Forums / Gun Discussion / Handgun Bullets

3 years 40 weeks ago, 5:39 PM

Vaquero

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General of the Army
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Handgun Bullets

I know, I said I’d post about my quest for accuracy. Well, I got to thinking and figured this would be a better follow up.
Handgun bullets are similar to rifle bullets when it comes to uses. The big difference being, most handgun target bullets are non-jacketed. Before CW goes off on me, I said MOST not all. The competitions his wife entered were likely metallic silhouette. That’s a whole nuther story. I’m talking about paper punchers.
Target bullets are usually a wad cutter or some variation of. To name a few….bevel base wadcutter, hollow base wad cutter, semi wad cutter. Cowboy shooting rules require a non-jacketed lead only bullet. The round nose is predominantly used for Cowboy shooting. I’ve loaded and shot hundreds of combinations of lead cast bullets and powder combinations. To me, nothing beats a bevel base wad cutter and 700fps velocity. It’s easy to load, easy to shoot and accurate as hell (a guy can run out of excuses). I’m talking strictly revolvers in .38 special and .357 Mag here.

FMJ bullets in handguns have only one use, auto loader practice. Even then, if you are willing to try, you can load some very fine 9mm or .45 ammo and “tune “ it to function very well with lead cast bullets. It is just getting hard to justify loading 9s or .45s cost wise. There are some sweet deals out there now on the popular rounds.

Hollow points are pretty singular also with the .355 to .358 and .45 ranges being the exception. When you can load so many different cartridges with so many different velocities and pressures you need a wide range of “optimum expansion” jackets. In a nutshell, I can load a bullet of 90gr weight designed for a .380 in a .357 magnum cartridge and literally separate the jacket from the core with velocity and spin from the turn ratio of the rifling . A lot of this is due to the black powder to smokeless transition. Most autoloader cartridges were developed with smokeless powder and current metallurgy knowledge and thus have not experienced the “evolution” of the .45 and .38. So, if you load 10mm or .40 you kinda got the guess work out of the way. I consider the 9mm and the .38 special to be the twins, one of them got the looks (9) and the other got the brains (.38). While these are very similar in energy and velocity, the .38 can be loaded +P or toned down to dang near “less than lethal” and still function properly in most any handgun manufactured for the cartridge. It is also very cost effective to “roll your own” for the .38 special. I am currently hitting around $11.00 per hundred rounds, and I am not suffering shortages.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 40 weeks ago, 8:02 PM

greg az

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Secretary of Homeland Security
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Now were talking..

i like that 9s got the looks 38s have the brains... Where are those bullets you rolled from me from pard.. those puppys are perfect, and not sure of the weight.. as you said your talking 3.55 for the 9 so a good bullet to put in the either case.. Obviously 9 is normally 115 gr.. and 38 is 158.. but a hundred weights and types of bullets between those two...

Sorta like FMJ as a load to run thru after shooting lead.. it "feels" like the brass is cleaning the rifling a bit.. I know this is not the fact, but still lets me justify not cleaning every time i go to the range...

Ok...time to buggy...see ya all later..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
3 years 40 weeks ago, 8:20 PM

Vaquero

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Rank:
General of the Army
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Dec 2009
Location:
West Texas
Padre's projectiles

come from an outfit in Breckenridge, TX. 125 gr 9mm bullet with 3.5 gr of Red Dot pushing.
Me and the fam are liking them too. I've got about 100 left from a box of 500.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 40 weeks ago, 10:01 PM

greg az

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Secretary of Homeland Security
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Wish i could stick, but can't... Im with you pard, those are perfect rounds, wt, and fps for plinking..

Guys will see ya all later.. Cali Mike, glad your back buddy.. Night guys..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
3 years 40 weeks ago, 10:04 PM

zx12rmike

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commiefornia, United States

good evening greg how are you boss? and your brother???

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
3 years 40 weeks ago, 6:37 AM

CharlesW

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General
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Live in the wilderness, Republic of Texas, United States

What's to go off on ???
Sounds to me like you have done
your homework and have a plan.
Happy Shooting

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
3 years 40 weeks ago, 7:13 AM

HKBauer

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Lieutenant General
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Hey Vaq

Are you saying it isnt worth my time and effort to reload my .45acp? Not sure what your saying here Sir?

3 years 40 weeks ago, 4:37 PM

Vaquero

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General of the Army
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Dec 2009
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West Texas
R3

Not saying that at all Adam. I meant that ball ammo for the common LE and Mil actions is just as cheap to buy as opposed to reloading. I would reload even if it cost me a bit more, it's my way of enjoying shooting when the weather makes being outdoors less than pleasant. If I am off base on the pricing of white box compared to roll your own for the .45 ACP then I am wrong.
With primers at $4 per 100 and cast bullets at $45 per 500 for .38s I figure the .45 bullets to cost more. I do know that I loaded some 9mm for a friend and he bought the bullets, I gave him 100 primers and powder, his brass. He liked the ammo, he just would rather pay $10 per 50 at wally world.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 40 weeks ago, 4:48 PM

HKBauer

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Thank for the clarification, after I read again just now it made a lot more sense guess thats what sleep deprvation does!LOL

3 years 40 weeks ago, 5:40 PM

Vaquero

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Rank:
General of the Army
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West Texas
R3

I'm quite sure that your professors and text books are better at getting a point across than I am.
Then again, I feel like I do better with fewer words.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 40 weeks ago, 4:50 PM

ACE

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Lieutenant General
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Vaq

Thank U so much for posting all of Ur reloading experiences. The last 2 U've posted, I've copied/pasted and printed it out to keep in one of my notebooks. I havent had the pleasure of reloading yet. I do want to get into it tho. And I get more info from U, than I did from my study book on reloading. Thanks again Vaq!!

“When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.”- George Washington
3 years 40 weeks ago, 5:18 PM

Vaquero

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Rank:
General of the Army
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5482
Join Date:
Dec 2009
Location:
West Texas
ACE and R3

(blushing) Aw shucks.
Really all I wanted to do was pass on some of the lessons I've learned.
I honestly hope it does help.
I just posted another with a cheater link to Hornady.
If you want to load some accurate rifle ammo, read the link, save it and read it again, and refer to it often.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 40 weeks ago, 5:23 PM

HampsterW

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Secretary of State
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Jan 2010
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Cottonwood Heights, Utah, United States

very relaxing, head down to my 'man cave' (basement), crank up some tunes and fire up the press. Leave the beer drinking for later as you really got to pay attention, I usually weigh every tenth round just to be sure. I think that I am into my equipment around $400 including the cost of the loading table I built and I have dies for .223 and 9mm. I have heard that it is possible to reload berdan primed steel case ammo but as Vaq mentioned, the prices of mil-surp ammo is so cheap that it isn't worth the hassle.

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
3 years 38 weeks ago, 7:21 PM

runawaygun762

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Vice President
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Nov 2008
Location:
Richland, MO, United States
Reloading costs

$34 / 1000 small pistol primers
$112 / 1000 124gr JHP 9mm Montana Gold bullets
$28 / 1 lb Ramshot Silhouette Powder (5.6 gr per round, 7000 gr in a pound, so one pound is more than enough for 1000 rounds)

174 bucks for 1000 rounds of 9mm JHP loaded for best accuracy in my gun, but 180 bucks a case for 115 gr FMJ Blazer Brass garbage (9 bucks a box, 20 boxes). I get better performance for less by reloading.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.

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