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Old March 30, 2014, 05:34 PM   #1
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pushing plated bullets too hard

Most of the plated bullets I've found are rated for 1200 fps. A few with the "heavy plating" are good for a bit higher speeds.

What happens when you throttle a plated bullet a little too hard?

The gun in question is a Contender. That eliminates any concern with the cylinder gap of a revolver.

It struck me that my new 8" barrel in 10mm is capable of sending rounds down range a bit faster than a revolver or bottom feeder. Using published data the velocity picks up because there is no cylinder gap to vent pressure and no power-robbing slide and recoil spring.

Has anyone tested the bullets to see what happens when a heavy throttle is applied?
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Old March 30, 2014, 07:43 PM   #2
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What happens when you throttle a plated bullet a little too hard?
They leave lead in the bore.
Not much mystery there.
Plated isn't jacketed by a long stretch.
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Old March 30, 2014, 08:09 PM   #3
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See if you can get this moved to the reloading section. Those guys over there are a wealth of information.

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Old March 31, 2014, 12:38 PM   #4
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Old March 31, 2014, 01:14 PM   #5
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Interested in this also. Kind of confused. I thought the OP was in the right section. Is there a separate Reloading thread?

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Old March 31, 2014, 02:09 PM   #6
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I've played around a lot with plated bullets and have found that most can be and IMHO should be pushed harder than lead.
1st the plating is harder than lead and when loaded to lead velocities gives a slower or lower FPS
Loaded to the upper end of lead loading values to the lower end of magnum loadings is where they have shown (too me) they perform very well.
I have pushed 44mag plated bullets to the point the plating was being pulled off when the bullet left the barrel.
They shot fairly accurate but left the barrel badly leaded.
I now load all my plated bullets to the lower levels of the magnum loading values.
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Old March 31, 2014, 02:21 PM   #7
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Push a plated too hard and your accuracy will go to pot.

You can tell if you are pushing it too hard by shooting groups as you work up the load. I find that with Berry's or Ranier's you get reasonable accuracy as you work up and then it goes to pot quickly. Your groups go to patterns and you are done.

Keep in mind not to over crimp the plateds. Cut the plating and accuacy will fall off quickly also.
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Old March 31, 2014, 03:47 PM   #8
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I shoot lots of Berry's plated bullets. I love them. They're cost efficient and very easy to shoot, chamber, and reload. A box of 1000 9mm was selling for only $67 on CTD a few days ago. On powder valley, you can get 'em for about $75, cheaper than direct from Berry's.

I've haven't had issues with keyholing, but I hear it can happen if you push plated bullets too hard. The problem I have with hot loads is that the rounds start spraying all over the place with a max load. My 9mm and .40sw load with Berry's plated bullets are most accurate when using minimum load data.
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Old March 31, 2014, 05:00 PM   #9
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Buying a thousand Berrys 155s was not the best idea for my new 10 mm 8" Contender barrel.
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Old March 31, 2014, 05:48 PM   #10
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The last 3000 rounds I have bought were plated all 9mm and 40's.
The 9mm's have all been from and the 40's have been a mixture of Berry's and Extreme's.

Since Published data has expanded on some Semi-Auto rounds (berry's @, I have noticed they are loaded to FMJ velocities. It is hard to tell them from a nice factory load. The reload data from Hodgdon for 44 Magnum list a 220gr Berry's RNFP at max load reaching 1231 FPS. If you recall the common statement by makers of plated bullets to use lead data, however plated data has a different COL than a cast round most of the time. If you have listed data Load them. I you have chronograph to work up a safe load I would say start low and work up as usual but keep them under 1200 fps.

The last thing I would tell someone (especially on a forum) is to go ahead and push them. Also as already stated they tend to get inaccurate. The lead used in plated bullets is much softer than cast and the bullet overall is softer as well. Push them hard enough and they will peel....not that I have ever done it..

Keep in mind too that published velocities are with shorter barrels and your velocities will increase in those longer barrels.
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Old March 31, 2014, 07:09 PM   #11
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My velocity will increase due to the lack of a revolver's cylinder gap. Also, there are no power robbing moving parts like a slide and recoil spring.

Contenders take ordinary cartridges to a new level.

Blue Dirt is obviously out since it is incredibly filthy at low pressures. I might be able to get away with mild Power Pistol loads but don't want to use up my 45 ACP powder.

It would suck to switch to Trail Boss and turn it into another pop gun.

Pistol powders are still relatively hard to find around here.
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Old March 31, 2014, 08:49 PM   #12
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10 or 12 years ago I pushed some Berry's plated bullets through the 40sw and 10mm too fast, and they spun off plating that makes extra holes in the target. There is the round hole from the main bullet, and then a bunch of smaller ragged tares.
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Old March 31, 2014, 09:07 PM   #13
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When I bought the bullets I had intended to drive moderate velocities. After all, this barrel is intended to be a plinker. However, fate being what it is, I can't find any decent powders for moderate charges. I can either drool along with TB or blow the plating off with Blue Dirt.
I have H110 too but it isn't well suited to most 10mm loads. With this being a Contender I have far more flexibility than the average 10mm auto or revolver shooter. Knowing H110 like I do, I imagine it's going to take a full case, possibly compressed, and a healthy crimp to get a decent burn.
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Old April 1, 2014, 01:38 AM   #14
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I hear you on the powder but another note worth mentioning is that plated bullets don't like heavy crimps. Remember that soft lead core. Plating does nothing to stop the crimp from cutting deep and more than one person has caused the plating to separate doing so.

Hope you get you some powder that works better for you.
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Old April 1, 2014, 01:38 AM   #15
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Over the last few years I've shot more plated than anything else.
I've had them to 1,275 fps in the .38 Super, lots of 9mm rounds over 1100 fps in my Glock 17L, in .357 I've been over 1200 fps in a single shot carbine, and I've never had one issue in any caliber with plated bullets. I like Berry's and Rainier.
Long bores and the speed gained doesn't seem to bother them.
Work up the load and watch the bore for leading and the target for clean bullet strikes.
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Old March 13, 2016, 11:43 AM   #16
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Yes I'm responding to an old thread. People are still asking the same questions today. I have had great success with plated bullets pushed past published velocities. 6 inch wolf barrel in my glock 20. 155g @ 1500fps. Oh yeah, to all you Purist, it's wrong but it's also so much fun. Yes you have a little fouling......solution..... Clean your barrel!
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Old March 13, 2016, 12:11 PM   #17
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Oh yeah, to all you Purist, it's wrong but it's also so much fun. Yes you have a little fouling......solution..... Clean your barrel!
Thanks for the tip man,as a certified Purist I can appreciate your resuscitating
this thread.
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Old March 13, 2016, 05:47 PM   #18
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Here we go with the numbers game again.

The velocity number is not a hard limit. Call the makers of plated bullets and ask if it applies equally to a 2" snub as well as a 14" Contender. You will find out it does NOT.

It might be 1200 fps from a 4" barrel or 6" barrel. They each rate based on barrel length. A non standard twist rate will also change that number.

This has been misunderstood for more years than this thread is old.
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Old March 13, 2016, 05:58 PM   #19
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This has been misunderstood for more years than this thread is old.
`specially when I'm pushing a Ranier-335gr plated bullet out of a 16" 50-caliber barrel at 1,900fps (+) ...with superb dependabilty.
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Old March 25, 2016, 07:48 PM   #20
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Here's a little fluff to you Senior members. Without your combined knowledge, experience and willingness to share, many beginner gun enthusiast and reloader's would have gone down dangerous avenues blindfolded. So Thanks!
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Old March 29, 2016, 10:50 PM   #21
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Being retired and living out in the country, I do a lot of pistol shooting for recreation--paper and metal targets...and a few turtles in my ponds and skunks in the yard. I reload for accuracy using lead and plated bullets. I buy plated bullets from X-Treme and Barry's. I don't push them hard since I have found better accuracy with lower velocities. For example, I run 230 grain 45 ACP bullets at about 725-750 fps. In all, I load 32, 380, 9mm, 9mm Makarov, 40 S&W, 41, 44, and 45.

When I need velocity, such as for personal protection, I use jacketed bullets.

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Old March 30, 2016, 01:56 PM   #22
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In reality, bullets should not have velocity specifications, but instead pressure specifications, except for the problem that most handloaders have no means to measure pressure. If the finished round achieves 1100 fps from your revolver, and its okay, then it won't fly apart when you shoot the same round from a carbine. The velocity rating is a wild guestimate based on how they expect a bullet to be used. In other words, if you have a 1200fps limit on the bullet, it will be good for any load that would produce 1200fps from a Glock, even though your contender will send it out a lot faster.

Plated bullets are usually have a soft lead core. When over pushed in a revolver (pressure, not velocity) the bullet over obturates, and then has to be swaged back down to size with the forcing cone. This has more to do with losing the plating than the velocity. It also accelerates wear on the forcing cone. Generally, the bullet itself with withstand higher pressures as well as higher velocities from carbines or your Contender.
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Old March 30, 2016, 11:19 PM   #23
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Plated bullets have more friction than jacketed bullets; same everything, cast bullet goes the fast, followed by jacketed and then plated. I only use them for pistols, not rifles, with the only exception being m1 carbine.

There is a speed limited determined by the max rpm. Plated bullets are just slightly better than cast bullets. It is function of bullet diameter and barrel twist. This only applies to rifles, pistols seldom reach that limit.

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Old March 31, 2016, 01:48 AM   #24
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I found it depends a lot on the 'Plating' process.

The actual electrical plating process, soft/pure/CLEAN lead that has electrochemical plating, bonding the copper to the lead core they seem to work very well at reasonably high velocities.
Same rules apply with thin jacketed bullets, don't push them so fast they can't hold the rifling, or you will find fragments of the jacket peppering the target around the main bullet hole,
And since the bullet didn't hold the rifling, accuracy drops since the bullet didn't have enough spin...

The second type is copper or brass 'Washed',
The 'Plating' is very thin, can usually be scratched off the bullet with a thumbnail, and it gets cut through by the rifling, does weird things,
And leaves a lot of lead in the barrel.
I've not had much luck with 'Washed' bullets, not that I shoot much ammo through toe shooters to start with...

I've tried to reproduce the electrochemical ('Hot') plating process, although the results were fine, it wasn't economical to do on a smaller scale...
For the lead to take a proper plate of copper, it has to be VERY pure, and therefore it will be 'Soft'.
You can 'Wash' anything, even plastic or nylon, so I always wonder what the washed bullets are made of... (China industral heavy metal waste?)
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