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  #1  
Old 04-17-2013, 9:01 PM
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Default Lead Bullets vs. Plated Bullets

So I was looking around the interwebz today and noticed that I can find 9mm 115gn RN lead bullets for about 30 bucks per 500. I just payed 28 bucks for 250 9mm plated 115gn.

I have just been caught up on using exposed lead. Basically my question is....can you convince me to switch over to lead bullets?
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Old 04-17-2013, 9:26 PM
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How can we convince you? Millions of lead bullets get used every year, including by many, many people shooting in competitions. But don't take our word for it - for $30 and a little time you can convince yourself. Just remember that lead recipes will use a bit less powder than you'd use for an equal weight plated or jacketed bullet.
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Old 04-17-2013, 9:37 PM
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If you need convincing, don't do it. But if you are asking if its ok to shoot lead then there are ton of threads that address the issue. Just remember lead does have its issues. But in my opinion so long as you have a barrel that can shoot it and you regularly clean your gun then for the most part lead is well worth the savings.
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Old 04-17-2013, 9:40 PM
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What gun? What barrel? How fast do you want to push them? Need more info.
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Old 04-17-2013, 9:43 PM
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Originally Posted by scotty99 View Post
How can we convince you? Millions of lead bullets get used every year, including by many, many people shooting in competitions. But don't take our word for it - for $30 and a little time you can convince yourself. Just remember that lead recipes will use a bit less powder than you'd use for an equal weight plated or jacketed bullet.
Wrong choice of words, mainly just wondering if lead is something I should switch to.

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If you need convincing, don't do it. But if you are asking if its ok to shoot lead then there are ton of threads that address the issue. Just remember lead does have its issues. But in my opinion so long as you have a barrel that can shoot it and you regularly clean your gun then for the most part lead is well worth the savings.
What are some of the issues?

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What gun? What barrel? How fast do you want to push them? Need more info.
Smith and Wesson model 59. Idk what the average is for lead, mainly just plinking ammo.

I clean my guns after every range trip.
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Old 04-17-2013, 9:48 PM
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If you're looking for a cheaper way to feed your 9mm then definitely go lead. Some barrels experience leading (I have yet to experience it in any of my guns) but if you regularly clean your gun you will have no problems.
Definitely worth buying a batch and trying it out. See for yourself.
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Old 04-17-2013, 9:49 PM
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For 45 Auto, I shoot 200gr LSWC almost exclusively.

I load about half my 9mm with lead. I load a small amount of my 10mm with 200gr WFNGC but not a great deal as these cost as much as premium JHP. All my target .44RM are loaded with 240gr LSWC, as well as my .357M target rounds with 158gr LSWC.

Frankly, I don't favor plated much, too many consistency problems in the past.

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Old 04-17-2013, 9:53 PM
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Ok, I think im going to order some 9mm and 38 special, Do you guys have any favorite companies to order from?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:01 PM
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Ok, I think im going to order some 9mm and 38 special, Do you guys have any favorite companies to order from?
I prefer SNS casting, a cut above quality wise. Also Penn, if a bit slow, but probably worth the wait.

Both on the world wide web...
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:04 PM
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I use Xtream plated bullets and they work great for me. I get less chance of leading and $35 for 500 115gr 9mm. A great deal.


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Old 04-17-2013, 10:08 PM
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where are you finding 35/500 copper plated bullets?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:32 PM
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Taz... 500 plated 115 gr 9mm are $51 through Xtreme. $35 may have been a really old price but its long gone.

Colt... The companies Bill mentioned are a great place to start. Also check out Xtreme Bullets. I use their lead on a lot of my loads and have been very happy with them.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:50 PM
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I bought 1k last month and I'm sure it was less then $80. I pick them up at Philips wholesale in Covina.


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Old 04-17-2013, 11:09 PM
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Personally I prefer to shoot plated vs lead. But I do reload and shoot both. I do limit my lead to certain firearms. No lead in my HK or Glocks. Also I do shoot indoors sometimes and in those cases I stay away from the lead. I know I can get aftermarket barrels for my Glocks and HKs but I have plenty of plated where I don't worry about it also I buy in bulk so the price is close to lead. But every now and then I find some lead priced so well I can't say no.

I guess the simple answer is lead is fine so long as your barrel is capable of shooting lead (some people have said they shoot lead in their poly barrels even though it is said it can destroy your barrel) and you consistently clean your gun. Lead and plated both should stay on the low end of the pressure scale. Never load lead or plated bullets with FMJ load data. Also handling lead is an issue so be aware to wear gloves and/or make sure to wash your hands.

My opinion is, so long as you are planning to just shoot paper or steal then lead works great.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:27 PM
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Truth is, I wouldn't shoot commercial Lead.

Lead Pills are more art and science than just loading and shooting. If you want to avoid leading, hardness isn't the goal. In fact you can shoot full speed 44 mag w/o leading with non-antimonal lead. What is more important is getting the right SIZE of lead. Most commercial lead is threefold bad: generic size, very hard lead, and generic lube. That is a recipe for leading.

You should slug your bore and then get the diameter that best fits in a nice soft allow, just hard enough for your velocity and soft enough to obdurate. Make sure the lube is good as that is important. Different lubes for different velocities and temperatures.

Handling lead is not an issue, it does not transfer through the skin. You should wash up afterwards but you do not absorb lead by touching it. Good lord people are silly these days. The danger with lead comes from: consumption and fumes/fine particulates.

As for the above comment about paper and steel. There are millons of dead animals and people who would like to talk to you about the lethality of lead bullets. As long as you are outside of Kommiefornia or outside the lead ban zones. Lead pills are good for hunting.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:28 PM
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The saving alone should speak volumes. Just have to make sure you can shoot lead out of your barrel.

If you like wasting money then keep reloading plated.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meaty-btz View Post
Handling lead is not an issue, it does not transfer through the skin. You should wash up afterwards but you do not absorb lead by touching it. Good lord people are silly these days. The danger with lead comes from: consumption and fumes/fine particulates.

As for the above comment about paper and steel. There are millons of dead animals and people who would like to talk to you about the lethality of lead bullets. As long as you are outside of Kommiefornia or outside the lead ban zones. Lead pills are good for hunting.
I only said to wear gloves and wash your hands because handling lead and then grabbing a bite to eat is a bad idea. I never stated that the lead would melt through your fingers and kill you! I guess common sense is not so common after all.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:47 PM
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I'm not sure why you need convince to shot lead. The basic fact is, most pistol load is well below the max speed limit of lead bullet. This is especially true if you water crunch your lead bullet when you cast them.

On the other hand, the only reason I do not cast is because plated bullets are fair inexpensive. Some time it is easier to just buy the bullet.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:00 AM
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You want hard cast lead for 9mm, that means you can't scratch it with your thumbnail. You don't want to push them much over 1000fps to prevent lead shearing which fouls bore fast, which also means a 115gr will be a 115 power factor which may not cycle an auto-loader very well.

For lead in a 9mm I always use 147gr bullet weight which allows even lower velocity of 900fps or less and still getting a 125-130 power factor. This prevents heavy bore leading from too much velocity and also guarantees cycling in an auto-loader.
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Old 04-18-2013, 2:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Steele View Post
I prefer SNS casting, a cut above quality wise. Also Penn, if a bit slow, but probably worth the wait.

Both on the world wide web...
+1 on SNS casting. I just got 2k 230gn LRN. They shipped in a week and are a family owned business. shop.snscasting.com
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:52 AM
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Don't dooo it.. slippery slope.

1st you will switch to Lead for your handguns
2nd you will switch for your rifles
3rd you'll start considering acquiring lead, wheel weights
4th you'll start acquiring casting tools, sizing tools and lubricators
5th you'll start casting your own and be even more self sufficent in your shooting hobby.

I am on step 4 now... it started with me switching to lead 10 years ago.
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Old 04-18-2013, 6:19 AM
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As some have mentioned I find the self sufficent part as a good reason to cast my own. I have a steady supply of bullets for all my weapons. it can however be an addicting hobby in its own right. Before buying cast bullets though you should slug your bore. With cast bullets fit is the most important variable.
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Old 04-18-2013, 6:30 AM
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Jump on group buys for Extreme plated...

You will be happy you did.

I want to keep some lead just in case, but I prefer plated, in "group buy pricing".
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Old 04-18-2013, 8:23 AM
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Failed to mention, most of the time I shoot at indoor ranges.
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Old 04-18-2013, 8:34 AM
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Failed to mention, most of the time I shoot at indoor ranges.
Most indoor ranges will let you shoot moly or polymer coated bullets. These are still a little cheaper then plated and a lot cheaper then FMJ bullets.
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Old 04-18-2013, 8:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Colt562 View Post
Failed to mention, most of the time I shoot at indoor ranges.
Conventional lead bullets produce a fair amount of smoke, enough that you can get some stares from those around you when shooting indoors.

As most of the smoke from shooting lead is from the lube, I think moly coated lead might be a better choice for the indoor shooter (like Bear Creek), or obviously plated/jacketed.

Truth be told though, if you are shooting indoor, a ventilation system that is not good enough to pull the smoke from your lead bullet lube out before it becomes an issue, probably isn't one I would frequent. Just because you can't see much stuff coming from your barrel, doesn't mean you want to be inhaling it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Taztwnpa View Post
I use Xtream plated bullets and they work great for me. I get less chance of leading and $35 for 500 115gr 9mm. A great deal.


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+1 on Xtreme.
It's all I use to plink with out of my Glock 22. Awesome bullet being pushed by either Unique or WST.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:55 AM
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+1 on Xtreme.
It's all I use to plink with out of my Glock 22. Awesome bullet being pushed by either Unique or WST.
If i could find that price, I would stick to plated, but cant really beat 30/500.
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Old 04-21-2013, 7:12 PM
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Default plated lead

I cast some of my bullets, lead works fine in my 45's but because of the velocity that I like to shoot it leads up my 40 barrels.
I started copper barrel plating my bullets just to get away from handling the lead. The lead doesnt stick as well as Berries but it coats the lead until it is out of the barrel.
Plated bullets go through the bullet feeders on my progressive loader lead bullets wont feed. thats another plus for plated.
HKdads moly bullets are great for 45. I shoot a lot of them. 40's are good if you back off on the powder.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:24 AM
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If i could find that price, I would stick to plated, but cant really beat 30/500.
You can for $5-10 more per K for plated in a group buy...
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Old 04-24-2013, 3:58 PM
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You can for $5-10 more per K for plated in a group buy...
anyone starting a group buy soon?
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Old 04-24-2013, 5:18 PM
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I cast and load lead but when I do I keep bullet weights high and velocities low.

9mm 147gn, 38 special 158gn, 45acp 230gn, all 3 of these I keep around 850 to 1000 fps. The lower velocities really help keep the leading down.

I load all my 38 special 158gn lead and save all my 357mag to push hard with jacketed.
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Old 04-24-2013, 6:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacilander View Post
Personally I prefer to shoot plated vs lead. But ....

I guess the simple answer is lead is fine so long as your barrel is capable of shooting lead (some people have said they shoot lead in their poly barrels even though it is said it can destroy your barrel) and you consistently clean your gun. Lead and plated both should stay on the low end of the pressure scale. Never load lead or plated bullets with FMJ load data. Also handling lead is an issue so be aware to wear gloves and/or make sure to wash your hands.

My opinion is, so long as you are planning to just shoot paper or steal then lead works great.
Okay this I gotta ask. Why cant one use FMJ load data on plated bullets? Isn't FMJ or HP both considered jacketed bullets?
RMR on their plated bullets, advices to use jacketed velocities when loading. Doesn't that mean to use the load data for jacketed bullets?
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Old 04-24-2013, 7:06 PM
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Quote:
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Okay this I gotta ask. Why cant one use FMJ load data on plated bullets? Isn't FMJ or HP both considered jacketed bullets?
RMR on their plated bullets, advices to use jacketed velocities when loading. Doesn't that mean to use the load data for jacketed bullets?
Some manufacturers plate their bullets very thinly (Berry's used to be one of them) using very soft lead to boot. Other plated manufacturers plate pretty thickly and/or use alloys that make for a little harder bullet overall. Speer Gold Dots are plated, but are loaded to jacketed data.

So the answer is: it depends. It also depends on the caliber you are shooting. For instance, if you are shooting .45 Auto there is no reason to worry about the differences as you are not pushing the velocity limts of even the thinnest plated bullet, in addition, the slight additional pressure a soft plated bullet will yield, wouldn't matter in the low pressure realm of the 45 auto. On the other hand, you might be loading some 200gr Berry's in a full house 44RM load shot out of an 8" barrel and likely if you used jacketed data strip the plating off the bullet, yielding all sorts of crappy results on target.

Most plated manufacturers will tell you the speed limit for any of their bullets if you contact them.
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Old 04-26-2013, 1:46 PM
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I was going to ask the question, what is the difference between jacketed and plated boolits? I read the thread and went to Berry's website which does not contain any real reloading data, other than to use low to mid range specs of jacketed data, the same weight of boolit and don't exceed 1250fps.
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