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 Competition Shooting and Reloading
 Berry's v. Rainier v. Montana Gold v. ???
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gknaka2
Junior Member

USA
441 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  6:32:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi gang. Being on a budget, I really can't afford the name brand bullets (speer, hornady, etc). Wanted everyone's opinion on the best "non-name brand" ammo.

Want to hear from folks that don't shoot the cast stuff, just the plated or jacketed stuff. I would shoot cast and exposed lead but can't due to range restrictions.

For reference I am shooting .38 special and .380, but general comments about quality and overall shootability are welcome before I go out and spend some money on my next batch.

Edited by - gknaka2 on 10/05/2010 6:16:59 PM

Rocky Raab
Advanced Member

USA
4451 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  6:48:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I completed an article for Handloader about Berry's and Rainier bullets. It will be published, but I can't guess when.

A short synopsis is that both brands work very well, but it is better to pick one or the other because of slight diameter differences that affect seating and crimping. It is simplest and maybe best to crimp just past the ogive break rather than trying to crimp into the copper shank. I tested bullets in 9mm Makarov (very close to the .380), .38 Special, .41 Special and .44 Special. I would have done the .45 Colt but had a mixup in my order.

Plated bullets are great for non-magnum loads where you don't need expansion. Keep them below 1,000 fps or so, crimp them as described and you'll be a happy shooter.
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bpost
Moderator

USA
29486 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  6:54:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have had accuracy inconsistencies with plated bullets, so now it is either jacketed or cast.

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perry shooter
Advanced Member

14067 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  7:40:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Plated bullets SUCK never seen anyone that could get as good groups as plane cast or even soft swaged bullets. The key to lead bullets are threefold #1 correct size .005 over bore size. #2 correct lube soft not hard lube and #3 a good quality smooth bore. I get 100,000 rounds through my 45ACP barrels and only replace because the external lock up shows wear. not bore condition or wear.

EDIT Hello RICHBUG maybe I got my decimal point in the wrong place what I should have stated was 1/2 thousand over groove diameter.The main thing you need is a bullet that will seal to the bore so you don't get any gas cutting IMHO small bullets are what causes most leading.gknaya2 are you saying your range will allow plated bullets but nor lead.? some plated bullets are so thinly plated you can almost scratch it down to the lead unless your range has a very soft backstop the plated bullet will when hitting steel backstop expose as much lead as plain lead bullet even full metal jacket bullets most times will shed the jacket from the center lead part.Can you shoot 22 rimfire at your range? Damn I am glad I am an old F**T all these range rules are going too far. I have been shooting and loading lead bullets and shooting them in indoor ranges since 1965. My lead levels are well BELOW any danger zone.

Edited by - perry shooter on 10/05/2010 09:39:21 AM
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ksred
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  7:44:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have used Montana Gold's 55 grain 223's. I cannot tell much difference accuracy wise compared to Hornady's 55 grain fmj in a 16" ar. I have seen many mention their handgun bullets, and given them good reviews.
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bpost
Moderator

USA
29486 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  8:12:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ksred

I have used Montana Gold's 55 grain 223's. I cannot tell much difference accuracy wise compared to Hornady's 55 grain fmj in a 16" ar. I have seen many mention their handgun bullets, and given them good reviews.



The difference is between a jacketed bullet, such as you use, and the plated bullet, which is a different animal. A plated bullet is a soft swaged lead bullet with a very think wash coating of copper over it. A FMJ or other jacketed bullet's skin is much thicker.

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gknaka2
Junior Member

USA
441 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  8:15:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Believe me, if my range allowed it, I would be shooting only swaged and cast bullets.

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gcs10
Starting Member

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  11:33:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been using plated bullets for practice indoors and cast bullets for outdoor practice and matches. The plated are not quite as accurate as the cast but still give good enough accuracy for indoor practice sessions. I have used plated bullets from Ranier and from X-treme bullets. There are minor differences between each so I have to adjust my dies slightly but have not adjusted my powder charge. I agree with Rocky; pick one brand and stick with it.

Cort

Cort
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richbug
Advanced Member

3544 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  08:36:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by perry shooter

Plated bullets SUCK never seen anyone that could get as good groups as plane cast or even soft swaged bullets. The key to lead bullets are threefold #1 correct size .005 over bore size. #2 correct lube soft not hard lube and #3 a good quality smooth bore. I get 100,000 rounds through my 45ACP barrels and only replace because the external lock up shows wear. not bore condition or wear.




5 thou over bore??? You mean 5 thou over groove? I can't image any accurate 1911 accepting a boolit that big.

Assuming you mean groove, that would be a .456". Darn big boolit for a 1911.

I shoot .001 (.002 with Micro groove or other shallow patterns)over groove with lead.

Berry's and Ranier are fine for plinking purposes, or casual target shooting. More than adequate for 90% of shooters. If you want to wring out the last bit of accuracy you will need something better.
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craig 25-06
New Member

79 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  10:16:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Try these,
http://powerbondbullets.com/
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Rocky Raab
Advanced Member

USA
4451 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  10:34:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I toured the Berrys plant. Their bullets use a core that's cast, not swaged. They use an alloy that's "about like wheelweights" (which is all they'd tell me). And their plating is much thicker than a mere wash of copper. In fact, they tailor the plating thickness to the round the bullet is intended for. They'll soon be offering a line of "Thick Plate" bullets that are even thicker.

In my shooting tests, my groups kept getting smaller as I shot. It might be that the bore needs to become "conditioned" to the plated jacket, much as rimfires do with a switch of ammo type.
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leeblackman
Advanced Member

5534 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  2:54:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've had alot of luck with Berry's plated bullets in my Glock. 115gr 9mm RN with 4.4gr of N320, very light to no crimp, and I'm punching groups better than anything I've ever shot from a factory box.


I shoot anywhere form 150 to 300 rounds any given weekend. If I get any practice during the week then its alot more. Needless to say I'm in the same boat.

Depending how many your order and what your want this is where I find the cheapest deals for whatever quantity I can afford when I order.

Order berrys from Grafs.com
Montana Gold from montana gold
Delta Precision from delta precision

I order my primers and powder from grafs when I can't get them from a fellow competitive shooter who orders bulk. Remember your fellow shooter is your friend. Getting together and ordering bulk is the way to go. You split the hazmat fee, and get a cheaper price.
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gregoryhart1
Junior Member

408 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  6:05:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you're on a budget you really can't beat cast bullets. I load .38, .357, and .380 and I use cast in all of them. 3.5 gr of Bullseye underneath 158 gr SWC is an affordable, accurate .38 round.
For the .380 I use 2.8 gr of Accurate #2 behind 100 gr cast truncated cone, although Bullseye will certainly work.
Some autos might have trouble with the TC profile though, I'd recommend RN or RNFP.
GH1

I owe my life to an organ donor
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leeblackman
Advanced Member

5534 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2010 :  1:30:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Montana Gold .357cal Jacketed HP 125gr bullet $124 per 1000 shipped.

Berrys MFG Plated .358cal 125gr FN Bullet $83.59 per 1000 shipped.

Bayou Bullets offers a unique plated solution. They have a proprietery green plated lead cast bullet. You can get a 158gr SWC for $75 per 1000 + shipping.

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Odawgp
Advanced Member

USA
4986 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2010 :  1:48:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why not try zero? they are jacketed and not much more than berry's plated

http://shootersconnectionstore.com/Bullets-C525.aspx

2000 for 160 delivered!!!

for $12 more you can have hollow points

you have to buy in bulk if you want to save money









Gunnison Sportsmens Association
"Live Free or Die"
USPSA #A68337
Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas
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gknaka2
Junior Member

USA
441 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2010 :  8:41:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Those Zero bullets look mean...might give em a try
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Odawgp
Advanced Member

USA
4986 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2010 :  11:18:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gknaka2

Those Zero bullets look mean...might give em a try



they are the best price for jacketed I have found

I shoot a glock in USPSA and for that kind of shooting they are great and cost only about two pennies more per bullet than the cheapest cast bullet I can find (142 per 2000 @ missouri hard cast)









Gunnison Sportsmens Association
"Live Free or Die"
USPSA #A68337
Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas

Edited by - Odawgp on 10/08/2010 11:20:28 AM
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gknaka2
Junior Member

USA
441 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2010 :  4:27:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
EDIT Hello RICHBUG maybe I got my decimal point in the wrong place what I should have stated was 1/2 thousand over groove diameter.The main thing you need is a bullet that will seal to the bore so you don't get any gas cutting IMHO small bullets are what causes most leading.gknaya2 are you saying your range will allow plated bullets but nor lead.? some plated bullets are so thinly plated you can almost scratch it down to the lead unless your range has a very soft backstop the plated bullet will when hitting steel backstop expose as much lead as plain lead bullet even full metal jacket bullets most times will shed the jacket from the center lead part.Can you shoot 22 rimfire at your range? Damn I am glad I am an old F**T all these range rules are going too far. I have been shooting and loading lead bullets and shooting them in indoor ranges since 1965. My lead levels are well BELOW any danger zone.
[/quote]

Yep. They allow plated but not lead. You wanna hear something even stupider?

They allow 12 gauge slugs...LOL...go figure.
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