Lead semi-wadcutter will be more effective, transfer more shock to living tissue. Casting them soft will allow them to expand, but expansion is not needed. The wider the meplat, the more effective they will be.
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Not to be argumentative, I've been thinking that at snub .38 special velocities (800-850fps) you could/should use a very soft alloy to get any kind of upset in the target. I keep thinking of the old muzzleloaders shooting round, pure lead bullets at relatively low velocity, that would punch all