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Thread: inverted hbwc and the webley manstopper bullet

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    inverted hbwc and the webley manstopper bullet

    Webley created a really nice hollowpoint bullet for her majesty queen victorias military handguns. It created very massive wounds, and good penetration. It helped lead to rules concerning what was acceptable to use on other militaries.

    THe inverted wadcutter hollow base is a tricky subject. mostly felt to be a crappy solution that leads to more problems, accuracy, tumbling, shortened range.

    What I am curious about in the real sense of the world, as I fondle some various factory ammunition, why cant we figure out a design for the modern man to have a functional manstopper bullet?

    It would be perfect for low weight bullets at magnum velocity for the k frame forcing cone, less case volume can utilize powder less apt to create the massive fire ball at the forcing cone, and longer bullet shape with same weight for a more gentle transition from cylinder mouth to forcing cone.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Look for Lyman Devastator molds.

    OR get ogival wadcutter of your choice from LBT or Accurate. Then have an inset-bar cup point conversion done by Erik at www.hollowpointmold.com. That's what I did for my Webley MkVI. In the .455 cast 1:40 tin-lead from Roto Metals bullet weighs 220 grains. Load 3.5 grains of Bullseye for 600 fps. Expanded .455 bullet recovered in water jugs is 0.70" diameter.

    Also had Tom at Accurate do one in 122-grain for my .38 snubbies which Erik also modified, drawing and sample bullets, expansion test data shown below, from 2" .38 Special.

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 08-19-2017 at 08:44 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Dunno how it would work for self defense but in years past I used to load Hornady HBWC in the .38 snubbie w/ the cavity forward. 3 gr. of Bullseye and it served well for years for a variety of applications. As example, it is somewhat annoying to extract a lure from a barracuda of 3' length or greater. Solution is to apply such a load in the vicinity of where their ear is supposed to be while they hang from a gaff. Decapitated them every time. Makes a mess of armadillos as well, no second shot ever required.

    I would not have hesitated to use it on nefarious idiots intent on no good.
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  4. #4
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    Bill Jordan used to recommend the inverted HBWC load for defense. I put some (Speer, I think) wad cutters into a CH 101 swaging die, inverted, so they came out with a round nose and deep HP, with flat base. They opened like grenades in soft mud.

  5. #5
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    I believe there are several bullets that fit the "one shot stop" criteria. But many reloaders/shooters/hobbyist that will always try and figger out a "new and improve" modification to modern SD ammo. I have some plain old 9mm loads with an inexpensive 124 gr JHP that I trust. I ran it over my chrony and measured about 1,000 fps and it penetrates 4 one gallon jugs of water at 15'. Bullet mushroomed to 3/4".

    But I don't think there is a truly one shot stop bullet that will work each and every time on every bad guy (I saw a video on face book today of a terrorist taking over 16 hits from LEOs. He went down after 4 or five, then got up. Was then hit 10-12 times more before he went down for good. Number of rounds may be off a bit as it was a poor video with poor sound).

    When the "reverse HBWD" was in fad I tried a few. I shot them into some wet, packed newspaper. Some rounds the cavity would just close up and some the skirts tore off. Some had the cavity clog with paper and act like a solid. Penetration was poor compared to a similar weight SWC. Accuracy beyond 20' was iffy at best. I haven't tried the "Manstopper" bullets (but read the magazine article) but perhaps the alloy and construction would make them a better bullet than the soft swaged HBWC
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master wistlepig1's Avatar
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    Reverse HBWD I tried years ago were accuracy iffy at best and I moved on.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    About 20 years ago I had some swaged wad cutters with a post in the center of the hollow point. They were given to me and a I have no idea who made them. IIRC they also had a hollow base.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I think that a wc bullet loaded as intended would do well and not have the issues stated above.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightload View Post
    I think that a wc bullet loaded as intended would do well and not have the issues stated above.
    Me too. My "house gun" load is a 150 gr. DEWC over a near max charge of W231...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I've loaded and shot lots of HBWC's in a 38 snubbie. They expand easily and are accurate enough to do what a 38 snubbie was intended to do. On a 50 yard bullseye target, you can forget it. But at 7 or 15 yards they are accurate enough. The newer generation of HP bullets have about caused me to abandon the HBWC for defense though.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    A lot of the newer generation bullets haven't caused me much cekebration. Going by reviews in short barreled guns, most of them do no better then the old nyclad loads did. And many are NOT better then the k frame with a 3 inch barrel and fbi load of 158 gr lswchp.

    Im almost starting to believe the double hollow base is the true reason the bullets did well for trajectory in the webley loads. better weight distribution

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    The original 455 manstopper was a swaged bullet with a cavity in each end and thus cant be cast.
    That said why not load the RCBS 45-250-RN-HB backwards?
    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    I would say that the reason why we "can't" is because we don't need to. Expansion of a hollowpoint defeats the need for the nose to start at full bore diameter, and allows for overall greater projectile weight as the bullet can taper away from the cylinder throats. In the Webley, full diameter wadcutters would have plenty of room, weren't necessarily a bad idea because expansion at the target velocities would have been iffy at best, and the intended ranges were halitosis-close.

    There are now scads of HP's in WFN and SWC format that will perform stated task admirably. The Manstopper is an interesting historical footnote, little more.
    WWJMBD?

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minuteshaver View Post
    ...why cant we figure out a design for the modern man to have a functional manstopper bullet?
    Was done many, many years ago. They are called hollow point bullets.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Don't know why anyone would need more expansion than shown below. The 2 158gr .38 hollowpoints on the right were fired from a snub nose revolver, and the 224gr .45 hollow point on the left came out of a Model 1911 at a leisurely 800fps.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Don
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSR View Post
    Was done many, many years ago. They are called hollow point bullets.

    Don
    Ding ding ding! We have a winner. This was the first thing I thought of when reading the thread.

  17. #17
    From what i have read, "Keith style lead Semi-wadcutters" seem to be more than adequate for self defense. In fact, I have never shot a person.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    I would say that the reason why we "can't" is because we don't need to. Expansion of a hollowpoint defeats the need for the nose to start at full bore diameter, and allows for overall greater projectile weight as the bullet can taper away from the cylinder throats. In the Webley, full diameter wadcutters would have plenty of room, weren't necessarily a bad idea because expansion at the target velocities would have been iffy at best, and the intended ranges were halitosis-close.

    There are now scads of HP's in WFN and SWC format that will perform stated task admirably. The Manstopper is an interesting historical footnote, little more.
    This nearly says it all, and USSR fills up the gaps. Conventional hollow-point or even flat-nosed with something of an ogive, do pretty well, especially at the high velocities the OP seemed to have in mind. It's pretty much like the rule of advertising agencies, that if it is high in something, it is low in something else.

    The Webley manstopper bullet was designed for close-range defence against people who might be wearing anything from light robes to something very like a curtain-cord tassel, and hadn't seen the movies which suggest that being shot relieves you of immediate obligations. But the hollow-based army bullet it was meant to replace (but didn't) was, if you will pardon the phrase, pointlessly close to a pointed one.

    European observers in the American Civil War commented on cavalry stopping twenty or thirty yards apart rather than charging home with sword or lance, and exchanging shots with better long-range revolvers than most of Europe knew. It was a sensible enough tactic. But in Europe the revolver was seen as an emergency recourse, to get an officer or specialist out of trouble which threatened to interfere with his true function. Large bore, double action and a blunt, soft bullet offered about best compromise between stopping power and penetration of heavy clothing or accoutrements.

    I've seen the manstopper bullet turned inside out on hitting water, in which they appeared to have a great tendency to drift sideways. It might even have been inferior in reaching and breaking major bones used in locomotion, which other than the central nervous system, was about the only way of securing dependable stopping from a portable and rapid-fire pistol.

    All bullets wobble to some extent, but there is some tendency to straighten as they present less area to the airstream on one side at the front, and more at the rear. An eggcup front end, however, presents more frontal resistance on the wrong side, making the wobble persist or worsen. It isn't a disastrous effect, but target shots with the .455 Webley came to prefer the naval bullet, which was very much like a HBWC with a rounded front edge. It was probably as effective as the manstopper on impact too.

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    ... there is some tendency to straighten as they present less area to the airstream on one side at the front, and more at the rear. An eggcup front end, however, presents more frontal resistance on the wrong side, making the wobble persist or worsen. It isn't a disastrous effect, but target shots with the .455 Webley came to prefer the naval bullet, which was very much like a HBWC with a rounded front edge. It was probably as effective as the manstopper on impact too. Click image for larger version. 

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    The Modern Bond and early Keith style bullets of the 1920s were loosely based upon the Royal Navy profile, and Accurate molds produces modern clones in popular calibers today, which I have found effective:

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    The ENEMY is listening.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I first got my interest in the webley manstopper load when I was seeing period articles reference where doctors who had seen soldiers hit with regular musket balls during military service, were actually seeing the webley load do BETTER wounding and tissue damage. And no one here really would say the brown bess was inefficient.

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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