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Old September 12, 2012, 02:06 PM   #23
Join Date: March 24, 2006
Location: stockton, ca
Posts: 38
Plated bullets and cast lead have their own niche in the shooting sports. Some indoor ranges don't allow exposed lead - use plated. Shooting lead produces a lot more smoke due to the lube. Don't like the smoke - use plated. Plated bullets are more forgiving during the reloading process. Less flair required and when seating and crimping are done with a single die, the die setup is less critical.

Cast lead is more budget friendly. Cast bullets are more commonly available in a greater range of sizes to accommodate over-sized bores. Proper sizing and hardness of lead should minimize or eliminate bore leading altogether. Powder choice and charge weight can minimize smoke but will not eliminate it. Proper die setup is a bit more critical with lead. A bit more flair is needed to avoid shaving lead and lube. Build-up of lube in the seating die can alter seating depth, requiring periodic cleaning of the die. Most reloaders seem to favor seating and crimping with separate dies when using lead. An improperly setup combo die can lead to a buildup of lead/lube at the case mouth causing issues with proper chambering if not removed.

I recently switched to lead in my 1911. I'm happy with the economy and performance and have not had any issues with leading. Still playing with the load to try and minimize smoke. I'm still using plated rounds in my 9mm CZ SP-01. I really like Berry's 124 gr. HBFP in 9mm and I don't think I can find this in a cast round. I might experiment with lead sometime in the future.
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