Home Main Category Personal Defense

.357 Mag - 152gr HBWC

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 28,048 Senior Member
edited September 2019 in Personal Defense #1
After the success with the Hollow Base Wadcutters in my .44 Spl, I decided to order some 152gr HBWC from Matt’s Bullets. 



My wife currently uses my GP-100 and 180gr WFN hardcast bullets with Trail Boss as her Bedside Gun. I call them Mouse Fart loads. But, with the weight, they penetrate well. 

Ever looking for the next best thing, I decided to try these new bullets in a reduced load and launch them from my S&W 340 M&P. Another HD combination for her or maybe a travel gun. 

I had to seat them rather deep to fit the cylinder. 





Using Hodgdon’s directions for Trail Boss loads, I measured the case capacity from a loaded bullet and found 4.2gr Trail Boss filled the case to the base of the bullet. Ironically, this is their listed Max Load for Trail Boss and a 158gr cast bullet. 

That cavity at the end of the round is quite daunting. 



Being a DAO Snub Nosed Revolver, I set up an unorthodox shooting bench on some railroad ties and leaned a steel target against a mesquite tree 10 yards away. It was time to test accuracy. 



Recoil was minimal and this too can qualify as a Mouse Fart Load. Even in this diminutive lightweight gun. 

Velocity clocked 745 fps from the tiny barrel which was considerably more than I anticipated. Honestly, I was expecting 450-500 fps. I was surprised!

Set up some water jugs and let fly from 5 yards away. 



The bullet penetrated 2 jugs. Breaking the back of the second but not exiting, the bullet came to rest at the bottom. 







With 100% weight retention and only 745 fps from a snub nose.........that ain’t bad for a Mouse Fart Load!!!

A better shooter could probably squeak out a better group from a DAO, but I’m kinda happy with the group for a reduced HD load. 



Me is happy. 

I have some for my .45 Colt that I need to load and test next. 

These bullets have grown on me.........
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,304 Senior Member
    Nice!  

    I need to get the 45s loaded in some auto-rim cases.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    I just bought some 38cal Berrys plated DEWCs on sale. I thought about loading some in mag cases but changed my mind.

    How many jugs did the 180s penetrate???
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    I can’t remember. But, I think they were the Energizer Bunny. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Ive seen a 22 hp fail to penetrate, and make a nasty non-lethal surface wound. Although an isolated anomaly, its prejudiced my thinking in favor of the solid bullet over the hp. 

    Still, the HBWCs shot backwards do have a long standing record of use and look pretty good in your tests.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    I’ve seen the less than spectacular results of penetration without expansion. 

    Several of my hunting revolvers (.44 Mag / .454 Casul / .500 S&W / etc) use heavy WFN-GC bullets. Unless you hit bone or support structure........they run.......with little blood and little damage. 

    I am not drinking the Koolaid Bigslug drinks. 

    I want penetration.......and......expansion. And when I can throw velocity in there as well.........it just makes everything much mo betta. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Yes, Ive also seen 5.56 ball deliver clean instantaneous non-lethal penetration. The incident resulted from a personal mistake. I would have given my kingdom for an expanding bullet at that moment, but had to live with my error.

    When bullet weight and velocity are high enough. I become more trusting of the hp design.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Merrritt Island, FLPosts: 25,219 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I want penetration.......and......expansion. And when I can throw velocity in there as well.........it just makes everything much mo betta. 
    That's what she said...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Non-lethal was a terrible word choice in my last post. Severely delayed is more accurate.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    I won’t wonder if you could get a .38spl friendly version of that load...
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    Case capacity would be the issue with TB. Would likely have to just use a different powder. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Case capacity would be the issue with TB. Would likely have to just use a different powder. 
    Good point.  Probably a good Unique load would duplicate the velocity and be pretty accurate too.  I keep finding reasons to start reloading again.  As soon as my garage is organized and I get my workbench back I need to jump back in.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    All the cool kids reload. 😎
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    All the cool kids reload. 😎
    HA!  That’s how you got me to buy my first Glock...
  • JayJay Senior Member New Mexico/TexasPosts: 4,545 Senior Member
     Zee said:
    All the cool kids reload. 😎


    I remember some guy here wayyyy back when who used to say he wouldn't reload and had no use for it.   I think that same guy used to say he had no use for a chronograph.... :o

    Guess everyone can learn to become a cool kid...

  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    We succumb to peer pressure 🤓
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    Jay said:
     Zee said:
    All the cool kids reload. 😎


    I remember some guy here wayyyy back when who used to say he wouldn't reload and had no use for it.   I think that same guy used to say he had no use for a chronograph.... :o

    Guess everyone can learn to become a cool kid...

    You got a thread to reference?  I think you’re making stuff up. 

    😎
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    I think we need to have a break dance fight.

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • JayJay Senior Member New Mexico/TexasPosts: 4,545 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Jay said:
     Zee said:
    All the cool kids reload. 😎


    I remember some guy here wayyyy back when who used to say he wouldn't reload and had no use for it.   I think that same guy used to say he had no use for a chronograph.... :o

    Guess everyone can learn to become a cool kid...

    You got a thread to reference?  I think you’re making stuff up. 

    😎

    As soon as the archives are restored......
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    Jay said:
    Zee said:
    Jay said:
     Zee said:
    All the cool kids reload. 😎


    I remember some guy here wayyyy back when who used to say he wouldn't reload and had no use for it.   I think that same guy used to say he had no use for a chronograph.... :o

    Guess everyone can learn to become a cool kid...

    You got a thread to reference?  I think you’re making stuff up. 

    😎

    As soon as the archives are restored......
    Ok. I’ll wait. Should be any time now. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Just thinking out loud here.  Since these bullets are obviously made out of very soft lead I’m wondering if bringing down the speed just a hair might not actually improve on penetration by delaying expansion just bit but still not lose anything on expansion in the end?    

    My theory being that expansion at the higher speed probably happens violently during the first few inches of travel through water dramatically slowing down the bullet (think parachute).  Then maybe by slowing them down a little you’ll have a more controlled expansion and more time with slightly less resistance slowing down the projectile.  

    Don’t know that this would make a difference in terminal performance in an actual SD use but like I’m said, I’m just thinking out loud.  I find these experiments fascinating.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    edited October 2019 #22
    I have some .38 Spl factory wadcutter target loads that are pretty Mouse Fart. 

    I’ll chronograph them and compare speed. Then, shoot one through jugs and see the difference in penetration. 

    If they are slower and they penetrate further, we can surmise that slowing down the reversed bullets would meet in the middle somewhat. 

    However, I am not a fan of going slower. Speed kills. Slowing down a non expanding or less expanding bullet minimizes the one thing a solid has going for it outside of penetration........impact speed. 

    So, in terminal aspects, a slow solid is nothing more than stabbing someone with a fat pencil. 

    Not decisively dramatic. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Just thinking out loud here.  Since these bullets are obviously made out of very soft lead I’m wondering if bringing down the speed just a hair might not actually improve on penetration by delaying expansion just bit but still not lose anything on expansion in the end?    

    My theory being that expansion at the higher speed probably happens violently during the first few inches of travel through water dramatically slowing down the bullet (think parachute).  Then maybe by slowing them down a little you’ll have a more controlled expansion and more time with slightly less resistance slowing down the projectile.  

    Don’t know that this would make a difference in terminal performance in an actual SD use but like I’m said, I’m just thinking out loud.  I find these experiments fascinating.
    I would've gone in the other direction. Increase the speed and force the bullet to mushroom over slightly more reducing the frontal area  (providing less drag once it flips over). Not a huge increase in speed, maybe just around 775 - 800 fps.
    Yep, sounds like an experiment to me. 👍
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    GunNut said:
    Just thinking out loud here.  Since these bullets are obviously made out of very soft lead I’m wondering if bringing down the speed just a hair might not actually improve on penetration by delaying expansion just bit but still not lose anything on expansion in the end?    

    My theory being that expansion at the higher speed probably happens violently during the first few inches of travel through water dramatically slowing down the bullet (think parachute).  Then maybe by slowing them down a little you’ll have a more controlled expansion and more time with slightly less resistance slowing down the projectile.  

    Don’t know that this would make a difference in terminal performance in an actual SD use but like I’m said, I’m just thinking out loud.  I find these experiments fascinating.
    I would've gone in the other direction. Increase the speed and force the bullet to mushroom over slightly more reducing the frontal area  (providing less drag once it flips over). Not a huge increase in speed, maybe just around 775 - 800 fps.
    Yep, sounds like an experiment to me. 👍
    I would have to switch powder. I’m at 100% capacity with TB already. 

    Then, we increase recoil as well and make it less controllable for the petite bride. 

    Im trying to find that middle ground where she can shoot fast and comfortably while affording acceptable terminal ballistics. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I have some .38 Spl factory wadcutter target loads that are pretty Mouse Fart. 

    I’ll chronograph them and compare speed. Then, shoot one through jugs and see the difference in penetration. 

    If they are slower and they penetrate further, we can surmise that slowing down the reversed bullets would meet in the middle somewhat. 

    However, I am not a fan of going slower. Speed kills. Slowing down a non expanding or less expanding bullet minimizes the one thing a solid has going for it outside of penetration........impact speed. 

    So, in terminal aspects, a slow solid is nothing more than stabbing someone with a fat pencil. 

    Not decisively dramatic. 
    Absolutely agree 100%, that's what I qualified it by saying I have no idea what this means (if anything) in use as a SD round.  Literally just a mental exercise in tuning/controlling expansion and penetration with this projectile.

    For what it's worth all my SD guns are loaded with +P slightly lighter for caliber bullets like the 180gr+p HPs I carry in my .45s, 155 HPs in my .40s and 115 HPs in my 9's.  Speed kills has been ingrained into my head for a long time.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    The things I do for you guys. 😁

    .38 Spl
    148gr Wadcutter
    660 fps
    Fully penetrated 3 jugs/stopped in 4th.







    There was a noticeable, though not dramatic by any means, difference in recoil and visual impact on the jugs (water flying). 





    Not a big difference between the two loads. 

    148gr HBWC vs 152 HBWC (Reversed)

    660 fps vs 745 fps

    The main difference being:

    4 jugs vs 2 jugs

    In the end, recoil is a close wash but, the WC penetrates deeper while the HP moves more water. 

    Something we already knew. 

    The question still remains........which one kills faster?

    Any volunteers?  😁
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    One thing that sticks in my mind about bullet testing and particularly hp performance is this. Our tests are carried out on static and perpendicular targets. Ive seen bullets make strange post impact turns on moving targets at odd angles. It seems logical to assume the impact of a bullet used in a serious crisis will be subject to unpredictable impact stress. Barriers, odd angles, non-stationary targets etc..

    GunNuts theory seems proved out. Also explains a few things about bullet design. Polymer tips, varying jacket thickness, cavity shape etc..

    Lethality is relatively reliable, given accurate delivery to the right place. Speed of lethality must certainly be inconsistently unpredictable at best. Perhaps prevailing conditions and circumstances can guide us. Weather conditions, clothing type normally worn, available cover in the area or areas of forseen use, proximity of other people etc..
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    The things I do for you guys. 😁

    .38 Spl
    148gr Wadcutter
    660 fps
    Fully penetrated 3 jugs/stopped in 4th.







    There was a noticeable, though not dramatic by any means, difference in recoil and visual impact on the jugs (water flying). 





    Not a big difference between the two loads. 

    148gr HBWC vs 152 HBWC (Reversed)

    660 fps vs 745 fps

    The main difference being:

    4 jugs vs 2 jugs

    In the end, recoil is a close wash but, the WC penetrates deeper while the HP moves more water. 

    Something we already knew. 

    The question still remains........which one kills faster?

    Any volunteers?  😁
    Yes you are a saint....

    I’m thinking we need two pigs.  I’ll wait 😁
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,048 Senior Member
    One thing that sticks in my mind about bullet testing and particularly hp performance is this. Our tests are carried out on static and perpendicular targets. Ive seen bullets make strange post impact turns on moving targets at odd angles. It seems logical to assume the impact of a bullet used in a serious crisis will be subject to unpredictable impact stress. Barriers, odd angles, non-stationary targets etc..

    GunNuts theory seems proved out. Also explains a few things about bullet design. Polymer tips, varying jacket thickness, cavity shape etc..

    Lethality is relatively reliable, given accurate delivery to the right place. Speed of lethality must certainly be inconsistently unpredictable at best. Perhaps prevailing conditions and circumstances can guide us. Weather conditions, clothing type normally worn, available cover in the area or areas of forseen use, proximity of other people etc..
    I agree that my water tests have very little resemblance to real life interaction. The only reason I utilize that method of testing is that it’s cheap and repeatable. For every gun/cartridge/bullet combination I choose to compare. I can do it the same way for them all.

    So, if it doesn’t accurately represent a true tissue impact, it at least gives us a comparable result between all parts tested. That’s worth something. 

    I agree that clothing/fur/bones/organs can effect a bullet differently depending on what combination of the above the bullet encounters on its path. I can’t recreate that in a static environment. 

    What I can say, is that every hollow point handgun bullet I’ve used on live tissue from 9mm up to .454 Casull has performed admirably.  Expanding, penetrating, damaging, and killing quickly, with either dead on impact or adequate blood trail results. 

    I cannot say that with wide solids/cast. 
    Their result was good penetration when heavy bone was or wasn’t hit, minimal internal damage, and little to no blood trail. They still died. Some instantly (spine) and some after an average run. But, none of the autopsies showed what I would determine to be acceptable internal damage. 

    Everything dies. Just depends on how you want it dead. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    My thoughts stem from a post long gone when some of us were discussing how well the old mild mannered .35 Remington performed as a deer killer and I remember Scott E Mayer telling a story in which he took a shot at a deer and I seem to recall the distance was well over 100 yards (maybe even over 200?) and he was really dissatisfied with the performance of the round.  Fact is that most of us that like the old classic have our experiences with the Marlin 336 used as a brush gun so most likely our shots have been 50 yards or less.  

    The details are fuzzy but IIRC he did not have a clean/fast kill though he had a good hit.  Obviously all bullets have a range of velocity in which they perform as designed.  Obviously at long distances the .35 Rem does not expand and acts as a solid which mimics the poor performance Zee has brought up.

    I think most of us just push bullets as fast as we can as long as they are accurate but never stop to think about that "performance envelop".  This bullet in the OP is just an interesting example which seems like it would be an easy one to "tune" to your desired performance in terms of expansion and penetration by playing with the velocity of the projectile.

    Again the exercise is academic (though the performance of the WC seems to prove the premise) and as Zee said the only thing that counts is real life performance and no one has stepped to volunteer for the test  ;)
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Any testing we do is good in that the information gained is comparitive. We know bullet A is excellent. It gave certain results. Bullet B in comparison seems almost as good comparatively. Maybe I can make it better. Etc., and so on.

    There can be no doubt that expanding bullets offer excellent performance. The right one at the right speed for the right job.
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