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45 wadcutters vs JHP as self defense ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by rod5591, Jul 26, 2012.

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  1. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    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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  2. Drail

    Drail Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  3. M7

    M7 Member

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    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.
     
  4. 2wheels

    2wheels Member

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    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.
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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
     
  6. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    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.
     
  7. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    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.
     
  8. RickMD

    RickMD Member

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    From the pictures of the wadcutters they appear to be .45 Auto Rim, not .45 ACP. Are you using a revolver?
     
  9. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    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.
     
  10. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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  11. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    Really? How embarrassing. Looks like I wasted my money....:uhoh:
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  12. Mooseman

    Mooseman Member

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    We've all done stuff like that at one time or another, it happens.
     
  13. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Sounds like an exellent excuse to buy a Smith 625;)
     
  14. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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  15. Drail

    Drail Member

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    If you really like the .45 ACP you MUST have a 25/625 S&W.:D
     
  16. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    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.
     
  17. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    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.
     
  18. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    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.
     
  19. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    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.
     
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +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
     
  21. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    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.:(
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  22. rod5591

    rod5591 Member

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    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?
     
  23. RickMD

    RickMD Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  24. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    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'?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  25. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    they will make a nice clean hole going in and a nice clean exit hole going out which will promote leakage at both sites.
     
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