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  #1  
Old 03-17-2009, 09:18 AM
signsrup signsrup is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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I'm interested in some light plinking/fun loads for my 38's.
I see the light loads for full wadcutters everywhere. My question is, can I do the same thing with 158gr SWC's and get the same (or similar) results as far as a range load, or is there some inherent quality of wadcutters that does not translate well to other bullet shapes?

I understand that i'll need to use load data for the correct bullet weight, it just seems harder to find a wadcutter mold, and it seems i'm stumbling over SWC molds constantly.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2009, 09:18 AM
signsrup signsrup is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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I'm interested in some light plinking/fun loads for my 38's.
I see the light loads for full wadcutters everywhere. My question is, can I do the same thing with 158gr SWC's and get the same (or similar) results as far as a range load, or is there some inherent quality of wadcutters that does not translate well to other bullet shapes?

I understand that i'll need to use load data for the correct bullet weight, it just seems harder to find a wadcutter mold, and it seems i'm stumbling over SWC molds constantly.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2009, 09:19 AM
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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Yes, you can do light loads with swc's.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2009, 10:16 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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You can pick up one of the best DEWC that was ever made on ebay most of the time for around $50 for a 4 cavity.

The mold number is #50 and they were made by Hensley & Gibbs.
Do a search on their website for "hensley gibbs" and you will turn one up for sure.

The are around 146 +/- depending on alloy. I have one and use it for my little girl's M14 6" barrel.

You can get a Lee TL mold too for around that price w/o handles.

Personally, there aren't any better molds than an H&G in my opinion. Some as good, none better.

One thing to be careful about, they made some that were .356" too. Mostly for 38 Super guns. Make sure they are made to cast .358" bullets.

You can also use any 158gr mold out there and have some superb results. It is all I use for competition.

Mine is a H&G 290BB. 160gr SWC with a wide grease groove and equal driving bands. The nose is shorter than what EK designed but it is a taste longer than the #51 H&G made for the "N" frame Smith's.

Hope this helps, kind of lengthy, sorry about that!
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2009, 10:23 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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I did as I suggested you do and went to ebay. At this time there is one mold that meets the criteria I gave you. As you look at the guide pin holes you will notice that there has been some misalignment in the past. That can be fixed by a little champhering and pushing the pins out just a tad.

FWIW I wouldn't go over $50 for that one. It will take some cleaning up. Brass toothbrush and some brake cleaner to start with.

I'm not recommending it, just posting a suggestion. Do what you want seems to fit here real good!
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2009, 01:18 PM
pownal55 pownal55 is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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my 38 swc target loads seem as accurate as the wc target loads, i prefer them for small game and all around use.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2009, 01:26 PM
duckloads duckloads is offline
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My light load is 158gr SWC with 3.5 gr Trailboss. I tried some at 3.0 gr, but it wasn't enough pressure to seat the case against the recoil shield. Out of 50 rounds, I had two where the primer backed out a tad. It could have been a bad deal if the primer came out a bit more and tied up the gun. 3.5 grains T.B. was just enough to "slam" the case against the recoil shield and keep the primer in place. These loads were in once fired cases.

I've loaded some other 158gr SWC's with 4.5 gr Unique. These are just a tad snappier, but recoil is still not an issue with my 15-4, 2" K frame in nickle. Not that the nickle deal makes a difference other than it being a beautifull little 6-iron.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2009, 05:38 PM
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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3.5 grains of Bullseye and a 158 grain SWC is very pleasant and accurate in my 6" K-38.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2009, 05:47 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChuckS1:
3.5 grains of Bullseye and a 158 grain SWC is very pleasant and accurate in my 6" K-38.
Right ON!
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2009, 05:51 PM
signsrup signsrup is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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Thanks guys.
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2009, 08:06 AM
TSQUARED TSQUARED is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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Trail Boss is my favorite powder for loading either lead or plated bullets for use in revolvers. The Hodgdon website has excellent data for using Trail Boss.
Quote:
Originally posted by signsrup:
I'm interested in some light plinking/fun loads for my 38's.
I see the light loads for full wadcutters everywhere. My question is, can I do the same thing with 158gr SWC's and get the same (or similar) results as far as a range load, or is there some inherent quality of wadcutters that does not translate well to other bullet shapes?

I understand that i'll need to use load data for the correct bullet weight, it just seems harder to find a wadcutter mold, and it seems i'm stumbling over SWC molds constantly.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2009, 10:10 AM
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Uncle Larry Uncle Larry is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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I've used 2.5 gr of Red Dot with a 148 gr cast SWC ( IIRC the mold was a Lyman, but my buddy disapeared with it ) in a 15-2 and it was a very accurate & pleasent load to shoot..
HTH
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2016, 01:26 AM
Jupiter01 Jupiter01 is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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Careful, there! I was trying some light loads for my 4" 357 Magnum, and I stuck a bullet in the barrel! That led to a little boy asking his mom;"Why is that man hammering on his gun?" Iirc, 3.2 gr. of Unique just won't do it! Ah well, live and learn! However, SWC, Wadcutters are good for target shooting.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2016, 09:42 AM
USSR USSR is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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After 7 1/2 years, I'm sure he's being careful.

Don
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:11 AM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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Regarding Hensley & Gibbs .38 Special moulds...I've had a 4-cavity #51 (SWC) and a 4-cavity #50 (WC) for years. #50 WC bullets shoot with exceptionally accuracy in my S&W Model 52 target automatic, but have always taken second place to the #51 SWC in all my revolvers.

I can't account for the superiority of the #51 SWC in revolvers as I've experimented for years with both bullets using different alloys, bullet diameters, powders and charge weights.

Perhaps designs by other mould makers would show different results than what I've depicted here.
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2016, 02:52 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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The SWC and/or RN are as accurate as WC.The big asset with WC is that they are easier to score when competing since they will make a neat full diameter hole in the paper.
Qc
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2016, 06:59 PM
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Ceapea Ceapea is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupiter01 View Post
Careful, there! I was trying some light loads for my 4" 357 Magnum, and I stuck a bullet in the barrel! That led to a little boy asking his mom;"Why is that man hammering on his gun?" Iirc, 3.2 gr. of Unique just won't do it! Ah well, live and learn! However, SWC, Wadcutters are good for target shooting.
Both 3.0 and 3.2 gr Unique are very good out of my 6" 15-2 PPC gun. But, 2.3 gr Bullseye is even better. So I use that.
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2016, 08:24 PM
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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For light loads, you may find that soft bullets are more accurate than hard. I much prefer swaged over cast for paper punching.
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2016, 09:03 PM
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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Wadcutters are used for target shooting because of the large for caliber surface area to engage the rifling. Also a wadcutter cuts a clean hole in paper. In theory, a full wadcutter may be more accurate than other styles, but in real life, it's not all that much better. I have been reloading 38 Special since '69 and tried almost every type bullet available and settled on two; cast DEWC and cast 160 gr SWC. Each has it's good points, and each has it's bad points, but for all intents and purposes,they are the same accuracy wise...
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  #20  
Old 11-21-2016, 02:58 AM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK? 38 sp. light load...full wadcutter or is SWC OK?  
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A well-made SWC will cut as neat a hole as a full wadcutter. In my experience, the sharper the shoulder, the cleaner the cut.

Either one will produce satisfactory results for target .38 Spl, both in terms of low recoil and accuracy.
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