The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Competition Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 30, 2008, 11:14 PM   #1
Tony C
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 176
USPSA - Lead or FMJ when Reloading

I hope that this is on the correct forum. I am not sure whether this goes here or in reloading but here goes...

If you reload your own rounds and shoot competitively, do you use wad-cutters or FMJ? I have just begun shooting competitively and bought a Hornady LNL Classic this weekend, and it seems like the lead SWC rounds would be better for competing, both cheaper and possibly more accurate.

Give me your opinions please and thanks in advance for your help,
Tony C
Oregon
Tony C is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 10:25 AM   #2
lmccrock
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 23, 2007
Location: Red Rock. TX
Posts: 799
For USPSA, convenience and reliability are more important than accuracy. Certainly, lead is cheaper. Make sure you can shoot a match's worth of lead before cleaning is required. Usually, that is not a problem. Also, division matters. Not sure I would want to shoot major power factor lead through a comp (open) gun, although I have never owned a comp'ed handgun.

FMJ and plated are so much easier to clean up, and usually I am willing to pay more to not have to clean up as much. My next bullet purchase may be lead to save money.

Lee
lmccrock is offline  
Old December 1, 2008, 11:00 AM   #3
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,139
clean?

I mostly use lead round nose bullets in 9x19 and 45 ACP; I have other choices (about 76 other choices).
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old December 3, 2008, 04:58 PM   #4
singlestack45
Member
 
Join Date: November 24, 2008
Posts: 19
FMJ- cleaner and less smoke.
singlestack45 is offline  
Old December 4, 2008, 12:14 AM   #5
8ring
Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2002
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 80
I assume you will be shooting .45acp. Lead bullets are cheaper than plated or FMJ and can be shot quite accurately in most .45acp pistols and revolvers. UPSA shooters have used them successfully for years.

You may have to experiment with the overall length of your semi-wadcutter loads to make sure they feed properly; SWC bullets can be more finicky in this regard than round nose or truncated cone bullets.

Make sure the bullets and hard-cast and are properly sized - .452" usually works best but your gun may be different. You may also have to experiment with the crimp but .470" is a safe bet.

Get a case guage and test all your rounds before a match. An oversize case not seating or ejecting can ruin a stage and there are no alibis in USPSA.

Use single base powders like Vithavouri N-320 or Solo 100, or low nitro-content powders like Winchester Super Target or Alliant American Select to reduce smoke and leading.



Chris
8ring is offline  
Old December 4, 2008, 12:20 PM   #6
Navy joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 28, 2001
Location: VA, USA
Posts: 1,803
When you're trying to pick up the next 10 steel plates through the cloud of lube smoke you'll wish you had loaded plated or FMJ.
__________________
FY47012
Navy joe is offline  
Old December 4, 2008, 01:09 PM   #7
FieldShunt
Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 2008
Location: NE Illinois
Posts: 20
With the recent price reduction and end of the lead surcharge, Berry's plateds are almost as cheap as plain lead and a whole lot less work to deal with. I think .357 158 round-noses are down in the nine-cent range delivered now and .45 230s are about twelve and a half cents.
www.berrysmfg.com
FieldShunt is offline  
Old December 4, 2008, 02:54 PM   #8
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 5,640
For .45 ACP, I have used nothing but poly/moly coated bullets for years. I'm still working through my supply of bullets from the now-defunct Masterblasters, but similar bullets are available from Precision or Bear Creek. Without trying to sound too enthusiastic, they provide the advantages of both cast and jacketed, without the downsides of either. I trend toward round-nose or truncated cone bullet shapes. I've seen enough guns puke on SWCs, and don't see any real upside.
RickB is offline  
Old December 6, 2008, 04:31 PM   #9
Ignatz
Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2005
Posts: 72
I was at a USPSA match this year where a competitor was shooting lead (smokey) rounds thru his Glock and was told to stop shooting and change ammo. I'm not sure if this is a rule in USPSA or what. Maybe the disgression of the Range Officer. Sorry if I'm drifting from the subject, but it has to do with lead and USPSA.
Ignatz is offline  
Old December 6, 2008, 04:43 PM   #10
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,126
Try using Rooster Jacket lube on your cast bullets. It is similar to Lee Liquid Alox, but it smokes a lot less (and I think you cannot push it as hard)

I loaded some .38 Specials with 125 grain truncated cone cast bullets for shooting in a bullseye league. They did really well when loaded near the top end of the load data, and no leading or smoke. Then some other shooters asked me to tone them down a little and the accuracy completely fell apart when I loaded them lighter. (not sure what this means, I think the bullet design just didn't stablized at low velocity, or didn't obterate enough, or maybe I just suck when I use that box of ammo) But anyway, at about 900 fps they were almost like shooting FMJ bullets but a lot cheaper.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is online now  
Old December 10, 2008, 09:48 AM   #11
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,139
oddly priced?

I bought a box of 500 230g LRN yesterday to test; $35/500.

(Perhaps the reason the Glock shooter was told to stop shooting his lead-bullet load was due to an under-informed RO stopping him for "unsafe ammo").

Lead bullets offer numerous advantages, but one disadvantage (that may be huge): the 'smoke' that can be present often obscures vision.
Not all lead bullets do so.
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old December 10, 2008, 10:44 AM   #12
lmccrock
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 23, 2007
Location: Red Rock. TX
Posts: 799
Quote:
I bought a box of 500 230g LRN yesterday to test; $35/500.
I think that is a good price, these days.
Quote:
(Perhaps the reason the Glock shooter was told to stop shooting his lead-bullet load was due to an under-informed RO stopping him for "unsafe ammo").
Yes, nowhere does my Glock 17 manual say "no lead bullets". It does say factory only, no reloads.

Lee
lmccrock is offline  
Old December 12, 2008, 11:52 AM   #13
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,139
I bought another box yesterday

To load more ammo.....

$35/500 230g LRN IS (sadly) a good price nowadays.

(They had 125g LRN for the exact same price; ouch).
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09673 seconds with 7 queries