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Old November 28, 2008, 07:27 PM   #1
model14
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Full Wad Cutter vs. Semi-Wad Cutter

For handgun BE shooting is there a performance difference between the two? I realize that for a particular handgun and custom load one might be better than the other, but mine is a general question. Thanks.
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Old November 28, 2008, 08:33 PM   #2
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When I was shooting Bullseye, everyone used semi wadcutters unless the gun demanded full wadcutters (like my .38 Special 1911, converted and accurized by Jim Clark, Sr). Both semi and full wadcutters cut equally nice holes in the target. Semi wadcutters may feed better in some guns but I never had any problems with my Clark conversion using full wadcutters. I could not tell any difference in accuracy between the two bullet types and would go with semis every time unless there is a special reason to do otherwise.
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Old November 28, 2008, 08:36 PM   #3
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If you are shooting revolver there may be some difference because the full wad cutter has more bearing surface.

I have heard stories of shooters seating wad cutters not flush, but leaving a tip out to slide up the ramp. I have never actually seen it, nor would I try it myself.
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Old November 28, 2008, 08:45 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Years and years ago, the NRA ran tests comparing .38 match bullets.
They found the full wadcutter was more accurate than the semiwadcutter.
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Old November 28, 2008, 09:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Years and years ago, the NRA ran tests comparing .38 match bullets.
They found the full wadcutter was more accurate than the semiwadcutter.
Have to agree with that. My Model 14 S&W does a much better job with HBWCs than it does with SWCs. It's not too crazy about DEWCs as is my Clark 1911 .38 Special. The Clark does much much better with HBWCs.

When I was shooting PPC back in the 1970s, I would shoot SWCs simply because they were easier to load with speed loaders, but for the Harry Reeves match at Perry, I shot some factory Remington full wad ammo. For the DR match, I shot some Federal round nose stuff; (1) because you have to shoot factory ammo that's either RN or SWC, and (2) the Federal did the best job grouping of the different factory stuff that I tried at 50 yards.
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Old November 29, 2008, 12:44 PM   #6
model14
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Thanks for the response everyone. I shoot HBWC's in my Model 14 because a friend of mine said it was the most accurate bullet for BE. I guess it was pretty close to good advice.
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Old November 29, 2008, 01:57 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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I always shot wadcutters for PPC and just learned to line up the speedloader.

Except for PPC Distinguished, which requires semiwadcutters or roundnose.
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Old November 29, 2008, 05:23 PM   #8
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I'd agree that a WC is typically more accurate than a SWC. But WC's also tend to be more sensitive to velocity. It's typically recommended that they be kept below 800fps (780 is a popular target velocity, but I don't know where this number comes from). Also there's a safety consideration when shooting HBWC's, which is that their base can detach and remain in the bore if the charge is too hot. The base can also split and cause tumbling.
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Old December 1, 2008, 11:00 PM   #9
melchloboo
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For PPC I load my first string with hbwc since there is plenty of time, and use round or semi to reload.

For bullseye though stick with hbwc. Very easy round to get introduced to reloading as well. I assume you are using 38special not 357 cartridges?
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Old December 2, 2008, 03:53 AM   #10
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I am currently reloading the .38 spc with 2.8 gns of Solo 1000 and 148 gns HBWC. I haven't measured fps but it should be around 750 from what I have read. They make a nice clean cut at 50 feet.
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Old December 6, 2008, 02:39 AM   #11
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My favorite load for .38 special calls for full wadcutters. They cut nice, round holes in paper, and in my 6" Ruger GP100, I get great accuracy.

I do not seat the wadcutters flush with the case mouth. I leave them out so that the overall length is about the same as standard .38 special.
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Old December 6, 2008, 05:56 AM   #12
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WC

I have read that the shape of the WC brings the center of mass closer to the center of the bullet and, thus, makes for a more stable spin. Sounds good....but then I think about HBWCs and wonder whether the idea has any merit.
That 780 fps is similar to what I have been told about .45/200 grainers (750fps for stablity at 50 yards)
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