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Thread: Has anybody used Speer plastic bullets or rubber X-ring bullets?

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    Default Has anybody used Speer plastic bullets or rubber X-ring bullets?

    A friend has some plastic bullets and cases made by speer that are fired/propelled by a primer. In this case we were using .44 in a revolver. They really worked well except that in his SW revolver some of the cases hung up and the cylinder had to be helped to rotate.
    I liked the idea of being able to shoot at home, in the garage, over and over for just a few pennies. Especially when it is cold out.
    I looked on line and saw some rubber bullets called X-Ring that are put in brass casings with a primer and used the same way as the Speer.
    My first instinct is that the brass cases, designed for the caliber, won't hang up like the plastic ones were doing, but I have no way to know how well the rubber projectiles work compared to the plastic.
    Any feedback?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've had a set of the speer 38 cal plastic cases and bullets for nearly 30 years, hmm, wonder where I put them? Anyhow, for in the garage use they are perfect. You do need a proper backstop, a piece of carpet in a cardboard box does the trick, as they will do damage to drywall if you miss! The only downside is they make a suprising mess of the gun, and primers seem to be in short supply.

    I've never tried the rubber bullets. My understanding is that when you use a brass case for the plastic or rubber bullets you have to drill out the primer hole to full power of the primer. And cases with drilled out primer flash holes shouldn't be used for full power loads as the burning characteristics of the powder will change and previously safe loads may become unsafe.

    I haven't even thought about shooting those things in years. I got a pellet gun pistol, pellets are about the same price as primers, the pellet gun is more accurate, and it's quieter.

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    Default practice rounds explored

    I did some more research. You are correct that the primer hole needs to be drilled if using brass with the rubber bullets. That seems easy to me, and as I don't reload (yet) I would not have a problem keeping track of cases that I modified.
    I know nothing about primers. The 2 calibers I would try these plastic or rubber bullets on would be a .38/.357 or a .44. Do I have to use magnum primers? Are smaller primers (for 9mm, .40, etc) the same diameter as the magnum primers?
    I would guess that any primer that fits would work. I would not have to worry about matching manufacturer, or lots, or numbers as if I were reloading.
    I read conflicting reports on these practice rounds. Some folks loved them, some did not. I do not think I would like them if I had to fuss with rotating the cylinder manually, but when I shot my buddies .44 in the garage, I did get good groups.
    Just curious, but if you have had them for 30 years and don't use them, would you sell them?

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I too have used the plastic case/bullet combo in .38 Spl. Haven't used them in years, but they did their job. The cases were red plastic and the "bullets" are hard black plastic. Standard primers do the trick; no magnums required. Used one of those old Lee handheld loaders to punch primers out and install new ones. Never had a problem with them hanging up in the revolver. Did have problems with some of the red cases splitting down the side over time.

    I've seen the rubber ones you're talking about, but have never used them. I would assume they work just fine. When you modify the cases, be sure to mark them in some way. I would go so far as to suggest putting each case in a trimmer and shortening it about 1/8" so that it will physically be too short for loading with "real" bullets. That modification would have no effect on the rubber bullet use.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    My comment about the drilled primer holes is if you reload, you want to keep that brass seperate.

    I've used standard and magnum primers. If your 357 has a heavy hammer strike, you could also use small rifle primers. The cups on the rifle primers are thicker, so not all handguns will fire them. My 357 blackhawk hits so hard that it pierces pistol primers and I have to use rifle primers.

    They are fun to play with, but if you really want to become a good shot with a pistol I'd recomend investing a 1/2 decent pellet gun pistol. The plastic bullets just aren't that accurate to let you know when you've really honed your skills. With a pellet gun pistol, and dry firing your revolvers you can become a very good shot.

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    During my time as a peace officer, we used wax bullets for training on more than a few occasions. Just straight 357 mag cases with a magnum primer. No primer hole enlargement. Then we cookie-cuttered the wax into the case mouths.
    Then we suited up with full coverage snow machine helmets and as much clothing as we could put on. Those darn things hurt.
    They really make a mess as well. It takes forever to gun your revolver afterwards. Plus I still have wax marks on my kevlar entry vest from the mid 1990s.
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    I have shot the wax bullets like Float Pilot mentioned. I shot them at my sisters house shooting bugs of the side of their barn with a 44. It was a hoot and a half. Not sure how she made the bullets but I will find out.
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    I seemed to fair pretty well grouping the plastic bullets I shot. I did better than the guns owner, but don't get me wrong, I'm no expert pistol shot.
    I like the idea of using the same gun for practice. The weight, trigger pull, everything is the same that way. Just more noise and recoil when you add live loads.
    I was thinking about going the .38/.357 route. I want my wife to shoot too and that pistol would fit her hands better than the .44s that I have. Then, when we were ready to go to the range I would look for as light a .38spl load as I could find. I would limit recoil and build confidence. In time she would be ready for .357 loads.
    I see a lot of good here. I get new toys, get to shoot lots, get to shoot with my wife, and maybe end up finding her a gun of her own. No losers here.
    I assume if I went to the rubber bullets, I would need a reloader of some type for the primer. A Lee loader was mentioned. I guess I would want to keep it all simple and inexpensive, at least for now. Any other ideas?

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    The Lee loader I was referring to is the single caliber, hand held Classic kits. They run about $32 and do not require a press. With just a little thumper stick, you can punch the primers out and install new ones pretty quickly.

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/cata...leeloader.html

    If you have a single stage press, then a universal decapping die would be all you need to punch out the fired primers.

    Probably the best option for installing new primers is a handheld priming tool such as the Lee Auto Prime. They are about $20.

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/cata.../primtool.html
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As I recall, and it's been years since I used them, the speer plastic bullets can be easily deprimed by placing the case over a wood block with a hole in it, and the primer pushed out with a nail. The cases are primed by putting the primer on a block and pushing down on the case to prime it.

    With all this talk of plastic bullets I'm going to have to see where I put mine and run them through the blackhawk 357 to see how well they shoot.

  11. #11

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    I use both the Speer and the X-Ring in 38 Spl cases. The rubber bullets are more accurate for me in my 38 Spl and 357 revolvers. I enlarged the flash hole on 100 surplus cases, used a marker on them to keep from getting mixed with my other brass, and use a Lee Autoprime to insert the small pistol primers. Fun shooting in my garage at a target stapled on a cardboard box with a towel draped inside to stop the bullets. I also use a large piece of cardboard as a backstop in case a shot goes wild - the bullets WILL damage the garage door. (BTW, Federal 100s are stinky). I usually decap with a nail and hammer, and after repriming, seat the bullets by hand. This is my occasional winter/bad weather shooting activity, which I'll continue to do until my primer supply starts running low (still have 8000 or so to play with).

    Have to do some searching: I rearranged my bullets and ammo this summer. Just looked for the practice stuff and can't find the x-rings or the brass.

    Haven't tried 44 cal.

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    Default Hey Paul

    Want to sell? Hmm? Buddy? Cheap?
    Ok, sounds like I am adding a few things to the Christmas Wish List. Or, maybe I'll buy the wife the set up. Hmm, options. Ear rings or bullets?
    This could be a lot of fun. It would give me a reason to get out of the house and into the garage. Won't get many oil changes done I guess.
    Sounds like I'll start with plastic, and then maybe the x-ring depending on how well the other works. thanks guys.

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    Default Another Thread

    I participated in another thread (http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=22344) wherein this question was well explored.

    Among the things I found in the discussion:

    Wax bullets can be easily made by using brass cartridge cases just as you do cookie citters. Warming the wax a little bit makes it easier to cut.

    I used a backstop for my plastic bullets made of a rubber sheet (actually a truck inner tube cut into 18" x 18" squares slit with 2" wide strips, and hanging in three layers). Apparantly I went a little overboard and went WAY to elaborate for my backstop. I used to use these outdoors and wound up eventually losing half my plastic bullets. But Sportsmen's Warehouse sells more.

    Air guns are more accurate, quieter than primers and possibly cheaper to shoot, but don't let you have the same trigger feel as using your everyday weapon.

    One ingenious soul testified that a hot glue gun can use a regular bullet mold to cast the same shape bullets you normally shoot (and have less of a cleanup problem than wax bullets)

    And then of course, Daisy used to make a laser target that would beep if hit by a laser in the bullseye. They had a laser contained inside a "cartridge", complete with tiny batteries and a switch in the primer location that would fire the laser down your barrel. I found a target at Value Village a while back, but still have not found any of the cartridges.

    Lost Sheep
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 12-03-2008 at 21:32. Reason: found link to thread

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    I've shot a lot of these plastic speer bullets, the work fine. I have however used a lot more wax. Melt parrifin and pour into a cake pan about 1/2" deep. Let it cool until slightly soft and just press primed cases into the soft wax and let them set to cool completely, then twist to remove. No crimp necessary but if loading with speed loaders in revolvers a good roll crimp helps to get them started into the cylinder.

    The real advantage of these basement/garage loads is to facilitate lots of 'from the holster practice' without risk of serious injury. Basically quick draw McGraw stuff is safe. This also keeps the fingers on the real gun that you carry and builds proficiency when otherwise you wouldn't be able to shoot. If you drill the flash holes out the primers do not back out when fired and drag on the cylinder when rotated. Also the shorter the case the better they work so use 38 in 357, etc.

    I used to have some 38 long colt cases drilled out for my 357's and they were easily to seperate from the 38 spcl and 357 brass for the real loads. They are also good for simulating a squib load for an autoloader, and to check the stoppage drill proficiency. Clean up is well a mess after a few hundred rounds but it is good practice. I think I've shot a cubic mile of wax made into bullets.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default ok, now thinking about wax

    I have lots of it from the days I used to pluck all my ducks and wax them. I sure was looking forward to buying new toys. Oh well, maybe I'll try all 3.
    Don't beat me about the head and shoulders, but I need to ask a question. If I use wax, can I remove it from the barrel by placing the gun in hot water? Would boiling water be too hot? I would think that would remove the wax and help clean the gun, especially if I used a degreaser or soap.
    Ok, give me both barrels.

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    I can't speak directly to removing wax as I've rarely used it. But, I do know that a way to remove wax from some objects is to freeze it. My wife puts all her little candle-holder thingamajigs covered with wax in the freezer for about an hour. The wax just pops right off. Not sure if this would work on a gun, but it might be worth a shot. (pun intended)

    I believe the problem with hot water is that the wax will not get picked up by the water and removed since the wax will actually repel the water and hold its ground inside the barrel. I don't see moderate heat being a problem for the gun though. Actually, I think you might get better results if you used a heat gun on low setting to warm the barrel & soften the wax. With the wax softened, run a clean cotton patch over the top of a brush and it should quickly grab up most of the wax. A little reheat, then a fresh patch. Just a few patches through a warm barrel ought to pick up the majority of it. Then I doubt I'd worry about any residual as it isn't going to hurt the gun and will be further removed during live fire with the higher temperatures and real bullets.

    Now getting wax out of the other nooks and crannies of the operating parts of the cylinder might be a little more challenging.
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    I've cleaned candle snuffers by putting them in boiling water, worked like a champ and with the metal warmed up to 212 degree running a cloth over the surface will get any remaining wax. No reason it wouldn't work with a gun. Just make sure you get it completely dry and oil it afterwords.

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    I have used the X-ring rubber bullets extensively. They are way fun

    My best gun for them was a Smith N-frame snubby in 45ACP with a full moon clip. We used to set up dummy courses in our house during college and shoot at various cardboard bad-guys backed up with an old pillow. A pocket full of full moon clips and you were off. Indoor IPSC One problem is that they will break a window and they will penetrate one side of a hollow core door. You would collect all the rubber bullets and use them again. My RCBS hand primer got a lot of use in those days.

    I experimented with them in my 45-70 Contender using brass that I cut down to just enough to get the rubber bullet into and large rifle magnum primers. With a scope I could shoot one hole groups as far as 20 yards with those things. I could hit stray dogs that pestered my kenneled dog at 50 yards with those things with enough authority to deter them.

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    Default gee doug

    I had not thought of that. Really. I would never have thought about pasting a dog getting in the garbage or peeing on the porch. It was all about target practice. Honest!

    AKDoug, fess up. How bad do they hurt when a guy gets hit in the jeans? And no, I better not hear about my son at UAA playing the same games! He already has a reputation for calling in moose on campus. Guess the UA PD didn't like it.

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    AKDoug, fess up. How bad do they hurt when a guy gets hit in the jeans?
    Hurts like a MO-FO... we only did it once. That was enough. The targets in the house were cardboard after that.

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