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wadcutters in rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Bezoar, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

    Apr 9, 2006
    How does using a wadcutter in a rifle change the performance and ballistics of a wadcutter? Ive read that a wadcutter can almost be cosidered armor poiercing at short range on solid objects like logs and 4x4s. What are they like out of say a 16" or longer barrel?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Are you asking about target style wadcutters?
    Or hard-cast Keith style Semi-wadcutters?


    The only difference in performance out of a rifle or carbine would be 300 - 400 fps higher velocity out of a carbine length barrel.

    They are by no means armor piercing, but do penetrate well because they normally don't expand like a hollow point or soft point bullet.

  3. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Senior Member

    May 25, 2006
    MA :(
    yes, an unjacketed, un pointed lump of soft lead becomes AP. :rolleyes:

    no. no it doesn't.
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Elder

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    A wadcutter is so-called because of the clean holes it makes in a target. A target shot with these bullets resembles what's left of a piece of material cut into shotgun wads with a sharpened pipe, termed a "Wad Cutter."

    Wadcutters were developed to make those sharp, clean holes, because in most shooting events the rule is "a shot that cuts or touches a scoring line counts for the higher value." Shoot a .22 round nose at a sheet of paper and note how difficult it is to find the edge of the hole for scoring purposes.

    Back in the 1840s, Whitworth demonstrated that a flat nose steel projectile penetrates steel armor best -- a sharp nose is likely to be deformed on impact. For that reason, most armor piercing tank and naval projectiles have a flat nose under a ballistic windshield.

    A lead wadcutter is not an armor piercing bullet, by any means. In hunting, however, wadcutters and semi-wadcutters tend to cut full-diameter holes in game, and kill quite well.

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