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  #1  
Old 01-23-2006, 11:16 PM
DstnguishdR1586 DstnguishdR1586 is offline
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38 Wadcutters




I have just recently purchased a Smith and Wesson 66 in 357 and want to load some 38 spl wadcutters for a light target load, both for me to mess around with and some female friends to shoot. I am most likely gonna work up a load using W231 since I have some already and my measure seems to throw it well. I am curious about which HB or DE wadcutters tend to be the most accurate and easiest to work with. I have heard that the Speer's have excessive lube on them that make a mess and are sometimes a little over sized. If anyone has any suggestions or any helpful tips about loading wadcutters I would greatly appreciate it.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2006, 03:32 AM
M.A. M.A. is offline
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I have used lots of Speer wadcutters and have never had any problems with them. Most lead bullets, wadcutters or roundnose, will be more messy than jacketed or plated due to the lead, and the lube. Leading in the barrel, and the lube causes powder residue inside the gun requires cleaning. These are the downside of reloading lead bullets. The upside is the cost savings, accuracy, and less wear in the barrel. Make sure you wash your hands after handling the lead, and shoot in well ventilated areas.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2006, 08:27 AM
Greatgoogamooga Greatgoogamooga is offline
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HBs are more expensive and are (supposedly) more accurate. The weight is greater at the front of the bullet and this will supposedly give greater stability. I've never noticed a difference, but I'm not a bullseye guy. One thing I noticed early on; the plated wadcutters (Rainier, Berry's) needed more powder than what I found in my manuals. I stuck one in the barrel because it didn't have enough oomph at the minimum charge. Had to take it up to near max load. No problems with lead, though. Plenty of lube and give to squeeze through the barrel.

Goog
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:14 AM
2Late45 2Late45 is offline
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The hollow base do seem to be a little more accurate. And you can get buy with very light loads of Clays or Bullseye. Keep them around 700fps or so, as all the HBWC's are swagged from very soft lead. The hollow base expands under pressure and better fills the bore for increased accuracy. But run'm too hot and you WILL get leading...
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2006, 09:20 AM
hsvhobbit hsvhobbit is offline
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As far as ease of working with I've found the DE wadcutters to be easiest. Either way you set them in the case is correct . They are a little more forgiving than the HBWC's...DE's are typically cast and thus harder for less leading. HBWC's generally are swaged and very soft with a little more leading. One very real concern for some people is that if you get TOO carrried away with high velocity, in theory you can blow the nose off the HB's and leave the skirt in place. Don't know how hot that would take to do it but I've always limited my HB's to middle/low loads.

Accuracy wise? I've never seen a difference though the HB's usually have a sharper edge to the nose and cut SLIGHTLY cleaner holes in paper.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2006, 10:38 AM
buckarooboy buckarooboy is offline
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.38 Wadcutters

I have used .38 wadcutters from Zero that work real well for your use. I shoot the hollow base 148 grain swaged bullets with excellent results. Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2006, 12:14 PM
Art Art is offline
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It seems the powder and charge weight has more to do with accuracy then whether it's a HB, BB/BN or DE wadcutter.

I've worked up some accurate loads for each type- I did spend more time with HB's for a Model 52 and a Model 14 only because HB's are suppose to be more accurate.

In general I find LaserCast bullets lead less and I've found tumbling lead bullets in Lee alox almost eliminates leading. I've been using the alox on my Lasercast and HB's - it's an extra step and messy but I find it worthwhile for my target guns.

Star HB's have been recognized as near the top in accuracy - I'm not sure of the availability or quality of current Star bullets since they closed down then reopened possibly under new owners??

I can echo what's been said - the lower the velocities, the less leading.

Last edited by Art; 01-24-2006 at 12:17 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2006, 10:30 PM
Smythe Smythe is offline
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The double end wadcutter or button top wadcutter are good cast bullets & only need light loads when using Winchester 231 & their weight is around 150Gr. Some have used HBWC, but the cost is to much so back to the solid ones. We do a lot of indoor shooting & according to Cdn law we are not to use fully or partially jacketed bullet tips which is why we use cast WCs. Though in fact I use 158 to 162 gr SWC cast bullets & get good results with them again using 231 to some older powders like outdated Winchester 451AA.
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Old 01-27-2006, 10:29 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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Reversed Hollow-base wadcutters

This is a little off topic, but I thought some of the "younger" shooters might enjoy this little factoid.

Back in the 60's, before hollow point bullets were very common, we loaded HB wadcutters "reversed", with the hollow base forward, for self defense purposes. I've never heard of any scientific tests or even anecdotal evidence of whether or not this would be effective, but it gave us peace of mind.

Accuracy was terrible, and the bullets key-holed even at 7 yards when fired out of a two inch snubbie.

Good shooting.....Rod.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2006, 10:46 AM
Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredRod
This is a little off topic, but I thought some of the "younger" shooters might enjoy this little factoid.

Back in the 60's, before hollow point bullets were very common, we loaded HB wadcutters "reversed", with the hollow base forward, for self defense purposes. I've never heard of any scientific tests or even anecdotal evidence of whether or not this would be effective, but it gave us peace of mind.

Accuracy was terrible, and the bullets key-holed even at 7 yards when fired out of a two inch snubbie.

Good shooting.....Rod.
Shucks Rod, you beat me to it. Use to load those all the time using SR4756 (a very good powder for .38 spl.). They shot pretty well out to 15 yards in the 4" Smith model 10 I use to have. I used the Hornady swaged HBWC's that I bought in 1000 packs, and they were plenty economical enough back then, but it has been years since, and I don't know what they run for now.
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