Monday, May 23, 2016

Experimenting, Part the Something (updated)

After the surprising results from the .38 wadcutters in the mini-Sharps, decided to try some things, and did some loading:
From the left: 148-grain cast wadcutter seated to the center lube groove, 1.63" oal, same seated to the first groove, 1.58", 148-grain X-Treme plated wadcutter seated to 1.59", 162-grain semi-wadcutter seated to second lube groove, 1.7".

Yes, those are a ways out; I want to see if minimizing the distance the bullet moves before it engages the rifling might have an effect.  Those .38 Special wc loads, the bullet had to make a looong jump, this puts the bullets from a short jump to almost touching the rifling.  And yes, I did check them in the rifle, all will chamber fully with no problems.  Which is something you can do with a single-shot rifle: these are way longer than I could use in a revolver, or a repeating rifle.

Speaking of, when I first got the Hornady FTX bullets that this rifle likes so well, I had to dig around to find load data for them, and it included this: for use in revolvers or lever-action rifles, you have to trim the cases shorter than standard due to the overall length of the cartridge because of that nice polymer nose.  But in a single-shot, no problem with them being full length.

I did run into the interesting problem that my manuals show no data for a wadcutter in .357 Mag.  However, the bearing surface- the area that actually engages the rifling- of the wadcutters is close to the same as for the semi-wadcutter, and I'm using a minimum load of 2400 in all of these, so I don't foresee any pressure worries.
Update: On the Hodgdon/Winchester site, they do have some info for 148-grain hollowbase wadcutters, but not solids.

Now for a chance to go see how they work.

1 comment:

Alien said...

You might want to try trimming 357 cases to just fit the 38 Special chamber (I'd suggest doing a Ferrocast first to get exact dimensions). Even if you allow a .002" - .003" margin, there's some benefit to having all cases the exact same length. I'd also suggest miking each case after firing and sizing because a few will need re-trimming.

It's a worthless trick for lever guns and revolvers - too much variance in where the lever action actually leaves the case when chambering, and for most benefit the revolver chambers would have to be precisely recut to whichever one's deepest, but in a single shot it should produce a positive resuit.