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Old February 26, 2005, 07:05 PM   #1
Kayser
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Why are my listed .451" bullets all .450" in diameter?

I bought a bag of Hornady 230 gr FNJ-RN at a gun show. It's labelled .451", but every single bullet I've tested comes out precisely at .450". Caliper is properly zeroed and all that. What's the deal here?
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Old February 26, 2005, 07:21 PM   #2
Harry Bonar
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re-bullets

Dear Shooter:
Bullets (good bullets from major bullet-makers) are so uniform that you could, if you wanted to, use them as a standard to CHECK a mike with.
If it is marked on a box of bullets .451, or .358 dia. then they should be at least a ten-thousands of an inch from that, checked with a micrometer.
I use a dial caliper too as a method for precision measuring but we really should use a micrometer.
Use a micrometer to check those bullets; if they're still .450, then they're undersized for 45ACP or late 45COLTS.'

I think you said they came in a bag???????
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Old February 26, 2005, 07:31 PM   #3
Leftoverdj
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A thou ain't gonna make a bit of difference in jacketed pistol bullets. Could be measurement or instrument error, but it would not surprise me none if they really are .450. I've run into bullets smaller than the box was marked, .32 specials, in particular.

Does make a difference with lead bullets, too.

PS, there is a fair chance that you got sold repackaged seconds. Shoot them anyway. Ain't gonna hurt nothing.
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Old February 26, 2005, 08:20 PM   #4
Kayser
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Quote:
I think you said they came in a bag???????
Yeah, vacuum sealed bag labelled as Hornady bullets. They came from a guy with a fairly large setup of reloading stuff at a local gun show.
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Old February 26, 2005, 09:42 PM   #5
siotwo
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Be sure not to measure with the tips of the calipers.

Check....close the jaws then hold them up to the light to see if any gap is present at the tips.

OR....measure with the tips then at the base of the jaw and see if the measurements differ.

Ron
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Old February 26, 2005, 09:46 PM   #6
Kayser
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Ok, checked the tips, the middle and the inside of the caliper. Precisely .450" at all points. No visible light through closed jaws (they're brand new).
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Old February 26, 2005, 09:56 PM   #7
siotwo
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I would have to call em .450 then.

What is the specified tolerence of a bullet anyway? I will have to get some of my BarnesX out and check them. I get back to with my findings in a while.

Ron
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Old February 26, 2005, 10:02 PM   #8
Mal H
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According to my Hornady catalog they do not make a mass produced 230 FMJ in .450" diam. They are all .451" for their jacketed bullets. So either they're not Hornady and they are .450" or they are Hornady and your measurment is off. To test your measurement, have you checked another brand of bullet? Doesn't matter if it is .45, for example, do you have any .308 or .357 bullets handy? Do you have a feeler gauge to check the caliper?
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Old February 26, 2005, 10:09 PM   #9
Kayser
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Well, I've got some Remington core-lokt factory rounds handy. Checking them right at the cannelure above the brass they come in at just a smidge under .308" (maybe 0.0001 or 0.0002 on average).
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Old February 26, 2005, 10:29 PM   #10
Mal H
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Ok, then your caliper is close enough. So the bullets are most likely not Hornady's. However, they will probably work ok for standard target practice. I just wouldn't buy any more bulk bullets from that particular vendor.

I meant to ask - what is the average weight of the bullets?
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Old February 26, 2005, 10:42 PM   #11
siotwo
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I measured some 7mm nosler B-tips (X bullets were new box)

.284 all day long


HEY!! thats 7.2136mm not 7mm
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Old February 26, 2005, 10:49 PM   #12
Kayser
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A fine question. I weighed 15 of them on my RCBS 502 scale. They came in

229.7
230
229.95
230.4
229.59
230.15
230.05
230.05
230
229.05
229.4
230
229.8
230
230.05

(The ".05" ones came in somewhere between the 0.1 gr marks on the scale).

Avg: 229.882

Here's what they look like and the bag I got them in


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Old February 26, 2005, 11:17 PM   #13
Mal H
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The weights are good and well within the tolerances I've seen with good quality bullets.

I looked at the website www.bosesguns.com and they seem to be a good dealer. Looks like they specialize in Hornady bullets, so I'm a little more confident that the bullets you bought are indeed Hornady. That means the measurement problem rears its ugly head again.

Seriously, I doubt you have any thing to worry about with the bullets. I'd use them and see what happens.
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Old February 26, 2005, 11:27 PM   #14
siotwo
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The only other 'technique' for the caliper is not to sqeeze too hard, but even then, you would probably get good and bad measurements. Unless you sqeeze hard all the time.

Your using dial calipers correct?(not digital) Good brand?
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Old February 26, 2005, 11:35 PM   #15
Kayser
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They're $20 dial calipers from Frankford Arsenal. Not super-great by any means. I'm heading to the range tomorrow, so I'll have the smith on hand give me a second opinion.
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Old February 27, 2005, 02:50 AM   #16
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In a "former life" I was a toolmaker, and tool & die shop owner. I just checked some 200 grain XTP's I have on hand with "jo blocks". The body all but one from a sample of 25 of these bullets, from lot #99-135, passed through a "stack" 0.4514" (inside the jaws), and failed to pass at 0.4512".

Sorry about the age of these bullets, in handguns, I shoot cast bullets almost exclusively; my inventory of "yellow" bullets is limited.

I don't recommend "trusting" measurements made using dial calipers, even the very best (like those made by Etalon), for critical applications... though there are, realistically, few applications that the ordinary shooter will encounter in handloading where a high degree of accuracy is needed. Used correctly, even micrometers of relatively modest quality are are capable of much more accurate measurements.

Bob
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Old February 27, 2005, 10:02 AM   #17
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I fully concur with what Bob said about dial calipers. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can eyeball a caliper measurement down to 1/10,000th of an inch as you mentioned above. There is too much slop in a dial caliper to achieve any where near that degree of accuracy.

When you zero your caliper, do you wipe the blades free of any contaminants (use your finger, not a cloth)? Is the dial set precisely to 0 with the blades touching? If it is, and you are still getting .450 for those bullets, I would send the calipers back to Midway(?) for exchange. They should be able to register the difference between .450 and .451 and they appararently aren't.
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Old February 27, 2005, 05:08 PM   #18
Kayser
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I went out to the range otday and had the guy on hand check with his calipers. They read 4.51" on his analog set, and 4.505 on his digital set. So...it looks like my calipers are just a little wiggy. Maybe I'll upgrade them - when I was getting all my equipment I didn't realize how much you use the darn things during the whole process. Aside from the scale, probably the one thing worth spending the extra $$$ on.
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