copper plated vs. full metal jacket vs. hard cast lead

bellcatbellcat Senior MemberPosts: 1,304 Senior Member
As I continue my delving into 45 ACP reloading, is there any problem with shooting copper plated and hard cast lead instead of more expensive full metal jacket style bullets?   I do nothing but crack steel and punch paper, and do have some hollow points for home defense.   My understanding is that at low velocities, it is perfectly ok for your pistol?

Thanks
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Replies

  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,256 Senior Member
    My 1911 loves all 3. 
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  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,248 Senior Member
    Absolutely! At .45ACP velocities you can use the softest, cheapest bullets that you can get you hands on. You don't need to think about jacketed, plated, coated, gas checked, or even hard cast until you're running at almost twice normal .45acp velocities.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,248 Senior Member
    Absolutely! At .45ACP velocities you can use the softest, cheapest bullets that you can get you hands on. You don't need to think about jacketed, plated, coated, gas checked, or even hard cast until you're running at almost twice normal .45acp velocities.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • rberglofrberglof Senior Member Posts: 2,106 Senior Member
    My CC has had many cast bullets through it.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,248 Senior Member
    Absolutely! At .45ACP velocities you can use the softest, cheapest bullets that you can get you hands on. You don't need to think about jacketed, plated, coated, gas checked, or even hard cast until you're running at almost twice normal .45acp velocities.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,248 Senior Member
    The only reason I posted this again is that the "forum" keeps sticking it in my face like I just wrote it. I think there's some bugs to work out.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,718 Senior Member
    It's my understanding that copper plated and cast or swaged lead will cause less barrel ware than guilding jackted fmj bullets.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 17,738 Senior Member
    I shoot all three in mine

    Rainier "plated" 200gr HPs are my GP load. Shoot accurately and expand well.
    Most folks seem to forget that the vaunted Speer GoldDots are nothing but a fancy plated bullet, originally designed from someone saying "What if..." with the speer TMJ bullets
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 23,281 Senior Member
    I shoot all three in mine and have no problems. Actually 4 because I also shoot powder coated bullets, which is kind of a plating, I guess. At the velocities of the .45 ACP generates only the really soft cast lead will get you in trouble.
    I may be a Deplorable, but at least I'm not a Liberal!!!



  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,260 Senior Member
    edited March 7 #11
    The only reason I posted this again is that the "forum" keeps sticking it in my face like I just wrote it. I think there's some bugs to work out.
    That stuttering is coming along really well.

    Fisheadgib said:
    I think there's some bugs to work out.
    :*



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  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,088 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    I shoot all three in mine and have no problems. Actually 4 because I also shoot powder coated bullets, which is kind of a plating, I guess. At the velocities of the .45 ACP generates only the really soft cast lead will get you in trouble.
    This! Those cold swagged factory lead bullets are so soft you can scrape lead off them with yer fingernail. Any hard cast will shoot just fine without leading with the nominal velocity of 850 fps or so, usually.

    I think the magic number to stay under has always been 900 fps, especially for .38 and .44 soft bullets. I loaded some 240 grain factory lead (Hornady?) SCWHP once that leaded my gun bad @ 1000 fps in a .44 magnum and even in a .44 Special they were starting to lead at under 900 fps.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
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  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,246 Senior Member
    Shoot what you want or have-------if Ya get leading clean it out.

    If you are going to shoot much at one session get a Lewis lead remover and use it or use the choreboy method, while you take a break during your range time. It only takes a minute or two.
    This message has been deleted
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,697 Senior Member
    The .45 ACP at military or Bullseye match velocities is one of the least finicky cartridges you're going to find.  It's low pressure to start off with, and that chamber pressure dissipates rapidly as the gas expands into the cavernous bore.  Stress on the bullet is rarely an issue.

    The big key to not leading with cast bullets is (#1) proper fit to the bore and (#2) proper alloy selection for the pressures involved, with perhaps some minor attention spent on lube (which is a bit of a misnomer - it's really more of a gasket) if it's a tumble lube bullet and the coating is too thin.  What causes leading is some condition in the bore that allows gas to blow past the bullet, flame-cutting some of it to vapor, which gets deposited rapidly back on the barrel walls.

    Fortunately, commercial casters making bullets for the .45 ACP know that they want to be .452"-.453" diameter and can be anywhere north of about 8 Brinell for hardness  - usually harder for commercial than home casters to prevent them getting dented up during shipping.  A Brinell Hardness Number (BHN) of 5 is pure lead, 8 is still pretty squishy (shotgun slugs), 12 is pretty close to wheelweight metal or the 16-1 lead/tin mix Elmer Keith preferred for his hot revolver experimentation, Lyman #2 alloy of 90/5/5% lead/tin/antimony at 15 is workable in just about anything and regarded as a good starting point for rifles.  Higher than 20 and you're dealing with the various printer's alloys - linotype, foundry type, monotype - or water-quenched, heat-treated versions of normally softer, antimony-carrying alloys.

    Provided it fits and seals properly for the length of the bore, the .45 ACP is unlikely to care

    Probably more than you ever wanted to know about it:  http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm
    WWJMBD?

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  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 1,395 Senior Member
    bellcat said:
    As I continue my delving into 45 ACP reloading, is there any problem with shooting copper plated and hard cast lead instead of more expensive full metal jacket style bullets?   I do nothing but crack steel and punch paper, and do have some hollow points for home defense.   My understanding is that at low velocities, it is perfectly ok for your pistol?

    Thanks
    Nope. No Problem. At .45 velocities, if you're just gonna punch paper and ring steel then you should be shooting cooper plated or lead. Whichever is cheapest!

    One caveat, If you plan to shoot local or state competitions then you might prefer to load some plated over or just lead. I've been to some matches and tournaments that would turn away shooters using only cast lead bullets (local laws and ordinaces against lead).

    Also, plated resist getting dinged up from repeated cycling if you plan to do that (again, it can happen in tournaments).

    Here's an article on the Brinell Harness Number: (I like 12-15)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brinell_scale

    Beyond that, what Bigslug said.

    "Facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence" — John Adams
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 23,281 Senior Member
    I've shot some near pure lead bullets in my .45ACP single shot rifle that were powder coated and sized .452 with no leading problems. That polymer coating seems to do a good job of keeping the lead where it belongs.

    The reason I cast and shot near pure lead bullets like that was an accident. I mixed up my jig casting pot with the bullet casting pot. Bullet casting pot is wheel weight lead, and jig casting is pure lead with a little added tin. Cast a little over a hundred before I finally figured it out, didn't want to remelt them, and just powder coated, sized, and shot them.
    I may be a Deplorable, but at least I'm not a Liberal!!!



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