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Lead vs Jacketed Bullets

This is a discussion on Lead vs Jacketed Bullets within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; There seems to be a fairly large difference is published loads of lead bullet data vs jacketed bullet data when both bullets are the same ...


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Old July 11th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #1
 
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Lead vs Jacketed Bullets

There seems to be a fairly large difference is published loads of lead bullet data vs jacketed bullet data when both bullets are the same weight. For example, using a 158 gr LSWC (.357 Magnum), my Speer manual (#14) lists 6.0 grs of Unique as the maximum load but for a 158 gr jacketed bullet, the same manual lists 7.7 grs as the max load.

I understand that driving lead bullets much over 1,100 fps can lead the barrel. But if the lead bullet is of a sufficient BHN (say 17-19 in .357 Mag) I wouldn't think leading would be much of a problem. So is there any other reason one shouldn't, using a very hard cast bullet, load it with jacketed bullet data? As you've probably guessed, I'm trying to get more muzzle velocity without having to pay the much higher price of jacketed bullets, but want to do so safely.

I'm just getting back into reloading after a 20 year absence and I'm now loading several calibers instead of just the .45 ACP. I never had to do much experimenting with the .45 because 5.4 grs of W231 was not only accurate, but according to the chronograph, gave a muzzle velocity that duplicated the muzzle velocity of my carry load.

With retirement on the horizon, I plan to spend a lot of time loading and shooting but I want to do things the correct (and safe) way.

Thank you in advance for any and all replies.



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Old July 11th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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Lead will pass through the barrel with less resistance then copper jacketed bullets hence the need for less powder. To push the lead as fast as the jacketed you will need gas check bullets. They cost as much as jacketed unless of course you cast them yourself.

Last edited by TMD; July 11th, 2010 at 05:40 PM.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #3
 
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JC676,
I quit shooting jacketed and started casting.

*Cast bullets create leading at over 1000 fps is a myth.

*Cast bullets shot at magnum velocities require gas checks is a myth.

*Hard cast bullets don't create leading is a myth.

*Soft cast bullets create leading is a myth.

I can drive my .357 Magnum, soft cast(BHN around 10-12), 158 grain, plain base (no gas check) bullets over 1400 fps, through a 6 1/2" Blackhawk, without leading.

I'm not bragging, just dispelling myths.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 06:12 PM   #4
 
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Don't be telling everyone that A Patriot, it's getting harder all the time to find lead.

All the myths about the use of cast bullets originate with either those that didn't know what they were doing or those that talked to the same people.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #5
 
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454PB,
All that you said is the truth!
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Old July 11th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #6
 
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For those with access to The Library, refer to IOWEGAN's thread titled "Lead Bullets and Revolvers". It's a world of good information.

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Old July 11th, 2010, 07:38 PM   #7
 
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Wow! So I take it I can safely use jacketed bullet data. Thanks.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 06:47 AM   #8
 
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JC676,
Load jacketed bullets according to published jacketed bullet recipies, and cast bullets according to published cast bullet recipies.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 08:26 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Patriot View Post
JC676,
Load jacketed bullets according to published jacketed bullet recipies, and cast bullets according to published cast bullet recipies.
Well, I guess then I'm back to square one with my original thought process/question.

If leading of the barrel is not a concern, why can't the higher charges listed for jacketed bullets be used with lead bullets? It would seem that a 158 gr bullet is a 158 gr bullet. You mention 1400 fps out of a 6.5 inch barrel, I'm just trying to hit 1100-1150 out of a 3 inch barrel.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #10
 
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Glen E. Fryxell, Cast bullets and firearm information and history

JC,
Check out the above site. This fellow is the best I've ever read on lead bullets.
Dick
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Old July 12th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #11
 
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JC676,
Speer, Hornady and Sierra's reloading manuals offer very minimal cast bullet loads. If you want to pursue cast bullets further, you will need Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook or their Reloading Handbook, or, better yet, both. In fact, I ignore all other manuals and powder manufacturers recipies, and use only Lyman.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #12
 
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A Patriot,
Thanks again. That sounds like solid advice! Again, I appreciate your help.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddog View Post
Glen E. Fryxell, Cast bullets and firearm information and history

JC,
Check out the above site. This fellow is the best I've ever read on lead bullets.
Dick
Dick,
Thanks for the link. I'm going to start reading his articles right now.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 09:04 PM   #14
 
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JC676;
Speer and Hornady reloading manuals are reliable. However, the only lead bullets they have data for are their own soft swaged bullets that work well at low velocities but will lead at higher velocities. They sell jacketed bullets for high velocity and that is what they show data for.

I started shooting handguns, reloading, and casting bullets when a teen ager about 1950 (yeah, I am a "Certified Old Fart"). I principally used my own cast bullets as lead was free and I was an "impecunious" (without money) teen ager. I never stopped shooting cast bullets. I have run my share of jacketed bullets through a few of my handguns but frankly, I enjoy the absolute advantages of cast bullets.

1 - They cost less - I shoot a LOT and that is important.
2 - I am able to shoot cast bullets at the limit of a revolver or auto pistols power limit (.44 Magnum and .357 Magnum at 1300-1400 fps with standard weight bullets).
3 - I am convinced that a good cast bullet is a SUPERIOR hunting bullet.
4- I enjoy casting and reloading my own bullets and enjoy game taken with cast bullets EVEN more.
5 - It allows me to shoot MUCH more.
6- Jacketed bullets can wear a barrel out in as little as five thousand rounds (.45 ACP 1911, as an example). I have one 1911 that has well over 100,000 rounds of cast bullets through it and it is still an NRA Bullseye competitive shooter.

YMMV
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Old July 13th, 2010, 07:15 AM   #15
 
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Dale,
You could have just as well been telling my story! Only mine started in the early '60s!
Dick
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