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Discussion Starter #1
A hard cast 38 wadcutter loaded to around 1200 fps in a .357 mag should perform great on small to medium game out to 50 yards or so, right ? Have any of you ever tried it? Many years ago, I think I loaded some hollow base waddcutters upside down, but I don't recall ever shooting anything with them. Probably has limited penitration, which is fine for ground hogs or smaller, I suppose. What are your thoughts on this?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Should work, but don't get too carried away with the velocity. Full wadcutters take up a LOT of powder space, and pressures can rise very fast. Problem would most likely be lack of good safe load data for the velocities you are interested in.
 

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Wadcutters in 357

I would think that you would get horrible leading in your barrel if you shot wadcutters at magnum power.What about that Mike G?
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Berry's MFG. produce a 148gr. Copper clad hollow base WC.

I have used them in Bullseye shooting with stellar results. It really solved my leading problems. That should hold up to the light side of a .357.

I purchased mine thru Graf & Sons out of MO.

www.grafs.com
 

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Alliant lists plenty of data for full power cast wadcutters and I have shot a few in my time. If the bullet is hard enough (quenched wheel weights) and you use a good lube leading is minimal. Do not try full power loads with swaged commercial hollow base bullets.

As for performance on game... I never shot anything that bleeds with one. But they start out as large in diameter as a .22 HP expands. They should anchor anything you could take with .22 rifle.
 

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Most LWC's are designed to upset and take the lands at about 700 +/- fps. I inherited three 500 bullet boxes of Speer WC's at one time. They were made to go bang over a couple of grains of bullseye or red dot. I found that upper end loads tumbled badly, and recovering a couple from very soft wet earth, I noticed that rifling marks were gone on one side of the bullet. The lead was definately still in the barrel.

I suppose you could cast them hard, but the advantage in that case would go to a conventional SWC, i.e. why bother.
 

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TMam said:
I suppose you could cast them hard, but the advantage in that case would go to a conventional SWC, i.e. why bother.
Because SWC's do not have a .357 inch meplat. Why do you say the SWC would be an advantage over a full WC?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
TMam said:
Most LWC's are designed to upset and take the lands at about 700 +/- fps. I inherited three 500 bullet boxes of Speer WC's at one time. They were made to go bang over a couple of grains of bullseye or red dot. I found that upper end loads tumbled badly, and recovering a couple from very soft wet earth, I noticed that rifling marks were gone on one side of the bullet. The lead was definately still in the barrel.

I suppose you could cast them hard, but the advantage in that case would go to a conventional SWC, i.e. why bother.
imashooter2 has it right. Meplat is everything, as long as you have the momentum to drive it through your target at reasonable velocity. Also, there is a huge difference between soft swaged lead wadcutters, and hard cast wadcutters.
 

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Neal,

I loaded some hard cast bevel-based wadcutters in a K-38 6" at a chronographed 920 fps. They were very accurate and just tore a bunch of turtles a new tail each! I think the concept is very sound. Duncan McPherson, a scientific collegue of Dr. Martin Fackler, even suggested that a very hard and sharp edged WC at a moderate velocity would probably be the most optimum load you could use in a .38 Spl from the standpoint of adequate penetration and excellent wound ballistics in human targets.

I have some Laser Cast double ended cast WCs that I am going to experiment with in both .38 and .357 cases. Let me know if you have any load suggestions. The old Lyman manual takes their 141 grain #358495 up to some very high velocities in .357. I think that it might be worth a try on some of our small Texas whitetails if they shoot well and at high enough velocities.

Wayne Dobbs
 

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Hard Cast bullets driven 1400 fps or less do very well in all pistol loads. You can buy "hard cast" or cast them yourself from wheel weights. With the wheel weights, drop them directly into cool water to gain a few points on the hardness scale.
I have had a hard time with the "meplat" concept, whereas the flat portion at the front of the bullet governs the size of the wound channel in game animals. It finaly dawned on me that the explosiveness of quality expanding bullets is due to the rapid expanion of the forward portion of the bullet as it encounters the target material. After the initial expansion, the soft point bullet continues through the target with a flat or nearly flat frontal area. These bullets are constructed to expand at different rates to allow for adequate penetration.
A heavy, hard cast, wide meplat bullet does not expand and therefore carries the wound channel caused by the frontal area, as in the expanded bullet, into and through the target. Because of the lack of energy used for expansion, the hard cast bullets almost always exit the animal. This through and through charcteristic gives a large entry hole, a large exit hole, a good blood trail and minimal extraneous tissue damage.
If you can guarantee that the expansion of the expanding bullet will occur at the right place,ie. lethal area, then it is the better choice. If you cannot guarantee that every game animal will be standing in the proper attitude to allow proper expansion, then the hard cast bullet is the better choice because of its penetration advantage.
Marshall has used .357 hard cast bullets with .280 to .300 meplats for deer sized game with excellent results.
I have used over 4000 primers in .357, .41 Mag, .45 ACP and .44 Mag since December of 2001. Initialy I was very concerned about leading as 99% of my shooting is done with lead bullets.I now shoot 100-200 rounds through whichever gun, run a piece of a brass "ChoreGirl" pad through the barrel a few times and am ready to go again. Not a problem
 

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Discussion Starter #11
quote from Old Jim:

" Marshall has used .357 hard cast bullets with .280 to .300 meplats for deer sized game with excellent results."
end quote

Old Jim,
Can you tell me where to find .357 cast bullets with a meplat of .300? There are no bullets listed in the Beartooth catalog with a meplat larger than .280. I ordered a mold from NEI thinking it was going to have a meplat of around .300 from the drawing in the catalog, but alas the cherry had apparently been rounded off and the mold produces bullets that looks a lot like the Keith 358429, with a slight rounding of the ogive right at the tip, which make the meplat smaller. It's still a good bullet, but I was hoping from the larger meplat. You can see what I'm talking about if you go the the NEI catalog and look at the 166 gr 358 bullet. (assuming the website is still up) On a note related to the thread topic, I did find molds listed for full weight - full wadcutter bullets. I think they are H&G designs, now sold by Ballistacast (sp?)

Regards,
 

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.38 Wadcutters in .357

I use the Saeco 146-gr. double-bevel-based wadcutters as an all-purpose field bullet in both .38 Special and .357. It is very effective on groundhogs and wild turkey to 50 yards, but is less accurate than the Saeco #358 at longer ranges.

In .38 Special cases for a +P+ equivalent load which works well in a .357 Magnum or heavy-frame .38 Special 5.0 grs. of W-W 231 works well, for about 1000 f.p.s.

For sturdy .38 Special revolvers such as the Colt Official Police, Trooper and Detective Special you can use 4.5 grs. of W-W 231, PB or SR-7625, or 4.2 grs. of Bullseye for about 900 f.p.s. in 6" barrel.

In S&W the fragile K- and J frames or any light alloy frames such as the Colt Cobra or Agent I don't recommend over 4.2
grs. of W-W 231 or 3.5 grs. of Bullseye for about 850 f.p.s. in a 6" barrel or 800 in a 2-1/2 to 2-3/4"".

In .357 Magnum cases you can use 6 grs. of W-W 231, PB or or SR-7625, 12 grs. of #2400 or 14 grs. of 4227 for about 1150 f.p.s.
 

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Ive used a hand casted hollow base wadcutter turned upside down to make a hollow point casted out of 30-1 (soft) ahead of 3 grains of bullseye in a marlin lever it knocks the **** out of rabbits.
 

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Veral designed what was called an OWC or Ogival wadcutter for just the purpose you guys are talking about. The bullet had a slight rounding of the forward meplat. The mold I have in 357 has a meplat of about 32 caliber and weighs 175 grs. The 430 caliber mold I have, meplat diameter runs about 40 caliber with a weight of 280 grs.

The slight ogive offers a measure of form stability for flight and easier loading into revolver cylinders as this is really a wheelgun bullet. Some fixed chamber guns won't allow chambering. They are quite versatile because they are loaded at either lower velocity for close range work or loaded up to full horsepower for longer range.

Jim Gates used some samples I sent him a while back to hunt wild hogs with and he said they worked very well.

These bullets have a normal crimp groove and seat out like a SWC bullet.

You can cast a regular solid base wadcutter out of a harder alloy and seat it out some and crimp into one of the crimp grooves for more powder space. At one time, Lyman and others made a wadcutter like this to be seated out of the case with a regular crimp groove. They are scarce now.

Marshall was supposed to be ordering a couple molds in this design a while back for 45, 44 and 358. I'm not sure if he got the molds yet though.

With the OWC design, Meplat diameter typically runs about .030" less than nominal bullet diameter no matter what the bullet diameter is. This design tends to help the smaller calibers more than the larger calibers as a function of meplat diameter. Jim found performance of the 430 OWC similar to the WFN design with a slightly bigger wound channel. In a 358, I would expect the design to offer greater performance gain.

Veral listed standard weights for the OWC's as 230 grs. in 44 cal., 150 grs. in 358 and I think 250 grs. in the 45 cal. (IIRC). They could also be had in a gas checked version which is what both mine are.


Regards
 

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Hard cast is the key here (and if they would be a bit heavier it would be nice...but molds for anything but 148gr. weights are hard to find). Lyman has the loading data, and it should work fine for close range.
(have decided never to list any specific loading data...too easy to slip a key and type 11.2 in place of 14.1...or list 4272 in place of 4227...in other words, will let the folks who work for loading manuals take the rip for a misstype).

I use WC's often in a .41mag. One mould is an old HBWC (Yes...they made the molds in .41 when the round first came out) and the other is a solid base. For the HB, I just machined a new base pin that makes it into a solid base. At over 210gr. at 1200fps, and at close range, they kill deer just fine.
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A wod about swaged .38 HBWC loaded upside down. IF you really want to get serious about it, then:
Run the bullet HB side down HALF WAY into a .355" sizing die. This will allow you to seat the HB (now .355") end out of the case (it's now small enough to fit into the cylinder throats) to gain volume. Can drive it fast (it will leave the same volume under the 1/2 that is seated as the 158gr. SWC bullets), but it will lead....but just how many people do you expect to have to shoot in a given afternoon?
 

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Ogival Wadcutter

Yes, I would sure love to have one of those moulds in .357, alas I wasn't smart enough to order one from Veral when he was still in business. This is an old idea. Modern Bond had a very similar design in the 1930s, which is featured in Elmer Keith's book Sixguns.

Maybe if enough of us would politely ask the folks at Saeco-Redding they would offer it. I would surely like to have an ogival wadcutter in .38 Spl. - .357 which weighed about 170-175 grains, and another for the .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Mag or .32-20 weighing about 130 grs. I'd bet they'd sell alot of them in .44 Mag. and .45 Colt at around 270-280 grs.
 
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