly anything less $$ than hot deals on jacketed bullets.:scrutiny:

    Oh, that shot on the right was called out in that direction, too.:neener:
     

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  2. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Member

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    I never had luck with them in my .357. They were meant to replace jacketed bullets in high speed loads,but I had accuracy problems with them in heavily crimped loads. They usually cost the same as the Star FMJs that I buy at local gunshows,and they're far more expensive than my home cast,so I generally don't use them.
    I shoot a lot of .38 and .45 though,for which use plated and jacketed bullets aren't really needed.
     
  3. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    All I load is jacketed bullets. Just plain easier and more convenient. For me anyway.
    Oh yeah...Right...You called that one shot. Sure......:neener:
     
  4. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    I shoot Ranier plated bullets in .380, 9mm and 45.acp all shoot excellent.

    I have no idea why some people have problems or complaints about them. I load mine to the same velocity as jacketed bullets.
     
  5. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    I don't think they're meant to replace jacketed bullets - the plating just isn't thick enough. I thought the main idea behind them was to reduce lead exposure and offer slicker feeding than lead in automatics, both of which they do reasonably well.

    My Taurus PT-140 shoots them quite well and they're economical for practice rounds. They sure are pretty, too :D
     
  6. tc300mag1

    tc300mag1 Member

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    Cant say i have had many problems with rainers the ones for the 500 dont hold up and you get lot of unburnt powder but swap to the Berrys and they hold up all the way to 1750fps


    Also some guns just dont like certain bullets i have a 38 like that will only shoot lead well and jacketed it sprays them
     
  7. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I shoot Berry's bullets by the thousands in 9x19, 9x21, 357 Sig, .38 Super, .40 S&W, 10mm, .45 acp and 45-70. Loaded correctly, they are exceedingly accurate and easy to load. I really like them and for just plinking, or informal target practice, they can't be beat, especially for the price, but I buy them wholesale.

    The best 100 yard group I've ever gotten from my Marlin 45-70 was with the Berry's 350 grain plated bullet and 50 grains of IMR 3031. Three rounds were touching in a clover leaf and one round was 1/2" out from the rest. I've never been able to get a jacketed bullet to match that out of that rifle.

    I think a lot of the problems people have with plated bullets is in the loading procedure. You have to bell the case mouth, the same as loading lead bullets, and use a minimal crimp. They are designed for 1200 fps in pistol rounds, and if you exceed that by much, they will tumble, though I've pushed them to 1300 fps in the 357 Sig and they were still accurate. At 1400 fps, they tumbled and were all over the place.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  8. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    I really really dislike plated bullets. Few of my guns like them, and ALL of my guns shoot a good bullet better whether that good bullet is jacketed or plain lead.

    I buy some once in a while just to prove to myself that the extra couple bucks for a thousand good jacketed bullets is worth it.

    Crimp is UNBELIEVABLY important with plated bullets, it has to be JUST right or the groups will be horrid in most cases. My best results have been with no crimp at all and fast powders, but my best results have been about like mediocre jacketed loads taken straight from a book and they are after literally hours and hours of fooling with the loads and trying different combinations.
     
  9. pilot teacher

    pilot teacher Member

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    I've used Rainier plated 45ACP and encountered some things I did not like.
    At the faster velocities, the plating strips with resultant leading. My main target 45 is a Gold Cup National Match.
    When seating round nose 230 gr. bullets the nice round nose would slightly distort due to soft lead. The bullets do not feed properly when using my Lee Load Master press with the bullet feeder because the bases are concave. Contacted Rainier via e-mail and explained the situation. Never got an answer. Tried Hornady, with no problems.
    Leading none, flattened nose none and perfect feeding through the Load Master. With plated bullets it's a love hate affair. I don't think the savings are worth using them if you have problems.
     
  10. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    I use Montana Gold for 9mm and .45ACP, and have had no problems. I can generally shoot about 4" groups at 25 yards, unsupported.
     
  11. Grump

    Grump Member

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    That's exactly what I'm doing. Accuracy still sucks, to my tastes for anything other than 15-yard tin can blasting junk.

    Owen--what does your unsupported 4-inch group (what shooter, gun & ammo combined are capable of doing) translate to in terms of sandbagged or Ransom-rest groups? Based on what I've done with revolvers and the semiautos, 5 carefully fired shots offhand at 25 yards, with all called OK, adds only an inch to the extreme spread. Yours would be only 3-inch ammo/gun combo for me.
     
  12. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    Don't know why some people can't load the 230gr Raniers. This pic is from last year. Its a fist sized group shot at 15yds, about 50 rounds of 230gr Ranier shot through a Sig P-220 and loaded with RCBS .45acp dies using 6.0gr of Unique.. No bullet deformation, no flat tips, no plating coming off, etc.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    Grump, I don't know the answer to that. It's accurate enough for my needs. I basically played with the powder charge until I got the appopriate power factor, and left em that way.

    edited to correct name of addressee
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2006
  14. Roadkill

    Roadkill Member

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    I shoot Berry's in .45,.40.,9mm, .38/357, and .32, I'm not that great of a shot anyway so they work fine for me.

    rk
     
  15. Kramer Krazy

    Kramer Krazy Member

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    I've shot 1000 rounds of 230 gr Rainers without a single problem. This was somewhat typical of the bullet with 5.4 gr of #231 at 15 yards, two-hands, free-standing:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Grump

    Grump Member

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    Steve and Kramer:

    If I could get those 15-yard group sizes you get, offhand, at 25 yards with plated bullets I would be quite happy. I just really, really want the gun and ammo to be capable of a 25-yard A-zone headshot, so *I* can be assured of getting my B-zone hits at that distance.

    I guess I'll just stick with jacketed and high-quality cast bullets.
     
  17. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    My 25yd groups are not much bigger than the 15yd group I posted. I'll look and see if I have a pic from last year.
     
  18. larryw

    larryw Member

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    8 rounds. 25 yards 45ACP 200gr West Coast Bullet plated RN. Accurate, cheap, easy to load, no mess, no smoke: I'm plenty warm on them
     

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  19. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Have shot plated out of the 10MM and .45 and accuracy was pretty decent.

    Boy, you got that right. If you over crimp you can get results like the picture below. Too much crimp on a 10MM round will get you this. Shaved off ring which will not let the next round cycle into the action. West coast 200gr bullets by the way. Used a Lee Factory crimp die as well. Chock this up to a rookie reloader mistake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    My plated bullet experience

    Accuracy is fine, many a clay pigeon broken with plated bullets. On my 10mm, I seat and crimp in two different operation to prevent the rings and the copper skin from bunching at the case mouth.

    For 9mm, no issues thus far. For 45ACP, I have not used them and FWIW from my learning on the 10mm rounds, I'll be going to hardcast lead for the time savings offered by the single seat and crimp operation. I could probably figure it out on the plated rounds, but it's been a hassle that I would rather eliminate.

    I only shoot outside, so I'm not concerned with the lead exposure too much. I watch the wind and stay out of the way of the smoke. And when shooting cast lead, the lube makes plenty of smoke, easier to avoid this way.

    jeepmor
     
  21. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Rings

    I've seen them with both jacketed and plated when seating and crimping in the same step. Never an issue since going to two steps.

    Maybe I just happened to hit the exact right crimp right off the bat, but with Rainiers and a taper crimp I get great accuracy in .45 and .40.

    Maybe it's your particular guns, or your loads. I've had no problems.
     
  22. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Lennyjoe,

    The ring of copper in your pictures is usually caused by either not having enough flare on the case mouth, or a seating die that's too tight, and reduces the flare before the bullet is fully seated. I've got a .45 acp die that does this, but another die with a larger diameter doesn't cause any problem and cured the shaving of the bullets. You might want to take a look at that. If you can feel the case mouth dragging on the inside of the seating die, then it's too small.

    Dies are mass produced and all of them aren't the same size. I also seat and crimp in two steps for all my pistol ammunition. Between these two things, I've eliminated any shaving and get great accuracy with plated bullets from Berry's Manufacturing.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  23. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Tried a few brands of plated bullets. None of them were any better than lead, as far as accuracy, and when velocities get high enough for leading to be a problem, I just switch to a checked design.

    I quit using plated bullets entirely after a batch of them started tying up my gun with flakes of copper.

    YMMV, of course.:)
     
  24. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

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    I've stopped using cast bullets and now use plated Rainiers for all my .38 and .45 caliber shooting.

    Most of my loads are in the 800 --> 900 fps range, and I've be thrilled with the accuracy.

    Joe
     
  25. Tinman357

    Tinman357 Member

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    Rainers only..

    I'm relatively new to the reloading scene even though I've been shooting for over 30 years. I like the Rainers. Great accuracy and consistent quality. I seat and crimp in 2 steps so I don't get the ring. I like the Lee speed dies with the FCD. Keeps equipment clutter down. Just wish I could find the Speed die for 10MM. :mad:
     
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