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Old November 28, 2019, 09:14 PM   #1
Mike38
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Loading a SWC backwards.

What happens, accuracy wise, if a reloader made handgun rounds with a flat base, cold swaged, lead semi wadcutter bullet loaded backwards, as in the loaded cartridge appearing to be a full wadcutter? If the bullet would start to tumble, at what distance would that start?

I tried a search, and ended up with nothing but confusion.
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Old November 28, 2019, 09:16 PM   #2
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Well, not at the ranges I was shooting at. Which were not very long, but the holes were neat.
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Old November 28, 2019, 09:31 PM   #3
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I tried different wording in my search engine and think I've found my answer. It will shoot safely, as long as you reduce the powder charge, but accuracy suffers greatly. Oh well.
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Old November 28, 2019, 11:09 PM   #4
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Myself, i would cut the SWC part off, and turn into a full on wadcutter.

Cutting Edge Bullets has their Raptor line. You can load as a hollow point, tipped hollow point, or backwards as a solid. Meant for rifle.
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Old November 29, 2019, 07:53 AM   #5
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Not trying to be snarky here, but why not just use wadcutters?
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Old November 29, 2019, 08:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Not trying to be snarky here, but why not just use wadcutters?
There you go, being logical again.

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Old November 29, 2019, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USSR View Post
There you go, being logical again.

Don
Yeah, the post begs the question: What advantage does one see in using a wadcutter or semi-wadcutter seated backwards over a semi-wadcutter seated normally? Not satisfied with the holes in a paper target, or does the poster think that a flat nose will produce a better result in self-defence or hunting? In other words, why do it in the first place?
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Old November 29, 2019, 12:57 PM   #8
buck460XVR
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Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
Yeah, the post begs the question: What advantage does one see in using a wadcutter or semi-wadcutter seated backwards over a semi-wadcutter seated normally? Not satisfied with the holes in a paper target, or does the poster think that a flat nose will produce a better result in self-defence or hunting? In other words, why do it in the first place?
Kinda where I am at. Maybe years ago when availability and variety of bullets was not at the level they are now, one might have to use the old "turn the bullet around" trick within certain scenarios. Nowadays, there is such a variety of bullets out there readily available, why try to re-invent the wheel.......again?

Now if one casts their own bullets, cannot afford or does not want to buy another bullet mold and is seeking something that may incur a more serious wound channel for self-defense I could maybe understand, if......they could not afford or did not want to buy commercial bullets. IMHO, sending inappropriate bullets or bullets used inappropriately downrange, for no legitimate reason, is just a waste of good powder and primers.
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Old November 29, 2019, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Not trying to be snarky here, but why not just use wadcutters?
The pistol this will be shot in has a bore with a slow rate of twist. I'm looking for a lighter bullet / less bearing surface to compensate for the slow twist. Swaged wadcutters in .314 are commonly 85 or 98 grain. I found a swaged semi wadcutter in .314 that is 75 grains and thought about trying it.

None of this is for self defense, it's for punching holes in paper at 50 yards. Cartridge is .32 S&W Long. Bullet speed at the muzzle will be around 650 fps, hardly a self defense round.

Last edited by Mike38; November 29, 2019 at 01:24 PM.
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Old November 29, 2019, 02:42 PM   #10
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A lighter bullet with less bearing surface does not really apply to hand gun cartridges.
Swaged wadcutters in any bullet diameter are pure lead and are target bullets fired at slow speeds.
"...a more serious wound channel for self-defense..." Ain't nothing that creates an uglier wound than a pure lead bullet. A .38 Special WC will go from .357" to absolutely flat ~ .60 calibre(didn't measure it. 'It' hit a 2nd Chance vest.) upon impact and will probably break up as it penetrates. Think in terms of a round ball out of a BP revolver.
What you will have with an SWC loaded upside down is an upside down SWC. Accuracy probably will not be anywhere near the same due to the change in balance. The gases will probably exit the barrel unevenly too. That's what cause the inaccuracy.
"...re-invent the wheel..." Just like people who load HBWC's upside down thinking they'll get a wickedly expanding HP bullet? snicker.
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Old November 29, 2019, 03:38 PM   #11
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I see, I assumed with a name like Mike38 and what with the most common SWC and WC being in .38 caliber, that's what we were talking about. Although I would still think just a SWC should work fine for punching holes in paper.
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Old November 29, 2019, 04:11 PM   #12
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At handgun useful ranges (under 25 yards max), twist and bearing surface do not make any meaningful difference. 38 Double Ended wad-cutters plated or not work good for target and will disable a struck assailant. SWC (hardcast) are supposed to be used in the "FBI loads". But then again, they adopted the 40SW semi-autos or bigger bullets and magazine capacity.
With 32 caliber, what's the point? Berrys only makes one 32 plated bullet (RN), and I think that is intended for 32 ACP. Bad guys and good guys have been killed with 22LR. Want to turn those around too? Why not move up to 12 gauge 00 Buck shot and put 9 .32 lead balls in one shot pattern? The armies of WWI used that in trench warfare.
Personally speaking, SWC right way forward, is not going to be improved much for general all-purpose. For any specific application, I would get a different gun and caliber.
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Old November 29, 2019, 05:42 PM   #13
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Ballistics

Mike38,

In theory, you should be more stable reversing an SWC because it puts the bullet's center of pressure behind its center of mass, adding a little static stability and causing the bullet to require less twist to stabilize. Indeed, Finnish small game hunters have been known to make their subsonic loads from boattail bullets loaded backward. The practical problem is that cast and swaged lead bullets are not made with equal surface symmetry to that of jacketed bullets. As a result, when the back edge of the bearing surface clears the muzzle, muzzle blast gasses playing off the tapered sides of the nose, directed by the crown, can introduce lateral drift and increase initial yaw. Most guns (with a good, symmetrical crown) can shoot flat bullet bases better than boattail bullet bases because of the lower muzzle blast effect on yaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike38
I'm looking for a lighter bullet / less bearing surface to compensate for the slow twist.
If two bullets have the exact same exterior dimensions, the heavier one needs less twist because it has higher angular (rotational) momentum, making it harder to turn off its spin axis. You could prove this to yourself by casting some lead bullets and some from gold ones in the same mold. Because gold is almost 1.7 times denser, you could, driving it to the same velocity, stabilize the gold with just 59% of the twist rate the lead needs.

I know that sounds backward because barrel makers say heavier bullets need more twist, but it's not because of their weight. It's because of their greater length, assuming the bullet construction is the same (not one made of lead and one made of gold). Length trumps weight in the stabilization game. So what you want is a bullet that is shorter. It will be more stable. In the case of a full wadcutter, it will stabilize just fine if the length is right and have a square base for more even muzzle blast effect.

All that said, handgun barrel twist rates tend to be faster than necessary for long-range. Once initial yaw has damped out. But pistols are always dealing with initial yaw at their target ranges.

Apropos of this, I saw an article some years ago in which someone tried different twists in .32 barrels to look at shorter range accuracy with HB wadcutters (less stable than the shorter DE wadcutters, but better able to seal the bore and prevent gas cutting than the DEWC). The standard pitch is 18 3/4", but this guy tried 16", 14", 12" and 10" twist barrels, and IIRC, he found the 12" pitch made the smallest groups. Probably on 25 meter targets.
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