Author Topic: Bullets for .40 cal  (Read 4353 times)

Offline Shooter1955

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Bullets for .40 cal
« on: September 10, 2014, 11:04:03 PM »
I found a site for reasonable bullets for reloading at http://www.bullets.com/search?s=category%3aBullets%2cgun_type%3aPistol&s=caliber:.40&o=1
Berry's 10mm/40cal, 1000 for $107.82 plus shipping of $9.95. Really good deal for us re loaders. I've ordered from them before and the shipping is really fast! Hope this helps.

Offline Virginia John

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 05:50:05 PM »
Why not just buy from Berry, free shipping. :rolleyes:

Offline frgood

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 07:29:25 PM »
bullets.com  .40 180 RS    99.95 + 9.95  = 109.90
Berrys          .40 180 RS                             130.81
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 08:13:43 PM by frgood »

Offline IDescribe

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 09:39:46 PM »
Or why not buy from ACME or SNS or BBI or Bayou Bullets or Precision Bullets and not have to deal with plated bullet headaches to begin with.


Seriously, JHP or coated lead is all that you should be looking at.  That's it.  Everything else is equal or lesser in one way or another.

Offline frgood

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 01:02:34 AM »
Or why not buy from ACME or SNS or BBI or Bayou Bullets or Precision Bullets and not have to deal with plated bullet headaches to begin with.


Seriously, JHP or coated lead is all that you should be looking at.  That's it.  Everything else is equal or lesser in one way or another.

Please explain. Why should I go to the hassle of changing bullet supply.

Offline IDescribe

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 07:43:17 AM »
Plated bullets represent a decent cost savings relative to jacketed bullets when you're buying jacketed bullets 100 or 500 at a time.  But when you're buying jacketed in bulk, 2000 or more, that savings comes down to somewhere between 0 and 4 cents per bullet, depending on manufacturer and source.  You can get 180gr RN made by Zero or Precision Delta in the neighborhood of 11.5-12 cents per bullet, plus shipping.  Or plated 180 RN for the afore-mentioned 10 cents plus shipping. So 1.5-2 cents per bullet.  Jacketed bullets are considerably less sensitive to crimp than plated are, have more even mass distribution due to the jacket and lead core being swaged instead of cast, are generally easier to extract accuracy out of than plated bullets, and accuracy potential is greater, in general -- no serious 50 yard bullseye competitor is competing with plated bullets.  If you must have a metal exterior, the advantages of jacketed are likely worth the extra 1.5-2 cents over the cost of plated.

But you don't need a metal exterior.  Plated bullets USED TO represent an advantage over non-jacketed lead bullets in terms of not having to handle bare lead, not having to clean lead from your barrel, reduced lead exposure in indoor ranges, etc..  And with polygonal barrels, you're discouraged from using bare lead in general, so plated was the only alternative to jacketed there.  But that's no longer the case.  The coated lead bullets now provide a "lead safe" alternative to plated and jacketed, and most of them work in the polygonal barrels, as well.  It takes a little adjustment from plated or jacketed to load them -- an extra consideration or two, but once that's done, they are (like jacketed bullets) -- easier to extract accuracy from than plated, and they have greater accuracy potential overall, maybe just a hair behind jacketed, or maybe equal, depending on the particular gun, powder, bullet, etc..   And while they should definitely not be over-crimped, they seem less crimp-sensitive than plated. They're equally clean to plated, and they take less powder than plated to achieve the same velocities.  They are also a penny or two cheaper than comparable plated in .40, with virtually all of the better manufacturers coming in between 9 and 10 cents per bullet for 180 grain bullets, and that includes shipping, so 1.5-2 cents cheaper than the previous best deal on Berry's once shipping is factored in.

So this was what I was getting at.  You can get the superior accuracy and ease of loading of jacketed bullets for two pennies more than plated, or you can get the superior accuracy and leadsafe qualities of coated for a couple pennies less. 

I do know quite a few guys who have been loading for a significant amount of time and still load a lot of plated.  Almost all of them learned to reload with plated -- and that's the one place where it's still a decent option because when you're starting, you don't want to buy bullets in bulk, and when buying 100-500 at a time, plated offers a significant cost savings over jacketed, and they're a little less daunting than lead or coated lead, so they make sense there.  You can buy some plated RN and go right at it.  But that's just it.  Most of the guys I know who load a lot of plated started with plated, and they've just never moved off of it. Or they don't want to deal with cleaning lead from barrels, and they can't stomach forking over $250 at a time for bulk jacketed bullets, so $55/500 for plated is more palatable.  But the only advantages that plated have over jacketed are a penny or two in price and the fact that the lead is completely sealed off.  But coated lead now offers equally lead safe bullets for a couple cents less, even, than plated, and they perform better than plated. They're essentially equal or better in every way.

If you are inclined to give them a try, here are some differences between the major players:

Bayou Bullets, ACME, BBI, and SNS Casting use Hi-Tek brand coating for the bullets, imported from Australia.  Very durable coating.  All are excellent.

Precision Bullets uses their own proprietary coating.  It's not quite as tough as the Hi-tek, but that doesn't mean it's a problem.  It's fine.  Precision Bullets are also the only coated bullet available that is swaged instead of cast.  Out to 25 yards, you're unlikely to see a difference, but swaged lead does offer some advantage in accuracy over cast when you are shooting out to 50 yards.  I'm not saying it's a lot better, but if you're shooting for score at 50, it might make a difference to you.   Also, Precision Bullets notes on their website that their bullets may or may not work well with polygonal rifling, so if you have a Glock or an HK...

Blue Bullets uses their own proprietary coating.  It appears to be powder coat.  Blue Bullets are very popular at the moment, but they're not perfect.  I have had problems with accuracy in my 9mm CZ pistols.  I know of others who have had similar problems in their CZ pistols, though not every CZ user has experienced this problem.   Basically, they'll shoot great, but throw a flier here and there.  For me it averages about one flier out of ten, which is unacceptable -- some people more, some less. I believe it to be a sizing issue.   Jacketed bullets are typically .355 in 9mm, whereas lead is typically sized .356 (or sometimes .357/.358).  Lead bullets sized .355 are typically considered undersized for 9mm.  And if sized .355, they may have accuracy issues, depending on pistol.  Blue Bullets sizes their 9mm .355.  I suspect this is the issue -- for my CZ barrels, they're right at the edge of under-sized, and 10% of the time it shows up in the form of a flier.  For the record, in my two other 9mm pistols, both of which have polygonal rifling, Blue Bullets are excellent.

So unless you already have tried them and hate them, give one or two of the companies a try.  You'll need to adjust your bell and your crimp, but other than that, it's easy going, and they perform.  :wink:


So to address the question directly:

Why should I go to the hassle of changing bullet supply?

Because coated lead performs better than plated for less money.

Also, I'm recommending a number of different companies, so obviously I have no financial interest in any of this.  I just think that coated bullets have made plated bullets obsolete.  Cheers.   :wink:
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 07:29:11 AM by IDescribe »

Offline frgood

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 09:40:34 AM »
Thank you for the excellent reply. :Thumbup.  I appreciate the time and effort to write that all up and am consuming every word.

After the first reading, it sounds like a preferred option for those of us that shoot USPSA and will drop 250 - 500 rounds every weekend or so. I was always afraid of having to perform a lot of barrel cleaning. In USPSA we typically do not shoot beyond 25 yds. but every little bit of accuracy counts. To me, consistency in recoil (which is more on my load), I want the same 'feel' from shot to shot and I expect the bullet to land where I am it each time.

I hope these notes are  in line with the OP. I will make the effort to build a load using plated. Last question, With plated do I not have to concern myself with a Gas Check? Or does the plating perform the same function as the Gas Check which, I think, is to prevent deformity in the base of the bullet during firing.

Offline Dvrdwn72

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 08:47:16 PM »
I love bbi bullets. Cleaning is easy, accuracy, I can't tell the difference. Cheaper, take less powder to make pf than plated or jacketed. And never had an issue in any firearm. My shadows eat em up.

Offline frgood

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2016, 07:43:58 AM »
I love bbi bullets. Cleaning is easy, accuracy, I can't tell the difference. Cheaper, take less powder to make pf than plated or jacketed. And never had an issue in any firearm. My shadows eat em up.



Offline Dvrdwn72

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 08:10:03 AM »
Also, with plated, under major pf, I've seen the plating come off the bullet mid flight. This is why I never use plated for open or major pf.

Offline IDescribe

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2016, 09:16:17 AM »
Last question, With plated do I not have to concern myself with a Gas Check? Or does the plating perform the same function as the Gas Check which, I think, is to prevent deformity in the base of the bullet during firing.


Gas checks are intended to reduce gas cutting and the consequent barrel leading with bare lead bullets in high pressure cartridges at particularly high velocities.  Even with that, most commercial hardcast lead is fine without them.


As to the other types -- jacketed, plated, and coated lead -- gas checks are not even a consideration -- completely unnecessary.

If you were asking if the lack of a need of a gas check was yet another advantage for plated over bare lead, I'd say it's very unlikely you'd need gas checks in .40 anyway, so not really, and even if they were, you'd get the same advantage from coated lead.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 07:31:15 AM by IDescribe »

Offline noylj

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2016, 03:43:47 AM »
Price: yes, that is a good deal, if plated are good enough for you.
For comparison:

Bullets.com: Berry's .401 180 Grain FP Bullets: $107.82/1000 (~11 cents/bullet). With shipping, $117.77 (~12 cents/bullet).
Berry's: .40 180 grain FP: $130.81/1000 (~13 cents/bullet)
Precision Bullets: 40 caliber 185 grain L-RNFP swaged and coated bullets: $90/1000 (9 cents/bullet) or $211/2500 (~8.5 cents/bullet). These are swaged, so are as consistent in weight and dimensions as jacketed bullets.
Precision Delta: 40 caliber 180 grain FMJ-FN: $140/1000 (14 cents/bullet) or $119/1000 for orders of 2000 and up (~12 cents/bullet).


Both the Precision Bullets and Precision Delta bullets are very accurate. I have not found any plated bullet to be very accurate.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 07:34:00 PM by noylj »

Offline noylj

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2016, 06:37:52 PM »
If you shop only at the local gun store, plated may be your best option, as they don't carry Precision Delta, Montana Gold, or Zero jacketed bullets. Shopping on-line is the best option (most of the ones named have "free" shipping).
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 12:26:34 AM by noylj »

Offline K-Texas

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2016, 04:56:45 PM »
RMR is now selling their own branded JHPs. I have used the .355" 124 gr. and it is capable for defense applications or small game hunting. In 30 years of handloading I have never bought or loaded FMJ. The price is close enough to JHPs to make them moot for my needs. Then there are JHPs that might as well be FMJ and expand very poorly. Stick with the major brands where I've probably loaded more Rem 124 gr. JHPs than any other followed by the Golden Saber. Things are different now and good bulk pricing seems like a thing of the past. Hornady XTPs are solid performers that are rated 1.5X expansion. There are more expensive bullets that will expand greater, the Gold Dot as an example, then there are others not available to handloaders. One thing you're not likely to ever see is jacket/core separation with an XTP.

More recently, I have experimented with some plated HPs. Mainly because I load 9 x 19mm for both my shooting partner and myself and he has several pistols with polygonal bores, Glock and HK. To me, their only clear advantage is for those that may have apprehension about shooting cast lead through polygonal bores. For every other handgun caliber we shoot it's JHPs or polycoated. To me, the polycoated bullets offer the best of both worlds. Early on I developed a very accurate load with the Blue Bullets now discontinued 125 gr. RN-SWC at 1.142"/29mm over True Blue that yielded a standard deviation of 3.

Some of you may remember back in the 80s when S&W introduced the Nyclad HP bullet whose technology they later sold to Federal. So, in essence, there's nothing really new here other than the coating process. I believe we are just beginning to see the potential of polycoated bullets. Then you have casters like Missouri Bullet Co. that offer a softer alloy option to their 18 BHN bulets. For subsonic velocity, their 12 BHN bullets are fine, and they come in a polycoated version as well.

I had some contact early on with a couple of casting companies and asked when we would see HP versions of coated bullets. As an example, back when the FBI's standard issue was the S&W M13, the load was actually a .38 +P 158 gr. SWCHP that they favored and worked well for them. I'm not optimistic about any defense potential for a polycoated 18 BHN HP. but at 12 BHN and polycoating, things could change for the better making polycoated bullets even more flexible.

I have not noticed any appreciable difference in accuracy in comparison to non-coated cast lead. Velocity loss is so negligible as to be ignored. Then there advantages in diameter/seal issues that could otherwise lead to leading issues. In our case it's really just a matter of before we try polycoated 9 x 19mm in my SP's polygonal carry pistols at which time we will reduce inventory to strictly JHP and polycoated.  :wink:
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 05:03:06 PM by K-Texas »

Offline milkcoma

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Re: Bullets for .40 cal
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2016, 12:25:09 PM »
I would recommend trying out


blue bullets.


http://www.thebluebullets.com/