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Old November 24, 2021, 01:42 PM   #9
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Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 5,332
Right now I am using 4.0 gr of W231 in 45acp
That's a fairly soft load, but it is highly unlikely that it is so soft that it'll be an issue by simply changing from a poly coated bullet to a plated. If you are still concerned, you can increase that charge weight without trouble. I have loaded Speer's 200gn "TMJ" plated SWC up to 5.6gn of W231 without trouble. This is NOT a load suggestion. I'm only stating this charge weight to give you a feel of where you are in the charge weight spectrum. You have considerable wiggle room.

As you mentioned, a plated bullet will have slightly more friction going down the barrel than a poly coated or lead/lubed. So the concern would be a load so soft that the bullet won't clear the barrel. I don't believe a 4.0gn charge weight would be of concern. Further, this phenomenon is more of a concern in revolvers where the barrel/cylinder gap bleeds off expanding gasses.

I don't care for poly coated bullets because at the range, they smell like burning electrical insulation and that's a smell that literally nauseates me.

I've tried plated 200gn SWC's and they're nice. But the shoulders of the bullet - the edge that actually cuts the target paper is rounded off and doesn't cut a nice sharp edged hole in the target - practically defeating the purpose of having a SWC bullet profile. For some reason, that's important to me

Fortunately, for me, 45 ACP with 200gn LSWC's (I use Missouri Bullet's "soft"), I get minimal leading in all three of my 1911's and so I still shoot lead in those. My pet load is 5.0gn of W231 BTW, and yields 840 f/s through the chronograph. I've been loading this recipe for 35 years. I even have a seat die set and dedicated to this load - that's all it loads. I use another seat die for all other bullets.

Otherwise, I am a big fan of plated bullets. In everything else besides 45 ACP, I've made the decision to drop straight lead bullets in favor of plated. To me, the added expense of plated is a more than fair trade-off to all the downsides of lead bullets.
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