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Petrol & Powder
09-06-2013, 11:50 PM
I'm torn between two 38 Wadcutter mold designs.
The first is the RCBS 38-148WC
The second is the Saeco 3 Cavity #053

The pros for the RCBS are: currently available, cheaper, I have RCBS handles. The cons are: 2 cavity, Not exactly the design I'm seeking

The pros for the Saeco #053 are: Single grease groove, larger bearing surface, 3 cavity. The cons are: must be special ordered, I would likely need Saeco handles, higher cost.

I'm intrigued by the Saeco design with its button nose, crimping grove, lots of bearing surface and single grease groove. It may not work at all but I really want to give it a try.
The RCBS is a known item, and cheaper.

Any thoughts? Experience, free wisdom, Just plain ol' Opinions ?

Outpost75
09-07-2013, 12:07 AM
I have used the Saeco #348 double-end WC with complete success for many years. Generally load with the sprue cutoff forward, from Martini action test platform with Green Mountain barrel and 6X Unertl scope expect 1-1/2" average of long series of 5-shot groups at 50 yards with 3.2-3.5 grs. of Bullseye. Also works well in custom PPC revolvers and Colt .38 NM pistols.

GLL
09-07-2013, 12:12 AM
OPINION:

1) Have Tom at Accurate Molds design you a custom mold to your exact specs !
2) You will have it in your hands in a couple weeks.
3) His molds will work with inexpensive LEE handles or RCBS handles.
4) Tom’s molds a VERY pretty ! :) :) (Read outstanding craftsmanship)
5) Tom will work with you to get the design you want and you approve the drawing!

http://www.fototime.com/8F95495D13D5995/orig.jpg

Jerry

Petrol & Powder
09-07-2013, 07:38 AM
Accurate Molds, Very tempting.

dragon813gt
09-07-2013, 08:27 AM
I'm a fan of Mihec's HBWC mold.
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa39/dragon813gt/TimeToMakeAmmo/20E856F7-152A-44A2-BC39-A14F5CBE8C8B-22096-00001052C85CA49D_zpseff482e5.jpg

Just loaded some last night :)
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa39/dragon813gt/TimeToMakeAmmo/7A08331E-8A14-4D95-B32C-4A90876625E2-32242-00001AC03CD8FB09_zps3fb38fc6.jpg

I ordered this mold not to long ago so he might have some left. If not I would not hesitate to order one from Accurate.

imashooter2
09-07-2013, 09:23 AM
The two options you list are a button nose wadcutter or a button nose wadcutter... Get the Lee button nose wadcutter in a 6 cavity and go shooting.

Char-Gar
09-07-2013, 10:38 AM
It is hard to find a bad 38 wadcutter in the 145 - 150 grain range. Button nose, doubled ended doesn't make a difference to me. Chose whichever version strikes your fancy. Alloy and powder charge are far more important.

I would however eschew the HB designs. They can be very accurate, but presents some special loading issues.

Gunslinger1911
09-07-2013, 11:45 AM
I also have the Lee 6 banger - very happy with it !

dragon813gt
09-07-2013, 12:33 PM
I would however eschew the HB designs. They can be very accurate, but presents some special loading issues.

You just have to use small charges and don't push them hard to keep the skirts intact. The smallest hole in the Lee PAD drops a perfect 3 grain charge of W231 so they load like everything else. People tend to push them to hard which leads to problems.

bangerjim
09-07-2013, 02:12 PM
Sort of related........

I have the Lee "slug WC" 6 hole mold. I ordered it thinking I could load and shoot the 38's in a Rossi 92 lever action rifle. Well everyone jams. The gun is looking for a nose boolit!

I have about 500 WC's of unknown maker I got for a buck a pound at the scrap yard and they shoot perfect. They have a smaller head sticking out beyond the crimp groove that allows the cart to chamber correctly. I want more of these. Any ideas?

GLL.......They may be like the 1st picture above. Do you have a picture of the cast boolit?


I now have a Lee 6banger I will never used!

bangerjim

GLL
09-07-2013, 04:43 PM
bangerjim:

The photo is actually a .44 mold just to show Tom's work.
He does make a equivalent as a 36-155 and will modify it to fit your particular needs and specs !

AM 36-155W
http://www.fototime.com/AAC22D532E118FD/medium800.jpg
Jerry

Le Loup Solitaire
09-07-2013, 09:28 PM
Generally, wadcutters perform pretty much the same if loaded properly. They do not have to have a nose or front section that protrudes from the case mouth as evidenced by flat faced designs that are seated flush with the case mouth as loaded for the S&W M52, Double ended wadcutters have the advantage of being able to loaded with either end facing forward. With wadcutters that have more than one lube groove it has been found that lube in only one groove is sufficient for accurate shooting. Whether a crimp is necessary is for the loader/shooter to determine. Powder charges for wadcutters are usually on the lighter side as they are for shorter ranges and target work. In windy conditions WC's shoot from not-so-hot to punk as their blunt shape tends to make them "skid". There is no evidence that a button nose design shoots any better than a flat faced one. Whether you need a 2,3,4 or 6 cavity mold depends on what your individual needs are in terms of numbers. The more cavs=higher input. There are a lot more choices around these days and all of them appear to be good quality. LLS

JonB_in_Glencoe
09-07-2013, 09:43 PM
Sort of related........
I have the Lee "slug WC" 6 hole mold. I ordered it thinking I could load and shoot the 38's in a Rossi 92 lever action rifle. Well everyone jams. The gun is looking for a nose boolit!
I have about 500 WC's of unknown maker I got for a buck a pound at the scrap yard and they shoot perfect. They have a smaller head sticking out beyond the crimp groove that allows the cart to chamber correctly. I want more of these. Any ideas?

GLL.......They may be like the 1st picture above. Do you have a picture of the cast boolit?
I now have a Lee 6banger I will never used!
bangerjim

Do they look like my Hensley ?

http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu127/JonB_in_Glencoe/5rightsidecavities.jpg (http://s640.photobucket.com/user/JonB_in_Glencoe/media/5rightsidecavities.jpg.html)


http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu127/JonB_in_Glencoe/7boolits.jpg (http://s640.photobucket.com/user/JonB_in_Glencoe/media/7boolits.jpg.html)

JonB_in_Glencoe
09-07-2013, 09:45 PM
I'm torn between two 38 Wadcutter mold designs.


How are you gonna lube them ? Lube sizer ?
I have had problems with lubing bevel base WC boolits, til I figured out how to plug the holes of my 358 die for my Lyman 45.

Petrol & Powder
09-08-2013, 09:20 AM
How are you gonna lube them ? Lube sizer ?
I have had problems with lubing bevel base WC boolits, til I figured out how to plug the holes of my 358 die for my Lyman 45.

yep, lubersizer. That's one of the reasons I'm looking at the Saeco design. That single lube groove would allow just enough lube for a wadcuuter (lots of folks say to only lube one groove on a wadcutter for the best accuracy) AND lots of bearing surface for that solid wadcutter design. I know there's little difference between bevel base and flat base bullets in terms of shooting but that flat base is easier to deal with in terms of the lubersizer operation

Wally
09-08-2013, 10:11 AM
I have used Lee 148 WC-TL & the Lee 148 WC ( nos. 90279 & 90312) as well as a Lyman 358495....darn if I can tell any difference in accuracy. The TL is too messy to my liking, the Lyman is but a SC so I use the Lee 148 90312 most of the time. As I have two pistols and a Marlin 1894C in the .357 Magnum, I found that shooting WC's in them are wonderful for plinking cans out to 100'...I use 5.0 grains of Promo (or Red Dot)... IMHO no sense to shoot heavier loads for that type of shooting. One can have some fun with their buddies "competing" when then use heavier loads...

Char-Gar
09-08-2013, 02:19 PM
Unless a fellow really has a need to cut a sharp edged clean hole in a paper target, that fellow would be better off with a good RN or SWC bullet. Just as accurate in most cases, and doesn't present some of the special loading issues associated with the full wadcutter.

HeavyMetal
09-08-2013, 03:01 PM
I aqurried a Model 52 a few years ago and went on the hunt for an accurate WC to feed it.

Tried the DEWC's, shot OK, tried button nose of two different designs, shot OK, never could find a Seaco DE with the single lube groove and, just as I was about to pay the full price for one, someone started a GB for Mehic on a HBWC in a multi cavity mold!

I had a little input into that First GB and bought one, best shooting mold I'd tried to date and very easy to cast with.

It does require a match case, straight case wall internally and I bought about 700 of these once fired off Gun Broker, for best results but I sold all the other lyman molds I had tried to fund this HBWC and now wish I'd bought two!

If your looking to do something besides put holes in paper any wadcutter will work for you if you want top notch accuracy the HBWC's are worth the additional work in the loading room.

bangerjim
09-08-2013, 04:22 PM
Do they look like my Hensley ?

http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu127/JonB_in_Glencoe/5rightsidecavities.jpg (http://s640.photobucket.com/user/JonB_in_Glencoe/media/5rightsidecavities.jpg.html)


http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu127/JonB_in_Glencoe/7boolits.jpg (http://s640.photobucket.com/user/JonB_in_Glencoe/media/7boolits.jpg.html)

Those are it! Thanks for listing it as now I know what brand of mold was used. I don't see these anywhere anymore, but Accurate can make it.

Again Thanks!

bangerjim

bangerjim
09-08-2013, 04:27 PM
Unless a fellow really has a need to cut a sharp edged clean hole in a paper target, that fellow would be better off with a good RN or SWC bullet. Just as accurate in most cases, and doesn't present some of the special loading issues associated with the full wadcutter.


I agree. I have several 38's in SWC and RNFP design that chamber perfectly in the rifle and are the same weights. I just like the perfect round "paper punch" holes the WC's I have cut in the targets when I shoot them. And others at the range cannot believe how clean AND accurate a "flat hunk-o-lead" can be.

Bangerjim

Wally
09-08-2013, 04:50 PM
Unless a fellow really has a need to cut a sharp edged clean hole in a paper target, that fellow would be better off with a good RN or SWC bullet. Just as accurate in most cases, and doesn't present some of the special loading issues associated with the full wadcutter.


I understand where you are coming from---the advantage of a WC is that it offers higher powder density with lighter loads. Again, I shoot a 148 WC in the .357 Magnum with 5.0 grains of Red Dot... A very close second to the WC is the Lee 158 RNF...#90303.

Petrol & Powder
09-08-2013, 06:44 PM
I agree that the SWC is an excellent all around 38 Special bullet and by far the one I shoot most. The Solid WC just gives me another option. A little less lead per round, a little less powder per round and very accurate. When I teach handgun technique to new shooters I generally start with a .22 but move to a 38 revolver when they're comfortable. To avoid ingraining a flinch, I always use lightly loaded wadcutters for those first center fire rounds. The wadcutter will never replace the SWC in my range bag but I like having that option and want to cast my own.

thebigmac
09-08-2013, 09:09 PM
P&P; I have been using the H&G 50 boolit for over 45 years with
no problems. As a retired Police Officer from Baltimore city P.D.
I was Team Captain of their Pistol team for @ 25 of those years.
The Dep't. had 10 hole, #50 molds. Upon retirement I received
Two molds; one dipper one Lyman Bottom Pour Pot, and several
thousand bullets. NOW; If interested, I'll mail you some to try.
I have 0000's sized and lubed, and a 50 cal. can full, not lubed.
Let me know something... thebigmac

NoZombies
09-09-2013, 06:46 AM
At some point, I saw someone classify wadcutters into 3 "types".

Type 1 wadcutters would be the original Himmelwright designs, or close approximations thereof (these were the fore-runners to both what we now call wadcutters, and what we know as semi-wadcutters)

Type 2 wadcutters are the designs without the sharp point of the Himmelwright, and designed to be seated flush with the case mouth, or at least very nearly so. This would include DEWC's HBWC's and most button nose designs.

Type 3 wadcutters are full meplat (normally with a portion forward of the crimp groove that is .010-.015 smaller than the driving bands, to facilitate loading into chambers) and designed to be loaded with the front portion seated outside of the case. Because these are loaded with less bullet in the case, they can be loaded with roughly the same powder loads and velocities that one might load a SWC or RN to.

I don't know why I like the type 3 wadcutters so much, but they do really tickle my fancy. I think they are probably as good or better than equally loaded SWC's for personal and home defense, but I have nothing but opinion to back that up.

In the end, the decision will come down to the gun you're using, and what's available. I have yet to find a WC that didn't shoot fairly well, and often, they shoot *very* well indeed.

Petrol & Powder
09-09-2013, 06:55 AM
I think I read about the type 1,2 & 3 WC's in the LASC articles on bullet casting 101. (lot of good info in there) There's a photo in a previous post on this thread that shows a type 3.

Denver
09-09-2013, 11:18 AM
Here's a WC mold I have. It gets a bit wearisome for long casting sessions. Oh yeah, it also takes a bit longer to get up to casting temp. :bigsmyl2:8135881359

Petrol & Powder
09-09-2013, 09:14 PM
Is that a grease Zerk on the hinge! That's one heavy duty piece of serious bullet molding gear!

HeavyMetal
09-09-2013, 09:40 PM
I believe that is an old Lyman / Ideal Armory Mold, what is real interesting is it is only 7 cavities rather than 8 or 10!


I like to see this stuff still in use, rather than get a vintage tag hung on it to bilk some mold "collector".

Denver
09-09-2013, 11:45 PM
Yes, that is a zerk fitting on the hinge. It is as HM said an Ideal Armory mold. The sprue cutter is marked, IDEAL, Middlefield Ct USA with the mold number 360344S. I bought it many years ago from a guy who was selling some reloading and casting items for his friends widow.
I've never tried casting with it. The boolits in the cavities were there when I bought it. It's gotta weigh 5 or 6 pounds.

NoZombies
09-10-2013, 03:50 AM
I've got a single cavity of the 360344S mold. It's a fine type 3 WC indeed. :)

Petrol & Powder
09-16-2013, 11:13 PM
After a lot of reading, thinking and reasoning; I elected to order the Saeco #053 mold. I'm sure my logic is flawed but I really wanted an iron mold. I like the idea of brass mold from accurate molds but by the time I designed a mold to duplicate the Saeco design I thought I would be just as well off to get an iron Saeco mold. The price didn't matter at that point and the brass is actually heavier. I use some aluminum molds and they work just fine but I like iron molds better. The design may not work but I really want to give it a try. It looks good on paper and it will round out my 38 Special needs.

It will take some time before I can get my hands on it but I'll report back once I have it.

Thanks for all of the input.

1Shirt
09-16-2013, 11:45 PM
They all will shoot well. Go for what ever you can get in at least a 3 cav, 6 cav better!
1Shirt!

Petrol & Powder
01-13-2014, 11:48 PM
So Midway USA couldn't deliver but Graf & Sons could. The Saeco #053 showed up today. After work was over I fired up the melting pot and went back to work. :wink:
What a great mold ! I've used Redding / Saeco stuff before but I'm always positively impressed by their quality. It's not inexpensive but they make some good stuff! After cleaning the oil out of the mold and heating it on the edge of the pot, it produced beautiful bullets right from the start. It is a top notch piece of gear. All of the bullets fell out of the mold with sharp lines and no problems.
Hopefully the wadcutters will prove to be of equal quality. They are casting at .359 - .360" and about 152 grs. with 1:20 alloy.
I sized them to .358" and used White Label BAC lube. Everything looks good.
I've been using commercial hollow based WC's because I didn't have a mold but these solid wadcutters look great.
If they work well I'll be down to Bullseye v. WW231 and a charge weight.
I'll report the results when I have time to get to a range.

gefiltephish
01-15-2014, 02:39 PM
FYI: Tom can make 3 cav iron molds. Glad you like your new Saeco though!