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Plated vs. Lead vs. FMJ

This is a discussion on Plated vs. Lead vs. FMJ within the The Ammo Can forums, part of the Armory Talk category; I'm just getting started on reloading and have a question about bullets for my XD-40. I can buy hard cast lead, plated and FMJ. I've ...


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Old 05-12-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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Plated vs. Lead vs. FMJ

I'm just getting started on reloading and have a question about bullets for my XD-40.

I can buy hard cast lead, plated and FMJ. I've heard that hard cast will cause lead fouling in the barrel.

I know FMJ doesn't have that issue, but do plated bullets?

These are what I was looking at.
http://berrysmfg.com/product-i14499-...0gr_FP_DS.aspx

http://berrysmfg.com/product-i14563-..._180gr_FP.aspx

Just asking.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsh341 View Post
I'm just getting started on reloading and have a question about bullets for my XD-40.

I can buy hard cast lead, plated and FMJ. I've heard that hard cast will cause lead fouling in the barrel.

I know FMJ doesn't have that issue, but do plated bullets?

These are what I was looking at.
http://berrysmfg.com/product-i14499-...0gr_FP_DS.aspx

http://berrysmfg.com/product-i14563-..._180gr_FP.aspx

Just asking.
Generally, plated will not have any lead problems. The only exception I can think of would be if you pushed them so fast that the plating separated, exposing the lead.

Couple of things:

First, as you begin this process, consider using some FMJ bullets to start. There are enough variables to learn and consider without including issues of bullets. FMJ would be the easiest.

Second, if you're not going FMJ, plated is best to start, as you surmised. You want to load plated bullets more like lead than like FMJ, i.e., lower loads not higher ones. Plated acts like lead for the most part.

Once you get the basics down (how to resize, casemouth expansion, seating bullets to a consistent overall length, getting the taper crimp correct), then it's easier to expand the repertoire.

Eventually, though, from the standpoint of saving money, you'll want to consider lead. There are some great commercially-available lead bullets out there, which are a LOT cheaper than plated (which is quite expensive, actually, compared to FMJ and Lead).

I'm shooting Missouri Bullets right now. Lead bullets. Looking at 6000 of them in my reloading shop. Shoot well, leading virtually nonexistent, and inexpensive. I'm using them in both 9mm and .45.

Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:29 PM   #3
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I have shot a couple thousand lead rounds and you will have fouling issues but not that bad. Some say to just shoot some copper behind the lead to clean out the bore. I have gotten less fouling using moly coated bullets from Precision bullets though. Lead will allow you to shoot more as well since it can be half the price some times. Do yourself a favor and get a progressive press if you havent picked one up already. My turret press has done well for me but I want a progressive bad and regret not getting one to begin with.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:36 PM   #4
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I reload .40 and I have used lead, plated and jacketed. I load lead for target now and really do not get lead fouling. I run a brush through it and then swab it out with gun oil and she is as good as new. The trick is your lead hardness. If it is too soft it will lead your barrel. My favorite place for lead bullets is Missouri bullet company. Every time I order they usually have my order to me in 3-4 days.

The only down side to lead is it is kind of smoky because the lube burns off.

Now I have used Rainier plated with excellent results which are comparable to Berry's. Does have the smoke of lead, but about 50% more expensive.

As far as jacketed bullets, I have used Zero and Hornady XTP's. Zero's service is kind of hit and miss. The got my 40's to me fairly quickly but I am still waiting on .357 bullets which were ordered 3 months ago. As far as bullet performance, both are accurate and perform very well in wetpacks. The Zero did have jacket separation so if you are shooting through stuff, I might lean towards the Hornady's. BTW, these are what I load for SD purposes.

Some other places to get bullets are Montana Gold and Precision Delta. I have a buddy at the range that really likes them. He says the service is pretty good and the prices are great for jacketed bullets. PD also sells lead.

I hope I have helped. Shoot me a PM if you have any questions.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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I have used Berry's plated and they shoot well, good acuracy with moderate loads. DO NOT try to shoot lead fouling out with FMJ it may work but it's just asking for high pressure and bad things could happen.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:22 PM   #6
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I have used Berry's plated and they shoot well, good acuracy with moderate loads. DO NOT try to shoot lead fouling out with FMJ it may work but it's just asking for high pressure and bad things could happen.
I noticed on Berry's site that the difference between lead and plated is only $13 per thousand. thats not enough of a difference to make me give up on the idea of loading plated vs lead if I buy from Berry's.

However, Missouri Bullet Company is selling for $64 per thousand. That is quite a savings.

I plan on using these for target practice and possibly starting IDPA/IPSC shooting. So factory power loads similar to WWB is all I plan on. I don't anticipate trying to power up any loads.

Will I have any problems shooting the lead from Missouri Bullets or should I stick with the plated from Berry's?

Also, my brother has a 40 cal Glock and I understand that lead is NOT good for them. Is plated an issue or should I just start reloading FMJ and save the trouble if he wants me to reload for him as well?

If I do decide to load FMJ, does anyone have a decent place to buy them from?
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:34 PM   #7
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I shoot mostly lead in my xd9mm with no leading problem
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:37 PM   #8
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Precision Delta - The Ammunition of Champions is a good source for FMJ. I've used theirs in my 9mm to great effect.

You might call and see what their delivery schedule is. They were backed up a while ago.

My suggestion about FMJ was just until you get it figured out. Maybe a few hundred, something like that.

Some of this depends on whether you have someone to show you how to get started, or whether you're figuring it out on your own. The FMJ is easier because you don't have to worry about shaving the bullet during seating, etc.

If you have someone to show you, you'll probably speed up the process by a few weeks.

But you've identified the real place of savings--it's the bullet. Berry's are good bullets, they're just pricey.

I've shot the Missouri bullet through both my XD-9 and XD-45, and the leading is very minimal. A lttle scuff at the chamber end of the barrel, that's it. Comes out w/ a bit of scrubbing and that's that.

I bought a Lewis Lead Remover from Missouri Bullet in anticipation of cleaning out the inevitable fouling; the thing is, I haven't used it yet. Haven't needed to.

FYI: The Precision Black Bullet (not Precision Delta, different outfit) uses a proprietary coating on their bullets. No leading, still pretty cheap.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:41 PM   #9
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The thing that causes leading is too soft a lead OR too hot of a load.
If you are loading them too hot it will melt at the back end of the bullet causing a lot of leading.

used to push a copper pad down the barrel sporadically, to remove any fouling.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:53 PM   #10
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So what about my brother's Glock?

Can he shoot plated or do I have to get FMJ?
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