- Particularly with the popularity of lightweight or ultralight, small-frame revolvers, excessive recoil may be a problem.
This may even be an issue for users of small, steel-frame revolvers, more so if they are fitted with small grips for more
discreet carry. Target loads using wadcutter - cylindrical - bullets are loaded to relatively low velociy and generate
- While these bullets do not expand - also an issue with many hollopwpoint bullets at the low velocities generated from 2"
barrels - their relatively sharp edges make them punch a full-caliber wound channel through soft tisuue. This tends to
make them more effective than a round-nose bullet, including a hollowpoint bullet that fails to expand. The caveat is
that, depending on what bone they may strike and at what angle, the relatively soft wadcutter bullets may not punch as
neat a hole through tissue as they do in paper if they deform at the leading edge. Bone fragments, however, may also
keep some hollowpoints from expanding as intended.
- The 148 gr. offerings from the American "Big Three" ammunition makers - Federal, Remington and Winchester - as well as
from Brazil's Magtech typically attain a velocity of between 650 and 700 feet per second (fps) from a 2" barrel. Based on
testing in synthetic gelatin - which may allow slightly deeper penetration than the original calibrated 10% ballistic
gelatin - these loads seem to meet or closely approach the FBI standards for penetration in all protocols except sheet-metal
barrier. This should deep enough to reach vital organs, with little danger from overpenetration.
- For larger-frame revolvers with short barrels - in which recoil may not be as much of an issue - Buffalo Bore offers a
hotter, 150 gr. wadcutter load
that may be of interest.
- These cylindrical bullets are usually loaded flush with the mouth of the case and may not allow the fastest reloads. If this
is a concern to you, you may choose to charge your speedloaders or speed strips with a standard-pressure hollowpoint, such
as Hornady's Critical Defense load, which will not create that much more recoil, should you need to keep shooting after
reloading. Particularly if you're willing to carry such an alternate load in speed strips or a pouch, here's a trick that
may help you also use wadcutters in a speedloader:
- Charge your loader with one round of the load with the conventionally shaped bullet and wadcutters for the rest.
Orient the loader in its carrier so, that when you draw it, the round with the projecting
bullet will align readily with the empty chamber around 11:00 on the cylinder, with the action open. Once that round starts
into that chamber, it should take no more than a slight wiggle for the wadcutters to find their alignments.
- With the longer, alternate round in that chamber, it should end up under the hammer when the cylinder is swung closed. That
means that it won't be fired until the last round of that cylinder, if the fight runs that long.