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Old 06-09-2011, 08:02 AM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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Plated vs. Jacketed Bullets?

What is the difference, functionally that is, between plated bullets like the Raniers and Berrys vs. jacketed bullets? Both Ranier and Berry say to use lead bullet loading data when loading them. Also, if you are using plated bullets and don't have an exact lead bullet load for the bullet weight you want to use, can you use jacketed bullet load data for that bullet weight and maybe drop back some on charge weights? I am thinking about trying some of the plated bullets and was wondering if there were any particular precautions to take or unique loading practices I need to follow. I have loaded beaucoup jacketed and regular lead pistol bullets over the years but no plated bullets up to this point. I'd welcome any recommendations you can offer regarding the use of plated pistol bullets. Thanks!

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Old 06-09-2011, 09:11 AM
Adam Helmer Adam Helmer is offline
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dovehunter,

I gather these plated bullets are cast bullets with some coating on them and are essentially lead bullets. Therefore, go by their advice and use "lead bullet loading data." Some lead bullets cannot survive jacketed bullet loading data. Get the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook and be guided accordingly.

Adam
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:39 AM
skeet skeet is online now
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What the plated bullets are is essentially just a soft swaged lead bullet with a very thin copper plate. ..they will not allow you to push to high velocities without the worry of bore leading. With just a little chemistry knowledge you can actually make plated bullets like the Ranier and others. Stick with lower velocity loads. I have plated hard cast lead bullets in the past. Not hard work and they do make pretty...but just another bit of work that is not necessary. I had some plated bullets given to me for the 45-70 and found they were only marginally more accurate in my Microgroove rifle than cast lead
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:03 PM
Mr. 16 gauge Mr. 16 gauge is offline
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Quote:
What is the difference, functionally that is, between plated bullets like the Raniers and Berrys vs. jacketed bullets
I believe the idea is that you can theoretically drive the cast bullets faster (or as fast) as the jacketed w/o leading.
I only used plated bullets once, and the results were less than successful; I doubt if I will ever use them again. I just cast my own and heat treat the bullets; that in and of itself helps reduce leading alot. To be fair, the plating job didn't appear to be the best (some 160 grain SWC .358 bullets).
My suggestion would be to try a small amount initially and see if that gets you where you need to be.....if not, maybe look at buying some gas checked bullets or go to the jacketed. I must say that over the years I have gone to pretty much lead bullets (that I cast myself) for 50% to 90% of my shooting (depending on caliber & cartridge) and they have worked just fine.
As far as loading, for plated bullets I would start with standard lead bullet data and go up in small increments from there. I think your biggest issue will be with leading & accuracy, not so much with pressure.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:14 AM
PJgunner PJgunner is offline
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Years back fellow was selling a Dillon 550B for a very good price and as I was in the market for one to load up handgun bullets I bought it. it was set up for 9MM and thee was a box of 500 cast bullets and another with seveal hundred plted bullets that came with the press along with a bunch of other stuff. When I measured the diamter of the cast bullets, they were too small at .356" and I knew they would lead the barrel of my 9MM so they all went into the casting pot. No big deal and I end up with bullets of the proper size that shoot accurately. On the other hand, I loaded up the plated bullets and they were not very accurate in my gun. They might work across the room at an intruder if push came to shove but at 25 yards 8 to 9" was the best I could get. My home cast bullets would do 2.5 to 3" which is about the best I can do anyway. FWIW, that's the same grouping range I get with jacketed bullets. I took the rest of those plated bullets, cracked the copper shell with a hammer and into the casting pot they went. A bit of a PITA getting some of the lead out of the squashed shells but at least I salvaged the lead. I just sweetened the melt with a bit of linotype and had a decent alloy for my handgun bullets. I think the main problem was they too were sized at .356". I once bought 1,000 .45 ACP commercial handloads from an outfit that loaded their ammo with those plated bullets. They shoot OK but my home cast handloads are more accurate. I never did break one down to check the bullet size but my Colt Combat Commander thrives on bullets sized to .453".
You can try them to see if they'll work in your gun. As they say YMMV.
Paul B.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:12 AM
Seawolf1090 Seawolf1090 is offline
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I use both Berry's and Rainier plated bullets for my .38 Special and .45ACP loads, and like them. I have used both lead and jacketed load data, with no problems - but the loads were all well below the FPS limit imposed by the companies. I would NOT use them in higher velocity loads for my .357Magnum and similar. These days I stick to lead bullet data.
Some guns can have problems with plated - a buddy had a full auto MAC11 that would NOT feed the plated 9mm bullets - ran fine with cast lead and jacketed.....
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:59 AM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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So far we have used Berry's plated bullets - 180 gr. RNFP - in my son's 40 S&W FNP and - 230 gr. RN - in m1911 knock-off and both have proven to be extremely accurate, at least at ranges out to 25 yds. I think I am going to try some of their 9mm bullets next. So far I like them better than the commercial cast bullets I had been using.

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Old 08-11-2011, 01:13 PM
Catfish Catfish is offline
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I have used both Rauner and Berry bullets and both worked well at cast bullet velocities, but DO NOT bother tring them at jacketed bullet velocities. Accuracy is no good and and they will lead.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:54 AM
dovehunter dovehunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catfish View Post
I have used both Rauner and Berry bullets and both worked well at cast bullet velocities, but DO NOT bother tring them at jacketed bullet velocities. Accuracy is no good and and they will lead.
I always use middle-of-the-road type loads for punching holes in paper at the range. So far the plated bullets have given excellent accuracy using mild loads in every gun in which we have tried them. The few bullets we have recovered hadn't shed their plating either. So far I like them.
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