where do most of you get your bullets ?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Jay, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Jay

    Jay New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,286
    Location:
    Indiana
    I'm going to start reloading .45ACP in addition to a couple of other calibers. The 45's will be loaded in much greater quantities than the other calibers, and I'm looking into buying bullets in quantities of 1000 or more at a time. I've done searches and looked at many web sites, and prices for 230 grain .45ACP FMJ seem to be pretty much the same. Do any of you folks have a preferred vendor for whatever reason?

    Thanks, Jay
  2. smitty_bs

    smitty_bs New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Messages:
    32
    I buy mine at Midway. Watch for the sales.
  3. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    +1 for Midway.

    I have also bought bullets at bigger gun shows. They run a bit more per box but I save on shipping.
  4. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,446
    Location:
    Pea Ridge, FL
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,308
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    For 45ACP you have choices: metal jacketed bullets or cast or swedged lead bullets. The latter are cheaper. In between price wise are lead bullets (Rainier is one) that are first cast then flashed with copper. Either jacketed or copper flashed bullets limit the problems of lead buildup in the barrel. If you shoot 45 ACP anywhere near its max levels you will get lead buildup in the barrel that is tenacious and highly resists removal. It often has to be picked out with sharp objects. So, I suggest for economy and easy of barrel cleaning you go with the copper flashed bullets. There are now others that do the flashed bullets and Midway is as good as any as a source for Rainier and other flashed bullets.

    Real gilding metal jacketed bullets can get expensive unless you buy "bulk" bullets. Both Winchester and Remington offer bulk 45 ACP full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets packaged in plastic baggies for less than premium bullets but more than flashed bullets. They are full metal jackets usually with the base partially exposed lead. They feed better than cast bullets or even flashed bullets because they are perfectly uniform. I prefer to use those in my 9 mm and 45 ACP guns as they do feed better. Revolvers have no feeding problems so I use the flashed bullets in them. I try to never use bare cast or worse yet swedged bullets as the soft lead fouls the barrel everytime I do use them and the cleaning is a nightmare.

    If you insist on using pure lead bullets keep the velocities towards the lower end, and follow up the shooting session with a magazine full of jacketed bullets. That tends to push a lot of the lead buildup out the barrel. You can get bullets at swap meets but for accuracy you should establish a readily available source of know higher quality, perhaps the bullets your regular dealer stocks all the time. Since I don't have any gun shops close by, I buy on the internet if I can, mostly from a wholesaler (no retail sales!) and Midway.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007
  6. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    +1 to what LD said about Rainier bullets. I use their bullets for .38/.357 and .44 Spl. reloads and find them excellent. They are much cleaner than lead bullets and not a pricey as jacketed.

    Rainier's .38 DEWC bullet and 3.2 gr. of 231 is my favorite indoor target load.
  7. Yup, the Raniers are good for practice rounds. I've used them often, in both .45s and .38s.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,241
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    +1 to what everyone has said. however, i must diagree with LD on the use of swaged lead bullets. Lead is the least expensive of all bullets, especially if you cast your own, which i highly recommend because it can be just as enjoyable as handloading, and as a matter of fact, i consider it to be a very necessary step in handloading my own cartridges. you will only run into the problems LD has mentioned if you try to exceed the limitations of the lead you are using. bullet temper, alloy composition, lubrication, velocity, and pressure all effect how well, or poorly a lead bullet will perform. there are other factors, but these are the main ones. the most common problem people have with lead bullets is that they run thier velocities too fast and lead the bore up, which, as LD mentioned can be a real pain in the a$$ to remove. but if you use them within thier limitations, they can spare more expense than any jacketed bullets ever would...
  9. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    8,889
    Location:
    Texas
    Myth buster two:

    There is a vast difference between "swaged" lead bullets and "cast" lead bullets.

    A swaged lead bullet is made from pure lead wire and then put into a press and pressure forms the bullet.

    A cast bullet is poured from a molten lead alloy most of the times consisting of wheel weights from your local tire dealer. These are comprised of Lead (Pb), Antimony (Sb), and Tin (Sn). The Sb and Sn are used to harden the lead so that the bullet is harder than a swaged, pure lead, bullet. The yield is that a cast bullet should not lead up a barrel due to its being harder. Of course if you are trying to get 2,000 fps from a .44 Mag, you will lead the barrel.

    Two things to NOT do with cast bullets is:

    1) Try for max loads. This will almost certainly cause leading. If the load is kept under 800 fps, you should not have a problem. If you want to try for max loads with a cast bullet, use a gas checked cast bullet.

    2) Use bevel based bullets. The beveled base is great for ensuring that the bullet enters the case mouth with little difficult, but when fired, the hot gases can get around the bullet before it obturates in the barrel.

    Now, if you do not take this advice, get a bottle of Shooters Choice lead remover cleaner and a little device called the Lewis Lead Removal Tool

    One swipe and the lead is gone.

    IPT
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  10. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,335
    Location:
    West, TX
    www.natchezss.com
    I have found that Natchez has a little better price than Midwayusa....at least for .308. I have never purchased pistol bullets from them.
  11. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,335
    Location:
    West, TX
    By the way, STAY AWAY from TNT. I purchased some reloading bullets from them online and paid them $100.00 in July. I have yet to receive my bullets and they will not return my calls.
  12. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    5,016
    Location:
    Bay Point, Kali..aka Gun Point
    An "Outers Foul Out" is a must for lead bullet shooters!

    Also recommend wearing latex/rubber gloves when loading w/ lead bullets. Exposure to lead can be real ugly!
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,308
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    While swaged bullets are more prone to leading the barrel, cast bullets, in my experience, will do it too, even at pedestrian velocities.

    One swipe with the Lewis Lead Removal Tool might work for some but I have not found it to work that well for me. My lead build up seemed always near the breech end and often was clumps of lead rather than long strings of lead down in the rifling. I only shot cast bullets. Nothing short of picking it out with a dental pick would get it out.

    The end solution was the copper coated bullets from Rainier. They don't lead. They shoot well. I have only one gun (Colt Lightning clone Taurus Thunderbolt in 45 LC) that requires a Cowboy style profile to feed well and that is only available in cast lead. And yes, it leads the barrel to some degree but I have no choice as the Rainier bullets shape does not feed well. Every other pistol or revolver or rifle (many) shoots either jacketed bullets or the copper flashed Rainier bullets with absolutely no leading or copper buildup.

    Sorry but I never believe people who tell me leading is easy to remove as I know better after 20 years of continuous shooting and reloading for 20 some calibers!

    LDBennett
  14. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    8,889
    Location:
    Texas
    One swipe with the Lewis Lead Removal Tool might work for some but I have not found it to work that well for me. My lead build up seemed always near the breech end and often was clumps of lead rather than long strings of lead down in the rifling. I only shot cast bullets. Nothing short of picking it out with a dental pick would get it out.

    Sorry LD, but maybe you should go back and reread what I wrote. Unfortunately I was wrong about the lead remover cleaner. It was not Hoppe's, but Shooter's Choice. I corrected my previous post. You can get it at Midway.

    The second thing I do to my guns which I shoot lead out of is to fire lap my bores. You can find it here:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=257446&t=11082005

    After fire lapping, the bore is bright and shiney so it cleans up real quick if you use what I have stated.

    If you are seeing lead build up near the breach, then you are not obturating the bullet in the bore. Which also means that you are using too low a pressure on the base of the bullet, or are using bevel based bullets.

    We have had several discussions on cast bullet shooting and I understand that you will never do it, nor do you want to do it, yet you constantly argue and call me a liar when I tell you how to do it right. I have told you in the past if you really want to try cast bullets to go an buy Veral Smith's book "Jacketed Performance with Cast Bullets

    My guess is that you still have not thought about finding out for yourself. In the book you will find all the information you need to NOT lead up a barrel with cast bullets.

    Sorry but I never believe people who tell me leading is easy to remove as I know better after 20 years of continuous shooting and reloading for 20 some calibers!

    Well, my friend, I have been shooting regularly since I was 12 with my grandfather who taught me to reload and to cast bullets. I still have his copy of Veral Smith's book. Since I am now 60 years old, that gives me 48 years of constant shooting. Since I also cast my own bullets and reload, I guess I have been doing that for 48 years also, since it was my grandfather who again taught me. As far as calibers of reloading, 20 is on the low side for me and if you need proof, just search this forum for a list of what I do reload for. Since I published that list here several years ago, I have added even more to the list since then.

    Keep on shooting LD!

    IPT
  15. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,308
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    inplanotx:

    My repsonse was for newer shooters than you. You obviously have taken the effort to learn how to get lead to not plate out on the bore. I think few here, especially someone new to shooting, will bother to follow the steps required to assure bore's don't lead. I have no interest in fire lapping the bores of my 25 handguns to shoot lead bullets that are only pennies less than plated (copper flashed or whatever) that don't stick lead to the bore. I also have done casting years ago and found it NOT enough rewarding either financially or to give me any sense of accomplishment that the rest of reloading does. So I will not cast myself and I think few other will when bulk cast bullets (copper flashed or not) are so inexpensive. There is also the lead fumes risk that I will not subject myself to.

    The fact is if you do not do what you suggest and what the book you sugested documents, you'll get lead in the bore and it's not that easy to get out. For me and the rest of us that haven't been shooting 40+ years we'll buy the copper plated bullet and minimise the rest of the work that casting bullets require.

    I'm sorry you don't agree with my viewpoint. You don't have to because all this is just my opinion. Others might, so I present my experiences. You are free to present yours too which you did. I do not doubt that what you say works. I and maybe others may like to find other easier ways to enjoy shooting.

    By the way I'm five years older than you and helped friends cast bullet in the early 1960's. So I've been there, done that! And I won't be doing it again! But you can! I would only ask that when you tell people lead is easy to get out of a barrel you give them the rest of the story about low velocities, fire lapping guns, and the handfull of other requirements that are not intuitively obvious, even to us older hands at reloaders.

    This is all my opinion and nothing more. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Those that visit here can take my infomation or leave it. Frankly, I don't care which. But it all works for me and it may work for others too.

    If you are so enthusiastic about your methods for no-leading of barrels, may I suggest you write a "How To" article and offer it whenever the subject comes up. I do that on several subjects that interest me. I make the articles detailed and complete and require Email delivery to those interested, because they are so long compared to what can be posted here. I personally would be interested in seeing your approach but not interested enough to chase down articles and read whole books on the subject. I think that might also be the view of others ... we need a condensed version. Please think about doing it.

    LDBennett
  16. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    8,889
    Location:
    Texas
    Well, LD, I do not think I need to go through all that, because Veral Smith already did it. This is a booklet and is not a volume per se. Here is what is on the LBT page where the book can be bought and a description of what is covered. So anyone interested can go to the LBT web page and order it.

    JACKETED PERFORMANCE WITH CAST BULLETS
    By Veral Smith


    This illustrated booklet is recommended reading for all bullet casters, especially beginners, but even for those with 40 years experience. It has information about cast bullets which you won’t find anywhere else, and covers every important factor about making and shooting lead bullets. It explains how to do it, the scientific answer to things that can go wrong, why, and how to correct any problem. Has Veral's new formula on killing power which dispels the other theories and myths (unscientific and unprovable notions) relative to killing power, and explains what actually makes a bullet kill. You’ll know and can prove the whole book is fact, and learn that the author despises theory, on anything!


    PRICE $25.00 Shipping weight ½ lb

    Here is the url to go to to learn all about shooting lead bullets.

    http://www.lbtmoulds.com/

    You are correct,there are a lot of things I did to my handguns to make them shoot properly with cast lead bullets. However, as a shooting enthusiast I have always asked questions when I did not know what caused my problem. I guess that is the engineer in me. When something is wrong, such as leading occurs, I ask myself what caused it. I like to know why it went wrong and it lead me to learn the many things that I have encountered along the way.

    A lot of people just say "I tried it and it didn't work so I won't do it again". There is nothing wrong with this, and when I encounter it, I have a need to know why it happened.

    So the fact that you don't like it is fine anad not a problem with me. You don't like the fact that your gun leads up so you decided to switch to a plated bullet. Nothing wrong in that.

    Me, I need to know why it happened and need to find the root cause of why it happened. Just the engineer in me speaking. I love cast bullets! If I want a plated hunting type bullet, I'll buy them. However, I seldom use a jacketed bullet in my handguns.

    With my Blackhawk 7 1/2" .45 Colt, I shoot a 300 grain bullet at close to 1200 fps and lead does not play a factor in that gun. Yes, it has been modified, but minimally and it cleans up easily with a good dousing of Shooters Choice Lead Remover and Kroil penetraiting oil in a 50/50 mix, leave 10 minutes and run a couple of patches through it and its clean as a whistle.

    IPT
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  17. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,308
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    inplanotx:

    I too am an engineer (10 years retired EE for Hughes Electronics on radar and sonar systems) but at the time (about 15 years ago) when I was having leading problems I could find no answers to leading in barrel (no Internet for me then). Every thing I read then said make them harder and they won't lead as bad or get used to it. When Rainier came along with plated bullets and my shooting range at the time was pushing for only jacketed bullets to minimise the lead dust hazards, I jumped on the Rainier plated bullets. When I had a feeding problem develop with a couple of my semi-autos I went for the Remington or Winchester bulk FMJ bullets, mostly because they feed flawlessly and are not that much more expensive than commercial cast bullets when I buy them wholesale. So its not that I did not try the engineering trouble shooting approach, I just gave up on it when it was not fruitful at the time.

    While reloading is not drudgery for me and often is rewarding when I push out a bunch of good ammo, I enjoy shooting and gunsmithing a lot more. So I develop loads to be just good enough to satisfy and spend more time shooting and working on guns. We all have our individual interest in the shooting sports game and that's just mine. Casting was pure drudgery for me in the 1960's and it would be worse today. So I have my work arounds for inexpensive ammo, which don't correspond to yours. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

    As for the book or booklet, it's still $25. I don't care $25 worth but I still would like to hear how you implemented it for your uses. I think other might too.

    LDBennett
  18. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,241
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    the lead i shoot doesnt leave any more lead residue in the bore than a jacketed bullet leaves copper residue. thats because i dont push them beyond thier limitations. since i pretty much only use lead for target practice, im not pushing them much beyond 800fps. even from my .44 mag. i do use lead occasionally for hunting with my .44 mag. and my .480 but the bullets are always gaschecked... when i first started out shooting lead, i was trying to push them as fast as the cartridges limitations would allow, which in turn, caused leading problems for me, especially in the .357 and .44 magnum velocitiy range. bevelbase designs also cause signifigant leading even at the lower velocity range. and i believe plano explained the reason for this above. my point is, no matter how you look at it, lead, cast or soft swaged is far more economical than any plated or jacketeted bullets out there. unless you are the type that five fingers you bulk bullets from your local supply house:)
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  19. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,308
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    JLA:

    Two factors make plated bullets important to me:

    1). I buy them at the right price ... wholesale. Not all have this connection so I suppose for price you have to factor that in.

    2). Time is money and the older you get the less time you have. Spending hours digging lead out of bores is wasted time to me. I buy one Rainier bullet for 357, for example, and shoot it slow, fast and in between. I don't have stores of various type bullets for varoius levels of bullet performance. Just one bullet does it all. That works for 44 and 45 as well, if I choose.

    Yes, it is possible to use lead bullets. You can treat the bores so they are super shinny and minimise leading. You can formulate bullets of lead compounds that are very hard and minimise leading. You can limit the velocities and minimise leading. And I suppose there are other things like your choice of bore cleaners that help. But I do none of those because I prefer to shoot rather than invest time in all the things required to keep my guns from leading. I also do not like the concept of breathing lead while casting. Newbies can choose either path but the fact remains that plated bullets do not lead bores and the results from using plated bullets are guns that are easier to clean.

    That's my choice and others have theirs. We all do what we like when it comes to hobbies, usually regardless of the costs. That's what hobbies are about .... doing what you enjoy. I don't enjoy casting or cleaning lead out of bores so I design my processes to avoid what I don't like to do. I do not ever keep track of the costs. If I did I might quit shooting. But I try to shop smart.

    LDBennett
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Anyone know where I can get 380 bullets? Feb 10, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Where's a good place to buy lead bullets? Jun 17, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Where to buy bullets Nov 11, 2011
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Where can i find .32 short rim fire bullets? Jul 16, 2010
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Can't find .380 bullets anywhere! Jun 30, 2009