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Mas - any legal ramifications from using wadcutters in an sd shooting and why do they call them wadcutters?
.38 Special wadcutters can be had in full power loads from Buffalo Bore, or from Federal, Remington, Winchester and others in low velocity mid-range rounds. Even the latter tend to penetrate surprisingly deep. They cut a full diameter permanent cavity, but at low velocity will leave little corollary damage around the wound track. Very mild recoil makes them a popular choice among those who are particularly recoil sensitive.
They were called wadcutters because their totally flat meplat, or initial striking surface, cut clean wads of paper out of paper targets. This made hits more visible to shooters, and made the targets more easy to score.
Thank you Sir - any legal ramifications in their use?
It seems that any motivated law school grad can make an issue out of everything, and I remember a police chief who was admant that none of his officers use practice wadcutters on duty because he thought it would be a liability problem. However, the issue load was hollow point. Go figure.
I'd worry a little about overpenetration and corollary targets: at close range, the midrange wadcutter is more penetrative than one would think. Because of its less than aerodynamic shape, it loses velocity quickly at long range, however. I haven't run across a documented shooting with the full power Buffalo Bore wadcutter, but would expect the penetration to be as deep or deeper. In a full power .38 Special load, I would definitely go hollow point.
If I had to use a .38 Special and was terribly sensitive to recoil, the midrange wadcutter would be on my option list. It's significant, however, that no department ever issued it for carry. The 125 grain Federal Nyclad would be more promising for carry by a shooter who was recoil sensitive.
To answer your question more directly, though, I wouldn't stay up nights worrying about court problems after using a .38 wadcutter for self-defense. (I would be more likely to stay up nights worrying about having as much power as I'd like on my side of the fight.)
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