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toad67toad67 Member Posts: 12,991 ✭✭✭✭
What determines when a person should reload cast or jacketed bullets when pistol reloading for general target practice?


  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 1,160 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Cost. Why shoot expensive bullets into the dirt when less expensive ones will accomplish the same thing.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,643 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I shoot 5-8,000 rounds of centerfire pistol a year. on the high side 250-300 are jacketed bullets, the remainder are home cast.

    I also shoot over 1,000 rounds of cast rifle bullets too. They are fun, cheap and very accurate with the right loads.

    Factory jacketed bullets are too expensive to drive into the dirt and still get a lot of trigger time.
  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 12,991 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks guys. I guess I was thinking more into lead vs. copper for cleaning. Ha, maybe I should have mentioned it though....dumb *, doh!
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,643 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You can drive cast bullets up to about 2,000 FPS without leading. At any attainable pistol MV's you can clean it every year or so if the bullets are cast and sized correctly. [;)][:D]
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    Additionally, there are hunters that wouldn't consider going hunting with a jacketed bullet, sticking doggedly to "hard cast Keith types" in order to get dependable penetration and 0 expansion.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    I love both pure lead as well as hard cast bullets for hunting the pure lead on lightly built animals whitetail and smaller do great and do expand and don't break apart. I would not use them on dangerous game.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,250 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some firearms have oversize bores and will not shoot factory ammo accurately. Lead bullets live in the 2k vs. jacketed in the 3k world. When I bought my 7mm Rem Mag I never intended to shoot cast bullets in it, after having it 20 years I obtained 2 differ molds for it. I used them for fire forming new brass so far during the last 20 years. This year will be 40 years with that rifle.
  • noyljnoylj Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    When should you reload one or the other? All up to you--there is no should.
    Lead: you need to know your barrel's groove diameter and ensure that bullets are at least 0.001" larger in diameter than the actual groove diameter (and 0.002" is often better). You don't need hard cast--I shot 10-13 BHN in everything from .45Auto to full power .44 Mag (and in a 7mm TCU with gas checks).
    Jacketed is "easier." That ease comes at greater cost.
    Plated have been worthless for me, but they are an option.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    A properly fit, properly lubed cast bullet doesn't lead.

    All jacketed bullets cause copper fouling.

    Lead bullets are cheaper.


    About the only thing I use jacketed in anymore are 168 gr BTHP for match grade 30-06 loads and for .223 loads. You CAN load a .223 with cast lead, but I've never bothered, as those are still fairly cheap in jacketed offerings.
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by jonk
    A properly fit, properly lubed cast bullet doesn't lead.


    I've found that even real soft bullets won't lead, as long as the fit is correct. Being 'hard cast' does absolutely nothing to prevent leading, it's all in other factors.
  • bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by toad67
    What determines when a person should reload cast or jacketed bullets when pistol reloading for general target practice?

    As a newer reloader (compared to some on this forum who actually smelted their own lead from raw ore in their early days of reloading)

    There are two main reasons for using cast v jacketed bullets:

    Lets throw plated into the "cast" camp. (because it is more accurately placed there when researching load data)

    If it is the only thing that is available to you... there is no question. Buy whatever is available, reload, and be happy.

    If there is a choice, I'd buy jacketed bullets. They are easier to crimp without deformation, generally more consistent in shape and size. And also available in other configurations you might not find in cast or plated bullets. ( hollow point etc.)

    At some point, the cost/round issue MIGHT appear. For me, it's about being sure I can supply any handgun or rifle I own from components. And its an amazing intellectual exercise to reload consistently. I'm not even at the level of talking to folk about an optimal round for a particular firearm.

    You will generally pay a bit more for jacketed bullets, but they require less powder (in my experience) than plated or cast bullets for the same result. And also a bit less prep time.

    If you have proper brushes and solvents, lead or copper fouling is easily resolved with little to no effort. If you're not standing on the line at Camp Perry with Karl, it shouldn't be an issue.
    Too much fouling?, clean it up.

    Now, should you stray from general target practice (which I interpret to be defensive shooting from a 7 yd distance), and start the 50 yd slow fire competition, all my advice above goes out the window...
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