45 wadcutters vs JHP as self defense ammo?


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rod5591
July 26, 2012, 10:18 PM
I bought some .225 gr Buffalo Bore hardcast wadcutters as a personal defense load based on their website description, but after receiving a few boxes and doing some research am i right that that these wadcutters are designed for target practice? And that my better self defense round is the Federal 185 gr JHP? Pics attached?

Your thoughts?

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Drail
July 26, 2012, 10:54 PM
They are favored for competition use ONLY because they cut a very clean hole in the target. When scoring hits very close to the scoring lines between zones this makes it easier to tell which side of the line the shot landed in. As for SD purposes many years ago when my friends and I were doing a lot of penetration and expansion tests of various hollow point designs we fired some 200 gr SWC bullets into rows of 1 gal. water jugs. All of the hollow points would penetrate 3 jugs and come to rest in the 4th jug. The SWC went through 7 jugs and continued on down range. Every time. The penetration was pretty amazing. For that reason I would be leery of using them on the street because they can easily pass through a bad guy and punch through persons behind them. Are you running these in a revolver or semi auto pistol? Buffalo Bore does market some full wadcutter loads for self defense that run at significantly higher velocities than traditional target wadcutter ammo. A full wadcutter (at target speeds) should not have any problems with over penetration since they should slow pretty quickly when hitting a body. Push them faster and they will behave differently. In a semi auto I would go with a JHP unless you have a gun that has been tuned to feed wadcutters with 100% reliability.

M7
July 26, 2012, 11:09 PM
If you get the 950 fps promised in the product description, a 0.451", 225 gr. hardcast wadcutter should give you about 18.5" of penetration according to the Schwartz bullet penetration model.

I think that it would make a pretty viable SD load.

2wheels
July 26, 2012, 11:11 PM
Wadcutters or semi-wadcutters used to be popular with some people, nowadays go with a good JHP.

Though, I'd prefer a 230gr JHP over a 185gr JHP in .45.

9mmepiphany
July 26, 2012, 11:41 PM
Wadcutters can be very potent projectiles in a handgun.

My concern would be reliable feeding of that bullet shape. With it's short OAL and ogive, I would think function would be severely compromised

rod5591
July 26, 2012, 11:42 PM
Are you running these in a revolver or semi auto pistol? .

I have a Rock Island 1911 semi auto. It wasn't the most expensive 1911, but I've fired about 750 rounds of various ammo including dirty steel jacketed Tul ammo 45 fmj and it has not misfired or jammed once. It's also amazingly accurate.

Skribs
July 27, 2012, 12:00 AM
Wadcutters will put a nice hole in the target. JHPs will put a bigger hole in the target. I'd go with 230 gr over 185 gr though.

RickMD
July 27, 2012, 08:53 AM
From the pictures of the wadcutters they appear to be .45 Auto Rim, not .45 ACP. Are you using a revolver?

NG VI
July 27, 2012, 09:48 AM
Post four said what I would say.

Hotter loaded wadcutters would be great for wildlife defense, but I'd rather have a decent current-generation 230 grain duty-oriented JHP.

JTQ
July 27, 2012, 09:53 AM
Those full wadcutter rounds do look like they are auto rim. They are not designed to work in your 1911. They are made for a revolver.

Buffalo Bore .45 Auto Rim
http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=290

.45 Auto Rim
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.45_Auto_Rim

rod5591
July 27, 2012, 10:29 AM
Those full wadcutter rounds do look like they are auto rim. They are not designed to work in your 1911. They are made for a revolver.


Really? How embarrassing. Looks like I wasted my money....:uhoh:

Mooseman
July 27, 2012, 11:21 AM
We've all done stuff like that at one time or another, it happens.

mavracer
July 27, 2012, 11:48 AM
Sounds like an exellent excuse to buy a Smith 625;)

JTQ
July 27, 2012, 12:04 PM
Sounds like an exellent excuse to buy a Smith 625

That is an excellent plan.

Or an S&W Model 22
http://www.gunblast.com/WBell_SW-M22TR.htm

See the July/August 2011 edition of American Handgunner magazine. Mike Venturino has an article beginning on page 44, saying the .45ACP is the best revolver round, ever. He makes some good points.

http://fmgpublications.ipaperus.com/FMGPublications/AmericanHandgunner/AHJA11/

Drail
July 27, 2012, 03:09 PM
If you really like the .45 ACP you MUST have a 25/625 S&W.:D

Patocazador
July 27, 2012, 04:14 PM
You have to make sure that your impact velocity is high enough to make the brand/type of HP you're using open up. If your velocity is low, a semi-wadcutter will do a fine job of SD.
Elmer Keith used nothing but hard-cast semi-wadcutters (his own design) to kill deer and larger animals. They are plenty lethal.

NG VI
July 27, 2012, 08:44 PM
Elmer Keith used nothing but hard-cast semi-wadcutters (his own design) to kill deer and larger animals. They are plenty lethal.

Well let's be realistic, hunting is not the same as defense, and an exit wound is super desirable when hunting, not so much when shooting back at another human attacking you unexpectedly wherever they decide you shouldn't breathe so much.

And in Elmer Keith's day, there weren't any decent expanding pistol bullets anyway. With a service-level pistol cartridge, hunting medium-large game, you probably don't want expansion at the cost of penetration.

The argument that a given type of bullet is a fine performer because generations of soldiers, hunters, and frontiersmen used them is a pretty intellectually shaky one. Just because a group of people have absolutely no choice but to use a given weapon or ammunition configuration by no means indicates that said configuration is the best or even a good choice given all available options.

NG VI
July 27, 2012, 08:52 PM
Oh and these days for a bullet to be moving too slow to expand, it's got to be moving under seven hundred feet per second.

If you picked a good bullet anyway. Old school super-generic cup and core JHPs that haven't had any actual design work done to make the bullet work under a variety of conditions don't do well when there is heavy clothing present, or they aren't moving all that fast, or anything gets between the designated target on the way in.

It pays to pay attention to which bullets are being offered up for big contracts by people with the time and money to test what they're being sold before buying them, and copy them. Winchester Ranger-T, Federal HST, the Gold Dot is basically the gold standard for acceptable performance, these are the bullets you want.

They aren't priced outrageously, they don't rely on any weird bullet weights or hyper-high velocity (which usually makes a load a very erratic performer, and not a good choice for a short barreled gun), the way they work is easy to understand, they tend to do about the same job regardless of what reasonable object they get fired into, basically they aren't a breathlessly advertised bullet.

If the marketing material is hyperbolic, chances are the load is at best a mediocre performer, more likely an extremely unpredictable one.

Patocazador
July 27, 2012, 10:07 PM
Sorry, NGVI but I beg to differ. ANY flat-nose bullet with lots of mass from a .44 or .45 is going to have enough frontal area and mass to 'knock the heck' out of anything it hits squarely. You don't have to blow a grapefruit-sized hole in someone to stop him. When I was in law-enforcement, my partner shot a guy while undercover using his Charter Arms Bulldog .44 special with swc cast bullets. That guy didn't move again until they carried him to the morgue. Dead is dead.

rcmodel
July 27, 2012, 10:12 PM
+1

I got hit in the boot heel by a 255 grain .45 Colt bullet that bounced back of a railroad tie backstop.

It took the heel off a good pair of boots, and almost knocked me on my azz.

Had it hit higher up, I have no doubt I would have been out of action, and on my way to the ER.

And it was only going a fraction of the original low muzzle velocity.

rc

rod5591
July 27, 2012, 10:21 PM
We've all done stuff like that at one time or another, it happens.

This isn't the only boner I made recently. I bought a box of this .45 revolver ammo at the same time that I bought some Buffalo Bore +p .32 ammo for my 1903 Colt Hammerless .32, only to learn that I shoudn't use +p ammo on my old Colt. So it turn's out I bought nearly $100 of ammo after shipping and handling, and it turns out I can't use any of it.:(

rod5591
July 27, 2012, 10:26 PM
Though, I'd prefer a 230gr JHP over a 185gr JHP in .45.


So what's the difference between the 185 gr and the 230 gr JHP (besides 45 gr)?

Are the 185's for short barreled guns? and 230 for longer barreled guns?

RickMD
July 27, 2012, 11:47 PM
I don't really think a 45/11 mm round could ever achieve that speed regardless of bullet weight.

Years ago my leg became the backstop for a .22 long rifle hollow point from kids shooting a revolver into a pond 600 yards away. I didn't think it could have that kind of speed or energy either but I still had to have it dug out in the ER. I still have the bullet. It weighs a massive 36 grains. You'd be amazed at the power of a ricochet. I doubt the muzzle velocity of that .22 out of the 3" barreled piece of junk they were shooting was more than 800 FPS.

Texan Scott
July 27, 2012, 11:55 PM
I don't really think a 45/11 mm round could ever achieve that speed regardless of bullet weight.

Buffalo Bore makes 45 colt the breaks the sound barrier at the muzzle, from a pistol. QED. What's the speed of sound (which is not a fixed constant, by the way - Boyle's Law in effect) got to do with it?

A lot of people on this forum get to 'Mock1' pretty easily. I'd imagine ANYTHING with enough juice to knock off a boot heel (wouldn't take much) would just about drop a man - because he's standing on it. What I understood rc to say was that the ricochet retained enough kinetic energy to trip him at the heel and ruin a good boot... it wouldn't have to pick him up and throw him, like the movies.
Of course, he's relaying his one-time anecdotal experience ... and what it sounds like you're saying is that based on your limited experience with railroad ties and 9mm pistols, along with your limited knowledge of physics, he's ... 'misremembering'?

dprice3844444
July 28, 2012, 09:51 PM
they will make a nice clean hole going in and a nice clean exit hole going out which will promote leakage at both sites.

The Man With No Name
July 28, 2012, 10:27 PM
they will make a nice clean hole going in and a nice clean exit hole going out which will promote leakage at both sites.
That is how I feel about wadcutters. I use 110 grain wadcutters in my mothers LCR because they are light recoiling (she is of very limited strength) and will do just the kind of damage I want to see. I have more confidence in them than a fast hp that will cause her enough recoil to have nice clean misses.

Personally I always liked swc bullets also. As far as modern loads from big names how about the Winchester Ranger T series 127 grain +P+? I have a lot of experience with it and 100% lack of confidence in it's performance especially against skulls. Modern jhp load from a big name does not mean it will preform.

JTQ
July 28, 2012, 10:42 PM
For you wadcutter and semi-wadcutter fans, I've always liked this article. Even though these are rifle bullets, the same should apply to pistol bullets.

http://www.gsgroup.co.za/articlepvdw.html

The thing that always fascinates me, is when hunters are using a round marginal for the task at hand, they always go for more penetration, especially against anything that can hurt them.

The Man With No Name
July 28, 2012, 11:18 PM
For you wadcutter and semi-wadcutter fans, I've always liked this article. Even though these are rifle bullets, the same should apply to pistol bullets.

http://www.gsgroup.co.za/articlepvdw.html

The thing that always fascinates me, is when hunters are using a round marginal for the task at hand, they always go for more penetration, especially against anything that can hurt them.
Thank you for posting that link. Just finished reading it and it was very informative. Makes me feel even better about my preference for swc.

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2012, 01:23 AM
The thing that always fascinates me, is when hunters are using a round marginal for the task at hand, they always go for more penetration, especially against anything that can hurt them.
Refer back to post #17

You should not apply lessons from hunting to defensive use of a firearm...or at least be aware that you do it with a very high liability risk

mavracer
July 29, 2012, 08:51 AM
You should not apply lessons from hunting to defensive use of a firearm...or at least be aware that you do it with a very high liability risk
I'm not sure why, I'm pretty sure how animals react to being shot would correlate to how animals react to being shot. I do understand that game animals don't shoot back, but that's because they don't have opposable thumbs. As for pass through, I'm not sure how this would be a problem if your following rule 4, because a pass through is no more of a risk than a miss. Finely if there is such a high risk of liability from pass through, would you site some examples? surely there are many to choose from.

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2012, 12:03 PM
I'm not sure why, I'm pretty sure how animals react to being shot would correlate to how animals react to being shot. I do understand that game animals don't shoot back, but that's because they don't have opposable thumbs. As for pass through, I'm not sure how this would be a problem if your following rule 4, because a pass through is no more of a risk than a miss. Finely if there is such a high risk of liability from pass through, would you site some examples? surely there are many to choose from.
As stated in post #17, while a through and through shot is desirable in hunting, not so much in a defensive situation where your direction of fire and the back stop behind (Rule 4) it will often be dictated by the attacker.

Examples of bullets shooting through and hitting another?

Surely you must be familiar with the most famous one from Dallas...JFK/Connelly...and then there are the multiple Tailban kills in Afganistan attributed to single shots.

Likely the most documented study, as opposed to single incident reports, of handgun rounds passing through one person and injuring another was the one that lead NYPD to change their issue ammo from Ball to JHP in 1998 following a review of police shooting incidents by their Civilian Complaint Review Board. I believe LAPD did similar studies and experimentation, prior to changing from Ball to JHP ammo.

Both departments made the changes citing Safety from reduced incidents of rounds passing through intended victims

mavracer
July 29, 2012, 01:34 PM
As stated in post #17, while a through and through shot is desirable in hunting, not so much in a defensive situation where your direction of fire and the back stop behind (Rule 4) it will often be dictated by the attacker.
As stated in my post.a pass through is no more of a risk than a miss
I'll also add that a bullet capable of getting to the vitals on a 400# BG in a leather coat will probably go through 2 125# meth heads.

Both departments made the changes citing Safety from reduced incidents of rounds passing through intended victims
There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Both departments wanted to switch to hollow points because they felt they were more effective, so they did some studys to show what they wanted.

Frank Ettin
July 29, 2012, 01:43 PM
...Both departments wanted to switch to hollow points because they felt they were more effective,...And indeed JHPs are pretty much the universal choice amongst law enforcement agencies in the United States. For the same reasons, JHPs are a good choice for the private citizen for self defense use.

mavracer
July 29, 2012, 02:52 PM
And indeed JHPs are pretty much the universal choice amongst law enforcement agencies in the United States. For the same reasons, JHPs are a good choice for the private citizen for self defense use.
I never said that JHPs weren't a good choice, many are well constructed nowdays that they penatrate very well. Just don't try to tell me that NYPD is worried about 1 bullet passing through the BG when their 20% hit ratio says 4 went flying right by the BG:what:

NG VI
July 29, 2012, 03:54 PM
There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Both departments wanted to switch to hollow points because they felt they were more effective, so they did some studys to show what they wanted.

Well, do you feel ball ammunition or other solid, non-deforming bullet types are a better choice for defense against people than a properly designed JHP?

If so, why?

If not, what's your point?

JShirley
July 29, 2012, 03:57 PM
I'm pretty sure how animals react to being shot would correlate to how animals react to being shot

So, I'm understanding you to say that the aggressor we shoot will jump, thinking he's been bitten by a fly, and then go back to grazing? :confused: That's common behavior in some larger game animals. The animals most similar in size and bone density to humans are herbivores, so obviously one can only draw so many parallels with any reasonability.

It's also true that deer are most commonly shot with longarms, whereas we're clearly addressing sidearm ammunition here.

----------------------

9 mm rounds also get to Mock 1 which is 1,125 fps or 768 mph and hour or 343 ms. I don't really think a 45/11 mm round could ever achieve that speed regardless of bullet weight

9x19mm NATO rounds have approximately 1200 fps velocity from a standard duty-length barrel. Corbon has been loading a .45 ACP 185-grain JHP with an advertised velocity of 1150 fps for at least 20 years. I'm going to venture out on a limb and guess you're in 9th grade.

John

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2012, 03:59 PM
Just don't try to tell me that NYPD is worried about 1 bullet passing through the BG
I wasn't.

I was responding to what I thought you were requesting, citing incidents of a shoot through hitting another person

As stated in my post.a pass through is no more of a risk than a miss
That would mean that you are willing to accept the liability of missing with every shot you fire...I would think it a bit irresponsible to choose a bullet for defense which would place others in the same danger with every shot as a miss. At least with a well designed hollowpoint, there is a high likelihood that some bullets will not miss

M7
July 29, 2012, 04:03 PM
So, I'm understanding you to say that the aggressor we shoot will jump, thinking he's been bitten by a fly, and then go back to grazing? :confused:

John

Now that's funny! :D

Thanks for making me laugh out loud, John. :)

mavracer
July 29, 2012, 04:49 PM
Well, do you feel ball ammunition or other solid, non-deforming bullet types are a better choice for defense against people than a properly designed JHP?
Of course, under some circumstances.
If so, why?
Very cold climates where you would be likely to encounter heavy clothing.
People who can't for whatever reason handle full power service ammo.
Being in a area where 2 legged and 4 legged threats may exist.
Any number of combinations of the above reasons.
So, I'm understanding you to say that the aggressor we shoot will jump, thinking he's been bitten by a fly, and then go back to grazing?
I'm thinking shooting the BG while he's filling his plate at the salad bar might take some explaining, but if he's beating you with a baseball bat he might jump thinking he's been bitten by a fly, and then go back to beating you. Or he may be too busy to notice, which is common behavior of BGs.
That would mean that you are willing to accept the liability of missing with every shot you fire
Your not? that would explain a lot.

PRM
July 29, 2012, 04:57 PM
Deleted

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2012, 05:42 PM
Your not? that would explain a lot.
I am not. If I were, I would never have to train or even practice with my gun...I would just shoot randomly and hope for the best. I train to limit the likelihood of missing with my shots and make ammo selections which limit that likelihood also.

My goal is to place every round I fire on my target, that is why I continue trying to improve beyond being able to place a 6" group on a 18" COM target

mavracer
July 29, 2012, 05:59 PM
I am not.
Unfortunately the courts don't agree with you, you are liable for every round you fire miss or hit. If you are worried that there is someone behind your target for a pass through to hit it's irresponsible to shoot at all.

Coltdriver
July 29, 2012, 07:05 PM
Wadcutters make a great defensive round, I run semi wadcutters in a 38 revolver for that reason. They do have great penetration and my little 38 needs all the help it can get.

But your .45 can shoot a much heavier round than most other carried pistols. Take a look at 230 grain gold dots. The wadcutters are great practice rounds so you can't go wrong shooting them!

We used to focus on lighter bullets and fast velocities because the bullet technology itself required faster to reliably expand. That is no longer the case with gold dots and a few other bullets that are specifically designed to open at lower velocities. This in turn lets you take advantage of the heavier bullets the .45 ACP is famous for!

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2012, 07:24 PM
If you are worried that there is someone behind your target for a pass through to hit it's irresponsible to shoot at all.
I agree it is irresponsible, that is what I have been saying.

I can't tell if you are purposely reading it incorrectly or if you have just missed the difference, between being responsible for every shot that may miss and purposely choosing to have every shot miss

mavracer
July 29, 2012, 07:54 PM
I agree it is irresponsible, that is what I have been saying.
So let me get this straight you agree it's irresponsible to shoot if there is someone behind the BG and we should carry JHP so we can go ahead and be irrsponsible and not worry about a pass through?

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2012, 08:20 PM
Nope, you still have it wrong

The Man With No Name
July 29, 2012, 08:43 PM
I think a good point has been made about facing 2 and 4 legged threats. Many face both in their daily lives with 4 legged being the most likely one. All I know is I watched a Rottweiler shot in the head at a very close distance with a 9mm JHP +P+ round and it did NOT penetrate or do anything other than cause the dog to change direction away from the firing officer. Sometimes you want a round to go through something you are trying to kill. I think a JHP is a good choice for many but NOT the best choice for all.

mavracer
July 29, 2012, 08:52 PM
Nope, you still have it wrong
Oh then by all means, why worry about a pass through?
A pass through can only hit an innocent if they are there.
If they are there it's irresponsible to shoot.
A pass through can only hit an innocent if you take a irresponsible shot.

TT
July 30, 2012, 09:26 PM
If anyone out there has the expertise, Iíd be interested in hearing a gel penetration estimate for Federalís .45 Match SWC (185 grain). Just out of curiosity. Or if anyone has a street usage report, that would be interesting too.

M7
July 31, 2012, 12:40 AM
If anyone out there has the expertise, Iíd be interested in hearing a gel penetration estimate for Federalís .45 Match SWC (185 grain). Just out of curiosity. Or if anyone has a street usage report, that would be interesting too.


TT,

Well, I don't know that knowing how to work a mathematical model constitutes "expertise", but using the Schwartz terminal ballistic penetration model (found in the book listed in my sig line below), the Federal .45ACP 185 gr. SWC @ 780 fps (its advertised velocity) would penetrate to a depth of 19.95 inches in gelatin/soft tissue. It would also exit a torso having a depth of 12 inches (so long as it doesn't strike bone along the way) at a velocity of 304.42 fps.

For the sake of comparison, using the same ballistic penetration model- a .45ACP 230 gr. FMJ @ 865 fps would penetrate to a depth of 25.69 inches of gelatin/soft tissue and exit a 12 inch deep torso at 416.54 fps.

Howzat? :cool:

TT
July 31, 2012, 03:32 AM
That is much appreciated, thank you. :)

M7
August 2, 2012, 12:49 AM
That is much appreciated, thank you. :)
Sure. If you need any more run feel free to hit me with a PM. :)

45_auto
August 2, 2012, 08:09 AM
At least with a well designed hollowpoint, there is a high likelihood that some bullets will not miss

LMAO! Just how much difference in accuracy do you believe there is between a "well designed" hollow point and a poorly designed hollow point (or a FMJ or a SWC)?

9mmepiphany
August 2, 2012, 12:20 PM
LMAO! Just how much difference in accuracy do you believe there is between a "well designed" hollow point and a poorly designed hollow point (or a FMJ or a SWC)?
A hence the problem of taking part of a post out of context.

The portion you've taken, and responded to, has nothing to do with comparative accuracy between bullet shapes...re-read the whole exchange

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