Wadcutter specific brass?

Ian

Notorious member
New? IDK. Quite a few made it for .38 SPL, R-P being one of the better known ones in the last generation, or at least more common on the 1F market probably due to LEO contracts.
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Paul,
On this exact mission a few years ago, I purchased some wadcutter ammo once fired brass, two
different brands. I carefully measured how far down inside the parallel sides went, using pin gauges and it
was clear that this brass was a bit different than much of the common .38 Spl brass out there, much of which
started tapering internally fairly high up.

I grabbed some of my new .38 Spl brass by Starline......AHHH! Their brass is just like the WC brass,
plenty of depth of the parallel sides to take a normal full WC seated flush without sizing down the
base of the bullet. So, unless they have changed things recently, Starline is good.---as usual, IME.

Hope this is the info you needed.

I have some Starline .357 brass, too, but have never checked it for internal taper. Perhaps I should.

Bill
 
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358156 hp

Well-Known Member
I've often wondered why HB wadcutters wouldn't simply expand to fit the throats, then the barrel anyway as long as you didn't crush them down too far by forcing it into a case that far too undersized, most commonly by a carbide "one size fits all" case sizing die. This situation also reminds me that a lot of bullseye shooters never resized their brass or bullets anyway. Plus, if you read much of Ed Harris' wadcutter articles, he doesn't size cases at first either. He cleans the cases, primes and loads them with wadcutters, then runs them through a LEE Factory Crimp die to make certain he doesn't have any that are grossly oversized to the point of not chambering. I see the wisdom in this, as long as you are using matched cases.
 
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Pistolero

Well-Known Member
HB would probably still fit the throats, but not solid WCs, pressures are way too low.

My old RCBS .38 Spl dies, factory marked "WC" on the box only size the front 1/4" of the case,
a real neck sizing die. They seem to work fine, but I also get good results with my Hornady
modern carbide die, with my own larger, deeper expander, and light crimp.

Bill
 
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358156 hp

Well-Known Member
Interesting! I keep some of the old steel sizing dies, the ones that actually taper-size straightwall cases like 38/357, and the 44s & 45s, but I haven't seen an actual wadcutter sizing die, although you're not the first one to mention them. I just never paid too much attention to them before.
 

RBHarter

West Central AR
I bought an old CH cannalure tool for just such a use .
Actually for a 45-70 thing I thought I was doing before I realized how stupid that particular idea was .......

Should be pretty easy to set up a few and do them .
 

RBHarter

West Central AR
The old WC brass was cannalured to seat the bullet base against , as I understand it , allowing flush seating and a roll crimp .
I would think that such an arrangement would also allow for almost no sizing in well proportioned chambers . The more it is used and sized the more the cannalure irons out which is fine if you don't want WC brass . Under typical WC target loads it should last 15-20 cycles .
I suspect that in manufacturing they used a collet crimp arrangement after seating for production volume . To do it on the bench , and I haven't gotten that far yet , the cannalure would be easier to place on the loaded cartridge than the flexy empty case .

I intended to use it for straight wall paper patched in tube mags and to add/enhance a crimp groove on a home grown 200 gr spitzer , Lee and NOE fixed that for me , so the tool is just hanging out on the wall for now . I'll get back to it soon .
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
You are welcome, Paul. It has been good for me.
Get Brad to make you a deep expander for this cartridge, it has helped my loads
to shoot better with soft WCs, like Rem swaged HBs. Much less bullet pull and a moderate
crimp to keep them in place in recoil.
There is a post in the 'projects', I think showing mine. Having a SIL with a lathe, and
with the lathe skills that he has is an advantage.

Bill
 

Brad

Benevolent Overlord and site owner
Staff member
That is a pretty simple project really. We can experiment with expander diameters too.
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Here is the old post, at least a look at what worked for me.

 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
On sale, just got an email on this.


or if you want more:


Bill
 

358156 hp

Well-Known Member
There is an issue with cannelured brass. As you fire the loaded case, the cannelure gets ironed out a little with each firing. Sometimes the case straightens out completely. Regardless, you'll always be dealing with varying case lengths until the case stabilizes completely. Adding a deep cannelure to a case that didn't originally have one will shorten the case slightly. Only you can decide whether this length gain/loss is significant to your goals.
 

Charles Graff

Moderator Emeritus
I have a good supply of once fired 38 wadcutter brass, but Ed Harris assures us the new Starline 38 Special has the long parallel sides we want. I do not worry about the crimps ironing out and just use the proper crimp at the case mouth. I have never had a bullet set back in the case. We do need a expanding die that goes deeper into the case to keep from crushing the HB wadcutter. If is also helpful on solid base WC bullets to give uniform case tention on the bullet. RCBS used to make a special long .3585 expander for this use, but no longer do. In fact the current RCBS people don't even know such was ever made. I have modified regular RCBS expander witha lathe to move the belling shoulder farther up. I also use this for 357 mag cases.

BTW...Ed will have two articles coming up in the Fouling Shot dealing with 38 Special and 357 Mag reloading.
 

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
OK I have saved up a number of different brands of Wad Cutter brass. Never really shot wad cutters but I have plenty of different bullets if i decide to.
So what is the reasoning behind that style of brass?
 

CZ93X62

Official forum enigma
BTW...Ed will have two articles coming up in the Fouling Shot dealing with 38 Special and 357 Mag reloading.

Looking forward to those articles. C.E Harris has never steered me wrong.

That is good to know about the SL 38 Special brass having the wadcutter sidewall specs. I have about 400-500 of those greasy Remington HBWCs on hand that I need to do SOMETHING with, maybe 100-200 of the SL 38s would be appropriate housing for same. I don't own any "wadcutter brass" per se.
 

Charles Graff

Moderator Emeritus
OK I have saved up a number of different brands of Wad Cutter brass. Never really shot wad cutters but I have plenty of different bullets if i decide to.
So what is the reasoning behind that style of brass?

Well, ammo factories feel that the hollow base wadcutter is the best bullet to use for Bullseye shooting in the 38 Special. These bullets are longer than other bullets and seat farther down in the case. The bases will be crushed by the taper in the standard case. This is solved by making a case with taper toward the case head moved down. This also give the same tension the full length of the bullets for a smooth even release of the bullet, again to enhance accuracy. As far as I know, das it.
 

358156 hp

Well-Known Member
I really miss Eds articles. I'm still a CBA member right now, but probably won't renew again later this year.