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Thread: Wadcutter alloy question

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy oldhenry's Avatar
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    Wadcutter alloy question

    I've been casting since '61, but have never cast a genuine WC. The closest thing to a WC that I have cast is the .358432 and I treated it just like any other SWC as far as alloy, velocity, etc. . In fact, my 2 boys always called them the "bull nose" bullets.

    Recently my oldest son bid in an estate auction & bought 4 molds (which he gave me). 2 of the molds were H&G #50 (one a 6 cav. & the other a 2 cav.). My 2 daughters each have Ruger Speed Six revolvers that I gave them when they got married & last year they really shows an interest in shooting. I thought I'd load these WC bullets properly (I have plenty of HP-38 & WST & I could buy some BE also).

    Today I was melting down some COWW & alloyed some with pure lead (50/50). I was thinking about using this alloy for the #50 boolits. Should I alloy in more PB?

    All opinions are appreciated.

    Henry

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The 50-50 COWW and plumber's lead is perfect for your wadcutter loads from traditional target loads up to full charges equivalent to 3.5 grains of Bullseye with the H&G#50, #358495 or Saeco #348. Hardness will closely approximate factory HBWC bullets about 8 BHN.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    That will be plenty hard for WC target loads. I do 32,38Sp, 44sp, 45Colt & 45acp all with 9:1
    Lead / Tin which is softer than your alloy. MV of 650-800fps and have no trouble with leading.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I assume you are talking light target loads here. The alloy you mentioned would work perfectly for this. It doesn't even need to be that hard for light loads.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    i allways tend to get my BEST accuracy with harder alloys even with wad cutters. Now a lot of this is how anal you are about accuracy. If your shooting bullseye it might make a difference. If your rolling beer cans out at camp not so much. If all I had was 5050 ww/pure what I would do is work up loads with it air cooled and try the same loads with that alloy water dropped and see if it makes a difference in your gun.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    You are good to go! Just cast, lube, load and shoot.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy oldhenry's Avatar
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    Thanks to one & all: Outpost75, Drm50,Tazman, Lloyd Smale & Char-Gar.

    The loads will be on the light side. I started them off last year with a 150RN over 3.0 of HP-38. It was OK for starters. They like to shoot IHMSA chickens @ about 18 yds. (I insist on eye protection). I think my oldest daughter (retired school teacher) would have been satisfied with that load from now on, but my younger daughter (Bapt. preacher's wife) wanted more HP when some of her edge hits & low hits didn't take down the chicken. She graduated to 158RNs over 4.0 of HP-38 & is happy. She's the more competitive of the pair & regularly knocks down 5 out of 6, but wasn't satisfied until she got 6 for 6 (finally). We call our game "Combat Chickens".

    I plan to load the WC boolits for my older daughter & will start with 3.2 of HP-38 & 3.2 of WST. I use BAC lube exclusively & never have any leading issues. Who knows, if they regularly kill the chickens, my younger daughter may want to try them also.

    I'm fortunate to have my own range (about 150 yds. from my front steps).

    They came out to shoot one time after shopping. They tried on all of their new outfits for my wife to review & afterwards they were ready to shoot (in one of their new outfits). My wife ask if they should change clothes..............their answer "we shoot better when we look good"...................they're a constant source of entertainment.

    Henry

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Enjoyable read.

  9. #9
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    You'll be GTG as mentioned. I've always enjoyed 231/HP38 as my fast pistol powder. It gets good (enough) case full. I like the way it smells and can be used in almost every handgun known.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master brassrat's Avatar
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    Last week while trying to melt off a little off a 1lb ingot of tin into my 10 lb pot, I ended up with a prolly 20% SN batch and no more pure. I made some .45 acp and 9mm and some WCs. I did manage to cut the rest of the pot and made more of the same and kept em separated. I TL'd the less tinny ones and they were all good, especially my SW .357 with laser that was shooting tiny groups with 3 gr. BE that I may stick with for a couple boxes to put up. Everything was pinging on the metal plates too lol

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    The h&g #50's tend to be the most accurate when only the bottom 2 lube grooves are filled.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy oldhenry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
    The h&g #50's tend to be the most accurate when only the bottom 2 lube grooves are filled.

    That's good news. I have 2 sizing dies in .358 for my Star (1 for single groove & 1 for 2 groove). Your tip saved me the trouble of drilling out the shot to make the 2 groove into a temporary 3 groove.

    Thanks,

    Henry

  13. #13
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
    The h&g #50's tend to be the most accurate when only the bottom 2 lube grooves are filled.
    True. Often the old time bullseye shooters only lubed the bottom groove. They said it cut down on smoke indoors as well as made the boolit shoot better.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Until you're planning to do legit Bullseye competition, I don't think alloy selection at wadcutter pressures is something you have to lay awake nights fretting over.

    In a case of serendipity, I was given a 10-cavity HG #50 mold at about the same time my mother reached retirement age and regained interest in coming out with me and Dad. When she gets going, she consumes a ludicrous amount of wadcutters, which I cast out of 9 BHN lead rendered from jacketed bullets scrounged out of the berms and tumble with Ben's Liquid Lube. We frequently load them with a 700 to 800 fps charge of whatever appropriate pistol powder we have leftovers of that need disposing. They shoot clean and are plenty accurate enough for splatting water bottles and crunching dog food cans to 25 yards and beyond.

    It's a "Piper Cub" application for which the cheap and easy alloys work, allowing us to save the "SR-71" metal for the "SR-71" projects.
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy oldhenry's Avatar
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    Bigslug,

    I take my hat off to you for handling that 10 cav. #50. A 4 cav. #45 was also part of my son's gift to me. The weight of the #45 compared to the 6 cav. #50 was like night & day. I really enjoyed casting with the #45. To be honest that #50 wore me out (weight). Even though my RCBS furnace has a mold rest, the overall handling was tough on this 78 yr. old.

    This was also my 1st. experience with a trough type sprue plate & I eventually made friends with it......although I may have used the incorrect technique.

    Henry

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    oldhenry,
    Bullseye powder, soft alloy, rabbits and barbecue sauce.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    I had one bullseye gun that shot its best with a wad cutter with two lubed groves and the bullet crimped on the top grove rather then over the top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
    The h&g #50's tend to be the most accurate when only the bottom 2 lube grooves are filled.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldhenry View Post
    Bigslug,

    I take my hat off to you for handling that 10 cav. #50. A 4 cav. #45 was also part of my son's gift to me. The weight of the #45 compared to the 6 cav. #50 was like night & day. I really enjoyed casting with the #45. To be honest that #50 wore me out (weight). Even though my RCBS furnace has a mold rest, the overall handling was tough on this 78 yr. old.

    This was also my 1st. experience with a trough type sprue plate & I eventually made friends with it......although I may have used the incorrect technique.

    Henry
    Well, with a 10-C mold you may be slinging twice the weight, but you're not slinging it even half as long because sprue hardening time is about the same, but you get twice as many bullets for each cool. For me, casting discomfort is mostly in the back and butt from sitting, not in the arms, so reduction of time spent in position is the big asset. That mold drains a 20# pot in a BIG hurry, which not only finishes the job faster, but also gives you breaks when you dump the sprues back in to return to temperature. Usually with smaller molds, I just dump the teeny little sprues back in right after I dump the slugs - not thermally practical with this monster. With my usual 4C molds, 20 pounds often wipes me out unless the mold has large cavities and is running super smooth. Last time I fired this thing, I ran two pots worth through it with less discomfort than I usually get with the lesser stuff.

    The massive, thick, trough sprue plates are what I wish all molds had, as they keep weight pushing down into the cavities helping fillout, and prevent overspill off the side of the mold. As with so much that was good in the world, it probably went away due to production cost. As for "technique" - I get the mold hot on a hotplate before I start, start with the nearest cavity to the handles, then fill the trough as I pull the mold toward me, across a big aluminum block I use as a "mold guide" in place of the RCBS's usual bent wire rest. For the 10-C, I use a heavy plastic hammer to whack the sprueplate - the usual PVC-pipe-on-a-stick baton from NOE literally doesn't cut it.
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Friend just bought a box of casting equipment from an estate. He had a duplicate two cavity RCBS mold for their 148 gr WC., one of which now sits on my shelf. I cast 100 bullets yesterday and am off to the range with 50 lubed with soft lube over 3.3 Gr of Titegeoup. I don;t have any BE right now so TG is going to have to do. I also have 50 bullets drying in the Garage lubed with Lee Liquid Allox. I'll load them up tomorrow and see how they compare with the soft lube variety.

    Just taking a break from my pistols and thought it was time to see how the Model 10 does with the air cooled WW alloy WC bullets.

    Take Care

    Bob
    Je suis Charlie

    Growing old is hard work...The mind says "yes" but the body says, "What the hell are you thinking".

  20. #20
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I use tumble lube on nearly all my 38 special boolits. I couldn't tell any difference in accuracy between tumble lube and other lubes. Just a bit smokier when shot is all.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check