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
|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?
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.
- Jacketed bullets start with
a copper cup, which is "drawn up" into the form of a
jacket. Lead is then infused into the jacket.
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.
Jacketed - Generally are most expensive but can
be shot at
magnum velocities and require less cleaning than
Plated - Not as expensive as Jacketed and
cleaner than lead but you'll want to stay away from
magnum velocities when loading plated bullets.
Cast - Usually cost the least, but are very
"dirty" and often cannot be used in indoor ranges.
9MM Luger Plated, 115gr, RN
box delivered to my front door in June1,
boxes of 1,000 9mm plated bullets. Total cost
||This is what 1,000
Previous orders from
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.
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.
- They are more durable and withstand rough handling on the
- 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.
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