Question in loading 38 spl wad cutters


July 24, 2009, 10:38 PM
I need some advice. I just started loading 148gr Berry's DEWC wad cutters. The manuals say to load them flush with the end of the case. Some of the wad cutters are a bit "loose" in the case and when I crimp them they slip lower in the case. I can tap them and get them to come to the top of the crimp, but is this normal? Should I be loading them longer than the shell case? Is it safe to shoot a wadcutter seated a little below the crimp? Thanks in advance for the advice. Load is HP-38 3.5 gr.

If you enjoyed reading about "Question in loading 38 spl wad cutters" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 24, 2009, 10:52 PM
Are you sizing the Cases first?

July 24, 2009, 11:00 PM
"...when I crimp them..." A crimp isn't required. Properly resized cases should have enough case mouth tension to hold the WC's in place.
Something is screwy about your sizing. The bottom of the dies should just kiss the shell holder with the ram all the way up.
Resize/decap, flare the case mouth(just enough to sit the bullet in), powder charge, seat bullet flush with case mouth. Seating should straighten the flare and hold the bullet.

July 24, 2009, 11:36 PM
well, not sure what I am doing wrong. I have been sizing the cases when I decap and my 158gr hp and 124gr hp seem to seat fine. They are also berrys. I will recheck the dies. I am using lee dies, 4 die deluxe carbide set. Maybe I should run the remaining brass through the sizing die again.

July 24, 2009, 11:46 PM
Maybe you're belling too much?

July 24, 2009, 11:47 PM
I load and shoot many commercial cast and various home made Lee and Lyman wadcatters.
I'm using old Lyman dies and always get a firm bullet seat.
Check your bullet diameter, they may be way undersize. Perhaps they were mistakenly run through a 9mm sizer die?
And check your case sizing die, it might be way oversize.

July 25, 2009, 06:29 AM
Size cases FIRST.
Then de-cap and SLIGHTLY bell case mouth.

Jim Watson
July 25, 2009, 06:47 AM
That is not right, it is not acceptable, and I don't think it is safe if one slips way down over the powder charge.

Do you have a micrometer to measure the bullets with? They are probably undersize or at the minimum diameter. Then when you get a thin piece of brass, the bullet is not tight in the case.

I would seat them out a little and crimp into the side of the slug. That would hold them well enough to get rid of whatever you have on hand and then know not to buy more.

Bailey Boat
July 25, 2009, 07:48 AM
You need to watch ALL Berrys bullets. Sitting on my shelf right now is a box of 250 labeled "40 cal, 200gr FP" that are actually 44 cal. Yes, I called to alert them to the issue but it shows that "stuff happens"......

July 25, 2009, 08:38 AM
Possible oversized sizer die. (Make em replace it)(RP brass is the thinnest, and is sometimes the culprit combined with a borderline sizer die)

Possible oversized expander. (Get it replaced or polish it down)

Possible undersized bullets. (Measure them and get Berrys to replace them if they are)

Possible combination of any or all of the above.

As Jim said, this situation is totally unacceptable and potentially dangerous.

Do some measuring and checking of bullets. If they are .358, they are OK. That is what my Berrys 148 Gr WC's measured.

Size a case and try to seat a bullet without expanding belling. It may shave a bit, but that's OK, we are not going to shoot it. If it has plenty of neck tension, unlike the rounds that used the expander first, you need to check your expander diameter.

July 25, 2009, 10:59 AM
I believe that Walkalong has nailed all possible problems and I would like to add my two cents to say that I have shot bullseye competively for many years and have loaded thousands of flush seated DEWC's and HBWC's rounds over the years and have never experienced this problem....even after loading the same batch of cases 9 or 10 times. All were sized to .358". :)

July 25, 2009, 10:13 PM
I think I figured it out. I purchased some brass that was once fired and deprimed and supposedly sized. I had some brass that I had saved from my own shooting. I think the problem is that the brass I purchased was only decapped and tumbled and not sized. I am running all the brass through the sizer again and the problem seems to be solved. I sure appreciate all the advice. I learn a great deal from everyone's experience. Thanks

If you enjoyed reading about "Question in loading 38 spl wad cutters" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!