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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Figure since info on plated bullets seams scant. I would start a thread on actual experience with plated bullets.
Create a place for people to post info, links, experiences with loading and using plated bullets.

Disclaimer... Neither I, anyone posting, or G and G and its associates are responsible for the use of information and ideas on this thread.
All information posted on this thread should be taken, not as fact, but as suggestions to be researched through reliable second sources before it is put to use.
You as a reloader are ultimately responsible for double checking information, and doing research, before you load. What may work ok for someone else, under slightly different circumstances, may be disastrous for you. Ok enough said. ;)
Here we go....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
For those loading .38 spcl and wanting to try Berry's .357 (38 special) 148 grain hbwc plated bullets.
Here are a few tips for using Berry's plated 148 hbwc,with Hodgdon Universal , and .38 brass.
Had to extrapolate a lot of other info on similar loads and guesstimate a starting point.Good solid info is just not out there for the Berry's p-hbwc and Hogden.
Wasted a lot of ammo and got a few squibs, and a lot of drifters before I figured out 3 things.
Here are my suggestions...
1. They need to just barely stick out, not flush not a great amount.1.165 to 1.175 oal works best.
2. Crimp them till your test bullet shows some very minor scratches when removed with a kinetic remover.Then you may go a bit tighter. But the best crimp is not far from, if not at the point where the plating scratches.
3. Does no matter if the gun is .38 special, .357, short barrel, long barrel etc.
Forget about the 10% reduction and all the other none confirmed suggestions and theories out there. Start at 2.8 grains Universal and work your way up from there,.2 grain at a time.
We never figured out a max load because accuracy dropped in all cases tested with loads higher then 3.4 grain. Figured we found the sweet spot,somewhere between 2.8 and 3.4 depending on gun, distance etc.
I and a couple friends used up a lot of time and ammo figuring this out, using Berry's 148 grain plated hbwc and Hodgdon.
Figured I would share this to save some one else a lot of time and money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looking to buy plated bullets? Do not know where to start?:confused:
https://www.berrysmfg.com/
http://www.barnesbullets.com/
https://www.xtremebullets.com/
https://www.thebulletworks.net/
https://missouribullet.com/
http://www.rainierballistics.com/
Asked some of my friends 2 questions.What are the best plated bullets? What manufacturers are customer friendly?
Going to leave opinions out of it, at least for now.
Here are links, in no particular order, to the Manufacturers that received honorable mention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A note from Hodgdon'
WHICH DATA DO I USE WHEN MY SPECIFIC BULLET IS NOT LISTED?
Hodgdon Powder Company provides reloading data that covers most bullets available today. However, because there are so many bullet shapes, styles, and construction configurations we cannot create data for every single one. If you cannot find your particular bullet in the reload data there is good news. We provide data in enough variations in most calibers to give you a safe alternative.

Current rifle bullets are constructed with a jacket/lead core or single material (such as all-copper). Bullets with lead cores typically display lower pressures than bullets of all copper or gilding metal structure. As such, we show data for both style bullets in a given weight, as often as possible. For example, should you have a Hornady GMX solid core hunting bullet, but our data for that weight bullet only shows a Speer lead core bullet and a Barnes all copper TSX bullet, use the data for the Barnes bullet. The GMX and TSX bullets being of similar metals and shape, can utilize the same data.

Pistol bullets create the same situation, having even more changes in shape and type. There are lead bullets, copper plated lead bullets, copper-jacketed lead core bullets, and frangible bullets. Frangible bullets are unique such that we always show separate data for them (and recommend not using any other bullet type data).

Lead bullets and copper plated lead bullets yield very similar pressure and velocity results, so when the weights are the same, the same data may be used for each. Jacketed Lead core bullets come in a variety of configurations. Jacketed Hollow points and Jacketed Flat points of the same weight use the same data. Round nosed, lead core, full metal jacketed bullets of the same weight can also use the same data.

In conclusion, bullets with similar shapes and construction materials will utilize the same data. And, above all else, work up your loads by starting with the beginning load and increase charges in small increments, at all times watching for case head pressure signs and stiff extraction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From Berry's on bullet difference.
Question: What is the difference between Plated/Jacketed/Cast bullets?
Berry's Superior Plated bullets begin as a swaged lead core. The plating process works through electrolysis as the lead cores are tumbled in an electrically charged bath containing high-grade copper ingots. The copper clings to the lead and the longer the bullets remain in the bath, the thicker the plating. Our bullets are plated to the correct size and then taken out of the bath.

Jacketed bullets start with a copper cup, which is "drawn up" into the form of a jacket. Lead is then swaged into the jacket.

Cast bullets are made up of lead that has been poured into a bullet mould. These bullets come in various hardness levels depending upon the alloy of the lead. All of our cast bullets are lubed and all have the same hardness (about 20 bhu). We distinguish between Hardcast and Cowboy only in that our Cowboy bullets are often used in Cowboy Action Shooting events.

Comparison:
Jacketed Bullets: Generally are most expensive but can be shot at magnum velocities and require less cleaning than Cast bullets.
Plated Bullets: Not as expensive as Jacketed, cleaner than cast and will not lead your barrel. But you will have to stay away from magnum velocities when loading plated bullets.
Cast Bullets: Usually cost the least, but are very "dirty" and often cannot be used in indoor ranges
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
When you can not find plated bullet recipes, you can, with some caution, use the lead bullet recipes for the same weight and type of bullet.
Some manufacturers have stated that you should cut the minimum powder charge of a lead bullet load by 10% and start from there. Others have stated just start with the minimum lead load.
To heir on the side of caution we went by weight not volume.We found lead data from at least weight of the 2 sources. We then cut the charge of the lesser recipe by 10%( no more than 10% less).
Took a wooden dowel rod a hammer and gun cleaner to the range to knock out squibs, then clean the gun good, before going up to the next charge. Had a few on some of the reduced loads, especially on slow wadcutter loads. But this was safer and less stressful on my gun and me, than the other alternative.
There are a few plated recipes out there. You just have to dig.

Here are websites with load data information,

https://www.hodgdon.com/basic-manual-inquiry.html

http://www.accuratepowder.com/wp-contentuploads/2010/09/WP_LoadSpec_1-23-14.pdf

http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx
 

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just as an FYI the core to the plated stuff is usually much softer than a normal cast bullet is.
where you start losing accuracy is quite often the point your stripping or cutting through the thin copper on the bullet.

here is a good rule of thumb.
powder coated bullets are slicker and need a 4% up change in the powder amount from cast.
plated is not as slick as lead and generally needs a 4% down change to keep everything equal.

in stuff like the 38 special and 45 acp I change nothing when switching from plated to jacketed to cast lead.
in others I just use my cast bullet data if I use [or make] plated bullets.

plating cast bullets at home isn't that hard.
you just need a few electrical items and some copper sulphate.
a plastic shoe box is sufficient to start with, an old coffee maker and a couple more plastic boxes will come in handy as you move along.

if you follow the same fitment guidelines as you would with a cast bullet you can push the plated stuff quite a bit higher than the factory recommended speeds.
like to around 75% jacketed rifle speeds if you do it right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
just as an FYI the core to the plated stuff is usually much softer than a normal cast bullet is.
where you start losing accuracy is quite often the point your stripping or cutting through the thin copper on the bullet.

here is a good rule of thumb.
powder coated bullets are slicker and need a 4% up change in the powder amount from cast.
plated is not as slick as lead and generally needs a 4% down change to keep everything equal.

in stuff like the 38 special and 45 acp I change nothing when switching from plated to jacketed to cast lead.
in others I just use my cast bullet data if I use [or make] plated bullets.

plating cast bullets at home isn't that hard.
you just need a few electrical items and some copper sulphate.
a plastic shoe box is sufficient to start with, an old coffee maker and a couple more plastic boxes will come in handy as you move along.

if you follow the same fitment guidelines as you would with a cast bullet you can push the plated stuff quite a bit higher than the factory recommended speeds.
like to around 75% jacketed rifle speeds if you do it right.
Thanks for your input, It is always welcome and respected,by me.Your 4% down charge actually works out with my real life results. Example... If my friends and I would have started at 4% under minimum using lead data instead of 10% we would have never experienced any squibs on any loads we have tried so far.
If you get the time to create or post a good instructional on plating bullets yourself, I would be greatly interested in this.
 

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You added some good information above.

I treat plated bullets the same as soft cast bullets. The lead under the plating isn't usually very hard, so I use them in lower velocity cartridges, like .38 special and .45 ACP.

I've shot a lot of Berry's bullets and had no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Apparently THERE ARE DIFFERENT THICKNESSES IN THE PLATING OF BERRY'S BULLETS. Velocities need to be considered when loading.
SOME MORE INFO TO BE CONSIDERED FROM THE WEB SIGHT.

Question: How fast can I shoot these bullets?

We guarantee our Standard Pistol Bullets to handle velocities up to 1,250 fps, and up to 1,500 fps for the bullets designated as TP (thick plate).

Our 30-30 bullets can handle velocities up to 1,950 fps.

Our 45-70 bullets can handle velocities up to 1,700 fps.

Our 7.62x39 bullets can handle velocities up to 1,900 fps.

Our 30 Carbine bullets can handle velocities up to 1,750 fps.

Our 500 S&W bullets can handle velocities up to 2,000 fps.

Berry’s cannot guarantee our bullet over the max velocity. You are running the risk of separating the plating from the lead core and possibly fouling your barrel with copper, you can also negatively affect accuracy.
 

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It would be a lot easier to find pretty good plating info on U-tube.
I got so much stuff stacked up in my garage around my shot making and plating equipment right now it ain't funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It would be a lot easier to find pretty good plating info on U-tube.
I got so much stuff stacked up in my garage around my shot making and plating equipment right now it ain't funny.
Well you got me interested any way. Guess I am going to have to do some research.
 

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I have fired far more Rainier plated bullets than any other plated brand. No special reason - just because. Or maybe it was the better price whenever I purchased that type of bullet.
That said, Berrys and Extreme have also worked well.

I use the lead bullet load data to start off with. I find the accuracy falls off before I can get to anything that resembles a heavy load.

One thing I learned early on: It is better to make bullet seating and crimping 2 separate steps. If not, the case cuts into the bullet before crimping is complete. I could probably reduce that a lot by chamfering the case mouth, but it did not eliminate the problem. Plus, I load a lot of pistol rounds and I ain't gonna take the time to chamfer all the cases i use. Seating and crimping in 2 steps takes care of the need for me YMMV.

These days, I shoot mostly lead bullets but the plated have their place. I found they helped a lot when I was using a Ruger GP100 Match Champion in the local action pistol matches. Lead bullets gummed up the cylinder very quickly (gee - I wonder why? ;)) and the plated shot much more cleanly in that application.
 

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I have fired far more Rainier plated bullets than any other plated brand. No special reason - just because. Or maybe it was the better price whenever I purchased that type of bullet.
That said, Berrys and Extreme have also worked well.

I use the lead bullet load data to start off with. I find the accuracy falls off before I can get to anything that resembles a heavy load.

One thing I learned early on: It is better to make bullet seating and crimping 2 separate steps. If not, the case cuts into the bullet before crimping is complete. I could probably reduce that a lot by chamfering the case mouth, but it did not eliminate the problem. Plus, I load a lot of pistol rounds and I ain't gonna take the time to chamfer all the cases i use. Seating and crimping in 2 steps takes care of the need for me YMMV.

These days, I shoot mostly lead bullets but the plated have their place. I found they helped a lot when I was using a Ruger GP100 Match Champion in the local action pistol matches. Lead bullets gummed up the cylinder very quickly (gee - I wonder why? ;)) and the plated shot much more cleanly in that application.
Speaking of seating and crimping in two steps... I run a Lee factory crimp die on every cartridge I load that Lee sells a die for. It really does make a difference. I recommend them.
 

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I have loaded and shot bullets from all the plated bullet mfgrs mentioned above. mostly i seem to buy X-treme bullets. no reason, probably because of price.
in non magnum pistol loads I use the same data as the same weight jacketed bullets. when I use plated or powder coated bullets in rifle loads, its usually for 300 Black Out sub sonic loads going about 1000 fps. . occasionally I will load some plated rifle bullets super sonic but never push them over 2000 fps.
 

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I started loading before the LEE what are we going to do with all these carbide size rings we screwed up die come along,
and i'll be just fine without one until I'm unable to pull a handle.
 

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For those loading .38 spcl and wanting to try Berry's .357 (38 special) 148 grain hbwc plated bullets.
Here are a few tips for using Berry's plated 148 hbwc,with Hodgdon Universal , and .38 brass.
Had to extrapolate a lot of other info on similar loads and guesstimate a starting point.Good solid info is just not out there for the Berry's p-hbwc and Hogden.
Wasted a lot of ammo and got a few squibs, and a lot of drifters before I figured out 3 things.
Here are my suggestions...
1. They need to just barely stick out, not flush not a great amount.1.165 to 1.175 oal works best.
2. Crimp them till your test bullet shows some very minor scratches when removed with a kinetic remover.Then you may go a bit tighter. But the best crimp is not far from, if not at the point where the plating scratches.
3. Does no matter if the gun is .38 special, .357, short barrel, long barrel etc.
Forget about the 10% reduction and all the other none confirmed suggestions and theories out there. Start at 2.8 grains Universal and work your way up from there,.2 grain at a time.
We never figured out a max load because accuracy dropped in all cases tested with loads higher then 3.4 grain. Figured we found the sweet spot,somewhere between 2.8 and 3.4 depending on gun, distance etc.
I and a couple friends used up a lot of time and ammo figuring this out, using Berry's 148 grain plated hbwc and Hodgdon.
Figured I would share this to save some one else a lot of time and money.
Berry's recommended I believe that any recipe is pretty much good foor their copper plated bullets, as long as the velocity is below 1200 fps muzzle. Now you are not going to load up a HBWC anywhere near that velocity in a .38 special. I tried Berry's plated 148 gr. DEWC using my usual lead cast cast recipe, so I suppose I could have loaded them to go a bit faster. But I didn't. I didn't continue to use their plated DEWC's because I do load them so slow that leading is not a big problem if I use regular cast lead bullets. Also I have been playing with powder coated DEWC's. They were cheaper than the Berry's, and I think they would get rid of any lead fouling whatsoever. My Lee Modern Reloading Second Edition does have some copper plated bullet recipes. I will see tomorrow if there are any for 148 grain bullets in .38 special. (And .357 magnum)
 
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