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Discussion Starter #1
I have been shooting wadcutters in my 44 and 38 H&R pistols a while and I came up with this question. Why in the Handloader magazine when a wadcutter load is shown the bullet is seated flush with the case mouth? I have not been doing this. Accuracy has been fine but since I don't have a chronograph I don't know if my velocity is suffering.

What is the skinny?
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Some wadcutters are designed to be seated flush with a very slight crip over the bullet nose, while others have a crimping grove just below the bullet nose. If they seat well in your cylinder chambers and do not protrude excessively to stop the cylinder rotation (can't imagine a wadcutter doing that!), then go ahead and seat as you always have been.
 

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Think the idea of the wad cutter was to shoot well with the lightest load that allowed accuracy. We know that deep seating raises pressure...so deep seating makes small charges burn better (which is a way of saying that it raises the pressure so micro-charges actully burn well in large volume cases). IF you start adding powder to a deep seated WC, pressure climbs fast.

Seating the WC out just requires more powder to get to the same velocity...BUT it also allows more velocity before pressure climbs past the limits. Given more volume, it takes more powder to reach the same velocity as a deep seated WC...but it also allows a bit more velocity before pressure limits scream "stop".
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In the distant past, there were WC bullets made to have part of their length seated out of the case. They came up to about the same OAL as "normal" ammo (and some were even marketed for a time in .38Specail). Pretty much a semi-wadcutter mold from the rear, just with a full square flat point instead of the step sided SWC shape.
 

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Cheif RID,
The particular bullet, and the data for it are what determines what you need to do here to reproduce the data's velocity. I shoot quite a few swaged .38 HBWC bullets from Hornady and Speer. If you look at the OAL and the powder charges in the two different mauals, you will see that there is a bit of a difference. I like the HBWC's because you can use the lightest loading listed and not have to wory about the bullet not obturating and the resulting leading that can occur. I've had good luck with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok. I see I need to be more specific. I am using the Hornady soft swagged WC. I use 148 gr HBWC over 2.2 gr of Green Dot in my little H&R top break 38 S&W 5 shot revolver. The load is not suppose to exceed 800 fps but I feel it is not achieving that with all that room in the case behind the bullet. As long as I don't compress the powder I think this load would be safe but without actually checking velocity I think it is a crap shoot.

I'll probably monkey with this further when I get a crony and since the little top break will probably last longer anyway with as little stress on the action as possible.

I do carry the piece as a defence weapon on occation but I use factory ammo for that anyway and not handloads.

Thanks for thinking with me guys.
 
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