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Thread: Inverted hollow base wadcutters

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Inverted hollow base wadcutters

    I recently discovered that I have about 800 hollow base wadcutter. They were made by Speer and Hornady. Bought them about 20 years ago before #2 son got me into casting. I recall reading someplace that inverted hollow base wadcutters make really good short range varmit loads. That is all I remember, don't remember any other details. Has anyone done this? I would assume that I would use a wadcutter level load but how deep do I seat the boolit? Any and all information would be greatly appreciated. These wadcutters were bought so that my young sons who are about to turn 38 and 40 could shoot my Security-Six. They had great fun going through 3-5 lb coffee cans of wadcutters. I do not shoot competively and at 75 I am not about to start now.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Load them the normal way. Much better. Backwards no accuracy, they keyhole. May as well just throw tbe gun!
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I've loaded them backwards before in my Wifes carry gun. They don't shoot particularly well on target.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Another vote for Outpost 75's recommendation.

  5. #5
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    In the late '80s the "reverse HB wadcutters" were a "fad" so of course I tried some (swaged, soft, dry lubed). I loaded them backwards over a start of 3.0 Bullseye and up to about 3.5 and shot them into wet newsprint. Most failed to mushroom. Some of the cavities just collapsed, some of the skirts tore off, and many clogged with the paper and acted like a solid. Maybe one out of 8 or 10 would produce the "devastating mushroom" they were supposed to. None were accurate, even at room distances (up to 10 yards). So for my "house gun" I just cast some DEWCs from wheel weight alloy and loaded them over a near max. load of W231. I'm pretty sure they would do the job...
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  6. #6
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    Maybe 45 years ago, and having listened to Bill Jordan's recommendation, I tried backwards factory wadcutters, but sweetened them by running them into a CH 101 swage die to round the nose and leave a long hollow point. They flew true and opened well, but were still very soft lead. Really, our cast HPs are better, though the soft ones might open a soda can better.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    This is an old notion that has been around for several generations. There are a few folks that claim sterling accuracy and performance with them. However, most folks who have tried it report lousy accuracy beyond a few feet. I tried this back in the 60's and found the inverted HB wadcutter to be all but useless, in the accuracy department.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks all. This means I have a bunch of wadcutters to load and I have no reason to cast any wadcutters for quite some time.

  9. #9
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    Most will have the thin waxy lube. A good shot of thinned LLA, Bens or Recluse might help a lot if you move them past minimum velocity.
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  10. #10
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    For the ultimate hollow point load , out of a snub nosed 38 special , the inverted factory swagged 148 gr. HBWC over 3.5 grains of Bullseye , gave the maximum expansion of nearly 3/4 inch diameter. Above that , things started to go to pot , accuracy , leading etc. The optimum load was 3.5 gr. Bullseye.
    I don't remember the fps but the mushroomed boolits , recovered from ballistics gel , were picture perfect and looked wicked
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Load them the normal way. Much better. Backwards no accuracy, they keyhole. May as well just throw tbe gun!
    AGREE 100%

    To the OP:
    1. you're not the first person to look at a HBWC and think that it would make a huge HP if loaded backwards.
    2. This lore has survived a long time despite the failures of that idea.


    OK, not trying to be difficult here but I actually tested HBWC's loaded backwards. The results were NOT good.

    They are terribly inaccurate at any distance beyond a few yards. They typically didn't expand as expected. The skirt either folds back on itself or separates from the body and reduces the mass of the main projectile.
    In short, don't bother.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    Put a gas check on the solid side, so gas pressure can't blow a whole in it.

  13. #13
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    When fired at foam figures dressed in leather or even denim over other clothing reduced the effective expansion considerably.
    There was a video about using hollow base wadcutters loaded backwards a number of years ago.
    Might s†ill be out there.

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Throw 2.7 gr Bullseye in a 38special case and stuff one in , right side up. Repeat as needed

    Yeah, I tried the upside down thing back in the 70s, would be good for close varmit real close...
    They did not group well at all and dont penetrate in a straight line either.
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  15. #15
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    Mounted flat end forward those wadcutters will cut a .357" or so plug out of the recipient. On varmints that's a pretty good hole without expansion. Even on semi-wadcutters the square shoulder will cut blood vessels and bone.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  16. #16
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    Shot a small varmint once at close range with a Keith boolit; Far side hole was a bit larger than the entry wound, no real expansion though. Darn effective, a WC would be a bit harder hitting

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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