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Old August 27, 2012, 08:12 PM   #1
Super Sneaky Steve
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Has anyone tried this?

My idea is to take a 148 grain Lee mold for the .357 caliber, cast it hard then seat it only as far as a 158 grain LSWC, so I could use hot +P 158 grain cast data.

Would that work?

I'm thinking it would be good at punching nice clean holes in bad guys and animals at no more than 50 yards.
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Old August 27, 2012, 08:37 PM   #2
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Do you mean seat it as deep as the SWC, or seat it as long as the SWC?

In either case, I believe the SWC would serve you just as well.
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Old August 28, 2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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I see two potential problems with what I understand from your question.

The driving bands of the bullets could interfere with fully chambering in some revolvers. The wad cutter is for the most part a cylinder from end to end. Just seat it properly.

Hard cast bullets tend to be a little smaller and lighter. Slug your barrel and try to cast (size to) the proper diameter. Too small and gas will get past with the results of greater leading and loss of velocity. In any case, along with proper sizing, a very good bullet lub will be necessary to reduce leading. Well put together lead loads can run at some very impressive velocities with out leading.

Additionally, I don't truly understand just what you are attempting. I'm not finding fault, to the contrary, I applaud your endeavors. For personal defense, it is your life, go with a suitable jacketed load. For hunting, OK, I would opt for a heavier slug. For practice, why push the load. Yes, the point of impact would be different but practice is practice. Verify your capabilities with the load to be carried.

Enjoy and be safe,

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Old August 28, 2012, 08:59 AM   #4
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What you are proposing can be and has been done. LBT even makes "Ballistic Wadcutter" molds that have a crimp groove for seating the bullets out and produce a very slightly round on the leading edge of the bullets to try to keep them from tumbling at ranges beyond 50 yards.

There is a potential problem with leading and/or grit sticking to the exposed part of regular wadcutter bullets, depending on their design and how you decide to lube them. If you are using a "tumble lube" bullet design, then it may not be possible to get enough lube on the grooves that remain in the case so that the bullet gets to the end of barrel without running out of lube and leading the bore. On the other hand, if you have lube on the exposed part of the bullet (sticking out of the case), then it may pick-up grit and scratch cylinder throats and the bore.

And, of course, you will need some place on the bullet to put a strong roll crimp to prevent bullet pull-out. Taper crimps are not a good approach when using hot loads with the bullet noses close to the cylinder face.

If your cylinder throats are bigger than your groove diameter, as they should be for shooting lead bulleets without leading the bore, then you should not have any problem with getting propely sized bullets into your chamber throats. I do it all the time in a Ruger Security Six with .358" throats, but don't with a GP-100 with .357" throats. (Both have barrels with .357" groove diameter.)

So, none of this means that it shouldn't be done. Just pick your bullet carefully. Within their accurate range, loads like you are considering have very good terminal performance.

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