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Favorite HBWC load

September 3 2002 at 1:01 PM
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LeonCarr  (no login)

 
What is everybody's favorite .38 Special 148 grain Hollow Base Wadcutter Load? I like 2.8 grains of WST (starting load is 2.5 grains per Winchester Loading Manual) with a Zero HBWC, Winchester brass, and Winchester WSP primers. Any other suggestions?

Disclaimer: This load is safe in my handguns only. Reduce load and work up when trying in your handguns.

 
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Gravity
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Re: Favorite HBWC load

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September 4 2002, 8:34 PM 

I like 3.0 of 231 with a 148 tucked in nice and neat.

 
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Kevin
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148 WC Load

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September 27 2002, 4:19 PM 

I normally use 3.2 of 321 with a federal primer, and a 148 CP Bullets bevel base wadcutter. When I run low of WC, I use a 158 with the same powder charge. Hits to the same point of impact at the closer distances, and it's a liitle faster to reload.

 
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Kris
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Re: 148 WC Load

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January 9 2014, 7:04 PM 

2.7 grains bullseye lobbing a speer 148 hbwc

 
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x-cop
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148 WC LOAD

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January 20 2014, 9:36 PM 

`2.8 WST WITH REMINGTON 148 HBWC. SEAT FLUSH WITH A VERY SLIGHT ROLL CRIMP. CLASSIC AND RELIABLE CONSISTANT LOAD MY EXPERIENCE. USE AN "M"DIE TO LOAD THIS PILL.

 
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Kris
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Re: 148 WC LOAD

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January 22 2014, 1:58 PM 

What is an m die?

 
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JB CUSTOM LEATHER
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148 wc load

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January 25 2014, 12:26 PM 

An "M" die is one made up primairly for lead bullets. Lyman makes them and possibly some other companies. It is an "extra" step that espands and flares the mouth of the case slightly so as not to shave lead when you seat the bullet. Keep the shape of the bullet is important to maintain consistancy and accuracy partioularly at 50 yards. Shaving lead will cause changing concentricity of the bullet and effect stabilty in my opinion.

 
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Tony60
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148 wc load

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January 26 2014, 12:31 AM 

I went down a different path. I went to my local tool shop and had another expander die made up for my Dillon 550 that was .357 diameter and also the same length as a 148HBWC. I have found over the years that even just by loading the swaged projectiles into a normally sized and belled case it will cause some compression of the diameter of the projectile. Most sizing dies will resize the case to minimum dimensions according to SAAMI specifications, by putting a swaged HBWC in these cases (and all have different wall thicknesses) you will in fact reduce the diameter of the projectile. We are after all talking about a relatively soft projectile. just pull one and mike it up to show to yourself. Although the skirt will flare out to fill the bullet lead in the chamber and forcing cone etc, the head of the projectile won't, therefore causing leading and inaccuracy.

By having the head of the projectile supported through the firing process I have reduced my group size over a Ransom rest to sub 1 inch groups at 50 yards. I also don't have to put as much flare/bell on the case as the internal dimension of the expanded case is approximately the same as the projectile. always take into account that the brass in itself has some maleability and will spring back slightly after belling.

Good luck.

 
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JB CUSTOM LEATHER
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148 wc load

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January 26 2014, 4:27 PM 

Toney,
Tried the same thing you have done. Sounds like you had good results. I did not have the same results and in fact just the opposite. Found out that the cyl throat diameter and bore diameter along with amt. of crimp the most critical factor along with the mechanics of gun and cyl alignment. I found that the Remington bullet miked out at .359-.360 whereas other wadcutters mike out around .357-.358. So by using the Remington pill for "my" gun just using the std flaring die in my 550 backed out so that it just starts the flare and then the "M" die I described getting the best resuilts. Unfortunately cant get sub 1" groups from the ransom, but getting one hole groups of 24 rds at 50 yds. In my experience need to have just enough bullet tension so you get consistant burn and didnt seem to get this with the custom flaring dies I had made up. I had .356,.357,and .358 made up like yours.Most bbls for wadcutters can run .355-.357 in diameter.Each cyl throat should be the same diameter & range to the center of bore, if the gun is too be accurate in my opinion.Would be nice to choose from more than one gun to check this out before building a custom gun.Twist is fairly important too, 1:14 being the one of choice for most. Some tout 1:10. Everyone has an opinion. What ever works for you is best.
Just wish I could shoot as good as the gun does

 
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Tony60
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148 wc load

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January 27 2014, 3:22 AM 

JB, I hear where you are coming from. I had my forcing cone cut real shallow as I found the "standard" S&W cone was set too sharp for swaged or cast pills, them little WC's need a gentle hand to get into that barrel.If you ever have a look at a Manhurin target revolver, the forcing cone is about the same length as the projectile they shoot out of them, and they are very very accurate pistols. I put a Shilen 1-10" barrel on the gun as I also wanted to shoot another match we have down here in Aus. using light pills the 1-10 stabilised everything just right. My gunsmith used a range rod and a lot of cursing (apparently) to get the cylinder and bore to align up, building the cylinder stop up the right way to bring everything into alignment.

The bullet lead (throat) in the cylinder is the most difficult to deal with, either live with the fact that they might!! be different and accept the WC's are going through some horrible sized holes to get to that .355 barrel where they can settle down and do what they are supposed to do, as long as they aren't smaller than the barrel you are heading in the right direction.
I toyed with the idea, a long time ago and put it out of my mind, what if you rebored out the front of the cylinders and then put a "known" diameter insert back in to take another variable out of the equation. I have a very grumbly gunsmith, I didn't need to make him even more so, but we do toy with the idea over a brew every now and then, building the "perfect" gun.

You are sure right with the amount of crimp, it can turn a good load into rubbish, real fast. Too much and you damage that nose, not enough and you get inconsistent burn, and movement of the projectile in the case. I also found out a long time ago that the make of brass makes a difference, I prefer Winchester as it has thin walls, not +P brass. some of the others are too thick, and they are the cases that compress the projectile.

Lot's of range time with a rest, a chronograph and a reloading press.

But as you said, everyone has an opinion and it is a lot of trial and error, talking to even more people and working out what will work for you. If it was easy, we wouldn't have forums like this for people on two sides of the world sharing ideas.

Yep, and I wish I could shoot anywhere near as good as my gun does too.

 
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JB
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148 wc load

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January 27 2014, 9:34 PM 

Toney,
Good exchange on this subject. Prob be able to go on and on with ideas and exchange. Sounds like you have gone the full route and thought about this as much as I have. I went as far as to purchase a tool called a Constant Crimp tool. It is an arm with a torque adjustment on it you use in place of the regular press arm(SINGLE STAGE PRESS)so you can apply different crimp pressure. Doesnt do a bit of good in my opinion, Had to try it though. Just something else I put in the corner for the spiders to build their nests in. Works good with a Lee Collet sizing die for my rifle loads,but not something you really need. The video the maker puts out makes it look like the better mouse trap.Another gimmick my opinion.
As far as the cyl throats, find the largest one and hone out the others to that diameter, as long as you dont go over.358 you should be good to go.Prob get by with .359 with the Remington bullets.
Grumpy smithie, everyone needs one like a good case of the runs(LOL).I try to do my own work, except dont have a lathe or milling machine.
Shllen barrel, cant go wrong. Is your frame an older one with a pinned bbl or taper threaded one. If taper really have to be careful when put the new bbl on so it does not squeese down and give you a tight spot. Another thing when the new bbl is tightened down, back should be dressed off and true so it bears evenly on the front of frame, prob should be torqued down.
You are right about the forcing cones with an abrupt angle, I used the Ruger 5 degree angle for an gradual entry into the rifling as oposed to the recommended 11 degree cut.Another critical factor is the crown and finish cut.
Lots of time and experimentation goes into this. Some folks just get dumb lucky and get a gun that will shoot just about anything.Never that lucky.
Enjoyed our exchange of thoughts.Any ideas or suggestions you have on this welcomed. I learn from others since I dont know everything.
Be safe

 
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Tony60
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Re: 148 wc load

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February 2 2014, 2:04 AM 

Hey JB, love the gimmicks but don't really need more dust collectors or shin crackers. I don't think you can beat getting that primer down to the bottom of the pocket, a good even crimp, nicely metered powder and good looking projectiles (weight and diam) my match ammo I weigh and sort the projectiles into batches. I don't care if I have to weight 1000 just to get 150 that weigh exactly the same to 1/10th grain. I've spent too many lonely hours with my machine rest to know.... it does make a difference. I will even admit to weighing out powder, but only to close friends. Projectile diameter vs cylinder throat diameter, if they all push through by hand and it is larger than the bore diameter, I'll let the match grade barrel do the rest. HBWC are pretty forgiving going that initial 3/4 inch until they hit the rifling, in the lap of the gods after that, then it's all about you.

I bought one of the very first 586's imported into AUS, so the little devil is old, like me, very old. Broken a couple of trigger pivots, replaced springs and firing pins but apart from changing from 452AA to AS30N (Clays in US) I am still using that same load. In a way I am glad they discontinued the 452, it really doesn't like hot weather and with the AS30 designed for AUS conditions I have never had a bum load, even when we are playing in 100+ F heat.

Shoot well.

 
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