Full wadcutter bullets loaded to standard and high velocities, once available only to handloaders, are now available from Buffalo Bore in a comprehensive line of ANTI-PERSONNEL rounds. Beginning with a .38 Special load, tailored for snub revolvers and then .45 Colt, the company has recently added .41 Magnum, .45 Auto Rim in standard- and high-velocity variations and .44 Special and .44 Magnum.
The well-demonstrated benefits of the full-diameter bullets include deep, straight-line penetration and a full-diameter wound channel in animate targets. They utilize low-flash powder to preserve night vision and, in most cases, present less recoil and faster recovery time than is the case with standard loads in a given caliber. My experiences with several of the loads reveal very low extreme velocity spreads and average velocities within a few feet per second of advertised velocities from similar revolvers.
The recently released .44 Special uses a 200-grain WC deemed safe in the very compact Charter Arms .44 Bulldog. The velocities in Buffalo Bore’s test guns were in the 900-fps range from a 3-inch barrel Charter, a very manageable 971 fps from a S&W Model 29 Mountain Gun and 1,216 with the Magnum load.
My own 4-inch S&W Mountain gun delivered 999 fps with the Special load and 1,200 with the Magnum. I used an 8.375-inch barreled, Smith—29-2 for my 25-yard bench shooting and got a 5-round group of 1.7 inches with the Special load and 2.2 inches with the Magnum. Chronograph readings were 1,060 and 1,318 fps, respectively.
These revolvers are sighted for 250-grain lead SWC’s at circa 1,050 fps and point of impact with the ANTI-PERSONNEL loads were usefully close. I fired six rounds 2-handed from the Mountain Gun unsupported from 25 yards, putting five of the Magnum loads in a nice cluster in the head of a USPSA/IPSC practice target. The one that went wide in the ditch came from shooter error rather than the load.
By Mike Cumpston
Buffalo Bore Ammunition
P.O. Box 1480, St. Ignatius, MT 59865