Has/can 357 Magnum and 44-40 WCF be loaded with wadcutter bullets ?

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Michael S posted this 03 October 2019

  Does any one know if the 38 call wadcutter cast bullet been loaded in 357 Magnum loads or can it be? I am casting the Lyman 358495 148gr WC plain base bullet casted in Lyman #2 Alloy. My Lyman 4th edition cast bullet handbook does not have load data for WC design but does have load data for 150gr SWC design but does call for bullet to be casted of Linotype.  It would be shot out of revolvers with 2 1/2" , 5" , 8"  barrels and out of a Henry big boy and Marline 1894 cowboy rifles.

   Has the 44-40 WCF even been loaded with a hollow base wadcutter bullet? I would be using the NOE. 215gr hollow base wadcutter bullet and it would be shot out of a New Origional Henry Iron Framed rifle.   Rt now I am casting Lyman #427666 200gr FN plain base casted of Lyman #2 alloy 211.9gr is the 20ct randome average.  I size them to .429 dia 2500 plus lube and loading them with 2400 13.2gr 1035fps  and have good accuracy and no leading.  I have just been itching to load the hollow base wc for it. 

   Different alloy not with standing, does a bullets design play any part in a rounds preshure at round ignition and bullet travel from cylinder to forcing cone and down the barrel? I know bullet design can affect how a bullet travels to its target. 

  If I keep round under 1000fps I use the Carnauba Blue lube over 1000fps I use 2500 Plus lube , rifle and pistol cast bullets . 

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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delmarskid posted this 03 October 2019

I have loaded 148g wadcutters in the .357 for my revolvers. I seated the same bullet out longer in the .38 special in my model 92 copy. I needed the extra length to make it feed correctly. Bullet shape and alloy type might make a rise in pressure but I don't think I would worry about it. I use jacketed bullet data to load lead bullets a lot. I don't jump right to a hot load but work them up easy. Lever guns seem to need attention about cartridge over all loaded length. I'm not very experienced with them. I would love to get my mitts on one of those Henry Originals.

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M3 Mitch posted this 03 October 2019

I don't see any reason you couldn't use a wadcutter in any cartridge you want.  You don't have to load them down into the brass like a typical .38 wadcutter is generally loaded.  Changing the nose configuration should not affect internal ballistics (much). (Edited to add) You do need to stay pretty close to regulation cartridge overall length for use in the lever actions, though.  Most .357 lever guns will jam if you try to use flush-seated wadcutters in them.

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Eutectic posted this 04 October 2019

Hi Mike,

38 wadcutters work fine in the 357 revolver. If you seat them flush, the seating depth is deeper than a like weight SWC and this raises the pressure. With target velocity < 1000 fs this is not a problem. Seated to the top lube groove the seating depth is similar to the SWC and SWC loads work fine.

Linotype is way too hard for most 357 loads and is likely to cause leading and inaccuracy. Loading manuals many times use the same alloy for everything, makes life simple - for them.  Lino too hard, too expensive, # 2 alloy 5% tin, way too much tin and expensive. See other posts for correct alloy for the pressure level of your load.

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Ed Harris posted this 04 October 2019

As for the .44-40, the neck is only about 0.3 long, and conventional wadcutters intended for the .44 Special when seated deep enough to chamber in a rifle will result in the hollow base being well below the neck, which could result in the skirt upsetting to conform to the bottleneck shoulder, which would raise pressure and probably also result in the skirt failing as the front of the bullet tries to move forward, while the skirt is held back, and the mid-section of the bullet then elongates to the point of ductile fracture.  If shooting these in a revolver where bullets can be seated out, such that the skirt is not below the neck-shoulder junction, it might be worth a try.

The Accurate 43-206H semi-wadcutter was designed especially for the .44-40, produces a clean full-caliber hole in the target, is accurate in both rifle and revolver, and produces factory load velocity with 6 grains of Bullseye.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Michael S posted this 04 October 2019

  Rt now I only own 1 NOE mould and  Lyman and RCBS moulds. But this is first time I hear of Acc mould brand. I still have water behind my ears.  I'm guessing the 206H means 206gr bullet ?  Does accurate moulds have a web site? I do not see a add in Fouling shot #257 that I am reading today.

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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M3 Mitch posted this 04 October 2019

I don't know this from experience, but I would think a full wadcutter loaded deep enough to chamber in a 44-40 rifle might result in a cartridge overall length so short that it would not feed from the magazine - and in fact would probably cause a "one and a half" feed, where one short round and the cartridge head of the next round enter the carrier, requiring pretty extensive disassembly of the rifle to clear it.

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BigMan54 posted this 05 October 2019

I've loaded that same Lyman bullet cast of COWW's in a .357Mag case as part of my "Pressure step down" in .357Mag cases.  #358495 weighs 146grs and is loaded in .357Mag cases over 3.5grs of Bullseye until the primer falls out or the case mouth cracks. 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Ed Harris posted this 05 October 2019

  Rt now I only own 1 NOE mould and  Lyman and RCBS moulds. But this is first time I hear of Acc mould brand. I still have water behind my ears.  I'm guessing the 206H means 206gr bullet ?  Does accurate moulds have a web site? I do not see a add in Fouling shot #257 that I am reading today.

 

http://www.accuratemolds.com/catalog.php?page=all

Link to Accurate molds above.  Each mold is made to order, not made ahead and stocked.  The descriptors are nominal caliber, weight and last name initial of the designer.  Steve Hurst's and my molds are H along with Henry Hillbilly and who knows who else.  Modifications of existing designs may have a second letter, if somebody added a bevel base or GC.  Any of the designs on the web site can be tailored to fit your gun as to as-cast dimensions in your alloy.  Delivery is about 3 weeks. 

IMHO sure beats the heck out of "Group Buys" on some of the other forums where you must wait months to get somebody else's design that fits their gun and probably won't fit yours...

Normal manufacturing tolerance is 0.002".  Best practice is to do a pound cast of your chamber, specify diameter to the EXACT size of your pound cast, and then specify DIAMETER TOLERANCE NEGATIVE.  Then as-cast bullets will all enter and be a close fit, even after they age and "grow" a bit. 

If ordering the same mold to use in several guns specify DIAMETER TOLERANCE CENTERED and bullets will be +/- 0.001 from the specified diameter.

Or as many people do, just realize that bullets may drop up to a maximum of +0.002" and so order your mold 0.002" LESS than the pound cast and bullets will not cast smaller than that, but the normal positive tolerance will work to your advantage as to fit.

It IS important to specify the alloy you intend to use, as that influences diameter as well as weight.  

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Boschloper posted this 13 March 2020

I have loaded a lot of 358495's in .357 mag.  Use starting loads for 158 gr. bullets with Trail Boss, Tite Group or HP38. Increase powder charge to the level of noise and recoil you want. Accuracy is equal to any bullet out to 50 yes. 

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Kosh posted this 17 September 2020

I don't know a lot about reloading the .44-40, but if I just had to try shooting WCs from one, I'd look around for a mold that throws Bevel-based WCs & not Hollow-based. The reply from Ed Harris got my attention and makes a great deal of sense to me. 

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Dale53 posted this 18 September 2020

I have personally been present on three different occasions when the skirt was left in the barrel after firing. The front of the bullet impacted the target and the shooters continued and ruined their barrels. This was a long time ago, and I have not loaded a hollow base wadcutter since. I got/get excellent accuracy with my home cast solid bullets (currently an original H&G #50 148 gr. wadcutter).

Since I used my .357's and .38 Specials for small game' I early on started loading the "full charge wadcutter" (as exemplified by Ed Harris in his excellent published articles on The Full Charge Wadcutter). I currently load .38 Special cases with 3.5 grs. of Bullseye or equivalent. I commonly use .38 Special cases in my various .357's without issue.

FWIW

Dale53

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Ed Harris posted this 19 September 2020

If you want a powerful and effective field load for a .357 revolver, load a cast, solid-based 146-148-grain wadcutter similar to the H&G #50 or Saeco #348 with 5 grains of Bullseye or TiteGroup in .357 Magnum brass.  About 1000 fps from a 4-inch revolver.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Michael S posted this 20 September 2020

  When loading the Lyman 358495 148gr WC in 357 Magnum brass do I seat it flush to top of the brass like I do in the 38 spl cases? Well I seat them to flush except 2/16 from top so my light crimp has something to bite into. I know I will have to put more of a crimp on the 357 Mag then one puts on the 38 spl loads. 

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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Ed Harris posted this 20 September 2020

When loading wadcutters in .357 brass I crimp in the normal crimp groove, if the bullet has one. If the bullet has no crimp groove, then seat it out a little so that the crimping shoulder has something to grab on to.  I use the Redding .38 Special Profile Crimp die backed off with a .135" ring spacer, and the same setting on my .38 Special seater die also backed off with the spacer.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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BigMan54 posted this 21 September 2020

Leaving the Skirt in the bbl with too warm a load ?

Now I know why the Old Guys like My Dad only loaded 2.7grs of Bullseye under a cast HBWC. 

Think they knew something we've all forgotten ?

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 21 September 2020

..one fall we had a huge garden with lots of left-over squash and cucumbers ... a buddy and i loaded up hundreds of hornady HBWC in our 38-357's with the hollow base FORWARD ...  and we could get into the high end of plinking velocity ...  soft lead and huge hollow points ... just right for an angry attack-gourd ...

i still feel guilty about having all that stupid fun ... i intend to apologize sometime in the distant future ...

ken, wallowing in self-shame ...

 

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Eutectic posted this 22 September 2020

I have been working with Accurate 36-160-W, if you crimp in the nice crimp groove it has a wide front band and the seating depth is close to many 158 -160 grain semi-wadcutters so loading data is plentiful.

I used 148 grain wadcutters for target work and had my adjustable sight revolvers set for them. If I wanted to shoot 158 gr. SWC I had to compensate or readjust the sights. 36-160-W is an excellent compromise. Since I seldom carry a scope sighted revolver in the field, a wadcutter serves quite well.

I like fixed sight revolvers for carry and 148 wadcutters usually shoot low. Accurate 35-160-W solves this problem and avoids filing the sights. Point of impact is the same as 158 HP +P defense loads so practice works better.

In 357 loads it is excellent and shoots better than my prized H&G 50 when pushed to 1100 -1220 fs.

Steve

 

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