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"wicked"+ 38spl

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by dashootist, Oct 12, 2010.

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  1. dashootist

    dashootist Member

    Feb 8, 2010
    I read a Handgunsmag article about the "wicked" 148gr HBWC doing less than 655 ft/s. Heck, my plinking load with 3 gr of Bullseye probably does more than that. The mag's testing showed this swaged, soft lead, HBWC penetrated 30 inches of gel and 24 inches of plywood-gel combo. Sounds like a winner. Have I been wasting my money practicing and carrying expensive factory SD HP ammo that makes me wanna flinch everytime and beats the crap out of my hand? Heck, my plinking load is hard cast DEWC, and if the soft HBWC is "wicked", then my DEWC must be wicked+. Since nobody I know carry plinking WC for SD, what am I missing?
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  2. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    Mar 27, 2009
    nc mountains
    Don't know if that is the artical but there was one on a wc loaded backwards? Think about a HBWC loaded backwards interring a body and expanding. It's got mess with your innards. Got to admit ,my 12oz revolver and +p's darn sure hurt me to shoot. No fun at all.
  3. Archie

    Archie Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Hastings, Nebraska - the Heartland!
    From my experience:

    HBWC loaded backwards are pretty good, but not very accurate past 15 to 20 yards. They get unstable.

    Also, they violate the sacred "Factory Ammo For Defense Only or the Boogey Man Will Get You" principle.
    (Presuming one gives a hoot.)

    Plain wadcutters tend to cut or break (as appropriate) most of the internal working, blood vessels and bones they hit. They don't have the kinetic energy of some rounds, but there are some of us old geezers who don't put a lot of stock in 'energy' and prefer momentum.

    Frankly, I find full wadcutters to be a superior defense round for 'little' (light and hard to control) revolvers to the +P wallbanger stuff.

    If one decides to up the pressure and velocity of a wadcutter bullet, the DEWC is better. The HBWC tends to blow the skirt off in full loadings.
  4. earplug

    earplug Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Colorado Springs
    Energy is used to expand

    From what I gather it takes energy to penetrate flesh and bone and it takes energy to expand malleable lead or copper.
    If the velocity is low and the mass is small there is less available energy to penetrate or expand or do both.
    I don't see a valid reason why a HBWC moving at less then other bullet weights or shape can have any magic effects.
    I will continue to rely on a 158 grain lead SWC that does not lose energy while expanding, while losing penetration efficacy. The SWC shape penetrates bone and muscle well at moderate velocity.
    I want my pistol projectiles to have maximum penetration in relation to there size, the pistols platform size and my ability to absorb and withstand its recoil.
    A low velocity 750-900 FPS, 148 grain HBWC may show a nice mushroom effect in Clay or other media.
    I would be surprised if it would reliably punch through bone. Imagine a shot taken at another human holding a pistol with both arms out stretched.
    A bullet may have to penetrate a arm bone or two before hitting the chest area.
  5. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    I like a hardcast 158gr. bullet over a moderate charge of Bullseye. I trust my life to it every time I walk out the door.
  6. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Aug 2, 2007
    30 in of gel? WHat were they shooting, Jello?
    Blue Bunny's 148gr backward plated WC does about 890ft out of a 2" and penetrated 15" in Perma Gel.
    In .38spc heavy is better.
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Gee... I've been saying the same things for years. How could anyone be so dumb that they'd agree with me? :rolleyes:

    Or is it the other way around? :D
  8. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I can say I remember an article years ago, probably five or six where a gun writer did a test between all the available SD 38+p rounds. He found that in the real world nothing really beat a good ol 158gr SWC. I have about 3000 of these and carry my model 10-8 with one in the first and second holes, followed by some fancy schmancy +P jacketed hollow points. I can say the 158gr SWCs scared the crap out of a black bear who came on my land a few months back after I shot a +p round between his front paws that did nothing. I shot the second round, a 158gr SWC at the same spot and he ran for the hills.
  9. Nasty

    Nasty Member

    Mar 28, 2004
    Back before Al Gore invented the internet, before recycling, before they decided that Mighty Mouse and the Three Stooges were bad for us, the guys doing all of the testing and development came up with the hard cast 158gr SWC as the definitive .38 round.

    They shot a lot of pigs and cows in the process...this was before animals had rights after all. No theory...all direct observation.

    What did they know anyway...only came up with stuff like the .357 Magnum, .41 & .44 Magnums and so on.

    Then of course, G. Glock was born and everything got kind of muddied.
  10. Diggers

    Diggers Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    Wow a thread where a bunch of people don't care about expansion. Crazy.

    The Buffalo Bore non+p 150 grain hard cast wad cutter looks good for this group. 23 inches of gel and ended up .357 in diameter.

    http://www.brassfetcher.com/Buffalo...r standard pressure Hard Cast Wad Cutter.html

    I think the tests we see in gel or water are as ideal as they get as far a bullets expanding. Not a real world result.

    I've seen other tests where people shot meat and the bullets didn't really expand much or did so in an awkward half expanded half smashed way.
  11. Skull-ring

    Skull-ring Member

    Sep 7, 2010
    Oh now come on, everyone that reads a handgun magazine knows: You have to have a bullet with a red plastic tip, or a ball stuck on the front ,or some new doodad, to have any effect on a burgler!
    Why I just don't know how they killed people in the Civil War.:p
  12. CoastieShep

    CoastieShep Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Citrus Springs Florida
    Guns didn't kill people in the civil war. They just wounded people. The resulting infection from the bullets tearing off chunks of dirty clothes is what killed them all. Everybody knows that.:D
    But yes, I do like the idea of a swc for SD. When I reload, that's what I plan on making. I even plan on casting my own to double up on the "use store bought stuff only" thing. For some reason, I just don't trust my life to something made on an assembly line as much as I do to something I loaded myself.
  13. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    all over Virginia
    I'll play.

  14. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

    Jun 2, 2005
    North Chesterfield, Virginia
    Nothing new about that. Various people have been recomending the 38 wadcutter for S/D for years. When I first heard about it "back in the day" it wasn't new. Neither was loading the backwards.

    I've shot a few reversed HBWC's. I don't know how they kill, but they make an impressive hunk of lead when you dig them out of a clay creek bank.

    If I'm ever attacked by a clay creek bank I hope I have some handy.
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