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Thread: Top Speed For Powder Coated Pistol Bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub ACC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    San Antonio Texas

    Top Speed For Powder Coated Pistol Bullets

    I was out at the range Saturday and was shooting my Blackhawk when a young man (I am 65 everyone is a youngster to me) asked me how I could shoot great groups one after another. I told him that I cast my own bullets and reload them.

    He commented that he reloads also but doesn't have time to cast bullets so he orders bullets from Everglades ( He said that the first ten or so shots where right where he wanted them but after that they were every where.

    I ask to see his ammo, and although they were right there at Max ( 22 grains of H110) he shouldn't be getting as bad of accuracy as he was. The GP-100 with 5 1/2 barrel is a very accurate gun, so I thought there was something wrong with the cylinder, got my calipers out and no they all measured .357. Then I looked down the barrel. No lands or groves.

    Then it dawned on me. I took a close look at the bullets. They were not jacketed they were plated. So having my smart phone with me I looked on the Everglades website and he picked out the bullets he had bought. In the description it said that these bullets could not be driven over 1200 FPS.

    Well, we got the old range chronograph and clocked these bullets. 1477 was the average. The case ejected normally but the primers were a little flattened. Out of my Blackhawk (4 1/2 barrel) they clocked out at 1387.

    I told him he either needed to back off the load he was using or get regular jacketed bullets and to go get some Bronze pads from Home Depot cause it's gunna take some work to get that stuff out of his barrel.

    This is where my question comes from.

    If plated bullets can't be driven more that 1200 FPS, how fast can a Powder Coated bullet go before it starts to lead the barrel?

    I usually keep my cast bullets ( I don't Powder Coat yet) for my .357 at about 1000 FPS unless I am going hunting for Feral Dogs or Hogs.


  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Southernmost State of the Union
    I have driven my PC boolits at over 2800 fps out of my rifles with no leading whatsoever. The only pistol boolits that give me slight leading were some store bought (I won't name the manufacturer) HT coated boolits in my 10mm. The coating was being stripped off by the rifling. I pc with Smokes powder and have not had a problem of any kind. Recovered boolits show complete coating in the grooves and they all pass the hammer test.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    New Jersey
    I dont know what the max is but I'm shotting PCed in 357Mag at around 1400fps and 1800fps in 300 Blackout. I never really had any leading issues though with anything I PCed. PC has never failed me like that. I'm sure just like everything else it has its limits though.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Las Cruces, NM
    I shoot PC in rifles at 2000fps. No leading at all.

    I have never pushed plated bullets before so I did a short search. Berry's 'standard' bullets have a max vel of 1250fps and their 'thick layer' bullets have a max of 1500fps, so it does seem that the amount of copper deposited makes a difference. Rainier says 1500fps for all of their bullets.

    I guess that's why I never heard about it since I mostly used Rainier's in my .357magnum when I was not using jacketed.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Never used plated bullets but had cast at 2100 ish fps out of my 30-30 with no issues whatsoever.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    In the beautiful timber of the PNW
    Im tooling up for powdercoat in 308 and might soon find out. But for now im pushing a lee 358-158-rf cast at 16:1 alloy; powdercoated, no gascheck, with a max load of 296 in a 20" levergun without leading. Recovered bullets fired into water mushroom nicely, boolit basses are a little "toasted" but the coating is holding up fine on the base and the rifling grooves in the boolits are crisp.

    I dont have a chrono.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Foothills, NC
    It would be interesting to know how hard the core of those plated boolits is.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    cwlongshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central Connecticut
    I have read on here its over 3000 from Properly applied powder coat. I have seen no reason to doubt that.

    Personally Im about the same as other posters here. Just about 2k velocity from PLAIN BASED powder coated bullets and ZERO bore fouling from PC. (And good accuracy)

    I dropped plated bullets like a bad apple about five years ago. I started 3gun shooting and needed to ramp up loading. Picked up a second 550 and dedicated it to my 40. I bought a couple boxes of plated bullets. (I have tried a few brands.)
    I worked up a couple Quick loads and hit the range. Good accuracy initially (close) good functionality. OK! Loaded up remainder and shot a couple Matches. I noticed that the bonus and farther reaching targets needed additional shots as I had missed or not solidly enough hits. My buddy noticed same with his nines.
    Following Sunday afternoon we tested out to 50 yards. Not normal distance. But this club has many good shooters and uses distance to widen field. Well my gun (G35) shot bug holes out to about 20y but opened like crazy after that with many flyers. A big paper with a 4” paster @ 50 really told the tale. Very erratic groups from both of our guns. I happened to bring one cast load. I had wanted to use my own cast as cost savings as we shoot tgese 3-gun as well as Plate and occasionally pin matches at another club. Well 3-500 per Match eats ammo fast!! I wasnt sure I had the time to cast that much. Anyhow, my cast shot all INSIDE that 4” out there at 50 while the plated barely hit it with HALF the magazine but the bad thing was the flyers they where 4-8” out and totally random.
    My velocity was just at 1050 fps. My buddies was about the same both from Glocks when we switched to carbines my same load jumped to almost 1400 and his to just over 1300. Accuracy was slighly better out past 50 but again with the flyers. Both of us are shooting Power Pistol.

    Now I shoot my cast exclusively. (Have been since shortly after that day) I am not a fan of plated.

    They seem fine for a plinker who likes to shoot stuff up close and dosent or cannot shoot accurately anyhow. But if you have abilities or need accuracy out at longer ranges ya simply need a better bullet.

    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Central OH
    I’ve shot 95 grain, powder coated with Smoke’s paint, over 1600 FPS out of my 9mm open pistols. No leading in bore or deposits in my comps. However, I get horrible leading with HT even at much lower velocities.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check