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Bonded/plated bullets

mitdr774mitdr774 MemberPosts: 1,767 Senior Member
I have the other thread pertaining to the Hornady InterBond specifically, but I know that is not the only bonded bullet options out there.  This is more to see what other bonded/plated bullets those on this forum have used and what their thoughts were on them.  I am mainly concerned with rifle bullets, but have also debated playing with some handgun calibers as well.

I recently picked up some 142gr Nosler ABLR seconds to try in my 6.5x55.  For poops and giggles I decided to run the bullet through QL for my 6.5 Grendel.  Expecting some really low velocities I was kinda surprised to see theoretical max velocity in the 2300 FPS range.  Given the stated minimum velocity of 1300 FPS and assuming I can get the velocity that QL suggests, I should be well above that limit even out to 250 yards.  What started as an expectation of disappointment has suddenly become a potential for use.  I know one of the issues with the Grendel is that the lower start velocity results in a smaller window of use with most bullets.  The ABLR would seem to maybe be a good option given its lower limit for expansion.  AM I maybe way off base here and being blinded by this glimmer of hope that it might work?

I had previously looked at the 130gr AB and it looks like the start velocity will be too low to be worth the effort in the Grendel, but would be an option in the 6.5x55.  I have also looked into the idea of the Speer Gold Dot 120 and 140gr, but have been seeing mixed reviews on accuracy and expansion.  While this is a plated bullet, I dont see what it wouldnt still work like a jacketed bullet as far as accuracy.  I cant imagine that the plating is too thin or soft to allow the rifling to consistently engrave the bullet and cause issues.  Again, I could be wrong there.

What other options have you guys used?  How have those options performed for you?  

While I am mentioning 6.5 specifically here, I am just looking for general experience with all calibers that everyone is willing to share information on.  I think I have settled on the 85gr IB for my .243, but I still have 6.5mm, 7mm, .308, and .358 to look at as potential options.   Im not set on using bonded bullets as I dont feel that most of what I have would really benefit from them.  I am always looking at options though.  I cant conduct the science that Zee can, but I still like to see what works on paper and should work on game.  Things like SST, ELD-X, and FTX are out, so cup/core and bonded are about whats left.


  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    I've only punched paper with Berry's and Rainier plated pistol bullets. They were both consistent in size, weight, and accuracy. Functioned great. Ran clean. No complaints.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,767 Senior Member
    I have some of the 150gr .308 GD loaded in some 7.62x39 to try in my CZ 527, but I have not gotten a chance to try them.  I kinda forgot I even had them to begin with.  Too many things to tinker with and too many hours spent at work.

    I want to try the 129 IB in my 6.5x55 as it grouped well with the 129 SST, but with really low velocity compared to what the load data suggested.  The 129 IB is not easy to find right now, but im sure with enough digging and remembering of the sources I used to use I could probably find some.  I would like to try the 180 IB in my .300 WM some time.  I just dont have a use for it right now.

    My only experience with Berrys was with some .45 ACP loads and I had issues.  It may have been a bad batch, or it may have been the load but they were all over the place.  That gun may also just prefer non plated lead bullets over plated ones.  I know it does well with some hot 185gr HP loads and it likes a 200gr powder coated SWC over WST.  I have not tried the Rainier plated bullets in anything.  Didnt they go out of business not that long ago?
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    They may have, I don't know. I got the Berry's because they were available.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    I’ve had good terminal performance with the various Deep Curl / Gold Dot rifle bullets I’ve used. 
    Accuracy is hit/miss. Some great. Some not. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,767 Senior Member
    Accuracy is a big sticking point.  I dont need 1/2" groups, but I dont like to take anything in the field if its producing more than a 1.5" group at 100 yards.  I look for 1" or less, but sometimes have to settle for up to 1.5" depending on the cartridge and intended range.

    The .243 is capable of repeatable sub 1/2" groups with the 85gr IB.when I do my part.  I am quite surprised by that and am very pleased.  If I can get the 6.5x55 to run the 142gr ABLR at 2500 FPS and pull off decent groups it may be an option.  For some reason my 6.5x55 has been running low velocity compared to book though.  

    Terminal performance is a major issue.  I have had issues with SST and FTX bullets and my dad and a family friend have both had big issues with SST and ELD-X bullets.  I have been switching back to more traditional cup and core designs due to the past issues.  I am hoping that I can get some of the benefits of the plastic tipped bullets back, yet still have something that does what I am expecting a bullet to do.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,767 Senior Member
    I guess this will be one of the first experiments.  I need to load up some 6.5x55 as well.  Then it's a matter of finding time to get to a range.

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    Alrighty then.........
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,767 Senior Member
    That's a lot of bullet for a 6.5 Grendel.  142gr ABLR that should be running over 2200 FPS.   I loaded up some for grouping and some for velocity.  I would prefer the 129 IB or ABLR but neither is easy to get right now.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,507 Senior Member
    i have some rifle and handgun plated/coated bullets.

    but for the most part, the only ones ive used, so far, have been the plated and coated for handguns.

    I have some rainier and some molly coated.  I think they are "precision".  But for the most part i was trying them just to cut back on leading.  Some of my lead is suppose to be "hard case" but i still get some leading.  I believe when i mentioned this before someone mentioned try some other powders which i have not done yet.  I haven't loaded since then.

    but same for the moly coated bullet.  

    as far as the plated bullets, they worked fine.  It was stated and printed on the box to be careful about your crimp. As far as what i have loaded was 9mm, 357, and 44 Mag so far.  but im not trying to break the SOL for them.  Like the 44, im just around the 1~1.1k FPS.

    the rifle bullets are just the moly coated.  For my 308s, but have not done anything about it.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,767 Senior Member
    I have been told of issues with crimping a lot of plated bullets.  The Speer Gold Dot rifle bullets seem to have a very thick plating on them and it looks to be of a different material than most plated bullets.  I think the Gold Dot handgun bullets are plated the same way as the rifle bullets.  I am not sure they would suffer the same crimp issues.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,767 Senior Member
    I ordered some .310 123gr and .264 140gr to try out in my 7.62x39 CZ and 6.5x55 M96.   They seem to be fairly inexpensive and maybe can be driven fast enough to expand if the opportunity arises and they group well.  I have been noticing that for some things, bonded bullets can be more readily found than cup and core.  I suspect this may be due in part to the cost of most bonded bullets.  I guess this is what I get for deciding to switch away from the SST bullets I was stocked up on in this current climate.
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