Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Semi wad / Full wadcutters as a ccw round?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by twoblink, Jan 18, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. twoblink

    twoblink Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,736
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Hollow points are the natural go-to; but was wondering if anybody out there carried their revolver's ccw loaded with either semi-wad cutters or full wad cutters?
     
  2. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,679
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    One of the "old school" ammo's of choice was hollow base wadcutters loaded upside down. Basically an early attempt at a hollow point. No idea how well they actually worked. I would think that a wad cutter design would work about as well as a round ball. Meaning not all that great compared to a purpose designed hollow point.

    -Jenrick
     
  3. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,256
    Location:
    Kansas
    A lot of it has to do with the cartridge. In 38/357 I would go with a jacketed round. Most wadcutters in the 357 series are too soft and lead the barrel. In 45 Colt I have loaded 255 gr. Keith style LSWCs.
     
  4. critter

    critter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,167
    Location:
    southeast AR
    I use hard cast SWC's as a hunting round in .45 Colt. Rounds like that will definitely punch a hole but that may be the problem in self defense. You will get zero penetration and will almost assuredly get a complete pass through. Can you be sure there is nothing behind your target that needs shooting? Anyway, something to consider.
     
  5. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,304
    Location:
    N. Georgia
    In my Ruger GP100 I use Buffalo Bore .38 spl +P 158gr. LSWHC-GC.
     
  6. SaberOne

    SaberOne Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    I also switched to Buffalo Bore .38 spl +P 158gr. LSWHC-GC as my primary carry load. Now, I carry a S&W 640 @23-ounces and I wouldn't care to use it in a vapor-weight.
     
  7. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,623
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    When I carried a 38 Special, I used hard cast wadcutters loaded to 900 fps. It made a good hunting load and likewise for self defense. The target wadcutter is not bad but too soft to push much beyond factory. It is accurate though. I tried the reversed HBWC and did not like the way it performed. Not enough penetration for what I wanted.

    I also load a 235 grain full wadcutter for my 45 ACP and like the way it performs. At some point I will try it in my 45 long Colt.

    As far as SWCs, I use them in many hunting loads and would have no qualms using them for SD. Heck, the 45 long Colt made it's reputation with a RN with a tiny flat point.
     
  8. PRM

    PRM Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,060
    I have always had good results with lead semi-wadcutters. Wouldn't hesitate to use them as a carry round. I trust the big flat point about as much as a hollow point. It's not a good thing to count on a one shot stop with any round. Shot placement and multiple rounds if necessary trumps the best single load. As far as difference, I've always found the semi-wadcutter to be a little faster to reload over the shorter full wadcutter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  9. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,442
    Location:
    Indiana
    In an emergency without access to any of the well made JHP I would carry either, with the SWC being my preference over the WC. There are so many well designed self defense loads today tho the last non-jackets bullet I carried was the Federal Ny-Clad. The solid SWC can has issues with just zipping through with very little expansion and over penetrating. The WC is normally loaded to target velocities and tends to make a small hole again without expanding.

    Just as a reference point every gun I carry today is loaded with Cor Bon DPX.
     
  10. HiWayMan

    HiWayMan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    895
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    In .38 snubs I pack 152gr hardcast WCs at 950fps with 146gr SWC-HP as reloads. If I could find a decently priced mould for WCs in .429" I'd carry them in my .44 Special as well, but instead am packing 246gr SWC in it now.

    SWC make for an easier reload.
     
  11. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    6,985
    Location:
    Texas
    About 1962 I got the idea of loading hollow base wad-cutter bullets backwards. The result was the bullet quickly tumbling and was very inaccurate. Think of throwing a dart backwards.

    My 38 practice load is the 158 grain SWC lead bullet loaded full load. I don't use any lightly loaded 38 Special for practice.

    My defence load, that I keep in all the 38 revolvers, is the +P 158 grain lead SWC HP, so called FBI load.
     
  12. deacon8

    deacon8 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    328
    Location:
    Idaho
    I load 240 grain SWC's for my .44 mag very often. I usually load them down to .44 special levels for plinking, target practice, etc. However, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to use them for self-defense. Even at lower pressures, they penetrate very well. At higher pressures, they would be even better for a bad guy. For outdoors carry and for home defense purposes, I use 240 grain GoldDot's. However, SWC's would be great.
     
  13. pbearperry

    pbearperry Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    864
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts
    Years ago I loaded 148 gr reversed hollow based 38 spls at about 850 fps. Up close they were accurate enough.The only time I used this load on anything was a badly injured Saint Bernard dog over 200 pounds.He was run over by a car and his hind leg was wrapped arounf the drive shaft.I shot him once in the head and it was an instant kill.The gun I carried was a S&W Mod 10 4 incher.
    The only reason I stopped carrying for SD was the fear of being branded in court as a maniac by a lawyer if I ever had to use it on a bad guy.
     
  14. joneb

    joneb Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,724
    Location:
    Oregon
  15. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,798
    Location:
    Pullman, WA
    I've got 400 rounds of .45 Auto RIm
    loaded with a Leadhead hardcast 200 gr. SWC @ 1,000 FPS

    Shoots very accurate in my 625 5" Bbl.
    as well as 100 rds same load in .45 ACP for
    my 1911. Wouldn't hesitate to use for HD/SD

    Randall
     
  16. Dave T

    Dave T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    845
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    During the 10 years I had a firearms training business I had a lot of students, especially women and the elderly, who liked the weight of the ultra light 5-shot 38 revolvers but couldn't handle the recoil of +P 38s, let alone 357 Mags.

    I advised them to shoot and carry target wad cutters in the alloy framed guns. Feedback from most everyone was that they could shoot better, practice was more fun and they had a great deal more confidence in their ability to hit what they were shooting at, particularly with follow up shots.

    How many times have we heard or read - bullet placement is everything. Well bullet placement with a full wad cutter, one that you've actually practiced with, is vastly superior to a miss or marginal hit with the latest and greatest, super deluxe, tactical +P hollow point. And two or three quickly fired hits in the center of mass, even with the lowly wad cutter (which cuts a clean, full caliber hole) is superior to a marginal hit and a follow-up that misses because of blast and recoil.

    As always, YMMV!

    Dave
     
  17. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,222
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Cirillo loved the WC profile for a defensive round. After all the autopsies he attended back in the 60's, seems they did what he asked of them better than a round nose or SWC. Guess you got to go with experience here and who has more experience than JC at the height of the NYCSOS.

    IMO, the WC is a much passed over design today, not flambouyant enough as the vast menu of HP's available out there.
     
  18. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    6,985
    Location:
    Texas
    Too bad these aren't available anymore. Although they did 1,500-1,600 FPS from a 2 inch J Frame the recoil was less than a light wad-cutter load.
    The bullet was a very light weight, sharp edge, hollow tube. It cut a core, like coring a Apple. I never heard of any shootings with it but I suspect, if nothing else the blood flow would be hard to stop.

    They also made the round in 44 Special. Then all the sudden they disappeared.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Messages:
    10,700
    Location:
    Rocky River, Ohio
    My standard carry load for .38 Special and .357 revolvers is the Federal 158gr. LSWC-HP +P "FBI" load.

    I don't have an "energy" fetish. I place a lot more confidence in penetration and blood loss. Full wadcutters cut a nice round hole. Cutting instead of crushing promotes blood loss.

    You could do much worse than a 148gr. LWC, even at bullseye velocities. An added benefit of the wadcutter bullseye loads is that they have incredible accuracy, and trivial recoil. The latter is often EXTREMELY beneficial for older people or those of slight build and weak upper body strength.
     
  20. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,514
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I took a Colt M357 to Viet Nam my first tour. My load was a hollow base wadcutter loaded backward ahead of all the Unique I dared. It worked, twice. But it leaded the barrel something fierce.
     
  21. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,135
    Location:
    MN
    What? You will get zero penetration, but will get a pass through. Isn't a pass through, complete penetration?

    I think the SWC is a good SD round in cold temp climates, to pass through clothing such as heavy jackets and such. I load the wifes 642 S&W with 158gr LSWC 38+p handloads in the winter and then I go back to Golddots in the summer.
     
  22. gofastman

    gofastman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    MN
    Although I would prefer a Gold Dot or DPX, I would have no problem carrying something like this(the bullet design, not the necessarily manufacturer):
    [​IMG]

    Especially in a snubbie, where the hollow point slugs may not expand at all anyway.
     
  23. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,171
    Location:
    N. CA.
    Critter wrote: " You will get zero penetration and will almost assuredly get a complete pass through."

    HUH?
     
  24. SAA

    SAA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    171
    Ditto!
     
  25. mdThanatos

    mdThanatos Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    623
    Location:
    NA
    I think he meant expansion? Depending on what the target is like, I know for CAS shooting these will completely flatten, but again its being shot at steel. If the situation were against a smaller built foe then it might just pass through but being lead I think it would perform better than ball ammo which is jacketed.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page