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Old 12-30-2016, 03:50 PM
Cariboo Canuck Cariboo Canuck is offline
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Default reversed HBWCs as defensive ammo

The only civilian I know who has shot and killed an assailant used a .45 '17 S&W with reversed HBWCs.

He was the proprietor of a gun shop/gun smith operation. A guy out on parole came into the shop and started asking questions about guns, calibres and ammo.
My buddy accommodated him, making the mistake of leaving a 1911 and a loaded magazine on the counter while he looked for something else the guy wanted to see. The creep robbed him at gun point with the 1911!

My buddy didn't resist, as his wife was in the apartment on the 2nd floor. After using duct tape to immobilize his hands, the guy took the cash from the register and kicked him in the head as a parting gift after putting the cash, a couple of guns and ammo into a box.

This enraged my buddy to the point where he broke the tape, grabbed the '17 and went after the creep. The creep's girl friend was in the car with the doors locked!
The creep put the box on the roof of the car and fumbled in his pocket for the keys. My buddy put the drop on him, ordering him to surrender, but the creep fired at him, hitting with him two body hits of FMJ .45 ACP ammo.

Before he fell, he fired several times at the creep with the '17, hitting him fatally. He then turned and fell into the arms of his wife gouting blood. It took several operations and psych counselling to get him well.

The Point - reversed HBWCs did the job very well.

I suspect that reversed .38 Spl. HBWCs would have done the job just as well. I've tried them in my 4" M66 on water filled milk jugs and it was impressive.

Last edited by Cariboo Canuck; 12-30-2016 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:42 PM
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I like them. When folks complain that they may tumble, which I doubt, the bad guy is hit with a projectile almost an inch wide. That should raise a welt.
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:07 PM
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Anything travelling at ballistic velocity inside 15 feet to the target, delivers the message that the target has made a mistake.
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:09 PM
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I'm not sure if any ammo company's factory load em or not. Hand loaded defensive ammo may be a potential legal problem for some folks. If you do, don't run em over 850fps that seems to be the the "sweet spot" for the 148 LHBWC. Below 850fps they do not open to their full potential, over 850fps the "skirt" starts to blow off the bullet.
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:11 PM
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....and a .22 Short or a .25 ACP could have stopped the perp just as well, but you're not going to find a lot of people saying its a good idea to carry pistols in those calibers.

If reverse HBWC ammo was such a great SD load, EVERY major ammo company would be making such ammo (and they don't).

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Old 12-30-2016, 05:11 PM
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I don't doubt a .45 HBWC would do the job, whether it was reversed or not. But I really think that if this old, old idea were all that great the ammo companies would be keeping us well-supplied in reversed-HBWC loads. Plenty of testing of this idea thru the decades has shown there are better ways.
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:13 PM
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Mostly, a "righteous shooting" will overcome any difficulty or choice of ammo or gun. I don't think it is necessary to make it complicated.

The good guy was lucky to survive his mistakes. I'm happy for him.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:15 PM
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I've tested reverse HBWC's in .38 special and they were impressive at short range, but I've heard they don't do well accuracy-wise at longer ranges. Maybe they would have had some value in the past when bullet technology was not so advanced.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:51 PM
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The first load from Hydra Shock was, in effect, a hb swaged lead wc with a post in the middle. I still have a couple boxes.

Pretty impressive on water jugs.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:58 PM
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Where was the suspect hit with the reversed HBWC?
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:17 PM
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Where was the suspect hit with the reversed HBWC?
My guess is Canada
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:32 PM
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Default Why doesn't somebody TEST......

Why doesn't somebody TEST this load. I keep hearing about it's effectiveness but have never seen data or pictures.

I would guess that a HPSWC would do a good job. I think i'd enlarge the hole a bit to emulate the 'flying ashtray' idea.

As of now I have 135 gr Speer short barrel Gold Dots in my snubs. i have them loaded for 850 fps but i can get them up to 950 if I want to take the pain. My wife is better off with the milder load, too.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:44 PM
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decades has shown there are better ways. (More expensive) ammo companies make the wiz bang stuff to make money......
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
Why doesn't somebody TEST this load. I keep hearing about it's effectiveness but have never seen data or pictures.

I would guess that a HPSWC would do a good job. I think i'd enlarge the hole a bit to emulate the 'flying ashtray' idea.

As of now I have 135 gr Speer short barrel Gold Dots in my snubs. i have them loaded for 850 fps but i can get them up to 950 if I want to take the pain. My wife is better off with the milder load, too.
I am approaching the geezer stage of life. A writer for guns and ammo in about 1980-82 (Rick Jamison ) did tests with a M-64 with the skinny BBL. And if I remember right, they did very well. Also a friend in High School (1970's) made some up and they were a curse on rabbits.
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Old 12-30-2016, 11:29 PM
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If reversed HBWC was an effective defensive cartridge, ammunition companies would be selling tons of it at a premium.
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:06 AM
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Back in the 70s'/80s' I tested them in handloads.



Fired into a 5 gal bucket of sand,38cal mushroomed to an inch.
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:11 AM
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Back in the 70s'/80s' I tested them in handloads.



Fired into a 5 gal bucket of sand,38cal mushroomed to an inch.
Good to know when attacked by a bucket of sand.
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Old 12-31-2016, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
Why doesn't somebody TEST this load. I keep hearing about it's effectiveness but have never seen data or pictures.

I would guess that a HPSWC would do a good job. I think i'd enlarge the hole a bit to emulate the 'flying ashtray' idea.

As of now I have 135 gr Speer short barrel Gold Dots in my snubs. i have them loaded for 850 fps but i can get them up to 950 if I want to take the pain. My wife is better off with the milder load, too.
Factory Speer 135g +P GDHP chronographs at 872 fps at the muzzle out of my BG38 and that is what I carry.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:13 PM
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Like Cooper said -

"Problem one is survival. Problem two can be dealt with in court."

In other words, better tried by 12 than carried by six.

Ammo companies likely don't offer reversed HBWCs for Fear of the old "Dum Dum" bullet issue, not because they don't work.

And we're talking close and dirty defensive shooting, not long range. A round that expends it's energy in the target would seem to be well suited for the purpose.

In the case I mentioned above, the exchange took place over the rear end of a full sized car. If I recall, the deceased was hit three times in the torso area.

The shooter was one of our early pioneers in the days before IPSC. It was still "Combat Pistol Shooting", Jeff cooper was the High Priest and the .45 ACP was King.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:16 PM
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Handguns magazine in 11/11/2012, did a test on factory ammo
in a 2" snub nose and one was a Hornady 148gr HBWC bullet
with 3.5 grs of Titegroup that averaged 780 fps.

The writer was very disappointed in his "Custom Load" that
should have worked, loaded backwards with the HB in front.

In the gel test, penetration was below FBI specs at only 10".
With cloth, the HP plugged up and penetrated 19" with no expansion.

There were several loads that did pass inspection, though.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTG_COLLECTOR View Post
Good to know when attacked by a bucket of sand.
It's hard to find a cadaver to shoot into these days and pig carcasses ala the Thompson/LaGarde tests are expensive, unless you're using a feral hog as a subject.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
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.............Ammo companies likely don't offer reversed HBWCs for Fear of the old "Dum Dum" bullet issue, not because they don't work...........

......In the case I mentioned above, the exchange took place over the rear end of a full sized car. If I recall, the deceased was hit three times in the torso area.
I seriously doubt the ammunition companies have concerns about "Dum-Dum" cartridges in the U.S., but who knows about Canada.

I've heard a lot of urban legend about reversed HBWC since the 1970's and this is the first shooting incident I've heard about where the cartridge was used. I'd love to see the autopsy photos and read the forensic report(s).

If reversed HBWC ammunition was a profitable item, companies would make it.
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Old 01-01-2017, 02:52 PM
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I have a partial box I loaded back in the early 80's. They are in the bottom of one of my ammo cans and not used in years. The discussions of actually using them and the possibilities of them being singled out as a dangerous load being used by someone "looking for" an opportunity to shoot someone "killer hand load", was enough for me to forget about using them. They were accurate to 10-15 yards, but I never had the proper media to see the expansion.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:33 PM
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This subject came up before. At that time Atomic Ammo was making
148-Gr. HBWC loaded backward to create a hollow point.
There is also a video on you tube showing gel tests of the load.
Seems to be controversial. Some pros and lots of cons.

Here is a picture of some HBWC hollow points. Not great
details. A local guy reloads them and sells them at gun shows.

I shot one into a "target" with the 642 (shown) from 3 (three) feet.
The "target" was 3/4" plywood with 4" x 4" patch consisting of
a layer of leather, a layer of denim, and two layers of cotton.
in back of the plywood 12" of compressed sponge rubber.
in back of the rubber another 3/4" plywood.

The shot went clean through the whole thing and kicked up
dirt about 40 feet down range.

The exit wound was a nasty jagged hole about an inch diameter.

Not real scientific, but it tells me something about the load.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:22 PM
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[QUOTE=H Richard;139396170] The discussions of actually using them and the possibilities of them being singled out as a dangerous load being used by someone "looking for" an opportunity to shoot someone "killer hand load", was enough for me to forget about using them.
QUOTE]

This is really the likely reason ammo companies don't offer them.
They may save your life, but you may not win the next battle in court.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:37 PM
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Default Speer is making a killing......

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTG_COLLECTOR View Post
....and a .22 Short or a .25 ACP could have stopped the perp just as well, but you're not going to find a lot of people saying its a good idea to carry pistols in those calibers.

If reverse HBWC ammo was such a great SD load, EVERY major ammo company would be making such ammo (and they don't).
Speer recognized the value of the big open hollow point (developed from the 'flying ashtray' SWC type bullet with a BIG hole). They refined it, increasing it's sale value, into the Gold Dot bullet. Similar idea, but much more refined in an jhp that was designed to perform repeatably.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
This subject came up before. At that time Atomic Ammo was making
148-Gr. HBWC loaded backward to create a hollow point.
There is also a video on you tube showing gel tests of the load.
Seems to be controversial. Some pros and lots of cons.

Here is a picture of some HBWC hollow points. Not great
details. A local guy reloads them and sells them at gun shows.

I shot one into a "target" with the 642 (shown) from 3 (three) feet.
The "target" was 3/4" plywood with 4" x 4" patch consisting of
a layer of leather, a layer of denim, and two layers of cotton.
in back of the plywood 12" of compressed sponge rubber.
in back of the rubber another 3/4" plywood.

The shot went clean through the whole thing and kicked up
dirt about 40 feet down range.

The exit wound was a nasty jagged hole about an inch diameter.

Not real scientific, but it tells me something about the load.
It's incredible that the projectile penetrated that much material

Thanks for the information.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:05 PM
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Here is a quote by a gun magazine writer named Will Hafler. Sorry I
didn't keep the name and date of the magazine.
"a report from a midwestern police force...one of their officers hit his
assailant with one of these loads (the 148-Gr. wadcutter loaded backward
so that the hollow base acts as a hollow point) in a point blank gunfight...
after which he (the assailant) just couldn't lie down and die fast enough."
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:34 PM
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Question: who makes a .45 caliber HB wad cutter bullet ?
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
Here is a quote by a gun magazine writer named Will Hafler. Sorry I
didn't keep the name and date of the magazine.
"a report from a midwestern police force...one of their officers hit his
assailant with one of these loads (the 148-Gr. wadcutter loaded backward
so that the hollow base acts as a hollow point) in a point blank gunfight...
after which he (the assailant) just couldn't lie down and die fast enough."
Can't be true. According to some of the 'sperts on the forum, they don't/can't work.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
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Question: who makes a .45 caliber HB wad cutter bullet ?
Winchester used to offer a HB 250 gr swaged bullet. I have some some that mike .454 so you might want to swadge them down to .451/.452
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
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Can't be true. According to some of the 'sperts on the forum, they don't/can't work.
You surely don't think those gun magazine writers could be
mistaken? Or lie to us?
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:15 AM
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Of all the U.S. and numerous global ammunition manufacturers that market to North America, I can't name one that offers this round. Many of these companies have ammunition development departments and divisions.

Regardless whether a couple of bad guys and a few rabbits may have met their demise from a backward HBWC over the last half century, there are some pretty savvy folks with lots of money and state of the art testing facilities that apparently don't feel this round can compete.

A 57 Chevy is pretty nifty, and MAY be able to get you from coast to coast, but it doesn't practically compete with modern vehicles and technology.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:41 AM
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'reversed HBWCs as defensive ammo'

Bad idea. Ballistic personal defense weapons work by penetration. The reversed HBWC will have extremely limited penetration.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:30 PM
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'reversed HBWCs as defensive ammo'

Bad idea. Ballistic personal defense weapons work by penetration. The reversed HBWC will have extremely limited penetration.
.... which is one of their virtues if "over penetration" is an issue, like in a home or apartment. A hunting bullet that expands and expends it's energy in the body of the animal is said to be more effective than one that merely goes through leaving a pencil sized hole. Many hunters can vouch for that and why FMJ ammo is not allowed for hunting in most jurisdictions.

Compared to a .38 LRN, .32ACP or .380ACP FMJ from a pocket pistol, a M36 with reversed HBWCs sounds like a better deal.

You pays you money -you takes you choice.

It's a moot question for us Canucks who are denied CCW by the politicians who have 24/7 armed protection at public expense. The use of a firearm for self protection this side of the DMZ puts you in more trouble than the creep who broke into your house and threatened you and/or your family.

You may be exonerated in court, but it's going to bankrupt you, the process part of the punishment.

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Old 01-04-2017, 01:42 PM
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The problem with handguns is ADEQUATE penetration.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:49 PM
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You may be exonerated in court, but it's going to bankrupt you, the process part of the punishment.
That unfortunately is the case in the states, too. Having the police or courts determine your situation was a "good shoot" does not protect you from civil suits. They can drain your life savings.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Question: who makes a .45 caliber HB wad cutter bullet ?
Berry's makes a HB RN bullet but I have never see a WC in .45.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:13 PM
Lee's Landing Billy Lee's Landing Billy is offline
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I have used them to shoot into animals. My penetration results did not meet FBI specs. My loads were only going about 775-800 fps. That could have very well been some of my problem. I have loaded HBWCs in the correct direction, to 158 OAL specs with a 000 buckshot in the hollow end. This will give you about 200 grains and a hit on target on the average on a 3 inch spread at 10 yards. Probably again not the FBI required penetration. I have, do and will carry either load in my Js.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:49 PM
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Here's two from long ago,70s'/80s' ? I was given them by a coin shop proprietor back then. Was only given two and put them aside. Headstamp is HYDRA-SHOK. Don't know the manufacturer. Not to be confused with the current Federal Hydra-Shok,but maybe they were Federals' early/initial version.

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Old 01-04-2017, 02:55 PM
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And yet Paco Kelly wrote of killing a black bear with one! (yeah let's turn this into a "bear" thread )

Dan
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:35 PM
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Here's two from long ago,70s'/80s' ? I was given them by a coin shop proprietor back then. Was only given two and put them aside. Headstamp is HYDRA-SHOK. Don't know the manufacturer. Not to be confused with the current Federal Hydra-Shok,but maybe they were Federals' early/initial version.

I have a box left I loaded for 38 spec. 20 plus years old. Tempted to pull the bullets and reload. Fired a couple into wet phone books years ago and they expanded to .70 plus. Don't remember for sure but I think I just used Unique just a little over target loading.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:03 PM
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I was once pestered by armadillos crawling around my blind in my goose hunting spreads, so I carried a 2 in. Charter Arms Undercover .38 with HBWC's loaded upside down to ward off the beasts. Dillos have a hard shell hide like a pair of heavy boots, but the HBWC's would always punch through both sides and dispatch the dillo in short order, albeit at close range. Entry wound was a sharp, round hole, as if by a cookie cutter. Exit wound was pretty nasty. The 6 or 8 in. of intervening dillo was a mess, and the dillo never knew what happened. There's not a lot of shock in a target speed HBWC, but all those sharp edges cause trouble on the way through.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:52 PM
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Once upon a time I was a commercial ammo manufacturer catering mainly to LEOs and PDs...one of the loads that I made was using the Hydra-Shok Corp. bullets {that were swaged by Alberts Bullet Company}. One of the most popular loads was a the 148 HS-HP. I loaded it with enough SR4756 to mke it run 950 fps from a 2" snubbie...run at that velocity it became a whole different animal...

The factory load was VERY mild...like 670 fps from a snubbie. I remember reading an article where the writer shot a groundhog with one...it ran back into the hole and a minute later came back with blood running down it's neck. It was then killed by a head shot. The "problem" was at the velocities loaded, even from a 4" gun, the bullet would make this great mushroom with the HS post sticking out the top... However if the bullet was run over 900 fps the bullet would violently expand blowing off the HP and the rest of the bullet, which looked a little like a Hersey's Kiss kept right on a truckin'. I shot a row of one quart paper oil cans...the first can blew into pieces, the second can was split wide open and the base of the bullet went through 6 more cans. A standard HP would usually end up in can 3-4.

This is the recovered bullet from that test back about 1982...







This a MeHic 190 grain .41 HBWC {also available in .357/.44/.45} that was run through a 8# Unique jug full of water. The pieces were found in the jug and the base went through the back and was recovered on the snow behind the jug. It split open the carton and blew the cap off...





Matt's Bullets used to sell these but he stopped probably because they are very difficult to cast...



Second test using a row of plastic one gallon milk jugs with a paper carton up front...



Blew the carton apart with lead fragments left behind in the carton...the base went through several more jugs.






The problem is that people who load these bullets think that because they have these big holes in the end that velocity isn't needed to make them "work"...wrong...run them hot enough to tear the nose off and you will not only get a great shock but also penetration...

Federal is sitting on a gold mine in that little 148 HS-WC but they are to busy making their rounds into mushrooms instead of effective defensive ammo....

Bob

ps..Hydra-Shok sold out to Federal...the whole story is in one of Marshall & Sanow books...

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Old 01-07-2017, 08:25 AM
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The FBI has determined that shock is of no value at handgun velocities.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:10 AM
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The FBI has determined that shock is of no value at handgun velocities.
...the FBI also said that the 9mm 147 Subsonic was the be-all and end-all of handguns rounds...didn't exactly work out as planned.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:05 PM
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The FBI has determined that shock is of no value at handgun velocities.
Source please? I would like to read the article.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:46 PM
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Full text of "fbi handgun wounding factors and effectiveness"
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:03 PM
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Original 147 grain 9mm from the ... I want to say early 80s is not at all comparable to modern versions, which have done well.

Lots of interesting comments here, some of which are iffy. Legal issues will vary from state to state, and have changed a lot since Ayoob started writing 40-ish years ago. Lawyers are somewhat less ignorant about use of force (although most are still far too ignorant), and have learned that under the Evidence rules, the bullet/handload stuff should not be admissible. That does not mean they won't try; that does not mean that in certain states they won't succeed. It is conduct worthy of CR11B (frivolous pleadings) sanctions and a bar complaint and discipline, and I would go after opposing counsel's conduct with vigor.

Modern ammo, developed and tested with the FBI protocols in mind (let's say in the last 5, maybe 10 years) is by far the best buy in ammo in terms of actual performance when you need it. In a typical service caliber (9X19; .40 S&W; .357 Sig; 45 ACP) for auto-pistols (where most of that work has been done) those are my first choice. Links to Doc Roberts' testing and list have been posted in many strings by myself and others over the last few years. Buy a bunch; make sure it is reliable in your pistol, and drive on. I tend to also use those loads in revolvers in those calibers (9X19 M940 and .45 ACP), and also .44 Special. In other standard revolver calibers (.38 Special and .41 Magnum), I have gone full reactionary and prefer standard SWC loads at moderate velocity. If recoil sensitive, or when carrying a J frame .38 as a sole weapon instead of a BUG, a best quality WC is a very good choice. (I carry Black Hills.) HOWEVER, one also needs to remember that all pistol rounds suck. A pistol is carried because you son't expect a problem. If you expect a problem, the first choice is to make arrangements to avoid it. (Don't go to stupid places and associate with stupid people.) If you can't avoid it and are not taking a long gun (preferably a rifle), you are not very smart.

Placement is your first problem - all the nifty performance in the world is not worth anything if you do not know and hit the right places. Adequate penetration is the next issue.

More legal issues: As I said above, most lawyers are ignorant about issues related to use of force. Most lawyers practice in little niches and outside that area are lost. I'm a full time government lawyer in an office that does both criminal prosecution and government civil. Most of my background is on the criminal side, assigned to the civil division, and my civil colleagues are often confused by some of my references. (I stay in touch with some criminal issues by my private writing and consulting, and I had to write some appeals this last year for the criminal folks.) It does not mean that they are not skillful in their areas, but they have little need to consider things outside of what they do. Our criminal colleagues are usually boggled by what we do - most of them don't even know what chapters of Washington law control the things we do. It's just too much to know. One of the areas in which we see some big variations across the country is in defenses to civil suits for use of force; many states including my own have provided substantial immunities. An answer valid for one state (or Canada) may be completely worthless for another.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:39 PM
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Here is Dr. Roberts again:

http://www.dlgunsmithing.com/uploads...ry_roberts.pdf

Excerpt for T2C:

'Unlike rifle bullets, handgun bullets, regardless of whether they are fired from pistols or SMG’s, generally only disrupt tissue by the crush
mechanism. In addition, temporary cavitation from most handgun bullets does not reliably damage tissue and is not usually a significant mechanism of wounding.'
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