Wadcutters-Pros and Cons? - Page 3

Wadcutters-Pros and Cons?

This is a discussion on Wadcutters-Pros and Cons? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by flintlock62 Actually, far from worthless. They are great at short distances. I've used them for snakes when I'm fishing, and they're quite ...

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Thread: Wadcutters-Pros and Cons?

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock62 View Post
    Actually, far from worthless. They are great at short distances. I've used them for snakes when I'm fishing, and they're quite deadly. At what distance did you experience keyholing?
    10-15 yards. Are you talking cast HBWC's or Swaged? They are very different.
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  2. #32
    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    So Wadcutters and Semiwadcutters have a nice sharp edge around the bullet. It cuts a nice round hole in a paper target. It also cuts a nice round full caliber hole through flesh. And being heavy for their caliber they can push through bone better. Some Hog and Bear hunters I know say they will grip the bone and push on through rather than deflecting off of skulls and flatter bones. I have also seen interviews with older cops that agreed with that. Unlike HP's that can get plugged and turn them into a round nose, they cut a full cal hole through what they hit, instead of an icepick hole.

    the +p 9mm hp bullets were sold to city PD's becaus there was a greater chance that the HP would stay in the body of what was shot. The city attny's liked this. The better HP's are made to better open at the speed that they expect to generate from the service guns that are current now. The old WC's and SWC's do not care much what speed they were driven.

    So when you compare the two remember that each has a given purpose. The various WC's were made to be deadly in guns with barels from 1" to 6", to penetrate well , even through heavy jackets, and be inexpensive.
    The modern HP's are being asked to do so many more things! They have to be accurate, inexpensive, expand well, stay in most body's, shoot well in most guns, penetrate through barriers, penetrate 12 to 18 " of gel, etc......

    When we break it down to the simplest requirements I could make a case fot WC's. But add in the added requirements and I don't think the WC's would score as well. Just my own thoughts. DR

  3. #33
    Senior Member Array camsdaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock62 View Post
    Actually, far from worthless. They are great at short distances. I've used them for snakes when I'm fishing, and they're quite deadly. At what distance did you experience keyholing?
    I think he was saying they are worthless when loaded backwards. I had them keyhole when I tried loading them backwards.

    I find the full wadcutter a soft accurate round that will adequately penetrate from a air weight snub. From the 1 7/8" barrel I would prefer guaranteed penetration over like that penetrating non expanding bullets.
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  5. #34
    Senior Member Array Grizzly2's Avatar
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    Swagged hollow base full wadcutters loaded upside down would sometimes (frequently? it was over 30 years ago) keyhole from my 4" Model 19 at 25 yards. They turned into impressive mushrooms when shot into mud.

    I carry Underwood cast full wadcutters in my 3" Bulldog .44 They are a little snappy, but not bad at all.
    I don't know if any HP will reliably expand from a 3" .44 spc. barrel unless loaded hotter than that Bulldog and me can stand.
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  6. #35
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    The .38 Special 158 gr lead SWC in either standard or +P is an excellent multipurpose load when your valid threat matrix includes hostile four-legged elements, and not just malnourished thugs in the 7-11 parking lot.
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  7. #36
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    So when you compare the two remember that each has a given purpose. The various WC's were made to be deadly in guns with barels from 1" to 6", to penetrate well , even through heavy jackets, and be inexpensive.


    When we break it down to the simplest requirements I could make a case fot WC's. But add in the added requirements and I don't think the WC's would score as well. Just my own thoughts. DR
    Actually, wadcutters were designed for target shooting, to cut a nice clean hole in paper. They are generally made of soft lead and perform poorly on real people. I have seen multiple people shot with wadcutters and as bullet wounds go they were not very impressive.

    Semi-wadcutters were also designed for target shooting and used in various designs in the early 357 magnum loads. One of the most prolific was the Winchester lubaloy bullets carried by many cops before we had hollow points. Elmer Keith had his own designs of semi wadcutters for hunting.
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  8. #37
    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    Actually, wadcutters were designed for target shooting, to cut a nice clean hole in paper. They are generally made of soft lead and perform poorly on real people. I have seen multiple people shot with wadcutters and as bullet wounds go they were not very impressive.

    Semi-wadcutters were also designed for target shooting and used in various designs in the early 357 magnum loads. One of the most prolific was the Winchester lubaloy bullets carried by many cops before we had hollow points. Elmer Keith had his own designs of semi wadcutters for hunting.
    The major difference between Target WC's[ and SWC's] and hunting WC's? Alloy hardness. They are just as accurate, and just as deadly. It's only when you add in the other bullet requirements that Jacketed HP's come into there own. DR.
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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    The major difference between Target WC's[ and SWC's] and hunting WC's? Alloy hardness. They are just as accurate, and just as deadly. It's only when you add in the other bullet requirements that Jacketed HP's come into there own. DR.
    Target wadcutters are not deadly. Sorry, I have seen too many pissed off people shot with wadcutters to come to that conclusion.
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  10. #39
    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    Target wadcutters are not deadly. Sorry, I have seen too many pissed off people shot with wadcutters to come to that conclusion.
    And there are just as many that were shot with HP's that are still walking around. The shooter still has to hit something the shootee can't function without!

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    My Dad and I experimented doing that in 1982 when I got out of the Army with some light 38 special loads. Using Speer swaged lead HBWC every one keyholed and came apart. Pretty worthless if you ask me. Never thought to gas check them, I doubt that would have done anything but reduce lead in the barrel.
    That was my experience as well. Some years after I tried that (.38 HB wadcutters loaded backwards), some guys at the range in Dallas and I compared notes. One of them was a LOT more knowledgeable about ballistics. He said whenever you load the bullet with the majority of the mass behind the center of gravity, like in a HB wadcutter loaded backwards, the bullet will tumble as it passes through the air. He claimed that bullets basically like to travel with the greatest mass forward.

    I never did any follow up investigating about that, but it sounded right at the time.

    EDIT - i should clarify this as to what I think I remember him saying: "He claimed that bullets basically like to travel with the greatest mass forward - unless the shape of the bullet reduces the friction of the passing airflow." I think I'm remembering that right.
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  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    And there are just as many that were shot with HP's that are still walking around. The shooter still has to hit something the shootee can't function without!
    Do you have a source or is that just a guess on numbers? Shot placement has always been key. Bullet design is but one small factor. If you take a hardcast LSWC and move it @ 1200 fps it is going to be more effective than a JHP moving @ 800 fps assuming shot placement.
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  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChap View Post
    That was my experience as well. Some years after I tried that (.38 HB wadcutters loaded backwards), some guys at the range in Dallas and I compared notes. One of them was a LOT more knowledgeable about ballistics. He said whenever you load the bullet with the majority of the mass behind the center of gravity, like in a HB wadcutter loaded backwards, the bullet will tumble as it passes through the air. He claimed that bullets basically like to travel with the greatest mass forward.

    I never did any follow up investigating about that, but it sounded right at the time.

    EDIT - i should clarify this as to what I think I remember him saying: "He claimed that bullets basically like to travel with the greatest mass forward - unless the shape of the bullet reduces the friction of the passing airflow." I think I'm remembering that right.

    He is correct. That is why bullets like say the 55 grn FMJ 223 yaw when they hit.... In fluid they are more stable with the weight forward.
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  14. #43
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  15. #44
    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    Do you have a source or is that just a guess on numbers? Shot placement has always been key. Bullet design is but one small factor. If you take a hardcast LSWC and move it @ 1200 fps it is going to be more effective than a JHP moving @ 800 fps assuming shot placement.
    If I hit a BG in the center of his forehead with a LWC, and a Jacketed HP at the same speed, which one is more effective? You can substitute the heart, lungs, aorta, major artery, etc....When you are comparing bullet effectiveness you have to assume an equal hit.

    As for a source of how many walk away from being shot with a HP. The statistic being thrown out there is that of those that are alive when they get to the hospital with a pistol GSW only 14% die. HP's don't make pistol ammo into a death ray!

    I know this is just one of your things, So we are just going to have to disagree on this one DR
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  16. #45
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    ok, we need a guinea pig
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