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.500 S&W Plated Bullet Velocity
This is a discussion on .500 S&W Plated Bullet Velocity within the Reloading forums, part of the Hardware category; The price of jacketed bullets for the .500 has almost doubled in the last year and a half, so I've ...
09-18-2008, 11:45 AM #1
.500 S&W Plated Bullet Velocity
The price of jacketed bullets for the .500 has almost doubled in the last year and a half, so I've been loading a lot of plated bullets lately. I've been loading these quite light - keeping the velocity to around 1100fps. Shooting that kind of round out of the .500 is like kissing your sister.
There are two manufacturers - Berrys Bullets and Rainier Ballistics - that make plated bullets for the .500. The Berrys bullets are round-nose 350gr with a cannelure; Rainier makes 4 sizes of bullets from 275gr to 400gr both flat and hollow point. None of the Rainier bullets feature a cannelure.
On the FAQ page of both the manufacturers' websites they recommend that velocities be kept below 1200fps (which is no fun). However, they also indicate that the plating is thicker on the .500 bullets than on others.
I decided to call them up yesterday for a clarification. Here's what I learned:
Rainier - They told me that they tested the .500 plated bullets up to 2000fps . While this sounds good, the Rainier bullets have no cannelure. My experience has shown that the recoil will cause these bullets to jump the crimp before you ever get close to that velocity. The person I talked to said a "light roll crimp is OK, but be careful not to cut through the plating because the bullet will come apart when you fire it". This is way worse than it sounds.
When I mentioned the crimp jumping thing, the person told me, "that depends on the gun and the shooter"; which is true to a certain extent. She didn't know the make and model of the gun they used to test the bullets, nor did she know whether or not they loaded them singly.
I think I'll keep the velocity low with Rainier bullets except for loads for use in my single-shot HandiRifle.
Berrys - The guy at Berrys told me that their .500 bullets can be loaded safely to 1750fps. I've never loaded Berrys bullets in the .500, but I just received a box of 500 that I'm going to try out. Since these bullets have a cannelure, I'm going to "push it" a bit on the velocity.
The one thing that bugs me about the Berrys bullets is that the cannelure is low on the bullet. It's only 1/4" up from the base. This doesn't put a lot of bearing surface inside the case, and in spite of the cannelure, I'm still worried about jumping the crimp. The bullet shape would've allowed them to put the cannelure 1/8" higher up. I wish they'd done it.
I'm going to try these out with a variety of powders, and see how fast I can get them running while maintaining accuracy. I'll post some results when I have them.
Also, I've updated and added some new loads to my .500 and .460 page:
09-18-2008, 01:42 PM #2
Good info Jim.
I have personally pushed Berrys just past 1300fps and have not had the bullet come apart. That's not with the thicker plated .500 bullets, so I think you should be OK pushing just a bit past the 1750.
It will be very clear if you push it past the limit, you will be cursing yourself as you clean your bore."A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity" --Sigmund Freud
09-18-2008, 01:51 PM #3
The Rainier bullets also turn into little frag grenades when loaded to magnum velocities. They spit pieces of plating back out of the forcing cone and shred whatever they hit (including my arms, face and others nearby) OUCH. Admittedly these were not the .500 bullets.
No more for me thanks.
09-18-2008, 02:10 PM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
I run the Rainier 335gr plated bullets in my .50Beowulf as a "plinking" load at around 1950fps. Runs like a top too. 16" barrel of course, DI gas system. Only caveat is that I hit a deer at about 40yds with the hollow point version last year and it PANCAKED on his front shoulder! I hit a little forward than I wanted. He did not drop and we had to track him for about 15min and my dadinlaw popped him with a 7mmMag. I will NOT run the HP's in my .50B for hunting anymore as the velocity is way too high at close ranges. The flatpoints however should do fine. I am hunting with the Rem 385grCLHP's this year regardless. Oh, the .50B uses a taper crimp, so we don't care about a cannelure!
09-20-2008, 08:03 PM #5
I loaded some of the 350gr Berrys today.
40.0 Grains of IMR 4227 Got them to 1480fps with a 10-shot group std deviation of 30fps. Accuracy was as good as any other plated bullet.
These rounds felt and sounded just like typical factory ammo, which is what I was going for in a plinker. Unlike factory ammo, these cost $20 per 50 rounds instead of $50 per 20 rounds.
Last edited by EddieCoyle; 09-21-2008 at 01:00 AM.
09-21-2008, 08:43 AM #6
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Cool. As to pricing, yes, the plated bullets are the way to go! They are the official plinking bullet for the .50 Beowulf crowd for sure! When I win the lottery I will shoot Hawk bullets or maybe some custom bullets. I actually have some 600gr jacketed lead tipped bullets for testing right now! They run $1+ per bullet of course. Should be fun. The original testing for them was done in a .500S&W too!