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Information and Education => Reloading and Handloading => Topic started by: Outbreak on December 29, 2011, 03:38:48 pm

Title: Plated vs Jacketed vs Lead
Post by: Outbreak on December 29, 2011, 03:38:48 pm
I know the difference between the bullets, as far as construction.

The question is do plated bullets act more like lead or jacketed bullets? I know the plating is very thin, and I've actually cut plated bullets with the case, and under the plating is soft lead. But the outside of the bullet is copper.

Another thing I know is lead goes faster than jacketed with the same charge. I don't know if that's due to different friction of steel:copper vs steel:lead or more to do with the construction.

So if any of that makes any sense, one last question: I'm currently loading my .40's with 5.0gr of Win 231 and a 155gr LSWC on top. This is a load I've worked up on my own, and it performs beautifully. I have 250 plated 165gr TC's laying around. Would I be good with the same charge, or should I use a load more suited to jacketed bullets?
Title: Re: Plated vs Jacketed vs Lead
Post by: JesseL on December 29, 2011, 03:58:42 pm
As you might expect, plated performs somewhere in between jacketed and bare lead. It engraves on the rifling easier than jacketed bullets and can be pushed to speeds that would cause a lot of leading with lead bullets. You can usually use load data intended for jacketed bullets safely, and the reduced engraving force may let you go a bit beyond (but less than what you could safely put under a lead bullet).

Hodgdon lists a max of 5.3gr of 231 for a Sierra 165gr JHP in .40, so I'd guess your load of 5.0gr is probably safe for a 165gr plated bullet. I wouldn't place too many bets about it performing as well as your current load though. Always best to start from scratch when switching any component.

And some clock building info which is relevant but not critical:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Plated vs Jacketed vs Lead
Post by: StevenTing on December 29, 2011, 04:00:52 pm
I won't be much help but wanted to chime in.  I always thought plated and jacketed were the same thing.  From what I've read, they act more like Lead bullets.  I've never loaded straight lead.  Only plated.  Had not problems with them.  I also loaded moly-coated, and those work just as well.
Title: Re: Plated vs Jacketed vs Lead
Post by: THE NORSEMAN on December 29, 2011, 09:28:05 pm
They do act "closer to" lead, but not "exactly like" swadged lead, and neither is the same hard cast lead.

Boils down to a few things really- 

1. Don't use them for serious work.  In my book target use only.

2.  Keep speeds moderate, subsonic or close too it.  Generally, it's a soft lead core.  High speeds mean high pressures.  Trouble usually ensues shortly.

3.  WATCH YOUR CRIMP.  If you crimp enough to tear through the plating, your pistol barrel will hate you.

As for the specific load you mention?  Yeah, it should be fine safety wise as Jesse noted.
Title: Re: Plated vs Jacketed vs Lead
Post by: Outbreak on December 30, 2011, 12:04:58 am
These are purely competition loads. So not serious use. They won't even fit in my Sig 226 mags. The STI likes them long. OAL is 1.190".
Title: Re: Plated vs Jacketed vs Lead
Post by: THE NORSEMAN on December 30, 2011, 12:29:10 am
So- For their intended purpose, they are:

Reliable, accurate, cheap and safe out of the gun you use them in?  The load is one published by 2 or more current major/repsected sources of loading data? 

Run 'em.
Title: Re: Plated vs Jacketed vs Lead
Post by: Outbreak on December 30, 2011, 01:42:38 am
All of the above applies.

I have a good stockpile of factory .40 for the Sig. Even if I didn't, if there are two cartridges I've figured out how to load for, it's 9mm and .40. I've experimented with different primers, bullet weights, lead bullets, jacketed bullets, and found the bottom and top of the powder charges for each, at least with Win231. I've got my own data in addition to book recipes about how fast I can push a certain bullet without it destabilizing, without the primer flattening, etc.

But those plated bullets annoyed me the first time I loaded them, and the second box has been sitting under the bench for over a year. Time to get rid of them.
Title: Re: Plated vs Jacketed vs Lead
Post by: THE NORSEMAN on December 31, 2011, 06:11:33 pm
Just a note, for use whenever you need it-

Vit 3N37, while spendy, is a most EXCELLENT powder choice in 9mm, if one wants full snort power/speed and accuracy, along with delivering ridiculously low muzzle flash in low light environments.  Just so you know.