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Old January 1, 2019, 12:18 AM   #1
Radny97
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.38 Wadcutters

I’m wondering if the different types of wadcutters have differing characteristics that make make them better in one area or another.
For example i know that hollow base wadcutters (hbwc) can create a seal to the barrel at really low pressures, and are there for really accurate at low velocities.
What about double end wadcutters (dewc) and button nose wadcutters (bnwc).
Anyone with some history and information would be appreciated.


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Old January 1, 2019, 08:26 AM   #2
briandg
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First off, you should choose and shoot what works for you after trials.

An hbwc cant be made by casting, its uneconomical. They are swaged from wire stock. the hollow base allows fow a better seal and the weight forward design could enhance accuracy, but that isnt going to be certain.

DEWC will be cast, usually, and it becomes simple to set up a mold in either a garage or a factory, and pour millions of accurate bullets. You will notice that loading is more easily done. this bullet should be at least as accurate as any other, they are stable in flight and dont offer unusual air resistance patterns, being subsonic, low pressure, light loads, they offer the very best possibility for accurate shooting among standafd rounds and bullets, mostly this depends on theskill of the shooter.

each style takes up the same amount of space in the case and should in theory behave identically. all of them will fit the bore and seal properly. the small space allows the small charge to burn perfectly.

so, you might get better accuracy from hbwc if your pistol likes them. either design allows you to make perfect and accurate rounds. factory wadcutters are in my experience extremely accurate.

buttons are cosmetic.

i found that loadind dewc bullets with about 1/8 inch exposed znd taper crimped appeared to give slightly improved accuracy. try it for yourself.
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Old January 1, 2019, 08:34 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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"Button nose" wadcutters were a long time standard for handloaders, made in moulds from H&G and Lyman.

Double ended wadcutters were developed for commercial bulk loading; you can put them in a Camdex feeder and it doesn't matter which end comes up.

Being solid, you can load either as hot as you like, the hollowbase should be kept down to midrange 750 fps to avoid blowing through.

People are reporting good accuracy with plated wadcutters, either solid or hollow base. A friend and I tried some of the early ones and results were very poor. Obviously, things have improved.

As to accuracy, shoot the gun.
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Old January 1, 2019, 09:42 AM   #4
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An hbwc cant be made by casting, its uneconomical.
Doesn't cost me any more to cast a hollow base wadcutter than any other bullet, as in much cheaper than store bought bullets.

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Old January 1, 2019, 09:53 AM   #5
74A95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briandg View Post

An hbwc cant be made by casting, its uneconomical.
And here's a couple more cast HBWCs.

http://www.mattsbullets.com/index.ph...roducts_id=297

http://www.mattsbullets.com/index.ph...roducts_id=280

http://www.mattsbullets.com/index.ph...roducts_id=303
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Old January 1, 2019, 11:40 AM   #6
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Once again I generalized and find myself in trouble.

Casting any bullets with hollow points or bases requires pins to create the empty spots, more complex and more expensive equipment, as is readily seen in post 4. Although you can actually find cast hollow points or hollow based bullets, they aren't generally available at mass market dealers nor will you find the mass production companies like missouri bullet investing in the time and equipment to make them. Who needs the trouble when millions of bullets can be cast and sold without complications? Most lead or plated hollow point bullets sold are swaged, not cast. Swaging easily creates hollow areas, it's no more difficult than any other shape.

The cast button point is in fact as he said, a classic from decades back. Although they are still made and sold, they are in fact uncommon, it seems, and probably hold a very small share of the wadcutter market. You will find lots of people who hold by the old classics, lead hollow base and button point, but in general, the bulk of them will be the double ended wad cutter in either cast, swaged, or plated swaged. As said, there is no need to turn the stupid things right side up as you load them.

You are still left with the one answer. They are different, they may give varying performance in any gun that you own, and if you want to load and shoot wadcutter you can try a few products and see if any one of them gives you noticeably better performance. Unless you are truly meticulous with your research you may not find any one to be superior to the others.

I believe that your best results may come from using the standard, unplated swaged lead HBWC as produced by speer or other brands used at 700 fps or so. That seemed to be best for me, but feel free to dig into every source or method available.
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Old January 1, 2019, 11:56 AM   #7
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I had a lot of Speer HBWCs left over when PPC died out in this area.
Still shooting them a few at a time. I am not a bullseye shooter but could not resist a M52 and it does well with them as kind of a centerfire plinker.
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Old January 1, 2019, 01:20 PM   #8
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Accoding to C.E. harris the button nose WC bullets were to help them feed in the S&W model 52 target gun. I cast the Lee 148gr Tumble Lude WC bullet and have got some really good accuracy from it. I wish they still offered the same mold in 32 caliber. I am surprised they don't with the new popularity of 32 caliber guns.

Here is some good reading on WC bullet loads.

http://www.hensleygibbs.com/edharris...adcutterQA.htm

http://www.hensleygibbs.com/edharris...FBI%20Load.htm
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Old January 1, 2019, 01:40 PM   #9
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Depends on what you call a "button nose."
The HG 50 and Lyman 358495 have a prominent button, a front bearing band and a crimp groove. So does the Speer "bevel base" wadcutter. They will not work in a Model 52 if crimped in the groove, I don't know if the button will impede them if the bearing band is seated flush.

Swaged hollowbase wadcutters like my old Speers have a small recessed button that does not protrude when seated flush like a factory wadcutter.
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Old January 1, 2019, 02:22 PM   #10
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USSR what mold are you using for those HBWC?
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Old January 1, 2019, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Swaged hollowbase wadcutters like my old Speers have a small recessed button that does not protrude when seated flush like a factory wadcutter.
this is it. the dimple on top isn't able to cause much to affect shooting. what did it accomplish? i'd read several times that it was just for appearance, and never heard anything to say otherwise.

the hollow base, being slightly longer and more front heavy might offer an accuracy advantage. the plain double based slug, keith style, hollow base, i really wonder if proper loads can show that they all have the same accuracy potential?

this isn't a 1,000 yard bench tournament, but from a machine rest or test action, would all bullet types perform within an inch of each other?
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Old January 1, 2019, 02:31 PM   #12
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I tried too many times to get my home cast button nose wadcutter to shoot as accurate as a purchased swaged HBWC. Could not do it. HBWC wins in the accuracy departement. 700 fps is the disired speed which equals 2.7 or 2.8 grains of Bullseye.

For defense, I load DEWC or BNWC to +P pressures for my J frame. Getting 959 fps out of a 138 BNWC.

They are quite accurate also. Have not shot them past 25 yards.

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Old January 1, 2019, 02:43 PM   #13
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I have molds foe HBWC, Button nose and Double ended in 38cal. The HBWC is best for
accuracy but you do have to keep them down 700fps or so. The button nose is my favorite
and I shoot it in 38-44-45. They shoot well at 800-900fps. I use WCs for almost everything
in my S&Ws. The Double Ended I don't load any more they are poorest for accuracy. I like
the store bought swaged HBWCs but mine shoot just as well.
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Old January 1, 2019, 03:05 PM   #14
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USSR what mold are you using for those HBWC?
That's MP Mold's 359-395 mould. Miha also made that mould in .44 and .45 caliber as well. I have been buying his moulds exclusively for many years now. There is nothing like casting with a brass mould, and the ability to cast hollow point and hollow base bullets seals the deal.

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Old January 1, 2019, 05:09 PM   #15
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They look like really nice moulds but I’m thinking by the time I get them here in Canada the cost is going to be unreal.
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Old January 1, 2019, 06:06 PM   #16
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They are made in Slovenia, and he ships them all over the world. Takes about 8 days for them to arrive here in the U.S.

Don
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Old January 1, 2019, 06:14 PM   #17
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What did the mold cost in US dollars to get it to you door? I’ll send an email to him and see what he figures.
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Old January 1, 2019, 08:42 PM   #18
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Here's his website: https://mp-molds.com/e-shop/search-r...tribute_ids=37

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Old January 1, 2019, 09:40 PM   #19
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Today I had some fun with my Model 10-8 and a few handfuls of HBWC ... Dang accurate..even for me
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Old January 1, 2019, 11:51 PM   #20
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Accoding to C.E. harris the button nose WC bullets were to help them feed in the S&W model 52 target gun.
Ed Harris has written lots and lots of great stuff with .38's, wadcutters, Model 52's and all manner of interesting and insightful handloading goodies.

With that said, I can't find anywhere that he's said a "button nose" wadcutter is a good idea for a 52 and for the life of me, I can't figure out why he or anyone would suggest that unless I am totally mistaken on exactly what a button-nose wadcutter is...?!

The 52 was specifically designed around feeding empty brass, so it demands a full flush wadcutter and it's magazine won't tolerate anything but exactly that.

A button nose or "proud" tip of any sort will STOP a model 52 from doing what it does best and loves to do.

Am I simply confused on what exactly a button nose wadcutter is? Both my 52's eat swaged, hollow base wadcutters and they run beautifully.
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Old January 2, 2019, 12:39 AM   #21
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I'm guessing the button-top wadcutters feed a little easier when you're reloading a revolver, especially in a hurry. But that's just a guess.
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Old January 2, 2019, 02:54 AM   #22
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I'm guessing the button-top wadcutters feed a little easier when you're reloading a revolver, especially in a hurry. But that's just a guess.
I won't say you're wrong, but my guess would be that, by the time the "button nose" is long enough to give any aid or guidance into the chamber, its what we would call a "semi-wadcutter".

And semi-wadcutters don't feed quite as smoothly as round nose bullets do. Or at least not in my hands...
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Old January 2, 2019, 08:07 AM   #23
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Since we're talking .38 wadcutters. I intend to do some Ransom Rest accuracy testing of all the different hollow base wadcutters I can find. At present, I have some Albert's wadcutters, some Remington wadcutters, and my own cast wadcutters. Am looking for some of the Speer, Hornady, and Precision Delta wadcutters. Need 30 of each. If anyone has any of these, please PM me and I will either pay for them or trade you some of my bullets for them. Results of the testing will be shown on this site. Thanks.

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Old January 2, 2019, 08:43 AM   #24
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I will see if I have any Speers left.
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Old January 2, 2019, 10:04 AM   #25
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And semi-wadcutters don't feed quite as smoothly as round nose bullets do. Or at least not in my hands...
I like RNFP bullets for that reason. The ones cast from a Lee mold have a wide flat nose with a sharp corner at the transition. They make nice clean holes (about .30) in paper like a wadcutter. I don't know what kind of holes they make in bad guys
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