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Why no .44 special wadcutters?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Owen Sparks, Feb 18, 2008.

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  1. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    .44 wadcutter bullet moulds have been made for people to experiment with at home, but have they ever been offered as a standard factory loading? It seems like a good idea as it works great in .38 special.

    Just curious, OS
     
  2. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Been shooting them for 42 years and the closest I have ever seen are the semis. Don't ever recall seeing full wadcutter cast bullets for sale even, but I wasn't really looking for any so I may have just missed them. I have seen the molds though.
    Just loaded some semi wadcutters last night.
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Lee makes (or made) a .44 cal 208 gr full wadcutter mould.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have the Lee 208 Gr WC mold. The bullets shoot great lubed conventionally, or with Lee Liquid Alox. I though they shot a little better sized and lubed with the Redding lubrisizer, but they shot well just tumbled in Alox.

    Penn Bullets sells a 185 WC in .44 that shoots well. I have shot it in .44 Russian cases as well as .44 Special cases.
     
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Ammunition companies load full-wadcutters for target shooting on paper. The .44 Special is a great cartridge, but it was never popular with bullseye shooters.
     
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Actually,the .44 Special did enjoy a little popularity with target shooters around the turn of the century. It died because the rules killed it off -- a standard pistol match in the US called for .22, Service Pistol, and "any centerfire." The .38 Special, with reduced recoil, was the choice of most target competitors for "any centerfire" up into the 1950s or '60s. Then it became popular to shoot the M1911 in both "any centerfire" and Service Pistol matches.

    There just wasn't any room for the .44 Special.
     
  7. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Originally .38 wadcutters were loaded hotter and were designed to improve the lethality of the .38 special load. People found out how accurate they were and the factories started loading them down for target work. These fully seated bullets work well in the old over sized revolver cases that were designed for much bulkier black powder. I just wonder why no major manufacturer offers .44 special and .45 Colt wadcutters as standard pressure loads. They would be an ideal way to get around the anti hollow point laws in more "enlightened" places likeNew Jersey.
     
  8. MortalWombat

    MortalWombat Member

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    This stuff comes fairly close to being a .44 spl wadcutter.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. DougDubya

    DougDubya Member

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    Mortal Wombat - that's the stuff I used in the 629 Classic I wrung out.
     
  10. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Thanks, Walkalong!

    I've been looking for a .44 caliber wadcutter for years.
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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  12. Jeff F

    Jeff F Member

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    I used to get a 200 grain .44 full wad cutter 10,000 at a time from RB cast bullets in Fremont Ca. That was many moons ago and I don't know if they are still in business. They were very accurate and made major power when I shot them in PPC matches.
     
  13. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Saeco or NIE offer a wadcutter designed by Jan Libourel. You'll have to cast your own though. Lee will modify a mold if bought direct. You could shorten the nose on a SWC and have an almost wadcutter. They may even run you one of the old WC molds that aren't offered anymore.

    I tried loading SWC bullets backwards to make a WC but they weren't very accurate.
     
  14. AKCOP

    AKCOP Member

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    I have an old two cavity Lee .44 wadcutter mold. Not sure what the bullet weight is. Haven't shot wadcutters in .44 for many years having found it easier to cast a SWC that I could use in a .44 special as well as a .44 mag.
    I do remember it being a very accurate bullet out to 50 yards.
     
  15. BullSkater

    BullSkater Member

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  16. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I don't recall that wadcutters were "originally" intended for defense, though they have been touted for that purpose because even though penetration and shock value are low, they tend to cause great loss of blood.

    The term "wad cutter" comes from the paper punch once used by shotshell reloaders to cut overpowder and overshot wads for shotgun shells. The wad cutter left a neat punched out circlein the paper, and target shooters wanted bullets that would do the same on a paper target so as to make scoring easier. That was and is basically the only reason for wadcutter bullets.

    Jim
     
  17. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    I have seen around 200 grain wadcutters at gun shows for sale fairly recently. They have a 215 gr. semi-wadcutter that shoots real nice out of my Colt clones that I tend to favor.
     
  18. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    Wadcutters cut punch out a near perfect circle with sharply defined edges. That's why they became popular for target purposes. They aren't extra-accurate, it's just easier to score more accurately with those perfectly circular holes.
     
  19. chriske

    chriske Member

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    The German firm of Haendler & Natermann makes excellent copper-plated, hollow based full wadcutters in .429 dia, weighing 220 Gr. (Looks exactly like any 148 Gr .357 HBWC except caliber).
    I load mine on top of 4.0 to 4.3 Gr of VihtaVuori N-320 or 5.2 to 5.5 gr of VihtaVuori N-340, seated just a hair longer than flush with the .44 Spl case mouths (COL 30,5 mm). for very mild and very very accurate loads from my 4" S&W 624.
     
  20. Saint Dennis

    Saint Dennis Member

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    I load 185gr DBBWC over Trail Boss powder for target shooting. I put them in .44 mag cases because I have them and no carbon ring or sorting brass. I think I buy them from Penn Bullets over the Web. Accurate and sedate. I like them a lot for punching paper.
     
  21. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    As a former mad scientist and ammo experimentation geek...I learned a few things about DE wadcutters several years ago.

    Driven to low velocities, they're exceptionally accurate, provided the twist rate is compatible. The Colt Pythons that I owned bordered on phenomenal with 148 grain wadcutters at around 650 fps...and they held it all the way out to 50 yards.

    The same bullet in the same gun...driven to 1000 fps was dismal beyond 15 yards, and up to that distance, it wasn't anything to write home about. By 1200 fps, it began to hit the target sideways...which would be pretty wicked for close range defense...but not much else.
     
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