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Old January 5, 2020, 09:27 PM   #26
Ben Dover
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Semi wadcutters were developed to match the square shoulder of a full wadcutter, but with a better ballistic co-efficient.

If you want a hard cast bone crusher, just load a semi wadcutter. They also punch nice clean holes in paper just like a full wadcutter.
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Old January 5, 2020, 10:37 PM   #27
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Another reason I just remembered for loading wadcutters in .357 Magnum is they feed just fine in a Marlin (and presumably other) lever-action carbine, and you can fit one extra round in the magazine. But you really want those to be jacketed bullets or cast from a hard alloy.

I don't know what the long-range ballistics is like, probably sucks. At close range they work just fine. If you try loading .38 Special wadcutters in a Marlin, they are too short and jam.
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Old January 7, 2020, 09:26 AM   #28
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While I'm not interested in pushing true wadcutters to high velocities, I do like to use Magnum brass for target level loads, thereby avoiding the crud ring that develops after using .38 Special brass for the same purpose in Magnum length chambers.

In my guns (a M27, 2 M19's, 2 M66's, and a M60 3"), I've found that 4.0 gr of Bullseye in Magnum brass gives me sub-2" groups at 25 yds with Lyman's 35891 wadcutter. This is a 3-lube groove, solid base wadcutter, (very similar to 358495), with a crimping groove resulting in ~1/8" of lead bullet wadcutter shaped nose above the brass.

In my guns, with Magnum brass in use, accuracy is superb and leading is minimal. I have found that any significant crimp, degrades accuracy...so I taper crimp only as needed to prevent the bullet from moving forward during recoil...essentially, just removing the bell necessary for seating.

I cast a wheel weight alloy + 1-2% tin, air cooled, size to 0.359" and lube with 50/50 alox/beeswax. But I also tumble lube with Lee Liquid Alox prior to sizing.

Accuracy is the same using either special or magnum brass with adjusted powder charges of Bullseye (current production). My load, adjusted for my guns is 4.0 grains of Bullseye in magnum brass. Again, no appreciable leading either way. I estimate this load at 800 fps based on Quick Load and an old Lyman manual...vintage unknown (missing its cover) but I've had it since 1972.

Checking that manual, I find that Lyman started with 3.0 gr. Bullseye for 764 fps, then went up to 4.5 grains of Bullseye, (Maximum & also their most accurate load) & getting 1011 fps, all from a 5" bbl'd Smith M27. The bullet used was Lyman's 358495 at 141 grains, when cast from Lyman's #2 alloy. My 35891 is very similar and weighs 145 grains as cast. While 1011 fps is no "bone crusher", it's certainly a good mid-level velocity for small game or SD if you're interested.

Were it me, looking for a load similar to your "bone crusher" specifications, I'd opt for a LSWC with gas check. The 'check' will allow velocities well over 1200 fps, give you superb accuracy at the same time and allow use of cheap lead/wheel weight alloy bullets that will exhibit some expansion if you keep the alloy mix to roughly 50/50.

Lyman's excellent 358156GC does all this and gives me similar sub-2" groups at 25 yds from my guns, and is also an excellent choice for Marlin's 1894 C carbine in .357 magnum (when sized 0.359" or larger due to groove dia.). This same bullet, with two crimping grooves, allows .38 Special brass to be used for truly Magnum level loads by matching the internal magnum powder space with the lower crimping goove. Use of the SWC w/GC also avoids the murky aspects of working up high pressure loads where no current data is available.

As always, the above load should be approached with caution, with due regard to pressure indications. They have proved safe in my usage, and are in compliance with the aforementioned aged Lyman loading manual.

HTH's Rod
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Last edited by rodfac; January 7, 2020 at 09:40 AM.
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Old January 7, 2020, 11:00 AM   #29
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I have some old Lyman loading books from the 40's and 50's... let me see what they have for a 357 load if any in a dewc
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Old January 7, 2020, 12:21 PM   #30
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"...The target load is 2.8 grains..." That's the standard .38 Special WC load of Bullseye. Works like hot dam in a .357 case. You still must work up the load just like any load though. Used cast and swaged(much better than cast) 148 grain WC's in .357 cases for eons when I shot in a bullseye league.
There's not really any advantage to .357 WC loads. You can't drive 'em at .357 velocities.
"...the FMJ DEWC at max speeds..." It'll expand to flat or very nearly flat.
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Old January 7, 2020, 01:33 PM   #31
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Quote:
Checking that manual, I find that Lyman started with 3.0 gr. Bullseye for 764 fps, then went up to 4.5 grains of Bullseye, (Maximum & also their most accurate load) & getting 1011 fps, all from a 5" bbl'd Smith M27. The bullet used was Lyman's 358495 at 141 grains, when cast from Lyman's #2 alloy. My 35891 is very similar and weighs 145 grains as cast. While 1011 fps is no "bone crusher", it's certainly a good mid-level velocity for small game or SD if you're interested.
Rod,

That would be the Lyman 44th Edition published in 1967.

Don
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Old January 7, 2020, 03:07 PM   #32
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The Lyman 45th edition (1970) has exactly the same data.
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Old January 7, 2020, 05:59 PM   #33
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No load data available........ no problem. Use 158 Gr. SWC data for a 148 gr. DEWC and work up from the starting load. With faster powders you can simply start between 38 +P and 357 starting loads; once you hit middle to slower powders you will need to look more to 357 starting loads.

Personally I use 5.4 gr. W231 with a plated DEWC seated out to mimic the shoulder of a 158 gr SWC for a range load. I can go much hotter but this load works for my SP 101 well enough that I just leave well enough alone.
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Old January 8, 2020, 07:45 AM   #34
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USSR, thx for the info...the cover's been gone since I last had all of my hair and no glasses! Best regards, Rod
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Old January 8, 2020, 03:49 PM   #35
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...the cover's been gone since I last had all of my hair and no glasses!
Ah, yes, I remember those days. Waiting for the Guns & Ammo and Shooting Times magazines to arrive.

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