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148 gr vs 158 gr bullet for 38 sp

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by chiltech500, Jul 29, 2014.

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  1. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Member

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    I'm new to reloading 38 special and am looking for Bullseye level accuracy.

    Am I better off with a full wadcutter 148 gr vs a semi-wadcutter 158 gr in 38 special?

    Thanks
     
  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    The short answer is, "yes". The longer bearing surface of the wadcutter bullet enhances accuracy, and the flat nose makes scoring much easier, since it cuts a perfect hole.

    For the best accuracy, use hollowbase wadcutters and Bullseye powder. Those have been the Bullseye and PPC favorites for years, and with good reason.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  3. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Member

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    Absolutely helps Fred.

    Does anyone know if the wadcutters Dardas sells are the hollow, they have an H&G and a "double bevel" base. Tried to call got message machine.

    Thanks
     
  4. sbrader

    sbrader Member

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    I don't know about the Dardas. Precision Delta sells a 148 gr. HBWC.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, they are not.

    You won't find many bullet casters selling HBWC.

    HBWC are universally made by swaging, because they are very difficult to cast.

    Hornady & Speer both make them.
    And as posted above, Precision Delta too.

    rc
     
  6. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Member

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  7. mdi

    mdi Member

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    The "classic" 148 gr. HBWC are swaged, not cast. They are soft enough to upset in the rifling at low, target level pressures, and are swaged by the larger bullet manufacturers; Speer, Hornady, Nosler, etc. You can get really close to HBWC accuracy with a good cast double end wadcutter, and I too believe these will be a hair more accurate than a shorter body SWC...

    For my shooting, I ain't good enough to tell the difference in accuracy. My best group was 1 1/2" @ 50' with a mild load .44 Magnum and a cast 250 gr. SWC (I could usually get 2" most range sessions). A decent Bullseye shooter can shoot way better than that...
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Both Hornady and Speer still make 148gr HBWC bullets as components. They can be bought at http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/ and can be bought at Natchez too. http://www.natchezss.com/Bullets.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=SP&prodID=SP4618 The Speer prices aren't all that bad @~$40/500 but not dirt cheap either. http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=HO10208&src=tpCtgBu The Hornady bullets are a little more costly @$23/250.

    I'm only posting the more costly name brand bullets in case you can't find a smaller manufacturer right a way. At least you have a source for bullets.
     
  9. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Are always solid. DEWC (Double End) also signifies solid.
     
  11. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    As others have said, the 148 gr. WC is the way to go. In my limited experience I got good results with a hollow base WC and 2.8 grs. of Bullseye. If using a solid base WC, my best results came with 3.4 grs. of Bullseye powder. This was using a S&W K-38, a 357 mag. Contender, and a Ruger Redhawk 357. As usual, your mileage may vary.

    Jeff
     
  12. moxie

    moxie Member

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    If economy is important to you, cast bullets are usually cheaper than swaged, and shoot just as good, IMO.

    For example, Missouri Bullet charges $34.50 for 500 DEWCs, versus $42.49 for the Speers at Natchez. I believe shipping will be less too.

    If you do go with MBC, don't forget the High Road discount. (PM me and I'll send it to you.)

    See:
    http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php?pageNum_rsCWResults=1&category=5&secondary=9
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Those Missouri bullets are double ended, not hollow based wadcutters. We are talking about HBWC, not DEWC bullets.
     
  14. moxie

    moxie Member

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    The OP asked for info about wadcutters. I specified in my post that the Missouri bullets are DEWCs, and gave a link, comparing their cost to the link you had provided. That's what I'm talking about.
     
  15. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Member

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    Thanks all. Moxie is right, I am looking at cost. I don't believe I am anywhere near being good enough to appreciate the HBWC.

    Dardas, I believe for 1000 count is less than MBC for similar (I think) DEWC.

    I have bought many thousand bullets from MBC and never connected with the fact that we have a discount. I have been a bit disappointed with MBC recently as the lube has been sloppy (too much and all over the bullets) on 45 acp LSWC's. Heck I stopped using a PA company because their's were sloppy but cheaper than MBC.

    Moxie, PM coming though I am tempted to try Dardas.
     
  16. moxie

    moxie Member

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    PM sent.

    chiltech500,

    If you have problems with MBC bullets, be sure to call them about it. They are nice people and will make it right for you.
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I just too delivery of 2000 Missouri Bullets of 4 different types and the lube was perfect. I'm guessing you got a batch when they were way back-ordered and the QC might have dropped a bit. I know they put a bunch of new workers on so they might not have been up to speed.

    I agree, you should have contacted them, they would have made it right.
     
  18. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I have one of the Lube Masters http://www.magmaengineering.com/products/lube-master/ like MB uses, and if you don't get the temperature of the lube and the pressure just right, you either get lube grooves not filled out properly, or you get lube everywhere. Had both happen with different bullets, and even different ambient temperatures........
     
  19. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Member

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    You guys are right about calling.

    I received 9mm LSWC's with the last batch of 45's and they were perfect.

    Question for you fellas, Dardas offers different thickness on their DBWC and I am no sure how one would select that. Is it based on your gun's barrel? I am at work and the MBC site gets screened by the internet police for some reason. Do they offer different thickness as well?

    Thanks
     
  20. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    By thickness, I assume are talking about the bullet diameter.

    Missouri Bullets offers two diameters of their 38 cal DEWC but not other bullets.

    By matching the bullet diameter to the barrel, accuracy will be better but generally folks use .358" diameter cast or lead bullets in their 38 caliber guns and .357" diameter jacketed bullet.

    You need to slug your barrel to determine the optimum diameter bullet needed.

    Hope this helps.
     
  21. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Member

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    Yes that does help. I have not received the gun yet and wanted to make some rounds before it arrived, but was not aware we had a choice of diameter in 38 sp.
     
  22. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I have loaded and shot Missouri Bullets cast DEWC and SWC (148 &158 respectively) in bullseye competition. I have scored in the 280s with both(NM course of fire 300 pts possible). In most cases a quality cast WC is more than adequate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  23. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    No one asked and you did not provide whether your pistol has fixed sights or an adjustable rear. This is important.

    Older fixed sight 38 Specials were adjusted to hit to point of aim with 158 grain bullets. My S&W airweights are adjusted for 125 grain bullets. No matter how "accurate" the bullet, if you use the wrong bullet weight, and point of impact is significantly offset, then group size does not matter much when you miss what you are aiming at. I believe I have noticed as much as 6 inch offsets between 125’s, 148’s and 158’s at 25 yards.

    I have shot thousands of 148's and 158's (LRN & LSWC) and anyone who can see an accuracy difference with either off hand is a very good shot. I don't shoot using benches, pistol rests, etc, as the elimination of the human factor results in overconfidence and overestimation of one's shooting skills.
     
  24. chiltech500

    chiltech500 Member

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    I just received an order of 500 148 gr DEWC's from Dardas. From opinions solicited on Bullseye pistol specific websites, most concur that the hollow body double end wadcutter is the very best for 38 sp. I believe they agree with your conclusion SlamFire1. I will certainly never be good enough to appreciate the difference in the more expensive swaged HBDEWC.
     
  25. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I think you have a misconception on wadcutters.
    There is no such thing as a HBDEWC.

    A hollow base wadcutter (HBWC) cannot be a double end wadcutter. (DEWC)

    It's either a HBWC that can normally only be loaded one way with the hollow base inside the case.

    (The exception is some folks load HBWC upside down to make a huge gaping hollow point load.)

    Or a DEWC that can be loaded either end first with both ends being exactly the same.

    A third type is the BBWC (Beveled-Base Wadcutter)
    Again, it can normally only be loaded one direction with the bevel base inside the case.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
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