Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

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Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by beeser on Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:10 pm

Which is preferred, copper plate or hard cast lead bullets.  I remember reading that lead bullets are usually chosen because they are cheaper but the X-Treme copper plated bullets that I've been buying are slightly cheaper than their hard cast bullets.  If it makes any difference the plated bullets are flat nosed and the hard cast bullets are SWC.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by DavidR on Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:27 pm

They have been tried many times and the result is always the same, accuracy for them is way less than lead or FMJ's, they are ok for plinking or some of the sports that don't require the best accuracy but there is just no advantage to using them at all in bullseye. I would suggest a good H&G 68 style 185 or 200, or the 185 swaged lead hollow point, magnus bullets has all these at discounted prices to forum members. Of course plenty of other companies sell Lswc bullets too but Magnus is owned by a 2650+ shooter and his bullets have set national records, you can see all of them on his website along with the loading info.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:29 pm

Copper plated rounds never seem to deliver the accuracy.

Stick with lead or jacketed bullets.  Magnus's lead bullets are good--support a fellow bullseye shooter.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by beeser on Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:55 pm

It took a few minutes to figure out what H&G Style 68 meant (Magnus #808 & #809?) but I probably picked up something similar to the Magnus #809 this morning.  See following link.
http://www.xtremebullets.com/45-200gr-SWC-p/x45-200swc-b0500.htm
I would like to load a few more of the plated 185 gr. bullets with the new load of 5.4 gr. of Unique advised by Rob and some of the lead bullets mentioned above.  Sound like a good idea?

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by beeser on Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:57 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:Copper plated rounds never seem to deliver the accuracy.

Stick with lead or jacketed bullets.  Magnus's lead bullets are good--support a fellow bullseye shooter.
I wonder if the X-Treme plating makes a difference.  It's noticeably thicker than normal plating.  I really had to dig into the bullets to uncover the lead.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by DavidR on Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:27 pm

beeser wrote:It took a few minutes to figure out what H&G Style 68 meant (Magnus #808 & #809?) but I probably picked up something similar to the Magnus #809 this morning.  See following link.
http://www.xtremebullets.com/45-200gr-SWC-p/x45-200swc-b0500.htm
I would like to load a few more of the plated 185 gr. bullets with the new load of 5.4 gr. of Unique advised by Rob and some of the lead bullets mentioned above.  Sound like a good idea?

Magnus 802 is his standard hg-68 200. what you bought is a hg-68 type as well so those should do good for you. Sure load the plated, it will make you appreciate the accuracy of the lead 200s all that much more when you shoot them


Last edited by DavidR on Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by dhenry132 on Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:30 pm

Copper Plated will never beat Lead Cast, I prefer my own cast but Magnus is hard to beat.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by beeser on Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:01 pm

I see now, the Magnus #808 is the hard cast version of the #801.  So, after doing some reading about the differences between hard cast and lead bullets wouldn't the former be better?

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:53 pm

His #808 and the #801 are different profiles--different molds.

Hard cast bullets are lead alloy.  Are you asking what the difference between Hard cast lead and swaged lead bullets are?

Cast bullets can sometimes get air pockets in them or "voids" that can make them inaccurate.  Swaged lead bullets are pressed into shape and don't have any voids.

Generally swaged bullets are "better" but shooters wouldn't see the benefit until they are shooting in the high master range--and many high masters still shoot cast bullets--so who cares which is "better".

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by beeser on Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:35 pm

I got messed up on the Magnus numbers.  Regardless, it appears that there are 3 different lead type bullets - lead, lead cast and swagged lead.  I think that's correct.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by Fire Escape on Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:35 am

I think that it would be more correct to say that there are two types of lead bullets (disregarding the plated ones for now), cast and swaged. By necessity of the forming process, swaged bullets are pure or nearly so lead and very soft which allows them to a) be made at all and b) they will expand rather easily under the lighter pressures of target loads and fill/hold the rifling of the barrel well. Cast bullets can vary from very soft to very hard depending upon the alloy used in casting them. The very soft is generally desirable for Bullseye shooting but those will not stand up to higher pressures of high speed and magnum type loads and can leave a mess to be cleaned out of your barrel. The really hard cast bullets are intended to hold their shape as you drive them through and on out of a bear.
All have their uses but selecting the right product for use is the challenge as the descriptions I have used are at the extreme ends of use and some/many products are intended for 'compromises' somewhere within the extremes.
Plated bullets are popular because many indoor ranges no longer want/allow the use of bullets with exposed lead as it can compromise air quality. They MAY also allow you to shoot more without accumulating much lead in your barrel however, if you can match the bullet hardness and lubrication to the speed of your load and your barrel was machined fairly smoothly, lead accumulation should not be a big issue.
FMJ (pistol) bullets appear to be the 'holy grail' for accuracy but they require that you shoot a hotter (more recoil recovery, less aiming time) load. That accuracy is not needed (by some, I need all I can get) to compete well at the shorter distances and cost can be an issue as well so many shoot lead when jacketed bullets are not needed or required. The fmj bullets that I have seen (not a world encompassing sample) all have exposed lead on their base and can be easily determined from plated (while in their not yet loaded state).
Again, as with all I write this is merely my opinion and worth everything that you paid for it. Your experience may (and probably will) vary.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by beeser on Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:02 am

Fire Escape - Any thoughts on the plated X-Treme bullets?  They supposedly have a thicker copper plating than most others.  I tried to scratch away the copper plating on a few of them and it was difficult to get through to the lead.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by BE Mike on Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:40 am

My only experience was many years ago with Rainier copper plated bullets. They weren't accurate. I've heard that the Berry's plated bullets are better. All that being said, I'd stick with lead bullets, either cast or swaged and/or fmj like Nosler or Zero. I understand in this day of scarce reloading supplies you might have to take what you can get.

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Plated VS Jacket bullet Photos

Post by 243winxb on Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:05 am

Some great photos here   http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=494465  More on the 2nd page.  Or see the photos at     www.photobucket.com/joe1944usa   (Plated vs Jacketed)

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by DavidR on Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:52 pm

if you have some aversion to lead bullets, then step up to the best most accurate bullets available , the top grade full metal jacket hollow points , the Nosler 185 match hollow point or the Zero 185 hollow point. these are what many top level shooters shoot, some for the whole match while others just at 50 yards and do 25 yards with lead. The truth is these are the best, but the right lead bullet can equal there accuracy but most times not there consistency bullet to bullet. Lead bullets will range in weight, 10 of the same 200's might weigh several tenths less or more that others this will effect point of impact and group size. Now the real anal lead shooters weigh all there 50 yard bullets into ones that weigh within one or two tenths the same. As to plated bullets no matter who makes them they are just not as accurate as lead, so that makes them the bottom of the list as what to shoot if accuracy is your goal.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by jerry lehrer on Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:45 pm

I have found that plated bullets are an exercise in futility.  Awful groups.

It use to be that lead bullets, the harder the better, was recommended.. Pure linotype was the alloy of choice.

BUT- Swaged pure lead bullets are far more consistant and do not wear the rifleing . I have
had great luck with the Speer 200gr SWC and the Zero 185gr HP.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by noylj on Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:17 pm

For .45 and 200gn bullets, my preferences, after my own cast bullets are:
Zero 200gn swaged lead SWC and MasterCastBullets.com cast "soft" SWC. I haven't tried them all, but those have been excellent.
I find that the hard alloys (18-22 BHN) are lucky if they are as accurate as the "soft" alloy (still harder than my cast bullets)

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:41 am

What is the cause/reason that plated bullets are so inaccurate?

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by Wobbley on Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:06 pm

The inconsistencies in the plating process used.  Bullets are tumble plated.  Tumble plating is a start-stop process and is inconsistent in thick applications.  Also, since the plating tends to be thin compared to a jacket the jackets can tear in the rifling.  The current edition of Handloader magazine has an article on plated bullets and the writer was frustrated with the comparative difficulty in getting them to shoot. Some bullets had a very distinct velocity sweet spot.  Under it or over it they wouldn't shoot. Even then they weren't particularly accurate.  

Best to just shoot them where the range insists like some indoor ranges.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:24 pm

No interest in shooting them, but the question was posed as to "why" they don't work and I don't have the knowledge to answer and don't want to guess.

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

Post by Snobal on Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:16 pm

I use the plated bullets for IDPA matches where accuracy requirements are minimal.

For Bullseye Matches, I get far better groups with my home-cast bullets.

I'd gladly pay the price for plated bullets (rather than cast, sort, size/lube, etc.) --- But I rather enjoy doing well in our Bullseye Matches, and the plated bullets will not hold acceptable groups at the ranges we shoot.

JMHO

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Re: Copper plated or hard cast lead bullets?

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