lightweight .38 wadcutters

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lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by r_zerr on Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:24 pm

I am curious to know if anyone has tried, or is using lighter weight .38 special wad-cutters, along the lines of 100 grains, 125 gr, 140 grain, and if so, with what success, powder, velocities, and how do they perform out at 50 yards, or are they also a 25 yard bullet? 

My curiosity exists because of the difficulties that people seem to have getting 148gr solid (not hbwc) to shoot consistent and well at 50 yds.  Is it a twist issue, or exterior ballistics related to the mass vs. center of pressure on these square fronted bullets?  Or both?

-Ron


Last edited by r_zerr on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mis spelling)

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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by AllAces on Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:50 pm

The problem with the full wadcutter at 50 yards is most likely the barrel twist is not sufficiently fast enough, at least with S&W M52's.

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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by Jerry Keefer on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:21 pm

r_zerr wrote:I am curious to know if anyone has tired, or is using lighter weight .38 special wad-cutters, along the lines of 100 grains, 125 gr, 140 grain, and if so, with what success, powder, velocities, and how do they perform out at 50 yards, or are they also a 25 yard bullet? 

My curiosity exists because of the difficulties that people seem to have getting 148gr solid (not hbwc) to shoot consistent and well at 50 yds.  Is it a twist issue, or exterior ballistics related to the mass vs. center of pressure on these square fronted bullets?  Or both?

-Ron
Ron
Back in my PPC days, a lot of us tried the 100 grain HBWC.. I really tried back then, to get them to work..Even with the revolver 10/12 twist barrels... I did great with them at 7 and 15 yards, but after that, I could not get the X ring "knots" needed at 25 yards. Total, absolute disaster at 50 yards..15 yards was a tough part of the match.. I did fine with them at that distance, and the lower recoil was a big help..I have been working with the Penn 148 DEWC in the 52 all spring.. She is smoking hot at 25 yards with the 14 twist .357 bore.....Have not settled on a 50 yard load yet..

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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by AllAces on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:36 pm

Jerry, let us know your results at 50 yds. I use Penn bullets for .45 bullseye and have wanted to try Bob's 148 gr wadcutters in my M52.

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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by r_zerr on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:38 pm

Jerry,

Thanks for what I believe is the answer to my question.  If the faster twists will not produce stability then it is most likely "futile" and caused by the other ballistic nature of launching beer-cans down range.  Without more serious computation, it seems like the 148gr hollow base WC seem to be able to perform because the center of mass would be more forward.

To kill my curiosity (the cat) did you ever try any of the nose variations that would have included a more prominent button nose, or even a rounded/domed nose wadcutter like the Lyman 358-356?

-Ron

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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by Jerry Keefer on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:59 pm

r_zerr wrote:Jerry,

Thanks for what I believe is the answer to my question.  If the faster twists will not produce stability then it is most likely "futile" and caused by the other ballistic nature of launching beer-cans down range.  Without more serious computation, it seems like the 148gr hollow base WC seem to be able to perform because the center of mass would be more forward.

To kill my curiosity (the cat) did you ever try any of the nose variations that would have included a more prominent button nose, or even a rounded/domed nose wadcutter like the Lyman 358-356?

-Ron
Yes, I did a lot of bullet casting in the late 60s for bullseye and shot a 1911 38 for a number of years..BUT, I was much less technically accomplished back then, so I have no good, reliable advice to offer. I never tried the Lymans in PPC revolvers. Although, in later years, I could never equal the HBWC groups with any other bullet design. 158 SWC lead used in distinguished competition never came close, then again, those guns were locked into the factory twist rates..

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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by r_zerr on Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:07 pm

Jerry,

you may not have been as technically accomplished back then, but it is hard to argue the experience.

-Ron

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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by JIMPGOV on Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:40 pm

LIKE JERRY I TRIED THE 100 GRAINERS. 3-D USED TO SELL THEM LOADED AND BULLETS ONLY. 15YDS WAS THE LIMIT. WON'T HOLD 10RING AT 25YDS ON A B27. I LOST A REGIONAL ONCE BY USING 12 OF THEM AT THE 25YRD LINE BY MISTAKE. NEVER EVEN BOTHERED WITH THEM AFTER THAT.

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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

Post by noylj on Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:00 pm

Try and get a .32 S&W Long wadcutter to perform well at 50 yards, and you'll kiss the .38 wadcutter.

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32 50 Yard Performance?

Post by fc60 on Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:58 pm

noylj wrote:Try and get a .32 S&W Long wadcutter to perform well at 50 yards, and you'll kiss the .38 wadcutter.
The attached image is typical of the barrels I test at 50 yards.

Cheers,

Dave
Attachments
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Re: lightweight .38 wadcutters

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