Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

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Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Morne » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:25 am

So...much though I like my copper-plated bullets they aren't allowed in Cowboy Action Shooting. Thus, I had to buy lead bullets for CAS. Then it hit me...since the new polymer coated bullets are CAS legal I could get some of those and try them as a substitute that also avoids lead fouling. I could load some very light for CAS purposes, some more moderate for general range/practice use and some rather warm for duplicating real SD loads.

Most of the literature you find on these coated bullets says to use lead bullet loading data so that's what I did (Lee 2nd edition being very good for that).

First stop on this train - .44 Special:

71 F, 85% RH, 29.88" Hg

***CHRONY DATA***

.44 Spl 200-gr Coated RNFP, CCI-300 LPP, IMR SR-4756 Powder, 1.440-1.450" COAL
Taurus 445 with 2" ported barrel
7.1-gr powder - AVERAGE = 567 fps - ES = 69.8
7.6-gr powder - AVERAGE = 603 fps - ES = 44.7
8.0-gr powder - AVERAGE = 657 fps - ES = 55.6

Taurus 44 Tracker with 4" ported barrel
7.1-gr powder - AVERAGE = 599 fps - ES = 67.3
7.6-gr powder - AVERAGE = 651 fps - ES = 58.0
8.0-gr powder - AVERAGE = 701 fps - ES = 39.9

These are without a doubt the slowest .44 Special loads I have ever built. If these were copper-plated I could be in trouble with these slow speeds. I suppose the 8.0-gr load would do just fine for CAS purposes (not that I even own a single-action revolver in .44 Special/Magnum).

By way of comparison to factory ammo I also ran the CCI Blazer aluminum-cased 200-gr JHP .44 Spl load through the Chrony:
Taurus 445 w/ 2" ported barrel - AVERAGE = 749 fps - ES = 52.8
Taurus 44 Tracker w/ 4" ported barrel - AVERAGE = 809 fps - ES = 41.4

What this shows is that none of these IMR SR-4756 loads with 200-gr coated bullets are adequate to replicate what is a fairly mild SD load. It's not like I'm comparing to some Buffalo Bore 1000+ fps screamer load, here. I'm going to need to use a different powder (Lee 2nd shows 8.2-gr of this being the max in .44 Spl) to work up a reasonable practice load.
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby LM2032 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:43 pm

I use the Hi-Tek coated bullets quite a bit for USPSA (9/40/9 major), as well as for subsonic loads in 9mm and 300blk. They do work very well as far as reducing leading. I have run a lot of them through cans and have seen no significant difference between them and FMJ as far as buildup is concerned. I just load them with the same parameters as a FMJ round and have had good luck with that. My 9mm major load is moving 125 grain Hi-Tek coated bullets at around 1400 FPS with no notable leading. I've found that there can be a lot of variance between manufacturers due to sizing, etc. Some manufacturers such as Black Bullets International size their bullets a second time after the coating is applied, while others size the bare lead only. Overall, I'm very happy with the coated bullets....they perform great once you find a load that meets your needs.
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Morne » Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:00 pm

More data:

67 F, 61% RH, 30.04" Hg

***CHRONY DATA***

.44 Spl 200-gr Coated RNFP, CCI-300 LPP, Accurate #2 Powder, 1.442-1.445" COAL
Taurus 445 with 2" ported barrel
5.2-gr powder - AVERAGE = 605 fps - ES = 67.4
5.6-gr powder - AVERAGE = 654 fps - ES = 28.3

Taurus 44 Tracker with 4" ported barrel
5.2-gr powder - AVERAGE = 627 fps - ES = 25.5
5.6-gr powder - AVERAGE = 701 fps - ES = 59.1

.44 Spl 200-gr Coated RNFP, CCI-300 LPP, Bullseye Powder, 1.437-1.446" COAL
Taurus 445 with 2" ported barrel
5.4-gr powder - AVERAGE = 700 fps - ES = 24.7
5.9-gr powder - AVERAGE = 729 fps - ES = 17.6
6.2-gr powder - AVERAGE = 766 fps - ES = 70.4

Taurus 44 Tracker with 4" ported barrel
5.4-gr powder - AVERAGE = 741 fps - ES = 11.8
5.9-gr powder - AVERAGE = 755 fps - ES = 25.7
6.2-gr powder - AVERAGE = 821 fps - ES = 24.9

.44 Mag 200-gr Coated RNFP, WLP LPP, Accurate #7 Powder, 1.530-1.561" COAL
Taurus 44 Tracker with 4" ported barrel
15.7-gr powder - AVERAGE = 993 fps - ES = 109.7
16.2-gr powder - AVERAGE = 1035 fps - ES = 41
16.7-gr powder - AVERAGE = 1061 fps - ES = 39
17.3-gr powder - AVERAGE = 1117 fps - ES = 33

.44 Mag 200-gr Coated RNFP, WLP LPP, IMI SR-4756 Powder, 1.558-1.579" COAL
Taurus 44 Tracker with 4" ported barrel
10.3-gr powder - AVERAGE = 823 fps - ES = 20.8
12.2-gr powder - AVERAGE = 994 fps - ES = 43.3
13.7-gr powder - AVERAGE = 1155 fps - ES = 64
14.8-gr powder - AVERAGE = 1271 fps - ES = 35

If my goal was raw speed I daresay I achieved it. That last .44 Mag load with 14.8-gr SR-4756 sure was trucking! Surprisingly tight ES on that one, too.

For a .44 Spl practice load it looks like that 6.2-gr Bullseye recipe will do it for mimicking the CCI aluminum cased GDHP defensive cartridge.
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby dl1911 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:27 pm

First used the coated bullets about 2 years ago when Falcon bullets did a BCA fundraiser. Instead of the usual red, they were pink. Been shooting pink bullets ever since in October for BCA. Had enough of the Falcons to last the first two years. This year Eggleston offered pink as a color earlier this year (Falcon was more bubble gum pink while these are more electric pink). Started off the month today at South Cuyahoga for steel challenge. In between I've used other colors for odd purposes. Mainly red and blue. Will probably switch to purple or orange after that for my dad who is currently having treatment for MDS. I've been very happy with them in 9, 45 and 38. Had some issues with 10mm but oddly no problems with 40. I do wish someone would make a cast and coated bullet that would work for 357SIG though. Have tried a few that looked promising but no luck yet.
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Morne » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:46 pm

I was looking through my spreadsheet of handload data and noticed something interesting - there is a difference between the velocities of equal bullet weight/profile for bare lead and Hi-Tek coated. This is true for the same primer, powder charge and gun used. My example data from .38 Special:

COAL__________Bullseye Powder____100-gr Lead RNFP bullet________________________Barrel
Inches:________Grains:_____________Avg. Velocity:___________ES:_____Primer:_______Inches:
1.402-1.409_____3.4________________802_____________________41.2____REM 1.5 SPP____5.5
1.402-1.409_____3.4________________1016____________________79.2____REM 1.5 SPP____20

COAL__________Bullseye Powder____100-gr Coated RNFP bullet_____________________Barrel
Inches:________Grains:_____________Avg. Velocity:___________ES:_____Primer:_______Inches:
1.440-1.455_____3.4________________610_____________________79.5____REM 1.5 SPP____5.5
1.440-1.455_____3.4________________934_____________________147.3___REM 1.5 SPP____20

These were shot during the SAME RANGE SESSION so you can't go looking for different meteorological factors as having an influence. The only other variable betwixt these two loads was COAL - the bare lead ones were from a batch I ran trying to get an extra round into the lever gun's tubular magazine while the coated ones I just seated to the cannelure. For .38 Special it really shouldn't matter, especially with a powder like Bullseye.

What surprises me about this is that EVERYBODY says, "Just use lead data for loading coated bullets," when it is demonstrable that they do NOT give the same velocities. In fact, they give markedly lower velocities. To drop from 802 fps with bare lead to 610 fps with coated is rather significant. Even the rifle length (20") barrel shows some decrease (1016 vs 934). The ES also got larger with the coated bullets (yet another factor for that thread running around regarding what all influences ES) which doesn't really help matters.

Now the attraction to coated bullets isn't all about raw speed. Usually, it's people who want to minimize interaction with bare lead without having to go to the expense of jacketed/plated bullets. For Cowboy Action Shooters it is the only sanctioned route to avoid bare lead slugs. Then there are people who just like the pretty colors.

I also ran this with Red Dot and bare lead slugs versus Promo and coated - all using same primer and powder weight charge in the same guns. The 100-gr bare lead (with 3.4-gr red dot) gave 798 fps in a 5.5" barrel while the 100-gr coated (with 3.4-gr Promo) gave 659.1 fps in the same gun. :shock: Rifle data (20" barrel) showed similar at 1005 fps for bare versus 928 fps for coated. So this isn't just one data point.

The good folks at SNS have information about these bullets for those curious.

I did find a source that admits these bullets run slower than bare lead but they didn't agree with me by how much:

Load data – We recommend that you use published lead load data from reputable sources. A coated bullet will run slightly slower than a lead bullet (5FPS-10FPS.) This is usually only going to matter to a shooter that is loading to a Power Factor for competition. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send us an email at thebluebullets@gmail.com. Hodgon's website is a good place to start if you need some help with load data.


Thoughts?
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Sevens » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:40 pm

Heck yeah I got a thoughts!

I am glad you bumped this thread and I had totally forgotten about this one. I just took delivery of 600pcs of cast 9mm 122gr slugs with Hi-Tek coating on them. It's a two-part plan!

Part 1: I wanna see with my own eyes just how "not like cast lead" they are because I very specifically want to shoot these bullets indoors. And if you've ever let loose even a single round of traditional lubed, cast lead -- you know it just lets loose a cloud. So they have to pass the sniff test indoors.

Part 2: I want these indoors because that is where I do target work... so I am also hoping they give me an accuracy upgrade over the Xtreme plated that I have been using

Your velocity reports are interesting... and I don't know what I'll see but I think it might be an advantage (in 9mm) if they run a little slow, keep them subsonic?
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Morne » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:21 pm

Sevens wrote:Your velocity reports are interesting... and I don't know what I'll see but I think it might be an advantage (in 9mm) if they run a little slow, keep them subsonic?

According to my testing with a Sig P320C (3.9" barrel) you will always be subsonic so long as you avoid +P loadings:
Chrono 9x19mm Defensive loads thru Sig P320C

So I doubt your target loads are going to be supersonic unless you're running high on the load data and using a full-size (or long slide) gun. Even then, I think the Hi-Tek coating will slow it down enough to be thoroughly subsonic. :idea:
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Sevens » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:40 pm

8) I will be using sublime and awesome 5" hand-built target guns. I can shoot these pretty well the with 124gr Xtreme Pl-RN but I cannot seem to produce paper targets as impressive at 7-12 yards with 9mm as I can with .45 in my finest guns, and the .45 loads are a 200gr Xtreme Pl-FP.

I'm just hoping to gain the slightest edge with these slugs, not looking for a miracle.

Today I rolled 50rds with them. My go-to 9mm pet load for years has been the 124gr Xtreme Pl-RN over 4.4 to 4.5gr Universal.

So with these 122gr cast and coated, I loaded them to the same COAL and made some at 4.0gr Universal and some at 4.4gr Universal. The loaded rounds seemed to love being hand-fed through the only pistol I had nearby, my EDC Walther PPQm2.

Can't wait to try these.
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby OhioPaints » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:18 pm

I started using the coated bullets last fall and I really like them! I have noticed that they don't provide the velocity expected from the load books but that seems normal for most situations. I don't think I have compared coated velocity vs. plated or lead. I will have to look and see if I have any identical bullets in the different types and do some testing.
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Morne » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:34 pm

63 F, 72% RH, 29.77" Hg

***CHRONY DATA***

.38 Spl 100-gr Coated RNFP, Fed-100 SPP, Promo Powder, 1.409-1.421" COAL
Taurus 66 with 6" barrel
3.9-gr powder - AVERAGE = 761 fps - ES = 55.4

This was a marked improvement from an earlier experiment with 3.4-gr Promo & Rem 1.5 SPP (that recipe yielded an awful @660fps from a 5.5" barrel). I'll run this new 3.9-gr load through my cowboy guns next time to see how it runs but I already like it for an easy practice load.
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Sevens » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:48 pm

Hahaha, NOPE for me, never, not ever. I just don't trust Promo to meter well... with light(ish) charges in REVOLVERS. In pistols I have a bit less worry.

You like Trail Boss...? That's your ticket.

Just the way I will always see it, to each his own. Powder being absolutely by far the cheapest of the four components, I have needed years to recognize my own path towards "penny wise and pound foolish" and when my last dusting of Promo is (hopefully soon) gone, it will have been a a productive growth period but one with a well-defined end. ;)
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby glocksmith » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:34 am

Sevens wrote:Powder being absolutely by far the cheapest of the four components, I have needed years to recognize my own path towards "penny wise and pound foolish


Interesting subject, and TBH I never really gave any thought to cost when it comes to reloading - I just paid whatever. That said, I'd think brass is the cheapest component when you consider it is reusable - I mean if you can squeeze 10 firings out of a case, brass becomes much less taxing on the wallet than the non reusable powder, primers and bullet.
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Sevens » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:21 pm

Yes, you could certainly argue that... as you as you know going in that it's quite difficult to get to the nitty gritty of the argument on "value" of the cartridge case because it varies wildly. 9mm for example? Tough to argue that it's not horrendously low in cost because the stuff almost literally grows on trees.

The point I'm making about powder being low in cost I suppose centers around selecting Promo as a propellent. Only available in the 8-poind jug... only surplus, pulldown and stolen powder is cheaper. And with -56,000- grains of powder in that single jug... you're talking 14,000 loaded rounds with a 4.0gr charge. So you are literally talking about less than one cent per loaded round.

If all goes well and you get EXACTLY the performance you demand with zero hassles, then you've done perfectly well.
However, if you run in to metering trouble, velocity variations or any other annoyances or pitfalls related to powder...

...that's where I make my point.
(and it took me years and years to recognize or perhaps accept that)
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby glocksmith » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:12 pm

Unfortunately I've never kept good track of the number of firings particular pieces of brass have gone through. An older family member of mine has a lot of .357 cases he acquired during the 60s, 70's and early 80's, some of it Norma brass, and he has never had anything crack or bulge yet, despite a lifetime of shooting. I just meant to point out above that the longer a piece of brass lasts, then technically the price per round drops. Dunno anything about Promo but as a magnum wheelgunner, it doesn't sound like my cup of tea.
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Re: Hi-Tek Coated Bullets load development

Postby Sevens » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:01 pm

Again...
I certainly get your point but let's be clear about the irrationally large spectrum of "cost" associated with brass.

Some of it (9, .40) is effectively FREE, because unless the only place you ever shoot is your own private land... any normal range trip (on average) often gives any shooter the chance to leave with more 9/.40 than they brought.

Revolver brass is different. We typically don't fling it and lose it... but typically, others also do not and so we typically don't find it for free either. And when buying (used brass) this availability absolutely affects the price/investment cost.

Next up you might consider the pressure level of your loads. You absolutely WILL split brass lengthwise in high pressure loads. I have stored jugs of split brass collected over a quarter century that shows this. Also, the amount you choose to flare and the firmness of your roll crimp absolutely will have effect on case mouth splits. Perhaps most important is the quality of headstamp that you start with. Probably matters a lot the very specific firearm/chamber they get discharged in.

Because of all these variables and more, and due to my experience (especially with thin nickel plated R-P .38, any S&B, any 10mm, .460 S&W Mag, .460 Rowland, .357-44 B&D and for damn sure .327 Federal Magnum) ...I will stick to my guns and claim that the powder charge in most handgun rounds is the freaskishly cheap part of the operation and giving up any of:

--performance
--ease of process
--safety

...for the select purpose of saving $20-$50 on an 8-lb jug of pistol powder that will make more than 10,000 loaded rounds... literally savings fractions of ONE PENNY... is not what I consider a wise endeavor.

But my own personal experience has shown me that this is not obvious and seems counter-intuitive.

--YMMV--
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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