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.38 Special Flatbase WC .vs HBWC loading.

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.38 Special Flatbase WC .vs HBWC loading. Empty .38 Special Flatbase WC .vs HBWC loading.

Post by USSR 9/7/2020, 8:31 am

I am about to buy a H&G #50 mould, and am hoping I can pick your brain regarding loading for it. First, I am currently loading HBWC's at a 1.18 OAL and taper crimping them.   While the new mould casts bullets that have a crimp groove, I intend to taper crimp them as well.   My question is, would you seat them out to the crimp groove (even if you don't intend to use it) or to some other OAL, or seat them flush like the HBWC's?  These will be for target loads at ~700 - 750fps.  Powders available are: Bullseye, 700X, Red Dot, WST, AA#2, and W231, and what charge weights would you suggest for the OAL you recommend.  Thanks.

Don
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Post by Wobbley 9/7/2020, 9:39 am

Cast or Swaged flatbase bullets can be driven faster and therefore can take 10% more powder FOR REVOLVERS!  Autoloaders should be held to the same velocity and powder charges as before.  I seat my #50 bullets flush with the case mouth or slightly below leaving that little button slightly proud.
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Post by james r chapman 9/7/2020, 10:23 am

We always loaded flush, regardless
2.7 BE
2.7 WST
3.1 ww231
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Post by PhotoEscape 9/7/2020, 12:12 pm

I load WCs slightly proud of the top of the case.  Something in between 1/16 & 1/32.  Using 2.7 or 2.8 grains of BE depending on pistol I use.  Lower charge is for Hammerli P240 and I use bullets sized to 0.357.  Higher charge is for M52s, Colt Mid-Range and M14s revolvers.  AP

.38 Special Flatbase WC .vs HBWC loading. Img_4321
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Post by USSR 9/7/2020, 12:21 pm

Okay, from what I see so far, the flat base wadcutters are typically loaded flush and not out to the crimp groove, and charge weights are basically the same as HBWC's loaded to the same OAL.   Thanks guys.

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Post by bruce martindale 9/7/2020, 2:13 pm

Depends on your gun; for the 52 it's flush or bust. 

For the 38 spl auto and revolvers, they're long, at the crimp groove.

That #50 is long, seating flush with most non WC brass, can give a bulge in the case that won't chamber. You can get away with it on HBWC because the base crushes in.

The Lyman DEWC is the one for the 52 with cast.

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Post by USSR 9/7/2020, 2:38 pm

Not shooting a 52, but rather a S&W Target Masterpiece, so no concern about length.   Brass will be exclusively R-P, Winchester, and Federal WC brass.   So, does that change the consensus to seat them flush?

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Post by David R 9/10/2020, 10:25 am

I  spent a lot of time trying to get some Saco #50 wadcutters to shoot as well as HBWC.  Final conclusion?  It can't be done by me.  I was casting them out of soft or medium lead.  I tried one, two or three lube grooves filled.   One worked best.  I found .2 or .3 more grains of Bullseye got better accuracy, so Now I load BNWC in the crimp groove  with 3.0 grains of Bullseys.   The HBWC still shoot smaller groups for me, so I use them for matches.

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Post by bruce martindale 9/10/2020, 10:53 am

David, Did you try 3.5 BE with crimp groove seated?

My experience has been that cast (especially the 158 swc) need heavier loads in Smith 14. I am DR #27 but did it with 158rn heavy police loads

Revolver load only for the WC at 3.5

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Post by USSR 9/10/2020, 11:52 am

Okay, so now we are talking .2gr - .3gr more powder with the FBWC seated out in the crimp groove.   FWIW, I have heard that just filling the lower lube groove with lube is the way to go, so I will be doing that.

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Post by Wobbley 9/10/2020, 2:04 pm

Actually the way to go is to Hi-Tek coat them.  No lube required and they shoot better.
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Post by USSR 9/10/2020, 3:10 pm

Wobbley wrote:Actually the way to go is to Hi-Tek coat them.  No lube required and they shoot better.

Naw, I'm old school, and at my age any difference would be moot.

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Post by Caster3845 9/10/2020, 9:13 pm

USSR...........I used the H&G 50 for years in a 52. I loaded them button down and flush with the top of the case. They shot fine and I had no problems with feeding or with loading in the mag. When I switched to a 38 in a 1911 platform I started loading them button up and flush with the case as there is a little more room in the mag......pdp
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Post by David R 9/12/2020, 7:11 am

USSR wrote:Okay, so now we are talking .2gr - .3gr more powder with the FBWC seated out in the crimp groove.   FWIW, I have heard that just filling the lower lube groove with lube is the way to go, so I will be doing that.

Don
YES, you got it. 

I now use coated Button nose with 3 grains Bullseye.  

************************************************************
 by bruce martindale on Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:53 am
David, Did you try 3.5 BE with crimp groove seated?

YES, I was shooting some yesterday, I think that is a max load, I split a few cases.  I usually load 3.0 and shoot them for fun.  I  use HBWC for Bullseye.

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Post by noylj 9/13/2020, 10:16 pm

Do not EVER exceed 800fps for HBWCs (pressure pushes skirt so hard against the barrel that the skirt separates and can be lodged in the barrel--see barrel obstruction). 650-725fps is generally all you want--Some even shoot 550fps. Older manuals often had HBWC loads separate from std. WC loads.
I found the same velocities work well for std wadcutters, as there is no good reason to push them. Of course, if you want to use them for self-defense, push them.
PS: new case, old cases. If I fire 100 rounds, I will get 1-2 split case in .38 special. No other cartridge other than .357 Mag splits cases as fast.
Found that over flaring the cases allowed me to seat the bullets straighter. After 10 years, I still get 1-2 split cases out of 100.
Use a .38 Spl Lee FCD, with the crimp parts removed, to size your cases. Found that as I reduced sizing, the groups got smaller.
Using unsized cases in my S&W M52s was the best for accuracy.

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Post by mikemyers 10/3/2020, 9:00 pm

james r chapman wrote:We always loaded flush, regardless
2.7 BE
2.7 WST
3.1 ww231
Jim, two years ago when I was loading Terry's #514 Magnus bullets for my M-52, I was using 2.7 BE.  I have since changed to WST, and from what you're writing, 2.7 WST should be fine.  Somewhere it was suggested I load 2.8 WST, and I could then use the ammo in either my Model 52 or my Model 17, which means it should work in my Python.

If I wanted to load one configuration for both my Model 52 and any of my 38/357 revolvers, is 2.8 WST a good starting point?
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Post by LenV 10/3/2020, 10:36 pm

Mike, 2.8 WST is perfect. Just remember. If it works in your 52 it will work in your revolver. The reverse is not true.
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Post by mikemyers 10/4/2020, 7:22 am

Thanks, Len - one round is loaded, and I'm ready to do 24 more which I can test tomorrow at the range.  Because of what you wrote, I'll try a majority of the rounds in the 52.

I haven't loaded 38 Special for going on two years.  During that time you guys and Dave have taught me so much about loading 45, everything has changed, and while my photos of old 45 rounds look like something from the garbage dump, the current 45 rounds look like they came from one of the major ammo manufacturers.  

I'll probably post a few questions later today, but they'll be in a new thread, so I don't interrupt this thread.
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Post by james r chapman 10/4/2020, 7:30 am

james r chapman wrote:We always loaded flush, regardless
2.7 BE
2.7 WST
3.1 ww231


Well, ok then
+/- .1 grain.
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