Why would you use a wadcutter? Many well respected revolver experts like Chuck Haggard and Darryl Bolke recommend using wadcutters for self-defense in small guns like J-frames and LCRs. Semi-wadcutters generally have a shorter bearing surface than traditional wadcutters. Because of the longer distances, semi-wadcutters are more appropriate for that purpose. Because they are so easy to control in a small… While the country still needs a good 5-cent cigar, apparently they don't want .38 wadcutters. Be sure to subscribe to his show: the Big Game Hunting Podcast. Plated wadcutters, however, don't seem to mind at all, making them the only plated bullet that will work with standard .38 dies. Go with an S&W J-Frame in either .38 Special or .357 Magnum. For target shooting, a wadcutter cuts a very clean hole through the paper target, making it easier to score and ideally reducing errors in scoring the target in the favor of the shooter. Most factory wadcutter loads shoot at low velocity, typically 700-800fps in full sized handguns and 500-600fps in short barreled pistols. Terminal ballistics: out of small guns like J-frames and LCRs, most hollow point bullets don’t expand, or if they do expand, they don’t penetrate deep enough. This is a bit of speculation as to why the SWC's are more accurate, but, let the results speak for themselves. Just another thought I will throw into the mix too sir. There appear to be lots and lots of options for purchase at places like PA but all I ever hear are folks talking about the more common diabolo round-head … A wadcutter has a flat or nearly flat front that is typically as wide as the caliber size or only slightly smaller in diameter than caliber size. What’s not to like about that. Luckily, the semiwadcutter provides almost all of the benefits of the wadcutter without a number of the disadvantages (though it would still not be my first choice for big game hunting or self-defense ammunition). Looking at the results, it's obvious that longer bullets are more accurate. Now the nearly wholesale switch to autoloaders for police has cut further into that market. All Rights Reserved. Bullseye shooters also use semi-wadcutters in semi-automatic pistols. It’s even painful for some people. Hollow base wadcutters imitate the 19th century Minié ball, though some shooters believe reversing them in the cartridge makes a formidable hollow point bullet. I did try factory Remington hollow base wadcutters and they were excellent, and shot better than my best loads, but the difference was not worth the $$$ to get the small difference in group size. In general, semi-wadcutters having a partially rounded nose are more accurate than wadcutters having a flat-front profile. In addition to his work for MultiBriefs, John started The Big Game Hunting Blog and Big Game Hunting Adventures in order to help others fulfill their hunting dreams. Other than that small drawback, wadcutters make a surprisingly good choice for self defense. In contrast, flat-front profile wadcutters tend to have improved lethality for hunting or self-defense purposes. Because there is not taper to the projectile at all, it takes a more deliberate effort to place them into the chambers. That’s why I definitely think that wadcutters are good for self defense. The cone shaped semi-wadcutter has a flat tip, and then a very sharp shoulder. Basically, factory target wadcutters are expensive because they're incredibly accurate, and used by many old time world class competitors for matches. Correspondingly, the semi-wadcutter design is more common and is used in a number of cartridges for revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, and even a few rifles for both target shooting and big game hunting. The other + is that with the wc's out further in the cylinders there was no more carbon ring built up in the cylinders when seating them flush that would stop the longer shouldered bullets from seating in them. Like most highly specialized bullets, the wadcutter is great at the job it was designed for: competitive shooting. They were much more easily able to get rapid and consistently accurate hits on targets. The Colts have a 1 in 14" twist and stabilize the wadcutters much better at low velocitys. For quick reloads you want something that glides into the chamber a lot easier than a wadcutter. Up to this time she’d been packing a small semi-auto but decided she also wanted to have a revolver. This is why they have been used in so many target-based competitions. Correct pellet selection is a matter of finding the very best pellet for your airgun. What's more, I have found no significant advantage to using cast hollow-based wadcutters over solid based wadcutters. Wadcutters were originally designed for target shooting. There are no right or wrong pellets for your airgun. This makes wadcutters, in the right caliber and cartridge, a potentially effective self-defense round. I’ve bought into it. Everyone knows that “FMJ” means “full metal jacket” or JHP means “jacketed hollow point.” Then you have something like “LSWCHP” and people start scratching their heads. The winning combination of a 38 Special case is why. My advice? Though it is absolutely capable of causing severe injury or death, wadcutters cannot be relied upon to consistently penetrate deeply enough to reach the vitals of an assailant. Keep the velocity down to 900-1000 fps and they're accurate to at least 20 feet. The low velocity of these rounds significantly reduces their recoil. The leading source for targeted, industry specific news briefs. This restricts the use of wadcutters to relatively close range (<50 yards). There are three reasons you might select wadcutters for self defense. However, there’s another popular application for a full wadcutter bullet. Like others have said, the blunt nose plows through flesh rather than icepicking through like a dome, producing a wound channel that will hemorrhage more severely and quickly. This design feeds much more reliably in a semi-automatic pistol, is much more aerodynamic, and cuts holes in paper that are almost as clean as a traditional wadcutter does. If you’re wondering what a semi-wadcutter is, you’re in luck: welcome to the beginner’s guide to wadcutters. Sales of wadcutters went down. Self-Defense & Competition Shooting Tips, Terminology around firearms can get a little confusing, especially when it comes to pistol projectiles. & Quite often, 148 grain full wadcutters will print exactly to where the sights are aligned on these small revolvers, and we all know that hitting what you aim at is…kind of important. Sources say the drop in .38 wadcutter sales could be as much as 80 to 90 percent. We've got the platform you need. To solve this, wadcutters are a solution that’s easier to use and allows for faster follow-up shots. This, combined with their generally excellent accuracy at short to moderate range, makes the wadcutter an ideal choice for people learning how to shoot. Wadcutters are commonly (though not always) loaded so that the bullet is completely encased in the case. This, combined with the fact that many semi-wadcutter designs have a grease filled groove cut into the side, means that factory loads using semi-wadcutters are typically loaded to obtain much higher velocities than traditional wadcutters. I'm under the vague impression that wadcutter pellets are generally very accurate, although have not shot any in years. Wadcutters were originally designed for target shooting. Though the wadcutter is not extremely rare, it is still a relatively specialized bullet type that is only utilized in a few different cartridges. Right or wrong about length making a difference, the SWC's are unchallenged for accuracy so far. Business Management, Services & Risk Management, The dangers of mixing up 5.56x45mm NATO and .223 Remington rounds, How to properly sight in a rifle with a scope, Battery issues: Understanding your RV’s electrical systems, The advantages of using a .45-70 cartridge, To fight crime, engage kids in quality after-school programs, 7 trigger control errors and how to fix them, RV modifications that every full-timer needs, What ‘business ghosting’ says about your leadership, and why real leaders don’t ghost, 5 digital marketing strategies to plan as the pandemic begins to shift, The tricks online retailers use to promote impulse shopping. Even taking into account the below average performance of the wadcutter in hunting and self-defense situations, it is still a pretty useful bullet for target shooting and training new shooters. The wadcutters by comparison are a bit slower to load in my view. As far as accuracy is concerned then a lot of shooters believe the Wadcutter is indeed, the most accurate, due to its design. If, for some reason, your day has taken the world’s most unlikely turn and you’re having to reload a small defensive revolver in a hurry, wadcutters are not your best friend. Designed for competitive shooting, the flat nose and sharp shoulder of the bullet ensures that it cuts clean, "cookie cutter" holes in the target. This makes the rounds more accurate, which is … This semi was notoriously accurate with certain target loads but feeding was a bit iffy. Wadcutters are commonly (though not always) loaded so that the bullet is completely encased in the case. At distances beyond 50 yards, full caliber diameter wadcutters become highly inaccurate. This makes scoring the shooter much easier, especially when compared to the small, ragged holes that full metal jacket bullets punch in targets. Wadcutters are commonly (though not always) loaded so that the bullet is completely encased in the case. Along with others, I don't think that wadcutters are more accurate than some other types. A wadcutter is a pistol bullet with a completely flat face. Sure do nasty things to a phone book, though! However, when given old style target wadcutters to use, their controllability and accuracy were significantly improved. The same shortcomings that make the wadcutter unsuitable for self-defense also make it a less-than-ideal choice for hunting big game. In this case, LSWCHP stands for “lead, semi-wadcutter hollow point.”. A .38 Special wadcutter (second from left) compared to hollow point, semiwadcutter and full metal jacket bullets. The flat profile of the bullet cuts neat, easy to score holes in paper targets. Same charges, same seating depth, same die settings. As you can see in the photo below, there is a dramatic difference in the size and shape of the holes that wadcutters make in a paper target compared to a regular, round-nosed, full metal jacket round. Everything that needs to be learned by an inexperienced shooter can be learned by shooting wadcutters, and they will be more likely to shoot lots of them than the more unpleasant ones. They are not the same thing, although they are related. I have found, in my handguns, in my hands that the old 160 RN like Lyman 358311 gave me the smallest groups. With my model 52 I shoot 2.8 grains of Bullseye with Remington 148 HBWC. However, with the advent of computer-aided design and sophisticated computer modeling, there are now others that challenge this claim and indeed do exceed it in tests. A semi-wadcutter bullet was also the basis for the famous “FBI load” – a 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet, that deleted the flat nose in favor of a hollow point. I have hollow-based moulds for .38, .41, .44 and .45 caliber wadcutters, and while these bullets shoot just fine, there is nothing to recommend them over other target loads that I assemble using solid-based wadcutters (either plain-based or bevel based). Hit where you aim: many small revolvers have fixed sights. For example, a .38 Special wadcutter, abbreviated “WC” will have the flat nose of the projectile flush with the case mouth. I've read about hand-loaders taking hollow-base wadcutter bullets and seating them upside down for use as self-defense ammunition, but results were often erratic. Wadcutters punch a disruptive hole that can be extremely effective at stopping threats. To remove the bell they ’ re going to answer is “ what is a solution though. 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