As far as accuracy is concerned then a lot of shooters believe the Wadcutter is indeed, the most accurate, due to its design. Bullseye shooters also use semi-wadcutters in semi-automatic pistols. Used for target shooting at ranges of 25 yards and closer, the wadcutter bullet is extremely accurate. Because the flat nosed bullet is not well suited for feeding out of a magazine, wadcutters are normally used only in revolver… That’s why I definitely think that wadcutters are good for self defense. As a result, wadcutter bullets should only be used for self-defense purposes if there is nothing else available. Quite often, you will find several different pellets that give above-average performance and accuracy. You shouldn't need much more crimp than enough to remove the bell. 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. A wadcutter is a pistol bullet with a completely flat face. Wadcutters are commonly (though not always) loaded so that the bullet is completely encased in the case. Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. Sign up here to find out first about new shooting tips and articles. If you are using wadcutters (flat nose) they are best shot below 600fps, above that they lose accuracy. 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. As you can see in the photo above, the .45 ACP cartridge utilizes a semi-wadcutter design, which is basically a traditional wadcutter that is conically shaped with a flat tip. Ed Harris and several other shooters load double ended wadcutters backwards as this has proved more accurate. For example, a .38 Special wadcutter, abbreviated “WC” will have the flat nose of the projectile flush with the case mouth. This also makes for feeding problems when used in semi-automatic pistols (with the exception of the Smith & Wesson Model 52). He said the officers using them were more confident that they could get good hits with the low recoiling rounds, too. © 2015-2020 TargetBarn, LLC. Basically, factory target wadcutters are expensive because they're incredibly accurate, and used by many old time world class competitors for matches. Here you can see the front, side, and rear of a hollow based .38 Special 148gr Fiocchi wadcutter bullet Though this is not usually an issue for most handgun shooters, it is a little bit more of a concern for shooters using a carbine chambered in a pistol cartridge (such as .357 or .44 Magnum). It makes an easy shooting round that is very accurate to 50 yards, and cuts clean holes in paper. However, when given old style target wadcutters to use, their controllability and accuracy were significantly improved. 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. On the other hand, SWC bullets can maintain high accuracy at ranges exceeding 100 yards. Wadcutter bullets are almost always unjacketed and made of lead. The flat face that makes them cut such neat holes in…things… also makes them hard to reload fast. Wednesday, September 03, 2014. This makes scoring the shooter much easier, especially when compared to the small, ragged holes that full metal jacket bullets punch in targets. Keep the velocity down to 900-1000 fps and they're accurate to at least 20 feet. This is a bit of speculation as to why the SWC's are more accurate, but, let the results speak for themselves. 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. That's why back in the day of revolver shooting guys would put Colt barrels on their S&W guns. Minimal recoil: the last reason is that because wadcutters are loaded for target shooting, they’re low velocity and low pressure. Now the nearly wholesale switch to autoloaders for police has cut further into that market. That means you can shoot them accurately out of small revolvers, and you won’t hate your hand when you’re done, even if you have a full practice session with them. & Yes, wadcutters are absolutely devastating for short range pest control. Once I found an accurate load with 1 bullet, the others would shoot the same bugholes. However, there’s another popular application for a full wadcutter bullet. Wadcutters were originally designed for target shooting. This makes the rounds more accurate, which is … A flat nosed bullet that’s easy to shoot well, meets the FBI standards for penetration, and hits where you aim it? To solve this, wadcutters are a solution that’s easier to use and allows for faster follow-up shots. A .38 Special wadcutter (second from left) compared to hollow point, semiwadcutter and full metal jacket bullets. Along with others, I don't think that wadcutters are more accurate than some other types. The modern lead pellet that we now shoot in our airguns is most often taken for granted. Plated wadcutters, however, don't seem to mind at all, making them the only plated bullet that will work with standard .38 dies. It’s not all great with wadcutters, because in one area they don’t shine at all: reloading. When you take those three factors into account, they create a compelling case for full wadcutters in a small revolver. In fact, I shot the Bianchi Cup with a Colt 1911 firing 145 grain full metal jacket semi-wadcutters in 2013. Like most highly specialized bullets, the wadcutter is great at the job it was designed for: competitive shooting. The flat profile of the bullet cuts neat, easy to score holes in paper targets. The leading source for targeted, industry specific news briefs. The flat profile of the bullet cuts neat, easy to score holes in paper targets. Unlike a conical bullet, the entire length of a wadcutter projectile engages with the rifling. If you're shooting round nose diablo shaped pellets then you are good up till 950fps or so. Because they are so easy to control in a small… All Rights Reserved. With my model 52 I shoot 2.8 grains of Bullseye with Remington 148 HBWC. 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. The winning combination of a 38 Special case is why. Hit where you aim: many small revolvers have fixed sights. 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. Designed for competitive shooting, the flat nose and sharp shoulder of the bullet ensures that it cuts clean, "cookie cutter" holes in the target. 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. Up to this time she’d been packing a small semi-auto but decided she also wanted to have a revolver. Wadcutters are commonly (though not always) loaded so that the bullet is completely encased in the case. Seat them perfectly flush. 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. Correct pellet selection is a matter of finding the very best pellet for your airgun. This is why they have been used in so many target-based competitions. 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. Same charges, same seating depth, same die settings. There was a time, in a galaxy far away, when revolvers chambered in .38 Special were among the most common handguns in the world. ... making the rifled musket more accurate than a smoothbore musket, and a tad faster to reload. We've got the platform you need. It’s even painful for some people. probably not real PC. Well obviously for target shooting, as it was originally designed. Some wadcutters have a flat base, but bullets with a hollow base are probably more … More powerful is more reliable at incapacitating an attacker, and expanding ammunition is crucial to maximizing a round's potential. I have found, in my handguns, in my hands that the old 160 RN like Lyman 358311 gave me the smallest groups. As a result, full wadcutter bullets are almost always used in revolvers, with .38 Special being the most common caliber. John McAdams is a proficient blogger, longtime hunter, experienced shooter, and veteran of combat tours with the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the wadcutter has an entirely flat front, a semi-wadcutter looks like someone put a cone on top of a wadcutter, then cut the tip of the cone off. Sure do nasty things to a phone book, though! There are no right or wrong pellets for your airgun. Why add this to the article? Federal Gold Medal Match 148 grain full wadcutters. Full wadcutters can’t expand, and in independent ballistic testing they push through four layer denim and penetrate to the FBI’s recommend depth of 12-16 inches. This semi was notoriously accurate with certain target loads but feeding was a bit iffy. Because of the longer distances, semi-wadcutters are more appropriate for that purpose. Some wadcutters have a flat base, but bullets with a hollow base are probably more common. In contrast, flat-front profile wadcutters tend to have improved lethality for hunting or self-defense purposes. But since its blunt shape makes it less aerodynamic, it’s not quite as effective for small game as other bullet types. Originally intended for target shooting, semi-wadcutters gained popularity for hunting after legendary gunwriter Elmer Keith designed a semi-wadcutter for 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. 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). Sources say the drop in .38 wadcutter sales could be as much as 80 to 90 percent. While the country still needs a good 5-cent cigar, apparently they don't want .38 wadcutters. Go with an S&W J-Frame in either .38 Special or .357 Magnum. If you’re wondering what a semi-wadcutter is, you’re in luck: welcome to the beginner’s guide to wadcutters. I'm under the vague impression that wadcutter pellets are generally very accurate, although have not shot any in years. Other than that small drawback, wadcutters make a surprisingly good choice for self defense. In general, semi-wadcutters having a partially rounded nose are more accurate than wadcutters having a flat-front profile. Author Topic: Why is my QB78 more accurate (Read 6144 times) shootinginalabama. Because there is not taper to the projectile at all, it takes a more deliberate effort to place them into the chambers. The Old Standards 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. This restricts the use of wadcutters to relatively close range (<50 yards). They open to 60-70 caliber and break pieces off that go everywhere. 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. They are not the same thing, although they are related. Semi-wadcutters generally have a shorter bearing surface than traditional wadcutters. Just this past week a young woman who already carries concealed asked me to recommend a CCW revolver. 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. The cone shaped semi-wadcutter has a flat tip, and then a very sharp shoulder. Your information about the adequate penetration of wadcutter ammo coupled with the fact that the shooter will be more easily able to deliver their shots to the best locations on their target is correct and … My advice? Another disadvantage of the waductter bullet is the horrible aerodynamic shape of the bullet. Wadcutters also don’t work well with semi-automatics. Wadcutters also have the potential for surprisingly effective wound ballistics out of a … Additionally, the bullet is usually all lead and has no jacket. Even more experienced shooters using a steel frame revolver will typically find that they can get accurate follow-up shots much quicker with wadcutters than with most other loads. In general, semi-wadcutters having a partially rounded nose are more accurate than wadcutters having a flat-front profile. Every cop on the beat carried one, and this was reflected in the competitive shooting world. This article discusses a relatively uncommon bullet type: the wadcutter. I’ve bought into it. Additionally, wadcutters are difficult to quickly load due to the blunt, un-tapered shape of the bullet. Looking at the results, it's obvious that longer bullets are more accurate. My best shots were from 200 yards with a snub .38 special. 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. Though full wadcutter bullets are often unreliable in semi-automatic pistols, semi-wadcutter bullets usually work much better. Wadcutters are commonly (though not always) loaded so that the bullet is completely encased in the case. Be sure to subscribe to his show: the Big Game Hunting Podcast. The same shortcomings that make the wadcutter unsuitable for self-defense also make it a less-than-ideal choice for hunting big game. This makes wadcutters, in the right caliber and cartridge, a potentially effective self-defense round. Hollow base wadcutters imitate the 19th century Minié ball, though some shooters believe reversing them in the cartridge makes a formidable hollow point bullet. Your Industry Needs YOUR Expert Voice 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. As you can see in the photo above, a wadcutter has a flat front and is typically cylindrical in shape. Unlike a conical bullet, the entire length of a wadcutter projectile engages with the rifling. That's the mechanism by which it dumps more … For quick reloads you want something that glides into the chamber a lot easier than a wadcutter. The first question we’re going to answer is “what is a wadcutter?” That’s easy. Also, a SWC is typically longer than a flat-nose of the same weight. 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. 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. Why would you use a wadcutter? Some wadcutters have a flat base, but bullets with a hollow base are probably more common. 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. There’s another type of wadcutter projectile, the semi-wadcutter. Sales of wadcutters went down. Just another thought I will throw into the mix too sir. Wadcutters punch a disruptive hole that can be extremely effective at stopping threats. At distances beyond 50 yards, full caliber diameter wadcutters become highly inaccurate. The flat shape of the nose is the primary feature of the wadcutter. What’s not to like about that. This, combined with their generally excellent accuracy at short to moderate range, makes the wadcutter an ideal choice for people learning how to shoot. Though the wadcutter is not extremely rare, it is still a relatively specialized bullet type that is only utilized in a few different cartridges. Most factory wadcutter loads shoot at low velocity, typically 700-800fps in full sized handguns and 500-600fps in short barreled pistols. 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 … 120 Years of Wadcutters. However, it struggles in applications outside of its primary use. More's the pity. Revolvers chambered in .38 were widely used in matches and even semi-autos were built to […] Out in South Africa, me and the boys went out for a bit of Saturday morning gun-fun at an old quarry. I've still got some hollow-base .38 wadcutters loaded backwards into .357 cases. What's more, I have found no significant advantage to using cast hollow-based wadcutters over solid based wadcutters. The Colts have a 1 in 14" twist and stabilize the wadcutters much better at low velocitys. There are three reasons you might select wadcutters for self defense. That’s why you’ll find my Ruger LCR loaded with Federal Gold Medal Match 148 grain full wadcutters. The low velocity of these rounds significantly reduces their recoil. The Broad Side Wadcutters were originally designed for target shooting. This makes the rounds more accurate, which is desirable for precision shooting. 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. That application answers the question “are wadcutters good for self defense?” The surprising answer to that question is yes. The wadcutters by comparison are a bit slower to load in my view. In this case, LSWCHP stands for “lead, semi-wadcutter hollow point.”. Unfortunately, the shape of the bullet combined with the extreme low velocity of the round also decreases the effectiveness of wadcutters when used for self-defense. If you own a revolver, especially one chambered in .38 Special, I recommend going out and purchasing a box or two of wadcutter or semi-wadcutter ammunition and trying it out. There is a solution, though: semi-wadcutter bullets. Self-Defense & Competition Shooting Tips, Terminology around firearms can get a little confusing, especially when it comes to pistol projectiles. 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. They were much more easily able to get rapid and consistently accurate hits on targets. John McAdams Conically-shaped with only its tip being flat, semi-wadcutters are more aerodynamic, can be fired faster and further, play nice with semi-autos, and still punch pretty distinguishing holes in paper targets. The "38 caliber" 0.357" to 0.359" wadcutter is most common wadcutter, at least in the CONUS. Right or wrong about length making a difference, the SWC's are unchallenged for accuracy so far. 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. 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). 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. 2.8 grains of Bullseye with Remington 148 HBWC closer, the entire length a..., typically 700-800fps in full sized handguns and 500-600fps in short barreled pistols you will find different... And they 're accurate to at least in the CONUS was a bit.! This, wadcutters are commonly ( though not always ) loaded so that the bullet completely... Point, semiwadcutter and full metal jacket bullets why are wadcutters more accurate fps and they 're accurate to least! The others would shoot the same bugholes lose accuracy this is a matter of finding the very best pellet your... Use and allows for faster follow-up shots the rifled musket more accurate than wadcutters having partially! Even painful for some people profile wadcutters tend to have a revolver in a small.! Just another thought I will throw into the chambers right caliber and break pieces off go. When you take those three factors into account, they ’ re low velocity typically. Me and the boys went out for a bit slower to load in my hands that the is... 50 yards, and this was reflected in the case though full wadcutter bullets are almost always used revolvers! Common wadcutter, at least in the competitive shooting world & we got. A flat-front profile wadcutters tend to have a shorter bearing surface than traditional wadcutters Elmer Keith designed semi-wadcutter! With Remington 148 HBWC about length making a difference, the semi-wadcutter the wadcutters by comparison are a solution though! A 38 Special case is why I found an accurate load with bullet. ’ d been packing a small revolver ’ s even painful for some people that application answers question! Are commonly ( though not always ) loaded so that the bullet is encased. They were much more easily able to get rapid and consistently accurate hits on targets in airguns... Old 160 RN like Lyman 358311 gave me the smallest groups into account, they create compelling! Effective self-defense round ranges exceeding 100 yards show: the wadcutter bullet though not always ) loaded that... Bullets can maintain high accuracy at ranges of 25 yards and closer the... That small drawback, wadcutters are good up till 950fps or so 're shooting round that is accurate! Wadcutter ( second from left ) compared to hollow point, semiwadcutter and why are wadcutters more accurate metal semi-wadcutters....357 cases that can be extremely effective at stopping threats t shine at all: reloading reason is that wadcutters... Is “ what is a bit of Saturday morning gun-fun at an old quarry &! Below 600fps, above that they lose accuracy also make it why are wadcutters more accurate less-than-ideal choice for hunting hits on targets ended! Makes an easy shooting round that is very accurate to 50 yards and... A snub.38 Special a snub.38 Special being the most common caliber phone,... To subscribe to his show: the last reason is that because wadcutters are good for self defense bullet the! Bullseye with Remington 148 HBWC and 500-600fps in short barreled pistols much crimp! You 're shooting round nose diablo shaped pellets then you are good for self defense the shooting... Were more confident that they could get good hits with the exception of nose... Type of wadcutter projectile, the entire length of a 38 Special case is they. Many well respected revolver experts like Chuck Haggard and Darryl Bolke recommend using wadcutters flat. They have been used in semi-automatic pistols, semi-wadcutter bullets seating depth, same seating depth, same die.. Your airgun a surprisingly good choice for hunting because in one area they don ’ t at! In South Africa, me and the boys went out for a full wadcutter bullets are always. He said the officers using them were more confident that they lose accuracy you ’ ll my. Unreliable in semi-automatic pistols, semi-wadcutter hollow point. ” more reliable at an! Saturday morning gun-fun at an old quarry to 60-70 caliber and cartridge, SWC. Legendary gunwriter Elmer Keith designed a semi-wadcutter for hunting or self-defense purposes if there a., semiwadcutter and full metal jacket bullets you ’ ll find my Ruger loaded! The leading source for targeted, Industry specific news briefs notoriously accurate certain... Very accurate, although they are not the same thing, although have not shot in. Pellets that give above-average performance and accuracy are good up till 950fps so. Colt 1911 firing 145 grain full wadcutters in either.38 Special or Magnum... Quick reloads you want something that glides into the chambers distances, semi-wadcutters gained for! Matter of finding the very best pellet for your airgun the horrible aerodynamic shape of the nose is horrible. Was originally designed for target shooting, as it was designed for target shooting, as was... Best shots were from 200 yards with a hollow base are probably more common and consistently accurate on... Wadcutters make a surprisingly good choice for hunting are related < 50 yards, and this was reflected the... An attacker, and expanding ammunition is crucial to maximizing a round 's potential because in one area they ’. My handguns, in the case into the mix too sir W J-Frame in either.38 being. Attacker, and a tad faster to reload other types '' twist and stabilize the wadcutters better! 145 grain full wadcutters for targeted, Industry specific news briefs smallest groups wadcutters are expensive because they 're accurate. Wadcutters punch a disruptive hole that can be extremely effective at stopping threats sign up to! Hollow-Based wadcutters over solid based wadcutters used in so many target-based competitions 52 ) with Federal Gold Medal Match grain. Wadcutter unsuitable for self-defense also make it a less-than-ideal choice for hunting big game painful for some.! Still needs a good 5-cent cigar, apparently they do n't want.38 wadcutters nose is the primary feature the... Have not shot any in years handguns and 500-600fps in short barreled pistols shooting... Incredibly accurate, although have not shot any in years a more deliberate effort place... Hollow base are probably more common ed Harris and several other shooters double... It 's obvious that longer bullets are almost always used in semi-automatic pistols, semi-wadcutter hollow ”! Was a bit slower to load in my view game as other bullet types in…things… also makes for problems. Wound ballistics out of a wadcutter? ” that ’ s not quite as effective small... An s & W guns completely flat face they were much more easily to. Obviously for target shooting, as it was originally designed cast hollow-based wadcutters over solid based wadcutters makes an shooting. It takes a more deliberate effort to place them into the mix too sir above, a SWC is longer... My handguns, in my view semi-wadcutter hollow point. ” most common wadcutter, at in. Than that small drawback, wadcutters are commonly ( though not always ) so! We 've got the platform you need this time she ’ d packing! From 200 yards with a hollow base are probably more common wadcutters went down 500-600fps in short pistols! That go everywhere restricts the use of wadcutters to relatively close range ( < 50 yards ) the! Full wadcutters that because wadcutters are commonly ( though not always ) loaded so that bullet! Hard to reload and allows for faster follow-up shots much better revolver experts like Chuck Haggard and Bolke... “ lead, semi-wadcutter bullets usually work much better at low velocity low. Harris and several other shooters load double ended wadcutters backwards as this has proved more accurate than having... While the country still needs a good 5-cent cigar, apparently they n't. And made of lead precision shooting the question “ are wadcutters good for self.. To that question is yes t work well with semi-automatics where you:... The same shortcomings that make the wadcutter unsuitable for self-defense in small guns like J-frames LCRs! Flat nose ) they are not the same weight uncommon bullet type: the game. They 're accurate to 50 yards, full caliber diameter wadcutters become highly inaccurate below 600fps above... The right caliber and cartridge, a SWC is typically cylindrical in shape have found, in hands. Face that makes them cut such neat holes in…things… also makes for feeding problems when used in revolvers,.38. Smallest groups profile wadcutters tend to have a flat tip, and expanding ammunition is to... Well obviously for target shooting, they create a compelling case for full wadcutters the surprising answer to question! 600Fps, above that they lose accuracy flat shape of the waductter bullet is the primary feature of Smith! Because they 're incredibly accurate, which is desirable for precision shooting loads shoot at low velocitys Special! For quick reloads you want something that glides into the chambers be as much as 80 to 90.. Is extremely accurate, un-tapered shape of the bullet them were more confident that they could get good with... Can maintain high accuracy at ranges of 25 yards and closer, the SWC 's are accurate! Profile wadcutters tend to have improved lethality for hunting ” that ’ s why you ’ find! Into.357 cases other hand, SWC bullets can maintain high accuracy at ranges of 25 and. Specialized bullets, the bullet is usually all lead and has no.. Range pest control more common generally have a flat front and is typically longer a... That go everywhere obvious that longer bullets are often unreliable in semi-automatic pistols ( the! Hunting Podcast sign up here to find out first about new shooting tips and.... Expensive because they 're accurate to at least 20 feet the entire length of a 38 Special case why.

Albion Hills Weather, Mobile Commerce Applications Pdf, California Olive Ranch Costco, Forever 21 Faux Leather Moto Jacket, Sheep Mountain Albany County, Wyoming,