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Old 05-24-2018, 12:22 AM
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Default Magnum velocity coated lead bullet question

I've been reloading about a year, but am still figuring this out.

I need some advice.

I want to load some Hi-tek coated .44 180gr LRNFP up to moderate magnum velocities to mirror my defensive load. Because they are coated, I'm not worried about leading. The issue is you're supposed to use lead data with coated bullets and most modern reloading guides cut off reloading data for lead bullets at around 1100 fps, I'm assuming because they are worried about leading at higher velocities.

So, for example, my Hornady 9th says:

180gr JHP XTP - max loading is 11.8gr Universal @ 1400fps
180gr LSWC Cowboy - max is 8.7gr Universal @ 1100 fps

My notion is to use 9.5gr of Universal under a hi-tek coated 180gr LRNFP to approximate a 10gr load under a 180gr JHP XTP. I know the difference between lead and jacketed loads isn't huge, but the fact that I'm starting with a load 0.8gr above 'max' makes me nervous. I figure I'll look for leading to be sure the coating works as advertised, but otherwise I should be ok.

Does this make sense?

If I was so inclined, could I take the coated bullet up to 11.8gr but I'd just have to watch closely for leading?
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:42 AM
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I'd start a little below the listed max and work my way up .2gr at a time until I got the velocity I was looking for. All the data I have seen shows lead to be a little faster and pressures to be a little lower than jacketed or plated for the same powder charge. Coated seems to fall in between bare lead and jacketed.

I believe that is ample evidence that the copper of jacketed/plated bullets creates more friction in the barrel than lead, and coated is in between jacketed and lead. All other things being equal, the pressure with the same bullet and powder charge would logically correlate to the amount of friction that creates resistance to the bullet moving down the barrel.

So as long as you don't load the coated bullets with more powder than you would for a comparable weight and shape jacketed bullet you're going to be OK.

But I'd still start low and work up. That's just a good solid reloading principle.

Last edited by BC38; 05-24-2018 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:42 AM
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That issue is common among lead load data for magnum pistol rounds or rifle rounds. It's hard to know exactly why the reloading manuals stop where they do, and so far short of the pressure limits for the cartridges. I'm not sure I'd go all the way up to 11.8, but surely 9.5 should be fine.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:46 AM
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I'm guessing those Cowboy bullets have a low BHN but go ahead & work up by .3gr or .4gr until you hit the max. or start getting leading. Some coated bullets are better than others.

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Old 05-24-2018, 07:28 AM
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The lead bullet data in bullet manufacturers manuals is for swaged (soft) bullets.Pick up a copy of Lymans for cast bullets
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:39 AM
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Default I push coated bullets hard.....

In some loads I push coated bullets as hard as they will go. The Hy tec coating does a great job.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:59 AM
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Hi-Tek coated can go well above magnum revolver velocity. There are numerous shooters using Hi-Tek bullets in rifles at 2700fps+ with no problem. As long as you take the extra care to flare, seat & crimp without damaging the coating... pressure will be your limiting factor before leading is.
I would start test batches 10% below appropriate jacketed data and ladder up in 0.2gr increments. Remember, you can expect speeds to be higher with coated compared to jacketed, so you may not need a charge as heavy as you think. Verify on the chrono and watch for pressure signs.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:01 AM
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Cowboy "Lead" loads are kept from 800 to 1,000fps to keep inside their guide lines, for their matches.
One reason for the low fps data.

Standard lead loads will be faster but will cut off when they reach the barrel leading
area in a lot of loading manuals.

With the Coated bullets, leading is not a problem and medium hot loads are not a problem.
If you have shot full load Jacketed loads in your weapon, a 95%
load with a coated should not be a problem for practice ammo.

If you have a chrony you can check out the fps, if not, I don't think
you will need to load ten grains of powder to get what you are looking for.
As mentioned, 9.5grs should get you into the fps that you might like.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:46 PM
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Get yourself a copy of the Layman Cast Bullet Manual...every load , 357 Magnum included is with Cast Bullets....the best source for load data and cast bullets you ever going to find.
Gary
casting and loading them since 1967
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Old 05-24-2018, 03:09 PM
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The only reason you see lead data at lower vel is manuals like Hornady are using soft swaged bullets. For cast/coated, I have run over 1300fps w/o leading issues, over 1500fps in the 45-70, but it is a low pressure round. As far as HT & high vel, my exp is it tops out at 1500-1600fps, no gc. Beyond that, accuracy went to hell for me.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:22 PM
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Thanks very much for the help!
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:07 PM
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Leading your barrel is more a matter of how the bullet fits your gun than lead hardness.This is not meant to say that the data published is wrong but rather that data for lead bullets is quite conservative.Bullet manufacturing companies would rather sell you jacketed bullets than having to compete with every Tom,Dick and Harry casting bullets in their garage and selling them to their shooting friends.Besides,they hate the bad publicity when a guy goes:boughtXZC lead bullet and loaded them and they were all over the place but on the target.
I've pushed lead bullets in rifle rounds way over the velocity of any Magnum revolver without any leading problem.
So,in my book,your approach is a sound one.As usual,keep playing the game safe and have fun.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:22 PM
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dr. mordo, just to give you and idea of what the Hi Tek coated bullets can stand, I had loaded up some hot loads of the MBC 140 grain zinger bullets and out of one of my model 27's it was running in the 1400-1500 ft/sec range and out of my 20" barreled Rossi 92 it was at around 1900 ft/sec with no leading showing in either. I can't give you more exact numbers or what powder I used as the data is on my old phone I retired about 6 months ago and is at the house 800 miles away from me right now. But those are approximate numbers off the top of my head.
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:26 PM
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I have loaded up commercial hi-tek, from SNS, Missouri, Bayou, ect, ...and my own shake-n-bake powder coated to magnum velocities using H110/w296 and 2400 without leading.



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Old 07-23-2018, 04:32 AM
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You'll probably find that 180gr bullet/9.5gr of universal clays combo a bit boring. A couple of years ago I was making/testing home swaged jacketed bullets trying to get the huge hp to stay intact. Took 4 or 5 try's with different alloys. Was testing velocities/inpacts @ 25yds that would simulate/duplicate 75yd to 100yd hits with full house loads. I was using 9.5gr of univeral clays pushing a 265gr jacketed bullet for those tests.


Most powder mfg's are behind the times & as usual reloaders are at the front of the learning curve with any new products that are out there. It's good that you have bullets that are close to the same weight. It's all about case volume. Take your known data/xtp bullet and find out where the base of that xtp bullet sits in the case. If you can, seat the cast bullet so it's base is at the same depth as the xtp bullet. If the cast bullets base is deeper, you have less case volume/more pressure for the same load. If the cast bullets base doesn't sit as deep as the xtp's bullets base, you'll have less pressure for the same load/more case volume.


The only way you'll get leading with a coated bullet is if you scrap the coating off while seating the bullet in the case. Earlier this year I playing around with cast bullets in a 308w. I tested lead vs coated bullets in head to head testing. The cast bullet I did the tests with.


2600fps and change with the coated bullet pictured above.


Later I tested the same coated bullet with 2700fps loads. A picture of the bbl of the 308w/bore scope.


As you can see I started getting black streaks in the bbl @ 2700fps. Bore-tech eliminator took those streaks out. Just got done doing some testing with 158gr cast/coated bullets in 357 cases using mp-300, H110 & 2400 powders. I tested full house loads/same loads of each powder in 2 1/2", 4", 6", 8" & 10" bbl'd firearms. The 2 1/2" bbl did 1200fps and the same load did 1600fps+ in the 10" bbl. No leading/streaking/nothing but a little powder residue that 1 wet patch of hoppe's #9 and 1 dry patch took care of.

500+ rounds down the tube in a 9mm with cast/coated bullets & a 25,000+psi/1100fps load.


Again 1 wet patch of hoppe's #9 and 1 dry patch to clean that 500+ round bbl. No scrubbing/brushes/nada, just patches.


Find the seating depth of both of your bullets and adjust your loads to the case volumes of the bullets.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:09 PM
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hit some of the powder companies online manuals, they are starting to show coated bullet Data...
FYI, I have a very low opinion of Universal when trying to get close to max charges it gets real spikey and you start getting big swings in velocity,,, which to me says too much pressure.
So far I am loving the new BE86 for coated bullets in 45 ,and 357,, a bit faster than Power Pistol without the booming muzzle flash, a bit slower than Unique.
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:46 PM
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+1 on BE-86 being a good new powder.

It is not has good as Unique with light bullets in my 9mm but....
with heavier bullets than 130gr......... it can take more powder in the case
than Unique bulky powder and get higher fps.

38 &357 is a toss up with fps and accuracy going both ways in my revolvers.
Just a heads up.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:15 PM
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I very much appreciate all the advice.

The 9.5gr Universal load has been good but maybe a bit light. That said, I'm shooting it in a 3" 629 with the original style wood grips (smaller than magnas) so I don't want a barn burner 44 MAG load. I'm going to step it up to 10.5gr next time to see how it affects follow up shots. The plan is to figure out the max that I personally can shoot well from my fairly small 44 MAG with concealment grips on it. The way I figure it, while it may not be the max for a 44 MAG load, a 180gr bullet at 1200fps is plenty hot to ruin a bad guy's day.

Sadly, I can't get Alliant powders locally, but on a whim I bought a lb of BE86 when I was home last year, so maybe I'll dig it out and work up some light 44 MAG loads.

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Old 07-29-2018, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qc Pistolero View Post
Leading your barrel is more a matter of how the bullet fits your gun than lead hardness.
I agree with QcPistolero 110%.I've heard for years that for proper accuracy and no leading problems ideally you should slug your barrel, measure throats etc but I never have. I generally try bullets and if they work great, if not find something else. Well, I've spent the last 5-6 Months testing various cast bullets for Hog and Deer Hunting with various .357 Bullets and Powders. Initial testing was with HyTek Coated and as others have stated leading was not a problem, no matter how hard I pushed the Coated Bullets. Then I became intrigued with the quality of GT Cast Bullets and have posted several range reports of my findings. I have 2 M686 that I hunt with. A 8 3/8" and a 7". With the GT Cast which is around Brinell 11, I have pushed the .358 sized bullets over 1200fps out of my 8 3/8" with fantastic accuracy and no hint of leading. With the 7" Barrel, the same bullets will lead the barrel badly with anything over 900-950fps and groups at 50 yards are almost twice the size! Obviously correct sizing on cast makes a huge difference. On a reverse note, with most of the jacketed bullets I've tried being sized to .357 the 7" gun will shoot as well if not better than the 8 3/8". So the obviously conclusion is Size Does Matter!
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