Anyone here carry 148gr. wadcutters in their snubby?

Anyone here carry 148gr. wadcutters in their snubby?

This is a discussion on Anyone here carry 148gr. wadcutters in their snubby? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was wondering who here besides me carrys this load in a snubnose revolver? I currently carry these in both my colt cobra and agent. ...

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Thread: Anyone here carry 148gr. wadcutters in their snubby?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array 1911luver's Avatar
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    Anyone here carry 148gr. wadcutters in their snubby?

    I was wondering who here besides me carrys this load in a snubnose revolver? I currently carry these in both my colt cobra and agent. The cobra is a '72 and the agent is a '68,I've been told to avoid any use of +p in these guns. So I use the 148gr. wadcutter is this a good choice? Should I change over to a modern JHP in non +p flavor? How far doe these wadcutters usually penetrate out of a 2" barreled gun?

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    I think that choice is fine.

    If you want to experiment, try Buffalo Bore's standard pressure (non +P) 158-grain LHP.
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."

    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

  3. #3
    1943 - 2009
    Array Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    In the early 1970s, the original U.S. Customs Sky Marshals were issued S&W Model 60 revolvers and 148 grain wadcutter ammo. The theory was the wadcutters were less likely to exit a hijacker's body and possibly cause damage to the aircraft.

    Randy mentioned the Buffalo Bore load. That's what I carry in my Colt Cobra.

    Here's their web site, if you're interested.

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    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

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  5. #4
    Member Array Erich's Avatar
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    6000' above sea level - Albuquerque NM USA
    Based on Cirillo's work, a few years back I developed a defensive wadcutter that I use in my snubs. I've recently changed from a plated swaged Rainier 148-gr DEWC handload that gave me 895 fps from the 1 7/8" barrels of my guns (and 968 fps from the 3" guns) to a Tennessee Valley Bullets hardcast 148-gr DEWC that gives me 1020 fps from the 1 7/8" guns (somewhat unpleasant in an Airweight until I installed a grip adaptor), 1095 fps from a 3" barrel, and 1127 fps from a 4" gun.

    These loads use what the Speer # 12 Manual suggests is a standard pressure .38 load - even though this loading is from a relatively tame and respected manual, I would not be shocked to learn that it is producing higher-than-SAAMI-approved pressures. Or maybe it's not. Beats me. Anyhow, it shows how different loads shoot differently with slightly different components, and also in different guns, and it underscores the importance of working any load up an ensuring that it's safe to use in YOUR gun. This one works fine for me, but it might not work for you.

    In any event, the hardcast, wide meplat and accurate WC is something I rely upon, and - with the grip adaptor in place - it's easily controllable even in the Airweight Bodyguard.
    Shot-placement is king. Adequate penetration is queen. Everything else is angels dancing on the heads of pins.

  6. #5
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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    It will be noticed that Erich is using a double-ended wadcutter and not the 148 grain hollow based wadcutter. Drive hollow based wadcutters too fast and they have a reputation for having their little skirts blown off which become stuck in the barrel. Next bullet down the tube and ...presto, a ring or a burst.

    I think that the DEWCs when handloaded to peak performance would be a really great choice in a .38 Special. I'd prefer them or a sharp-shouldered semi-wadcutter to the fancier hollowpoint ammunition for myself.

  7. #6
    Member Array rdrancher's Avatar
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    While not as smokin' hot as Erich's handloads, you might want to check out Buffalo Bore's Standard Pressure "Very Hard Cast" 150gr Wadcutter here.

    Product Line Listing

    Item 20D/20. Be sure and read the owner's description of this load. Pretty pricey, but good quality in my experience.

    I'm using their SWC-HC (20C/20) load in my Vintage Charter Arms with good results.

    "Little by little the look of the country changes because of the men we admire." Homer Bannon - Hud 1963
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  8. #7
    Member Array plus p's Avatar
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    I have tested many different JHP loads for the 2" snubby, and I have yet to find one that will open up after going through 4 layers of denim into water jugs.

    While I never expect to be attacked by a denim covered water jug, I consider it is a good reference for testing hollow points. Ballistic gelatin is hard for the average person to get right (correct mixture, temperature, etc.).

    Most quality .38 loads will open up from a 4" barrel, but won't open reliably from a 2" barrel.

    Therefore, if I carry a .38 snubby, I stoke it with 148gr. wadcutters. It makes a better hole than a tapered FMJ that doesn't open, and gets pretty good penetration too.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    nothing wrong with the wadcutters. i practice with them, but i carry duty issue hydro shock +p+ in my 1980's model 60. hey, i only got to shoot it five times with the +p+. what a hand full.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    My problem with the 148gr Wadcutter is that it is so slow in most factory loadings. What kind of energy are you getting from a 2" snub? At least a non +P JHP will be generating more energy even if it doesn't expand. We tested a couple of loads from a snub in wet newspaper covered in cloth, although right now I can't find the pictures. The 110 Hydra Shok expanded, as did the 110 Silvertip. The Silvertip tumbled a lot, too. The 110gr Remington JHP turned into a fat little wadcutter but didn't mushroom. My personal load is a 125gr Nyclad non +P, the box in the pic just happened to be sitting on my computer desk as I write this. I hoard my supply of this stuff.

    Edit: Sorry about the big pic. My bad. Link to the previous thread with a pic of the Silvertip and Remington. non +P
    Last edited by Superhouse 15; January 20th, 2008 at 01:04 PM. Reason: link and such

  11. #10
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    I haven't, but I wouldn't refuse to do so. I would prefer, however, a 158-grain standard-pressure LSWC(/HP) such as the previously mentioned Buffalo Bore, Remington, or someone else's. My "old-school" way of thought prefers these to lighter JHPs. OMO, YMMV...good luck with whatever you decide.

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array Creature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randytulsa2 View Post
    I think that choice is fine.

    If you want to experiment, try Buffalo Bore's standard pressure (non +P) 158-grain LHP.
    I will second that notion regarding B.B.'s standard pressure 158gr SWCHP. Excellent stuff.

  13. #12
    Member Array Skysoldier's Avatar
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    +1 for the BB non +P 158 LHP I carry it in my Old Colt Cobra and have done some water jug tests and they do expand and have good penatration.

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