180/185 grain bullet shape preference

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180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by dstates on 8/18/2014, 7:51 am

I'm getting ready to order my first short line specific bullets.  So far I've only loaded 200 grain LSWC's, but I want to try a smaller bullet for the short line and then for indoor this winter.

I'm looking at a couple different options, one is a 185 grain that has a shorter nose than the 200 grain or a 180 grain that looks to have the same nose as the 200 grain.  I'm assuming it would be better for me (fewer adjustments on the press) if I go with the 180 that has the same nose as my 200 grain bullet.  However, I don't know if there is a performance difference between the two.  Any thoughts?  (Also, I know I could seat the bullets by the shoulder, I just haven't gotten around to getting the insert for the die yet).
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Re: 180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by rvlvrlvr on 8/18/2014, 11:22 am

I use Missouri Bullet Co's "Bullseye #1" (200gr long-nose) and "Bullseye #2" (185gr long-nose) bullets in my long-line and short-line loads, respectively. With my loads (4.5gr W231 in both), I seat to the same OAL and find I don't need to make any sight adjustments between long- and short- lines with my revolver. With my 1911 wadgun, I need to make 4-clicks down-elevation adjustment for the short-line on my slide-mounted UltraDot. The powder in the 200gr loads burns a little more completely that that of the 185gr loads, but shots are on-call.

I don't know about the 185gr short-nose bullets, but I think the idea was to give the same case volume as the 200gr long-nose bullets. In my revolvers, I'd expect those bullets to hit a little lower than the 185gr long-nose bullets (which have slightly larger case volume than the 200gr long-nose bullets seated to the same OAL) -- higher pressures = faster bullets = shorter time in the barrel = exiting the barrel sooner = barrel hasn't risen as much in recoil = lower POI on the target. It'd probably punch a cleaner hole for a given powder charge, too.
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Re: 180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by SteveT on 8/18/2014, 12:15 pm

I see no difference in POI when switching between 185 & 200 gr bullets, no matter the distance. I don't switch in the middle of a match, but I've tested them back to back at 25 & 50 yards and if there is a difference it is tiny and the come-up is the same (4 clicks) at 50 yards. This was done with dot sights. I use the same load for both bullets, 4.2gr WST and a SWC seater so the shoulder is the same height with both.

FWIW, If there is a better bullet than the Zero 185gr HPSWC I haven't found it. They are equivalent to the old Star's in my testing. The hollow point makes the shape and nose the same as the 200gr SWC.

Good luck.

P.S. Get the SWC seater. It will be more consistent.
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Re: 180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by DavidR on 8/18/2014, 12:34 pm

the hg68 style is very accurate and is what the pic of the 180 gr is, I would buy that but in a 185, many sell them. you would make no setting changes to your press if your seating off the shoulder.
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Re: 180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by dstates on 8/18/2014, 1:20 pm

David R,

Why buy the 185 hg68 vs. 180 hg68?  Is it more available in case you need to get some quickly?

Doug

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Re: 180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by Rob Kovach on 8/18/2014, 1:41 pm

Both of those bullets shoot well at the short line or indoors.

Don't be so hesitant to adjust your dies.  Mastery of those adjustments will be in your favor.  If you don't get the seating depth deep enough, you can adjust and seat it again (unless you crimp in the same step--and if that's the case, just save that round to be the first shot in sustained fire so you don't have to worry about a cycling problem)

At the short line or indoors, a high shooter at our club says "for .45acp on the short line you can shoot lubed rocks and still clean your target".

That was his clever way of saying pretty much any bullet it going to be accurate enough to clean the targets.

My 98 slowfire was on a 50ft indoor target using 200gr hg68s over 3.8gr Bullseye--that's my preference.
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Re: 180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by rvlvrlvr on 8/18/2014, 1:42 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:At the short line or indoors, a high shooter at our club says "for .45acp on the short line you can shoot lubed rocks and still clean your target".

A friend of mine (in Maryland) says the same thing, heh.
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Re: 180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by DavidR on 8/18/2014, 5:17 pm

dstates wrote:David R,

Why buy the 185 hg68 vs. 180 hg68?  Is it more available in case you need to get some quickly?

Doug

That style has way more available in the standard 185, but those would be fine too.
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Re: 180/185 grain bullet shape preference

Post by noylj on 8/19/2014, 12:13 pm

My experience seems to not match others but:
I have not found the "button nose" bullets to be as accurate in my guns as the H&G #68 clones and I have not found any 185gn or lighter bullet to be as accurate as a 200gn bullet at any range.
Thus, range doesn't matter—I stay with RCBS 45-201-KW (now, -SWC) or my H&G #68 for all .45 uses.

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