Making Reloads On A Press

Reloading Ammunition
 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

 LinkedIn  PinInterest 
HOME     Gun Reviews     Shooting Accessories

EVEN GLOCKS CAN GO KABOOM!

 
 

Plated or Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Bullets for Reloading?

  
  

You can buy full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets or plated bullets for reloading. What is the difference between these? Is one better to use than the other?

 

Plated 115gr Bullet on Left, FMJ 224gr Bullet on Right
Plated 115gr Bullet on Left

FMJ 224gr Bullet on Right

Reloading Components

Reloading Books & Equipment

 

FMJ Or Plated Bullets?

If you are reloading your own 9mm Luger ammunition you need to buy bullets for the reloading process. You can buy full metal jacket (FMJ) or plated. What is the difference between these? Is one better to use than the other?

Plated  Bullet on Left, FMJ Bullet on Right Berry's Plated 115gr Bullet Cut in Half
Plated 115gr Bullet on Left
FMJ 224gr Bullet on Right
Berry's Plated 115gr Bullet
Cut in Half

What is the difference between Plated, Full Metal Jacket and Lead Cast Bullets?

(ref: http://www.berrysmfg.com/faq.aspx?q=8&c=1)

  1. Plated - Berry's Preferred Plated bullets begin as a swaged lead core. The plating process works through electrolysis. The swaged lead cores are tumbled in an electrically charged cyanide bath containing high-grade copper ingots. The copper clings to the lead and the longer the bullets remain in the bath, the thicker the plating. Our bullets are plated to the correct size and then taken out of the bath.

  2. Jacketed - Jacketed bullets start with a copper cup, which is "drawn up" into the form of a jacket. Lead is then infused into the jacket.

  3. Cast - Cast bullets are made up of lead that has been poured into a bullet mould. These  come in various hardness levels depending upon the alloy of the lead. All of our cast bullets are lubed and all have the same hardness (about 20 bhu). We distinguish between Hardcast and Cowboy only in that our Cowboy bullets are often used in Cowboy Action Shooting events.

Bullet Comparison

  1. Jacketed - Generally are most expensive but can be shot at magnum velocities and require less cleaning than Cast bullets.

  2. Plated - Not as expensive as Jacketed and cleaner than lead but you'll want to stay away from magnum velocities when loading plated bullets.

  3. Cast - Usually cost the least, but are very "dirty" and often cannot be used in indoor ranges.

9MM Luger Plated, 115gr, RN
Berrys Bullets: Plated 9mm Luger Berrys Bullets: Plated 9mm Luger 2 Berrys Bullets: Plated 9mm Luger 3 Berrys Bullets: Plated 9mm Luger 4
Berry's box delivered to my front door in June1, 2012.  Containing 2 boxes of 1,000 9mm plated bullets. Total cost $165.56. This is what 1,000 of them looks like. They are shiny.
   
Berrys Bullets: Plated 9mm Luger 5 Berrys Bullets: Plated 9mm Luger 6
Handful.  9mm Luger. 

Previous orders from Berry's:

1,000 9mm Luger plated, shipped on 4/13/2012 - Total cost = $82.78

1,000 9mm Luger plated, shipped on 1/26/2010 - Total cost = $80.88

Deciding Which Bullet Type to Use for Reloading

The type you use for reloading depends on your needs. Since I am reloading ammunition for practice and target shooting at the range I choose to go with the plated or FMJ 9mm Luger. I shied away from the cast lead bullets because of everything you read about them regarding lead poisoning, being dirty and fouling up barrels.

Size Comparison

380-auto 40-caliber 357 9mm-luger 45-gap 45-auto 10mm 
380-auto 40-caliber 357 9mm-luger 45-gap 45-auto 10mm 

References

A full metal jacket (or FMJ) is a bullet consisting of a soft core (usually made of lead) encased in a shell of harder metal, such as gilding metal, cupronickel or less commonly a steel alloy. This shell can extend around all of the bullet, or often just the front and sides with the rear left as exposed lead. (One that is completely enclosed by the shell is alternatively termed a total metal jacket round.) The jacket allows for higher muzzle velocities than bare lead without depositing significant amounts of metal in the bore.
- Because the bullets do not expand, they are more effective at piercing armor.
- They are more likely to kill since they more reliably penetrate the body and reach vital organs.[1]
- They are more durable and withstand rough handling on the battlefield.
- Their rounded tips facilitate proper transit up the feed ramp, whereas the usage of hollow points in some weapons may increase the chance of a failure to feed. Most modern weapon designs, however, will feed reliably with both types of bullet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_metal_jacket_bullet

Plated
FAQ: How thick is the "jacket"?
Depending upon the caliber, the thickness of the plating ranges from 3.5 up to 8 thousandths of an inch of plating on each side. This is thicker than paper and ensures no lead in your bore. The bullets designed for higher velocities (45-70, 500 S&W etc.) have the thickest plating.
http://www.berrysmfg.com/faq.aspx?q=12&c=1

 

Feedback & Comments

-------------------------

Sent: October 24, 2011

I have been reloading for years and gave it much though, is there a difference between full medal jacket and steel jacked?
Jerome


Response - Jerome,

I don't know much about steel jacketed, but according to Wikipedia it seems that the steel jacketed have two jackets (copper over steel) while the fmj have only one.

Here are the excerpts from Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Ammunition#Steel-jacketed_
"Steel-jacketed bullets
Not only the cases of Wolf rifle ammo are steel. Most of Wolf's rifle cartridges use steel jacketed, though they look like copper jacketed. The copper exterior of the bullet is only about .005 inch thick, (about twice the thickness of a sheet of paper) with a steel jacket underneath about 1/32 inch thick. Only the cartridges in the yellow and black boxes have real copper jackets. The core of the steel jacketed, sometimes marked "bimetal", are lead. Some rifle ranges have started magnet testing shooter's ammunition to determine if they are steel jacketed. The steel is said to be more likely to ricochet, and also to cause sparks on impact, which can be a problem when shooting in dry grassland, or forest areas. In addition, a large majority of pistol ranges will not allow shooters to use Wolf, or other Russian ammunition types because of the steel jacket components on many of their products. An oft-cited reason for this is because they claim it damages the backstops. A more likely reason for not allowing steel-cased ammunition is that the ranges are unable to re-sell the berdan-primed steel cases for reloading, an important source of revenue for many ranges."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_metal_jacket_bullet
“Full metal jacket bullet
A full metal jacket (or FMJ) is a bullet consisting of a soft core (usually made of lead) encased in a shell of harder metal, such as gilding metal, cupronickel or less commonly a steel alloy. This shell can extend around all of the bullet, or often just the front and sides with the rear left as exposed lead. (A bullet that is completely enclosed by the shell is alternatively termed a total metal jacket round.) The jacket allows for higher muzzle velocities than bare lead without depositing significant amounts of metal in the bore. It also prevents damage to bores from steel or armor-piercing core materials.”

Tanner

-------------------------

 

Ask A Question/Tell Your Experience

- Click Here -

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Coviello is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.
 


 

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

 

 

RELOADING AMMUNITION

Reloading Equipment
1. Equipment
The Components Of Ammunition
2. Components
Cleaning Brass Cases For Reloading
3. Brass Cases
Making Reloads On A Press
4. Know How