38 Special Federal Gold Medal Match 148 grain Wadcutter Terminal test

38 Special Federal Gold Medal Match 148 grain Wadcutter Terminal Test

This is a discussion on 38 Special Federal Gold Medal Match 148 grain Wadcutter Terminal Test within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I can't remember who was asking me to do this this test. As you might imagine, I get requests frequently and it gets more and ...

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Thread: 38 Special Federal Gold Medal Match 148 grain Wadcutter Terminal test

  1. #1
    Member Array Ljutic's Avatar
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    38 Special Federal Gold Medal Match 148 grain Wadcutter Terminal test

    I can't remember who was asking me to do this this test. As you might imagine, I get requests frequently and it gets more and more difficult to keep track of them. Anyway, here's a terminal test with denim, clear gel, and a wadcutter.

    Full Report:
    Pocket Guns and Gear: Federal Gold Medal Match 38 Special Wadcutter Denim and Clear Gel test

    Just the Video:
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Nice review! Interesting that the denim plug that was cut and dragged through the gel block might have masked the purported "full caliber wound channel" that the WC is supposed to make. Since most BGs wear clothes, I guess you cannot count on those "sharp shoulders."

    Any chance you can do a test with some +P 158 gr Semi-WCs? Would be interesting to see if the heavier weight and higher velocity give different results. You would expect full penetration of the block, but would be interesting to see if there is any tumbling or if the higher velocity results in more temporary stretch.

    Thanks for posting!
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  3. #3
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    Very good review. I was surprised by the penetration in gel. The people I have seen shot with load never exhibited this type of penetration. One of my friends was shot with this load during a bank robbery, the bullet struck his pelvis and stopped.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    Very good review. I was surprised by the penetration in gel. The people I have seen shot with load never exhibited this type of penetration. One of my friends was shot with this load during a bank robbery, the bullet struck his pelvis and stopped.
    Ouch! Double ouch!

    Did he crumble right there or even go down? Did he retreat to "somewhere safe" to lie down? Did he survive?
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  5. #5
    agalindo
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    Might be that the clear gel doesn't represent a clear picture of the permanent would created by the wadcutter. According to Duncan McPherson it should cut a wound channel pretty much 100% the diameter of the bullet while a RN will push tissue aside and cut a wound channel about 69% of the bullets diameter.
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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I had always heard that the sharp shoulder helped the bullets grip bone. instead of a round nose design bouncing off of hard bone a sharp shoulder helped it bite in and punch through. I would not have expected the wadcutter design to do anything else on gel. There was a famous NYC cop who advocated wad cutter design back in the 70s. DR

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doghandler View Post
    Ouch! Double ouch!

    Did he crumble right there or even go down? Did he retreat to "somewhere safe" to lie down? Did he survive?
    He was working off duty in his PD uniform at a bank. He was escorting the lady with the cash to the drive thru when the robber stepped out from some bushes confronting him. BG ordered him to drop his gun, he pushed the GG out of the line of fire when BG shot him 2" below his gunbelt (was wearing his vest). He was able to draw, empty his 357 mag into the BG, sit down and reload. When I got there (about 2 minutes later) he was sitting on the step holding his hip, said the harder he pressed the less it hurt. He was a very luck man, the WC had nicked his femoral artery and his direct pressure saved his life. He was back to work 6 weeks later, though it changed his life. The BG was DRT one shot hit his RG 38 the rest made a 6"-8" group in his upper chest.
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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    There was a time when people reloaded wadcutters and reversed them in order to make a hollowpoint . Loaded with about 8 grains of Unique powder, the round was pretty good.
    BTW.. GREAT VIDEO by the OP on this type of 38 Spl load on the Gel.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    I had always heard that the sharp shoulder helped the bullets grip bone. instead of a round nose design bouncing off of hard bone a sharp shoulder helped it bite in and punch through. I would not have expected the wadcutter design to do anything else on gel. There was a famous NYC cop who advocated wad cutter design back in the 70s. DR
    Maybe it would "grip" if you used hard cast and pushed it a lot faster. The soft lead will deform first, and the low velocity tends to deflect easier when heavy bone is struck. Remember that even though that bullet may be spinning at 30,000 RPM it only rotates at the ratio of the barrels twist. I believe most 38/357's are @ 1:48 so it would make a complete revolution every 48".
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLASS3NH View Post
    There was a time when people reloaded wadcutters and reversed them in order to make a hollowpoint . Loaded with about 8 grains of Unique powder, the round was pretty good.
    BTW.. GREAT VIDEO by the OP on this type of 38 Spl load on the Gel.
    My dad and I tried that in 1982 when I got out of the Army. Until I figured out what was happening I was perplexed by the multiple odd shaped holes in the target. The soft lead skirt collapsed and sheered off so what you ended up with was two chunks randomly tumbling down range. Every once in a while this comes up. In the days before decent hollow-points many things were tried. This is one that never worked.

    You are thinking of Jim Cirillo. He was a great guy, got to talk to him once before his untimely death. We talked about his safe stop bullet, I thought he should have pushed it to 1000 FPS, he did'n't think he needed to.
    gasmitty likes this.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    He was working off duty in his PD uniform at a bank. He was escorting the lady with the cash to the drive thru when the robber stepped out from some bushes confronting him. BG ordered him to drop his gun, he pushed the GG out of the line of fire when BG shot him 2" below his gunbelt (was wearing his vest). He was able to draw, empty his 357 mag into the BG, sit down and reload. When I got there (about 2 minutes later) he was sitting on the step holding his hip, said the harder he pressed the less it hurt. He was a very luck man, the WC had nicked his femoral artery and his direct pressure saved his life. He was back to work 6 weeks later, though it changed his life. The BG was DRT one shot hit his RG 38 the rest made a 6"-8" group in his upper chest.
    Heros are never without a story and that's a good one.
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