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Old 09-03-2020, 12:03 PM
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Default let's talk 38 wadcutters

I load 38 HBWC for target a bullseye league.
But i am interested in opinions on DEWC. Plated or not?
Any opinions you may want to share or talk about, please do.
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:08 PM
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The DEWC can be pushed a little faster than HBWC. You may see a little less leading with plated but he really runs wadcutters fast anyway. I could see an oversized bore benefiting from plated.
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:23 PM
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If you have a model 52 there is no looking back. After my mid 50's I could no longer see well enough to tell the difference in groups between HB and standard wadcutters. I have never shot plated but find I group best with only one groove lubed on a standard wc, db, hb or with a slight nose. Col. Harrison did a bunch of tests in an old NRA handloading book and in Cast Bullets and determined the short nose wc grouped the best from a ransom rest and lubes of the day.
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:39 PM
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Since I cast my own, I have no interest in plated wadcutters. I have used DEWC for some very, accurate loads in my 38 Specials and my 357 Magnum with normal "target loads". I also have a load for my 38 Sp. "House Gun" that is a 145 gr DEWC, cast from my BHN 13 Mystery Metal, over a max. load of W231. It gives me pretty good accuracy out to 20 yds and I believe the flat front bullet traveling at around 900 fps will be pretty effective...

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Old 09-03-2020, 01:05 PM
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I load 148g DEWC from Missouri and Summers, both Hi-tek coated as the cost difference doesn't bother me that much. Both are superb over 3.1g of Tight Group seated to 1.225" (give or take). That got me an average of 803 fps from my 4" S&W 627 pro.
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:18 PM
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I too am a caster with very little experience with plated bullets. Due to the current ammo shortage my home cast bullets must do everything. That includes SD loads. I like a DE wadcutter, tumble lubed and sized to .358 or 9 over 4.X grains of Unique. Mine come from a 6 cavity Lee mold and I use whatever alloy that's handy. Anything from linotype to range scrap.
I shoot them out of J frames, K frames, a rifle, a Taurus revolver, and a 10" TC. They all like them just fine.

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Old 09-03-2020, 02:26 PM
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My only experience with plated bullets was with 148 grain wadcutters. I don't know the brand but they were quite inaccurate. My own home cast, conventionally lubed bullets cast from a Hensley & Gibbs #50 mould is a far better bullet.

Perhaps I just had some poor quality plated wadcutters. Others may be excellent but I doubt I'll try them.

Be aware that if you're looking for the most accurate .38 Special bullet for your needs, the wadcutter design is not always the best choice. A round nose or swc may outshoot the wc.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:38 PM
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HBWC work great in My 52. DEWC shoot not so good. However in My 1923 Colt 38 Army special the DEWC shoot great with 4 Gr Unique and taper crimped close to the edge.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgianni View Post
After my mid 50's I could no longer see well enough to tell the difference in groups between HB and standard wadcutters. I have never shot plated but find I group best with only one groove lubed on a standard wc, db, hb or with a slight nose.
I too suffer from what i can see. Not gonna take any trophy but i still enjoy the game. And trying to improve.
The red dot sight helps.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:56 PM
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Part of the reason I started this post is because my load and factory loads do not always seem to stabilize at 50 feet.
While scoring we notice a few just out of round holes. I have read that S&W twist may be too slow.
Plus I may just wanna try something else for winter league assuming there is one.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:59 PM
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As for DEWC, one of the truly best gunwriters ever (and a cast bullet expert as well), C.E. Harris, has repeatedly praised the DEWC cast from a SAECO/ Redding mould. If I was going to make my own DEWCs, that is the mould I would buy. However, it might be worth checking to see if this bullet is commercially produced if you're not a bullet caster.
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Old 09-03-2020, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amp View Post
Part of the reason I started this post is because my load and factory loads do not always seem to stabilize at 50 feet.
While scoring we notice a few just out of round holes. I have read that S&W twist may be too slow.
Plus I may just wanna try something else for winter league assuming there is one.
The S&W twist is fine. Put some more powder in. American Select with 3.7 or Bullseye make these come alive in 38 special. Here is a chart for speed 38 and 357. You didn't say what you were shooting these out of. Wheel gun- auto?
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Old 09-03-2020, 03:16 PM
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I think I might have tried most of 148 grain wad cutters in my M52’s. The best Accuracy I’ve found with the LHBWC from Hornady. I have tried DEWC’s, button Nose, plated, home made, factory made, etc. In revolvers (M14-Target masterpiece And Dan Wesson M15-2), there doesn’t seem to be near as much difference in accuracy.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:10 PM
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DEWC = my favorite ammo.....
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Old 09-03-2020, 07:52 PM
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Default The plating is something that....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
My only experience with plated bullets was with 148 grain wadcutters. I don't know the brand but they were quite inaccurate. My own home cast, conventionally lubed bullets cast from a Hensley & Gibbs #50 mould is a far better bullet.

Perhaps I just had some poor quality plated wadcutters. Others may be excellent but I doubt I'll try them.

Be aware that if you're looking for the most accurate .38 Special bullet for your needs, the wadcutter design is not always the best choice. A round nose or swc may outshoot the wc.
....just doesn't need to be there in a wadcutter. I've used jillions of Speer and Hornady wadcutters,hollow base and double ended over 2.8 grains of Bullseye and never had any leading, but were great shooters.

I like coated bullets more than plated, but would still hesitate to use coated on wadcutter because again, it just doesn't need to be there.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:21 PM
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Just a note. I always seat my home cast dewc's with the spruce UP. The other end always seems flatter and more consistent. I get good performance in all my guns.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:33 PM
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I shoot Missouri Bullet Company DEWC (coated), Berry's DEWC (plated), and Oregon Trail DEWC (not coated) and can't tell any difference between them in terms of accuracy. The coated and plated bullets run cleaner, though.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:51 PM
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I find this all quite interesting. I am a big fan of WC's, always have been. Own a 52, and also load them in 32--- saw where Federal was making them in plated version, and have never seen any others. never mind they are not available at this time , nothing seems to be. Anyway, on the surface, I thought they might be a good idea -- after reading all this, I am not so sure--- they seem to be a good idea but maybe a bit more research is needed-- squibs are something I have rarely had to deal with-- mostly some old commercial ammo I bought 60 years ago- Not so much with my own loadings but I guess it could happen to anyone-- I may have to lower my search net.??
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:47 PM
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See any one else in competition winning with plated wadcutters? I wonder why not.
Best accuracy I ever found was with the Rem. 148gn lead HBWCs. Nothing else came close and std. wadcutters and plated wadcutters were lucky to make 6" "groups" at 50 yards.
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:17 PM
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If you're serious about accuracy forget plated . At best they're plinking or short range action games where 10 ring don't exist . But if you were a 2700 shooter you'd know that . # 1 is a HBWC & the Rem 148 HBWC is king . # 2 are cast rather DEWC or FBWC . I've had better luck with the FB button nose like the H&G 50 or Lyman 358432 heavy . If you don't shoot SF @ 50yds , DEWC will work too .
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Old 09-04-2020, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
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If you're serious about accuracy forget plated . At best they're plinking or short range action games where 10 ring don't exist . But if you were a 2700 shooter you'd know that . # 1 is a HBWC & the Rem 148 HBWC is king . # 2 are cast rather DEWC or FBWC . I've had better luck with the FB button nose like the H&G 50 or Lyman 358432 heavy . If you don't shoot SF @ 50yds , DEWC will work too .
I have both of those +some Remington. I can leave all the nose sticking out in my NM Colt 38 special with the H&G 50 flat base.

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Old 09-04-2020, 02:37 PM
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I recently tried Berry's plated DEWC for the first time, with Bullseye. They shoot good in everything I put them in! Especially my 28-2! Sadly, the Sportsman's Warehouse I live closest to is completely sold out of those or anything else right now. I have no shortage of projectiles, but was hoping to stock up on those.
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max503 View Post
I too am a caster with very little experience with plated bullets. Due to the current ammo shortage my home cast bullets must do everything. That includes SD loads. I like a DE wadcutter, tumble lubed and sized to .358 or 9 over 4.X grains of Unique. Mine come from a 6 cavity Lee mold and I use whatever alloy that's handy. Anything from linotype to range scrap.
I shoot them out of J frames, K frames, a rifle, a Taurus revolver, and a 10" TC. They all like them just fine.
I tried about 1,000 plated bullets in a few calibers/guns, but bottom line they offered nothing better than my cast, and if I wanted higher velocity I just went with jacketed. Lately I tried some 9mm plated hollow point bullets and had quite a bit of seating problems. I have been reloading for a very long time and rarely have major problems seating and controlling OAL, but even after measuring bullets and cases' lengths, I often got .008"-.010" difference in OAL. I can only think the ogive varied a lot and gave such wide swings in depth. I have reloaded many, many 124 gr JHPs and from 3 different manufacturers and mixed brass and often hold .002" variation in OAL, so the problem wasn't with me or my equipment. Besides, I like casting...

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Old 09-05-2020, 11:05 AM
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I truly appreciate all the responses here. And glad to see all the interest.
When I started loading back in the '80s it was because the previous reloader forgot to charge a few leaving me with the opportunity to learn clear squib loads. They were HBWC in magnum cases. Then I went with magnum loads for hunting and such.
Now a days I just like shooting paper and steel for fun.
I shoot revolver so no mystery brass or hunting empties.
My own interest in loading has been restarted by bullseye league which i am very happy to be about average at on my better days.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-05-2020, 12:14 PM
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For accuracy it is hard to beat a lead WC running 850-950 fps. I don't take lead past 1050fps or use very fast burn powder with it.

FMJ are my next choice for accuracy and they have the added bonus of being pushed fast. Coated lead is right there with FMJ.

Plated is my last choice for accuracy. The "double thickness" seem to work better than the thinner plated bullets. I have also experienced copper fouling with plated. I have never seen that with jacketed bullets.
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Old 09-05-2020, 03:56 PM
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Most factory 38 special 148 HBWC loads run around 700fps with a soft swaged lead bullet . Cast work better pushed a mite faster . HBWC do not exceed 3.0grs Bullseye , cast you can go 3.5grs .
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Old 09-05-2020, 05:32 PM
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I like using either a cast DEWC or BNWC, 148 grs. Great bullets in both 38 Special and 357 Magnum. Fun as heck to shoot and plenty accurate for my requirements. I like loading them in 357 Magnum cases for use in my 4 5/8 inch Ruger, at mid range velocities, 1,000 FPS +/-

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Old 09-08-2020, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott.M View Post
I'm strictly a type III wadcutter shooter. It's difficult to not like the Lyman 358432. I use the 160gr version, haven't shot the 148gr.
Lyman made a 141gr. also.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:02 AM
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My only experience with DEWC was with Lasercast. I was greatly unimpressed with their accuracy (or lack thereof). I never tried plated in my .38, but did try a batch of plated .45 round nose once. Accuracy was ok but not what I would call stellar.

For bullseye, the only reason I would switch from a swaged HBWC is if they became unobtainable.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:16 AM
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I'm moving away from 148 grain DEWC's towards a 105 grain SWC in order to conserve lead. The 105 is very accurate in my guns.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:49 AM
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If I can get them, I prefer a soft HBwc lead bullet for my revolvers......

but the BBwc can produce good loads with a different powder than Alliant Bullseye with a little testing and finding the right speed, be it sloooow or a little faster than a standard load, in my revolvers from 1 7/8 up to a 6" tube.

Most lead bullets will work if you play around with them enough.
Have fun.
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:35 PM
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This is a great topic. Can't recommend plated bullets for anything but general plinking. For serious target use, HBWC is your best bet at velocities below 800 fps. Back in the day the best was made by a company called Bull-X Inc. and to my knowledge they don't exist anymore.
One good alternative I just found is from a company called PrecisionDelta.com. They have a Match Lube version 148 gr HBWC that is working well in my M52
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