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Best copper plated full wadcutter?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Orange Boy, Aug 1, 2010.

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  1. Orange Boy

    Orange Boy Member

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    I woulld like some opinions from those that use full wadcutters that are copper plated. I see them for sale by Rainier, Berrys, X-Treme and there are probably other manufacturers that I'm not even aware of. My goal is to use a very light (2.7Gr.) load of Bullseye for punching paper at 25-50 feet. I will be using .38 Special cartridges in a revolver with a 4" barrel (.357 capable). Some of my questions are:

    Who is your favorite supplier and why?

    What style of full wadcutter do you prefer...solid, beveled, or hollow based wadcutter etc.? why?

    I'm not new to reloading, but very new to loading 38 Special and wadcutters for revolvers. I'm just trying to get a good game plan started and I can't think of a better place to ask than here. Thank you everyone.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I prefer Berry's because I can buy them at reasonable prices locally.

    I prefer HBWC for light .38 target loads because the HB will expand to fit the bore at lower pressure then a solid base.

    I prefer solid base WC for higher pressure & higher velocity hunting loads because the hollow base bullets can't stand high pressure without the skirt potentially blowing out in the forcing cone.

    rc
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Ditto.

    Berrys are the cheapest of the plated ones and shoot very well. If the others shoot better, I am not good enough to tell the difference.
     
  4. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I've been having real good luck with Rainier 148 plated WC's in both my .357 revolver and NEF .357 carbine.
    I haven't tried Berry's yet.
    The full wadcutters should stabilize at lower speeds than the HBWC variety if you are shooting at the lower limits.
    Also no worries about blowing the skirt on the HBWC.
    I've also gone to using full magnum brass and seating the WC out to 1.435" COAL.

    Be careful with very light loads, my first load was very light and I had on stick in the bore.

    Love the plated DEWC, shoots great in the revolver, and is lights out in the carbine at 50 yards, far better than LHBWC's.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Kind of like this, but a little longer?
     
  6. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Yup!

    The .358" bullets are a very snug fit in the Freedom Arms tight throats, and I wanted to make sure they had a start in the throats before the trigger is pulled.

    I'm using .357 brass because F/A will scold you if you use .38 brass.
     
  7. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Member

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    I've used those from Rainier and from Berry's. I prefer Rainier. I've had some batches from Berry's (not the 148 WC, though) that exhibited flaking.

    As I mentioned on your other thread, however, I never saw any advantage to plating on a wadcutter at low velocities so essentially gave up on them. Hornady's swaged 148 LHBWC is a perfect thing when combined with 2.7 grains of Bullseye.

    As for bullet style, the hollow base makes all the sense on the world for light loads, for the reason explained by rcmodel.
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I used to live close to X-treme, (back when they were called Western NV/West Coast Bullet). They make good bullets. Don't know why you would want to spend extra for plated WC when lead ones work just fine at those low velocities
     
  9. Orange Boy

    Orange Boy Member

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    I used to live close to X-treme, (back when they were called Western NV/West Coast Bullet). They make good bullets. Don't know why you would want to spend extra for plated WC when lead ones work just fine at those low velocities


    Never having reloaded a lead only bullet, I guess I thought It would keep my barrel cleaner and easier to maintain. Probably not a concern at 750 FPS you say?
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Various makers lead 148 Gr HBWC's and a mild charge will leave the barrel completely free of lead. I do not remember the brand of the latest ones I have shot, but they do not lead at all.
     
  11. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    In my limited testing one could not get good vlocities with loads designed for lead bullets. It appears that both the 148 gr. Rainer DEWC and Berry's DEWC and HBWC require more powder than comparable lead bullets. Also I could not abtain the same consistent accuracy with either Rainier or Berry's wadcutters. I saw some H&N wadcutters mde is Germany at Camp Perry a year ago but never followed up on obtaining a sample for trial.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That is correct. Low ES & SD numbers are harder to get with the plated bullets as well. Just about impossible to beat lead 148 Gr HBWC's for pure accuracy. Of course it takes a great gun and shooter to show the difference. I can't most of the time.
     
  13. Orange Boy

    Orange Boy Member

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    In reading the post by PO2Hammer above (#4) I want to make sure that in using the plated version of the 148 Gr. double ended wadcutter (in 38 Special brass) that I should not increase the 2.7 Gr. Bullseye standard load.

    I didn't think it was necessary (as many say use lead data for plated), but some say increase the powder? I don't mean to be paranoid or anything but I definitely don't want to get one stuck in the pipe. I just want to be very sure of what I'm doing.

    BTW, I will be using this load in a 4" barrel S&W 66 revolver.
     
  14. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    I could never get the "classic" load of 2.7gr of Bullseye to shoot well in my 4" M19.
    I was looking for a less than Magnum field load for plinking and occasional small game shooting. I found 6.0 gr of Unique pushing a Berry's DEWC in .357 cases fits the bill and it's damned accurate to boot. Never tried Raniers though.
     
  15. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I had two things going against me, I was seating them out further than the data listed and using a medium speed powder that doesn't like empty space in the case (IMR SR 7625).

    I should have stopped immediately when the first one went across the chrono at about 250 fps, but I pushed my luck.

    If you're using the recommended COL for DEWC and a standard charge of Bullseye, I think you'll be OK.

    FWIW, IMR SR 7625 doesn't seem to be a very good powder for .38 or .357, it's highly position sensitive and minor changes in bullet or COL create big velocity swings.
    Too bad, it's cool burning and meters very well.
    Great in 9mm and .38 Super though.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    SR-4756 is the same way. Very position sensitive if it does not fill the case. Great if it fills the case completely though.

    2.7 Grs of Bullseye and a lead HBWC will go faster than 2.7 Grs and a plated HBWC when loaded to the same seating depth, give or take a bit. The same is true for a plated DEWC assuming a similar seating depth.

    Plated bullets just take more powder to get the same velocity as lead if all else is pretty much equal.
     
  17. Black_Talon

    Black_Talon Member

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    The 148 HBWC's in your picture are made by Zero Bullets.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Dang. Folks here know everything. No marking on the box except "Midsouth packaging...Cullman Alabama" on the round box cert, and a stamped ink 50038SPL 148grWCHB. Bought them at a gun show many years ago for my wife to practice with low recoil rounds. She lost interest, and I have never shot them all. Very accurate though.
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Oh... $17.50.... ..sigh...:(
     
  20. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Unfortunately, my S&W model 10 leads pretty easy, that's why I bought the plated WC's. My plan is to fire lap the bore with the Wheeler abrasive pastes. I figured the full WC's would be the ideal bullet for that.
    Hopefully then I can return to lead bullets.
     
  21. Berry's MFG

    Berry's MFG Member

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    Personally I prefer the DEWC in the plated bullets, the HBWC has to be made with a smaller HB so the skirt does not obtrude and separate from the core. The DEWC has plenty of bearing surface to stabilize in the barrel. As noted you will need to bump up the powder charge from the old Bullseye loads that worked so well with the dead soft lead HBWC.
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    After trying the plated HBWC vs the plated DEWC, I do as well. Might have been my imagination, or just my two guns preferences, but I seemed to shoot the DEWC better, and it is easier to load in .357 brass since it does not go as deep. Both shoot better than I can hold 99% of the time. I do not shoot them any better than the Berrys 125 Gr TrFP, which is my favorite .38/.357 plinker bullet. The WC's do cut cleaner, bigger, holes if you are shooting competition. Theoretically the WC's should shoot better, and probably do. I am just am not good enough to take advantage.
     
  23. Berry's MFG

    Berry's MFG Member

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    We used to make a swaged lead HBWC out of dead soft lead that was the most accurate bullet I have ever shot out of my K-38 Masterpiece. I'm with Walkalong, I like the 125gr FP.
     
  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm not knocking plated bullets but if your only concern is leading up the barrel there's no reason to spend the extra money on plated bullets instead of using lead. I have never had a problem with lead bullets especially with 148gr wadcutter target rounds. My favorite 148gr DEWC round uses 3.2gr W231. Nothing wrong with Bullseye either...
     
  25. Orange Boy

    Orange Boy Member

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    Well, barrel leading is a concern, but I'm also wanting to keep the smoke down as I will be shooting indoors at a small range. I figured plated bullets need no lubricant and I thought lube = smoke? :confused:
     
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