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Discussion Starter #1
It's been a couple of decades since loading .38 Spec wadcutters and there seem to be fewer offerings out there now. i prefer a true WC instead of a SWC in this caliber and am thinking about avoiding the mess of the lubed lead bullets and trying a coated bullet this time out. Thinking about these two:

Bayou 138 grain Hi-Tek coating - edges appear to be nice and crisp
X-treme 148 grain copper plated - edges look a little less sharp

Gotta say that i like a nice clean hole in real target paper. i shoot the X-treme hollow point in .45ACP and 9mm with good results, but without the nice holes. It's conventional wisdom that lead bullets are easier on the bore than copper jackets, but i wonder how much difference there is in wear between the plated and jacket bullets. A friend has been shooting 9mm Bayou bullets for years in IDPA and likes them very much indeed.

So, any thoughts on these two, and should i consider other bullets?
 

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There are numerous companies selling coated bullets though not all sell a wadcutter. Might look at Acme bullets. you can get 100 bullets for under $11. Would let you buy some and see if how they work without committing to purchasing 500 or more at once.

Plated bullets seem to be a little softer than jacketed bullets because the plating is much thinner than a regular jacket. Should cause less wear but I couldn't say for sure. I have shot several thousand plated bullets through my 9mm and can't see any wear on the barrel, and these at a higher velocity than you would shoot a wadcutter at.

However, I think the coated bullet would be more like a cast or swaged bullet in that it would obturate better/easier to fit the bore than a plated bullet and give better accuracy. Just a thought on my part but really don't know.
 

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I seriously doubt that any of us will live long enough to have the opportunity to shoot out a handgun barrel. I would strongly doubt that the difference in barrel wear caused by jacketed bullets versus plated - or cast - bullets is significant enough to worry about. Jerry Miculek might need to worry about this, but I certainly don't! FWIW, when I took a Glock armorer's class back in 1992 the instructor stated that he had a documented 1 million rounds on his G17 9mm. He said that he had replaced some minor parts, but that it was the original slide, frame, and barrel.
 

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I bought a model 28 S&W back in 1969. I cannot tell you how many rounds have gone through it other than buckets full. The gun club that I belonged to had a lot of members who shot the police combat discipline. It was a very experience. We shot 2 matches a month and practiced on evenings during the week. Matches were shot outdoors and indoors for all year excluding December. A lot of cast bullets went down the tube as full wadcutter or semi wadcutters in the coarse of 12 years of completion The only evidence that the gun has been shot alot is the bluing, it has a lot of holster wear. There is very little evidence of wear in the barrel, forcing cone or the cylinder.
As far as the nice crisp edges of the full wad cutter bullet that may well become a victim of the timing of the cylinder and the forcing cone when you shoot it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
acpchuck - i've been thinking along the same as the lines in your post.

Terry N. - i expect you're right about not shooting out a bbl...i haven't and doubt that i will.

toiville2feathers - thanks for sharing your experience with the m28. very helpful.

It seems that lead fouling is easier to clean than copper, which is another reason i chose the Bayou, and i liked the shape also. Both the Acme and Bayou seem to use the same coating, as the name is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
NFI here. The Bayou WC's look good...consistent castings and even coating. Shipping w/2K is free but i went for 500, and postage increased the cost per bullet by about $.02. i will likely try the X-treme plated WC's somewhere down the road.

Talked w/a nice lady at S&W on the phone yesterday to pass on that adding a K38 Target Masterpiece to the Classic line would be a good idea. It seems odd not to list a K38, especially when looking at some of their other offerings, such as the .22 magnum and LR. The 67 looks good 'nuff that i'm not actively looking for an original K38/14/15/18 anymore, but the right target number in a Classic would be hard to pass up. The K frame really suits me.
 

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I can second ACME bullets. Andy only uses certified lead for his bullets, and bullets that looked good to me were rejected. He also does a lot for the local youth shooters. Hes also going to get molds for a special bullet for me.
The coated bullets are also approved to shoot thru polygonal rifling like in Glocks. Polygontal rifling does seem to "wear" better than conventional rifling, but aren't the best for plain cast bullets.
I used to shoot 20-30,000 bullets thru a pistol each year, you can wear out a barrel over time. This year, however I wont likely to shoot much more than 10,000. With the coated bullets (same barrel and powder charge as before) I dont clean the barrel as often as I used to, yet they stay cleaner between cleanings.

Steven
 
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