Couple wadcutter questions?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by taylor, May 20, 2011.

  1. taylor

    Willamette Valley
    Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty green regarding reloading and was wondering a few things;
    1. Why do some of the commercial wc loads have a serrated band around the center of the shell and others don't?
    2. Some wc double flatended bullets are completely inside the shell and others are sticking out about 1/4"?
    3. I'd like to develope a wc load using a 148grn double flatended bullet in .38 if I load with the whole bullet inside do I need to adjust for pressures?
    4 What is a bb wc ? what other kinds of wc's are there?
    5. can you use standard(Lee) dies to load wc's ?
    Thank you for any help you can give.
  2. WAYNO

    Oregon City
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Even I have never understood the band around the middle of some factory cases. Sometimes it is in a position to be a secondary crimp, and sometimes not. After one shooting of any case, I guarantee that band will never be there, again!

    For revolvers, the wadcutters protrude from the case a little bit, so there's a place for the crimp to grab. There is one model of S&W, the Model 52, a semi-auto that shoots .38 Special, and the dimensions of the gun require the wadcutter to be flush with the case mouth.

    I don't normally repeat reloading data, so if you're loading a wadcutter, flush with the case mouth, adhere to any reloading data supplied by the bullet/powder manufacturers.

    BB WC? Bevel-base wad cutter, as opposed to a hollow-base wad cutter. The bevel-base is a solid bullet. The hollow-base, is as you'd guess, hollow. These will stabilize, naturally, just like an arrow.

    If you're loading a conventional wad-cutter of any kind, I'd suggest you load the bullet such that you have enough bullet protruding from the case that you can utilize the crimping groove of the bullet.

    Any standard dies are used to load wadcutters, with a few notes...The seating plug will have to be one that will not damage the business-end of the bullet. And, loading a wadcutter, flush, will require a little different crimp, either a taper, or whatever crimp is suggested in loading charts specifically for a Model 52.

  3. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man
    rural Washington County, Oregon
    Active Member

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    1. I don't know why some casings have that band but somebody will come along shortly who will. I would guess it might have something to do with strength or rigidity. I load any and all sound .38 Special casings without regard to the presence of a band.
    2. Likely there is a crimping groove on the bullet that positions the bullet where you see it. That would vary between bullet manufacturer and molds.
    3. Not a big issue. The traditional use of Bullseye powder for wc target loads left so much space under the bullet that powder compression wasn't an issue. If you are using a powder that takes up a lot of space, I would be more concerned but you won't be pushing your wadcutter very fast anyway. You do want the bullet lightly crimped in place so it doesn't get pushed down too deeply... or so loose it pops out under recoil. Proper sizing of your cases, especially if they have been fired in another revolver will help you out. Just follow the load data for your selected bullet. Wadcutter loads are traditionally pretty light and low pressure.
    4. Bevel base. There are also hollow base and flat base and likely another one or two I don't remember.
    5. Yes. Just adjust your seating die to where you want the bullet and crimp lightly in a properly sized case. I use RCBS dies but I am assuming Lee's will work the same way.

    Feel free to PM me with any specific questions and I will help you if I can.
  4. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack
    Wet-Stern Washington
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If you are talking about .38Spl. wad cutter loads:
    1. If the bullet is seated flush, any crimp, other than a "Taper"crimp, would have to be
    around the case to prevent the bullet from moving under recoil.
    2. A long bullet set flush in the case would tend to increase the chamber pressure.
    3. Wad Cutters are usually a light bullet with a light powder charge, for inexpensive
    target shooting. One step above the Wax bullets, which I shoot in my garage.

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