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Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by DannoU, Dec 28, 2005.


Is wadcutter casting/using worth it??

  1. Can be cheap and fairly accurate

    7 vote(s)
  2. Worthwile, if you just wanna put holes in paper

    10 vote(s)
  3. A time consuming way to throw sinkers

    1 vote(s)
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  1. DannoU

    DannoU Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Port Huron, Michigan
    :confused: I'm sure that this will bring some variation in feedback.................here we go. I'm just getting started in reloading, I'm reading all that I can get my hands on.

    I've found quite a few items of interest:eek: ......one being casting my own wadcutters.

    :scrutiny: Is it worth the effort, compared to the possible lead build-ups and etc.. Are there more possibilities of damage or injury?? Should I even think about trying it, or are the things CHEAP:eek: enough on the market??:confused:

    Another thing
    is I'm currently a "plinker" but I've joined our local sportsmans association. Once I find out what the club offers as far as competitions go, I'll slowly get involved with some lite stuff at first. :rolleyes:

    So, are wadcutters even a worthwile thought, or should I stick with FMJ's or JHP's, whichever is cheaper. When accuracy for competition is needed then I'll change my whole "line of thought".

    ANY help is good help, thanx people:D

  2. OtG

    OtG Member

    May 9, 2004
    ah! my eyes!

    I don't see why casting wadcutters would be much different from casting other bullet shapes. It should be cheaper than buying them, and they'll work as well as any other bullet for plinking and general practice. Shouldn't have a problem with leading unless you're driving them too fast, or not using enough lube.

    Personally, I have neither the space nor the inclination to cast my own. I just buy Hornady HBWCs and load them myself. Component bullets are pretty cheap. Buying loaded wadcutters however, seems to be quite pricey.
    And, FWIW, wadcutters are the only bullet I hand-load with. They're cheap, and good for plinking and target shooting.
    If I have other needs, chances are I can buy ammo to cover them.

    If you're just starting to hand-load, it may be wiser to just stick with buying bullets. Start casting your own after you're comfortable with the whole process. Keeps things simpler.
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Oregon Coast
    The use of wadcutters depends on what you're going to be shooting. I've personally shot well over 100,000 of them through my revolvers when I was an active PPC shooter back in the late 70's. They are exceedingly accurate, but are limited to target use in most cases. It also depends on the gun.

    For Revolvers, there aren't many bullets that will shoot as well as a well made hollowbase wadcutter and a proper load of Bullseye, but with a semi-auto pistol, very few will feed a full wadcutter, except for the excellent, and discontinued, S&W Model 52, which was the forerunner of the Model 39, 59, etc.

    I still cast and shoot a few wadcutters on occasion, just for the fun of it. You won't be able to cast hollowbase wadcutters, since they are normally a swaged bullet. They wouldn't be worth the effort anyway. Casting hollowbase or hollowpoint bullets is a slow, tedious process, and best left to the factories to produce. Solid base, or double end wadcutters can be cast quite easily and will give fairly good accuracy. I've got several gang molds for the wadcutter, but I don't cast the double end variety, since I believe they aren't as accurate as solid base wadcutters are, or at least not in my revolvers.

    If you're going to be doing any bullseye shooting, on paper targets, then the wadcutter is hard to beat out of a revolver. I used to have a target with 10 shots of 148 grain hollowbase wadcutters into 1 7/8" at 50 yards from my S&W K-38, but I lost it in a divorce, along with just about everything else I owned at the time.

    With a semi-auto pistol, then you're pretty much limited to semi-wadcutter bullets, and a lot of pistols won't feed them well, or at all, without some ramp and chamber mouth work. It depends on the particular pistol and the design of the bullet, along with the overall length your pistol likes for reliable feeding.

    The biggest advantage to wadcutters is they cut a clean hole, making scoring rather easy. They also make a bigger hole in paper, hence the name, and the longer bearing surface tends to stabilize them rather well. After about 75 yards, the blunt design creates enough drag to slow them down faster than a round nose bullet, but they will still punch clean holes.

    The bottom line is, it all depends on the kind of shooting you're going to be doing.

    Hope this helps.

  4. tbeb

    tbeb Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Northwest Indiana
    Are you talking about .38 special wadcutters? I've been reloading for 19 years... Anyhow, I buy bullets for that caliber in boxes that contain 500. I just bought a box of 148 gr. double end wadcutter hard cast bullets at a cost that figures to 3.55 cents per bullet. Hollow base wadcutters are generally the most accurate and will cost more. Ironically I've never used those. (I've used mostly 158 gr. lead semi-wadcutters.)
  5. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    My suggestion would be to find some one who is currently casting bullets and volunteer to help them some afternoon. This is the quickest way to discover if you like casting bullets. The only reason I see to cast bullets is if you enjoy the casting process yourself. Unless you have a large supply of low cost lead it would probably be cheaper to buy either swaged or commercially cast bullets.

    Casting bullets is hard work, but if you enjoy it, it makes sense to cast. Some obscure cartridges can be loaded by casting, and that would be another reason to cast. Some people just want the ultimate in quality, and may need to cast their own bullets to satisfy this desire.

    If you just want to shoot, loading other people's bullets works extremely well. I enjoyed casting when I was younger, and will probably have a few more marathon casting sessions before the long sleep, but it is not really necessary to cast to enjoy the shooting hobbies.
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