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Old 01-12-2012, 07:58   #1
rpgman
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Question about CAST bullets

and please forgive me, I've only been loading since last September and I've learned a great deal from all of you here.

My question being is why are cast bullets bigger (longer) than say plated bullets?

I purchased the following from Grafs for my wife's S&W BodyGuard 38.

MO BULLET CAST 38c (.358) 158gr LSWC MATCH 500/BX

and

BERRY 38/357 (.357) 125gr BULLET FLAT POINT 250/BX

plus I had a box of Hornaday 110gr XTP's

Just trying to learn why a cast bullet is larger (longer).

BTW, love how the Berry's loaded. Now, to shoot all three with different powder grains to see how my wife likes them.

Thanks,
Greg
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:11   #2
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They're longer because they weigh more. Your cast bullets are 158gr and your plated bullets are 125gr. They have to figure out somewhere to put the additional weight so they make them longer.

If you compare three of the same shaped round nose 9mm bullets side by side, the only difference being that one is 115gr, one is 124gr, and the last 147gr, you'll notice that they get longer as they get heavier.

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Old 01-12-2012, 08:12   #3
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In the case you've given, the cast bullet weighs more. How could it be the same length as a lighter bullet and still way more? That's where the extra weight comes in... it's a little longer, right?

At least, that's what I'm thinking.

EDIT: XDROX was typing the same time I was.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:14   #4
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In the case you've given, the cast bullet weighs more. How could it be the same length as a lighter bullet and still way more? That's where the extra weight comes in... it's a little longer, right?

At least, that's what I'm thinking.

EDIT: XDROX was typing the same time I was.
Beat you to it Ron
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:15   #5
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ok, so a Cast 158gr LSWC is longer so it weighs the same as a plated 158gr.

Now, I feel stupid because I should have figured that out.

Thanks Chris and Ron.
Greg
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:53   #6
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No need to feel stupid. We've all asked questions that the answer seems obvious once we get the answer.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:31   #7
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ok, so a Cast 158gr LSWC is longer so it weighs the same as a plated 158gr.

Now, I feel stupid because I should have figured that out.

Thanks Chris and Ron.
Greg
Well, maybe. It depends a lot on the shape. If the plated & cast are identical shapes, then the will be almost identical wts. Lead weighs more than copper. The copper plating could make the total bullet length slightly longer. The other point are most all cast lead bullets have grooves for lube &/or crimping. If the bullets are the same wt, the extra metal from the grooves has to go some place, so the bullet gets longer. Same for hollowpoints of the same wt as FMJ, the HP is usually a longer bullet.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:19   #8
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Well, maybe. It depends a lot on the shape. If the plated & cast are identical shapes, then the will be almost identical wts. Lead weighs more than copper. The copper plating could make the total bullet length slightly longer. The other point are most all cast lead bullets have grooves for lube &/or crimping. If the bullets are the same wt, the extra metal from the grooves has to go some place, so the bullet gets longer. Same for hollowpoints of the same wt as FMJ, the HP is usually a longer bullet.
Thanks Fred.
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Old 01-12-2012, 14:37   #9
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Thanks Fred.
Greg
I forgot to answer why are lead bullets larger? The lead bullet is relatively soft compared to jacketed. So the bullet needs to seal the bore to help prevent gas blow by. Shooting a groove dia or smaller bullet almost always results in leading & poor accuracy. Hence using a bullet at least 0.001" LARGEr than groove dia makes things run better. You will often see plated bullets 0.001" larger as well. They are really soft lead w/ a very thin copper plating & work better being slightly over size as well. Little things like this is why I don;t recommend a noob reloader start w/ lead bullets. It's just not as easy to get instant gratification form your reloads if yo uhave bullets key holing or leading your bbl & having accuracy go to hell after a dozen rds.
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Old 01-12-2012, 14:48   #10
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I forgot to answer why are lead bullets larger? The lead bullet is relatively soft compared to jacketed. So the bullet needs to seal the bore to help prevent gas blow by. Shooting a groove dia or smaller bullet almost always results in leading & poor accuracy. Hence using a bullet at least 0.001" LARGEr than groove dia makes things run better. You will often see plated bullets 0.001" larger as well. They are really soft lead w/ a very thin copper plating & work better being slightly over size as well. Little things like this is why I don;t recommend a noob reloader start w/ lead bullets. It's just not as easy to get instant gratification form your reloads if yo uhave bullets key holing or leading your bbl & having accuracy go to hell after a dozen rds.
oh yea, I understand.

I don't shoot lead in my Glocks, yet. This is for my wife's S&W Bodyguard 38 and I'm making up some rounds for her in different size bullets and different powder weights.

It's just for her for target practice getting use to her SD gun.

I believe you recommend the 158gr LSWC as one that would be 'soft' for her.

Thanks again Fred

Greg
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:07   #11
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The MBC 158gr LSWC is a great bullet! I use some Bullseye powder behind it and it's a nice shooter! Very manageable in my 642 for 'practice'.
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:35   #12
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The MBC 158gr LSWC is a great bullet! I use some Bullseye powder behind it and it's a nice shooter! Very manageable in my 642 for 'practice'.
I loaded it with HP-38, but I also have Bullseye...how much are you using?
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Old 01-12-2012, 15:43   #13
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3.6 grains of Bullseye makes for a very nice load out of a 2 inch barrel but you might want to consider starting out around 3.2 or so for your wife until she get comfortable with it and builds confidence.


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Old 01-12-2012, 16:07   #14
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oh yea, I understand.

I don't shoot lead in my Glocks, yet. This is for my wife's S&W Bodyguard 38 and I'm making up some rounds for her in different size bullets and different powder weights.

It's just for her for target practice getting use to her SD gun.

I believe you recommend the 158gr LSWC as one that would be 'soft' for her.

Thanks again Fred

Greg
Mostly because they are readily available & will print to POA as most 38sp are regulated w/ 158gr ammo. Any soft load of fast powder will give good results.
Now for proper lead bullet fit in a revolver, it starts w/ the cyl throats. If you can NOT push a 0.357" jacketd bullet easily thru the cyl throats, they may be too small for good lead bullet results. The smaller cyl throat swages the bullet down & then it has to try & bump back up when it hits the rifling. Often you get early leading in the bbl.
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Old 01-12-2012, 16:30   #15
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This is for my wife's S&W Bodyguard 38 and I'm making up some rounds for her in different size bullets and different powder weights.

It's just for her for target practice getting use to her SD gun.
Hey, Jack... Someone is finally listening to your advice - having the wife test the reloads.
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Old 01-12-2012, 18:17   #16
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3.6 grains of Bullseye makes for a very nice load out of a 2 inch barrel but you might want to consider starting out around 3.2 or so for your wife until she get comfortable with it and builds confidence.


Jack
Thanks Jack.
I'll make up some for her with 3.2 of BE
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Old 01-12-2012, 18:23   #17
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Hey, Jack... Someone is finally listening to your advice - having the wife test the reloads.
BUT OF COURSE!

No I made 20 of each. 10 for both of us and I'll shoot each load first, 10 then she'll shoot 10.
I have about 190 rounds so far, about 9 different loads with 3 different bullets.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:21   #18
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Mostly because they are readily available & will print to POA as most 38sp are regulated w/ 158gr ammo. Any soft load of fast powder will give good results.
Now for proper lead bullet fit in a revolver, it starts w/ the cyl throats. If you can NOT push a 0.357" jacketd bullet easily thru the cyl throats, they may be too small for good lead bullet results. The smaller cyl throat swages the bullet down & then it has to try & bump back up when it hits the rifling. Often you get early leading in the bbl.
Thanks Fred.
But, I remember last week when I started a thread on what bullet type should I purchase for my wife's S&W BodyGuard 38, and someone mentioned that the shorter barrels were better with a 125gr bullet.

I guess we'll know when we shoot these this weekend.

Greg
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:34   #19
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Thanks Fred.
But, I remember last week when I started a thread on what bullet type should I purchase for my wife's S&W BodyGuard 38, and someone mentioned that the shorter barrels were better with a 124gr bullet.

I guess we'll know when we shoot these this weekend.

Greg
Depends. I have tried vartious 125gr 38sp loasd for my snubs & keep going back to the old school 158grLSWCHP. They almost always expand some, offer enough mass for penetration & easily duplicated using cheap 158grLSWC & shoot to POA. Most snubs will print 125gr bullets 4"-5" low @ 50ft.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:16   #20
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Depends. I have tried vartious 125gr 38sp loasd for my snubs & keep going back to the old school 158grLSWCHP. They almost always expand some, offer enough mass for penetration & easily duplicated using cheap 158grLSWC & shoot to POA. Most snubs will print 125gr bullets 4"-5" low @ 50ft.
gotcha...

thanks again, we'll see what happens this weekend.
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