Handloading Federal’s Syntech Bullets


John tried out the Federal Syntech in 9mm, .40 and .45 sizes with
four types of powder, including Alliant Sport Pistol.

Want some cutting-edge bullets for your next reloading project? Federal is now offering Syntech Component bullets. You know, those eye-catching bright red ones? In the past, reloaders have had to choose between cast bullets and copper jacketed bullets; now Syntech offers a third alternative — a polymer jacket. Currently they are offered in 9mm/115-gr. FN, .40/165-gr. FN and .45/230-gr. RN.

All of these are coated with a red Total Synthetic Jacket (TSJ) polymer coating trademarked by Federal. Federal claims this jacket eliminates copper fouling, decreases heat and friction, and provides clean, accurate and consistent performance as well as less splash-back when used on steel targets. The copper fouling is eliminated and splash back decreased simply because there is no copper jacket.

The 230-gr. bullets worked well in this .45 ACP Smith & Wesson Model 1955.

Loaded Questions

Most of my experimentation with Syntech bullets has been with the 230-gr. .45 ACP bullet using four powders, namely True Blue and ZIP from Western Powders as well as Alliant’s Sport Pistol and Green Dot. I have achieved excellent results with all four. Some examples are 5.5 grains of Sport Pistol for 860-880 fps and 1″ groups at 20 yards from a Ruger SR 1911, Springfield Armory 1911A1 Stainless Steel and Colt Gold Cup. I found 7.0 grains of True Blue clocks out at 850 fps with 1″ groups in the Ruger and the Kimber Target II, and 5.5 grains of ZIP is just under 800 fps and achieves the same groups with all four mentioned semi-automatic pistols. While all of these are excellent results, the most outstanding performance came from 5.5 grains of Green Dot giving around 825 fps and slightly tighter groups from all four pistols. Obviously, there’s something very special about Syntech 230-gr. polymer-coated red bullets.

Switching to the 10mm and Syntech 165-gr. FN .40 bullet over 6.5 grains of Sport Pistol gave 1″ groups in a Kimber Target II Stainless at 1,130 fps and the same accuracy in a Nighthawk Long Slide at 1,185 fps. The best group of all from any of the Syntech bulleted loads and guns tested came from the Long Slide Nighthawk using 6.0 grains of ZIP. A relatively mild shooting load at just over 1,000 fps, it placed five shots in 7/8″ with so little felt recoil it’s literally a load one can shoot all day.

This Colt Commander helped John test some Syntech .38 Super loads with the 9mm bullets.

An Old Friend

Soon it was time to switch to my favorite 1911 chambering, namely the .38 Super. Here came Green Dot again with the best results. I used a classic Colt Commander in .38 Super I bought back in 1968. I had Bill Wilson install one of his barrels on it and then had the rear sight replaced with an adjustable MMC sight. Now I had something. With the 115-gr. RN bullet over 5.0 grains of Green Dot, the muzzle velocity is right at 1,160 fps and groups right at 1″.

All of these bullets are designed for use in semi-automatic pistols, however the 230-gr. .45 bullet over 5.5 grains of Sport Pistol does right at 800 fps from a 4″ S&W Model 1955 “perfect packin’ pistol” when loaded in .45 ACP brass and used with full moon clips.

All of these loads were assembled with one extra step, namely the use of the Lee Factory Crimp Die. This takes the place of the regular taper crimp die included with most die sets and not only helps to assure the loaded cartridge will chamber easily but also ensures bullets will not be pushed back into the case. I also use the Lee .45 Carbide Minimum Sizing Die to aid in increasing bullet-to-case friction.

So, are these Syntech just a pretty face or the real deal? Well, if you ask me I believe these colorful bullets are here to stay.

For more info: http://www.federalpremium.com/

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