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Old March 9, 2001, 04:35 AM   #1
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Here's a few questions on different wadcutters and their applications.

Most of the commercially available .38 special is hollow and solid base wadcutters, but not semiwadcutters. Most of the .357 is semiwadcutters. Why?

While wadcutters leave nice holes in paper, are is there any other advantage over round noses and others? What are the advantages and disadvantages betweem hollow and solid base wadcutters? Is there a disadvantage using semiwadcutters over wadcutters?
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Old March 9, 2001, 09:11 AM   #2
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Hollow base wadcutters are used with very low (600 fps) velocities and help maintain a gas seal. They are the choice for indoor PPC shooting. Without the hollow base skirt, acting somewhat like a pellet skirt, to seal the bore behind the bullet gas will escape around the bullet while it is leaving the bore.

Solid base and double end wadcutters are used with higher velocities.

Cowboy ammo is similar to SWC ammo.
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Old March 9, 2001, 11:36 AM   #3
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One reason the wadcutters aren't used in the .357s is that (unless cast = harder alloy lead) .357s push bullets at a higher velocity. Traditional wadcutters are swagged = pure, or almost, lead which will lead your bbl at higher velocities.

SWC are easier to load having somewhat of a taper to their nose profile, as are round nose. I ran across a box of round nose that was swagged (& not very hard) which leaded my Python terribly. I'd stick with hard cast bullets (or jacketed) for .357 velocities & if using WCs in the .357, use .38 cases.

You can get (or cast) hard cast WCs & shoot 'em at .357 speed but, really, what's the point?

Personally, I don't see any reason for a round nose (personal preference is all) either, but that's just me.

I cast a Lyman SWC & usually load this for .357 & use almost exclusively HBWC for .38 I do use a light load in .38 with the same SWC at times when doing speed loads but that's only because the bullet profile allows a quicker alignment into the cylinder.
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Old March 10, 2001, 10:58 PM   #4
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Round nose are good for autoloaders since they chamber reliably.

Semiwadcutters produce less friction in the barrel than a wadcutter.

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Old March 13, 2001, 10:49 PM   #5
dick w. holliday
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357 wadcutters

i shoot the same bullet in my 38 spec/9mm/38super it is a lee 125 gr tumble lube round nose. the only reason i don't shoot them in my 357 is i think the answer to your question about SWC's in the 357-they are too long when loaded. most 357's don;t have enough room in the chamber for round nose bullets...Dick
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Old March 18, 2001, 12:11 AM   #6
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Dick -
I don't know what round nose you are using, or how you are loading, but a round nose bullet should and will work equally as well in a 38 or a 357. ANY bullet, other that true wad cutters that works in a 38 special will work in a 357 Magnum IF you are loading properly. Even a wadcutter will, it just seems not as well.

I only load two bullets in any of my 38 special or 357 magnums for a lead bullet. I use a Semiwadcutter in both for target shooting, you can push them quite well in a 38 special at low velocities, and a round nose for cowboy shooting. I do load some jacketed as well in both.
I think the semiwadcutters work much better than the wadcutters. In my NRA classes, I use nothing but a light load Semi wadcutter in my 38spl's.

Semiwadcutters also have more knockdown power or energy that a roundnose or a wadcutter if you should use them for self defense, but they do not have the capabilities of a good hollowpoint. For stopping power for self defense a Jacketed hollowpoint is best with a Jacketed softpoint or a semiwadcutter next. For hunting with a 357 magnum the same applies. The wadcutter is really only good as a target load.

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Old March 18, 2001, 10:54 AM   #7
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Beats me about dick's "too long" round nose. I know that my old Python wouldn't allow me to seat a SWC out to the crimping groove so I had to crimp over the first driving band. All S&Ws allowed "proper seating. Never ran into any other "too long" stuff other than that.

Wadcutters do make a pretty excellent 25 yd or so small game bullet.

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