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Old April 17, 2013, 07:12 PM   #1
Pro Street
Join Date: April 1, 2013
Location: Booker Texas
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Berry's 38/357 148gr HBWC Help!

Hello new here and only been reloading for 4 months (9mm 38/357 45acp and 223). I bought Berry's 38/357 Platted 148gr Hollow Base Wad Cutters.
I need some help with load data!
I will be loading 38 special and 357 mag.
Need OAL for 38 special and 357 mag
I have Titegroup , HS-6 , Universal , No.2 powders
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Old April 17, 2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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Any of the powders you listed will work for .357 mag reduced loads but I prefer something faster than Titegroup and #2 and easier to lite then HS-6 especially if I don't have magnum primers.

My choice would be Universal from what you listed or I would use Titegroup if I had to. There is nothing wrong with #2 but Titegroup is supposed to be less position sensitive. Others may disagree.

As far as OAL, wad cutters don't have to be seated flush to the mouth of the case. I load my .327's out to where the bearing surface of a normal bullet would be and they have worked very well like that. As long as you realize that some where around 40-50 yds the wad cutters will start tumbling, depending on length and weight and will obviously not be accurate. But up to that point they are a lot of fun and punch perfect holes.
I reduced my load to the minimum of jacketed data and started over with the powder I was using at the time which was Unique and worked up to pretty close to max load with it. They shoot well.

The shape of the nose of the bullet being flat was of no consequence to me, Seating depth and bearing surface was my most important consideration for where my powder charge would end up.

I don't think reciting any load data for your 357 plated wad cutters will do any good since plated wad cutters have different limitations than lead wad cutters would have and kind of are a newer development.

The normal plated bullets from Berry's has a speed limit of around 1250fps, so that is the limiting factor for me as far as shooting plated wad cutters in any of my pistols.

Load accordingly.
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Old April 17, 2013, 08:24 PM   #3
Pro Street
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LE-28 Thanks for the info! I have not loaded these before so was trying to find load data by searching the internet and could not find much info. Thanks again!
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Old April 17, 2013, 09:28 PM   #4
Semper Paratus
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In my experience with WC I have had much more consistent ammo using BE, 231 #2 and Red Dot when I seat the bullet deep in the case. The purpose of the WC is a low velocity target round and when seated out I had issues with consistent ignition using the powders noted in my post. Never a squib but noticably different reports and recoils from one round to another.
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Start out using the lead loading data on the Hodgdon website. With several mfg lead bullets I have had great success using Universal with HBWC. I typically count on 3.1 to 3.3 grains to give me easy shooting accurate .38 rounds like this. I do not load straight lead in 357. But Im sure you can find a low end load for the plated bullets you have.
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Old April 18, 2013, 01:35 AM   #6
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These are plated WC's, not lead, and should not be loaded like lead.
If you start with a low end lead load, you are likely to get a bullet stuck in the bore. Yes it happened to me in my 4" .357 and a Berry's plated DEWC.

I use LE-28's methods. I seat them long and use jacketed data.

In .357 brass I use a OAL of 1.430" and 5.0 grains Universal with Berry's 148 grain plated DEWC, velocity ~ 800 fps. Should work for a HBWC as well.
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Old April 18, 2013, 07:17 AM   #7
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I'm not familair with that particular bullet, but I used to target load Berry's lead HBWC, and most HBWC are made of very soft lead, and made to be loaded at very low velocities. The hollow base is for the purose of very easily expanded lead skirt at the bullet base with low pressures to seal the gases behind the bullet. My loads were typical around 750fps with a very fast burning powder. (2.9gr Bullseye) With those type pressures you can experiment with seating depth for best accuracy with little concern for overpressure. I seated mine all the way in.

BBWC or DEWC need to be loaded a hotter to get the same bullet expansion, and the data is not interchangeable with HBWC. While you can load them in .357 cases without a problem, I doubt any HBWC are meant to be loaded to .357 pressures and velocities.
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Old April 18, 2013, 11:56 AM   #8
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I'd stay away from low lead loads with those plated wc's. Berry states 800 fps as minimum velocity.
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Old April 19, 2013, 07:13 AM   #9
Pro Street
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Thanks guys for the replys!
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