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Discussion Starter #1
I need the opinions and guidance of those mo better smarter than me.
I've been reloading about 3 years now, but just made my first dummy round for my .45 last night.
A 200gr Berry's flat nose. I set the COAL at 1.200". I'm using a Lee factory crimp die crimped to .471". This thing is a no-go on the plunk test. The pistol is a Colt Lightweight Commander (I reallllllly like this one). The problem is the shoulder of the projectile is making contact before the case mouth does. I reduced the COAL down to 1.178"(the shortest any of my manuals lists for a 200gn bullet) and now it is just flush with the barrel hood, but you still have to physically pull the round out of the chamber. It won't fall out by itself.
I made two dummy rounds and they do the same thing. Clean, resized brass drops in and out with no problem and sets just below the barrel hood.

Am I missing something?
Is it safe to go any shorter on the COAL? I'm afraid I'm going to start getting into cycling problems.

I've got factory 230gr loads that measure out at 1.267" and the same .471" crimp and they plunk just fine.

Has anyone else had problems with this bullet profile? I may just buy 230gr round noses and forget these flat noses. I'm not getting the warm and fuzzy from them right now.

Thanks for any insight.
 

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Mark the bullets and cases with a magic marker and rerun your plunk tests. Identify what is making the contact with the dummy rounds. Make sure the problem is with the bullets touching the rifling and not some part of the case touching inside the chamber.

If it is the bullet touching the rifling then you have to make some decisions. Some bullets have profiles that cause problems in barrels with short leades. The only things to be done are 1. seat them more deeply while reducing the charge weights or 2. have the barrel finish reamed to lengthen the leade or 3. give up on this bullet and go to another.

I have a CZ 85 Combat with a short leade. I have to seat several types of bullets shorter than listed in the manuals. I just reduced the published loads and worked up until I got a proper functioning load.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mark the bullets and cases with a magic marker and rerun your plunk tests. Identify what is making the contact with the dummy rounds. Make sure the problem is with the bullets touching the rifling and not some part of the case touching inside the chamber.
This is how I determined it is indeed the bullet shoulder making contact.

I'm thinking my chamber just doesn't like this bullet profile.

Crimping tighter is not going to solve anything because it's the bullet shoulder making the contact.

Time for bed now, so I have to go. I'll probably pick up some different bullets and see how they will work.

Thanks for the input.
 

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1.200 sounds awful short. I doubt the bullet is touching the rifling.
I would tighten the crimp to .469 or .470 and replunk.
Maybe not too short and I don't know if you would want to change the crimp; the problem is your OAL is to long. I have a Christensen Arms that will take every other bullet I've loaded at spec'd lengths in reloading manuals except a 200 gr Extreme FP which must be loaded to 1.210 and the 185 gr FP at 1.205.
Or, as said earlier, I could quit shooting them.
 

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Crimp is not your problem. Berry's bullets seem the most problematic of all the plated bullets to find a workable OAL. I would make the OAL as short as it needs to be to "plunk". And don't worry if the round won't fall out under it's own weight. That would be ideal, but not necessary. The extractor is there for a reason. :)

Not necessarily for safety's sake, but to give yourself some peace of mind, start with the minimum charge shown and work up if you desire. I wouldn't expect any feeding, functioning, or safety problems with this shortened OAL.
 

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I've had to set my COAL to 1.16" to get 200gr Extreme flat points to work correctly. Starting at a minimum charge shouldn't be an issue but work your loads up slowly to avoid overpressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone.

I just haven't run into this issue before and didn't want to shorten the OAL too much.

I may pick up a few SWC to see if they have the same problem with contact as these do.
 

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Eh, I've got a Kimber that's a fussy eater and while they would plunk I had to go a touch or three shorter than book for feeding with a Speer Gold Dot (short barrel) HP. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to make them work...
 

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treefrog, I'm late to the dance here, but I can show you what I did.

I bought a box of 500 Berry's 200 gr. flat points while on vacation in June; never tried them but thought I'd give them a go.

I arrived at my COL by another method- I test pressed a couple of dummy rounds and kept comparing the profile of it behind a factory Win ball range round. When I finally covered up the sharp radii off the flat tip, I quit, thinking that configuration would work on my feed ramp. I loaded up 40 or so test loads and my Kimber Custom II cycled them just fine.

I've successfully shot 400 rounds of these, and they've all been quite satisfactory. The one below is a bit shy of the 1.175" I have in my records.

The crimp measures .470... I keep my Kimber barrel in my shirt pocket and when it was new, I 100% plunked. Now, not necessary but I do it anyway. Once in a while, I have a plunk failure (Cap'n M is right- Kimbers are fussy) and the occasional plunk failure goes in a bucket for my son. His Glock will eat anything.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks.

As I said before, I stopped at 1.178" because that is the shortest any of my manuals state for a 200gr bullet.
I thought I would ask the collective before going any shorter. I know where the contact is being made, but wanted to see if others had had this problem with this bullet profile, or if it were my handgun.

I'll take em down a little shorter and work up a few loads. I really like this lightweight commander and want to work up some loads to see if I can wear out the barrel on the thing. :rock:
 

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A 200gr Berry's flat nose. .
Right on brother!
Berry's Round Shoulder 200gn and Round Nose present zero problems in my Ruger SR1911, but the 200gn Flat Nose has been a complete failure at 2.00, which Berry's prescribes as well as 2 other OAL's.

I'm done with this bullet. If you want to pay the postage, I've got about 230 of them I can send you. I would keep the cute box they come in though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm done with this bullet. If you want to pay the postage, I've got about 230 of them I can send you. I would keep the cute box they come in though. :)
Nah, I think you can keep em. I don't think I want anymore of these things.

I had a little time today to fool with it and I had to take my dummy rounds down to 1.170" before they would fit. I did find some 200gr cast data that showed an OAL a little shorter than that, so I'll try to work up a couple of different loads this week and try them out when I have time.
 

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Since I'm not working at the moment, think I too will make up a couple mag's worth in the 1.17 range Monday afternoon before my range trip tomorrow eve.
Last chance
 

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In your opinion, who makes the "best" in plated bullets?
The last few years I've been using Xtreme plated bullets. IMO, they are a well-made, decently priced bullet, and their accuracy is (again IMO) the best of the plated bullets. I have never done an accuracy test comparing Rainier, Berry's and Xtreme against each other, so my accuracy opinion is strictly subjective.

I've never had a problem determining the best OAL using Rainier or Xtreme bullets, nor had a feeding problem with either of those.
 

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I have never done an accuracy test comparing Rainier, Berry's and Xtreme against each other, so my accuracy opinion is strictly subjective.

I've never had a problem determining the best OAL using Rainier or Xtreme bullets, nor had a feeding problem with either of those.
Thanks
 

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Since I'm not working at the moment, think I too will make up a couple mag's worth in the 1.17 range Monday afternoon before my range trip tomorrow eve.
Last chance
Loaded 21 of these Berry flat noses at 1.17 oal yesterday, and surprise...they all cycled perfectly!
The 3.8gn Bullseye load was a powder puff, but didn't want to go nuts with the shortened cartridge. Will step it up to 4.3 gn.
Don't know if I'll buy these again, but I do look forward to using the 200 or so that are left.

Thanks for the OAL advice.
 

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The last few years I've been using Xtreme plated bullets. IMO, they are a well-made, decently priced bullet, and their accuracy is (again IMO) the best of the plated bullets. I have never done an accuracy test comparing Rainier, Berry's and Xtreme against each other, so my accuracy opinion is strictly subjective.

I've never had a problem determining the best OAL using Rainier or Xtreme bullets, nor had a feeding problem with either of those.
I have , Extreme was he most accurate, against Rainier/Berry's.
Best/picker

PS Only problem I have with extremes is in 357 sig they key hole.
 
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