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Old October 4, 2012, 02:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 10,982
Steel JACKETED .45 Hardball

Buddy of mine came across an estate sale and a lot of 1,000 pieces of .45 Hardball was in it. He's a lead caster and sticks specifically to lead, so I made a quick offer on the slugs that he was happy with and I bought them sight unseen.

Get them home to observe that they are pulldown. Minor annoyance, but no problem, I figured, as long as they load up and give me the proper case mouth tension I want -- and they did, all good. Loaded up nicely.

It was only after I loaded a few boxes did I decide on a whim to run a magnet over them and it stuck like glue! The magnet is horribly strong, I've got to say, but it's obvious that these have some iron-based content.

I took one of them and a known hardball (pulled down from Winchester FMJ) and crushed them each in a vise. This is a horribly vague experiment, but it's something, anyway. I try to "feel" the resistance in a vice to get any indication of the construction of the bullet. I also use this method to forcibly separate the slug from it's jacket. (I use the same method to get a visual of the plating on differing plated bullets-- this works if you don't have the tools to section a bullet.)

I can't say the two bullets felt much different. The jacket of the offended steel-jacket slug is thicker and much less pliable when separated from the core as compared to the standard FMJ. I ran my trusty magnet over the slug again and for certain, the iron content that is magnetically attracted to the magnet is all in the jacket, it is nowhere in the lead slug whatsoever.

So...Help! What is your opinion or experience on steel jacketed bullets? Not steel cased ammo, not steel core bullets, but a harder than expected jacket. (looks for all the world like every other 230 grain .45 cal Hardball you have EVER seen)

I'm quite sure that some indoor ranges simply won't allow them, and that is duly noted. (for right or for wrong, I won't break any range's rules, no matter their motivation)

What is your opinion on is how these bullets will treat the barrel of my handguns?

If I play the safe route, I've just bought a thousand slugs that will all be shot from my Ruger P-90 with no second thought. But should I be keeping these far, far away from my buddy's Les Baer? Or any other .45 pistol that I care a lot about?

Please help with your opinions and experiences here. I don't mind hear-say, either, I know how to separate the wheat from the chaff in a discussion forum. Cites or links to other discussions would be appreciated also.
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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