Cheap Sunday Range Fun

…relatively speaking, anyway…
I got a call Friday afternoon from BZ Gun & Repair in Groves. The clerk told me he had gotten some Berry’s 180-grain .40S&W/10mm bullets in if I was interested in them. Never heard of ’em before. So I did some research. Come to find out they were copper-plated instead of copper-jacketed. Which means, of course, that you can’t drive ’em as fast as a jacketed bullet because the plating could come off and you’d get leading. I’d seen some conflicting reports of how fast one could load them to before getting adverse effects, anywhere from 1100 to 1300 feet per second — and one brave soul was loading them to about fourteen-and-a-half, with what I am guessing was .357 Magnum, with no leading. ‘Least that’s what he said. Anyway, I bit the bullet, so to speak, and swung by there yesterday morning to pick some up. Just a box of 100, to experiment with. Later I sat down at my bench and loaded 50 rounds, with the most conservative data I could find for my components. Finished product:

Cartridge: 10mm Auto
Case: Federal twice-fired American Eagle
Bullet: 180-grain plated flat-nose
Powder Charge: 12.1 grains of Accurate Arms No. 9
Primer: CCI large pistol
OAL: 1.260″

I took it to the range this morning, with my Kimber Stainless Target II. Accurate rated that load for 1086 fps, albeit with a different bullet, and I was thinking it would shoot faster than that rating as did the 155-grain Hornady XTPs I’ve been using so far. I figured right. I took a 20-shot string and was averaging 1153.35 feet per second, with a low of 1112 and high of 1190. Only two of the shots were below 1120, though, and if you take those out it works out to about 1157 fps, with most of the shots running between 1130 and 1170. Very nice, and accurate, little midrange plinking load, runs about even with the Remington UMCs’ 1150 fps. Seems like the recoil was a little heavier with these than with the 155-grainers, even though the latter was running about 200 fps faster. But it was still very manageable, with, just as important, no leading. I think I’ve found a winner here, for about $20 for a box of 100 completed rounds; it could go lower than that, of course, if I order components in bulk. Beats the living hell out of $25 for a box of 50. The more I roll my own, the more I like it!

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