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Home Swaged 38 HBWC

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Schaumannk
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Post by fc60 Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:44 pm

Greetings,

Tested some home swaged 38 HBWC yesterday.

Test parameters...

  • K38 barrel machined round to fit the barrel tester.
  • Chambered with a SAAMI 38 WadCutter ream.
  • Bullets first cast into slugs from Stick On Wheel Weights.
  • The hollow base is a copy of the Remington Bullet.
  • Final swaged bullets lubed lightly with Lee Liquid Alox.
  • 2.77 grains of WST.
  • Winchester cases sized to 0.376" with no cannelure.
  • Federal 200 primer.
  • Taper Crimped to 0.370".
  • 50 shots fired at 50 yards.


Cheers,

Dave

Home Swaged 38 HBWC K38_te10
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Post by Jon Eulette Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:16 pm

OUTSTANDING Dave!
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Post by Greg Walloch Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:08 pm

It’s always a very interesting post when you bring in your bullet-making!  Fascinating stuff!

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Post by Steve B Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:13 pm

What was the finished bullet diameter?

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Post by RodJ Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:38 pm

Crazy - 50 rounds!  What scale do you use to measure into the hundredths of grains?

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Post by Wobbley Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:33 pm

Did you get a velocity reading per chance?
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Post by fc60 Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:49 pm

Greetings,

Final swaged diameter is 0.358".

I weigh ten charges and divide by ten. i.e. Ten charges weighed 27.7 grains, repeatedly.

Velocity Averaged 740 FPS twenty feet from the muzzle.

The more I swage, the better I get. Still have a ways to go...

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Wobbley Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:26 pm

I noticed the lack of “characteristic “ scuffing even though you used an old S&W barrel.
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Post by Black_Talon Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:57 pm

I'd sure love to see some detailed pics of the finished bullets, before lubing.
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Post by chopper Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:41 am

Dave are you going to test with Bullseye powder also, not that you'd improve on such a nice grouping. Great job swagging, I'm curious if you've barrel tested any .358" cast bullets also. I really like following your posts, they're so good.
 Stan

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Post by inthebeech Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:02 am

I want to see the barrel tester.
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Post by DA/SA Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:11 am

It would be interesting to see the results of re-swaging the commercially available HBWC's such as Zero, Precision Delta, Speer, Hornady, etc.
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Post by fc60 Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:16 pm

DA/SA wrote:It would be interesting to see the results of re-swaging the commercially available HBWC's such as Zero, Precision Delta, Speer, Hornady, etc.
Greetings,

We have had excellent results swaging the 32 caliber Speer 98 grain HBWC up to 0.314".

The current Speer bullet is lubed with a Moly-like material and actually helps the swage process by acting as a lubricant.

The bullets swaged and lubed with "sticky" lube gum up the swage dies and make the process futile.

I did swage the 38 caliber Speer 148 HBWC and results were not that exciting. Perhaps I could revisit it one day.


The primary reason for swaging my own bullets is that any day, the commercial vendors can stop production. Such as Remington and Winchester.


Cheers,

Dave
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Post by DA/SA Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:20 pm

Thanks Dave!

I was just curious if the results would be worth the effort for those that do not cast their own.


Last edited by DA/SA on Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by fc60 Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:21 pm

Wobbley wrote:I noticed the lack of “characteristic “ scuffing even though you used an old S&W barrel.
Greetings,

I went back and looked at the individual ten shot groups. There is still evidence of "yaw/scuffing" on some of the holes.

The target I posted initially was the backer I started with.

When I was finished and cleaning up, the backer was too nice to toss in the bin.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Schaumannk Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:26 pm

I have had very good luck swaging the powder coated bullets.   All the bullet manufacturers are using a slightly different coating, and it seems to stand up well to going through the swager, although some coatings are superior to others.  

So far the best coating appears to be whatever Bob Palermo at Penn bullets is using.   I lose the coating in the hollow base, but the rest of the bullet, and the part that contacts the sides of the barrel remains intact, going through the swager.  The swaging dies remain clean, and no gunk build up.

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Post by fc60 Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:43 pm

chopper wrote:Dave are you going to test with Bullseye powder also, not that you'd improve on such a nice grouping. Great job swagging, I'm curious if you've barrel tested any .358" cast bullets also. I really like following your posts, they're so good.
 Stan
Greetings,

Past experiments show that one can get X-ring groups with a variety of powders, providing they meter well in the dispenser.

I have tested many cast bullets and the results are "okay" (ten-ring @ 50 yards). Casting is a chore for me as I reject roughly 60% of them due to defects. A lot of work.

Swaging produces a much higher percentage of "keepers".

Looking in my archive, I found no targets of cast wad cutters using the K38 barrel.

(I modified the K-38 barrel due to the 1:18.75" twist, which is common to the Model 52. The K-38 is 0.3575" groove diameter and the M-52 is 0.3545". I did not want to ruin a good M-52 barrel for the barrel tester.)

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Chase Turner Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:59 pm

Dave,

If you wanted to cast your own slugs for the 32 and 38, which molds and lead mix should we be looking for best possible success?

Thanks,
Chase

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Post by troystaten Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:45 pm

Impressive, a bullseye smith I know has said that a 148 grain HBWC in 38 special is one of the most accurate pistol cartridges around.

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Post by fc60 Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:03 pm

Chase Turner wrote:Dave,

If you wanted to cast your own slugs for the 32 and 38, which molds and lead mix should we be looking for best possible success?

Thanks,
Chase
Greetings Chase,

Hardness is key. I try to use alloys of about 6 HBN.

Currently, I have been using Stick On Wheel Weights (SOWW), 5.7 HBN, and they swage okay. Problem is the actual alloy is a mystery. I do have the tools to measure hardness.

Another friend, that drank the swaging Kool-Aid, uses 20 Lead : 1 Tin (20:1) alloy with good results. This was purchased from RotoMetals and is a known alloy.

We have also played with 30:1 alloy.

The Lead:Tin alloys are nice as Tin helps the metal flow better. SOWW possibly has Antimony and it takes two swages to produce a nice clean well filled out bullet.

I bought some Lee Six Cavity Blank Moulds and machined cylindrical cavities in them. This way, you can change alloys readily.

Swaging is not for everyone. I enjoy it despite the great amount of labor involved. Good news is that I no longer rely on the availability of factory made bullets.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Colt711 Fri Oct 08, 2021 10:20 am

fc60 wrote:

Swaging is not for everyone. I enjoy it despite the great amount of labor involved. Good news is that I no longer rely on the availability of factory made bullets.

Cheers,

Dave
Dave,
The ability to produce your own is no small thing these days and considering your quality that is an understatement!

BUT were I to shoot 10 of 'em I would flinch on that 7 o'clock hit for an 8?!?

Compliments on your craftmanship!

Ron Habegger

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Post by Colt711 Fri Oct 08, 2021 10:24 am

fc60 wrote:Greetings,



The more I swage, the better I get. Still have a ways to go...

Cheers,

Dave

Dave,
What do you think might be possible re: group size?

Ron

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Post by fc60 Fri Oct 08, 2021 2:38 pm

Greetings,

I would like to see groups at 50 yards inside the X-ring. That is all ten shots and none of them touching the X-ring.

After a bit more thought, I have been very pleased to equal/exceed the group size of commercial loaded ammo.

Considering the HBWC is a dynamically unstable projectile, X-ring groups at 50 yards with either the 32 or 38 HBWC is a job well done.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by USSR Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:46 pm

Dave,

Impressed with your results.   I cast 148gr HBWC's, and am curious as to how they would compare to your home swaged results.   If you are up for a another test, I would happily send you some.

Don
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