When multi stage rocket orbital lifts off, the first stage is the booster, the main lift, the massive thrust that gets the payload off the ground with breakaway speed. This is the greatest effort, when raw power are combined with precision accuracy, calculated to the nth degree. Okay, this wasn't QUITE that precise...but it IS Stage 1. First, let me introduce an old manufacturer with a new product. Say hello to Berry Manufacturing in Utah, USA. Berry's has been making plated bullets since before I was born, and carries a wide range of reloading supplies as well. I think half of my blue plastic reload boxes have the Berry's name on them. But, this has nothing to do with ammo boxes, but with a brand new product Berry is launching, a 7.62x39mm rifle plated rifle bullet. This is the Berry's 125 grain plated rifle bullet, sitting with the other two bullets I load currently in this caliber. As you can see, it is an interesting flat point design I wasn't expecting. The ogive is gracefully tapered, and the plating appears to be even and consistent. The bullets are double struck, meaning sized both before and after plating. Bullets were measured with my handy dandy dial calipers, and in the sample group length varied from .791 to .785. I can live with that. Diameter is an exact .311. Here we are at the beginning, box 'o bullets in the background, prepped cases up front, Loadbook of data to start with...Loadbook? Waitaminnit, I thought plated bullets had to be shot at cast lead velocities, shouldn't I be using the Lyman data? Ya know, I've heard that too, but I had an itch, and wanted to see what they would do at low/middle jacketed velocities. You see, Berry's has a thicker plating than other plated bullets, so I am willing to give it a go with what I have on hand at jacketed speeds. I'm told that distinct markings will show if they shed their plating in flight, and a plated bullet that sheds its plating in flight will tend to be wildly inaccurate. OK, that should be easy to spot. Berry's said the two hallmarks of shed plating are either a flow petal looking bullet hole, or many tiny holes around the bullet hole from the pieces of shed plating arriving next to the bullet. Three powders are in my miniature powder magazine, my old standby, Accurate Arms #1680, then Hogdon H-335 and Hogdon H4895, both left over from my .303 and .223 loading days. Well, Loadbook has data for 7.62x39mm for both of the Hogdon powders, so lets give it a whirl, shall we? It was a beautiful day at the range, light breeze as you...can't...see...forgot the camera. Dagnabbit. Ok, picture a beautiful morning, light cross breeze, birds singing, sun just peeking over the mountains, not bad for a morning that began with a screaming cat fight next to my ear at 0530. Seriously. See why I went to the range early? Relaxation. First up, my old standby, Accurate Arms #1680, beginning data for a 125 grain jacketed bullet. All rounds were fired from me beloved light rifle, my CZ 527M, seated and rested. No Lead Sled yet, someday, someday. BTW, the target was made by blarby on thehighroad.org, free download. Nice work, isn't it? Thanks, dude! Squares are 1 inch diagonal. Not bad. Dark marks on the bullet holes were what one "source" told to look for a plated bullet coming apart, but these aren't showing the other signs from Berry's, who have been doing this longer than I've been around. This was just the beginning.