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Old February 24, 2005, 12:47 PM   #1
Dgremlin
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Bullet Substitutions

If a loading data chart calls for a Speer 240gr JHP, is there any reason I can't substitute a 240 gr. jacketed bullet from any other maker? I understand it may make a difference in velocity but I'm more interested in this from a safety standpoint. (I'm actually rather partial to my face and hands and would like to keep them intact.)
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Old February 24, 2005, 04:07 PM   #2
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I'd start with the minimum load. You will definitely be safe from an overload and all you have to do is be sure that the bullet doesn't get stuck in the bore. (If it's a light load) Then you can work your way up if you determine if it is safe. Performance can differ from brand to brand because of the hardness of the jacket material. Again, with the min load, you should be safe from a blowup.
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Old February 24, 2005, 05:48 PM   #3
maxinquaye
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Be careful. Same weight in JHP / Lead / Hollow Point / XTP / Barnes X Bullet can have very different max loads due to the OAL of the projectile and cartridge...same depth of seating will result in different useful cartridge capacity and hence pressure. Minimum load for one may exceed max for the other quite easily!
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Old February 24, 2005, 06:43 PM   #4
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I agree with both Max and Crosshair.

Best to check with the bullet mfgr for loading specifications. Specific example for my use (7mmRem)is the following

150gr Nosler bullet-partition or Ballistic tip lists 63Gr IMR4831 as middle load.

150gr BarnesX list 63gr as max load.

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Old February 24, 2005, 08:32 PM   #5
Johnny Guest
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Some good advice above.

My first thought had to do with jacket material thickness and hardness. A bullet with a thick, hard, jacket would produce a lot more pressure than a plated bullet, even given the same bullet weight and powder charge.

Another consideration, especially in rifle bullets, could be the length of bearing surface.

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Old February 25, 2005, 11:20 AM   #6
crazylegs
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The best approach is to find load data on the particular bullets you want to use. If you can't, then the following may work for you: If the seating depth is the same, you'll be ok. Seating depth is the amount of bullet that's in the case . Folks get confused by this. The real concern here is if you load to the same OAL, your seating depth may be greater due to the bullet profile. What you need to do is factor in the differences between the bullet lengths to achieve the same seating depth ( how much bullet is in the case). Once you've done this AND providing the revised OAL doesn't exceed the max for your gun, ( for feeding purposes), you're good to go. This is what I do for using same wieght bullets of different profiles in my 45ACP. I don't know if this would work for rifle ammo as I'm not familiar with that.
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Old February 25, 2005, 12:17 PM   #7
Dgremlin
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That's not a problem because I'm only doing .44 mags and .45ACP (soon). I have been going buy OAL though. I haven't even seen any info on seating depth but I see what you're talking about.
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Old February 26, 2005, 06:35 AM   #8
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seating depth should be easy enough to determine. before seating, put bullet and case back to back, measure with caliper. subtract from that the measured o.a.l. after seating. (use random sample of 5 or 10 cases and bullets.)

i have not given this much concern with lead bullets in low pressure cases (38spl and 45acp) but it has been a nagging doubt with 9mm and 357sig.
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Old February 27, 2005, 01:42 PM   #9
Dgremlin
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Quote(Be careful. Same weight in JHP / Lead / Hollow Point / XTP / Barnes X Bullet can have very different max loads due to the OAL of the projectile and cartridge...same depth of seating will result in different useful cartridge capacity and hence pressure. Minimum load for one may exceed max for the other quite easily!)

But If the data calls for a Speer 240 gr. JHP I should be able to substitute a Nosler 240 gr. JHP shouldn't I? (I understand that plated bullets act a little more like lead that jacketed.)
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Old February 27, 2005, 09:33 PM   #10
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Hi guys - new to this forum but thought I'd weigh in on this.

I think the bullet substitution issue has to do more with bullet integrity than anything else, especially at max pressures. The danger in substituting them is it simply may not hold up. It can malform too much too quickly and pressures can climb rapidly. My rule of thumb for bullet substition is to use like type. By that I mean if you start with one manufacturers premium quality bullet you don't substitute a lesser quality bullet even though it's the same weight. I have several loads that use the same charge for the same weight bullets from different manufacturers but they are like type. Even amongst the same manufacturer you have to be wary of substitution.

For example, if I load a 180 gr Nosler Partition (wihich I do frequently) I can have a like load using a 180 gr Speer Grand Slam. Just substituting a 180 gr Speer run-of-the-mill spitzer might be asking for big trouble. When substituting without a known published load it's always a prudent thing to do to start with a lesser powder charge and work up.

The real fun is developing loads for multiple bullet weights that hit the same point of aim.
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