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Texan by Birth • Grace
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the pros and cons to shooting Copper Plated vs FMJ or TMJ ammo ?

The research I have done has given me no clear definitive guidelines or information on the subject.

Have seen reloads of all 3 and the Copper Plated ones are always less expensive. I know there must be reasons for that. From what I have gathered the process for making the Copper Plated cartridge is less expensive but does that mean a lesser quality product to stay away from.

Please excuse me if my ignorance is hanging out here. Just looking for the least expensive everyday range ammo. I like to hear the guns go bang way too much and am always looking for good quality purchasing choices so I see less $$$$$ signs flying out the end of the barrel as the projectiles fly down range.

Thanks in advance for your knowledgable responses and suggestions.
 

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The copper plating is thin. Hot loads are not recommended. For instance, Berry's "Preferred Plated Bullets" .38 Cal (.357) 158gr Round Nose #57945 states "Max Velocity: 1250 fps." Fine for .38 Special, but not a hot load in .357 Magnum
 

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Reload plated bullets to lead cast specs.

Just makes for a cleaner bore. maybe, less leading.,



Jim
 

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Tommycourt
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I reload Berry's plated bullets for my Ruger SR1911 commander all the time and that's all I use. (.45 cal). They are a soft plated bullet but do a fine job however I do NOT load any hot loads into my cartridges. I usually load in the middle of the load data scale. I get almost the same recoil as a factory round and the accuracy for a pistol is pretty standard regardless of the powder I use. Bullseye, W-231, Power Pistol and Tite Group. The plating is soft so you have to do a very light crimp. As far as any rifle goes, I am afraid I am not much help. The one thing about a lead round, make sure that they are correctly measured after they are cast.

Tommy
 

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The copper plating is thin. Hot loads are not recommended. For instance, Berry's "Preferred Plated Bullets" .38 Cal (.357) 158gr Round Nose #57945 states "Max Velocity: 1250 fps." Fine for .38 Special, but not a hot load in .357 Magnum

This /\/\/\. And you may want to look into powder coated and\or polymer coated bullets. Pros and cons are out there for all of them. I don't mind shooting lead or powder coated at plates and paper, but off the practice range I use commercially manufactured jacketed bullets for the most part.
 

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Patriot
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The only problem I have had with plated bullets was with Federal factory .380 so called FMJ ammo in the Beretta M 84 I had at the time.
That ammo uses plated bullets even though they call it FMJ. I would call it total metal case, but I guess that's tomato or twomotto.
Anyway, that gun had a steep feed ramp and would push the bullet into the case just enough to bounce the cartridge back and cause a jam.
My handloaded plated bullets worked every time. (So did every other type of ammo I used in that gun).

Plated bullets rely on case tension to hold the bullet in place. Must be the Fed ammo didn't have enough to hold it for that gun.
Federal was happy to buy back the left over .380 ammo I had on hand, they also paid shipping. So, no risk in buying Federal. :)

FYI, Fed 9mm FMJ (brown box) also uses plated bullets but costs about the same as Win FMJ white box that has real metal jackets.(Both 115gr)
 

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Tommycourt
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FYI, Fed 9mm FMJ (brown box) also uses plated bullets but costs about the same as Win FMJ white box that has real metal jackets.(Both 115gr) __________________

Be careful when buying Winchester white box in .45 caliber. Some of the white boxes of Winchester white has the small primers in them. I would open the box and check before I purchased them if you are into reloading. If you look real close at the primers (I have seen enough of them) then you can tell for sure if they are small primers. They usually sell for $19.95 per box at Wal-Mart.

Tommy
 

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Personally, I have handloaded and fired 10's of 1,000's of rounds loaded with Berry Manufacturing's copper-plated pistol bullets. As already mentioned: Copper-plated bullets (also known as, 'copper-washed') have a coating on them that is a lot thinner than actual copper-jacketed bullets. If, however, all you're doing is, 'punching paper' then copper-washed bullets should be more than adequate.

I really like Berry's Bullets. The lead cores are fairly hard; and, while these bullets do tend to behave like hard-cast lead, I found that my barrels stayed cleaner longer; and I had to be less concerned about loading lead bullets a little bit more on the hot side. Generally speaking, you want to load at or below 1,000 FPS; and, with copper-plated bullets make sure that you use a bullet with a fully plated base. (Then, whenever you fire them off indoors, you won't have to worry about breathing-in too much lead.)
 
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