.32 and .38 HBWC's from a new manufacturer?

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Post by B-Bull on 8/23/2019, 1:23 pm

I have a few questions for the forum membership, if you'll indulge me.

But first, a little background:

I'm a boutique bullet manufacturer, I've been making bullets for a few boutique loaders and a handful of competition shooters for some time. We're a literal mom and pop shop where I make the machines and bullets, and the wife takes care of the accounting and logistics. We're considering expanding into the retail market. If we do so, our target market would be competitive shooters who are looking for a premium product. We're thinking about offering .32 and .38 hollow based swaged lead wadcutters.

We would offer several other bullets that we're already making as well, but We don't have the tooling for the wadcutters yet, so that's my focus here.

We're not a big company, and already have private contracts in place that keep me and the equipment running at about 60-70% capacity, which pays the bills. We were running at about 90% capacity, but one of the boutique loaders we've worked with is retiring, so the expansion into the retail market would be to essentially keep me and the machines running at about 90% capacity.

We have fully automated swaging machines designed specifically for making lead bullets. The machines were designed and built by myself, and are capable of maintaining exceptional weight and dimensional tolerances over lot runs. A normal lot run is 6-36K pieces, with dimensional and concentricity tolerances consistently held to +/-.0002", and weight tolerances consistently held to +/-.05gn or less for bullets under 250 grains.

As a result of the work, energy and quality of materials that go into maintaining such tight tolerances, and the fact that my kids like to eat food and wear clothes, we wouldn't be competing for price point buyers, and you could expect our bullets to be priced comparably with other premium offerings.

Right now I have tooling drawn up for .32 HB wadcutters that would be .3145" diameter and available in either 84 or 98 grain weights. I've started drawing up the tooling for the .38's but haven't finished.

That brings me to my questions for the community;

1. Is there room in the market for a premium HBWC offering in .32 and .38 calibers?

2. Am I on the right track with the .32 weights and diameter?

3. What weights and diameters would be best for the .38 offerings?

4. What other designs would be well received by the bullseye community?

5. Would you be willing to try the new bullets when they come to market?

I appreciate any input or thoughts anyone might have, Thanks!

If for some reason this post is inappropriate, against the rules or offensive, I apologize.

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Post by James Hensler on 8/23/2019, 1:50 pm

I think there is a market for the 32 and maybe the 38 as well but I think since you are doing this from scratch.314 might be a little small. Talk to Dave and listen to him and I bet you will get our business
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Post by javaduke on 8/23/2019, 2:34 pm

I would like to see a .38 148gr HBWC bullet, preferably coated, which won't lead my M52 barrel and will be similar to the good old Remington .38 HBWC in terms of accuracy. If you can make it, I'll be more than happy to assist you with testing.

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Post by B-Bull on 8/23/2019, 2:37 pm

James Hensler wrote:I think there is a market for the 32 and maybe the 38 as well but I think since you are doing this from scratch.314 might be a little small. Talk to Dave and listen to him and I bet you will get our business
Thank you, I've reached out briefly to him via PM.

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Post by B-Bull on 8/23/2019, 2:39 pm

javaduke wrote:I would like to see a .38 148gr HBWC bullet, preferably coated, which won't lead my M52 barrel and will be similar to the good old Remington .38 HBWC in terms of accuracy. If you can make it, I'll be more than happy to assist you with testing.
I have the equipment to coat, so that should certainly be doable.

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Post by Mike38 on 8/23/2019, 3:48 pm

B-Bull, if you have seen or heard of the "Bumped Speer" (a copy of the H&N bullet) bullets, and can copy those, you will sell them for .32 S&W Long shooters. Do a search on this forum for "Bumped Speer" and you'll see what I mean. A diameter of .3145 seems like a good goal, but again do a search here for better info than I can provide.
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Post by gregbenner on 8/23/2019, 4:17 pm

For 32 long, the acknowledged supreme bullet for most European target pistols is the H&N HBWC in .314. These bullets are made in Europe, and are not available in the United States. To the extent you could make a bullet as close to that as possible, there is a market. Dave Wilson might supply you with the necessary drawings, but if that doesn’t work out, I could send you a few of the original H&N which I still have.

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Post by B-Bull on 8/23/2019, 4:35 pm

Thanks to everyone for the input, I've been in contact with Dave Wilson already, and I'll be looking at how closely I can replicate the H&N bullet. That was the direction I had started with my design, I'll be making some adjustments based on the drawings that I got from Dave, but the good news is that they're minor adjustments.

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Post by oldsalt444 on 8/23/2019, 4:51 pm

I can't testify to marketing and such, but as a shooter I'd like to see a duplicate of the Remington 148 gr. HBWC (.360") without the sticky gooey lubricant.  That Rem bullet is the gold standard.  You can't get the Rem 148 HBWC as a component anymore and our stashes are drying up.  A great bullet, but the lube sucks.  People actually remove the lube with mineral spirits and put something else like 45-45-10.  Why the hell should you have to do that in the first place?  Because it gums up your dies quickly.

I believe Precision Delta makes a close copy, but .357 is a bit small.  The reason why the Rem bullet performs so well is due to the .360" sizing. 


https://www.precisiondelta.com/products/38-cal-148gr-hbwc/
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Post by B-Bull on 8/23/2019, 7:09 pm

Would anyone have an interest in HB SWC's for .45 calibers?

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Post by Wobbley on 8/23/2019, 9:14 pm

You’re up against Bear Creek supply. Decent bullets and they make 45HBSWC. https://www.bearcreeksupplybullets.com/

Is there room for another? Sure. I’d like to see more bullet manufacturers cater to our sport. I’d also like to see a swaged Solid WC in 38 like the old Speer. Oh also an accurate 38 158 gr RN lead for DR.
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Post by Joe Morgan on 8/23/2019, 10:12 pm

Neil Stepp usually gets some 32 S&W Long from H&N- no idea if he has any in stock today, but he gets them on the regular.

I'd love to see some more swaged RN 158 gr. bullets for DR. Trying to reload for my granddaughter so that she can actually practice is always challenging because finding a good swaged bullet can be difficult.

Always happy to purchase to a sponsor in the sport!

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Post by B-Bull on 8/24/2019, 1:00 am

Wobbley wrote:You’re up against Bear Creek supply.  Decent bullets and they make 45HBSWC.  https://www.bearcreeksupplybullets.com/  

Is there room for another?  Sure.  I’d like to see more bullet manufacturers cater to our sport.  I’d also like to see a swaged Solid WC in 38 like the old Speer.  Oh also an accurate 38 158 gr RN lead for DR.
Solids are as simple as the HB to make using most of the same tooling, and I can even run the machines a little faster for solids, so that shouldn't be a problem. Pardon my ignorance, but what is "DR"?

Inevitably there will be someone else with a similar design available, We can't compete with the big boys on price, we just don't have the raw buying power and volume of sales, so we're pretty content creating what are basically niche projectiles. The retail arena will be a little different, as I don't think we've ever filled an order for less than 6,000 units before, and logistics will undoubtedly start becoming more complicated with a larger number of smaller orders, but the wife assures me she's prepared to handle it.

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Post by Wobbley on 8/24/2019, 9:16 am

DR means Distinguished Revolver.  Very similar to other Distinguished Shooter programs but you must use revolvers in 38 Special and must shoot 158 grain bullets.  Shooters are having an issue finding good bullets that shoot at 50 yards.  High grade cast bullets and swaged SWC bullets just don’t make it.  The best bullets seems to be the 158 grain RN from Magtech.  It has a small dimple in the base which may act as a basic HB?
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Post by oldsalt444 on 8/24/2019, 11:23 am

B-Bull wrote:Would anyone have an interest in HB SWC's for .45 calibers?

You bet!  They are great for revolvers which tend to have large throats.  For that matter, full wadcutters could be used also.  I have used Bear Creek's 185 gr. SWCHB with great results.  They also make a 220 gr. full HBWC.  It works well, but recoil is stiffer.  It even cycles in my 1911, but I suspect that may be an anomaly.   

Matt's Bullets makes a 165 gr. cast full WC, but it's not hollow base.  They also make a 240 gr. HBWC, but us bullseye shooters wouldn't want the extra recoil from that heavy of a bullet.   I do use and like the 165 gr. WC, and have them sized to .454" for my revolver.  The only problem with Matt's is they are pricey.    

https://www.mattsbullets.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=71&zenid=36vu34sccogm69bb7euki9ths4

Ideally, I'd like to see lightweight semi and full hollow base wadcutters in 45 cal.
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Post by orpheoet on 8/24/2019, 10:55 pm

oldsalt444 wrote:
B-Bull wrote:Would anyone have an interest in HB SWC's for .45 calibers?

You bet!  They are great for revolvers which tend to have large throats.  For that matter, full wadcutters could be used also.  I have used Bear Creek's 185 gr. SWCHB with great results.  They also make a 220 gr. full HBWC.  It works well, but recoil is stiffer.  It even cycles in my 1911, but I suspect that may be an anomaly.   

Matt's Bullets makes a 165 gr. cast full WC, but it's not hollow base.  They also make a 240 gr. HBWC, but us bullseye shooters wouldn't want the extra recoil from that heavy of a bullet.   I do use and like the 165 gr. WC, and have them sized to .454" for my revolver.  The only problem with Matt's is they are pricey.    

https://www.mattsbullets.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=71&zenid=36vu34sccogm69bb7euki9ths4

Ideally, I'd like to see lightweight semi and full hollow base wadcutters in 45 cal.
+1
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Post by David R on 8/25/2019, 11:25 am

If you make HBWC in 38 or 45 I would love some.   
David
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Post by Multiracer on 8/25/2019, 1:23 pm

Never put a damper on innovation. Keep plugging along, look into the dimensions mentioned here and you should find some success and longevity in the sport.
Thanks for taking the time to quiz the forum.
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Post by B-Bull on 8/25/2019, 8:41 pm

Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone, I appreciate any feedback I can get.

B-Bull

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Post by Mike38 on 8/25/2019, 9:23 pm

If / when you do start producing the .3145 HBWC, could you make them available in 100 count "sample packs"? As in 50 of each weight. I'd like to give both weights a try, before buying 1000+ at a time. Thanks.
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Post by B-Bull on 8/25/2019, 11:16 pm

Mike38 wrote:If / when you do start producing the .3145 HBWC, could you make them available in 100 count "sample packs"? As in 50 of each weight. I'd like to give both weights a try, before buying 1000+ at a time. Thanks.
I don't see why not, seems like a good way to find what works best.

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Post by SteveT on 8/26/2019, 11:19 am

I know it isn't what you asked about, but I really like lighter weight bullets like the 160gr SWC or Button Nose 45 ACP cast bullets, but I have an inherent (and maybe irrational) preference for swaged bullets. I'd love someone to make a 150-160 gr hollow point, lead, semi-wadcutter, maybe even hollow base so the bearing surface can be longer relative to the weight. If I had more time, I would start playing around with swaging.
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Post by zanemoseley on 8/26/2019, 12:48 pm

A hollow point version of the 160 grain bullet Brazos and Magma Engineering sells would be nice. Could either drop weight or add to the bearing surface as Steve said.

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Post by bruce martindale on 8/27/2019, 8:55 am

The Hornady 90 gr hbwc was excellent in Walthers because it was the right diameter and being lighter, went faster which helped in slw twist barrels. Consider those please?

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Post by djw1cav on 8/27/2019, 4:44 pm

oldsalt444 wrote:I can't testify to marketing and such, but as a shooter I'd like to see a duplicate of the Remington 148 gr. HBWC (.360") without the sticky gooey lubricant.  That Rem bullet is the gold standard.  You can't get the Rem 148 HBWC as a component anymore and our stashes are drying up.  A great bullet, but the lube sucks.  People actually remove the lube with mineral spirits and put something else like 45-45-10.  Why the hell should you have to do that in the first place?  Because it gums up your dies quickly.

I believe Precision Delta makes a close copy, but .357 is a bit small.  The reason why the Rem bullet performs so well is due to the .360" sizing. 


https://www.precisiondelta.com/products/38-cal-148gr-hbwc/
+1 on the 148 gr. HBWC measuring .360" dia. lubed with 45-45-10 (I strip the nasty factory lube and re-lube with 45-45-10).  If you can duplicate the no longer produced Remington bullet you will be the only supplier of a very accurate bullet.  If you make it .357 or .358" dia you will have lots of competition.
Doug W.

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