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Old October 26, 2011, 06:51 AM   #1
billtheshrink
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38 wadcutter

I use lyman's manuel and the data is not there. Can anyone help? I got some Extreme 148 gr plated wadcutters withj cannelure on top and bottom. I am assuming OAL will be ok if i seat to the middle of the cannelure. I have titegroup and bullseye. I will be shhoting in a 38 Air Weight snubbie. Any ideas for load with these powders.... its not in my manuel.
Thanks...Bill
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:29 AM   #2
wncchester
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If you have .38 (.357) 148 gr. wad cutters use any data for those bullets. They will be low pressure loads in moderately large cases so seat and crimp where you please.

I've never seen a Lyman manual with no data for Bullseye in a .38/148 load. Anyway, do a web search for Alliant Powders and find it there.
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Old October 26, 2011, 08:08 AM   #3
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The old standard target load for .38 spl., was a 148 grain wad cutter with 2.7 grains of Bullseye, the bullet seated flush with the case mouth. Tens of thousands of those went down range in the day.
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Old October 26, 2011, 08:09 AM   #4
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2.7 grains of Bullseye should work fine as a starting point. Similar amount of Titegroup. You can go a little heavier with each, it depends on what your goals are.
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Old October 26, 2011, 08:25 AM   #5
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Yup, 2.7 grains of Bullseye is the old standard load for the .38 Special wadcutter. I've used it with lead and with plated. It gives me about 660 fps from my 4" guns.

One day I was playing with my chronograph and decided to chrony that load through my Marlin 1894C, so I loaded some and sent them over the screens. It seems that I'm getting 606 fps from the carbine. Good accuracy, but the longer barrel was showing reduced velocity, probably from the bore friction.
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Old October 26, 2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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If you're loading it longer than the recipe calls for because of the cannelure and it's plated, don't start at the bottom of lead wadcutter data. I stuck a plated wadcutter in the bore of my revolver doing that.
I wouldn't start any lower than 3.0 grains of Titegroup. (.38 lead WC data goes from 2.7 to 3.3) or 2.9 of B'eye.

Anytime you move the bullet farther out of the case, the pressure is going to drop, combine that with the long plated bearing surface of the plated WC you have to compensate with more powder.

I shoot a lot of plated WC's, they are accurate and clean shooting.
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Old October 26, 2011, 09:08 AM   #7
Kevin Rohrer
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Bullseye: 2.7-3.3gr is fine.

I seat my wadcutters w/ some lead exposed. It makes chambering the rounds easier.
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Old October 26, 2011, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Tens of thousands of those went down range in the day.
You undersold.
I'll bet you can find hundreds, if not thousands of people who have EACH put tens of thousands of those down range back in the day.

Total round count on .38 Special wadcutters launched between 1970 and 1990 would be... a ridiculous number with a lot of commas.
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Old October 26, 2011, 12:27 PM   #9
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I use a SAKO double ended wad cutter, 2.7 grs of bullseye and seat them flush with the mouth of the case. I shoot them in a Smith Model 52 which forced me to seat them flush.

I use to use a taper crimping die, but stopped after I got the Lee Carbide Factory Crimpng Die.

It allows me to seat flush, but on the bottom of the die is a carbide ring that re-sizes the case as you pull it out of the die. This grips the bullet quite well and makes for smooth feeding and consistancy.
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Old October 26, 2011, 02:45 PM   #10
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you can also load those quite a bit hotter, if you wish.
You can use similar loads that are good for the 158gr swc's, if you load the wadcutter out to where you have approximately the same amount of bullet in the case as you do with the swc's. (giving the approximate same internal volume)
I imagine a flat faced wadcutter at about 800fps would give a pretty good slap to any target it hit.
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Old October 26, 2011, 10:49 PM   #11
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In my old Lyman manual from the 70's, 3.5gr of Bullseye is the listed max. They didn't know what +P was back then.
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:02 AM   #12
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Let us know how that bullet works out I've been thinking about buying some.
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Old October 27, 2011, 07:59 AM   #13
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The plated 148 Gr WC's take a little more powder to get them out of the barrel reliably than lead does. When starting at the low end of lead data make sure each bullet exits the barrel.

I shoot plated 148's in .38 and .357 cases. I load them about .125 out of the case to get them in the throats to help them start straight, unlike lead which I just seated flush. They both shoot better than I can, especially the lead.
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Old October 27, 2011, 08:48 AM   #14
billtheshrink
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38's

Thanks for the advice guys! I have used XTREME before in other calibers and been pleased. What is OAL for wadcutters? 1,314? I have never used a bullet with a cannelure, but these have canneluer...so seat them through the middle of the Cannelure and I will be OK? ive kinda decided on 2.8 gr Bullseye

Thanks again!!!!

Bill
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Old October 27, 2011, 08:53 AM   #15
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Yes.. seating to the center of the cannelure is good. If you decide to put a slight roll crimp on it, it gives the case mouth somewhere to go. I'm not sure I'd worry much about a crimp, with as little recoil as these loads will have.
Seating depth is one of those variables that you can play with to fine tune your load. Seating the bullet flush with the mouth might work better, but the only way you will know is to shoot a bunch of them.
It's a tough job...
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Old October 27, 2011, 08:58 AM   #16
dahermit
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Quote:
What is OAL for wad cutters?
Traditionally, wad cutters were seated flush or nearly so when using the 2.7 of Bullseye. However, if you seat wad cutters (or any 38 bullet), long, make sure it does not stick out further than the end of the cylinder, or you could end up with a lot of loaded cartridges that will not allow your cylinder to close. Also, just because a .38 wad cutter comes with a channelier, does not mean you have to crimp on it or even use it.
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Old October 27, 2011, 09:55 AM   #17
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I like somewhere around 4.5 grains of Unique. Wadcutters are beautiful things for self-defense - inherent accuracy, low recoil, and fantastic straight line penetration with a full profile meplat.
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Old October 27, 2011, 10:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
I have never used a bullet with a cannelure, but these have canneluer...so seat them through the middle of the Cannelure and I will be OK? ive kinda decided on 2.8 gr Bullseye
I would NOT.

Full disclosure: I've never used a plated full wadcutter bullet. However, I have loaded tens of thousands of plated bullets and it's been my experience that these things won't slide down a bore like a soft lead bullet will.

In your position, I would start HIGHER and maybe work my way down a bit.

At 2.8 grains and not loaded flush, I would be worried about sticking a bullet in the bore. Now I may not have ever loaded a plated full wadcutter... but I have stuck a plated bullet in a bore and it's no fun!
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Old October 27, 2011, 12:21 PM   #19
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Guys.... what is the cannelure there FOR? Certainly not for looks.

I'm assuming this plated bullet is not a hollow-base bullet? The reason you could load the hb bullets flush with the mouth is because of the hollow base. It effectively added to the case volume. If you load a solid base bullet to the same depth as the hollow based ones, you are effectively decreasing the case volume.

I go back to my earlier statement, if you load a solid based wadcutter to the same depth as any other solid based bullet, you should be able to use similar powder charges.. as long as bullet weight is similar. Being that wadcutters are usually lighter than similar swc bullets, the same powder charges should actually be a little on the light side.

Using powder charges developed for hbwc bullets on solid wadcutters is probably a little dicey, and should be well thought out, and approached with educated caution.

Heavier charges were not used on hbwc bullets to avoid blowing the "skirt" off the base when the bullet exited the barrel, due to excessive pressure.
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Old October 27, 2011, 09:19 PM   #20
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If one looks in several manuals for loading data using wad-cutters, one finds that over-all length for the load is listed. It has been customary to load full wad cutter bullets nearly flush despite channeliers provided by the maker, be the channelier near the front, back, middle, or all three. A channelier is not needed or it would be present on all wad-cutters. Crimping on a channelier is not an important enough factor to be of any real concern...seat the bullet to match the overall length as closely as possible as per data in the manuals.
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