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Thread: Manstopper bullet for the 38 special

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Manstopper bullet for the 38 special

    Interesting article in the latest handloader magazine. At some point in time the Brits had a 45 caliber manstopper bullet for their 455 webley revolvers. Big hollow point bullet. Well Bob Haley in texas came up with one for the 38 special same as it's bigger brother but at 140 grains. !40 grains would easily get to 800 fps without straining anything. Good article. And get the single shot mag from wolf publishing while you are at it. Good read. Frank

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Skipper's Avatar
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    Just load a hollow-base wadcutter backwards.
    Some people try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

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    Boolit Buddy huntersdog's Avatar
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    Back some time ago a guy took alot of deer in one season using the 38 sp Buffalo bore ammo. I bet it would stop a man, if you did your job.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skipper View Post
    Just load a hollow-base wadcutter backwards.
    We loaded 148 Gr HBWC backwards back in the 70's. They expand to about .50 cal when shot into wet sand, wet newspaper, or water

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    +1 on hollow based WC backwards

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    Boolit Master Ola's Avatar
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    Man stopper.. Long time ago I had some 9mm THV bullets. I feel almost fortunate that they are all long gone. Scary stuff.

    In .38SPL the original THV-bullet would be launched appr. 2300 fps! THV-bullet causes massive tissue trauma, no over penetration, will go through soft body armor. They are also quite accurate at short distances and the recoil is mild.

    Here is video of a "modernized" (read: heavier and slower) Slovakian THV bullet vs. Class III body armor + gelatin.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    OK, not 38 but 44. Will these work.


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    Swaged with my Dave Corbin dies, 40 S&W brass and dead soft lead.
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    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    How about THIS one? HOLLOWPOINTED with a "cavernous cup point" by www.hollowpointmold.com

    And a hefty charge of Alliant #2400 for +P...

    Attachment 149640
    Last edited by Outpost75; 09-26-2015 at 11:17 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Manstopper bullet for the 38 special

    For all the guys talking about a HBWC loaded backwards. How do you all get accuracy at 25yards? I tried the HBWC loaded backwards but got very poor accuracy and poor penetration. About the only thing they did do was expand, but then again a soft lead wadcutter loaded properly gave good expansion and way better penetration.
    Last edited by 2ndAmendmentNut; 09-24-2015 at 12:07 PM.
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    Boolit Buddy


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    That is one bad assed lookin' boolit !!!!

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I don't think the term "man stopper" really applies to ANY handgun bullet. It would take a bullet that shut down instantly the nervous system to do that, and that is a shot placement and not a bullet shape issue.

    That aside, some bullet will be better than others at taking the fight out of a fellow. In the 38 Special, I favor a very heavy full wadcutter bullet for that task. These range in weight from 200 to 230 grains and were designed to drive bowling pins back off the table, which I can attest, they surely do.

    Here is a such a bullet that weights 220 grains that I load over 9 grains of AA9. in 38 Special cases. The velocity is a smidge over 800 fps but they do pack a wallop. Recoil is not bad, but expect them to NOT shoot to the sights, hitting about 6 inches high at seven yards. Put the front sight, lower than normal and roll the trigger. I should think a pair of these center mass will do about as good as anything would. Expect whatever is behind the bad guy to take the bullet as well.

    These are most certainly +P loads. I would not use them in an aluminium frame gun, an older gun or plink with them. I do not shoot them in my small frame snubbies either.
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 09-24-2015 at 12:36 PM.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Ola's Avatar
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    Char-Gar, that picture on the right.. wow

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndAmendmentNut View Post
    For all the guys talking about a HBWC loaded backwards. How do you all get accuracy at 25yards? I tried the HBWC loaded backwards but got very poor accuracy and poor penetration. About the only thing they did do was expand, but then again a soft lead wadcutter loaded properly gave good expansion and way better penetration.
    Back in the mid-60s I played with these backward loaded HBWC as well with the same result as you did. I abandoned the concept. A solid base or sturdy HB loaded over 3.5/Bulleye will make a decent defense load in the 38. A thin skirted HB like the Speer will blow off the skirts at this pressure, so beware.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Deep penetration at 700-725 fps is a given through a snub-nose with these large HPed pure lead swaged heavies.
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  15. #15
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    The .38 has caused more cop deaths from sad performance then anything. Nine not better. My slingshot is better. My carry would start at the .45 and go up.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Back in the mid-60s I played with these backward loaded HBWC as well with the same result as you did. I abandoned the concept. A solid base or sturdy HB loaded over 3.5/Bulleye will make a decent defense load in the 38. A thin skirted HB like the Speer will blow off the skirts at this pressure, so beware.
    Way back in American Rifleman, Ed Harris did a "From the Loading Bench" article on backwards loaded wadcutters, testing the different brands from Colts, S&Ws and Rugers. Expansion could not be depended upon because bullets often yawed, and accuracy was not dependable beyond 7-10 yards. At 25 yards you may as well throw rocks. A "full charge" wadcutter having the same powder charge as 158-grain LRN or SWC service loads, typically 3.5 grains of Bullseye, versus 2.7-2.8 for a target load, gives much more dependable results. Remington-Bridgeport factory loaded full charge wadcutters as practice ammo for the NYPD before about 1970, the rationale being that they had recoil similar to service loads (hollowpoints not being acceptable for political reasons), but Jim Cirillo and others on the SOU carried and used them, knowing they were more effective than the standard velocity 158-grain SWC issued at the time.

    The Remington 148-grain HBWC component bullet is the ONLY factory-swaged .38 wadcutter bullet out there which will stand a full charge of 3.5 grains of Bullseye without blowing the skirt. It has a heavier skirt and is formed from harder alloy than the Winchester, Speer, Zero, Hornady or Precision-Delta bullets. Remington's engineers figured this out loading full charge wadcuters by the millions for NYPD. Accuracy of the Remington 148 HBWC bullets with full charges when fired at 50 yards from a heavy test barrel in return to battery rest is very nearly as good as their Targetmaster wadcutter match load. Very little difference. No so with any other brand I have tried.

    If you load .38 HBWC bullets in .38 Special brass and then shoot them in revolvers having .357 chambers, even with light loads, you still risk blowing the skirt, because peak chamber pressure is reached before the bullet base clears the case mouth, so that the unsupported hollow base is then inflated to conform with the .380" diameter of the longer .357 chamber, bridging against the transition from the .380 chamber wall to the .358 ball seat, as the nose of the bullet continues forward, stretching and elongating the skirt until it ruptures. Use ONLY solid-based double-end wadcutters when loading .38 Special wadcutter ammo to be fired in revolvers having .357 chambers!

    In a .357 gun, a charge of 9 grains of Alliant #2400, loaded in .38 Special cases, with a solid 146-grain DEWC like the Saeco #348, gives 900+ fps from a 2-1/2" S&W Model 19 and is a different breed of cat!

    Attachment 149654Attachment 149655

    See http://www.grantcunningham.com/2011/...rge-wadcutter/
    Last edited by Outpost75; 09-24-2015 at 01:34 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Guy gets out of jail in Va. Beach, VA on bond for two counts of armed robbery. Tells his gf he will have her money in a couple of hours. Goes to a gun store where he attempts to rob the owner with his .25 Iver Johnson semi automatic pistol. The pistol will not fire, and after a lengthy scuffle the gun shop owner draws the S&W airweight from his back pocket and empties it into the torso of the thug.

    The police get there and the paramedics are dragging the thug out from behind the counter so they can get him onto a gurney, and bullets are falling out of his jacket onto the floor. After the investigation is over, and the gun shop owner is not charged, the detectives return to the gun shop later to ask about the ammunition the owner used in his .38 snubbie, because THEY want some of it. The owner informs them that he had loaded the cylinder alternating Federal Hydrashok +P+ with PMC ultramags.

    During the investigation, the Iver Johnson semi auto is found underneath a counter in the gun shop, round in the chamber, safety engaged. In his robbery attempt, the thug had inadvertently engaged the safety instead of disengaging it. Some people learn everything the hard way. Me? I got some hydrashok +P+ for my snubbie.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I was under the impression we were discussing the 38, but given choice I'd certainly choose a 45 acp.
    Truth is, the only defensive firearm that's worth anything, is the one you have when you need it. That said, there are definitely times when a compact 38 can be discretely carried that the 45 would be left at home, even a "compact" 45.
    As far as the heavier versions of 38s go (Outpost75's drawing, Char-Gar's heavy bowling pin busters, or the HPs I mentioned), I doubt seriously that anyone with experience using them would question their viability as very effective self-defense medicine...They can deliver much better performance capabilities than those unfamiliar with them would imagine.

  19. #19
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    200gr 358430. This should do it.

    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I'm a big believer in a large HP. I've mentioned this before here and other gun boards. While I was a juror on a Grand Jury we sent (against my no vote) an assault indictment forward. Shooter shot bad guy ruled a justifiable shooting but bullet went through striking woman that was in no way involved. I worry about over penetration and immediately switched my carry gun to 38 HP's from 357's.

    Prosecutor would not allow cop to give details on justifiable shooting or even the caliber used.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check