Keith style SWCs for defensive use

Keith style SWCs for defensive use

This is a discussion on Keith style SWCs for defensive use within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So, with the cost of everything going way up, including "defensive" ammo (if you can even find it), I have a question about the use ...

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Thread: Keith style SWCs for defensive use

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Keith style SWCs for defensive use

    So, with the cost of everything going way up, including "defensive" ammo (if you can even find it), I have a question about the use of "target" Keith-style SWCs for defensive use.

    I am curious to hear some accounts from you handgun hunters out there who use this load. What kind of results are you getting?

    I understand most of you probably handload, which is not something I am interested in. I'm mostly trying to see what kind of results you might expect to see from factory SWCs.

    I currently use standard pressure 158 gr SWCs in my .38 LCR. They certainly seem stout enough, and I do not believe in magic bullets, but without the benefit of a chronograph or ballistic gel to do my own tests, I'm just wondering what these can be expected to do, from those of you who may have used this load (or similar) for hunting.

    Thanks!
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    481
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    'Bout five years ago, I shot a large whitetail deer with a Federal .44 Magnum 300 gr. CastCore (HCSWC) quartering toward me at about 35 yds.

    It went through the left upper chest and exited the rear of the right side ribcage (clipping the last rib as it did so)- the deer took three wobbly sideways steps and collapsed. Doesn't get better than that.

    The .38 158 gr SWCs should offer more than enough penetration- using the Schwartz and MacPherson bullet penetration models for a .38 158 gr. SWC @ 750 fps gives a maximum penetration depth of 28.1" and 28.8" respectively.
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    You need to PM Glockman10mm. He can enlighten you as to the effectiveness of LSWCs on game, and therefore humans.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Yep, or use the search function here to find glockman10mm's numerous posts on the subject.

    I'm in the middle of Elmer Keith's classic "Sixguns" and in various places he describes the difference in terminal effect between round-nosed bullets and the sharp-edged SWCs. The information may be dated but the observations are no less valid. I don't feel ill-equipped with SWCs in the 1911 or the .38, if sexy JHPs are not on hand.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Tried the search function before I posted the thread - didn't really find anything. I've noticed that the search function seems to be a little iffy in the newer versions of vBulletin. Used to give much better results.

    Maybe one of you mods can link in some of the old info? Thanks
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Here's a link Glockman10mm's "started threads." http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...archid=2257601

    Good stuff there but a cursory look didn't find a thread with the lead semi-wadcutter bullet as the topic of a deer hunt. I too, feel I remember gman mentioning such a hunt(s) in threads.

    I've successfully taken a deer with a single shot from a .38 Special revolver loaded with a factory Winchester +P 158 grain SWC. The muzzle velocity was around 875 fps. The distance was around 35 yards. One another occasion a deer, suffering a broken leg and caught up in a mass of barbed wire pushed up by a dozer, was put down with a single broadside, through-and-through hit at close range with a handloaded 158 grain lead SWC that gave 858 fps in chronograph tests. On yet another occasion a large buck struck by a vehicle and lying in a ditch was put down by the Winchester +P 158 grain lead SWC load. In all cases the heart was struck and the deer expired within seconds.

    A small doe was taken last year about this time with a .41 Magnum and a handload consisting of an older Sierra 220 grain half-jacket bullet (read that a SWC with a jacket covering the bearing surfaces and a lead shoulder and nose) traveling a little over 1300 fps. The bullet struck broadside and pierced both lungs. This deer went into a mad, stumbling scramble for about 30 yards then collapsed and immediately expired. The sharp-shouldered and square-nosed bullet didn't likely expand but did provide through-and-through penetration and impressive tissue destruction at the increased velocity.

    Without going into great detail, the use of 158 grain lead SWC bullets in the .38 Special at velocities of 850-875 fps has served well over the years with good hits when turned on various varmints and critters and feral dogs to 80 lbs.

    Personally, I don't care a hoot whether a hollow point is present or not with the lead semi-wadcutter bullet. In fact I currently use ammunition from an odd box of factory Remington +P 158 grain lead semi-wadcutters without hollow point, in both my 2-inch and 4-inch .38 Special revolvers for a self-defense load.



    Another "best kept secret" of the handgun world is the handloaded 180-200 grain lead semi-wadcutter .45 ACP bullet. At velocities between 850 and 1000 feet per second these work a treat whether fired from automatic or revolver.
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    481
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Tried the search function before I posted the thread - didn't really find anything. I've noticed that the search function seems to be a little iffy in the newer versions of vBulletin. Used to give much better results.

    Maybe one of you mods can link in some of the old info? Thanks
    Here's the best I could do.

    All kinds of glockman10mm "goodness"-

    The mighty 38 spl

    Effective combat range of a snub nose revolver

    Combat Effectiveness of the .44 Special? (see post #33 which proves it ain't the ammo, it's the shooter that matters)
    Last edited by 481; January 20th, 2013 at 01:22 PM.
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    "Another "best kept secret" of the handgun world is the handloaded 180-200 grain lead semi-wadcutter .45 ACP bullet. At velocities between 850 and 1000 feet per second these work a treat whether fired from automatic or revolver. "

    I could not get 200 grn SWCs to work in my G30. They passed the "clunk" test but had many "go into battery" issues. Finally went to 230 LRNs with no problems.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    Use a 1911 instead of a Glock and the lead SWCs work like champions.

    Heh ... heh...couldn't resist.

    Only kidding. I've seen others' 1911 guns that choked and harked on SWCs.
    aus71383 and gasmitty like this.
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    I have shot several 200 lb+ whitetail deer with .44 mag 240 LSWC @ 1500 FPS from my SBH and they work very well, a solid hit and they do not go far. I agree with 481, they punch pretty straight through.
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    I have not been able to find any +P 158gr .38 SWCs locally. The standard pressure Winchester ones I was able to find show 750 fps out of a 4" barrel, so they would be slower out of a snubbie. Just seems a little slow - but on the other hand, it is still a good step up from a .380, so I guess if you are OK with a 95 gr .380 at 850 fps, then a 158 gr at 700 fps or so should be fine as well.

    I have thought about getting the barn-burning Buffalo Bore or Double Tap loads, or even the much-recommended Speer 135 gr Short Barrel JHPs, but the SWCs I have now "feel" pretty stout. Not sure the performance is worth the trade off in recoil and speed of follow up shots.

    That's why I'm looking for feedback from folks who might have used a similar load for hunting and the like.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    10th, heres my " travel kit".


    If you notice, all my 38 loads for the 642 are swc bullets, and handloaded to about 700-750 fps. The beautiful thing about that design, is its penetrating qualities. It does not depend on speed to work.
    About 25 years ago, I was the guy who was the one to return empty handed from the whitetail hunt, because, I started experimenting with this bullet design, and wanted to see just how low in caliber I could go and still put the deer down. But to do this I had to not only overcome my own shooting skill limitation, but also get a very close shot. the overall goal was to really see what a commonly carried defensive handgun caliber could do in live flesh. And if you look at the physical measurements with respect to depth and structure, an average sized deer chest cavity is as close to an average sized mans as you can get. I got a lot of laughs for my efforts at the time.
    No one is laughing now.

    The 38 spl loaded with a stout load, of 900 fps with a 158 swc from a 4 inch tube, will shoot clear through a deer at 10 yards. I later found out, that I could shoot thru the shoulder blade and still get penetration as long as the bullet did not encounter the bone on the off side exit area, and this seemed to thump them even harder.

    With the snub nose revolver, the amount of velocity achieved is reduced to the point that you begin to split hairs. You can go lighter, get more velocity, or you can stay heavy and let the weight of the bullet do the work. I prefer the latter.

    Additionally, the standard velocity vs +p loads in the snub, does not yield velocities that imo make enough of a difference to worry about. And I dont think you should either.

    My goal, with the defensive use of my 642, is to center the torso, and get a straight line penetrating shot that from any angle has enough moxy to reach the spine, or get close enough to the spine to disrupt the system and collapse it.
    Given the size and depth of the human torso, I have absolutely no doubt that a standard loading of the 158 swc is capable of doing that and more.

    bmcgilvray made an excellent comment about the 200grn lead bullets in the 38spl. I would rather go up in weight and down in velocity than vice-versa.

    And I think you are correct in your assumption that the trade off in recoil is not worth the small gain in velocity.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    LSWC and WFNGC bullets have quite different effects - but for some interesting reading on the terminal performance of WFNGC style bullets (large meplat) check out beartoothbullets.com

    I would be quite comfortable carrying LSWCs for defense. LRNs I'd rather not - but as people often say....I wouldn't want to get shot with one.

    Austin

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    Senior Member Array Sky Pilot's Avatar
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    Carried hard cast 158 Keith SWCs in .357 as a lawman and did not feel under gunned.
    Back when I was young and skinny.
    Back when dirt was young and rocks were still under patent.
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    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    due to the square shoulder on a swc bullet, it severs arteries and tissue instead of just pushing through it. Deep penetration too. LOTS of blood loss on the animals I've used them on. Even on tough to kill critters like coons, even though the will to fight was still there, the blood loss caught up to them very quickly, and withinin a few seconds they just weren't getting enough O2 to keep up much of a fight.

    You want something really nasty, try Full Wadcutters over a full power load, instead of a target load. Like lightning, dead right there.

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