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Old September 9, 2012, 11:00 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 10,949
You are doing well to be concerned and we are here to help. I'll address some things I saw:

You are loading two semi-auto rounds here, so your dies will apply a taper crimp, and how much depends on how far down you've screwed the die. Lead, plated, jacketed -- you don't want too much taper crimp on ANY of them. The purpose of the taper crimp is to un-do the mouth flaring that you did earlier to allow you to start & then seat a bullet. A proper taper crimp should not be noticeable, and it allows the loaded round to headspace on the end of the chamber. Too much taper crimp will ruin -ANY- loaded round, no matter the bullet you've chosen. You goal is to make it look like a factory round, and for it to be able to fall IN and then OUT of the chamber by gravity.

It's a misconception that a taper crimp "holds" the bullet in place in a semi-auto round. It does not... proper case mouth tension does that. You get the proper case mouth tension by:
--using quality, not thin brass (R-P is some of the worst in this regard, PMC is also not the best)
--being careful NOT to over flare the case mouths
--having a sizing die that is built to spec and working properly

You are using Federal and that's fine. Federal has the reputation for being THE softest cup primer available, and therefore the easiest to light off. That means use caution when seating them, as you would anyway, I'm sure. If you find you handgun doesn't reliably set off a Federal primer, you've got a PROBLEM because it'll really struggle with a hard cup primer.

Plated bullets
I use a heap of them and I use Berry's exclusively, I'm a big fan of them. And while you need to follow the guidelines about not pushing them too fast and definitely don't try to put a heavy crimp on them in revolver rounds, they are good bullets and if you only remember one thing about them... my suggestion would be to NOT baby them. They can get stuck fast in a barrel if you try to run them at light target lead bullet velocities.

You don't need to be running a max or over max load, but please do not run them weakly. Sticking one in the bore sucks. I speak from experience.

As for published data, you won't find much at all for plated bullets because the folks that develop published data do so with actual lab testing and the use of high-buck equipment. While many jacketed bullets exhibit "similar" performance, plated bullets can vary depending on the construction of them, the thickness of the plating, etc. I tend to run them just under jacketed max loads as long as the velocities are within Berry's suggested limits.

I use them a lot in .380, .38 Special, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45, but I avoid them in .357 Mag, 10mm, .44 Mag, etc etc.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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