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I was at a retirement party recently for a friend that did 30 years on The Job and there was an old timer that was our Training Officer when we were rookies. The topic of ammo came up and he swore that the 158 gr+P Wadcutters in our .38's was the best street ammo and more effective that the present day 124 gr+P Hollow Points that Cops are carrying in their Glock 19's. What are the pros and cons of the Wadcutters? Thanks for your opinions.---Sturgis
 

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They make really nice round holes in paper targets .

Never heard of the +P wadcutter.

Maybe he was referring to the semi wadcutter version ?
 

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NYC used the semi-wadcutters as their primary load in revolvers for many years. The 38+Ps were known to often bounce off windshields & such. Advocating the semi-wadcutters (& revolvers by default) would only be done by indoctrinated old-timers (my generation).
The semi-wadcutters were solid (soft) lead and had deformation issues with obstacles, but also had less ricochet problems which would matter, somewhat, in densely populated areas.
The introduction of the Glock 9mms was an obvious upgrade, but NYC even managed to mess that up with their 12lb trigger policy (due to NDs). Wadcutters & semi-wadcutters are both relegated to range use and do not offer any advantages for LE or citizen defensive carry.

Just noticed, this is my first post in over 2 years.
 

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With the plethora of excellent SD ammo available on the market today, I have no reason to carry bullets intended for the target range.
 

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150gr. BB Wadcutters in my Mod. 36...…...I like round holes....omo.
 
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Must have meant the various 158 grain +P semi-wadcutter loadings.

I seem to recall that some supplier offered +P 148 grain bevel-based wadcutter load, but a cursory internet search doesn't uncover any. Some dig the reversed 148 grain hollow-based wadcutter concept, but I'm not interested in that. Because I'm an old timer I would prefer the heavier +P 158 grain .38 Special load over the +P 124 grain 9mm load, even though I don't believe there's a dime's difference in effectiveness between the two. I like the weight and like the wadcutter shape of semi-wadcutter bullets.

Being a geezer I also believe the world is flat and astronauts really didn't walk on the moon.

 

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I have some 148 gr. hollowbase wadcutters from. " X-Treme"... they are flash plated.
If I cut 4 serrations, using a cutting disk from my dremel tool on the hollow base side . Load that big hollow point end up.
Using 5.5 gr. (as a starting load) of Unique powder , do any of you see the benifits or maybe problems , with my imaginary project ?

Big hollowpoint , if I load them somewhat above flush level.

Suggestions?
 

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You'll likely get around 950 fps from a snub, 1000 fps from a 4-inch barrel. They may open. The serrations may help, or they may squash shut. They will be more difficult to consistently load from a speed loader if that is important to you.
 

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I don't use target wadcutters but, I do use wadcutters in my 2" barrel 38's.
Rossi M88.jpg
Buffalo Bore 150 grain hardcast wadcutters to be exact. These are pushing 860 fps with standard pressure from my 2". Not a target load.
If I jump up to a 4" barrel I prefer 158 grain LSWCHP +P. which gets that soft lead cup up to about 1,150 fps.
 

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There were some that many years ago for self-defense actually advocated loading hollow based wadcutters backwards in .38 Specials and even .357 Magnums when fired in the shorter barrels claiming they made them like a super hollow point. Does any other old-timers remember that trend? I think it was around the late 70s or so. I saw articles on it back then. :smile:
 

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There were some that many years ago for self-defense actually advocated loading hollow based wadcutters backwards in .38 Specials and even .357 Magnums when fired in the shorter barrels claiming they made them like a super hollow point. Does any other old-timers remember that trend? I think it was around the late 70s or so. I saw articles on it back then. :smile:
They would give you a perfect mushroom in mud, but many (some) would keyhole out of my 4" Model 19.
 

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There were some that many years ago for self-defense actually advocated loading hollow based wadcutters backwards in .38 Specials and even .357 Magnums when fired in the shorter barrels claiming they made them like a super hollow point. Does any other old-timers remember that trend? I think it was around the late 70s or so. I saw articles on it back then. :smile:
Yes, I remember. I used to load them up like that. I remember testing one on a single gallon milk jug filled with water one time in the winter. I shot it from about 10 feet, and got pretty wet in near freezing temperatures. Most people think it isn't a good load these days, due to shallow penetration, tumbling beyond 10 yds, etc. I don't use them anymore, but I think you could do a lot worse in a .38 snubby.
 

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Wadcutters and semi wadcutters are great for the range and for those guys who don't believe that ballistics technology has improved since they started into firearms.

I'm not constantly looking for the latest and greatest magic bullet. But nor am I going ignore ballistics advancements and rely on what "worked" back in the day.
 

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Wadcutters?

Not for me.

FBI loads are welcome, though. Especially the Buffalo Bore offering.

Lead semiwadcutter hollow points, kinda related but not the same thing. They have decent expansion potential and at 158gr, they're heavy for the caliber and I like that.
 

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For 38 special I rarely use anything other 158gr LSWCHP. There are some jacketed hollow points the perform very well, but at a much higher cost. I doubt they perform much if any better than a LSWCHP. Might try some if I ever run out my lead bullets. My loads are under 1000 fps.
 

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Wadcutters...... Great for target shooting, they suck for anything else.

Semi wadcutters, I think that is what you mean. The +P 158 grain semi wadcutter was probably one of the best 38 loads ever developed, I would opt for the FBI/Chicago version with the HP if I were disposed to carry a 38.

Since NYPD never used 357 magnums I can see why the old timers there would like the 38+P. Considering the fact that they did not think patrol officers were smart enough for pump shotguns......
 
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