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Why are wadcutters so short?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by azhunter122, Aug 29, 2008.

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  1. azhunter122

    azhunter122 Member

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    I just got a box of wadcutter ammo and noticed that they are tiny compared to normal .38's and the bullet stops at the top of the brass? Why are they like that, and are wadcutters any good at all?
     
  2. VARifleman

    VARifleman Member

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    They're great for target shooting, probably loaded light, so they can be loaded shorter, and a cylinder is heavier than a cone of the same length.
     
  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Member

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    The weight determines the length. As the nose slims down to form a round or spitzer point, the bullet gets longer. As the nose becomes rounder, to fully flat, the bullet becomes shorter.

    You will see that hollow-base wadcutters are a bit longer than flat-base wadcutters.

    Note that a .50 cal round ball is 180 grains. Squeeze that down to a .308 diameter, squish a spitzer nose on it, and stomp a boat tail on the other end, and it becomes considerably longer. And looks just like a 180 grain 30-06 bullet.

    Pops
     
  4. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Member

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    wadcutters are used for target shooting, why waste the extra lead when you are just punching holes in paper ;)
     
  5. VARifleman

    VARifleman Member

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    They aren't necessarily lighter, the wadcutters I've picked up off the range are 147 gr .357 caliber bullets. They are just shaped differently.
     
  6. owlhoot

    owlhoot Member

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    The wadcutter bullet is normally 148 grs. That is only 10 fewer than the standard 158 gr. The wadcutter is designed with the flat face so it will make a nice neat hole in a paper target. That's why it is called a wad cutter. It is seated deep in the case because a lighter powder charge burns with greater consistency, uniformity, and efficiently in a smaller space. That translates to improved accuracy.

    The wadcutter load is ideal for target shooting, and small game hunting, and because of the mild recoil, it is a good training round for new shooters. Back in the fifties we used to handload slightly souped up wadcutter loads as a defensive round for the dick special and the Smith 36. We used hollow based bullets and reversed them in the case. Effective ammo wasn't available back then. Everything was lead RN 158 gr.
     
  7. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    Regular bullets are tumbled in viagra by the manufacturers . A step skipped for this bullet design.
     
  8. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    As noted they have a flat face so they cut nice holes in the paper target. When shooting you can watch the circles of paper float to the ground like snowflakes.
     
  9. win71

    win71 Member

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    Nice description owlhoot

    I've still got some factory Winchesters from the early 60's. The box says it all.

    "Mid range match"

    And that's pretty much what they were. Usually used on standard bulls eye targets at 25 yards max. range.
    There was one other advantage to that nice clean hole it punches. It was also very close to the actual diameter of the projectile, .357 inch. Liners were in and sometimes just that fact would determine the outcome of a competition.
     
  10. wadcutter45

    wadcutter45 Member

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    Because we started smoking cigars at age 5.


    Couldn't resist. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    And to this day the 148gr wadcutter remains a good defensive round recommened by many experts for self defense because they're soft shooting and the sharp profile of the bullet creates a wound path thats the actual width of the bullet instead of something like 60% as wide as the bullet like a round nosed bullet would.
     
  12. Poprivit

    Poprivit Member

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    I've still got some hollow-base .38 wadcutters loaded backwards into .357 cases. Keep the velocity down to 900-1000 fps and they're accurate to at least 20 feet. Sure do nasty things to a phone book, though! They open to 60-70 caliber and break pieces off that go everywhere. probably not real PC.
     
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