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Old November 26, 2012, 10:24 PM   #51
joneb
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There are a variety of 38 cal WCs out there, 148gr swaged HBWC BHN around 6 to 8, 148gr swaged BBWC BHN around 6-8 the BBWC can be pushed harder.
And then we have the the cast WC BHN 12-15ish they are mostly found in the DEWC or BNWC configurations I prefer the latter.
These 148gr BNWC with a BHN of 15 can pushed much harder than the swaged HBWC as used for target loads, so when I think of the 38spl snubnose loaded with WCs it may be a different animal.
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Old November 27, 2012, 04:55 PM   #52
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As has already been mentioned there are several loads that take the 38Spl out of the so-called "marginal" category into serious self-defense territory even when shot from a 2" snubbie.

Quote:
.38 Special

# of people shot - 199
# of hits - 373
% of hits that were fatal - 29%
Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.87
% of people who were not incapacitated - 17%
One-shot-stop % - 39%
Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 76%
% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 55%

Quote:
.357 (both magnum and Sig)

# of people shot - 105
# of hits - 179
% of hits that were fatal - 34%
Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.7
% of people who were not incapacitated - 9%
One-shot-stop % - 44%
Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 81%
% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 61%
You may not think that such a small percentage matters, but when bad people are doing bad things I want every advantage I can get.

Quote:
A long proven cartridge in an easily concealed, simple to operate and ultra-reliable platform that every novice I have introduced to the snubbie has been able to shoot accurately enough at common self-defense distances...well, I most certainly disagree with your notion that the "snubbie is an expert's gun".
Define "common self-defense distances" and "shoot accurately enough". That is probably where we differ on opinion. I consider that minimum proficiency with any gun is to be able complete and pass an LE type qualification course. I do not feel that a 10" group at 10 yards under no stress to be proficient.
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Old November 27, 2012, 07:21 PM   #53
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I wouldn't call 10" at 10 yards with no stress involved to be very proficient either. Any decent snubbie will do considerably better than that. They are harder to shoot well though. Light weight, short sight radius, abbreviated grip in almost every case, and in most cases a stiff double action pull. These things add up to a reliable concealable revolver that is more difficult to hit fast and well with.
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Old November 27, 2012, 07:33 PM   #54
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..."I consider that minimum proficiency with any gun is to be able complete and pass an LE type qualification course..."

I don't agree. I doubt that half the folks in the "armed citizen" column every month in the American Rifleman could meet that standard. Yet, they defend themselves.
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Old November 27, 2012, 11:00 PM   #55
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Proficient in accurate shooting, and being willing to shoot another person are two separate things.

One can adequately defend oneself if he is willing and able to pull the trigger at the right time even if he is a poor marksman, maybe. One can not adequately do the same if he is a superb marksman who hesitates or can not pull that trigger. Being willing to come out the other end no matter what is the most of it. Being a decent shot improves the odds considerably.
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Old November 27, 2012, 11:12 PM   #56
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To put the subject back on topic:

1. Is the general consensus that semi-wadcutters are a good choice as long as they are hollow points?

2. What's the difference between SWC, and just plain old wadcutters?

3. I've heard a lot about them, but I've never seen SWC ammo at any of the LGS in my area. where can I get some good, proven ones for SD?

4. There are a lot of new .38spl ammo types out there. Do SWC's still hold their own against Hornady CD, Speer Gold Dots, etc.?
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Old November 28, 2012, 12:38 AM   #57
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Here is an example of a killer wadcutter
http://accuratemolds.com/bullet_deta...=36-155W-D.png
Notice the max meplat aka "nose"
Here is a SWC
http://accuratemolds.com/bullet_deta...=36-160A-D.png
Here is a LSWC HP
Mouse Gun Addict Blog article 6-9-2012
http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com/2...grain-lhp.html
Article from Handguns.com .38 SWC by Glen E. Fryxell
http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=24

Here are some choices from Midway USA - all good
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/136...tter-box-of-50
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/171...heck-box-of-20
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/548...oint-box-of-50
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/235...tter-box-of-50
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/929...tter-box-of-20

I would use the 150 grain Buffalo Bore hard cast wadcutter

Last edited by jmortimer; November 28, 2012 at 12:46 AM.
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Old November 28, 2012, 01:17 AM   #58
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Quote:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/929...tter-box-of-20

I would use the 150 grain Buffalo Bore hard cast wadcutter
Thanks for the info, but why woudl I want to use this target wadcutter for SD? Shouldn't I be using a hollow point?
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Old November 28, 2012, 02:50 AM   #59
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why woudl I want to use this target wadcutter for SD? Shouldn't I be using a hollow point?
The answer to your question is adequate penetration.
A target WC bullet is just that, the velocity that it moves at makes all the difference.
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:18 AM   #60
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That ain't your mama's "target wadcutter" - That load is a beast.

"Item 20D utilizes a very hard cast 150gr. WAD CUTTER bullet. The bullet is made hard, so it won't deform or mushroom. It penetrates deeply (roughly 14 to 16 inches ) and its full diameter profile maximizes blood loss as it cuts and crushes (not slips or slides) its way through tissue. These bullets are hard and properly lubed and will NOT lead your barrel."

I've seen tests where it shoots through two feet of ballistic gelatin.

Here is Brass Fetcher video of "soft" Federal 148 grain "target wadcutter" for a J frame 642 wwith 2" barrel blowing through 12" of 20% ballistic gelatin.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=iolV5KOUtsc

The Buffalo Bore is hard cast and will punch through any human target.

Last edited by jmortimer; November 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM.
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Old November 28, 2012, 02:18 PM   #61
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Quote:
Thanks for the info, but why woudl I want to use this target wadcutter for SD? Shouldn't I be using a hollow point?

The reason someone might choose a wadcutter is consistent performance. At low velocities or through heavy clothing, some hollow points don't expand when fired from a snubby. If a hollow point doesn't expand, it acts like round nose bullet. A wadcutter offers slightly more tissue damage than a round nose bullet and it won't be clogged with clothing.
There are several hollow point plus p rounds that offer good performance in the .38 special but there are only a few good standard pressure hollow points. Someone limited to standard pressure .38 Special could do worse than choosing a wadcutter for their snubby.
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Old November 28, 2012, 04:05 PM   #62
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Someone limited to standard pressure .38 Special could do worse than choosing a wadcutter for their snubby.
The only thing I can see worse is a LRN.
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Old November 28, 2012, 04:36 PM   #63
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How about a hollow point that doesn't expand and acts like a LRN?
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Old November 29, 2012, 01:28 PM   #64
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How about a hollow point that doesn't expand and acts like a LRN?
That sir is why I do not carry a 38.
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:51 PM   #65
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How about a hollow point that doesn't expand and acts like a LRN?
That's why I carry a hot loaded hardcast WC or SWC in my S&W model 36.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:17 PM   #66
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Do NOT shoot me with a .38 LWC. You don't want to see me angry.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:53 PM   #67
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That's why I carry a hot loaded hardcast WC or SWC in my S&W model 36.
What's the major difference between WC and SWC. Which one is better? And why are they called wadcutters? Because they cut wads in stuff?

Last edited by Chris9472; November 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:05 PM   #68
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What's the major difference between WC and SWC. Which one is better? And why are they called wadcutters? Because they cut wads in stuff?
If you look at the links in this thread you'll see. Or spend five minutes on google and it will be apparent.

Balistically at higher speeds and longer distances a SWC will stabilize better. This is ideal for hunting and works good on people too.

The full WC is good up close, it's used for targets because it makes a nice clean hole in paper. Because of this most commercial ammo is loaded for best accuracy which is usually at a lower velocity.

To get one that's best for SD you need to buy something made for it, like the Buffalo Bore ammo linked above or make it yourself.

The problem with loading it yourself is there isn't a lot of hot data out there for it and most or all of the bullet is set deep within the case. Because of that the volume for powder is reduced so loads need to be kept moderate or risk going over pressure.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:36 PM   #69
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Quote:
If you look at the links in this thread you'll see. Or spend five minutes on google and it will be apparent.

Balistically at higher speeds and longer distances a SWC will stabilize better. This is ideal for hunting and works good on people too.

The full WC is good up close, it's used for targets because it makes a nice clean hole in paper. Because of this most commercial ammo is loaded for best accuracy which is usually at a lower velocity.

To get one that's best for SD you need to buy something made for it, like the Buffalo Bore ammo linked above or make it yourself.

The problem with loading it yourself is there isn't a lot of hot data out there for it and most or all of the bullet is set deep within the case. Because of that the volume for powder is reduced so loads need to be kept moderate or risk going over pressure.
I looked at the threads but was still confused. Some had hollow points, some looked like they were tucked all the way into the brass, etc.

Do the 158gr SWC JHP generally have less recoil then other types?
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Old November 30, 2012, 06:15 AM   #70
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Do the 158gr SWC JHP generally have less recoil then other types?
Do you mean 158 gr SWC and 158 gr JHP?

As far as I know, there is no such beast as a semi wadcutter jacketed hollow point (SWC JHP).
There does exist however a semi wadcutter hollow point SWCHP.
A semi wadcutter (SWC) is a lead bullet with no jacket.
One of the most popular is what's commonly called the FBI load - a 158 gr lead semi wadcutter hollow point loaded to ~ 10% over SAAMI .38spl pressures. You'll see it abbreviated as a +P 158 gr LSWCHP.

Anyhow - recoil is a result of the bullet's velocity - for every action there's an equal reaction - more than bullet weight.
A slow stepping 158 gr bullet, regardless of it's configuration, will have less felt recoil than a fast stepping 125 gr bullet.

Push both at the same velocity though and, the heavier bullet with more mass is going to have more felt recoil.

However - that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Generally, a slower burning powder is used for a heavier bullet and a faster buring powder is used for a lighter bullet - not always, but, generallly.
A slower burning powder will have more of a "push" than a "snap" since it accelerates the bullet slower.


Steve is correct. The wadcutter has a poor ballistic coefficient (BC).
Think of the BC as "streamlined". A sports car is more streamlined than a sedan.- while it's not the same thing - it's the best way to get the idea across in the least amount of typing. Whole volumes have been written on BC.
Another advantage the SWC has over the WC is that the "point" helps guide the bullet into the chamber allowing for faster more positive reloads.
WC's are nearly impossible to use with a speedloader.
SWC's are worlds better - but - because of the sharp shoulder on the bullet, they can also hang up.

The SWC profile is generally preferred over the WC for those reasons.
It offers some of the advantages of the WC and some of the BC advantages of the round nose lead bullet.

An extremely good source of this type of information is the Lyman reloading manual and the Speer reloading manual. There's a wealth of information in them beyond just listing recipies.
That's one of the big reasons I push so hard for new shooters to get into reloading ASAP.
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:38 PM   #71
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As far as I know, there is no such beast as a semi wadcutter jacketed hollow point (SWC JHP).
Speer once made a .357 semi jacketed 160gr SWC and a 146gr semi jacked SWCHP. I haven't seen them for while, but they do turn up now and then.
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Old December 1, 2012, 07:23 AM   #72
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Speer once made a .357 semi jacketed 160gr SWC
OMG - how in the name of all that's holy could I have forgotten the Speer half jacket bullet???!!!?
Early on in my reloading foray, I made the mistake of downloading one of those in .44mag.
It shed it's jacket in the barrel of my Virgianin Dragoon.
Thanks for that memory jog!.
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Old December 2, 2012, 06:58 PM   #73
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Wadcuters are for making nice, round,easy to score holes in paper.

there are bonded, controlled expansion hollow points like the Gold Dot that are for living, breathing threats.

That's not to say that I'd stand still and let myself get shot with a wadcutter; or anything else for that matter.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:11 PM   #74
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Is there a standard pressure Gold Dot load for snubbies? I know there is an excellent 135 gr +P load for short barreled revolvers is available.

DocKGR has recommended the standard pressure Hornady 110 gr Critical Defense load but I'm not sure if there are other standard pressure JHP loads that reliably expand available.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:24 PM   #75
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Is there a standard pressure Gold Dot load for snubbies?
Speer used to list a standard pressure 125 grain Gold Dot. I've never actually seen it anywhere. I don't know if it is still catalogued.

Edited to add:

Just checking, I can't find it on the current Speer web site.
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