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  1. #1

    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018

    Hollow base wadcutters

    Question for the masses. I've never loaded hbwc before now. I have the Lee book and after loading 50 357 mag at 3.0 grains of bullseye I'm setting up to load some 38 special with the same powder and projectile but Lee calls for 3.5 grains of powder for the 38 spc. I just thought it a little strange that the 38 would take .5 grains more than the 357 mag. Anyone have a good answer. I'm in no hurry so I backed off for a while. TIA.

  2. #2

    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    New York
    The HBW been loading them since 1978 in 38 special - the old load data for target loads was 2.5 - 2.8 grains of bullseye in 38. Never loaded them in 357 brass. I still load and shoot them today. I have probably shot 30k of those over the years maybe even more never counted them. Was all I shot in competition target shooting ( paper targets) at 50 feet. I have never loaded them hotter as was need to.

  3. #3

    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    The Big Tomato in the Biggest Bowl of Granola
    I haven't loaded wad-cutters in years (no place to load).
    One of my favorites was 2.7 Gr Bullseye in a 38 case and a standard primer. I could use all day.

    Side Note - when I loaded the Hollow Base Wad cutters upside down (big hole forward), I heard through my hearing protectors what sounded like angry bees. The target at 25 yards had a hole with the profile of the bullet rather than a nice clean hole like you would expect with a wad cutter. The round was tumbling and that was the sound I heard. Imagine it tumbling through a person.

  4. #4

    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2021
    110 miles north of Texarkana in the green hell
    Check the oal the data for the 357 may be for flush seated and the 38 for a nose out . Also different brands may have deeper HB cavities or different shapes .

    See a Speer manual article "why ballisticians get grey" . The parameters for HB WC are to have every bullet exit the muzzle about 900 fps and not blow out the skirt not to avoid a particular pressure limit .

    The data may reflect a particularly tight 357 test gun or a loose 38 . It may be 60 yo 38 data simply pulled forward and data from a pressure tested 357 in a solid 4" universal receiver .
    Lot variations in the powder , especially if it was old data just pulled forward vs new tested .
    I don't remember where but someplace I swear I saw a whole article dedicated to Wadcutter Brass and how it was in some makers more than just special canlure brass having more interior case taper below the groove to reduce case volume for competition shooters and so on .

    There's 100 reasons for the difference but the biggie is that you want low muzzle pressure and about a 900 fps MV for them .

  5. #5
    My experience; The Lee book ,so far as I know, is a collection of data from other sources. The sources are not cited in my edition. Under those circumstance load differences show up. I regularly recheck data from several sources to level out data anyway. The Lee books are good resources. I have to accept how these books are put together. The way the Lee book is put together aggravates the problems with data described in Post #4.

    Added: My usual target load is my own cast solid base wadcutter with 3 grs. of BE. Bullets are cast using the Lyman 358495 mold. I shoot two 357 Magnum handguns with WC loads in 38 Special cases. I find these loads in 38 Special cases work very well in the magnums. I don't really see, personally, the need to load target loads using 357 Magnum cases. YMMV
    Last edited by Mowgli Terry; 10-06-2021 at 02:26 AM.

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