plated vs.poly

gerrycaruso

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Has anyone switched from plated to polymer coated? I'm looking at Black Bullets, Blue Bullets and Precision Bullets. Does anyone have experience with any of them?
 

andrew1220

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All I use is blue bullets for 9mm. Loaded and shot tens of thousands of their 147 gr RN.
Plenty of 5% off coupon codes for blues too.
 

EddieZoom

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Yes, yes, yes and yes ;-)

Only load/shoot poly coated bullets. Mostly 9mm, but also 40 and 45. Been using Precision (black bullets out of Texas) for a few years. Recently bought a batch of both Blue and Black (BBI). Switching from plated you'll find yourself tweaking the bell/crimp to make sure your not shaving the coating off....other than that all have been good to go.
 
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Has anyone switched from plated to polymer coated?
Other than jacketed, I have loaded with Berrys plated and Xtreme plated, Blue bullets, Acme, SNS, BBI, Bayou, Precision, PC, Badman, Eggleston, and Ibejihead coated.

I now use Ibejihead almost exclusively. Their weight and sizing is extremely consistent, and their coating is superior to most.
 

Cuz

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Other than jacketed, I have loaded with Berrys plated and Xtreme plated, Blue bullets, Acme, SNS, BBI, Bayou, Precision, PC, Badman, Eggleston, and Ibejihead coated.

I now use Ibejihead almost exclusively. Their weight and sizing is extremely consistent, and their coating is superior to most.
SJan,
What weight and bullet shape are you Shooting in your 9mm PCC?

Thanks,
Cuz
 

TrashcanDan

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I used p.c'd, then went back to plated in 230's .45 acp. Found it fed better in the 1911 than p.c'd and didn't get the powder residue on the feed ramp. Less buildup on the forcing cone on the 625.
Switched from plated 158's to 160 rn Black Bullets Intl for .38 spl. for the 627. No real gain in speed-reloads (6 .45's w/ rn's plop faster in a moon than 8 .38's on a moon). No real advatage other than cost over 10,000.
 

Cuz

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147g, FP BB NLG.
Thanks. I figure I’m more than a year away from needing to order more bullet heads, unless my kids start shooting more. I’ll have to reconsider switching from 124gr to 147gr when that time comes. It does seem that many of the serious 9mm shooters have already made that transition. I’m always at the back of the curve...
 

FancyGunz

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Yes, yes, yes and yes ;-)

Only load/shoot poly coated bullets. Mostly 9mm, but also 40 and 45. Been using Precision (black bullets out of Texas) for a few years. Recently bought a batch of both Blue and Black (BBI). Switching from plated you'll find yourself tweaking the bell/crimp to make sure your not shaving the coating off....other than that all have been good to go.
I switched from Berry's plated to Blue Bullets, 147gr flat point 9mm, and ordered 3000 at once. Huuuuuge mistake!!

Never have I had so much trouble loading rounds. The expansion has to be absolutely perfect - any variation in cases and I'm either shaving lead or creating a huge bell in the case. No more mixing headstamps. Reloading 9mm went from being a relaxing activity to an activity I dread. I had to buy a better expander, buy brand new starline cases for consistent expansion, buy a new seater...also the coating residue is a pain to clean off of the dies and the press.

Honestly, spend the extra couple cents per round and save yourself the aggravation. One this batch is gone, never again!!
 

radioman

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I switched from Berry's plated to Blue Bullets, 147gr flat point 9mm, and ordered 3000 at once. Huuuuuge mistake!!

Never have I had so much trouble loading rounds. The expansion has to be absolutely perfect - any variation in cases and I'm either shaving lead or creating a huge bell in the case. No more mixing headstamps. Reloading 9mm went from being a relaxing activity to an activity I dread. I had to buy a better expander, buy brand new starline cases for consistent expansion, buy a new seater...also the coating residue is a pain to clean off of the dies and the press.

Honestly, spend the extra couple cents per round and save yourself the aggravation. One this batch is gone, never again!!
Thanks for this answered my question.
 

EddieZoom

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I switched from Berry's plated to Blue Bullets, 147gr flat point 9mm, and ordered 3000 at once. Huuuuuge mistake!!

Never have I had so much trouble loading rounds. The expansion has to be absolutely perfect - any variation in cases and I'm either shaving lead or creating a huge bell in the case. No more mixing headstamps. Reloading 9mm went from being a relaxing activity to an activity I dread. I had to buy a better expander, buy brand new starline cases for consistent expansion, buy a new seater...also the coating residue is a pain to clean off of the dies and the press.

Honestly, spend the extra couple cents per round and save yourself the aggravation. One this batch is gone, never again!!
Curious...what color is your press ? Once I figured out the proper bell to prevent shaving (which is a great deal more than I was used to with plated) I never had any issues. I use nothing but mixed headstamp range brass..my COL is consistent and ammo works perfectly in whatever I'm shooting.

If you prefer plated boolits, stick with them...but the coated lead stuff is here to stay and works really well at a lower cost.
 

Cuz

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It surely has a lot to do with how much cheaper they are vs how many rounds you shoot in a year. If that savings is big enough to make you consider it, then give them a try. It seems these days I’m shooting so little I may just go back to buying loaded ammo at $0.16 each. Hopefully when I find the time to start Shooting more I may give them a try.
 
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I switched from Berry's plated to Blue Bullets, 147gr flat point 9mm, and ordered 3000 at once. Huuuuuge mistake!!
When did you buy the blue bullets? They changed their coating process within the last year, maybe a little longer ago at this point. Previously the coating would rub off on your fingers, and had greatly inconsistent thickness. No special dies are needed for loading coated bullets, its no different than loading plain cast lead which has been done forever. Your situation could have been caused by an improperly set up sizing die.

It surely has a lot to do with how much cheaper they are vs how many rounds you shoot in a year
I load Ibejiheads coated because they are better quality than any other coated I have tried, and they are better than any plated I have tried in that their sizing and weight (both important for accuracy) is more consistent. Coated lead requires less powder charge vs jacketed with all other things being equal, that means less recoil than jacketed.
 

M1911

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I switched from Berry's plated to Blue Bullets, 147gr flat point 9mm, and ordered 3000 at once. Huuuuuge mistake!!

Never have I had so much trouble loading rounds. The expansion has to be absolutely perfect - any variation in cases and I'm either shaving lead or creating a huge bell in the case. No more mixing headstamps. Reloading 9mm went from being a relaxing activity to an activity I dread. I had to buy a better expander, buy brand new starline cases for consistent expansion, buy a new seater...also the coating residue is a pain to clean off of the dies and the press.

Honestly, spend the extra couple cents per round and save yourself the aggravation. One this batch is gone, never again!!
I’ve had none of those problems with Ibeji Heads. I’m loading 147gr flat point in 9mm.
 

andrew1220

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I switched from Berry's plated to Blue Bullets, 147gr flat point 9mm, and ordered 3000 at once. Huuuuuge mistake!!

Never have I had so much trouble loading rounds. The expansion has to be absolutely perfect - any variation in cases and I'm either shaving lead or creating a huge bell in the case. No more mixing headstamps. Reloading 9mm went from being a relaxing activity to an activity I dread. I had to buy a better expander, buy brand new starline cases for consistent expansion, buy a new seater...also the coating residue is a pain to clean off of the dies and the press.

Honestly, spend the extra couple cents per round and save yourself the aggravation. One this batch is gone, never again!!
Surprised to hear you had issues with the blues. I’ve been loading them for 3 or 4 years (tens of thousands) and haven’t run into that. Originally the coating would rub off on your fingers but I ALWAYS wear gloves when reloading so I didn’t care. But as SJan mentioned, they changed their coating to avoid it rubbing off.
 

andrew1220

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Curious...what color is your press ? Once I figured out the proper bell to prevent shaving (which is a great deal more than I was used to with plated) I never had any issues. I use nothing but mixed headstamp range brass..my COL is consistent and ammo works perfectly in whatever I'm shooting.

If you prefer plated boolits, stick with them...but the coated lead stuff is here to stay and works really well at a lower cost.
Yup
 

andrew1220

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I switched from Berry's plated to Blue Bullets, 147gr flat point 9mm, and ordered 3000 at once. Huuuuuge mistake!!

Never have I had so much trouble loading rounds. The expansion has to be absolutely perfect - any variation in cases and I'm either shaving lead or creating a huge bell in the case. No more mixing headstamps. Reloading 9mm went from being a relaxing activity to an activity I dread. I had to buy a better expander, buy brand new starline cases for consistent expansion, buy a new seater...also the coating residue is a pain to clean off of the dies and the press.

Honestly, spend the extra couple cents per round and save yourself the aggravation. One this batch is gone, never again!!
Have you measured the diameter of the bullets? I only ask because a few years ago there were some 357 or 358" bullets that were mixed in and blue bullets gave me $100 coupon and covered return shipping. This was in 2016 if I recall.

Also I would try to reach out to them as their customer service is top notch
 

FancyGunz

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Have you measured the diameter of the bullets? I only ask because a few years ago there were some 357 or 358" bullets that were mixed in and blue bullets gave me $100 coupon and covered return shipping. This was in 2016 if I recall.
I have not measured diameter, I will do this. I have loaded thousands of plated rounds without any of the inconsistency issues I was having with Blue Bullets. They are a new batch from this year so it should have the updated coating.

EddieZoom said:
Curious...what color is your press ? Once I figured out the proper bell to prevent shaving (which is a great deal more than I was used to with plated) I never had any issues. I use nothing but mixed headstamp range brass..my COL is consistent and ammo works perfectly in whatever I'm shooting.
My press is "red" (Hornady LnL), although that really has nothing to do with it. It's more about the sensitivity of plated vs poly coated. The larger bell required is right on the edge of "too large", and a slightly longer case will become bulged at the bottom below the crimp removal, so the case becomes too fat to chamber. A really annoying problem!
 

M1911

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I’ve loaded thousands of plated and coated bullets. I haven’t had those problems. I haven’t used Blue Bullets.
 

andrew1220

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I have not measured diameter, I will do this. I have loaded thousands of plated rounds without any of the inconsistency issues I was having with Blue Bullets. They are a new batch from this year so it should have the updated coating.



My press is "red" (Hornady LnL), although that really has nothing to do with it. It's more about the sensitivity of plated vs poly coated. The larger bell required is right on the edge of "too large", and a slightly longer case will become bulged at the bottom below the crimp removal, so the case becomes too fat to chamber. A really annoying problem!
What expander, seater, and crimp dies do you use?
Hornady 9mm expander, Lee seater, and Lee taper crimp die (not factory crimp).
 

franktc

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Andrew mentions an important point. I had issues when I switched over from FMJ to coated bullets earlier this year. The Lee FCD caused some issues with setback and inconsistent COAL because of the way it sizes the entire case. Switched to a traditional taper crimp and have much better results.
 

FancyGunz

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Hornady 9mm expander, Lee seater, and Lee taper crimp die (not factory crimp).
OK, weird. I am using the Lyman "M" expander die, and Hornady combo seater/crimp die. I had to switch to the Lyman expander because it's supposedly made for cast bullets that require a large flare, and doesn't stretch the case. It improved consistency greatly over the Hornady, which was over-expanding the bottom half of the case so they wouldn't chamber even after the crimp was removed (it was flaring too low in the case). Still happens with slightly longer cases with a weird headstamp on the Lyman, but significantly reduced.

I'll have to switch to a separate taper crimp and see if that helps. Then I run out of spaces and can't use my bullet feeder, which will slow down the whole loading process significantly...

My bullets do measure 0.355" (measured 10 randomly)
 

andrew1220

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OK, weird. I am using the Lyman "M" expander die, and Hornady combo seater/crimp die. I had to switch to the Lyman expander because it's supposedly made for cast bullets that require a large flare, and doesn't stretch the case. It improved consistency greatly over the Hornady, which was over-expanding the bottom half of the case so they wouldn't chamber even after the crimp was removed (it was flaring too low in the case). Still happens with slightly longer cases with a weird headstamp on the Lyman, but significantly reduced.

I'll have to switch to a separate taper crimp and see if that helps. Then I run out of spaces and can't use my bullet feeder, which will slow down the whole loading process significantly...

My bullets do measure 0.355" (measured 10 randomly)
Hmmm. I don't think the crimp is the issue unless I'm misunderstanding the problem? You said that you have to overexpand the cases in order to avoid shaving the coating/lead?
I have to flare the cases SLIGHTLY more when using the blue bullets compared to plated or jacketed but not by much.

I'll try to remember to take a photo of my expanded cases when I get home.
 
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