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Old August 14, 2012, 10:16 PM   #1
Miata Mike
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Should I keep a Lee 148 grain wad cutter mold?

I bought both a Lee 2 cavity 158 grain SWC mold (which I have loaded quite a few of this style lead bullet in the past), and a Lee 2 cavity 148 grain wad cutter mold.

I have been thinking that it may have been a dumb idea to load the wad cutters since I have never done so in the past and it is only 8 grains lighter.

Do these bullets work fine in regular .38 special brass? I have read that factory loaded wad cutters have double crimped brass and seem a bit thinner in the mouth portion of the brass.

I may be leaning on returning the 148 grain and buy some sort of 9mm mold instead. Any advice?
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Old August 15, 2012, 12:28 AM   #2
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For plinking purposes, WC's are great if you intend to shoot a lot. Their original purpose was for cutting paper anyway--and they do it very well. Half the powder as the SWC adds up after a while, too. Never had a problem with them in 38spl. If you haven't tried em', do. You just might like them. I always shied away because they were just ugly as sin--until I finally decided to see for myself if they were worth anything. They have their place, just like any other bullet.
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Old August 15, 2012, 12:44 AM   #3
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I shoot 2 or 3 times as many 148 DEWC's as anything else in .38 Special and .357 Magnum. I load them light for target shooting, and heavy for blasting at steel targets. The "blasting ammo" would also be a great self-defense load if you're OK with using handloads for SD.

Regular brass works just fine. I don't load them all the way flush with the case mouth, I crimp them in the crimp groove. If you try to seat them flush you might need the thinner brass (anything with the 2 lines in it, or an R-P headstamp)
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:43 PM   #4
Miata Mike
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Looks like I will keep the die and do some experimenting. I cast a good pile of beautiful 158 grain TL SWC today.

Thanks for the replies!
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:46 PM   #5
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"The "blasting ammo" would also be a great self-defense load if you're OK with using handloads for SD."
+1 Low recoil, inherent accuracy, maxium meplat, and fantastic straight-line penetration even at 800 fps.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:52 PM   #6
zxcvbob
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Quote:
+1 Low recoil, inherent accuracy, maxium meplat, and fantastic straight-line penetration even at 800 fps.
I was thinking more like 1000 fps But 800 is good too.
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:07 PM   #7
Miata Mike
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I like the idea of inherent accuracy. Punching paper is my mail goal. I guess I also like the idea of a smaller case capacity if you will to eliminate any position sensitive powder variations.
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Old August 18, 2012, 07:24 AM   #8
m&p45acp10+1
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I have only shot plated wad cutters so I have little experience with them. Though I have the 158 grain TL SWC mold. I have shot thousands of them already. I load them with Trail Boss. Low recoil, very accurate, and extemely clean. The only cleaning I have to do is from the carbon due to burned bullet lube. With my 4 inch Mod 67-1 I can shoot gallon jugs at 100 yards without too much trouble. Though velocity is nowhere near the scorcher range they shoot flatter than I would have imagined.
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Old August 27, 2012, 11:11 PM   #9
Miata Mike
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I cast up a whole bunch of the 148 grain wad cutters and they look fantastic. Sized and loaded a dozen with 3.0 grains of HP-38. Haven't had a chance to test them at the range however. Strange looking loads...
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Old August 28, 2012, 09:46 AM   #10
dahermit
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Quote:
I cast up a whole bunch of the 148 grain wad cutters and they look fantastic. Sized and loaded a dozen with 3.0 grains of HP-38. Haven't had a chance to test them at the range however. Strange looking loads...
They only look strange to you because of your age. At one time, .38 Spl., wadcutters, and off-hand paper shooting was king of the range.
As for the utility of wadcutters, they are a good bullet for all .38 Spl./.357 revolver shooting for everything except perhaps long-range shooting (it is said that wadcutters lose out to semi-wadcutters at long range). My only issue with wadcutters is that they are not as easy to use with speed loaders compared to round-nose bullets. The flat front edge of wadcutters do not guide the rounds into the chambers like round nose bullets do. But at the terminal end, flat-nose bullets (wadcutters), will always out perform round nose bullets be it self-defense or rabbits.
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Old August 28, 2012, 12:49 PM   #11
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I really like my Lee 148 DEWC mold/bullets. I shoot a lot of "normal" (light target) loads in my .38s and .357s and for my house gun I load some with a stiff load of W231. Mine has a crimp groove at one end and I seat to the groove and use a light roll crimp or taper crimp and they are pretty consistant accurate shooters...
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:23 AM   #12
Miata Mike
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Quote:
They only look strange to you because of your age.
I am in my 50's and remember buying wadcutters being too cheap to fuel full load .357's. I shot the 158 grain lswc in my security 6 with zero leading and very good groups!

My brother shot a dozen of these wadcutters in my 3" SP101 with no leading. He couldn't comment on the accuracy of the loads since it isn't his gun, so I will slap together another 50 to run through my security 6 before making a pile of them.

Glad I kept the mould now.....
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