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Old April 27, 2012, 02:47 PM   #1
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Plated vs FMJ

What is the advantage or disadvantage of using plated vs FMJ bullets
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Old April 27, 2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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The plated are a little cheaper but are creeping toward FMJ prices. Disadvantage of the plated they usually can't be pushed as fast as the FMJ.
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Old April 27, 2012, 02:55 PM   #3
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Plated are usually cheaper, but you can not use them in magnum loads or shoot them over 1200 fps.
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Old April 27, 2012, 02:58 PM   #4
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Not much

Jacketed bullets are probably more accurate at some level. Unless one is a competitive shooter in the High Master category, probably not notable. Of course, this depends on the manufacturer; I've shot some jacketed bullets that were hideous.

Jacketed bullets probably will stand higher velocities and remain integral. For handguns, that's a pretty small range of applications.

Plated bullets are typically cheaper and nearly as good as jacketed. I shoot a lot of plated bullets for bullseye work, general practice and plinking. For most purposes, I use plated bullets. If I find a good buy on jacketed bullets, I'm not adverse to buying and using jacketed bullets.
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Old April 27, 2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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Regarding not being able to drive plated bullets to a higher velocity level, Speer Gold Dots are the exception to the rule. They can be driven to achieve high velocity without concern.
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Old April 27, 2012, 03:09 PM   #6
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Plated bullets generally cost less if you are rolling your own (reloading).

Advantage/disadvantage can be discussed better if you have an intended use.
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Old April 27, 2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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I look at plated bullets as plinking rounds for the range. In my experience plated bullets are as accurate as any FMJ I have used. With the exception of a few handgun calibers, staying within that 1200FPS mark isn't an issue. If I have something like 10mm that would go over that mark I just use FMJ or JHP

I will say that I have a 500 mag and I load plated bullets in that. Initially wondered about those when I saw them at the store because the lowest published data I could find at the time was well above 1200FPS. Talked to the mfg and they told me that those bullets and ONLY those bullets have a thicker jacket and can actually handle up to 1800FPS. That definately made it affordable to shoot that gun.

Yeah the prices are starting to creep up on plated bullets but they are still less expensive that most FMJ's out there and for me, just as accurate. Also like that there is no exposed lead with the plated.
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Old April 27, 2012, 05:32 PM   #8
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Not all plated bullets are created equal...

Rainier ballistics - as an example, I think are pretty inconsistent on weight and shapes...( in a 230gr example might find some at 225gr ...and some at 232 gr ) ...and the shapes can be a little irregular.../ the plating is pretty thin / and I've seen it fracture and fragment as the round goes downrage...making it very inaccurate. With Rainier - they say use Lead bullet data...for reloading. I've used them for range practice...but I'm not crazy about them ...and prices seem to be going up..

Berry's plated...I find have a heavier plating ...and are a lot more consistent in terms of weights.../ they say use FMJ bullet data for reloading - but don't load them faster than 1200 fps ....but I do use some of them in calibers like .357 mag and they're fine ( but I keep them under the mfg's recommendation of 1200 fps ). I like this bullet a lot ..and its a little cheaper than Montana Gold ( FMJ ).

FMJ, CMJ, etc ...are just a higher quality bullet...way more consistent in terms of weight ...( maybe off 0.4gr ...with a product like Montana Gold ) ...FMJ does have an exposed lead base / CMJ is fully jacketed - even the base. Montana Gold - is a high quality product in my view ...and very consistent and very accurate. CMJ is a little more expensive than FMJ least in Montana Gold.
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Old April 27, 2012, 09:49 PM   #9
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For some target shooting applications they're better than jacketed or lead. They're very soft like a soft cast or swaged lead bullet so they obturate at low pressure, but they don't lead and can be used in Glocks and HK's.

I use a lot of the .357" plated DEWC's, .452" plated SWC's and 9mm RN's.

I use Rainier primarily and some Berry's.

I've had Rainier's excellent .356" 130 grain RN over 1,250 fps in a .38 Super and a Glock 17L with no trouble at all.

I get excellent accuracy in all my calibers out to 50 yards and have never noticed any quality issues. Just don't over crimp.

Last edited by Hammerhead; April 27, 2012 at 09:57 PM.
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Old April 28, 2012, 07:16 AM   #10
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Excellent thread, thanks
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Old April 29, 2012, 02:24 AM   #11
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Any plated bullet bites.

Plated bullets have, 'the look', of quality, but looks is where it ends.

That is if you want to produce a crimp, or want accuracy.
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Old April 30, 2012, 01:15 PM   #12
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Discovered the disadvantage when I accidentally loaded some plated bullets to +P specs. Results were jagged keyholes in the target and less than stellar accuracy.
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Old April 30, 2012, 03:51 PM   #13
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Plated bullets have, 'the look', of quality, but looks is where it ends... if you... want accuracy.
My S&W Model 15 must not have heard this. It shoots single-ragged-hole groups @ 15yds with 158gr Berry's plated flat-point bullets over 4.0gr of HP-38. If it hears that they're not supposed to be accurate, my groups may open up.
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Old April 30, 2012, 04:15 PM   #14
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Plated bullets will deform much sooner than jacketed bullets, and on impact behave much more like a copper washed .22. I don't feel bad about using them on non-game critters, or to lessen ricochets.
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Old April 30, 2012, 04:46 PM   #15
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I shoot a lot of 124 gr 9mm bullets. I used Berry's plated bullets for a few years and had no problems.

Now I use Precision Delta FMJs. Why? The FMJs are a little cheaper and there's no plating to shave off on during the seating process.

ETA: Plated 115 gr 9mm bullets in my Glocks produced perfect keyholes at 10-15 yds. Accuracy was terrible.
I don't know of anyone else who's had this problem, but I sure did.
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