Quantcast
  1. Upgrade efforts paused for now. Thanks for your patience. More details in the thread in Tech Support for those who are interested.
    Dismiss Notice

Underwood .38 Spl 150gr Wadcutter in Clear Ballistics Gel

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 5pins, Nov 23, 2022.

  1. 5pins

    5pins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Messages:
    240
    WisBorn, Hartkopf, IlikeSA and 5 others like this.
  2. Eugen

    Eugen Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Newburgh, IN
    Interesting. Are you suggesting that we consider swapping out our defensive labeled ammo for these wad cutters in our snubnose ccw revolvers?
     
    WisBorn likes this.
  3. 5pins

    5pins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Messages:
    240
    I'm not suggesting anything, just showing the results.
     
  4. film495

    film495 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    2,195
    is there a SWCHP to compare to?
     
  5. defjon

    defjon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,060
    Very interesting! Thank you. Looks like it's got a standard wadcutter beat by a good 10 inches of penetration. But I think the buffalobore hardcast wc has this one beat by that same amount!
     
    Eugen likes this.
  6. Dunross

    Dunross Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,012
    Well, 25 inches should be through and through cutting a .36 caliber hole all the way. Slow on the reload, but chances are you won't need more than the first cylinder anyway. I do the same with my 44 Bulldog.
     
  7. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,247
    Location:
    Washington
    What results? The only result you mention is "Velocity average: 806fps"
     
    Shotgun Willy and ThomasT like this.
  8. nugi

    nugi Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2021
    Messages:
    49
    How do you feel about the penetration of this vs a standard target wadcutter? What advantage is there to crushing the FBI penetration range like this?
     
  9. defjon

    defjon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,060
    Click on the link, on his site he has a lot of great test results, chrono, penetration and expansion of several popular loads! Great site and work he's doing, and much appreciated.
     
    Gunfu_Blaster.45 and sgt127 like this.
  10. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,860
  11. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,247
    Location:
    Washington
    Oh, I see it now. Not sure why OP couldn't just post the text here, it's not that much. Great info, but seems like click-bait.
     
  12. KyJim

    KyJim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Even if is click-bait, it is not “in your face” and is a small price to pay for the info. And the website has results from a number of different ballistic gel tests in different calibers.
     
    dickydalton likes this.
  13. 5pins

    5pins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Messages:
    240
    Never mind
     
  14. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,041
    Location:
    Texas.
    Just going to say I appreciate 5pins years of effort to test ammunition at his own expense and sharing the results. I see nothing but a public service and his posts continue to be in line with High Road standards.

    The utility of these higher-velocity hard cast wadcutters is more about field use rather than anti-personnel, although they could certainly be used defensively for that. The common wisdom of using target wadcutters like Federal Gold Medal Match or Winchester Super-X is the benefit of much lower recoil and a full caliber hole from a snub. The thinking is expansion is iffy from a snub, so one might as well benefit from easier and faster follow up shots.
     
    Smaug, Agsalaska, murf and 4 others like this.
  15. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,932
    Location:
    Southwestern IL-ANNOY
    While good for "paper punching", it doesn't appear that these rounds would be suitable for SD/HD as they have no expansion and they "over penetrate" (25" +).
     
  16. tactikel

    tactikel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,681
    Location:
    Northeastern Illinois
    While cutting a .357 hole in a SD assailant is likely effect, why would you not progress into the 20th century and use a JHP (expansion and less over penetration), or Lehigh, ARX (barrier blind and massive wound channels)? At pistol velocity hydrostatic is not a factor.
    I use: Gold Dots, Lehigh, ARX (discontinued), XTPs.
     
    Smaug likes this.
  17. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Maybe..... some of the shooters are armored up?
     
  18. defjon

    defjon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,060
    If you go to the write up on the site, this load is specifically for the guy who has a 38 snub as an only gun but is going camping and wants a 'just in case of toothy predators' option.

    Then you want every bit of that 25 inches.
     
  19. defjon

    defjon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,060
    A hardcast wadcutter in 38 is exactly what I would choose if taking a 38 into the woods.
     
    Gunfu_Blaster.45 and Smaug like this.
  20. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,322
    Those aren't far off the numbers for 'full charge' wadcutters (mine show 728'sec in 2"), which is about the same as the old 158 RNL.
    Not the perfect thing for self defense, but you could do far worse.
    Moon
     
    wcwhitey likes this.
  21. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,527
    Location:
    Texas
    The theory is that most .38 loads do not reach the velocity threshold for consistent reliable expansion out of a 2 or even 1 7/8 barrel. This is not an issue out of traditional four inch barrels where most .38 loads were originally designed to operate. But the snubbies struggle with generating velocity. In order to achieve the velocities needed for reliable expansion the rounds are loaded to pressures that make the j frames difficult to control for most shooters.

    One solution to this problem is the wadcutter bullet which is more or less proven to be much more damaging to tissue than FMJ because of its sharp edges and has also shown to penetrate much deeper than standard or +p loads out of J Frames They do so with regular loads, instead of + loads, making the gun much easier to control.

    On a side note, I actually have one wadcutter loaded in my S&W J frame right now. Last year I had to put a deer out of its misery with my S&W 438 airweight because from 5 feet a .243 seemed like overkill. The gun was loaded with 5 Federal HST 130gr +p. When I got home I couldn't get the darn Federal box to open so I replaced the 5th round with a 1980s Federal 158 grain wadcutter out of a half spent box. I only occasionally carry that gun, but today was one of those days(unusually hot day here). I took the gun out of its holster this morning and unloaded it to give it a wipe down and noticed that wadcutter is still in it with four +p HSTs.

    I actually buried that deer head so I cold examine the damage cause by the HST at a later date but forgot about it. Til today.
     
    Eugen likes this.
  22. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,748
    I get the idea behind the Wadcutter’s it was the thing to do when bullet technology WAS limited to rounds like a RNL, SWC and a SWC-HP aka the FBI Load. There are now choices that will work and expand on a regular basis making the point sort of mute. However in a field or small game environment a Wadcutter is not a bad choice really the only downside being they tend to be under loaded. The hard cast loads are interesting but now we get into a dilemma. Are we going with a full Wadcutter for tissue damage or penetration? Yes the full Wadcutter has an advantage over a SWC in frontal area but won’t penetrate as much as a good Semi-Wadcutter like a Keith style bullet. There is a reason why the Keith SWC’s have been so popular over the years. They work, they penetrate, are super accurate and do impressive damage on flesh and bone. They also allow for more case capacity allowing for greater potential in the load itself. When I carry a load in the field that is .38 Special (no large predator issues for me) it is a hard cast SWC WNFP at standard pressure just for targets of opportunity like a .22. For self defense a Speer 135+P Short barrel that will expand. For paper punching a Swagged 148 HBWC. If there were no bullets that were proven to reliably expand from a 1 7/8” barrel I would go back to a 158 SWC +P with the widest nose I can find.
     
    Eugen and unclenunzie like this.
  23. Smaug

    Smaug Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,822
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Well, the thing is that hollow points don't reliably expand out of snubbies, so use something with a huge meplat to get the most damage.

    In gel is one thing.
    After going through clothing is another. (clogs the hollow point and sometimes won't expand)
    After going through clothing and bone is another altogether.

    Wadcutters remove the question mark with these variables. We accept that they're not going to expand, but they'll never be smaller than 0.358".

    Also, there is the question of what is more damaging: a tumbling wadcutter or expanded hollow point?

    As for this load, to me it seems like too much penetration. Don't want to blow through a perp, then the wall and hit someone in the next room. Remember that the FBI penetration range ALREADY factored for having to shoot through auto glass and still penetrate deeply enough to stop the perp. This is one reason why many people are comfortable with a tiny 380; in a self defense scenario, it is unlikely we'd ever have to shoot through a barrier.

    I had a point where I had a real squirrel problem in my back yard. They were brazen, so I could stand inside the house with the door cracked and shoot them with my air rifle from inside, just 13 yards away. The most devastating shots were wadcutters. Even though pure lead hollow points expanded from .177 to .23 caliber, the wadcutters hit harder* and the entry wound bled a lot more. The interior damage had the same thing. You may say "that is different" but I don't think so. It's all scaled: .177 into a squirrel vs. .358 in a human. Velocities are about the same; those pellets were moving out at about 920 fps, though they slow down very quickly, with the diabolo shape and ~8 gr. projectile weight. Probably not a factor at 13 yards.

    * I have some slo-mo video where I could see the initial impact very well. Anywhere in the head or neck just turned their lights out immediately, which was not always the case with a domed pellet or hollow point. Anywhere in the heart/lung area just caused quick and massive bleeding and they never made it more than a few yards when hit like that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
    Gunfu_Blaster.45 and Eugen like this.
  24. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,485
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I bet these could be moving pretty quick for a .38SPL out of something with a 6” barrel.
     
  25. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,296
    Location:
    Illinois
    Back when I worked on an organic farm rabbits and grackles were public enemy #1. We were non mechanized and used a lot of labor to transplant seedlings. Rabbits could nip off a 100 yards of transplants overnight and the birds would clear an acre of cherry trees the morning before we could harvest. We didn't really use chems or aggressive pest control but we would goof off taking pot shots after lunch on targets of opportunity while it was still too hot for heavy labor or harvest.

    We had a Red Ryder, a Crosman multi pump BB/.177, a Chinese single pump 800-900fps .177, a Crosman Quest 1000 .177, and a lower end single pump .177 pistol like the Marksman B3. I really liked it.

    The Red Ryder would actually knock down a rabbit hard enough to dispatch if you hit them just right but the BB trajectory was more art than science. I despised the multi pump Crosman and never used it. The Chinese air rifle with any .177 pellet was good and the Crosman 1000 with any pellet would blow through a rabbit or grackle with just about anything but the wadcutters always made for a lot more drama. None of us were good enough to shoot very far so the ballistics of such small pellets was pretty negligible but clearly the wadcutters had a lot more smack to them.

    However, in the pistol I absolutely loved the small Gamo round ball pellets. That pistol was more difficult to load but I could jam the round balls in blind without taking my eyes off the target. With reduced pistol velocity but a slightly higher pellet weight and round ball ballistics I found they worked great.

    Purely anecdotal evidence from amateur pest control but I also figure the theory applies to other calibers. We ate a few rabbits but have never done any other form of hunting. I'm comfortable hedging my bet on wadcutters in a low power situation versus falling short of performance velocity in a hollow point.
     
    Gunfu_Blaster.45 and Smaug like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice