Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > Reloading
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:04 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Will plated bullets damage my gun?

Is there any reason why I should not use plated bullets in my S&W 629?

I canít buy good quality cast lead bullets because nobody (Canada) sells them. At least nobody that I can find. And the shipping costs would be high anyway to mail lead around the country.

I donít want to get into the ďcast your own vs buy themĒ argument because at this time I just want to buy them. I have (literally) a couple of tons of wheel weight lead stashed out in the shed against the time or circumstances where I might have no choice but to cast my own, but for now Iíd just rather not bother.

I CAN get plated bullets through a dealer not all that far away, so I can drive there and get them. That solves most of the shipping cost problem. I suppose the quality on them would be about ďnormalĒ for plated bullets. I can get 200 grain or 230 grain. I do NOT intend to shoot them at high speed. Just want plinking loads.

Obviously they are more costly than plain lead cast bullets, but considering I have very few choices other than to cast my own (which I do not want to bother with) I donít see I have any alternative but to pay the extra price.

Iím just not sure what a steady diet of copper plated bullets would do to the forcing cone or bore of my new 629. Perhaps nothing.

Any thoughts or advice?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:11 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,034
Likes: 1,061
Liked 602 Times in 290 Posts
Default

The copper plating on these types of bullets is very thin, and the bullets themselves are almost totally pure lead, so they are quite soft.

They'll do very little more wear than plain lead will. remember that these bullets have a ceiling of around 1200 fps for top velocity, so keep that in mind.

For plinking up where you are, they are fine, but I personally wouldn't want them in my gun for defense against any four legged creatures since they are so soft.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:31 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lafayette, IN
Posts: 1,162
Likes: 60
Liked 331 Times in 165 Posts
Default

I've only used .45 auto plated bullets (I think they were Ranier). I was not impressed with them. I had more setback problems in my 1911 than with either FMJ or lead bullets, so only used them in my 625. I also was unimpressed with their accuracy.

If you can't get lead, I would try jacketed bullets before using plated.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:39 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,034
Likes: 1,061
Liked 602 Times in 290 Posts
Default

JohnGalt brought up something that I should have mentioned. I haven't used them in my auto's, just revo's, and mainly in .44 caliber.

Mine were/are Berry's. I have had to use very tight roll crimps on them, making my own at whatever length I needed simply by crimping them in that spot (and they do crimp right into the bullet quite easily). They still jump crimp even with very mild target loads (all we are allowed on the club's indoor range) in either the .44 mag case or the Special case. A taper crimp die doesn't seem to help much either, at least not in my revo's.

I have found Berry's to be quite accurate inspite of this, but by the 6th shot, the bullet is always only a few thousandths from protruding out of the face of the cylinder and tying up my gun. For that reason alone, i don't shot them much aymore.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:48 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 495 Times in 271 Posts
Default

I have used plated bullets extensively in my autos and not in any revolvers.

They have warnings on their sites that their bullets should not be run at magnum velocities. I have used them for target loads shot at an inside range in 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP.

I use a firm taper crimp on all of them with no problems.

I like your thoughts on being prepared. It was logic like that that made me buy 20,000 primers in the latter part of 2007!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-17-2010, 03:37 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks gentlemen, I appreciate your time and thoughts.

All in all it would seem that I should try to go with the lead bullets if I can. Easier on the barrel, not as likely to creep, and no danger of "issues" with velocity out of a magnum.

I really didn't want to get into casting at this time, but I may not have any option.

Some of the suppliers I deal with can get certain products out of the USA. They do bring in "some" bullets from Hornady, Speer, etc. Anybody got any suggestions on which, if any, of the major bullet manufacaturers makes a decent cast lead SWC for the 44 Mag? Maybe I can get some brought in. I imagine it will be pretty pricy though.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-17-2010, 03:42 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 495 Times in 271 Posts
Default

Most of the major bullet companies use swaged bullet. Not too conducive to running at magnum velocities either.

I'm not sure if Penn Bullets will ship outside the US tennesseevalleybullets.com or Missouri Bullet Company or any number of other commercial casters.

Drop them a line.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-17-2010, 03:44 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

What about something like this?

Speer Bullets - Product Details
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:10 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Kentucky, USA
Posts: 5,588
Likes: 811
Liked 2,171 Times in 872 Posts
Default

Not what you want to hear...but if you use enough of them, you'll eventually wear out the bore. And the forcing cone, and the hammer and trigger. And the frame, hand, and cylinder. If you keep it up, you'll eventually wear the entire gun out. Well, if you live long enough and your ammo funds hold out. Ain't nothin' free in this world. Every projectile you send down range does an incremental amount of "damage" to the entire gun. And depending on pressure levels, its kind of significant. N frames are particularly susceptible to the damage. A good K frame, like a M10 shooting 158 grain or 148 wadcutters has a life expectancy of maybe 100,000 round, maybe 200,000. I'd guess a 44 Maggie has a much shorter one. If you fire 75,000 to 100,000 rounds, you'll have damaged the gun.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
__________________
Dick Burg
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:12 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 495 Times in 271 Posts
Default

I called and asked them once, you can do the same. What I was told is that all of their lead bullets are swaged and not cast. That doesn't mean that they aren't any good. That is the reason they only run them to the 1000fps area in their manuals though!

I can run my cast bullets to 1800fps with no leading. Out of a M629 Classic in 5" barrel, I can run them right at 1400fps without leading. Now, I have yet to shoot the first swaged bullet so I am going with what others tell me.

The process that they are made from requires them to be made of soft material. Soft is very good for loads that don't go over 1000fps.

YMMV (but I doubt it! )
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:24 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,034
Likes: 1,061
Liked 602 Times in 290 Posts
Default

For the loads that you mainly intend to use (plinking), the Speer and Hornady swaged will work, but I would be looking for something a bit harder, since I have seen some of your "visitors" on your property.

The swaged bullets are just too much hassle IMO, between making sure you don't get leading, trying to reach your intended velocity, etc.

I agree on using good cast bullets whenever possible.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:48 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Now there is another lesson learned gentlemen, and I sincerely thank you for sharing your experience. I had no idea that (a) they swagged those bullets, and (b) that swagged bullets would be harder on the gun than cast bullets.

I'm still not entirely sure I understand "why" they would be more damaging to the gun, but I'll certainly bow to the voice of experience and take what you say to heart.

So, it seems I need to find good quality cast bullets.

I may have been handed a bit of luck. Just got an e-mail from a friend of mine who casts bullets. He has a commercial casting machine. I had not thought of him as a supplier because he has health issues (heart) and had shut down his operation for the time being. As it turns out though, he tells me he has about 6,000 of the 240 grain SWC cast bullets for the .44 Mag sitting in his shop. They have not been lubed and sized yet, but that is a problem that an be overcome. He says he can fire up the lube/sizer and run them through for me, or I guess I could lube/size them myself.

That brings up another thing I was going to ask. At the risk of highjacking my own thread, what is the general opinion with regards to lubed rounds sitting around? What I mean is, does the lube ever get old, dry, and fall out? Would a person be better advised to acquire the cast bullets and then use your own lube/sizer to do the final step just prior to loading them?

I don't have a lube/sizer yet, but there are a number of them out there in the $200 to $300 range that do a pretty good job. I have to get one anyway, so maybe I should just take these bullets as they are, get my own sizer, and lube/size them as I need them.

Thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-17-2010, 05:01 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,034
Likes: 1,061
Liked 602 Times in 290 Posts
Default

I have some cast bullets here that are about 22 years old, and the lube in them is still as good as the day I bought them. It hasn't dried out in the least as far as I can tell, and they still shoot exceptionally well in my guns.

I would stay away from the real hard lubes that so many of the commercial casters like to use due to the cost and ease of running it through their sizers. It doesn't lube worth spit as far as I could ever tell, and recovered bullets I have found in my backstop still have it clinging tightly to the lube groove, so obviously it didn't do its job very well while traveling through the bore.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-17-2010, 05:25 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 495 Times in 271 Posts
Default

I have made my own lube and like G4F has said, it can sit around in bullets for a long, long time. That is, if it is good lube!

I wonder if I misstated something or maybe you misunderstood. Soft bullets won't "hurt" your gun. That is, unless they are so soft that they fill the barrel with lead and the pressure goes through the roof.

Personally, and we are talking about a M629 here, I don't think you can hurt it with a lead bullet, hard or soft. Too much powder? Yeah, you can blow the thing apart, just like any other handgun in 44Mag.

As far as sizing and lubing goes, you don't need a $200 sizer to get this done. And if your loads are going to stay in the 1000fps range anyway, all you need to do is use a liquid lube. There is no need to size the bullet.

Rooster lube makes a liquid and so does Lee. There is a website that sells a liquid Xlox, White Label Lube, that works exceptionally well. I am going to use it for some 44Mag rifle loads in a few days as a matter of fact.

If the bullets will chamber as cast, there really isn't a reason that you HAVE to size anything. Just lube, let dry, load and shoot.

FWIW
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-17-2010, 05:48 PM
Maximumbob54's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: JAX, FL
Posts: 6,684
Likes: 5,764
Liked 1,275 Times in 740 Posts
Default

I was waiting to hear how a plated bullet would be bad for your gun.

Shinatagins I say. Or however you spell that.

How is a thin copper plating that sticks to the bullet moving at slow velocity when loaded to lead bullet speeds going to ruin any gun??? You want to ruin a gun? Shoot overly high velocity, heavy for caliber, and in a light weight frame gun. That kills frames which kills guns. In .38/.357 shy away from a steady diet of beyond 158 grain, in .44 shy away from beyond 240 grain. And no gun is a fan of red hot near SAAMI max loads. As for copper plated bullets not being accurate... I'm sure all the competition shooters who pour Rainiers, Barry's, and X-Tremes through there targets would disagree. My guess is too many people are trying to load them to jacketed bullet loading tables because plated bullet info doesn't see much print yet in any loading tables. I have been fine with keeping them at lead bullet loading levels and find them to be more accurate than I am capable or tracking.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-17-2010, 06:32 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Liked 40 Times in 5 Posts
Default

I love these "wear the gun out by shooting it" discussions. Let's say you shoot 50,000 rounds and you handload. That's about $.05/powder and $.03/primer x 50,000 = $4,000.00. That's the about the cheapest you could load 50,000 rounds assuming you have the brass and cast your own bullets and doesn't include the lube. If you buy factory ammo, 50,000 rounds at .$40/rnd would cost you $20,000. I'd worry more about being able to afford to shoot it.

I'm still stuck on the 2 tons of wheel weights. That's 116,666 240 gr. bullets.

I think you solved your own problem with your friends 6,000 bullets. I'm of the opinion that if you keep the bullets away from dust, dirt and excessive heat they'll outlast you. Whether he lubes/sizes them or you lube/size them is primarily a cost issue if he's sizing them to the size you need.

The lube/sizing process is time consuming. I don't particularly like doing it, but I do like having free bullets.

I wouldn't really worry about wearing out your gun. With the money in ammo you're talking about, buy another revolver and set it aside just in case.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-17-2010, 11:37 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

The lead was easy. My cousin has managed the local tire shop for years. Every spring and fall people change from summer to winter tires - and then back again next season - and all four wheels have to be re-balanced! Hardest part about getting the lead was packing it home.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-17-2010, 11:57 PM
Hook686's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: California
Posts: 296
Likes: 9
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Default

I have used them in 9mm and .357 magnum. I load the .357 for about 1100 fps and have experienced no problems. I used Berry 158 grain.
__________________
Hook686
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-18-2010, 01:51 PM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 13,015
Likes: 3,285
Liked 3,165 Times in 1,743 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
I was waiting to hear how a plated bullet would be bad for your gun.

Shinatagins I say. Or however you spell that.

How is a thin copper plating that sticks to the bullet moving at slow velocity when loaded to lead bullet speeds going to ruin any gun??? You want to ruin a gun? Shoot overly high velocity, heavy for caliber, and in a light weight frame gun. That kills frames which kills guns. In .38/.357 shy away from a steady diet of beyond 158 grain, in .44 shy away from beyond 240 grain. And no gun is a fan of red hot near SAAMI max loads. As for copper plated bullets not being accurate... I'm sure all the competition shooters who pour Rainiers, Barry's, and X-Tremes through there targets would disagree. My guess is too many people are trying to load them to jacketed bullet loading tables because plated bullet info doesn't see much print yet in any loading tables. I have been fine with keeping them at lead bullet loading levels and find them to be more accurate than I am capable or tracking.
I believe it is Shenanigans but that's more of a playful trick or questionable act.

I think it is more BS

It's a conspiracy to destroy all the guns in the world.

Of course if you use factory ammo with FMJ bullets your guns will wear out twice as fast.
__________________
Quotable Quote, HUH?
NRA-RSO
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-18-2010, 01:53 PM
Andy Griffith's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northeast Georgia
Posts: 4,845
Likes: 62
Liked 429 Times in 221 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rburg View Post
like a M10 shooting 158 grain or 148 wadcutters has a life expectancy of maybe 100,000 round, maybe 200,000.
I've got @ 35K through a 10-5 and has no noticeable wear on the finish- no +P though, so I figure those numbers could be doubled if no +P used.
__________________
Lost it all in a boat accident
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-18-2010, 02:56 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 2,143
Likes: 265
Liked 805 Times in 285 Posts
Default

I came up with a "plinking" load for my 44 Blackhawk revolvers that doesn't bash my middle finger knuckle quite so hard (XR-3 grip frame) and it uses a Berry's 240g plated FP. Dang, now I'm worried I might wear out the gun (LOL).

What works for me, and doesn't seem to suffer from bullet setback or bullets moving forward under recoil, is to seat them deep enough that I crimp over just the beginning of the point's tapered shoulder. 9.2g of H. Universal gives me just shy of 1000 fps in a 4-5/8" barrel and a bit over 1000 in a 6-1/2" barreled Ruger. No damage to either gun and both were made in the late 1950s.

I'd think S&Ws would hold up at least as well to the punishing effects of those nasty plated bullets. (smiley face goes here)

Dave
__________________
RSVN '69-'71
PCSD (Ret)
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-18-2010, 04:03 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,902
Likes: 0
Liked 177 Times in 116 Posts
Default

I once loaded some 300 gr. plated bullets for a friend's Dan Wesson .445 Supermag. These bullets didn't even have a crimping groove and they were loaded near maximum velocity. We never had any issues to report. I think it's always better to have a crimping groove but with plated bullets you still have to be careful so you don't cut through the plating with the roll crimp. But if I am going to pay for bullets I'd buy cast.

Dave Sinko
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-18-2010, 08:03 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Carbondale, IL 62902-7720
Posts: 34
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

You might give "The Bullet Barn", 4561 Sinclair Bay Road, Garden Bay, B.C., Von 1s1, Canada, 604-883-0637 a look on their web site or give them a call when you get the time. They have quite an extensive line of cast bullets.

Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1911, 357 magnum, 45acp, 629, commercial, crimp, dan wesson, hornady, k frame, m629, model 10, model 625, primer, ruger, sig arms, universal

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Reloading Thread, Will plated bullets damage my gun? in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; Is there any reason why I should not use plated bullets in my S&W 629? I canít buy good quality ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
plated bullets dirtyted Reloading 9 02-09-2012 11:53 PM
HSM Plated Bullets Fredo Batali Reloading 2 01-31-2011 02:44 PM
Plated Bullets Bullseye Smith Reloading 9 01-14-2011 10:19 AM
help with plated bullets; scooter-2 Reloading 8 12-29-2010 10:19 PM
.45 ACP w/plated bullets fstdraw Reloading 15 08-15-2010 08:31 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:08 PM.


© S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2013
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)