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38 Special Wadcutter Questions - die set & preferred brass

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38 Special Wadcutter Questions - die set & preferred brass Empty 38 Special Wadcutter Questions - die set & preferred brass

Post by Blazin Wed Jul 19, 2023 7:44 am

I'm in the process of picking up a used PPC gun. Plan to shoot only 38 Special wadcutters through it. I've read 38 Special reloading wadcutter threads on here, and that has helped, but I still have a few questions:

1. Is there a carbide 3-die set that comes with the wadcutter stem? From looking at pictures I think Lyman and RCBS may come with a WC stem, but there's nothing I've seen in print.
2. I assume roll crimp is the way to go, right?
3. Is virgin Starline (NOT +P) a good starting point for brass? Or should I seek out brass made specifically for WCs so I get a consistent wall thickness the whole length of the WC?

Appreciate any guidance.

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Post by bruce martindale Wed Jul 19, 2023 8:05 am

Search this board, there’s tons of information.

If you’re using a Dillon measure, get Alex’s powder through expander. He doesn’t want to make them for Lee measures even though they’re super precise. 

Use a drill stem to measure casing depth on various brands, you may find that starline is +p design. They definitely were in 32.

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Post by chiz1180 Wed Jul 19, 2023 8:34 am

1) I use my grandfather's old RCBS seating die, works well for me. Hornady's seating die comes with 2 seating stems, one is flat, it works well and can be modified easily if feel it is necessary

2) I use a Redding profile crimp die, it has worked well enough for me to not change things (I am loading for a semiauto mostly though). 

3) I have had good luck using 38spl starline for HBWC. I purchased a case of factory loaded Zero HBWC and it was loaded in starline brass

The biggest thing I have found with hbwc is placing the bullet in the case square. Good expansion helps, Photoescape (AP) has some solutions that work well for many depending on your reloading set up. For reference for me to load my own 38 hbwc ammo that equals my 45 ammo, it takes about 2x the time.
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Post by USSR Wed Jul 19, 2023 9:07 am

Blazin wrote:I'm in the process of picking up a used PPC gun. Plan to shoot only 38 Special wadcutters through it. I've read 38 Special reloading wadcutter threads on here, and that has helped, but I still have a few questions:

1. Is there a carbide 3-die set that comes with the wadcutter stem? From looking at pictures I think Lyman and RCBS may come with a WC stem, but there's nothing I've seen in print.
2. I assume roll crimp is the way to go, right?
3. Is virgin Starline (NOT +P) a good starting point for brass? Or should I seek out brass made specifically for WCs so I get a consistent wall thickness the whole length of the WC?

Appreciate any guidance.
I use the Lyman 4 Die Set, Item # 7680200, because it has a separate taper crimp die.   I cast my bullets and size them to larger than .358", just like the old Remingtons were that shot so well, and then taper crimp them.   I cannot speak as to how well the Starline brass handles wadcutters, but I use the old double cannelure Remington and Winchester wadcutter brass.   Hope that helps.

Don
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Post by BE Mike Wed Jul 19, 2023 10:20 am

Your PPC revolver should have chamfered charging holes for ease of inserting wadcutters, but that being said, using a roll crimp makes it even easier.
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Post by Wobbley Wed Jul 19, 2023 11:56 am

I measured a bunch of makes of 38 Special brass both regular and +P even some +P+.  I found Starline and Federal to have good straight wall length and there does not appear to be a specific “wadcutter brass”.  So long as you avoid “+P” brass you should be fine.  Although I loaded some of the +P+ brass and found it to shoot just fine.  38 Special Wadcutter Questions - die set & preferred brass Img_0811
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Post by Eindecker Mon Jul 24, 2023 12:45 pm

Blazin wrote:I'm in the process of picking up a used PPC gun. Plan to shoot only 38 Special wadcutters through it. I've read 38 Special reloading wadcutter threads on here, and that has helped, but I still have a few questions:

1. Is there a carbide 3-die set that comes with the wadcutter stem? From looking at pictures I think Lyman and RCBS may come with a WC stem, but there's nothing I've seen in print.
2. I assume roll crimp is the way to go, right?
3. Is virgin Starline (NOT +P) a good starting point for brass? Or should I seek out brass made specifically for WCs so I get a consistent wall thickness the whole length of the WC?

Appreciate any guidance.

as far as stems,,, alot of the companies SEEM to include an extra stem with their standard LRN shaped stem  provided you buy the ultra delux SET.. others wont, and almost none seem to include an extra one if you buy the seating die seperately

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