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Old 05-31-2018, 05:47 PM
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Default Wad Cutters in Model 15

I wanted to experiment with lighter bullets because my standard 158 gr load shot high in my recently acquired Model 15-3.
I found a box of 148gr wadcutters that I bought 20 or so years ago. Loaded flush with 4.0 of WW 231 and tested them today.
5rds then six. One high then one low and the rest with a six o'clock hold @ 33 ft. I was pleased with the test. I guess I will try some 125gr .357 cast bullets at some point. Might actually have to go up a few clicks.
Chrony`d 3 rounds with the wadcutters and got:
916 fps
908 fps
936 fps
Had fun and might even see how they knock down bowling pins.
They slammed my plates pretty good @ 25yds.
Great Fun on a nice day here in NH.
Jim
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:49 PM
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Thatís what the adjustable sights on a M15 are for.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:52 PM
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Thatís what the adjustable sights on a M15 are for.
Of course. Sights adjusted all but one click down. I was`nt born yesterday.
Jim
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:46 PM
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That 148 grain wad cutter didn't get it's reputation for being accurate in .38 revolvers for nothing.


That's been the target load for over 50 years.
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
That 148 grain wad cutter didn't get it's reputation for being accurate in .38 revolvers for nothing.


That's been the target load for over 50 years.
Agree! When I first started shooting, LGS sold reloads with 148gr wadcutters and 3gr Bullseye. My first Model 10-6 loved them.
When I began reloading it was mostly 158gr LSWC.
It`s been a while since Ive loaded wadcutters. Guess Im going full circle.
Jim

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Old 05-31-2018, 08:20 PM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is offline
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Try the 130gr fp from Summers or SNS. I prefer the coated.
I find them extremely accurate in a lot of my guns. Favorite load is 5.0gr of Universal but had real good results with Bullseye, BE86, and Unique.
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:51 PM
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Thanks Eddie. I have given some thought to the 130gr offerings.
Jim
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:55 PM
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My M14 6" shoots great with 148 gr WC I mold with 2.8 gr of BE.
That being said this old guy can't hold as steady as was the case 5 or 6 years ago...
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:57 PM
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The S&W M15 was one of the big secrets for bullseye shooting back in the 50s & 60s.
Many people favored the 4" barrel for balance and because the sight radius made it easier for some folks (depending on vision) to acquire a good sight picture.
I think Bill Tooney and Bill MacMillan favored the M15.

They're real sweeties!

Jim
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by STCM(SW) View Post
My M14 6" shoots great with 148 gr WC I mold with 2.8 gr of BE.
That being said this old guy can't hold as steady as was the case 5 or 6 years ago...
Dont feel bad Chief. Im sure you could outshoot me. Im lucky I can even pick up a gun.
Jim
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo728 View Post
I wanted to experiment with lighter bullets because my standard 158 gr load shot high in my recently acquired Model 15-3.
I found a box of 148gr wadcutters that I bought 20 or so years ago. Loaded flush with 4.0 of WW 231 and tested them today.
5rds then six. One high then one low and the rest with a six o'clock hold @ 33 ft. I was pleased with the test. I guess I will try some 125gr .357 cast bullets at some point. Might actually have to go up a few clicks.
Chrony`d 3 rounds with the wadcutters and got:
916 fps
908 fps
936 fps
Had fun and might even see how they knock down bowling pins.
They slammed my plates pretty good @ 25yds.
Great Fun on a nice day here in NH.

Jim
You could do a lot worse just staying with the wadcutters for shooting out to 50 yards or so.
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:38 AM
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You might want to measure the rear sight on that model 15.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:54 PM
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People would be surprised at the knockdown capacity of a full wadcutter;like mentionned by Iggy,out to 50 and maybe even 60 yds,they are accurate and cut a full size hole in whatever they penetrate or got a good grab at those pins.
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:54 AM
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cast 148gr hbwc from a 800fps+ plinking load
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post


cast 148gr hbwc from a 800fps+ plinking load
I bet the pin didn't stay long on the table!
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:07 PM
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Got to shoot bowling pins with the M 15 and the 148gr wadcutters @ 925fps.
Was 15 for 15 at 33`. The pins all went straight back and clean off the table with no dead wood. I like them. I think the M15 will do fine as long as I keep the bullet weights @ 148 gr or lighter.
I will never be a fast shooter again due to really bad hands but can still have fun.
Jim
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:05 AM
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I've come lately the last few years to the 148 LWC myself; it continues to amaze that somehow over the decades I missed out on ever really using the load.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddietruett View Post
Try the 130gr fp from Summers or SNS. I prefer the coated.
I find them extremely accurate in a lot of my guns. Favorite load is 5.0gr of Universal but had real good results with Bullseye, BE86, and Unique.
Eddie, I just got 500 of the Summers 130gr RNFP.
Shoots right on at 33` and 9 ring with a right on hold at 25 yds.
Thanks for the tip!
Jim
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:18 PM
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Were they hollow-based or solid?

The HBWC's usually shoot best for me as long as the load is not hot enough to blow the skirts when they leave the barrel.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:22 AM
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I shot the 125 gr lead truncated and RN style bullets in a snub nose
and a 6" 38 special and .357 Magnum and was pleased with the results.
Both fast and slow burning powders worked with this light weight lead bullet.
I never got them up to four figures in the speed zone, even in the Mag.

Enjoy that great weapon.
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  #21  
Old 08-02-2018, 01:42 AM
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The LSWC`s I shot were flat based. They were a bargain basement deal I stumbled on way back. Im definitely going to get more wadcutters for pins.
Right now Im having fun with plated 130 gr RNFP by Summers.
I see a trigger job in the near future also for the model 15-3.
Jim
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo728 View Post
I wanted to experiment with lighter bullets because my standard 158 gr load shot high in my recently acquired Model 15-3.
I found a box of 148gr wadcutters that I bought 20 or so years ago. Loaded flush with 4.0 of WW 231 and tested them today.
5rds then six. One high then one low and the rest with a six o'clock hold @ 33 ft. I was pleased with the test. I guess I will try some 125gr .357 cast bullets at some point. Might actually have to go up a few clicks.
Chrony`d 3 rounds with the wadcutters and got:
916 fps
908 fps
936 fps
Had fun and might even see how they knock down bowling pins.
They slammed my plates pretty good @ 25yds.
Great Fun on a nice day here in NH.
Jim
Jim,
The 148 grain WC's are usually very accurate however over 900 fps to punch holes in paper might be a bit too fast. If I am not mistaken, I believe the Factory WC's are in the low to mid 700 fps range. That also tends to keep leading to a minimum as they are very soft lead.

I have two M15's (actually one of them is a Pre M15 called the Combat Masterpiece). The Pre absolutely loves the WC's while the other M15 just sort of likes them and is more accurate with 158 grain RNL - go figure.......
Looks like your grouping is slightly to the left and your rear sight might need a click or 2 to the right.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:37 AM
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1 comment: "one click"?

2 questions: any leading at that velocity & have you tried the 125gr Xtreme RNFP vis-a-vis target accuracy?

Cheers!
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:14 AM
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If you are looking for a .38 special bowling pin load, have you considered the 173 grain Keith bullet. Hard cast, great shape, accurate, plenty of mass for moving pins.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:32 AM
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I've gone to the double-end wad cutter for all my 38 Special needs. You can jack them up way past the safe velocities for hollow-based wad cutters, and they are darn near as accurate.
Like one wise man once said, wad cutters and Model 15's go together like peas and carrots.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpac3 View Post
If you are looking for a .38 special bowling pin load, have you considered the 173 grain Keith bullet. Hard cast, great shape, accurate, plenty of mass for moving pins.
Sounds like an interesting pin bullet. Wouldnt work for the M 15 but might be a pin buster in the 686 4". Certainly worth consideration.
Thanks elpac!
Jim

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Old 08-04-2018, 05:21 PM
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For many years the high majority of loads I have fired from my M14s and M15s have used 2.9 grains of Bullseye and DEWCs. If much greater powder charges are used grouping performance will suffer. Most of the old-time competitive Bullseye shooters preferred using between 2.8 and 3.1 grains of Bullseye. That was back when many used revolvers in the .22 and "any centerfire" stages. Virtually no one uses anything other than accurized semiautos today.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
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For many years the high majority of loads I have fired from my M14s and M15s have used 2.9 grains of Bullseye and DEWCs. If much greater powder charges are used grouping performance will suffer. Most of the old-time competitive Bullseye shooters preferred using between 2.8 and 3.1 grains of Bullseye. That was back when many used revolvers in the .22 and "any centerfire" stages. Virtually no one uses anything other than accurized semiautos today.
I agree. When I punched paper in the `80`s there was no other load to be considered. I had very good luck with 3gr Bullseye and a 148 or 158 gr lead bullet. ,These days Im shooting more at plates and pins. It takes a little more punch to get the job done.
Jim
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:33 PM
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Was shooting some HBWC 148 gr today at 25 yards.
I've got a 14 and a K38.
I do like the balance of the K38 over the 14 and at 25 yards I prefer it for bullseye shooting.
I'm loading 2.9 of BE. Works great. 2.9 works for the 158gr SWC .
I've only just started to have access to a 50 yd pistol range.
Might go up to 3.1 gr BE for that .
Revolvers are fun to shoot.
Tried shooting the HBWC at a league shoot last week. 25 yd. timed , slow and rapid fire.
I've got a long way to go. Not easy to manage rapid fire with the revolver shooting with 1 hand. Hard to stage the trigger at that pace of 1 shot every 2 or 3 seconds.
Fun stuff...
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