Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by wiscoaster, Nov 19, 2021.
I had some once and many expanded beautifully out of a 4" barrel, but I don't know how they'd behave out of a snubbie.
Then there is the issue of .HB, now HP "skirt" separating. Accuracy went out the window then, and the notion that some of the debris might remain in the barrel to cause mischief is sobering. I never tested my reversed HBWCs for penetration so I can't comment on that, but the LSWC is reliable and does have excellent penetration. IMHO the standard velocity LSWC is very controllable when launched out of a snubbie.
The prosecutor hammed on and on about Kyle using Full Metal Jacket ammunition.
I carry wadcutters in J frames because:
1. The bullet is already in an efficient shape. A hollowpoint has to expand a bit to get where the wadcutter starts out. Jim Cirillo, who knew more about gunfighting than almost everyone on this forum, had a quest for the perfect bullet. Most of his designs were wadcutters. When he carried a 1911 on the NYPD Stakeout Squad, he had a full wadcutter in the chamber backed by Super Vel hollowpoints in the magazine.
2. The lower velocity of factory target hbwc does not inhibit the penetration of the bullet. Why? Just about every other bullet design will tumble when it meets resistance in the target. That's because the base of the bullet is heavier and the bullet will tumble. The hbwc has most of its weight forward. It keeps on pushing through the target. It gives adequate penetration at target velocities.
3. Factory target hbwcs are easy on you and easy on the revolver.
4. Hard to reload? Statistics show most SD gunfights will be over before you fire your 5 shots. However, I believe you should always carry a reload. I have RP 158 swcs in a speedloader and a 2x2 pouch. The speedloader for complete reloads, the 2x2 for partial.
The reversed hbwcs? They work well. When they work. I tested them long ago (1970s) in various media. You reverse that hbwc and you put the weight bias to the rear of the bullet and they can wind up tumbling. Often they will shear off half of the hollow base. Failure rate was about 50%. I don't consider them as a viable option.
l never carried them. I figured I had found a pretty good load if I was ever attacked by a bank of damp, red, Virginia clay though. I never loaded any more of them. They were difficult to load using a speed-loader. A lot of wiggling to get them to go in all at once time. A speed-strip would have been faster, maybe, loading one at a time, but I can't remember if I tried that or not.
I ended up with factory 158 grain lead SWC in 38 special for my Model 19 sd my "serious ammo." There was no legal concealed carry, so that pretty much meant my nightstand.
I’ve done the math. Two holes leak twice as fast as one hole.
Decades ago, a few gun-writers touted them for for defensive use. Today, I use factory premium defensive ammunition
You will not find me carrying hand loads.
It's popular enough that Buffalo Bore makes EXACTLY what you want. Full pressure 38 Special with a 150 grain hard cast WC bullet for short barrels.
I see that someone mentioned earlier the 44 Special version.
The story line here is about wadcutters. My experience was very few jhp or expanding ammo really worked well. Clothing can clog up the expansion and some just do not expand at low speeds generated by short barrels. For this very reason, my old 36 is loaded with the Buffalo bore, hard cast wadcutter. I know that if I have to use the thing, it will make a hole, and that I will probably need at least 3 accurate rounds to stop the threat. I have other weapons now that I normally carry concealed, but my 36 is still there and I do occasionally put it on
I've cast & swaged wc's and hbwc's for the 32cal's/35cal's/41cal's/44cal's/45cal's. It really didn't matter the caliber or firearm used, the same theme kept coming up.
Against soft tissue wc's/hbwc's/hbwc's turned backwards flat out work. They hit extremely hard and have excellent penetration. Typical results with a 8/9bhn cast hbwc turned backwards to make a huge hp, a 220gr hbwc/44spl doing 1000fps.
For best results the wc's/hbwc's need to be harder then the soft target bullets sold by the major ammo/bullet mfg's. The harder wc's/hbwc's also tend to ricochet/glance off of angled surfaces.
The wc's/hbwc's don't do very well when hitting hard surfaces strait on. This is a 148gr cast hbwc, 8/9bhn shot out of a 38spl/800fps+ playing around with a ppc revolver on the bowling pin table 25ft.
That bullet recovered out of the bowling pin.
Just something to keep in mind. Soft objects are where a wc/hbwc really shines. Start getting into harder surfaces that are either angled or strait on and they struggle.
Solid base wadcutters can be driven fairly hard.
But, for gun reloads, something better than a wadcutter is needed to make the reloading go easier.
Since a handloader can tailor a 158 grain SWC bullet to shoot to similar point of aim as a 148 grain wadcutter load he has a reloaf that will perform well and be easy to reload the gun.
The SWC may not be as effective as the wadcutter but it will not be far off.
Anyway, this thread has got me thinking.
I've got steel plates and pins holding my wrists together. I had to move from a 22 lr to a 38 with wadcutters, the 22 snub didn't impart much confidence . I agree with the poster that there is no recoil difference in wadcutters to standard pressure 38s.
According to Paul Harrell, lucky gunner and numerous others the critical defense do not fail to expand to at least .4, and still go over 12 inches.
I choose the jhp standard pressure. It has replaced the wadcutters for me. They go right where the front site looks, and with no muzzle rise you could double tap or alternate targets. It's a good load for airweights or even steel frame.
I used them in my Colt M357 in Viet Nam. They worked, but leaded ferociously due to the very high velocities I loaded them to.
Living in a rural area and mostly being concerned with four-legged predators - but still aware of the reality of two-legged predators - I do not concealed carry but I do holster carry quite often. I use handloads designed to stop or at least deter pretty much any fast, large, dangerous animal I might come across; even when it is sick, cornered, frightened, or completely insane from the ravages of rabies. It's terrible that people discard their domesticated pets out here but they do and those animals are not at all capable of surviving in the wilds. If some "ham" prosecutor decides to go after you, they need no excuse to do it. Making claims about ammo - FMJ is military therefore you must be some kind of anti-this or anti-that "militia" extremist, etc. - is just one avenue and it is unavoidable now. There is no longer any kind of controlling authority over prosecutors in far too many places. Out here in the sticks they'll have a hard time getting a jury to convict but even that will change with demographics changes. Use what works and let the lawyers argue over Castle Doctrines in the law and whether a reload is more lethal or shows greater intent than a factory FMJ or if a factory "Defensive" load means your were playing vigilante... keep a good lawyer on retainer and talk to them about your options. Any lawyer who tells you using factory, boxed, "self-defense" ammo will absolutely protect you from prosecution or help your case in any way is out of touch with reality. There are now far too many examples of the opposite happening.
A full-power, hard cast, 148gr. DEWC - 3.5gr. of Bullseye in a .38Spl or 6gr. of Unique in a .357Magnum - will do most jobs you'd want a .38 to do and do it well enough but, a heavier LSWC - 158 to 170gr. - will do it better. In my experience hunting small, fast, dangerous animals. The old FBI load was actually pretty good for an all-around "duty" load, IMO.
Are those hardcast bullets (148 gr DEWC)?
Am interested because although I load 38 Spl with 158 gr LRN and LSWC Hornady bullets (over 3.8 gr W231) am curious about a 148gr DEWC as good all around load that might kick less than 158gr in an airweight. Would be interested in your experience on that.
This is the load I used when I shot a prowler on my property, he survived but it put him in the hospital.
Separate names with a comma.