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Brazos bullets - very happy so far


124gr9mm
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I'm a fan of plated bullets and I'm always chasing the lowest prices, so I decided to try out Brazos 125 gr rn plated 9mm.  To now I've mainly used ACME 124 gr rn (new profile) and Ibejiheads 124 gr CN FB.  Both cycle well in my Glock 17, EAA Witness, and KelTec Sub 2000 (yes, I use it for friendly/practice steel matches).

 

I thought their packaging was a little odd (bags of about 835 bullets as opposed to 1000 for most others) but they have a 10% discount for new customers, so I ordered 2 bags.

 

On first inspection the bullets seemed to be well/consistently constructed and the coating looked well done.  There was some variation in the color, but there were no flakes or chipped pieces of coating in the bag and it did fine on my smash test.  I weighed a random sample and they all came out to be heavier than the 125 gr advertised but otherwise they looked good.

I was a little nervous about the "fat" profile compared to the ACME and Ibejiheads profile that I was used to, but they went through my press just fine and there were no issues with scraping/flaking of the coating.

 

I loaded the first batch with 3.8 gr of Cleanshot powder with an OAL of 1.11.  I shot it through my Glock first and the recipe was kind of smokey, but recoil and accuracy were the same as I'm used to with the other bullets.  I tried it in the Witness next and it failed miserably.  While the load passed my case gauge, the bullet got stuck just shy of going into battery and I had to pry the slide a little to get it open. 

 

Went back to the reloading table and tried 4.2 gr Bullseye at an OAL of 1.08.  Much less smoke than with the Cleanshot and cycled perfectly in all three guns.  Recoil felt a bit lighter than the Cleanshot as well, so I'll bring a chrono next time and see what I get.

 

There's a local practice match this weekend (action steel), so between my daughter and I we'll put a bunch of rounds through both pistols.

 

Thanks to the folks on the board who have been talking about these bullets and bringing them to my attention!

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I can vouch for Brazos. I've been using them for several months. I've shot several thousands of their 135gr RN. I ditto the comments on coating consistency, no flaking or otherwise. Weight consistently comes in at 138-139gr. That's over 3 shipments over a few months time frame.

 

I load the 139gr (labeled 135gr) with 3.8gr of Win 231 @ OAL of 1.11. Chronos at roughly 940fps out of my SP-01 manual safety. I've had no chambering issues at all. A bit smoky but not offensive.

 

Accuracy is great. Here are a couple of examples of groups I shot at 25 yards. The head box was yesterday. The other example is a few weeks back. Shooting groups with no time limit is not one of my strengths.

 

5c5ae7d8ec4322c79ba824929e4dac6e.jpg

d72286451bd42517aa143a3f8f9caa83.jpg

 

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I've shot quite a few thousand Brazos (9mm and .40) and don't have any complaints.  The reason for the odd number bullets per bag is because they package by weight not units/pieces.

 

Not crazy about the changes they are implementing to their shipping policy as you need to understand how many bags fit into a medium box (4) in order to minimize the cost per round.  They are still slightly cheaper than some of their competitors, however the gap is much narrower than before.

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I've shot quite a few thousand Brazos (9mm and .40) and don't have any complaints.  The reason for the odd number bullets per bag is because they package by weight not units/pieces.
 
Not crazy about the changes they are implementing to their shipping policy as you need to understand how many bags fit into a medium box (4) in order to minimize the cost per round.  They are still slightly cheaper than some of their competitors, however the gap is much narrower than before.
Have competitors lowered prices?

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10 hours ago, anonymouscuban said:

Have competitors lowered prices?

Here's an example using 180gr .40

 

Brazos- 583 bullets per bag @ $42/each.  Medium box holds 4 bags and costs $14.  So $168 for 2332 bullets + $14 shipping = $182 total or $0.0780/bullet

 

BBI- 2500 bullets for $216 (free shipping) so $0.0864/bullet.

 

Difference is $0.0084/bullet, so a bit less than a cent.  And that's if you max out the flat rate box with 4 bags, if not the cost per round will be higher.

 

Not bagging on Brazos, it's just that the shipping cost they have added for 2020 now make them slightly less attractive (price wise) than before.  I'd still buy them and don't have any issues with their product or its performance.

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Here's an example using 180gr .40
 
Brazos- 583 bullets per bag @ $42/each.  Medium box holds 4 bags and costs $14.  So $168 for 2332 bullets + $14 shipping = $182 total or $0.0780/bullet
 
BBI- 2500 bullets for $216 (free shipping) so $0.0864/bullet.
 
Difference is $0.0084/bullet, so a bit less than a cent.  And that's if you max out the flat rate box with 4 bags, if not the cost per round will be higher.
 
Not bagging on Brazos, it's just that the shipping cost they have added for 2020 now make them slightly less attractive (price wise) than before.  I'd still buy them and don't have any issues with their product or its performance.
Ok. I only asked because I haven't checked other prices for a while. I order enough each time where I don't pay shipping but I do understand the turn off with the raise in shipping charges.

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Have you guys noticed any flattening of the bullets when loading? I did some load workups of various bullets a few weeks ago, including Brazos 135gr, and noticed my Dillon seater would flatten the nose on them pretty often. I tried both sides of the insert in the die. 

 

N320, 1.140" OAL (10rds over chrono)

 

3.3gr: 122.3 PF, 26 SD, 60 ES

3.5gr: 129.8 PF, 19.5 SD, 60 ES

3.7gr: 135.2 PF, 33.5 SD,  82 ES

 

Definitely the least consistent bullets I tested, and I have to assume it's from the flat spotting changing the actual seat depth of the bullet and thus the pressure.

 

Ran these through my bullet feeder with the MBF expanding funnel set the same as every other one I tested. Diameter was consistent at 0.356, same as the other bullets I was testing (DG, and a guy from the board here).

 

 

63654.jpg

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I've shot quite a few thousand Brazos (9mm and .40) and don't have any complaints.  The reason for the odd number bullets per bag is because they package by weight not units/pieces.
 
Not crazy about the changes they are implementing to their shipping policy as you need to understand how many bags fit into a medium box (4) in order to minimize the cost per round.  They are still slightly cheaper than some of their competitors, however the gap is much narrower than before.


Yes, I am honestly kind of upset about that. I always told myself I wouldn’t switch from what worked well for me (plated bullets) unless the price gap was large enough to justify it. And with free shipping and the old 5% discount they used to offer it certainly was large enough. However, now that they charge for shipping no mater the quantity, Blue bullets are within $0.003-$0.005/ bullet if I remember correctly if you have a USPSA/idpa membership and put one of their patches ( which you can buy for ~$5-7 iirc which you’ll cover in your first order for sure while saving 10%) on your vest/jersey. I ordered a couple sample packs of blue bullets and they did not achieve the same recoil impulse or an easier loading experience over Brazos like I was hoping for, I just know many people like blue bullets.

Iv shot close to 6-8k Brazos bullets and I like them. They work well in my Glock 34 and 19/CZ SP-01/Foxtrot Mike PCC, however, I’m sad to see them get rid of all of their incentives at the same time. I can say right now, even after trying them, I wouldn’t switch from plated to coated for the price they are. Imo, and that’s all it is, my opinion, plated bullets are much easier to load, and I’d rather pay the $0.005-$0.01/bullet extra to not have the headache. And I’m sure much of that is my personal experience since iv had a lot of trouble with costed bullets in general (both blue and Brazos which are the only two brands of coated bullets iv tried), and I’m sure many people won’t have the same problems I did when making the switch. I think iv finally resolved my issues, but it requires me to deburr my pistol brass (using factory brass, range pick ups, or once fired brass from factory ammo I bought from walley world on the liquidation sale the had).

All that being said, I did recently place another order with Brazos since I have a load worked out with their bullets but after trying Everglades played bullets and getting the same results and recoil impulse from both, I think I will be spending a little more to buy the plated bullets from now on for convince sakes.


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Have you guys noticed any flattening of the bullets when loading? I did some load workups of various bullets a few weeks ago, including Brazos 135gr, and noticed my Dillon seater would flatten the nose on them pretty often. I tried both sides of the insert in the die. 
 
N320, 1.140" OAL (10rds over chrono)
 
3.3gr: 122.3 PF, 26 SD, 60 ES
3.5gr: 129.8 PF, 19.5 SD, 60 ES
3.7gr: 135.2 PF, 33.5 SD,  82 ES
 
Definitely the least consistent bullets I tested, and I have to assume it's from the flat spotting changing the actual seat depth of the bullet and thus the pressure.
 
Ran these through my bullet feeder with the MBF expanding funnel set the same as every other one I tested. Diameter was consistent at 0.356, same as the other bullets I was testing (DG, and a guy from the board here).
 
 
63654.thumb.jpg.952a5c9627342514a1a54af90490c4e5.jpg

I am using a RCBS seating die and I have noticed a large variation in seating depth, however I am not getting any flattened bullets like you’re talking about. I have noticed that are kind of inconsistent with coating and weight, however they are still extremely accurate for me. As I stated above, I do need to debur my pistol brass to get the rounds to work between the larger diameter and not being able to put as much crimp on the bullets


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3 hours ago, thormx538 said:

Have you guys noticed any flattening of the bullets when loading? I did some load workups of various bullets a few weeks ago, including Brazos 135gr, and noticed my Dillon seater would flatten the nose on them pretty often. I tried both sides of the insert in the die. 

 

N320, 1.140" OAL (10rds over chrono)

 

3.3gr: 122.3 PF, 26 SD, 60 ES

3.5gr: 129.8 PF, 19.5 SD, 60 ES

3.7gr: 135.2 PF, 33.5 SD,  82 ES

 

Definitely the least consistent bullets I tested, and I have to assume it's from the flat spotting changing the actual seat depth of the bullet and thus the pressure.

 

Ran these through my bullet feeder with the MBF expanding funnel set the same as every other one I tested. Diameter was consistent at 0.356, same as the other bullets I was testing (DG, and a guy from the board here).

 

 

63654.jpg

 

I use a Hornady taper crimp/seating die, and i don't get any flat spots like that.

 

Maybe expand your case mouth a little more before seating?

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are you sure the flat spots weren't there before you loaded them?

The reason I ask is I cast and coat some my self and had this issue with a star sizer.

Had to have a custom punch maid to push the bullets all the way through the size die 

to eliminate the issue.

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17 minutes ago, AHI said:

are you sure the flat spots weren't there before you loaded them?

The reason I ask is I cast and coat some my self and had this issue with a star sizer.

Had to have a custom punch maid to push the bullets all the way through the size die 

to eliminate the issue.

 

Yeah it's definitely happening during seating. At first I thought they might be getting dented during the drop from the bullet feeder collator to the feed die but that's not the case.

 

 

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Yeah it's definitely happening during seating. At first I thought they might be getting dented during the drop from the bullet feeder collator to the feed die but that's not the case.
 
 
I don't get the flat spot either. Have loaded thousands of the 135gr. I use the lee taper crimp/seating die combo although I just uses to seat. I use the Lee FCD for crimping.

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Is anyone running Brazos in a shadow 2 and get leading ?

 

I started with their 124 rn on top of some Titegroup. Their customer service (awesome guys) recommended;

 

"I’m not ready to announce this just yet but try a .377” crimp.  I’m betting it’ll fix it. 

CZ Leading Solution Announcement!

To all our CZ shooters, we have completed the first phase of our testing and have discovered that our 9-147-RN-BB-NLG bullets, sized to 0.357, work without leading, when loaded with 3.4gr of Shooters World Propellant Shooters Clean Shot and an OAL of 1.110". This OAL puts the bullet just short of the lands and allows it to plunk and spin freely in the barrel. We recommend that you also check the OAL in your barrel to ensure that you are getting the same loading.

These were test fired in our CZ-75 SP-01, and loaded with an NOE expander in the Lee Universal Expanding die, belled with a standard powder through expander, and finished with a light crimp to take out the belling. We carefully set this up and pulled bullets from loaded rounds and measured using our Mitutoyo micrometer to ensure that no swaging was occurring in the loading process.

It is important that you use the 0.357 diameter and do not have any swaging. The bore is 0.3555, and the 0.356 bullets are just not large enough and will cause leading. Obviously it doesn't take a lot of swaging to get even 0.358 diameter bullets to be too small.

We are going to start offering the Lee die and NOE expander on our website, so that you can order them all from us without having to hunt down elsewhere. We will also be selling them at very competitive pricing, just to make the solution available to our customers. As we offer this, we will also be offering a similar solution for Dillon presses/dies as well. Keep you eye out here and we will announce when these are available.

We are going to continue our testing to include using this same thing with Titegroup, as well as the 9-115-RN-BB-NLG profile as well. We expect to follow-up on these results later in the week."

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Sorry for the long post.

 

I ordered a sample of their 147, waiting to test on Sport Pistol.

 

I have a xl650 and not looking to get a separate Noe setup.

I was able to get the 124s for .06, but with the price increases not sure it's worth the hassle.

 

Anyone else running a Shadow 2 with hi-tek or Polycoat? 

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Sorry for the long post.
 
I ordered a sample of their 147, waiting to test on Sport Pistol.
 
I have a xl650 and not looking to get a separate Noe setup.
I was able to get the 124s for .06, but with the price increases not sure it's worth the hassle.
 
Anyone else running a Shadow 2 with hi-tek or Polycoat? 

I’m running an SP-01 with no leading. I ended up getting a Lyman m die. I use that and a regular expanding die with a light crimp. I don’t measure my crimp, I just make sure I’m taking the bell out and not putting more than the smallest amount of a mark on the coating themselves. After a couple thousand through the Glock and a couple hundred through the cz iv had no issues with leading in either. I am also loading mine with 3.0-3.1 Titegroup at 1.100-1.110 and get ~135pf out of the Glock and ~133 I think with the cz. If you check my post history I put up a big google sheet with all my chrono data for reference


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15 minutes ago, looking4reloadingdeals said:


I’m running an SP-01 with no leading. I ended up getting a Lyman m die. I use that and a regular expanding die with a light crimp. I don’t measure my crimp, I just make sure I’m taking the bell out and not putting more than the smallest amount of a mark on the coating themselves. After a couple thousand through the Glock and a couple hundred through the cz iv had no issues with leading in either. I am also loading mine with 3.0-3.1 Titegroup at 1.100-1.110 and get ~135pf out of the Glock and ~133 I think with the cz. If you check my post history I put up a big google sheet with all my chrono data for reference


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Yeah I hope to get these to work, i priced them out to .06 for 147s, cheapest I've seen, but again not sure what to do with the extra m die/Noe.

 

I have BBI holding me down for now, but on their 2019 blk Friday sale (best I've seen), I still only got them down to .08 for 147s

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Yeah I hope to get these to work, i priced them out to .06 for 147s, cheapest I've seen, but again not sure what to do with the extra m die/Noe.
 
I have BBI holding me down for now, but on their 2019 blk Friday sale (best I've seen), I still only got them down to .08 for 147s

Ya and for that I got Everglades 147 plated (5% sale, not Black Friday) by ordering 3k and I really like them so far. Only about a 1% failure rate in them, still have about a 3-4% failure with Brazos even with deburring my cases.

Just give them a try and if they work, cool, if not I wouldn’t bother with them. I also had some problems using blue bullets as well though, so if you can get those to work the Brazos shouldn’t be much different


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4 minutes ago, looking4reloadingdeals said:


Ya and for that I got Everglades 147 plated (5% sale, not Black Friday) by ordering 3k and I really like them so far. Only about a 1% failure rate in them, still have about a 3-4% failure with Brazos even with deburring my cases.

Just give them a try and if they work, cool, if not I wouldn’t bother with them. I also had some problems using blue bullets as well though, so if you can get those to work the Brazos shouldn’t be much different


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Do you get the sales from their email ?

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Do you get the sales from their email ?

Ya, I bought some for 10% off on Black Friday because a buddy uses their rifle bullets and liked them, so I gave them a try then about 2 weeks after Black Friday they ran a 5% off sale that was sent out through their email. They seem to have one product every week/every other week they run a 5-10% off sale on. Last week was 124gr FMJ bullets and I think they sold out in about 2 days. Also, some weeks it’s on new brass as well.

Also, you can get blues a little cheaper if you shoot idpa/USPSA and put their patch on your gear, gets you 10% off. I think when I was pricing them out they were about $0.073/bullet shipped with coupon and the Brazos were about $0.064 shipped.

I just received my order from Brazos tonight and there was no “order again” coupon like they previously had (5% off)


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9 hours ago, looking4reloadingdeals said:


Ya, I bought some for 10% off on Black Friday because a buddy uses their rifle bullets and liked them, so I gave them a try then about 2 weeks after Black Friday they ran a 5% off sale that was sent out through their email. They seem to have one product every week/every other week they run a 5-10% off sale on. Last week was 124gr FMJ bullets and I think they sold out in about 2 days. Also, some weeks it’s on new brass as well.

Also, you can get blues a little cheaper if you shoot idpa/USPSA and put their patch on your gear, gets you 10% off. I think when I was pricing them out they were about $0.073/bullet shipped with coupon and the Brazos were about $0.064 shipped.

I just received my order from Brazos tonight and there was no “order again” coupon like they previously had (5% off)


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They pulled a Wally world marketing ploy. Come in cheap,  drive the competition out , then raise prices to what the normal is. Theory is by then you'll just keep buying from them!

 

Hytek is hytek, I'm staying with the guys who supported the sport and have kept their prices consistent Bayou, bbi , blues etc.

FWIW

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They pulled a Wally world marketing ploy. Come in cheap,  drive the competition out , then raise prices to what the normal is. Theory is by then you'll just keep buying from them!
 
Hytek is hytek, I'm staying with the guys who supported the sport and have kept their prices consistent Bayou, bbi , blues etc.
FWIW

After this order I think that’s where I will be as well. I was happy enough with them at the beginning, but I am slowly losing my loyalty. I agree that is what they are they doing. They still have great customer service and will help anyone who has questions to the best of their ability, and I don’t expect them to stop doing that anytime soon. But I’m not thrilled about their changes and it feels like those that have been with them since the start are losing all the benefits of betting a small start up like them. Would’ve been nice for those with an account with them to continue receiving free shipping or a small discount code or something like they used to do. I also don’t know how they don’t offer a quantity discount, there isn’t a single bullet maker that doesn’t have a bulk discount. Just my $0.02 though


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After this order I think that’s where I will be as well. I was happy enough with them at the beginning, but I am slowly losing my loyalty. I agree that is what they are they doing. They still have great customer service and will help anyone who has questions to the best of their ability, and I don’t expect them to stop doing that anytime soon. But I’m not thrilled about their changes and it feels like those that have been with them since the start are losing all the benefits of betting a small start up like them. Would’ve been nice for those with an account with them to continue receiving free shipping or a small discount code or something like they used to do. I also don’t know how they don’t offer a quantity discount, there isn’t a single bullet maker that doesn’t have a bulk discount. Just my $0.02 though


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I thought they still offered free shipping with larger orders. Nope.

I still have about 6000 of their bullets. Shows you the size orders I placed. Thing is I consider bullets a commodity. There are far too many good companies making good bullets out there.

At the new price per bullet, next time I will probably order FMJ from Rocky Mountain Reloading. Bulk order will get me close enough where I can no longer justify ordering a hitek bullet over FMJ.

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