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Thread: 148 grain wadcutter, effective range?

  1. #41
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    Are factory wadcutters pure lead boolits? Do you guys cast them from pure lead? 50/50? Does the use of softer lead increase accuracy? Anybody have the NOE 148 grain hollow-base wadcutter mold? How do you like it? Thanks.

    exile
    Most swaged factory wadcutters are pure lead. Cast factory may be anything clear up to hard lead depending on the maker.
    I can't say the softer lead makes them more accurate. I think it is more the production method(swaging) rather than the hardness.
    I owned the NOE hollow based wadcutter mold. It shot fine. Maybe 1/2 inch tighter than my solid cast wadcutters at 20 yards. Since I am not a target shooter, that difference wasn't important to me so I sold it.
    I have found that case sorting by headstamp makes more difference to my accuracy than the hollow base did.
    My best loads are loaded into match wadcutter brass. I get very good accuracy with those cases. I don't think the brand makes as much difference as the fact that all the cases are the same.

  2. #42
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    Great insight, thank you!

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  3. #43
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnostic View Post
    If that's the case, how can a bullet be on at fifty yards, and four inches high at one hundred yards?
    /\ It was still following an upward trajectory when it passed the 50 yard point and didn't reach the peak of the trajectory until reached the 100 yard range.

    The physics are not in question. Gravity begins to act on the bullet the instant it leaves the barrel.

    If the barrel is parallel to the surface of the earth and a bullet leave the barrel, gravity will begin to pull that bullet down (towards the center of the earth) the instant the bullet leave the barrel. The rate of acceleration by gravity (near the surface of the earth) is roughly 32 feet per second squared. We counteract this effect by pointing the barrel slightly upward.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
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    I (we- myself and girlfriend) shoot at least 1000 lee cast 148 wadcutters a year from a 6 cavity mold with 3 grains bullseye. A few years ago, I abandoned using them at 100 yards. It’s been so long I can’t remember if it was the bullet drop or less accuracy than the 158 SWC that caused me to do that. Your results may vary but if you can make a different bullet for long range, I would. Again, lots of 3, 5, 7 and 10 yard CC type shooting along with 18-50 yards for wadcutters, which is easily 1/2 of my total 38 special shooting. Wadcutters make such nice holes in paper. A plus P 38 semi wadcutter is a wonderful 100 yard steel plate shooter and even works 200 yards.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    Another question from the uninformed.

    Since wadcutter brass is different than regular brass, will seating a full wadcutter flush with the case mouth harm regular .38 special brass, particularly thick brass like Starline?

    Somebody gave me some Albert's hollow-base wadcutters for Christmas. Think I will sort some Remington brass to start with, I hear it is supposed to be thinner than other brass.

    Thanks,

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  6. #46
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    Another question from the uninformed.

    Since wadcutter brass is different than regular brass, will seating a full wadcutter flush with the case mouth harm regular .38 special brass, particularly thick brass like Starline?

    Somebody gave me some Albert's hollow-base wadcutters for Christmas. Think I will sort some Remington brass to start with, I hear it is supposed to be thinner than other brass.

    Thanks,

    exile
    It won't hurt the brass. It will squeegee down the bottom of the boolit. With hollow based wadcutters, you have the possibility that the base will expand enough to fill the cylinder and barrel but maybe not. In any case, the differences in base expansion will cause inconsistencies and usually, poor accracy. With wadcutter brass, it works since the bottom of the boolit is not reduced in size.

    Oddly enough, Starline says their brass is already wadcutter style brass.
    I don't know of my own experience, since I have never owned any Starline brass. I have worked with Remington wadcutter brass and it works a treat. It is what I use for my match wadcutter loads. I believe Winchester match brass would work equally well.

    If you use solid based wadcutters, there are things you can do to make standard brass work the same as wadcutter brass. Seating the wadcutter longer by crimping in one of the grease grooves or going with a design such as the Lyman 358432 are a couple of them. Basically, anything that gets the base of the boolit away from the thicker sections of the case web would help.
    Many say that, when using solid based wadcutters, they don't really see any improvement when using match brass over regular brass. My testing tells me there is a difference but it is relatively small. It is still enough that a good target shooter can tell the difference on the target.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    It won't hurt the brass. It will squeegee down the bottom of the boolit. With hollow based wadcutters, you have the possibility that the base will expand enough to fill the cylinder and barrel but maybe not. In any case, the differences in base expansion will cause inconsistencies and usually, poor accracy. With wadcutter brass, it works since the bottom of the boolit is not reduced in size.

    Oddly enough, Starline says their brass is already wadcutter style brass.
    I don't know of my own experience, since I have never owned any Starline brass. I have worked with Remington wadcutter brass and it works a treat. It is what I use for my match wadcutter loads. I believe Winchester match brass would work equally well.

    If you use solid based wadcutters, there are things you can do to make standard brass work the same as wadcutter brass. Seating the wadcutter longer by crimping in one of the grease grooves or going with a design such as the Lyman 358432 are a couple of them. Basically, anything that gets the base of the boolit away from the thicker sections of the case web would help.
    Many say that, when using solid based wadcutters, they don't really see any improvement when using match brass over regular brass. My testing tells me there is a difference but it is relatively small. It is still enough that a good target shooter can tell the difference on the target.
    Again, great information, thank you.

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  8. #48
    Boolit Master
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    Some years ago, I switched from Unique to Winchester 231 for cast boolits in 9mm. Does anyone here use 231 for .38 special cast boolit loads, say a 158 grain rnfp? Not looking for load data, just your experiences. Thanks.

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  9. #49
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    It works fine for 38 special. I use it when I am looking for high end loads sometimes. It seems to give a softer recoil impulse for me.
    Others have stated they love it for target level loads.

  10. #50
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    WW-231 is my go-to powder in 38 Special, and has been for 25+ years. It works with jacketed, swaged, and cast bullets very well.

    I largely stopped casting and shooting wadcutter bullets almost 30 years ago. The better ballistic coefficients of both semi-wadcutter and of round flatnose bullet designs allow them to range better and more accurately in my revolvers. I have some Remington HBWCs in plastic sales bags I need to do something with, and the recent addition of a Model 642 snubgun might be a good use for them.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    Another question from the uninformed.

    Since wadcutter brass is different than regular brass, will seating a full wadcutter flush with the case mouth harm regular .38 special brass, particularly thick brass like Starline?

    Somebody gave me some Albert's hollow-base wadcutters for Christmas. Think I will sort some Remington brass to start with, I hear it is supposed to be thinner than other brass.

    Thanks,

    exile
    All i use in 38 Special is Starline with 90% of the bullets being full wadcutters sized .358. They load and shoot great, and accurate. I use steel Redding .38 special dies and finish with their profile crimp die.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks guys for your responses. As always, I appreciate your insight and experience.

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  13. #53
    Boolit Master
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    Back in the day, target wadcutters were referred to as a "midrange" round. That shouis tell yiu something.

  14. #54
    Boolit Master
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    It just so happens that W231 was the powder used in the original Hydro-Shok (before Federal bought it) .38 Special load, which was essentially a hollowpoint wadcutter.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  15. #55
    Boolit Master
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    Interesting.

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

  16. #56
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    another long time user of w231 for a variety of handgun cartridges and currently that's 9mm (115 and 125 precision hi-tec) and .38spl (125fp precision hi-tec, 148bnwc and 158swc acme hi-tec)

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    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

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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