Silver Rapids 9mm 125gr. RN Polymer Bullet
hese Cast Lead bullets have a strong polypropylene coating over them which reduces fouling of the bore and has no abrasive particles. Lead hardness of these bullets are 14 BHN (Brinell Hardness Number) while the copper jacket of conventional CMJ bullets are around 300 BHN. Ultimately, these bullets save you money and less harsh on your bore.
Bonded Polymer Jacket (Powder Coated)
9mmP, 125 grain
Powder Coated Bullets & How to Load Them
In an age of constant price increases and the weakening Rand, all dedicated sports shooters as well as occasional sports shooters are trying to save money on reloading components wherever they can. As South Africans have been shooting lead cast bullets for many years, the changeover to conventional CMJ (Complete Metal Jacket) and FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) bullets was quite easy as the pro’s outweighed the cons. Shooting traditional lead cast bullets meant lube grooves were a must to try prevent excessive lead fouling in the bore. This would however leave a strong odor in the air and smoke flowing out of your pistols barrel which prevented many folks from doing much target practice in indoor shooting ranges. On the other hand, a lot of reloaders out there continue to shoot lead cast bullets as they are a lot cheaper than CMJ or FMJ bullets. This is just an example of a pro and con of lead bullets but I am not going to go into detail about lead cast bullets as the purpose of this write up is to delve a little into the new era of bullets for South Africans, powder coated bullets (PC). Although Americans have been using PC bullets for many years, it’s only been a couple of years since we started seeing private individuals casting and powder coating their own bullets as well as a couple now renowned bulk manufacturers wholesaling to gun and online stores for retail distribution.
There are many details to go over when reloading but I am not going to go into full detail about bullet seating depth, setting up of dies, estimated powder charges etc. I will however do a simple once over with you on the basics of loading PC bullets and will publish the next article at a later stage going more in depth about the factors listed above.
So what is a powder coated bullet?
In simple terms, these bullets are lead casts that have a powder coated jacket (polymer). The powder coating is applied by either the “shake n’ bake” method or spray on using heat afterwards to bond the polymer to the bullet. This polymer coated jacket takes the place of copper or copper alloy plating and is prepared by commercial manufacturers on large scales as well as private individuals for personal use on the range.
- Economical to shoot
- Cleaner – There’s no lead fouling or excessive smoking in and from the bore due to no wax on the bullet
- Customization – If you do your own PC, you can use different colors. Example of this? You can use a different color PC for a different load i.e. 115gr bullet can be coated red while a 147gr bullet can be coated green
- Accurate – PC bullets have yielded excellent results by many
Generally speaking, the loading process is not much different than conventional plated bullets. Here are a few easy steps to prepare for the loading of PC bullets assuming you are using a single stage press and have already resized and deprimed your brass cases (to make the explanation process easier):
- Get load data for the same bullet weight you will be loading in your reloading manual for lead bullets
- Apply flare/bell the case mouth
- Insert new primer (Steps 2 and 3 can be reversed depending on personal preference)
- Powder charge your brass case
- Seating the bullet