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Thread: What do you like about wad cutters?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    What do you like about wad cutters?

    What do you like about wad cutters?
    *
    Im thinking about them for my 3 .357 Mag, and I dont want .38 Special brass.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    They're quite accurate at short range, and I can see the shot holes in the target from the firing line without my glasses.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy gc45's Avatar
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    Have poured and fired lots of wadcutters in 38 caliber thinking them both accurate and lethal. I carry wadcutters in my J Frame Smith but they are factory loads...In a mag case I would keep velocity in the standard 38 special range unless you are casting very hard bullets although I have no experience with them over Plus P 38 special velo so really can't advise you there...

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I've shot them in 38/357, 44 and 45 cals. they are very accurate out to 50 yards then they fall off like a pile of bricks.
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway!

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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I'm not a huge fan of wadcutters. I like them in pellet guns for hunting small game, although you are trading to get much more effective body shots, for hardly any penetration (such as head shots if shooting something like rabbits, or even bigger like raccoon or fox. I also in shotguns like the Lyman 525, which is a giant pellet. I'd rather it not be so blunt, but the accuracy is very good. Lastly is in snub nose 38 special revolvers. I'd try them in other weaker short barrel revolvers like a 32 S&W long as well.

    I can't find, or even imagine what possible advantage a full wadcutter would have in a 357 magnum. By that I mean a full cylinder shaped bullet, seated flush, or nearly so with the case mouth. While they can be fairly accurate, they are not more accurate than any other shape. Most of the hunters I've seen that use "wadcutters" in 357 magnum are really using extremely wide nosed RNFP or SWC bullets, and usually seated with a lot of bullet sticking out of the case.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    What megasuper said. They were designed to cut nice holes in paper to get competitive target shooters a few more points. They do that very well. Maybe some field use at close range but in my experience a good rnfp or swc does better.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
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    Nothing that a swc can't do
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I like this

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    I don't have to look and see which end I'm putting into the case.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  10. #10
    Lee has .357 mag load data with Bullseye. I shot a Lee full wadcutter into gel. It tumbled right from the start doing some impressive damage as it went sideways.

  11. #11
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    What do I like about wadcutters? As said by others, the nice round holes. I shot thousands and thousands of them in .38 Special, all 148 gr. double ended or hollow base over 2.5 gr. of Bullseye. Very accurate, mild recoil, great practice.

    I'm curious...why don't you want them in .38 brass? I'm assuming that, like some, you fear a ring in the .357's cylinder chambers at the end of the .38's length. Not to worry if you clean regularly and well.

    Nice shooting, dannyd!

    DG

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have at least six 38 wc molds 141-148-160. Lyman--Ideal and H&G. My model 19-3 likes a bnwc the best. They are accurate up to about 1000fps.
    Last edited by 45DUDE; 06-12-2022 at 11:38 AM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    If wadcutters weren't the most accurate bullet, then why were they so popular with the "Bullseye Shooter" Competition? For cutting good holes? SWC also cut clean holes so why weren't SCW used for target shooting competitions? I have loaded quite a few wadcutters, most that I have cast. Used them in 38 and 357 brass. Short range hunting has proved them to perform very well.

    FWIW; I had a "house gun" load of a 150 gr DEWC loaded over a max charge of W231. The were running a little over 900 fps and very accurate out to 10 yards, furthest I checked. I would think they would perform well on a flesh target at "across the room" distances.I started using this load way before all the hyper, ultra expanding bullet technology was common, and occasionally I'll load some up, just 'cause. Wadcutters don't have to be loaded flush and I've experimented with seating depth and crimps and found no good reason for flush seating (most that shot S&W M52s that needed flush seating for feeding purposes).

    I like my wadcutters because most lower to medium loads are accurate, fun to shoot and easy to cast...
    Last edited by mdi; 06-12-2022 at 01:16 PM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks everybody for your thoughts!
    *
    The reason I don’t want any .38 Spec brass is simply because I already have too much stuff in my house.
    *
    The first reason I want to get wadcutters is because I’m curious. The second reason is because I’d like to make a light load for my .357. A heavy wadcutter with Unique seems good. I use True Blue powder a lot, but in .357 that powder has the same recoil as Enforcer - might actually be sharper. My pistol has near zero muzzle flip and the snappiness of True Blue isn’t fun, but maybe things would work out better with a wadcutter.
    *
    A light load that doesn’t affect POI is ultimately what I’m after. Alternating heavy loads and light loads is part of my training to not flinch and not over-think life. I downloaded True Blue to the point POI didn’t match Enforcer and still the recoil of the two powders was the same (158 grain WFN boolit). If True Blue doesn’t work better with a wadcutter, then I probably shouldn’t go down this path. I don’t want Unique for the same reason I don’t want .38 Spec brass.
    *
    I got a .45 Colt, so chasing a light load isn’t important. I guess it really does come down to curiosity. First world problems (hopefully my grandkids will know that phrase).

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    They are great for chipmunk safari's out in the woods .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    The downside - if you're going to carry them - is the reload. Some bullet taper to help find the holes is a benefit.

    Having the entire bullet contained in the case will help protect it from damage - depending on how they're stored, transported, carried, etc...

    If a light load is what you're chasing, the weight of the bullet will be in the case, taking up volume - all to the good for that project. It cuts both ways though - moving the weight forward out of the case gives you room for more go-juice.

    In the interest of keeping it simple, I'd be more interested in a single, more versatile WFN profile that will play well beyond the generally-accepted poop-out distance of full WC's, feed in a long gun, etc...
    WWJMBD?

    Is the mightiness of the pen still relevant after we roll the writing paper into cartridges for a Sharps?

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    A WFN with only 0.25” in front of the cannelure would also work in the .357 SIG.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    The MP 38 HBWC is 171 grains solid. Pretty tempting.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Clean, sharp, paper punch holes. Easy to see.

    Shiloh
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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy alfadan's Avatar
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    When I was in competition, the nice clean holes were nice. I think they were sharper than swc but idunno. Now I just use them for everything in .38; a nice utility bullet.

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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
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