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Old August 7, 2011, 07:25 PM   #1
jephthai
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Berry's Plated Bullets 38 Special

I'm still an inexperienced reloader, and I think I figured out the answer to my question, but I want to confirm it with you experts before I blow myself up...

I was overjoyed today to find a place locally where I can buy inexpensive bullets in bulk. Yay! Since I occasionally go to an indoor range, I thought I would pick up the Berry's plated bullets (in 125-grain weight, since I want softer recoil for my wife)... much to my chagrin, that is, since I can't find loading data for a 125-grain lead bullet to start with. Sadness ensued...

Not to be completely daunted, however, I went to the Berry's web site, where they explain how to load their bullets. They say:

Quote:
When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual.
I'd like to load these 125 grain FPs with 38 Special loads for my 357 Mag Taurus Tracker, which has a delightful 6" barrel. I have on-hand Bullseye and Herco powders. I looked up the loads for jacketed 125-grain bullets from Hornady, Sierra, Speer, and Accurate, and found that they look like so:
  • Hornady - 4.5 - 5.3 grains of Bullseye
  • Sierra - 4.6 - 5.1 grains of Bullseye
  • Speer - 4.5 - 4.8 grains of Bullseye
  • Alliant - 4.4 - 4.8 grains of Bullseye
An interesting exception is a Lyman load for a 121-grain LRN, which suggests 2.8 - 4.6 grains of Bullseye. Yet... these are not LRNs, and they weigh 4 grains extra, and they don't have the two lubricating grooves, and so on.

Given the quote from Berry's above, this appears to suggest that I load my plated bullets with ~4.5 grains of Bullseye to start. Am I seeing this right?

All over the Internet, I see people saying they use from 3.0 (sometimes less!) to >5 grains of Bullseye, but from some of the things these anonymous Internet people say, I'm nervous to trust them.

Last edited by jephthai; August 10, 2011 at 10:07 PM.
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Old August 7, 2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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When you don't have data for that exact weight, start with the data for the next higher listed weight, and work from there. Berry's makes an excellent bullet, and I wouldn't heistate to start at the bottom of the jacketed data to see where it goes. Good stuff.
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Old August 7, 2011, 09:25 PM   #3
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Love Berrys! Ditto what armoredman said...
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Old August 7, 2011, 09:48 PM   #4
GlenF
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125 gr Berry's

I have loaded a bunch of those bullets using 4.6 gr of Bullseye powder. However, my wife and sister really like those bullets with 5.5 gr of HP-38. They can shoot those things for hours.
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Old August 7, 2011, 10:10 PM   #5
jephthai
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Thanks for the confirmation! I've successfully conditioned myself to stick to the manuals, so this unnerved me enough to check with the communitym. Thanks!

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Old August 7, 2011, 10:22 PM   #6
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I have a box of the same bullits, anyone have a favorite WW 231 load? Thanks.
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Old August 8, 2011, 12:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great input!
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Old August 8, 2011, 01:09 PM   #8
243winxb
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Different Components=Different Pressure

•125 gr Speer GDHP
•Bullseye
•CCI 500
Alliants load data shows a 38 special +P load @ 4.8gr maximum using Bullseye.
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Old August 8, 2011, 01:24 PM   #9
Billy Shears
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I've loaded and shot right at 25,000 Berry's bullets over the past 18 months. In a variety of calibers, but mostly 9mm and .45ACP. I have nothing but praise for them. Good bullets at a good price that shoot where I aim them. Can't ask for much more than that. Just start slow, work your way up carefully and remember that these are not true FMJs. If you ever want to go with hot +P loads use a different bullet.
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Old August 8, 2011, 09:54 PM   #10
schnarrgj
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Love Berry bullets. For the 38 special, I use 4.3 gr of ww231 with good results. Be sure to work up your load.
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Old August 8, 2011, 10:42 PM   #11
jephthai
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Well, I decided to go ahead with 4.4 grains of Bullseye. I went with the Speer recommendation on COAL -- 1.435". I also learned some things:
  1. Plated is way cleaner than lead (was doing lead HBWCs before)!
  2. Finally got my process for setting the seating die right, so no "factory seconds"!
  3. My powder measure is more consistent getting 4.4 grains than the 2.7 I was measuring for the HBWCs (is this normal?)
Did I get the seating depth right (or at least OK)? I made only two cylinders' full (14 rounds total) for testing, in case I got it wrong. Here's my result:

Attached Images
File Type: jpg berrys-first-test.jpg (68.5 KB, 596 views)
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Old August 9, 2011, 03:37 PM   #12
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Nice looking ammo, makes me want to take the K-38 out of the safe. The biggest factor in loading our bullets is the crimp, over crimp and you will see accuracy fall away.
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Old August 9, 2011, 10:15 PM   #13
jfrey
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The ammo in the picture looks good and 4.4 grns sounds reasonable. I've shot a lot of Berry's bullets and like them. Berry's says to keep the velocity below 1200fps in any load and you are good. I shoot the same configuration bullet in my 1911's and they like it. I use the round nose in 9mm for feeding purposes, just to be sure.
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Old August 9, 2011, 10:16 PM   #14
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Good looking ammo indeed. Hard to go wrong with Berry's bullets. You've done your research and homework, time for a little rangework. Have fun!
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Old August 9, 2011, 11:28 PM   #15
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Just FYI, I checked my Speer book and it says a minimum load of 4.5 gr Bullseye and DNR (do not reduce). Based on that, if the 4.4's shoot - fine but I think I would bump the load to 4.5 gr. in the next batch just to be safe. The velocity at that charge is well within reason.
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Old August 10, 2011, 10:10 PM   #16
jephthai
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Quote:
Based on that, if the 4.4's shoot - fine but I think I would bump the load to 4.5 gr. in the next batch just to be safe.
I hear you -- though Alliant says a 125gr jacketed bullet should be 4.4 - 4.8, so I guess I was looking at that as a baseline. Definitely, though, if I notice anything strange I will adjust!
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Old August 12, 2011, 04:29 PM   #17
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I've had really excellent results shooting Berry bullets in almost every handgun I own. For shooting a light load at paper targets at 50 feet or less I really like the hollow base wadcutter in the .38 special or .357 mag.

I may be odd in that I prefer to have a bit more recoil than most persons, but the 148 gr Berry in the .38 special feels almost like a rimfire to me -- I have to shoot a few to get used to the mild recoil. I have had no problem stabilizing these bullets with what I consider to be very light powder charges, using mainly N-340 or HS-6. The hollow base expands to create a very nice seal, much like the old Minie' ball, so less powder is needed to speed the bullet on its way and of course the wad cutter shape makes for east target result reading.

Going off at a tangent I'll mention that Lapua has also gone back to this hollow base design for some match rifle bullets.....
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Old August 13, 2011, 11:50 AM   #18
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Berry's makes an excellent product and I too use them in both .38 spl and 9mm. I use loading data for jacketed bullets when loading plated bullets. I'm glad to see that you're very safety conscious.
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Old August 13, 2011, 01:06 PM   #19
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The Berry's 125Gr are wonderful in 38's
I worked up to 5.3 Unique and all my wheel guns love em.

great product,
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Old August 15, 2011, 08:33 AM   #20
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We appreciate all the positive feedback from you guys, believe me it gets up to the owners (because I pull up the forums in our management meetings).
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Old August 15, 2011, 02:36 PM   #21
Billy Shears
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Quote:
We appreciate all the positive feedback from you guys, believe me it gets up to the owners (because I pull up the forums in our management meetings).
In my experience, you guys get positive feedback because you make quality products that you sell for competitive prices and you have good service. So, along those lines, if I might make a suggestion...

I know your bullet offerings are based on supply and demand and production costs vs. selling price, but if you could consider making a .312 100 grain flat point plated bullet for the .32 H&R Mag and .327 Fed Mag shooters out there that would be appreciated.
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Old August 15, 2011, 03:17 PM   #22
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I will pass it on, if I currently had a FP die in a .312 it would be a matter of running longer cores.
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Old August 15, 2011, 10:46 PM   #23
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Berry's makes some good bullets

Yah, I like Berry's for shooting .38 Spcl in my .357 Mag.

I used CCI 500 primers and Unique powder...started at 4.5 grains and increased to 5.0, 5.3, 5.5, 6.0 (don't ask why the 5.3; its a long story ). I used Winchester brass, Berry's 125gr. FP, 1.45" OAL, shot from my S&W 686.

anyway, I chronographed them, and wound up with the average FPS:

4.5 grains: 758
5.0 grains: 833
5.3 grains: 901
5.5 grains: 941
6.0 grains: 1,032

I really liked how the 4.5 and 5.0 felt...nice and smooth--of course, the gun is a heavy beast.

Good luck with your loads and have fun!

U.L.

Disclaimer: Above info is for informational purposes only...use only pro load data...cuz I don't want to be sued!
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