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38 special wadcutter load

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  • 38 special wadcutter load

    This is my first attempt at wadcutters of any kind. The bullets are from Matt's Bullets and I can't wait to shoot them. They're sitting on top of 3.6 grains of W-231. I had a question of where to seat the bullet down to, and called them....Matt himself answered, and told me what I needed to know. I'll let you know how this shoots when I go shooting next week, I have high hopes for this because it's supposed to be a really accurate load.
    "Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden

  • #2
    Looks good to me. I have a mold that drops 150 gr DEWC and has a crimp groove, and I lightly roll a crimp. Works quite well...
    I\'ve learned to stand on my own two knees...

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    • #3
      Most of my 38 special are loaded with wad cutters. I cast several types of them and they all perform well. My favorite load is 2.6 to 2.7g Bullseye over 148gr DEWC but have used many powders with success. I think you will really like them.

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      • #4
        For some time I have been shooting some match wc in my old model blackhawk and nothing else.
        I was raised in the 50\'s on jackrabbits and gunpowder.salt and pepper wooda made\'em taste better

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        • #5
          I load HBWC 148 grain, with 2.5 grains of 700-X for use in the 1951 pre-model 10 snubbie...
          Bayou52
          Bayou52
          NRA Life Member

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          • #6
            Used to load 148HBWC's just below the case mouth with a mild crimp. Just started loading them again. 148 plated HBWC's just above the mouth with a mild crimp. I can't tell any difference. Anyone know if there is?
            Never drink down stream from the herd.

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            • #7
              How accurate were they when you seated them below the case mouth?
              "Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden

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              • #8
                probably a bit of pressure difference.
                case volume matters.
                probably ain't enough to matter one way or the other in this case, but your velocity has probably changed a touch [25-30 fps]

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                • #9
                  Quite a while ago I played with wadcutter seating depths. I was using 148-150 DEWC and a few HBWC. I seated from flush to about 1/4" out (as long as the cylinder permitted). In my 2" 38. 3" 38, and 4" 357 (with 38 loads), maybe 50-60 rounds each depth and found very little if any difference...
                  Last edited by mikld; 07-13-2019, 11:17.
                  I\'ve learned to stand on my own two knees...

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                  • #10
                    A few years back I picked up a case of Winchester factory WC target loads for a decent price. I tried them against my preferred WC load consisting of the Lyman #358495 bullet over 3.1 gr. of W231. The factory ammo lost. I shot at 25 yards over a sandbag rest and the factory went 3.5" average for four 5 shot groups. My handloads shaded the factory by 0.3". This was not a one time thing as I tried this several times over a several week period. My handloads shot consistently better than the pricey factory target ammo. he factory stuff is somewhat softer than my alloy and will deposit lead in my barrel.

                    Recoil from my load is slightly higher than the factory but I guess it'll be good plinking stuff and a supply of some very nice brass. Note that the factory bullet is seated flush with the top of the case neck where mine are crimped in the groove provided by the mold.
                    Paul B.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Old Cop View Post
                      Used to load 148HBWC's just below the case mouth with a mild crimp. Just started loading them again. 148 plated HBWC's just above the mouth with a mild crimp. I can't tell any difference. Anyone know if there is?
                      I also load the 148 grain HBWCs just below the case mouth and with a light crimp. The seem to work just fine, so I stick with that method...

                      Bayou52
                      Bayou52
                      NRA Life Member

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                      • #12
                        Have loaded thousands of Ideal #358495 141gr wadcutter over 2.8gr of Bullseye. As with Paul, crimped in the provided crimping groove. Just flat out stupid accurate! Costs about the same, or sometimes less, than a .22LR. In fact I think I got that mould in '66. Has three lube grooves, and a solid base. One can drive it to near magnum speed with Unique and not exceed +P levels. But then what's the point of that other to say that ya can? Hotrodding a wadcutter is sorta like dropping a blown hemi into a Chevy Vega. A might over done I reckon.

                        Wadcutters are great on small game. Easy on meat damage. Accuracy for precision shots. Lots of little critters taken by wadcutters.
                        "Don't try to cover up a lack of training with a tool you don't understand."

                        John Lovell on upgrades.

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                        • #13
                          lot of X's have ben shot with 2.5 to 2.7 of BE with 148g HBWC thousands and S&W M14, M10, M15,

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                          • #14
                            " One can drive it to near magnum speed with Unique and not exceed +P levels. But then what's the point of that other to say that ya can?"

                            Well, they do make one hell of a self defense load from a snubbie. The flat nose of the WC make one hell of a splat when it connects. I've done it from a 6" K-38 at times shooting jackrabbits and a solid hit stops them cold. Not too bad a deal at reasonably close range but high velocity and wadcutters don't do so well farther out. These days I use the WCs strictly for targets an as light loads for my grandkids to shoot. It's a good thing they don't come round very ofter or I'd spend every working hour of the day casting more WCs and loading the brass.
                            Paul B.

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                            • #15
                              I've never blown the middle out of a HBWC, but I hear it's possible. But then I've never pushed the envelope with them either. If I were going to push a wadcutter past it's target phase I would definitely go with a solid-base design. There's no reason such a load could not be a contender as an effective SD round. Back in the day "barrel-nosed" 45s and 44s were loaded by casters for tremendous impact effect.
                              Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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