Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > Reloading
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-11-2009, 08:23 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 329
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Default .38 Special 148 grain wadcutters

I am new to reloading .38 special and in particular wadcutters. Of course you need to keep the OAL below maximum so round will not hang up in cylinder, but are there any rules regarding how far to seat the bullet? I realize seating deeper will increase pressure. Also if using the same amount of powder in a starting load, will using a .357 magnum case as opposed to a .38 special case decrease case pressure significantly assuming bullet is seated to the same depth?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-11-2009, 08:45 PM
s&wchad's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Great Lakes State
Posts: 10,856
Likes: 1,085
Liked 2,103 Times in 734 Posts
Default

148gr wadcutters are typically mounted flush (or almost flush) with the case. Autoloaders like the Colt Mk III or the S&W 52 require it. Check out the photo in this link.
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM352-5.html
I've never loaded them in a .357 case, but it shouldn't be a problem.
__________________
"I also cook."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-11-2009, 08:51 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: langerlaw@verizon.net
Posts: 714
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default

True wadcutters are loaded flush with the case mouth. Don't try speedloaders with them!

I had some CAST WC's that had a little button in the center. I loaded those with the bullet shoulder flush with the case mouth; the button protrued about 1/16"

Three grains of Red Dot worked well under them.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-11-2009, 09:03 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lafayette, IN
Posts: 1,359
Likes: 64
Liked 457 Times in 231 Posts
Default

Like everyone else has said, I seat the bullets flush. I use the same recipe for both .38 and .357 brass.
__________________
Common sense isn't so common.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-11-2009, 09:03 PM
nitesite's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Morgan County Alabama -
Posts: 377
Likes: 39
Liked 36 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Hard cast wadcutters have a crimping groove just below the wide flat meplat. So to roll crimp using the groove, the bullet will protrude slightly beyond the case mouth.



Of course, you can crimp over the top of the bullet and seat them flush but the little bit of lead makes chambering in a revolver quite a bit easier.

Last edited by nitesite; 09-11-2009 at 09:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-11-2009, 10:01 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Southwestern Ohio
Posts: 1,904
Likes: 1
Liked 291 Times in 142 Posts
Default

I cast my own bullets and use the H&G #251 double ended W/C. It was designed for the 52 S&W to be seated flush. However, in the revolvers, I seat the first band out (similar to "nitesite" above) and crimp on the trailing edge of the first band. I also seat the sprue up. It is a bit ugly, but that way I have perfect bases - this is helpful to accuracy. I run these a bit faster than the hollow base wadcutters as they seem to group better (well under 1" at 25 yards off a rest). I use 3.5 grs of Bullseye and lube one groove.

Seating the band out helps to true up the bullet in the throats and as "nitesite" mentions, they are a bit easier to chamber. Here is a picture of a four cavity bullet mould with the #251 H&G:



The picture is courtesy of TexasFlyboy, the authority on H&G Moulds.

Dale53
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-12-2009, 01:03 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 636
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 11 Posts
Default

The Alliant manual states:
2.7gr Bullseye for the Mod. 52. (bullet MUST be seated flush with top of case.)
2.8gr Bullseye for target loads

Yes you can use a .357 case, I believe that it's normal to drop one tenth grains more to compensate for the extra 'room' in those cases when loading for .38 target type rounds.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-12-2009, 03:08 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 655
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 60 Posts
Default

Here are the 3 types of wadcutters. Solid base can be loaded like any solid base bullet to high magnum velocity and usually have a crimp groove. Hollow base WC's are for target shooting only and must be loaded to lower pressure as high pressure will expand the skirt tight in the chamber or bore either blowing out the center of the bullet or leaving the skirt in the bore to become an obstruction for the next round.


Factory loaded wad cutters are usually the hollow base type bullets and are seated flush.

Last edited by Steve C; 09-12-2009 at 03:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-12-2009, 11:14 AM
shovelwrench's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pennsylvania 17963
Posts: 1,071
Likes: 39
Liked 49 Times in 32 Posts
Default

Yes,
.357 cases will signifigantly reduce pressure/velocity, but the upside is some gain in accuracy by eliminating some bullet jump. I have proved this with a 686, DEWC seated to groove, from a ransom rest.

What we did was find the most accurate load with .38 cases, then duplicate that velocity in .357 cases (working up from our .38 load, and a little beyond to see if group improved, it did not). We were using clays, 2.2gr in 38, 2.7gr in .357, yeilding just above 700fps. This cut about an inch off this particular guns group @25yds.

Personally, if your using .357 cases I would be inclined to use very bulky powder, theres a lot of space to fill with very little powder, my buddy refused to deviate from Clays.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-13-2009, 08:44 PM
cmort666's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Rocky River, OH, USA
Posts: 5,573
Likes: 118
Liked 2,559 Times in 1,200 Posts
Default

I generally load 148gr. .38 wadcutters to slightly below the case mouth and roll crimp over them. I use 2.7-2.8gr. of Bullseye.

I shoot a .38 Special Giles M1911 and need to do this for reliable feeding.

The same load works well in my Model 14.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-13-2009, 08:52 PM
shovelwrench's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pennsylvania 17963
Posts: 1,071
Likes: 39
Liked 49 Times in 32 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmort666 View Post
I generally load 148gr. .38 wadcutters to slightly below the case mouth and roll crimp over them. I use 2.7-2.8gr. of Bullseye.

I shoot a .38 Special Giles M1911 and need to do this for reliable feeding.

The same load works well in my Model 14.
Thats funny, I have a Giles 1911 .38special too, I run 3gr of bullseye, crimped in the groove, and it functions perfectly.

Is your finnicky about fully chambering when it starts to get dirty?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-13-2009, 09:16 PM
cmort666's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Rocky River, OH, USA
Posts: 5,573
Likes: 118
Liked 2,559 Times in 1,200 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelwrench View Post
Thats funny, I have a Giles 1911 .38special too, I run 3gr of bullseye, crimped in the groove, and it functions perfectly.

Is your finnicky about fully chambering when it starts to get dirty?
No, I just find it works the best that way, and works equally well in the Model 14.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1911, 357 magnum, 686, bullseye, colt, crimp, model 14, sig arms, wadcutter

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Reloading Thread, .38 Special 148 grain wadcutters in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; I am new to reloading .38 special and in particular wadcutters. Of course you need to keep the OAL below ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BitterRoot Valley Ammo Co. 148 grain Wadcutters?? SFsc616171 Ammo 10 06-21-2011 06:45 AM
.38 Special 158 grain - Help please Brunen Ammo 23 01-26-2010 06:57 PM
Cor-Bon .38 Special+P 115 grain JHP in a 15? scotty14 S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 5 11-02-2009 07:03 AM
Source??? 148Gr .38 Special Wadcutters Zebulon Ammo 13 09-17-2009 05:29 PM
.38 Special 200 grain... Andy Griffith Reloading 2 02-20-2009 08:05 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:59 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)