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Old January 16, 2013, 05:57 PM   #1
ZOOM2X
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Berry's plated bullets for target loads

I have about decided to start my reloading with Berry's plated bullets for the calibers I intend to load -- .380, 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP and 45ACP. Seems to be worth the "only a little bit more" than lead which might not be as good on the barrels.

Decided to postpone .25 & .38SPL. What few that will be shot will just be store bought for now.

I'm not sure about all the shapes and weights. I assume it would be best to shoot the same weight bullet for target loads as comes with the respective caliber factory Self Defense loads. However, the factory SD bullets will be hollow point of some sort so what about the shape of the target bullets?

SWC is Semi-Wad-Cutter, a good paper target bullet which leaves a crisp, circular hole in a paper target, right? How does thai work in a semi-automatic? Seems that it would be fine for a revolver but might not work as well in .45ACP. Help this beginner, please.

FP is a flattened point ?? good for paper targets

RN -- round nose?? Attributes?

HB means there is a hollow base to the bullet so it is longer and therefore more accurate so long as the loaded cartridge is within OAL (over all length) , Right?
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Old January 16, 2013, 06:06 PM   #2
m&p45acp10+1
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Round nose tend to feed better in picky guns. Older 1911 sometimes have a hard time feeding flat nose, and hollow points, as well as semi wad cutters. It depends on the gun. I have not seen any that would not feed round nose that were seated long enough to not hang up on the feed ramp.
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Old January 16, 2013, 06:20 PM   #3
serf 'rett
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SWC, FP, RN and HB will all kill paper targets. From a purely hole punching stand point, the Semi Wad Cutters makes the best holes in paper targets, Flat Points are second best, while Round Noses bring up the rear. As stated, the round nose have fewer feeding problems.

The term "target load" often is used of lighter recoil, softer shooting loads; i.e., "practice rounds" to send down range. Don’t' know if this is what you want, but it's easily done in reloading your own.

If you want to reload something that approximates your self-defense load, in terms of bullet weight at a certain velocity, then that can be done also. If you are going this route, the starting point will be using the same weight bullet.

I currently use Berry's Bullets in 40S&W and 9mm. In particular, I like the two styles of 9mm 124 grain Hollow Base bullets for their weight forward, longer bearing surface and hollow base design.
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Old January 16, 2013, 08:19 PM   #4
ZOOM2X
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serf 'rett

The hollow base does seem to me to be an ingenius design.

I'll go with what you are using in 9MM (124gr., HBRN-TP , right? What is TP ? Totally Plated ?(even the bottom)

and 40S&W (which? 155 or 165? HBFP or HBRN?) Why did you choose whichever you chose?

What about the two 45s? 185 HBRN, 200 FP, 200 SWC --about $37.88 /250
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Old January 16, 2013, 11:31 PM   #5
serf 'rett
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TP is for thick plated. The bullet can be shot at a higher velocity with the thicker plating.

I've only used the 165 and 180 grain FP 40S&W bullets. I haven't bought and tested any of the hollow back bullets in this caliber.

Can't help you on the .45...but do have one on order.
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Old January 17, 2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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All plated bullets will be plated over the entire bullet, bases included.
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Old January 17, 2013, 03:50 PM   #7
Sevens
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Quote:
Seems to be worth the "only a little bit more" than lead which might not be as good on the barrels.
Just want to clarify this statement...you may have meant something a bit different than what you actually said, but it's worth mentioning that lead is the BEST favor you could ever do to handgun barrel. It's arguably harder to work with and can be dirtier and is not allowed on many indoor ranges and there's a laundry list of reasons -NOT- to use lead and all the reasons have a certain amount of merit. But...being kind to a barrel is not one of them. Lead bullets exclusively in handgun barrels make handgun barrels last FOREVER.

A couple tips with plated bullets:
Most makers of these bullets recommend you keep them under 1,200 FPS and this is a good idea. For the calibers you listed, all are safely under that thresh hold. Although, you listed .45 ACP twice, not sure if you meant something else.

Point is, they definitely work better and are recommended for the chamberings you listed, and not so much for .357 Mag, .38 Super, 10mm, .41 Mag, .44 Mag, etc etc. And to be even more specific, heavy recoiling revolver rounds like the .357, .41 and .44 Mag really benefit (and often require) a solid or even heavy roll crimp, and a solid roll crimp is like kryptonite to a plated bullet. A roll crimp easily cuts through the plating on a plated bullet.

These are NOT copper jacketed. They drop lead slugs in to an electrically charge acid bath and copper particles are attracted to the slug and adhere to the bullet. The plating you see that may look like a jacket is ultra-thin. Screw one in to a vise to quickly see how thin the plating is.

The manufacturers of these slugs often recommend that you load them to "mid range jacketed data" but my experience can be summed up in two strict terms:
1) don't -EVER- baby these bullets and use data for light cast lead bullets or you run the very real risk of sticking them in a bore

2) use full-bore jacketed or NEARLY full-bore jacketed data to load them, but only in chamberings where the muzzle velocity is clearly well under the 1,200 FPS thresh hold. I tend to keep my plated bullets at or under 1,000 FPS, depending on the chambering.

I am certain that I don't know more about them than the manufacturer does... but I am simply sharing my experience with MANY of them down range. I prefer Berry's to the others.
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Old January 17, 2013, 07:01 PM   #8
serf 'rett
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Got to agree with Stevens' comment. I was able to borrow a chronograph recently to clock some of my 9mm reloads, averages shown below:

Light target load with W231 powder, Berry's 124 HBFP - 852 fps
Berry's 124 HBRNTP over 5.0 gn Power Pistol - 1042 fps
Berry's 124 HBRNTP over 5.2 gn Power Pistol - 1081 fps
Berry's 115 RNDS over 6.2 gn Power Pistol - 1232 fps (Thumper load - not recommended. While charge weight is less than maximum shown in several of my manuals, the velocity lets me know I'm on the upper end with my particular pistol.)

All of these loads come from the best groups from different series which I worked up. I was interested in accuracy first and foremost. It almost appears the groups would come together at approximately 200 fps steps. Got to think about that one...

As Stevens' said, no need to baby these bullets.
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Old January 17, 2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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I've fired thousands of Berrys and Raniers through my fourty calibre guns. I load with Clays. They shoot very well and quite clean. They work so well. I don't even bother to load anything else for 40s
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:55 PM   #10
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Sevens

No, I said what I meant. I was just wrong, uninformed, and ignorant on this topic. I thought the soft lead would be hard to clean but I just hadn't really thought about that. I guess when you run the brush through the barrel, the lead comes out.

I meant 45 ACP and 45LC. I do not know one crimp from another. I have ordered the Lee Classic Turret Press and 8 die sets, 6 of which have a crimping die. So, whatever that does, that's what I'll be doing.

Serf 'rett
Thanks for your load data. I'll try to stay around 1000 FPS on the 9MM plated

Hammerhead -- thanks for clarifying the plated coverage

and thanks to Serf 'rett who explained how they are made

Dframe -- I'll load some Berry plated 40s over Clays. Looks like I'll end up with a bunch of powders and bullets!
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:59 PM   #11
ZOOM2X
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Sevens

No, I said what I meant. I was just wrong and ignorant on this topic. I thought the soft lead would be hard to clean but I just hadn't really thought about that. I guess when you run the brush through the barrel, the lead comes out.

I meant 45 ACP and 45LC. I do not know one crimp from another. I have ordered the Lee Classic Turret Press and 8 die sets, 6 of which have a crimping die. So, whatever that does, that's what I'll be doing.

Serf 'rett
Thanks for your load data. I'll try to stay around 1000 FPS on the 9MM plated

Hammerhead -- thanks for clarifying the plated coverage

and thanks to Serf 'rett who explained how they are made

Dframe -- I'll load some Berry plated 40s over Clays. Looks like I'll end up with a bunch of powders and bullets!
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Old January 17, 2013, 11:34 PM   #12
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Zoom, first of all, if you've chosen the Lee Classic Cast turret press to start with, you've made good choice for the calibers you're going to be loading.

Secondly, based on my limited experience there is nothing to be gained by using plated bullets over a properly sized/hardended cast bullet. You'll just pay a bit more to use them. I've loaded cast SWC, FPBB andTCBB bullets in a couple of different 9mm, 38Super, and 45ACP without any feeding problems. Have no experience with RN, but that should be a no-brainer.

Three things to keep in mind when loading cast bullets in auto pistols-

1 - Any roll crimp is not desired. Just remove the flare, as most cases headspace on their mouths.

2 - Size bullets at .001-.002 over groove diameter if you want to improve accuracy.

3 - Choose bullet hardness based on velocity desired. When I just started to load for 45ACP, I choose a hardcast SWC and ended up with alot of leading. When I went to a softer alloy, the bullet expanded to fill the bore more completely and leading went away.

Rifle shooters can use cast bullets all day long at up to 2000fps, as long as they pay attention to bore size and bullet hardness, so you won't find cast bullets to be limited in velocity like some plated bullets are.

Last edited by springer99; January 18, 2013 at 07:46 AM.
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