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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can I use WAD cutters for self defense in my Model 85?
 

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Well.....sure you CAN. But wadcutters main purpose is making pretty, perfect circles in your target paper. I'm not sure how good penetration would be, and you would have zero expansion of the bullet. Personally I would look at a good hollowpoint.....you don't have to buy a Corbon or Gold Dot these days to get sufficient penetration and excellent expansion. Take a look at the Remington Golden Sabers, they seem to be a really good buy for the buck.
 

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You may also want to check with a few local folks as to your states ideal and feelings on preferred ammunition. Such as many states don't like or allow the sue of hollow point ammunition due to the damage they cause to the human body. Where as in Texas the use of hollow point ammunition is looked upon as a preferred favorite because as it expands on contact and in the body it is much less likely to be a thru and thru thus traveling to an innocent bystander. Reduces the chance of collateral damage in effect.
 

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Paper punchers, by and large. Agree with the suggestion of checking out what your local LEO prefer for their carry ammo, and go with that.
There is an undercurrent of distrust when it comes to using ammo like "Zombie Max", and even reloads for SD ammo. An attorney could put forth the case that you were specifically buying or making ammo for the express intent of doing maximum damage to a person, and depending on the jury selection, make you out to be a nutjob just looking for the chance to shoot someone.

Yes, it's stupid (Zombie Max is basically Critical Defense with a different colored polymer insert), but never underestimate the power of stupidity.
 

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You may also want to check with a few local folks as to your states ideal and feelings on preferred ammunition. Such as many states don't like or allow the sue of hollow point ammunition due to the damage they cause to the human body. Where as in Texas the use of hollow point ammunition is looked upon as a preferred favorite because as it expands on contact and in the body it is much less likely to be a thru and thru thus traveling to an innocent bystander. Reduces the chance of collateral damage in effect.
Maybe I'm missing something but the only limitations on JHP ammo that I am aware of are a recent case in SF CA with an attempt to ban the SALE of JHP ammo in the city AND IIRC the state of NJ can tag on JHP ammo as a second charge against someone illegally carrying a gun - as proof that they have bad intentions for the use of the illegal gun.

I do not know of ANY state that bans HP ammo - zero, none.

Am I wrong?!
 

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They are intended for target use, as they cut a full caliber hole in paper which gives one an advantage in being certain to break a scoring ring on a shot that is off target by just a hair. They aren't the most effective thing, but I wouldn't want to get shot with one. Being low velocity and blunt, they will cut a full caliber hole in a human also and likely not fully penetrate, thereby releasing all of their energy in the target. Indoors they are also less likely to over penetrate interior walls. Easy and fast to shoot.

I wouldn't feel unarmed.
 

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Paper punchers, by and large. Agree with the suggestion of checking out what your local LEO prefer for their carry ammo, and go with that.
There is an undercurrent of distrust when it comes to using ammo like "Zombie Max", and even reloads for SD ammo. An attorney could put forth the case that you were specifically buying or making ammo for the express intent of doing maximum damage to a person, and depending on the jury selection, make you out to be a nutjob just looking for the chance to shoot someone.

Yes, it's stupid (Zombie Max is basically Critical Defense with a different colored polymer insert), but never underestimate the power of stupidity.
In the recent Mas Ayoob podcast that I posted he discussed hand loaded JHP rounds. Silly, he admits but in certain situations investigators will depend on powder and ballistic data from known loads to help analyze a shooting scene. LEO have access to the data from manufacturers - a hand load will have no reference point to use. Pretty rare I imagine but...

I have quite a bit of hand loaded JHP ammo but based on Mas and other LEO chats I carry factory. If that is not available in the future I have my loads - and on SHTF day I'll probably stop caring as well!

Often for reloading I buy what is available in the bullet weight that I am seeking. I've shot plenty of JHPs in competition and have read that they CAN be more accurate - I notice no difference BUT look at many 'match' bullets - they will have an indentation or material removed from the nose. The physics:

"...this has the effect of lightening the bullet's forward section and shifting the center of gravity towards the tail of the bullet, so as to give an improved ballistic coefficient, greater down-range velocity retention, and greater resistance to deflection by crosswinds."

Works for me!
 

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I use 148 gr standard pressure wadcutters in my .38 spl snubs for self defense. Low recoil, good penetration, able to make quick follow up shots (r.e. low recoil), not expensive. I tried many different loads before deciding on this plain old load (jmho, ymmv).
 

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These are Berry's plated Hollow Base Wadcutters
In particular, they are .32 caliber and these are chrono'd at 950fps +/-
My penetration/expansion tests in wet phone books, water jugs, wood,
water barrels, etc. have been great with them 'loaded backwards', as you
see in the pics.
I have tested in .32 H&Rmagnum [950fps] and .327FedMag [1250fps-1400fps]
and also in .38special [975fps]
My personal testing leaves me with no doubt they are good for SD and very
safe not to pass thru walls into innocent bystanders nearby, and still get
the job done.
Penetration is always a factor depending on what material the projectile
passes thru. Some say a hollow point is the worst if it has to pass thru
a wool shirt or denim jacket because it 'plugs up' and is greatly slowed
down in speed before any good penetration is achieved.
The true point is......each and every scenario and statistic is not only different,
but it also is controlled by the angle of trajectory, not simply the material.
To answer your initial question.....
I would not have a problem or a second thought using a wadcutter for
protection, for either myself, or a loved one. [Not if I loaded it]
And we are talking revolvers.
P.S. Wadcutters are notorious for being super accurate projectiles
 

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I've heard/read of them being used mainly in .32 S&W L for a light SD option for recoil sensitive people. From what I read they most likely won't expand, but will begin to tumble causing more damage then solid round nose bullets with less chance of a pass through. I have no 1st hand experience doing this, just what I have heard and read.
 

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Almost forgot.

Buffalo Bore, www.buffalobore.com , makes several standard pressure rounds that make excellent carry rounds and are a better choice over the wad cutters. I would stay away from the hard cast bullet round as they penetrate over 30" of gelatin on a regular basis.

Hornady.com - Accurate, Deadly, Dependable - Hornady Manufacturing, Inc makes FTX loads that will work well as well.

And I just sent a E-mail to Federal to see if they still offer the Nyclad rounds. There seems to be some fog as to whether or not they do. There have been off again, on again ,etc., signs that need clarification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks. This info has helped. I read on another site that LEO's used to use WAD cutters in their weapons. I'm going to buy a couple of boxes and I think I'll use them for SD. If using them for SD is a really bad idea, please someone talk me out of it.
 

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As said before by el Pescador, a 148 grain hollowbase wadcutter loaded backwards is a very effective load for self defense in close up situations. I have a friend that ran a gun shop and range in Southern Va back in the seventies and eighties that used to carry a S&W Mod 60 with that same load in a SOB holster under his shirt. He was closing up one winter day when 3 guys came in and held him up with a sawed off shotgun and a handgun. The guy with the shotgun had him on his knees on the sales floor while the other two went behind the counter and started boxing up guns and ammo. What saved him was the guys behind the counter asked the guy with the shotgun to hand him some boxes. When the guy with the shotgun took his eyes off the victim to get the boxes he grabbed his gun and fired on the two armed robbers. The third found Jesus in a big hurry but later committed suicide in jail. The two guys that were shot both died at the scene from massive blood loss and shock. Both were only shot once in the upper torso area but the bullets fragmented in vital areas. My friend was very lucky that day as he knew all three of the robbers so they most likely wouldn't have left him alive. I've tried these loads in my Mod 60 and Ruger SR 357. I load them hot and they do lead the bore but they are not for practice and I don't plan on shooting many of them. They will keyhole at much past 21 feet but that's fine with me as I don't plan on using them for target practice.
 

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Thanks. This info has helped. I read on another site that LEO's used to use WAD cutters in their weapons. I'm going to buy a couple of boxes and I think I'll use them for SD. If using them for SD is a really bad idea, please someone talk me out of it.
. Personally, I want a self defense round that leaves a big, gaping channel. Nice neat holes are for paper.
 

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Paper punchers, by and large. Agree with the suggestion of checking out what your local LEO prefer for their carry ammo, and go with that.
There is an undercurrent of distrust when it comes to using ammo like "Zombie Max", and even reloads for SD ammo. An attorney could put forth the case that you were specifically buying or making ammo for the express intent of doing maximum damage to a person, and depending on the jury selection, make you out to be a nutjob just looking for the chance to shoot someone.

Yes, it's stupid (Zombie Max is basically Critical Defense with a different colored polymer insert), but never underestimate the power of stupidity.
I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any case where this has actually happened. If it is a justifiable shooting, at least in my state, it doesn't matter if you used a muzzleloader or factory ammo or that conversion kit to make your AR shoot arrows. If you were justified in defending yourself, you most likely won't even have to go to court. Even if you did go to court, the prosecutor would have a hard time proving that even though it was a justified shooting, you're crazy because you made your own ammo. If your defense attorney was even half decent he could disprove that bullcrap argument with common sense. Now in some of those not so gun friendly states like NY, it wouldn't surprise me if something like this happened.
 

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Maybe I'm missing something but the only limitations on JHP ammo that I am aware of are a recent case in SF CA with an attempt to ban the SALE of JHP ammo in the city AND IIRC the state of NJ can tag on JHP ammo as a second charge against someone illegally carrying a gun - as proof that they have bad intentions for the use of the illegal gun.

I do not know of ANY state that bans HP ammo - zero, none.

Am I wrong?!
I could be incorrect, but I was thinking that there was a state or two up in the northeast that did not allow carrying HP ammo. I was thinking NJ. But, I could be wrong, wouldn't be my first time nor my last I'm sure. Just ask the Spousal Unit.
 

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Dumbasses. I guess they've never heard of the Geneva Convention.

If I lived there.....well if I lived there I'd have to ask myself what the hell I am thinking. :icon_rolleyes: But if I did live there, I'd sure be looking at the Corbon PowRball, the Federal expanding FMJ, and the Hornady Critical Defense as options.
 

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I'm sure they will provide adequate lead poisoning.
 
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