COPPER PLATED BULLETS
Our complete metal plated bullets are made by cast or swaging procedure. For lead cores we use only virgin lead-antimony alloy, which assures the appropriate bullet hardness. For bullet jacket we use pure electrolytic copper. All the bullets are recalibrated after plating which assures tightness tolerances. The bullets are tested at the velocities over 1200 fps. 100% copper jacket assures maximum protection from the lead and that makes these bullets highly appropriate for shooting in closed shooting ranges.
Some Tips for Reloading with Copper Plated Bullets:
Copper plated bullets can offer shooters who put a lot of rounds down range some substantial benefits. They don’t smoke like cast lead bullets do, so you don’t have to breathe the vapors or try to see through clouds of smoke for follow-up shots. Additionally, they don’t leave lead deposits in the bore, and they generally cost quite a bit less than jacketed bullets.
Plated vs. lead vs. jacketed.
Jacketed bullets are usually made from soft lead wire cores swaged (pressure formed) into shape and then pressed into a thick walled (0,3mm) jacket made from rolled copper plate material. Internally the cores are soft, but the thick copper jacket makes the projectiles more rigid, permitting them to be fired accurately at high velocities. Due to the manufacturing method employed, jacketed bullets usually show very little variance in dimension or weight.
Copper plated bullets can be made from swaged lead cores or cast lead cores. Since cast bullets do not have to be pressure formed, they can be alloyed with certain metals to harden them, so swaged cores tend to be somewhat softer than cast.
Swaged cores offer the benefit of consistent weight from bullet to bullet and are cheap to produce, while cast bullet weights tend to vary a little more, and they are more labor intensive and thus more costly to produce. Since copper plating is usually applied thinly through a chemical/electrical process (0,08mm-0,12mm), it doesn’t offer the same rigidity as the thicker rolled jacketing material used in copper jacketed bullets. This means that plated bullets with harder cast cores can typically be loaded to higher velocities without deforming or separating from the plating. In handgun calibers, small variations in bullet weight mean very little in terms of accuracy, whereas bullet hardness does matter. Hard cast bullets do go through a swaging process to ensure they are dimensionally true, but this is more of a final sizing operation than a forming process.
Plain old hard cast lead bullets are usually great dollar value and can be as accurate as jacketed bullets. But of course the down sides are the smoke, the inevitable build of lead deposits in the bore, and the air born lead particulate that is generated when the bullet is fired. So with either flavor you choose there is a price vs. performance trade-off to consider.
Most people will be able to shoot the softer swaged-core plated bullets in moderate velocity loads. But when you start getting up around 1000 fps, core hardness starts to become more important.
Loading plated bullets.
Since the plating material is softer than that of true copper jacket material, one has to be careful in both the degree and type of crimp they apply to their loads. Unless the bullet has a cannalure, avoid roll crimping. The roll crimp will tear the plating material and destroy accuracy.
Set the taper crimp on your loads by incrementally testing. A proper crimp should show just the tiniest imprint of the case mouth on the bullet. Do not apply so much crimp that the bullet is being crushed in any way; all that is required is to basically straighten out the case mouth bell once the bullet is seated to the correct depth. Normal case drag will do the rest.