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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. One group of "stopping power" researchers opine that there's no meaningful difference in the effects of a RN vs. SWC in actual shootings. So far as I know, most of the factory SWC loads were for revolvers and the most often cited, .38 Special or .357 magnum. These were swaged bullets having neither the sharp edges of their cast bullet counterparts nor perhaps the ability to resist further rounding off of edges when passing through tissue.

Remington offered such loads.

I am aware of two shootings with the Remington 158-gr. SWC factory loads, both of which involved 4" S&W revolvers.

In one, a law enforcement officer was required to shoot a knife-wielding, intoxicated aggressor. Both were mid-torso hits. One shot made him stop advancing...temporarily, and the second made it permanent and he dropped. (He has not gotten up, yet.)

The other involved a psychotic wife who murdered her husband as he slept. She stitched him from the low torso to the eye using 158-gr. .357's. Evidence shows that he had sat up in bed while she was shooting him. The last shot was the one into the eye on the way to the brain and out the back of his head and into the wall.

While there and alone with the body, I took very imprecise measurements of the permanent bullet entry holes with a small ruler. They measured 4mm across. If we roughly consider the .357 as 9mm, it appears that the permanent channel (at least at the skin level) appears to be slightly less than half the diameter.

I have recovered few hard cast SWC's from game animals as they do have a propensity to create through and through wounds, a strong point for those wanting copious blood trails.

Does anyone have an opinion on this or any observations that might suggest if there is a difference or not?

Thanks in advance.

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Mr. Camp,

I understand what "hard" means but I do not know the difference between swaging and casting.

That said...

I've always been under the impression that the meplate is the main driving force behind wound channel creation. If you add a rounded nose to the middle of a wadcutter bullet, I would assume that the bullet would have a slightly more streamlined shape and therefore, upon entering flesh, create a temporary cavity ahead of the shoulder that could possibly clear most of the shoulder. A bullet which has shoulders which would round off a bit, giving a more streamlined shape to the overall bullet construction, could not help matters.

I would submit that, if we are talking about handgun velocities, the less like a drop of water the bullet should look. However, over 1100fps or so, the less like a missile the bullet should look.

I would further assume that, given the success of the SWCHP+P out of a .38spl, that a wider cavity is created by the opening of the hollowpoint, almost directing the sharp shoulders into flesh and exiting as a high-speed wadcutter (for all intents).

That's my opinion on the subject- not knowing the difference between swaged and cast may have put my theories to naught however.

Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello. Swaged lead bullets are just formed by forcing lengths of lead wire into the shape desired for the bullet.

Some are alloyed slightly and most are soft relative to most cast bullets. The latter can certainly be cast as soft as pure lead or as hard as desired by altering the alloy content.

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I would have to agree with both posts.

It would be interesting to go back and see what the oldsest true magnum loads in .357 really did (they got an honest 1400 fps from about a 6" barrel and I suspect they may have flattened out just a little on the tip but I really don't know.

Also the early Win. .44 Magnum Lubaloy bullet was pretty flat but I don't have any game experience with it either.

That said, I have some limited experience with hard cast SWCs in a .357. My load clocked over 1400 fps in my 4" M-19 and about 1460 in my 4 3/4" Ruger Flat top. I once had to shoot a ground hog 6 times to get it to stop with that load (I could not hear for a week) but then it wasn't realy a Keith bullet - but the meplat was a bit bigger than the Remington fact SWC.

I know it sounds contrived but I never saw any problems with the same type of bullet in .44 or .45 Colt on vermin or big game and I truly do beleive that the meplat has something to do with it. I do not have experience with the commercial SWCs in .44 or .45 so I cannot say. I have read the same things about them not working but then I don't know all the particulars.

I can easily accept that .45 Ball is not as good a stopper as the modern JHP or the .45 Colt SWC but when I was collecting data years ago I got 32 cases of .45 on people and they all worked. But I stress that 32 cases doesn't mean too much (the first 15 deer I shot fell on the spot....I thought I was really onto something - I was but it wasn't really what I thought). I have seen a couple of smaller critters in the 10-50 pound range, fail to stop with .45 ball when no major bones were hit.

Anecdotes and Statistics can be very puzzling and can too easily be interpreted incorrectly - unintentionally.

Oh well, back to the salt mines :)
Cheers!
Jim
 

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Have recently tried loading up 158 grain Cast Performance LBT's, in 38 special. The meplat is larger (and sharper) than the frontal dia of any 158 gn hp's or swc's seen as of yet, and it is a hard lead bullet. Just experimenting for imagined special/general purpose from 638.

Am unsure and not experienced enough to be aware of any practical differences between the rn and swc sawged in 38 special. Have also not seen any penetration tests, that may show possible difference in penetration, but guess the rn may penetrate a bit further. Believe there may be a difference when the bullets contact a harder substance (bone), with the rn more inclined to divert itself around. Am just guessing.

Believe there may be a more pronounced difference in wound channel when using hard cast with large sharp meplat, especially at higher speeds. There are alot of believers in the large meplat hard cast for hunting. Both in maximizing penetration of heavier bullets at moderate speeds and controllabilty, and full bore loads.

Have a brother who had custom moulds made, especially for 45 acp rnfp's (large meplat, no cannelure, 200 and 230 grainers).
 
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I can provide a fair amount of firsthand impressions using both Keith and WFN designs vs. RN bullets on game, as well as trusted secondhand knowledge by those with infinitely more experience in such matters than I. Bank on the fact that a wide meplat bullet does significantly more damage than a RN. It doesn't matter if we're discussing .22LR or .454 Casull. In fact there is a tool used by serious small game hunters to modify .22 RN loads into a wide meplat configuration for increased performance. I can't be sure if it is actually a cutting effect brought on by a flatnose slug or perhaps a widened wave front as it passes through flesh. Regardless, it is there.
 
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I've seen the Remington 158gr. SWC .357 after hitting a hog sternum. It pancaked and blew the aorta in half, continued through the liver and stopped in the intestinal tract. Dead hog.

Also, I don't think a lot of people consider that angle greatly effects RN wound size. A slight angle on a flat organ, such as lungs, creates a much better wound. I've noticed this in hogs when using ball ammo.
 
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Stephen and all,

This is a no brainer. Hard cast bullets beat Swaged hands down. The one notable exception isthe 158 gr. LHPSWC .38 Special +P round that performs so well.

Since most of my use is for semi-auto practice or revolver hunting/practice I use a Keith Type SWC...hard cast!

Swaged lead is softer and has caused nothing but leading problems for this gent.

Wes
 
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Oh, man, don't get me started on leading problems with swaged magnums. Wes is right. I had some 158gr swaged SWC's running about 1350fps and it took me a solid hour of scrubbing before I could even blow a ball round through to loosen it up.
 

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The posts by Wes and JMM bring to mind a couple of experiences.

I have an old friend who whe nick named "boom boom" for his propensity to hot rod everything he shot. In truth he really is quite a knowledgeable gun guy but he does lack a bit of restraint.

One project he decided on, inspired by Dean Grennel, was to hop up the .32 S&W Long in his 2" Colt and S&W snubs. Unlike Dean, however, he acquired some swaged lead (forget whether they were Win. or Rem) bullets and drove them to about 1100 fps from his snubs with what any manual would have considered a vast overcharge.

The guns handled it fine but after firing about 10 of these, short little strings of lead would be hanging from the muzzle the things leaded up so much!

I made a lucky purchase on Ebay a couple of years ago. A guy was selling SWCHP swaged bullets and when they came they did not have the exact look of pure lead. Soft enough to expand they seem to have at least a little hardness and I was able to load them to over 1400 fps in a 4" 66 (about the same in my 6" Python which has never shown very high vel.). To be sure, they leave a bit of lead but it is no worse than with most cast bullets.

I ran into a guy once...real old guy... who was shooting 55 gr cast flat points in his Mini-14. I asked how he did that? He showed me his barrel and it looked clean as a whistle even though we ran them over my chronograph and they made about 2800 fps or even more.

He assured me it was his home brewed lube and he gave me a box of the bullets (which were gas checked so I suppose that did some cleaning). I never tried very many and probably still have the box. His lube was an odd grey color and was harder than most. I did note that he only got plinking accuracy out of the loads but I was just amazed that the rifling wasn't filled with lumps of lead.

Bullet casting makes an already complex enterprise even moreso and I used to enjoy it but, sadly, I no longer have time.

Onward!
Jim
 
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Yep, that's why I use Canola cooking oil to clean my barrels now. It leaves a film that not only protects against moisture, but also leaves a layer between the metal and the bullet. What lead it does leave pretty much comes out with a soft patch. Still gets a little near the throat but not bad at all. Works well in the chambers also.
 
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