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Old May 7, 2012, 01:34 AM   #1
Rangefinder
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New project is looking good!

As a few here know, I just can't leave well enough alone with a new mold. I recently traded off a mold that was collecting dust for one I've been itching to play with---the Lee 148gr WC for .357 Mag... Wad Cutters are fun. Wad Cutters are great target bullets. Wad Cutters have a massive meplat. My thought was... "What would a Wad Cutter with a deep tapered hollow-point do?" Well, we're gonna find out. I just bored and polished one cavity for a pin. At some point over the next few days I'll turn out a couple pins and we'll just have to see what happens! If it does anything even remotely close to the 175gr SWC I HP'd for my .40S&W, I'm gonna goggle like a little girl. Stand by, photos will be coming soon.
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Old May 7, 2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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Years ago, there were shooters who were experimenting with commercial hollow-based wadcutters seated backwards in the case. If one was interested in a large, deep hollow point in a wadcutter, there seems to be no need to modify a mold to get one.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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True enough, but it's all about the versatility. I can turn a different pin any time I want to change it--slight cup-point, deep taper point, reversed radius in the pin for a Himmelwright... I like doing things my way. Altering a lee mold isn't the type of thing that gives me much fits. An H&G would get pampering like a new puppy--but a recent production Lee isn't exactly an irreplaceable mold.
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Old May 15, 2012, 02:11 AM   #4
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Progress
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:20 PM   #5
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Nice looking boolits there rangefinder.
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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sorry double post
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Old May 16, 2012, 05:10 PM   #7
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Wait a minute !!!?

Is that mold plain based ??? where`s the little bevel that Lee likes to use ????????

Good job keepin the pin hot Rangefinder !!

Maybe turn those around for hollowbased wc.
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Old May 16, 2012, 06:27 PM   #8
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Yup--those are the flat-bottom cambell's cans--except NOW I have one style with the lid on and the other after the can opener... Got some interesting results with the first load test on them GP, you'd probably be particularly interested. It's got me a little puzzled and scratching my head, but I'll have to detail it out later tonight or tomorrow. They SHOT very good. How the alloy acted is extremely odd.
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Old May 16, 2012, 09:28 PM   #9
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Those are awesome looking!
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:59 AM   #10
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I remember umteen years ago putting together some Zero 146gr HBWC's with the bases forward in both 38SPL and some for the .357. Neither load was stoked up much more than the starting loads but both were VERY effective.

I used quite a few of them to dispatch rouge coons which felt they simply HAD to climb up the legs of my feeders and destroy the motor and control unit. Most were so intent on tearing it off they paid little attention to me walking up to within 10 feet or closer. The 38SPL loads would dump them with not so much of a wiggle and weren't much more than clap of the hands for noise, and wouldn't penetrate through a decent 12-18 pound coon. The .357's were a bit stouter, and were very accurate out to around 30yds. The simply made too much of a mess of thm for general use. I did however keep six of them loaded up in the house gun for when I was out of town and the wife and daughter were home alone.

Those you have there, with a good alloy, should easily equal or better the ones I had years ago. Be sure to post up the rest or your experiences with them. I'm intrigued by your last post on being puzzled by the alloy.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:17 PM   #11
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All right. The short and sweet version of the performance was this. I cast a small batch with my standard HP alloy that gives outstanding performance in several other calibers and nose designs: 50/50 WW alloy with dead-soft, then add 2% tin. I loaded a bottom end wadcutter load and a top-end load, both for .357 mag. The bottom end blew the nose all to pieces within the first water jug and penetrated a total of three jugs at about 850fps. The top-end load peeled the nose off in an intact doughnut and penetrated three jugs. Slower came apart while faster retained.
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Old May 30, 2012, 04:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
I loaded a bottom end wadcutter load and a top-end load, both for .357 mag. The bottom end blew the nose all to pieces within the first water jug and penetrated a total of three jugs at about 850fps. The top-end load peeled the nose off in an intact doughnut and penetrated three jugs. Slower came apart while faster retained.
Sounds like about what I got from the Zero's. I had to drop down to low 38 SPL loads to keep them in one piece, but when they DID stay together they would peel right back to just about the base.

The top end load simply shroomed and the core tore right on through the expanded nose portion. The low end ones had time by moving slower to actually come apart before the rear totally got through them.

I would say your going to have to get a bit more close to the pure lead in order to keep them in one piece, but as you have seen the slower one will do some horrific damage to what ever media it might get put to task on.

If you have it on hand might give some 20 or 25-1 a try. Cut the WW out of it all together, the extra hardness you might be getting from it might be the brittleness that is causing the separations. Just guessing here.

Thanks for the update.
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Old May 31, 2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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Yup--I was actually thinking along the same lines. I have tons of base metal to alloy with, so I might cook up a batch of 20-1 and see what happens. A change in pin design is also in the plan. The interesting thing is that this alloy is exactly what I use in my 165gr. .40S&W HP/SWC at more than 100fps faster and it gives me perfect expansion every time. The size of the cavity is the part that jumps out as the issue--next one will be a straight-tapered cone, no radius, and smaller diameter for a thicker wall.
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Old June 2, 2012, 10:38 AM   #14
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Rangefinder, am liking your line of thought on the pin revision for the HP. This should make for a more versatile boolit loaded frontwards or backwards. As a hollow based target load should allow you to bump up load data up a tad from the more traditional thinner skirted HBWCs and of course promote good obturation and turned the other way hit like a freight train

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Old June 4, 2012, 04:04 PM   #15
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New pin design and an alloy change yielded promising results.

The new pin is smaller in diameter and set deeper with a long taper and only radiused at the bottom of the cavity with a step at the crimp groove. I changed the alloy to a straight 15-1 (with whatever trace antimony hides in stick-ons), and drove these at about 1100fps into wet-packs. Both penetrated to 5 1/2 to just shy of 6", retained much of their nose portion, and expanded very well. I think my 2-legged varmint boolit is just about dialed in. Just FYI, the pin "looks" off-center because I had to hold it open on-angle to get it in the photo. It IS centered, just tipped back to see the cavity without the other half of the block getting in the way.



For comparative, here's the original pin design and depth setting.

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Old June 4, 2012, 06:04 PM   #16
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Now that is an impressive example of expansion.
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Old June 4, 2012, 10:23 PM   #17
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Almost... EXPANSION is what the HP job I did to my .40S&W is all about. The .357 Wadcutter is coming along, but not quite where I want it to be just yet.

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Old June 5, 2012, 10:51 AM   #18
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Hey Rangefinder !!!

What is the colored coating on your .40 cal cast pics ??? Is it a new lube coat matierial ???

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Old June 5, 2012, 11:46 AM   #19
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That was one of my experiments---copper plating. Got good results, just a serious PITA for something I accomplish just as effectively with standard tumble lube. It was more a matter of just seeing if I could do it rather than practical application.
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