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Old September 10, 2019, 06:32 AM   #1
Targa
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Copper plated .44mag?

Hello all, I currently load light to mid range .44mags using lead cast bullets with Universal that chronograph at 860 FPS (7 grains) and 1130 FPS (9.8 grains) out of a 5.5” barrel Ruger SBH.
Do any of you run copper plated bullets such as Berry’s or Rainier’s at similar loads? The lead cast Missouri bullets are excellent for these loads but I would like to clean things up a bit with the copper plated for the indoor range.
It looks like Berry’s are good up to 1250 FPS and the Rainiers 1500 FPS.

Thanks, Darrin
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Old September 10, 2019, 12:56 PM   #2
T. O'Heir
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Same weight plated bullet should use the same load as a cast bullet.
Hodgdon, for some daft reason(likely to have increased velocity in their data) used an 8 5/8" barrel in their tests. Your 5.5" barrel will give much lower speeds with the same loads. Accuracy is more important than velocity anyway.
Berry's site shows their bullets have 2 thicknesses of plating too. Each has a max velocity. Standard thickness is 1250 FPS. Thick-Plate is 1500 FPS.
Keep in mind that you can load .44 Mag cases to .44 Special velocities with no fuss. Just like you can load .357 cases with .38 Special.
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Old September 10, 2019, 06:10 PM   #3
LE-28
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If you look at the website of the plated bullets, you will see a speed limit of the bullet. It is usually 1200 fps for normal plated and 1500 for thick plate.
As long as you stay at or under their speed limit you will not have any trouble with plated bullets.
And yes, they do shoot much cleaner then lead and I haven't seen that much difference in accuracy. Some say they do but I never have.
For the speeds your post is indicating, you will have no trouble shooting the normal plated bullets.
Just make sure you look up what speed the bullets are good for, per mfg, and go from there.
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Old September 10, 2019, 07:50 PM   #4
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I have a 6½" S&W mod. 629 Classic that I've shot Ranier and X-Treme plated bullets through. The sweet spot for most of my most accurate loads seems to be around 850-900 fps with faster powders like 700X and Red Dot. I also have a very accurate load with Silhouette giving around 1100 fps.
Although these loads give good accuracy and are a joy to load with all that clean, smooth, gleaming copper, I get about 25-35% better accuracy using coated lead bullets from Bayou Bullets and Missouri Bullets. The cost between the plated and the coated are very close to the same.
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Old September 10, 2019, 08:32 PM   #5
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Thank you guys for the responses. I ordered thesehttps://accuraoutdoors.com/product/44-240-fp/ at the recommendation of a member on another forum, I liked that they have a cannelure. I will still be using the lead cast bullets primarily, most of my range time is outdoors but these should work a bit better inside. Thanks again.
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Old September 11, 2019, 03:29 AM   #6
Msauter
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I use the Xtreme 200 gr heavy plated bullet at .44 Special velocities with excellent results at the range.

Last edited by Msauter; September 11, 2019 at 03:35 AM.
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Old September 11, 2019, 07:20 AM   #7
Steve in PA
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10.0 grains of Unique and a 240 grain Rainier plated bullet is my mid-range plinking load for my .44 Magnum revolvers.
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Old September 11, 2019, 08:24 AM   #8
Targa
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That is my plan as well Steve, except I have been using Universal with my lead cast. It has been a really nice load and good to let family shoot without having them intimidated by full throttle mags.
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Old September 11, 2019, 12:21 PM   #9
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I had a lot of problems with them jumping forward and locking up my S&W cylinder, could not crimp them enough. They work fine in the Desert Eagle though.
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Old September 11, 2019, 01:44 PM   #10
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Ranier closed its doors last month, so that option is gone.

Even though velocity numbers are published, they are a pretty dumb measure without more information. Some bullets fly apart when spun too fast, but you need both velocity and spin rate to determine that. Excess pressure can distort a bullet, but that's about peak pressure, not velocity. So when you get a velocity limit number, ask with what barrel length with what rifling pitch and with what powder this was determined. Otherwise, you don't really have the limits to work with usefully. Obviously, if you shoot the same load in your 4" revolver that you do in your 20" carbine, it will be faster
in the carbine. If the bullet tolerates the greater spin, the pressure will be no different so it will work in both, but with different velocity limits.


Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir
Hodgdon, for some daft reason(likely to have increased velocity in their data) used an 8 5/8" barrel in their tests. Your 5.5" barrel will give much lower speeds with the same loads.
It's not 8 5/8", it is an even odder 8.275", or 8 11/40". It is one of the two SAAMI standard handgun velocity and pressure barrel lengths for the .44 Magnum. It is meant to mimic a single-shot pistol (though I don't know how they arrived at that exact barrel length). For mimicking a revolver, the pressure and velocity gun chamber is separated from the barrel by a 0.008" gap to imitate a revolver's barrel/cylinder gap. The barrel is an additional 5.763" beyond that gap, so the total length, including the gap and chamber, is 7.526", which is only 0.749" different from the total length of the single-shot mimicking barrel. Thus, the velocity difference won't be as high as you think, but you do have to add an allowance for gas lost through that gap. Ballistics By The Inch has the effect of gaps documented.

I think Hodgdon probably picked the single-shot barrel over the vented revolver type because they didn't need a separate style universal receiver for it.
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Old September 11, 2019, 02:26 PM   #11
Steve in PA
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Yeah, I hate that Rainier closed their doors. I've been using their bullets for years. I have about 200 of their 240gr .44 caliber bullets left for my plinking loads. Probably have to go to Berry's.
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Old September 11, 2019, 03:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Ranier closed its doors last month, so that option is gone.
Do we know yet if anyone is buying their equipment? Seems like that equipment would have significant value to another manufacturer so maybe someone will step into their shoes in the marketplace.
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Old September 12, 2019, 09:14 AM   #13
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I shoot a ton of Campro bullets in 38/357 and 44 magnum. They are a very well made plated bullet. Not sure if they are available down south but are worth trying if they are.

www.campro.ca
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Old September 12, 2019, 10:06 AM   #14
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^^^Nice, looks like you can load to magnum levels with those.
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Old September 12, 2019, 11:00 AM   #15
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I’ve compared them to Hornady XTP’s in both 357 and 44 magnum. As far as taking the magnum load both Campro .357 and 44 bullets had no issues at all. However the XTP bullet in both .357 and 44 was more accurate once you started getting out to 50 yards or more. Not by much but was noticeable.
Most of my shooting with both are low to mid loads so they work just find for what I shoot now and much cheaper.
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