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Old November 23, 2021, 06:49 PM   #1
L. Boscoe
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Load adjustment for plated vs coated bullets

I am finding my 200 gr SWC poly coated Missouri Bullet co range bullets a tad
smoky, thought I would see about "plated" of the same weight and shape. I
read somewhere that plated can cause some problem due to changes in friction. Right now I am using 4.0 gr of W231 in 45acp, and getting decent
results, have shot maybe 300 rds of that, plan on doing some load testing at
higher powder loads, but probably not over 4.8, as I am a bullseye shooter.
Any suggestions? Shooting a CZ97
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Old November 23, 2021, 07:04 PM   #2
Shadow9mm
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I have shot coated and plated. I much prefer plated personally. In my experience they are somewhere between jacketed and coated, but most manufacturer recommend keeping them below 1250fps, which should be easy enough in 45 acp.

When changing components it is common wisdom to work the load back up from start.

Hodgdon shows the following data for 200g in 45acp
JHP Start 5.2, Max 5.9

Lee shows
jacketed start 5.2, max 5.6

Hornady shows
Jacketed start 5.9, max 6.6

Lyman shows
jhp start 5.5, max 6.2

Sierra shows
jacketed start 5.6, max 6.3

Based on this I would start at 5.2g and go from there so see how it performs, whether or not it cycles the gun and work up or down from there based on your needs.
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Old November 23, 2021, 09:12 PM   #3
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Starting at the low pressure Shadow9mm mentioned is the key. Whether you will end up halfway or all the way up to at jacketed load levels depends on the cartridge. While the bullet makers give you a velocity limits, these are for the average guns they are used in. You will notice folks report sometimes reaching much higher velocities without fouling or accuracy issues, especially with handgun rounds in carbine rifles. This is because because what actually damages or deforms or causes too much friction for the softer copper plating is too much force on the bullet base. So the real limitation is applied peak pressure and not velocity.

In the 45 Auto, you should find full hardball velocities are just fine with plated bullets because it is not a high pressure round. This assumes a smooth bore, as a rough one can be fouled by most any kind of bullet and plating is softer and more easily rubbed off than gilding metal, but I expect you will be fine.

Another thing you can do is reduce friction. You can put Tubb Dust in your powder or plate your bullets with either moly or hBN. Those will limit fouling.
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Old November 23, 2021, 10:30 PM   #4
L. Boscoe
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Ok, I will try a few at the 4.8 level, which in 231 I have found to be fairly strong in terms of recoil, not as much as Winchester Range factory load, but well above the 4.0, which as
I mentioned, works just fine with the coated 200g. Keep in mind I want to shoot a soft
load that will punch paper nicely at 20 yds, which is the limit of my indoor range. Chrono
tests will come after I have a half dozen loads to test with the chrono as it is difficult to set up in the indoor range.
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Old November 24, 2021, 05:19 AM   #5
Shadow9mm
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I understand you want to shoot soft for bullseye, no worries. Personally I would just start at starting and work down though. But you probably have light springs that will let you gun cycle with the lower power rounds, mine wont.
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Last edited by Shadow9mm; November 24, 2021 at 05:43 AM.
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Old November 24, 2021, 05:44 AM   #6
jetinteriorguy
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I have found in my experience over shooting exclusively Hitech coated and copper plated that as long as the Bullet profile is pretty similar they load the same. I did normal old work ups and this is how it worked out. I’ve also found the coated bullets can be pushed harder compared to normal plated, but heavy plated can also be pushed harder. I was experimenting with coated bullets limits and all of a sudden they shut down the range. They thought they were smelling burnt wiring and were checking things out, turns out it was my bullets they were smelling. Guess I pushed them too hard.
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Old November 24, 2021, 10:49 AM   #7
74A95
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Generally, when loaded with the same powder charge weight, cast bullets (including Hi-Tek coated) are faster than the plated bullets.

In the 45 with 230 grain bullets loaded with 231, I found that the plated bullets required 0.5 grains more powder than Hi-Tek coated bullets for the same velocity.
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Old November 24, 2021, 10:57 AM   #8
L. Boscoe
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Load adjustment for plated vs coated bullets

As a matter of fact I do have lighter springs that allow cycling of low power loads
Thanks 74 A95, that advice is exactly what I am looking for.
Mucho thanks for all the good words
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Old November 24, 2021, 01:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
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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Old November 24, 2021, 04:37 PM   #10
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For my CZ 97, I like 4.7gr WST and Zero 200 SWC. The Zero's are swaged not cast.
Another great bullet is Zero 185gr SWCHP. Both will punch 1.5" holes at 50 yds.
If you're married to W231, I'd go 5.0grs.
I've never been a fan of plated bullets.
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Old November 24, 2021, 08:29 PM   #11
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Just as a reference point, jacketed 185-grain SWCs over 4.2 grains of Bullseye was the classic load for for imitating commercial match ammo. A good number of bull's-eye competitors used loads of 3.8 grains under cast 200-grain cast SWCs, like the H&G #68, and some went down as far as 3.2 grains. That requires a light recoil spring in a 1911 and other semi-autos, but there's no issue with bullets failing to go down the barrel.
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Old November 26, 2021, 10:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
200-grain cast SWCs, like the H&G #68, and some went down as far as 3.2 grains (of Bullseye).
I've gone as low as 3.4 grains that yielded 662 f/s (40 round test sample, full-size 1911 w/ 12Lb recoil spring).

I've also tested as little as 2.4gn Nitro 100 (NF) - 591 f/s. I do not recommend a load this soft. This was just me doing some testing. If the chrono comes in under 600 f/s, I don't go lower.

And I've tested 2.8gn N-310 - 586 f/s. Again, only a test. I do not recommend.

Burns weren't clean on any of these, but the N-310 faired the best for cleanliness, and I settled on 3.2gn (678 f/s) as the powder-puff load.
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Old December 7, 2021, 09:03 PM   #13
L. Boscoe
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Load adjustment for plated vs coated bullets

I tried 4.5 of 231 behind plated 200 gr swc and coated 200 gr swc's and while
I haven't had time to chrono them, the felt recoil on the plated felt a tad stronger than the coated. I will be speed testing soon, but the trip to the range made me think I need to include a few more steps in the loads,
so 4.2, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.7 maybe even back to 4.0. I find that one needs to check the powder feed from time to time on the Dillon 550, measuring a dozen or so powder drops to get an average, even after say 200 rounds at one setting, it can creep 0.1g or so. Is that uncommon?
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Old December 7, 2021, 11:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
it (propellant charges) can creep 0.1g or so. Is that uncommon?
No. That is common, normal, and typical.
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Old December 8, 2021, 09:49 AM   #15
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If this is a shift in the average charge weight you throw, it is normal. Adding a second baffle to the powder measure and keeping the powder level above the second baffle level can mitigate it some.

This old file of mine has baffle patterns. The last page, which was added later, includes on pattern specific to the size of the Dillon powder measure hoppers. Just print the last page to create a template you can apply to some aluminum flashing or other material with spray adhesive and then cut it out and fold it in the center over a 90° corner on some furniture or a brick or whatever is handy.
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