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Old 09-04-2017, 08:53 PM
Buzzsaw Buzzsaw is offline
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Default .38 Special match bullets

what do most of the competitors shoot in their .38's
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:03 PM
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158 or 160grn LRN or coated rule the roost in my revolver competitions.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:17 PM
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Depends on match.
158 gr lswc 3.0gr Bullseye for paper
158 gr lswc 4.7gr WW 231 for plates, pins, IDPA.
Jim
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:20 PM
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Default 38 match bullets

if you shoot ppc, the magic bullet is a 148gn hollow base wadcutter
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:32 PM
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Yes, it depends on the competition.
For 2700 Bullseye shooting most shooters use hollow base swaged 148 gr. wadcutters. Zero and Magnus are two top brands, as are Remington, Speer, and Hornady, roughly in that order.
Of course, you can cast your own.
Al Miller wrote several articles on the topic of 38 special loads for bullseye that were published in Handloader back in the 70s.
The usual powders are Bullseye (2.7-2.8 gr), or 700x, WW231, HP 38.

Today, there is also the Distinguished Revolver Match (aka: Harry Reeves Match) shot at Camp Perry. This requires the use of service type ammo, so cast 158 gr SWCs are the norm, although many savvy folks have rediscovered the old Lyman 38 RN molds!

You did not specify the type of shooting. However, there are very good reasons for paying attention to the choices for the Bullseye game.
First, the accuracy standards and marksmanship standards are MUCH higher. 50 yds slow fire, 10 ring about 3" diameter, X ring about 1.65" diameter, fired 10 shot strings in 10 minutes, standing with revolver in one hand.
Second, the game, guns, loads, bullets were all developed co-dependently during the early part of the 20th century.

I hope this info is helpful in your chosen shooting endeavors.

Best Wishes,
Jim
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:47 PM
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what Brand is most popular, Missouri, Acme, Zero.

Coated versus uncoated lead, plated, copper jacket?
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:54 PM
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x-treme 148 plated wc under 3.0 gr. bullseye.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:21 PM
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For 2700 matches, either indoor or outdoor, I tend to shoot 148gr (quench cast) wadcutters. I tend to cast my own, casting both button nosed and double ended wadcutters.

For PPC matches, while I prefer my 150gr SWC, I find that I can get a faster reload using my 160gr RN, the rounds drop in faster from the speedloaders.

I enjoy casting my own bullets, and I am not out to set speed records, so 99.9% of my shooting with a 38 involves wadcutters. Wadcutters are inexpensive and don't require a lot of powder. Usually, a pound of powder becomes 2000 or more 38s. It makes for an enjoyable time at the range.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:12 PM
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Default What Brand

Who makes your favorite .38 wad cutters?
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:12 PM
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Regarding what 6string posted on this subject...You don't find articles like Al Miller's today. These were classic pieces of gunwriting, sort of like Ken Waters material. Lots of good information based on lots of experience. I haven't seen those articles in a long while, but they should be as valid today as when Mr. Miller wrote them.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:36 PM
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My fav's are the H&G 50 wadcutters. I cast my own, and cast them fairly hard. And Bullseye,, of course. Mike
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oysterer View Post
x-treme 148 plated wc under 3.0 gr. bullseye.
I'll bet you won't find a plated bullet at Camp Perry.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickracer View Post
I'll bet you won't find a plated bullet at Camp Perry.
You can bet real money on it!!

Plated wadcutters: The answer to a question nobody asked.

I'm sorry for folks that shoot on ranges that force them to use these.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:25 AM
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Engineer's Home Cast Bullets from range scrap for 5 handgun and 3 rifle bullets I shoot. Cheap, always in stock, easy to replenish inventory.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:48 AM
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I use two different bullets. For the most part I shoot and reload 158 grain RNL bullets. For serious competition I use 148 grain HBWC's. The RNL about 90% of the time, the HBWC = 10%. I find the HBWC slightly more accurate but they do lead up things a bit more.

While I do own two M15's one of them (my fav. and competition revolver) likes the WC's better.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6string View Post
You can bet real money on it!!

Plated wadcutters: The answer to a question nobody asked.

I'm sorry for folks that shoot on ranges that force them to use these.
I'll ask the question....

what is a cheap alternative to a lubed bullet that leaves my gun and hands coated with greasy black soot?
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:59 AM
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I'm getting really good 50 yard groups with Bayou Bullets 138 gr. button nose wadcutter. These are polymer coated. They don't lead the barrel, are clean to reload with, and low smoke when shooting.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:01 AM
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FYI , you might check out,, SNS Casting coated bullets, Missouri Bullets both cast and coated, Xtreme plated,,, those are a few of the ones I have used lately.. Coated bullets seem to smoke and lead less than cast.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolguy View Post
I'm getting really good 50 yard groups with Bayou Bullets 138 gr. button nose wadcutter. These are polymer coated. They don't lead the barrel, are clean to reload with, and low smoke when shooting.
How fast are you pushing them?
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzsaw View Post
Who makes your favorite .38 wad cutters?
I like Zero 148 gr. swaged hollow base wadcutters. You can buy them at Roze Distribution, Inc. - Zero Bullets and Ammunition. Precision Deltas are supposed to be tops, too. A lot of bullseye pistol shooters swear by Remingtons, but I hear that they are out of production. With swaged hollow base wadcutter bullets, you must keep the velocity low, like around 760 fps or the "skirt' of the base will blow off and can cause big problems.

Last edited by BE Mike; 09-06-2017 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:11 AM
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thanks guys
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:08 PM
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Buy a sample of each swagged lead, cast lead, Plated, powder coated, and jacketed. Load with your favorite most accurate powder, about 25 rounds each. Get access to a Ransom rest and shoot each sample at 25 yards. Measure the groups then decide what you want to shoot.

For just paper punching I prefer swagged lead, win 231, Fed primers.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE Mike View Post
How fast are you pushing them?
They are going 920 fps.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:17 PM
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I'd like to elaborate on my comment in post #13, re plated wadcutters.
Wadcutters, being what they are, have a tremendous amount of bearing surface for their weight. Also, lacking an aerodynamic nose profile, they have a very low ballistic co-efficient. Taken together, a wadcutter requires a rather narrow, and low, velocity range to stabilize properly for acceptable accuracy. Generally, that accuracy range for a 38 cal 148 gr wadcutter is about 740-870 fps.
At this velocity range, a jacket or plating is not only unnecessary, it's potentially dangerous. The large bearing surface greatly increases bore friction, increasing the possibility of a stuck bullet in the barrel. In a revolver, it's all too easy to miss this. Pressure is low, so in the event of a squib, excess gas just vents off in the barrel/cylinder gap. Recoil is low, so it's hard to feel the difference. And, due to the manual operation of a revolver, a malfunction generally doesn't occur, unless the squib is stuck in the forcing cone.
I think most people who cast, and even many who don't have slugged the barrel of a gun. Pretty easy to do with a soft lead slug. Try it with a plated bullet (or, better yet, don't) and you'll get an idea how much resistance the plating adds!
If you want the shooting qualities of a wadcutter, I suggest sticking with a lubed, soft lead bullet.
If you prefer a plated bullet, choose the appropriate velocity range, (say over 900-1000 fps as the lower limit?) and go with the appropriate bullet design like a SWC or roundnose.

Hope this helps save someone some hassles or trouble.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:27 PM
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I buy hard cast bullets from Summers Enterprises because they are a quality bullet and the cheapest I can find.

Sad they don't have a 158gr .358" SWC but their flat point is an good alternative.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:57 PM
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Default Punching paper.......

Speer or Hornady 148 grain swaged hollow based bullet. I think this edges out about any bullet because the skirt swells to fit the barrel exactly. The only drawback is that they are limited to low velocities because the skirts can blow off if pushed to hard. Up to about `1000 fps they are fine. Usually mine run between 800 and 950 fps with the low end being best with 2.7 grains Bulleye or a few tenths more.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:47 PM
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For paper punching,the H&G no 50 does a great job when pushed at around 675 to 700fps(2.6 gr 700X).Cast out of range scrap and NOT quenched,they come out quite soft(around 6BHN).
Since I cast for a few friend,I simply do not remelt the ones with slight surface defects and put them aside.When I have a few hundreds,I swage them in HBWC form and use them as my match bullets.Same 2.6gr 700X load.At .358,my old faithfull model 14 spits them much tighter than I can hold!
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