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Full Wadcutters anyone

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 357smallbore, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    I carry Federal 148 gr wadcutters as my defense ammo in my 3in 38 Special. Anyone carry wadcutters in their 38's? I use to carry 130 hst. But I feel at the range I'd have an encounter with a perp. These will do the job if called upon.
     
  2. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    I like 158 gr LSWCs as they are a bit faster to reload using a speed loader because of the schnozzolas up front and you get a few more grains of lead to launch.
    Also most fixed sight .38 Specs are optimized at the factory for 158 grains.
     
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  3. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Lyman 358432 160 grain full wc. Accurate in any gun I've shot it in and accurate up to 900 fps. My fave for carry and target.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I use to carry Federal 148 gr. wadcutters in my first snubby, a Charter Arms Undercover. Worked so well it got me started in reloading as I really liked how that wadcutter bullet performed.
     
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  5. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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  6. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Those slugs at 900 fps will put the hurt on a crook with a solid hit for sure. :thumbup:

    The foot-pound calculator shows roughly 285 ftLbs, not bad at all.

    Stay safe.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
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  7. grampster
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    grampster Member

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    Back in the Stoneage in LE, I was issued a Colt .38 revolver that was used in the Revolutionary War. (Yeah, I know. Just kiddin') Our Range Officer was assigned a county prisoner as his assistant and that guy hand loaded our ammo. We made about $80.00 a week in those days and part of the money was taken to self fund our pension minus federal taxes etc. IE we didn't have much $$$ to spare. I used wad cutters for my ammo because it made more sense to me because I figured if I was going to be in a shooting situation, it would be close quarters and I'd have a better chance. Our hand load round nose lead issued ammo were crap any way, so over 50 feet they'd probably fall to the ground. One of our guys got involved in a shooting that was within 50 feet and one of his slugs hit the door jamb and we could pluck it out with our finger.
     
  8. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    Haven't come across any wad-cutters, recently, but I'd carry and shoot them, in a minute. I have a friend who used to reload them,
    and they would tumble like cheap dice on warped plywood.
     
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  9. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    Wadcutters are a effective hitting round, does lots of damage to the opponent.
    Of course throughout the 70s you had lots of very weak target only loads and you get the same thing today. Because of this people look at wad cutters as subpar. But they don't have to be.
    I've loaded them to full power and they work well and are accurate enough.
    I only use them though because they're the cheapest bullets I can get aside from my home cast.
     
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  10. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    My Smith 642 is currently loaded with Remington 148 grain wadcutters. This load was typically used in police backup guns, low recoil, but excellent penetration. Luckygunner.com has info on the gel performance of wadcutters as well as a video.
     
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  11. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I load the wife's revolver with a wad cutter loaded on the heavy side approaching plus P ballistics.
    I call them
    Ghrnholr
    Gray haired, red neck, hillbilly, old lady rounds:D
     
  12. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    What??
     
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  13. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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  14. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    I carry 158gr. LSWC in my snubbies, it is a very effective round at the ranges you are likely to encounter with a snubbie. I change to HP when in a 4" gun, although I'm sure the LSWC would work well in that as well.
     
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  15. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    I'm of the thought that wadcutters are overrated for defense loads. Unless they are loaded hot.
     
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  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Midrange wadcutters are favored by the recoil averse now that there is not as good a selection of .32s as there used to be.
     
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  17. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    We used to call the 158 grain round nose "Widow Makers"
     
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  18. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    Referring to the recipient or the shooter?
     
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  19. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    The shooter.
     
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  20. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Wadcutters have the meplat, that's valued in hunting bullets. Makes sense to me because a round nose disturbs less tissue and the wadcutter will produce a bit more "splash" or "splat", important really only if the shooter wants lower recoil ,problematic with hollow points that likely won't expand at low velocity.

    All that said, I would carry wadcutters if I had need for them. at this point I'm still fairly robust and full house loads feel fine. When I'm in my 80s I'll be doing 45 colt wadcutters for a carry load, unless arthritis from these big boomers gets me first .
     
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  21. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Like John Joseph, I'd prefer 158 grain SWC bullets as they are a bit easier to chamber when reloading the gun.

    Side note, I have my 38 Special J-frames cut for moon clips. It makes reloading quick and handy.
     
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  22. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    I just use 158 grain LSWC-HP +P (FBI load) on the rare occasion that I carry a .38 Special.
     
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  23. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    For 2"-3" revolvers I like full wadcutters. Won't expand, but will cut a full caliber hole and very likely to tumble.

    Not fast for reloads though so for the second cylinder I use a different bullet type.

    I'm about to experiment with some 32 wadcutters for critter loads where hotter rounds may not serve the purpose.
     
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  24. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    That’s a good idea. I competed with wc bullets for a decade or more and got very comfortable with them in speedloaders.


    Today I use wadcutters in my Model 22-4 but back them with rounder profiles in my moon clips.


    Kevin
     
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  25. Steel Hayes

    Steel Hayes Member

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    04503C0B-FB24-4812-9AF9-C800CC5B6EE5.jpeg

    The 148grn HBWC is my choice to carry.
    I’ve even reloaded them backwards, although shooting(2” barrel) anything over 7 yards and they tend to keyhole.
    But the results from loading backwards did give me some good results.
    0D25401C-FC94-4B47-AAA6-014EDB31704A.jpeg
     
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