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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently got some of the new SNS coated lead flat nosed 147grn bullets that have no "lube groove" on them. They are kind of gold colored and look almost like a FMJ when loaded. For those of you unfamiliar with coated lead bullets, in the hand they feel smooth and slick and don't leave any lead or other fouling in the barrel (or on your hands when you load them). They also smoke hardly at all even with powders that seem to produce a lot of smoke with lead bullets. With Silhouette, which smokes very little anyway even with regular lubed lead bullets, there was no noticeable smoke on what was here a fairly calm 90 degree day.

I shot these 147grn 9mm bullets over 4.3grns of Silhouette (this is like a mid-range load) using CCI SP primers with an OAL of 1.111 using mixed brass which has been fired several times. Today I used two guns... My XD9 4" Service and my newer XDm9 5.25. Both guns have stock barrels. When I chrono it is my usual habit to shoot 20rnds over the chrono into a bullseye target taped to an USPSA standard target at 15yrds, and that was the case in this instance for both guns. There were no malfunctions of any kind either during the chrono session or the subsequent firing of at least 150 more rounds split up between the two guns (I usually shoot a bit more, but this was a "trial load" so I only loaded around 250rnds or so). They were pleasant to shoot, with what I consider to be low recoil and gave very good accuracy in both guns.

In the XD9 4" they averaged 912fps for a power factor of 134.1 ES 33, SD 9.5
In the XDm9 5.25 they averaged 967.1fps for a power factor of 142.2 ES 41, SD 9.1

I would consider this to be a very nice "range load" which would also be suitable for steel. I was able to hit some expended shotgun wads at 15yrds mounted on the shoulders of my usual USPSA cardboard target with regularity. I separate the "fingers" of the wad over the cardboard so only the upper part (which is really the base of the wad upside down) is above the cardboard. Expended shotgun shells themselves presented no challenge at all at that distance placed base down on the 1X2 wooden upright that the cardboard cutout "guy" is stapled to. So, between that and some printed targets I use to test groupings, I consider these loads "good enough" as they will go straighter than I can shoot.

So... if you're looking for some relatively inexpensive bullets that do the job you might look into these SNS coated lead types. The 124grn RN ones I also tested in the past and they too shot well in a couple of guns.
 

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I have been in talks with 57K, I ordered a sample pack from blue bullets. He had warned me that a friend of his was having trouble maintaining a consistent OAL with them. I ended up with a +/- .006 on my OAL over 20 rounds. They shot fine but I wasn't thrilled with the finish of them. They weren't smooth at all and you could see a difference on the nose of the rounds. Must just be different casts I would assume. I'm going to try the SNS next. Did you have any worry about (what I considered to be) the hard edge on flat nose casts.



You can't really see the finish in this picture but it isn't smooth at all. It's almost scaley looking.
 

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Great report, JSG. About time you did a thread! LOL. Looking into the SNS poly-coated bullets as well because my favorite style for 9mm is the 125 gr. RN-SWC. That's probably not the term used by the bulletmaker who may simply call them a RN. But there are RNs that are shaped like an FMJ and then there's the 2 step RN where the shank is .356" and diameter above the shoulder is reduced to the ogive.

The issue CBaldwin2112 is referring to comes from a reloader on another forum where the length/ogive variations where with the bullets themselves (125 gr. RN) causing OACL variations accordingly. Plus, they're shaped like FMJ where Blue Bullet's decided to drop my bullet.

The type of 125 I'm talking about has always been my favorite going back to when I loaded a lot of cast in 9mm. I stopped loading them for many years until current events caused me to reconsider. I'm sold on the poly-coated bullets, they are the cleanest shooting of any type, IMO. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@ cbaldwin2012... When I set up for a new bullet one of the things I do is check a good number of them for OAL when they drop into the "finished round" container. I did not notice any wide variance using the SNS CLFP bullet I wrote about. Any variation was more like +/- .001 or so, but I'm sure there were exceptions I didn't measure since my sampling was discontinued after I thought it would be a waste of time to keep measuring. I put the OAL at 1.111, but some were like 1.1115 and some were 1.1119 (I'm sure there were some with wider variations), but really, anything inside of .002 is "good enough". The coating on these bullets seemed very evenly applied and there was nothing about them that gave me concern. They certainly shot well. I have no complaints about their quality or consistency. Who knows, maybe some of the other few thousand I bought will be less consistent, but the ones I loaded were very good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ 57K... SNS has that bullet you speak of, but sadly the last time I looked, it was still a lubed bullet. I have some around here somewhere, but have been playing around with the coated ones lately and probably will not shoot those lubed ones anytime soon. I hope they do offer that shape in a coated bullet (If I missed them as a coated bullet it's because I was looking for these others and so may have passed them by), but I have been having good luck with both the 125 CLRN (which looks like an FMJ) and these 147's. I actually wouldn't pass up an 125 that had the same conical flat point as these 147's if they offered it. They feed great and leave a pretty nice hole as is, though I can appreciate the more "wadcutter" shaped shoulder when shooting paper.
 

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@ 57K... SNS has that bullet you speak of, but sadly the last time I looked, it was still a lubed bullet. I have some around here somewhere, but have been playing around with the coated ones lately and probably will not shoot those lubed ones anytime soon. I hope they do offer that shape in a coated bullet (If I missed them as a coated bullet it's because I was looking for these others and so may have passed them by), but I have been having good luck with both the 125 CLRN (which looks like an FMJ) and these 147's. I actually wouldn't pass up an 125 that had the same conical flat point as these 147's if they offered it. They feed great and leave a pretty nice hole as is, though I can appreciate the more "wadcutter" shaped shoulder when shooting paper.

Well, buddy, I'm pretty sure that SNS makes the bullet I'm referring to. It retains the lube groove, but of course no lube is used or needed. I don't understand all the fuss about poly-coated bullets made from the same mold as cast. Yeah, they will have a redundant lube groove, but all that really means is slightly less bearing surface compared to the non-grooved bullets reloaders seem most interest in. Since poly-coated bullets tend to run 10 - 15 FPS slower than their cast counterparts, I'd just as soon they retain the lube groove as they do with the 125 I'm referring to. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@ 57K... Ah... OK then. I vaguely remember several of the poly bullets (in a couple of calibers... the 180 in .40 for instance) retaining a lube groove, but was not really looking for that particular type at the time. If it is the one you seek then you're in business. I was mainly after ones that have been converted to different dies so I could try them and see how accurate they were in comparison to the previous lubed bullets of the same weight (which in the past have been as accurate as I could hold). Like you, I have nothing against a poly coated bullet that still has a lube groove unless it gets in the way of a seating depth I might need to achieve. I doubt that would be a problem with the one we are discussing.

As an aside, I will probably buy some of the poly ones we spoke of so I can do a one to one comparison of both the lubed (since I have some) and poly coated bullets since they are from the same mold and the only difference would be the lube vs. coating. Hopefully I will myself be able to hold the guns well enough as to be able to render the comparison viable.
 

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I have been in talks with 57K, I ordered a sample pack from blue bullets. He had warned me that a friend of his was having trouble maintaining a consistent OAL with them. I ended up with a +/- .006 on my OAL over 20 rounds. They shot fine but I wasn't thrilled with the finish of them. They weren't smooth at all and you could see a difference on the nose of the rounds. Must just be different casts I would assume. I'm going to try the SNS next. Did you have any worry about (what I considered to be) the hard edge on flat nose casts.



You can't really see the finish in this picture but it isn't smooth at all. It's almost scaley looking.

Because Blue Bullets do not use Hi-Tech coating but a proprietary coating of their own that is the correct finish on the bullet. The OAL problem is either a press problem or a bullet seating stem not properly engaging the tip of the bullet. If the seating stem is seating the bullet on the tip and not on the ogive and the press is repeating its cycle at the same closer every time the OAL will be the same every time unless the bullet is soft enough to deform on seating. I am not having any problems with these bullets and the particular bullet you have pictured shoots 1.5" groups at 25 yards out of both of my guns. SNS bullets may fit his dies better because of the shape of the nose. All of the coated bullets that I have tried so far have been very good shooters.
 

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Don't get me wrong they shot good. I just wasn't impressed with the finish.
 

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Sure, I understand. They have experimented for the past several years on the finish and the textured finish has proven to be the best. It bonds to the lead better and gives a more consistent size for them. I had some a while back that looked just like the Bayou or SNS that they were experimenting with but it proved not to be as aggressive to remaining stuck to the bullet. The polymer and epoxy they use comes out looking textured but it is nearly impossible to get it off the lead. I have some that I picked up under steel targets with the whole nose blown away but the coating remains perfect in the rifled part of the back of the bullet that was still left. I commented to them how I liked the slick looking coating but after testing them this same way I had to agree that the textured finish was superior. I call it ugly too but it works.


 

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Intriguing.
 
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