The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 12, 2005, 12:10 AM   #1
Benzene
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2005
Posts: 384
Wad cutters

I'm confident that this forum would provide the best response I could get. What are the negatives involved in using cast lead wad cutters? I plan to use 125 gr cast lead bullets (from Lonestarbullet Co.). Thanks.
Benzene is offline  
Old April 12, 2005, 02:00 AM   #2
Leftoverdj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
You did not state caliber, but I'll assume .38. Never heard of anyone using .38 WC as light as 125 grains. 148 is standard. I've run into moulds a little lighter and a little heavier, but I have never run into anyone at a serious match shooting anything but 148 WC. They are the gold standard for PPC shooters. You are unlikely to beat them for accuracy.

They also make a pretty decent small game load at short ranges. Normal velocity is about 800 fps and trajectory can be a problem past 25-30 yards.
Leftoverdj is offline  
Old April 12, 2005, 10:16 AM   #3
Benzene
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2005
Posts: 384
Thanks

Thanks. You're correct, I was talking about .38 and I'll now surely use 148gr, the standard. Thanks for the information that they are the gold standard for PPC shooters, as well as for the much you stated in so few words about the WC.

Any comment about gun cleaning after shooting, say 500 rounds of these WC's. Thanks.
Benzene is offline  
Old April 12, 2005, 10:35 AM   #4
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
As long as you hold the velocity down there is very minimal barrel leading. Long term use can result in lead on the forcing cone, cylinder face, and almost everywhere else.
brickeyee is offline  
Old April 12, 2005, 12:04 PM   #5
Quantrill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 1999
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 725
The .38 spec 148 grain (plus or minus a few grains usually due to what alloy is used) is the standard to which all accuracy must be compared. The only downer to it is that you can not drive them at high velocity or pressures will rise and leading may begin. I have three molds for the .38 wadcutter and use them all, as this is my most reloaded bullet. Quantrill
Quantrill is offline  
Old April 12, 2005, 01:14 PM   #6
Poygan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 28, 2004
Posts: 125
Wadcutters are great for short range target useage...up to 50 yards thereabouts. Not too stable after that. Easy on you, the gun and your wallet. 148 grain is the standard although I have a four cavity mold that makes 2 X 105 grain and 2 X 70 grain wadcutters. I haven't experimented with these much because its difficult to get them to cast well because the small bullets don't heat the cavities very readily. Also, I believe 2.8 grains of Bullseye was the standard loading and with 7,000 grains in a pound, its quite economical.

If you find out you like wadcutters, consider casting your own. Wadcutter molds go reasonably on e-bay and you can get a push-through Lee sizer inexpensively. Lee may also make a tumble-lube wadcutter mold which means you wouldn't have to size the bullets, only swirl them in Lee's liquid Alox and let them dry. Scrounge some wheel weights or almost any kind of lead except pure lead - wadcutters don't have to be very hard.
Poygan is offline  
Old April 13, 2005, 10:32 AM   #7
Benzene
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2005
Posts: 384
Thanks folks for all the information on wadcutters. How would you classify the wadcutter shown in the photo? Thanks again.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SBWC.JPG (81.5 KB, 125 views)
Benzene is offline  
Old April 14, 2005, 11:37 PM   #8
j_mcdade
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 13, 2005
Location: Placerville, CA
Posts: 3
Benzene...

The bullet shown in the image appears to be a typical semi-wadcutter. Don't know for sure if you want more specific information. If that is the case, let us know exactly what you are looking for...

Good Shooting,

Jim
j_mcdade is offline  
Old April 15, 2005, 09:09 AM   #9
MADISON
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2000
Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Posts: 2,678
125 grain Wadcutter?

125 grain Wadcutter?
For as far back as I know the 146, 148 and 150 grain SWC are what is used for target work. I am afraid that if you used a 125 grain Wadcutter you woould push it too fast and lead your barrel.
MADISON is offline  
Old April 15, 2005, 10:38 AM   #10
Benzene
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2005
Posts: 384
Wadcutter - Suitable charge

Thanks folks. The specimen shown in the photo is 148 gr lead. What charge of what powder is best suited for it? Has anyone experience using 231 with it? Thanks.
Benzene is offline  
Old April 15, 2005, 11:56 AM   #11
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
If it weighs 148 grain it probably has a flat base instead of a hollow base. Easier to cast.
The stock 148 wadcutter for accuracy work is really a hollow base wadctter. Some folks started using 'double ended' (flat front and back) wadcutters.
I doubt the accuracy battle will ever be finally settled.
brickeyee is offline  
Old April 15, 2005, 12:47 PM   #12
Poygan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 28, 2004
Posts: 125
From your photo, it looks like a wadcutter thats trying to grow into a semi wadcutter. I would still call it a wadcutter. For loading data, go online or pick up some free reloading booklets that most if not all powder companies put out. IMHO, NEVER load with data that someone has given you online unless you can verify it with legitimate published data.
Poygan is offline  
Old April 15, 2005, 01:29 PM   #13
Leftoverdj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
Yeah, that's a WC with a pimple on its nose. They are not uncommon and I have a couple of moulds that have that. The factory swaged hollow base are a hair more accurate, but they are also more expensive and more prone to leading.

I prefer the basic double ended WC and I am using the Lee six cavity tumble lube mould. I size them anyway because it is very possible to do a cast with the mould open by a couple of thous and get a few fat bullets mixed in. I'm using Rooster Jacket or Johnson's Paste Wax as lube because they are a lot less messy than Liquid Alox and work fine at these velocities.

3.1 of 231 is challenging 2.7 of Bullseye as the standard load these days, mostly because it shoots about as well and meters a lot easier. AA 2 also seems to be getting a little following.
Leftoverdj is offline  
Old April 15, 2005, 02:46 PM   #14
G56
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 302
I shot 148 gr HBWC in PPC, I averaged about a thousand per month when I was shooting in competition and I shot for several years, my standard load was the hollow base wadcutter loaded with 3.1 gr of WW231 and a Federal primer, that's a good target load and pretty much standard.
__________________
John
G56 is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 01:03 PM   #15
Quantrill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 1999
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 725
The original target wadcutter used in National Match competition was seated over 2.7gr of Bullseye powder. This is still one excellent load but 700X and 231 now have their share of advocates. I have always used 2.5gr of 700X and not done too shabbily. Any of those fast powders will work. Quantrill
Quantrill is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 04:47 PM   #16
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,528
The bullet shown is basically a wadcutter (WC) with a slightly longer than normal nose, probably to try and get a bit more stability out at the 50 yard range.
I use Lyman #358495, a 148 gr. WC cast feom wheel weight (WW) metal over 3.0 gr. of W-231. Also, 2.5 and 2.7 grains of Bullesye have given me good results, but I've been getting my best groups with W-231.
A while back, I was given a smokin' deal on Winchester .38 Spl. target ammo. I almost hate to say this, but my home cast WC loads outshoot the expensive factory stuff.
Paul B.
__________________
COMPROMISE IS NOT AN OPTION!
Paul B. is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 08:48 PM   #17
Benzene
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2005
Posts: 384
Getting 3.0 gr

Thank you so very much for sharing your expertise. Any techniques on how to measure precisely 3.0 gr on the Lee 2000 Pro (with the Lee disks)? Thanks.
Benzene is offline  
Old April 19, 2005, 12:02 AM   #18
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,528
measuring 3.0 gr. W231

Ya got me there. I use an RCBS duomeasure and adjust it with an electronic scale. Never used the Lee.
Paul B.
__________________
COMPROMISE IS NOT AN OPTION!
Paul B. is offline  
Old April 21, 2005, 05:22 PM   #19
cheygriz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2002
Location: high up in the rockies
Posts: 2,232
The 148 GR swaged wadcutter over 2.8 grains of Bullseye has been winning championships for nearly a century. Some guns like 2.7 better, and some like 2.9 or even 3.0. But 2.7 or 2.8 are good places to start.

I haven't tried 231 with full wadcutters, but I've used a ton of it under 158 grain semi-wadcutters cast fairly hard. No good reason it shouldn't work as well with the full wadcutter.
__________________
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
cheygriz is offline  
Old April 25, 2005, 08:51 AM   #20
MADISON
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2000
Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Posts: 2,678
Experience with Winchester 231

Here are 2 of my loads for 231:
HBW...3.0 grains of 231. Push it any faster and it will tumble.
Bevel Base Wadcutter 4.0 grains. It will not tumble.

Both loads were fired in a 686.
MADISON is offline  
Old April 25, 2005, 04:21 PM   #21
G56
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 302
Quote:
HBW...3.0 grains of 231. Push it any faster and it will tumble.
Shooting in practice and competition I shot many thousands of 38 special loads in a S&W model 13 converted to a PPC revolver with a 6" bull barrel, the load was 3.1 gr of WW231 behind a Star 148 gr HBWC, that is considered a standard target load, very commonly used. Over several years time I never saw a bullet tumble, or even keyhole out to 50 yards using that load, it was an exceptionally accurate load.
__________________
John
G56 is offline  
Old April 25, 2005, 05:36 PM   #22
.45 Vet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 21, 2004
Location: Western Penn.
Posts: 368
Lee Disk Measure

The powder measure should've come with a volumetric comparison chart of powder density by manufacturer. I found mine to be very optimistic, and had to resort to weighing charges and changing disks to find the right one.

I'm currently using the disk/cavity #28 for 2.75grs Bullseye under a 148gr. HBWC. You would be very wise to measure your way to the propper disk for the powder/weight of charge you want to use. If you still have the chart, use it as a rough guess for a starting point.

"Good Luck & Load Safely"
__________________
For those who've never fought for it, the price of freedom shall never be known...
.45 Vet is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12999 seconds with 10 queries