Alloy for 38 Wadcutter


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I have a couple 38 wadcutter molds. Never cast or loaded one. What alloy would you recommend? Shooting out of a 4" bbl. No plan to push them. Easy options I have are WW+2% tin or 20:1. I am guessing 20:1, but... Thanx


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+1 Ric.

Soft enough and big enough = success in my revolvers too. Ww alloy is fine too but I always got a little better results with something closer to 7-8 bhn. With some moulds that may be tough. Alloy at 725 or so and keeping the mould as cool as you can will make fatter bullets, but make it very hard to get sharp edges with soft, low-tin alloy. Lots of mutually exclusive things going on there which is why I lapped out my wc mould.

I also stick to wadcutter brass and use a tapered steel sizing die backed off a little so it doesn't size the brass any more than necessary to hold the bullets during recoil. Not the only way to do it but I'm particular about these things

Bullseye is the powder to case you never heard that one before...LOL.


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the two 38 WC molds I have are H&G #50 and Lyman 358091. The Lyman I will keep velocity down. The H&G, may push a little (~850-900). Based on Reading Glen's notes on them. Prob 20:1 on the Ly and WW+2% on the H&G - depending, of course, on how they size out. And since BIGger is better, and I tumble lube in BLL, hopefully won't have to run thru a sizer.

No WC mold for the 32 yet. That one may be a little more challenging...


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TG or BE work well. I have spent some time on this one, and compared dedicated
WC match brass to current Starline with interior pin gauges. There is no difference
in how deep the parallel walls go between the two. Some .38 Spl brass starts thickening
the walls earlier, and will crunch down the base of WCs seated flush or nearly so.



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Bullseye is the powder to case you never heard that one before...LOL.
I DID see that somewhere... LOL! Also W231 (HP38 same, AND what I have). If either of those work I am done. Otherwise MAYBE Red Dot. But I need another powder like I need another hole in my head!


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fwiw, I DO have a bunch of the cannelure 38 brass, and have sorted it out. Will use it exclusively for the WC loads. But, I am only typically shooting at 10 yds... Doubt I will notice a lot of diff. (10Y is my std distance for killing paper - based on old eyes and rebuilt shoulders - AND I can still print real nice OOH-AAH! groups at that distance and leave the spray and pray auto shooters impressed!)


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Old Lyman 358495 is the mould that see's the most use here.Drops beautiful bullets with just about anything I throw at it.Range scrap and a little WW's is fine.

Don't shoot or even "think" handguns much anymore..... need to change that maybe?Anyway,not a big user of classic very low end 38 "wadcutter" loads.Prefer a little more poop.Mostly 700X at around 8-900 with the 495 above.Hard hitting mild recoil and you can stretch the distance legs a bit.231 is also a favorite.Heck,Unique at mid level loads are right fun too.

Got a 6" #14 that is what the kids call,awesome.Good luck with your wadcutting Oscarflytyer.


Active Member
The canulure brass, after a few firings and sizings it for all practical purposes is gone. Fired and blown out then wiped by the sizer die.