Friday, June 2, 2017

Some pulled pistol bullet wisdom : or: the 9mm that couldn't hit paper.

I recently purchased several thousand pulled  9mm "tips" or bullets though the industry seems to lean towards calling them tips when they are pulled I believe. Anyways, the price was VERY attractive and I was planning on doing a lot of work with 9mm in the next few months so I thought I "sure, $30 per 1K is cheaper than my time to cast, lube & size 1K" The bullets in question were 115gr round nose plated 9mm bullets. I've purchased lots of pulled bullets in the past but up to this point they have all been rifle bullets, with a lot of bearing surface. These pistol bullets turned out to be a whole other critter.

I loaded up a couple of test batches and headed out to the range to see what these bullets liked to run with.
I started with a medium load of red dot and at 7 yards got few hits on the 9" paper plate I had put up. I tried the hotter load out of my handgun and things only got worse....much much worse. Keyholes and even fewer hits on the paper plate. When tested out of my carbine barrel at 50 yards they missed a sheet of newsprint entirely. The lower slower loads shot much much better....but the velocity was very low and worried me about being able to knock steel down reliably with 1 hit.

After much head-scratching I finally put the mics to the bullets again but held them up to the light (the first time I just checked for bullet diameter overall) and what I saw astonished me....out of all the bullets I measured and held up to the light the entire bullet body bearing surface was tapered save for the very very rear portion of the projectile....causing highly erratic yawing during flight....higher velocity only exacerbated this situation.

In the future I would hesitate to purchase such light pulled pistol bullets. These will be good for sub gun fodder for somebody but when one is trying to knock down steel plates in a match...not so good. Something to keep in mind if you're looking at a large quantity of pulled pistol bullets....they may have been crimped too hard in the factory and are grossly undersized for your application.