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38 special wadcutter brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jell-dog, Jul 19, 2014.

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  1. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member

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    I got 2000 pieces of 38 special brass mixed head stamp on GUNBROKER, about 500 pieces look to be wadcutter brass.
    The ones that have double "canalures" are stamped: Winchester, R-P, REM-UMC, WESTERN & FEDERAL.
    Also, about 200 pieces are nickel plated.
    I was planning to load lead wadcutter boolets in my "regular" 38spl brass, but would like to use these wadcutter brass instead.
    Are these actually wadcutter brass??
    Thanks for your time in advance.
     

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  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Factory ammo loaded with a wadcutter bullet will usually have a double cannelure like your brass does but that doesn't make it "wadcutter brass." Once the round is fired the cannelure is rendered practically useless for holding the bullet in place because the pressure generated by the firing stretches the brass slightly. After a handful of firings the cannelures will be ironed out for the most part, still visible but no real indent.
     
  3. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member

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    AA, thanks for quick answer!
    I had read here or on CASTBOOLETS that wadcutter brass had the double cannelure and the brass was straight inside for a longer measurement before tapering getting thicker close to the web of the brass.
    Can't find that thread/post again, but even if cannelures stretch out wouldn't the longer straight portion of brass be a benefit to the wadcutter being seated so deep into the case?
    Or is wadcutter brass and 38spl brass the same inside?
     
  4. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    Put a wadcutter bullet in 38 brass and, whaala, it becomes wadcutter brass.
     
  5. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member

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    bluetopper,
    VERY TRUE!
    I have 100 357mag loaded with wadcutters (loaded to medium 38spl data) they shoot just fine;)
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't know who told you the brass loaded with a wadcutter bullet at the factory is different brass than "normal" .38 Special brass but I have never heard that and I don't think it's true. I'm fairly sure the cannelure is added after the bullet is seated. The brass is the same as any other .38 Special case from the same company.

    If you doubt that to be true, try and find factory new brass for sale that is specifically meant for loading wadcutter bullets. If the company was using it, it would also be available for sale as a component. Any company would love to sell you more brass because it's different than the other .38 Special brass they sell.
     
  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I've also heard that +p head stamped brass is heavier than non stamped +p brass. So I weighed some just for kicks, and ya know, I found that the common discrepancies in brass weights alone, made it impossible to see a discernible difference between them.

    GS
     
  8. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member

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    wadcutter brass differnt?

    ArchAngelCD,
    I was basing my thoughts on 38spl wadcutter brass and "regular" 38spl brass being different on this thread from CASTBOOLITS:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?156622-75-000Wadcutters-in-a-Model-27

    gamestalker,
    I found this article about +P brass being the same as regular brass:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?195216-38-Special-P-Brass
    also these articles about +P brass:
    http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/forums/viewtopic.php?=20&t=61389

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=576048

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=276034

    So I come to the conclusion that +P brass is the same as regular brass, the +P stamp is to warn consumers that it is a high powered load, not a standard load.

    Still undecided if wadcutter brass is the same as regular brass, may have to section some of both in half and compare.
    thanks all to your responses!!
     
  9. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I have loaded and shot many thousands of .38spls out of any and every brand and headstamp of .38 special brass. It just makes no difference. Get the charge, seating depth, and crimp right - little else seems to matter.
     
  10. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member

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    wadcutter brass for target ammo

    OK, here is a summary of loading accurate target ammo for 38spl using full lead wadcutter bullets.
    I found this info in HANDLOADING by William C. Davis, Jr., an NRA publication dated 1981, page #108 attached below.
    So, although standard 38spl brass can be used for full length wadcutter target ammunition, as long as I have all this "wadcutter brass" I will use it for wadcutter ammunition and load the standard 38spl brass with other profile bullets.

    Again, thanks all for your thoughts on this subject!!
    These posts motivated me to do more research into "wadcutter brass".
     

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  11. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    #6 seems to answer your question. The brass isn't really a factor. If you like using a particular brand of brass for WC's only, it won't hurt a bit. Neither will any other brass selection strategy.
     
  12. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member

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    ATLDave,
    ^^^ + my thoughts exactly!
     
  13. 918v

    918v Member

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    The big 3 used to make dedicated Wadcutter brass. It had a different internal taper to allow hollow base Wadcutter bullets to seat flush without swaging down the hollow skirt. Accuracy testing has shown that compressing the skirt during seating hurts accuracy. The pressure in these loads is insufficient to expand it back out.

    Modern 38 Special brass starts tapering pretty quick and will mangle the skirts. Don't believe me? Load up some and pull the bullets.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I find it hard to believe that .38 Spl pressures will not expand the skinny, dead soft, HBWC skirt back out.

    Some people like to use thinner walled RP brass for HBWCs, but most folks just load whatever brass they have.
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I use mostly Rem, Win and Fed .38 Special brass and I don't pick out the brass with a cannelure for loading wadcutters. I have never had a problem with accuracy. (well, because of the bullet that is) :p
     
  16. 918v

    918v Member

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    I dunno when you last saw a HBWC bullet, but the skirt is not skinny and they run at 8000 PSI. That's not enough pressure to undo the swaging the internal taper of the case did.
     
  17. 918v

    918v Member

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    You may not have perceived a problem, but ammo manufacturers did and they went as far as retooling to make dedicated Wadcutter brass for these special loads.
     
  18. 918v

    918v Member

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    http://www.handgunsmag.com/2010/09/24/ammunition_hg_wickedwadcutters_200901/

    Look at the picture of the wadcutters fired into jello. Look at the bases. The author used a Remington 148gr HBWC which is swaged from pure lead wire and an Oregon Trail 148gr DEWC with a beveled base which is cast from a hard alloy. Note the fired and recovered Remington bullet has a pronounced bevel at the base of the skirt. A virgin unfired Remington HBWC has a straight skirt with no bevel. That bevel is created when the skirt hits the internal taper of the case. Note the pressure generated by the author's load failed to remove that deformation even though the skirt is supposedly "thin" and "dead soft."
     
  19. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member

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    well now, that article is an eye opener to the use of the lowly wadcutter!
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Hmm, well they are thin and dead soft, but pics don't lie. Interesting that only the last little bit isn't straight.

    I wonder how many of us can shoot the difference? :)
     
  21. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I know I sure can't.:(
     
  22. 918v

    918v Member

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    It always boils down to the gun shooting better than you can. That's not a reason for not trying.
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Who says we aren't trying?
     
  24. 918v

    918v Member

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    You.
     
  25. 918v

    918v Member

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    Medalguy
     
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