Monday 27 September 2021

Shooting Your Wad with WADCUTTERS:

"Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon .. No matter how good you are, the bird is going to shit on the board and strut around like it won anyway."

There are some folk who believe in 'knock-down power' & 'stopping power' with much the same fervor that they believe in god, heaven and hell. - I too have a strong religious belief. - I believe that when you are dead .. you are dead. When I leave, I'll be a long time gone.

 - Just to clarify matters for any of you who think that the heading is a 'sexual' reference .. a WAD is a disc of felt, card or wax used to separate the powder charge from the load of shot or ball that is often lubricated.

"Full" Wadcutter bullets are blunt-ended cylindrical lead projectiles that are designed to cut a neat clean full-bore hole in paper targets to make the process of scoring in precision pistol competitions easier ..

NOW .. just to introduce the world of geometry into things (were you off school that day?) a SPHERE being the hardest of shapes to deform, may well pass down a gun barrel - through the air - through a flexible mass - and exit, to pass onwards into infinity - fully expecting to remain ball shaped and unchanged by life - as stuff moves aside to permit it's passing .. only to return elastically. - If you smooth the hole left in a paper target by round-nosed hardball with your finger from the rear .. you can put the edges right-back where they started.

The Infamous MANSTOPPER (Webley) Eley made Mk. III .455" Cartridge of 1898 *

These are Hornady .358" cold swaged 'hollow-based' 148 grain HBWC  - knurled & dry-lubed ..


"WADCUTTER" bullets are so named because they cut a clean circular disc or WAD from the   paper  targets .. the first record of this use dates from 1900 ish - but it was soon noticed that this was also a very effective design for self defense in the smaller carry-guns at moderate close contact ranges.

These pills are good because they cut a clean full diameter hole - because the full length of the projectile rides down the barrel-bore engaging efficiently with the rifling spin to enhance ACCURACY - because the hollow-base expands to "obturate" tightly into variable bores, - because the moderate muzzle velocities achieved from handy pistols prevents bore-leading, - And because the lousy un-aerodynamic shape is not an issue at handgun ranges generally below fifty meters.

Low recoiling, - Accurate and Easy to shoot ..

In 1975 An Evaluation of Police Handgun Ammunition by the U S Dept. of Justice measured 38 Caliber wadcutters as being THREE TIMES AS EFFECTIVE as 38 Round Nose 158 grain. bullets in "wounding power".

NOW .. I have read an "expert" claim that these are no good for self defense because they don't expand .. well all you need to do is fire some into ballistic Gel. or Plasticine and recover the slug to see that even at modest low velocity from an obsolete 38 S&W caliber revolver .. SOFT LEAD expands somewhat & may well tumble (yaw) after impact ..

The hollow base in these lead wadcutters L.HBWC is much like that in the MINIE BALL ..

Captain Burton's Conical Minie Balls caused much enhanced wound damage over round balls in the Crimean and U S Civil Wars.

*Note:  the infamously preferred Man Stopper .455 round from the 'Thompson LaGarde Trials' was named as "Government Mk III Solid Brass" - referring to the solid brass drawn CASE and it is the 288 grain soft 12:1 lead alloy slug that is hollow 'cupped' both coming & going ..

Note 2: .. Just for folk who say that .45"acp bullets are undersized in the Webley revolvers - THE Webley Story states that these barrels are bored & gauged .440" - .441" - .442" with seven groove .004 / .005" deep rifling .. Please don't blame me - I'm only the student.

- There have been folk who load L.HBWC slugs INVERTED or backwards to make a huge 'hollow point' round that expands to twice caliber .. BUT they underpenetrate and stop a little too soon by current FBI standards.

There is a fascinating relationship between velocity/expansion/penetration and the design-material hardness - cavity size-shape.

I reckon the shape of the  Federal Hydroshok Deep  Central Pillar or CONE is a significant clue to retaining penetration while gaining serious expansion ..

- Stick a central cone, small self-tapper screw or steel ball into the hollow of a reversed HBWC and what will you get in 10% Ballistic Gelatin .. ?

There is one serious failing when shooting full wadcutters that it would be rude not to mention .. If you've fired the revolver empty and now need a reload - wadcutters can be rather slow to align & insert into the chambers as they lack any taper or lead-in. - Oh and I did read one fruit loop write that wadcutter ammo was dangerous because some shooters mistake these live rounds for blanks .. yeah I know - but there's a lot of it around in Long-Horn Cattle country eh.

- Now there actually are semi-auto pistols that can handle shooting wadcutter cartridges .. such as the S&W Model 52 - but generally speaking if you'd like to try shooting wadcutters or other odd loadings .. you will need a strongly built REVOLVER as the typical 'auto' can be sensitive to choice of ammo for function.

Marty K.

P.S. This 'Gun Sam' Guy does a great job testing with Wadcutters ..

 - Link to THE Webley Story ..

& this is a great read about the .455" Cartridges ..


Tuesday 21 September 2021

Loss Of Life by Killing ..

 This is a difficult topic - especially considering that the last act by U S forces in Afghanistan was a drone attack that killed 10 innocent victims.

Our NZDF deployed in Afghanistan sadly suffered 10 deaths while there .. and I consider that they would have caused many more casualties than that figure in their firefights with "insurgents" while successfully engaged there ..

So we may have a situation here that our Nuclear Free New Zealand Government approves and authorizes killings by our DEFENCE FORCES -  and other related loss of lives - for political purposes in foreign lands but this same administration has abolished the DEATH PENALTY for those violent murderers who take innocent life here in New Zealand. 

We are being quoted vastly increased use of guns by the NZ GANGS who - as expected ignore all laws and will use anything as a weapon when ever they feel the need. This .. again as expected - demonstrates the complete failure of punitive firearms laws to reduce violence here - but it these regulations will of-course make it nearly impossible for the law abiding to legally own or use a firearm for sport and hunting.

Consider that BRENTON TARRANT who planned & slaughtered 51 innocents in Christchurch. - Our deluded Politicians will argue that he deserves to live.

It is quite clear from the government records that both here in NZ since 1961, and in the United Kingdom - that following the abolition of the Death Penalty - the murder rate has increased by MORE than two or three hundred percent.

The NZ figures 

Annual murder rate per million people (WITH the Death Penalty)
1926-1970: 6 

Death Penalty ABOLISHED IN 1961.

1985-1992: 21 
1994-1998: 15 
1999-2003: 14 
2004-2008: 12

I think that is very clear ..

Nobody can claim that our government is against 'killing' on ethical-moral grounds - as they hand-out medals, including the NZ VICTORIA CROSS to their own professionally trained military killers.

Nobody can deny that abolition of the death penalty has resulted in much increased loss of defenseless & innocent lives in New Zealand.

An absolute minimum change must be a return to the DEATH PENALTY for the murder of  Police Officers and multiple terror killings of innocents.

Sadly there are some 65 MILLION DEATHS worldwide EVERY YEAR from all causes. - Adding a few vicious killers to that number will hardly change the statistics but will make our law-abiding families somewhat safer.

One Of These Reasons (- the Second) - Is True

Killers don't have much to lose now .. if they get away with it they just carry-on - and if they get caught and locked-up - they are banged-up with all their mates .. and fed three times a day with plenty of TV to watch.

For how much longer can our political charlatans deny the facts & continue to ignore the real issues? 

Marty K.

Hi Marty

I am all in favour of the Death penalty with one proviso; the penalty can only be administered (with appropriate facilities provided by the state, ie: gallows, lethal injection, etc) by the victim or victim's immediate family. The Death penalty can only be given in circumstances where there is clear and irrefutable evidence of guilt, and not available for convictions based on circumstantial evidence. If the victim cannot do the deed then life imprisonment shall be given. The State should never have the power of execution except in the case of Treason, subject to the same conditions of conviction.

Conveniently, Helen Clark's government abolished treason as an offence - probably too many Labour MP's in danger of it!

Cheers, Rod

Hi  Rod, How are you doing/?

I certainly note  & respect your opinion .. and I would concur that the bereaved family could well have the RIGHT to be the activator of the termination .. BUT for example what about an orphan having been killed  - or any other victim whose total family were killed by the perp at the same time (or earlier)?
I don't understand your view that THE STATE should not have "power of execution" .. how does this align with the state having three or four military branches specifically trained, armed and used to kill  - not to mention NUCLEAR WEAPONS, nerve agents, high explosives  etc ??
The detail of the method is certainly open to debate .. personally I'd suggest a sleeping gas followed by CO2 in a closed but comfortable cell .. but I expect that there might be some who might prefer gradual crushing starting from the feet while applying hot pokers.
Marty K

Friday 17 September 2021

Ignoring The Real Issues - & a Professional FIREARMS CONTROL Study:

UK Chief Inspector COLIN GREENWOOD wrote his Firearms Control study at Cambridge University in 1971 .. and concluded that all of the multiple attempts to restrict British firearms ownership in the 20th Century were wholly futile as far as reducing crime.

I now have a copy of this book obtained from UK - that extensively & laboriously records the increasing criminal use of weapons and the Government's sequential attacks on the RIGHT to own and use firearms .. he dares to point-out that these restrictions are entirely class based and meant to remove arms from the lower classes.

1895: Mr CH Hopwood Parliamentary Member for South East Middleton: "To say that because there were some persons who would make violent use of pistols, therefor the right of purchase or possession by every Englishman should be taken away, is monstrous".

For 272 pages this serving Senior Police Officer reported his research findings ..

 AND concludes in an Appendix devoted to the DEATH PENALTY - that it is the ABOLITION OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT that is the root cause of the rising use of firearms by criminal gangs.

Politicians made ANOTHER wrong decision and won't back-up.

.. Here is a story I wrote three years ago about this issue ..

If people wish to control and reduce violent crime .. deal to the criminals.

Attempts to curtail basic human rights have a contra effect on violent crime.

We are being told lies & fed falsified figures to justify corrupt political decisions.

Marty K.

Wednesday 15 September 2021

No Power Without Direction:

Here we go .. Please understand that I am NOT disrespecting the MAGNUM handgun cartridges - they are seriously powerful and very effective when needed. - If I were in bear or tiger country my hand would stay very close to my magnum .. Some folk hold faith in their gun-ammo brand with a near religious fervor - and I don't want to start burning-down any monasteries.

NOT being omnipotent - many American and other nationalities seek an easily packed effective tool for self defense. (law abiding British subjects, including NZ Commonwealth citizens - generally are excluded by law from this most basic freedom & right).

I have zero individual experience or close involvement with any life threatening acts and hope that life continues to be this way .. but being an endorsed licensed sport shooter interested in the safe use of guns - I read every report & development that I can find. 

The U S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that almost every major study on defensive gun use has found that Americans use their firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year. - Further more, annually 400,000 life-threatening violent crimes are prevented by using firearms. 


The only scientifically proven and biologically possible way to produce instant incapacitation is through destruction of the central nervous system or brain .. or by an immediate loss of consciousness. 

The next cause of incapacitation is gradual loss of blood - EXSANGUINATION.

- Here is an often stated fallacy: - "Since all handgun rounds are marginal at best, the one with the most energy and which expends all that energy in a target is the one that is most effective."  

Incorrect .. Only a projectile accurately placed (as in the previous paragraph) will effect instant incapacitation. A better statement might read .. 'As all handgun rounds are of limited but deadly power it is essential to accurately place every shot'.

If YOU cannot control your handgun well enough to consistently place your shots into a five inch circle at five feet in five seconds you could be a danger to yourself and all others nearby. - Perhaps you need to change to a more easily directed handgun AND practice until you are safe to be armed in public.

Please don't try to preach regurgitated crap about bigger holes letting the air out quicker or 'only the .45's power will knock 'em down every time'


Every bullet fired in Self Defense or in Sport & Hunting is capable of inflicting an immediately fatal wound or horrible permanent injury. We have a serious responsibility to ensure that we do not endanger innocent lives.

Many LE groups are instructed to Fire at CENTER OF MASS.  This is reasonably sensible advise for anyone not properly trained or practiced at properly using a firearm - however those trained and experienced shooters who are not panicking should expect to be more effective if using aimed shots to the threat's central nervous system.

Do not plan to miss.

I have seen the awful destructive power of a 12 gauge shotgun at short range - but there are reasons why no manufacturer makes such a powerful pistol. Never try firing a 12 gauge held in one hand.

Recent figures for U S (pop. 332M) - record 21 MILLION new background checks for firearms purchase last year.

.. Ordinary folk need to protect themselves.

Even down here in remote New Zealand - while we struggle to stop COVID-19 from swamping us .. we still get vindictive terrorist attacks .. we even have CYBER ATTACKS corrupting & disrupting our Health Services and Banking - Our Government squanders millions on limiting our civil rights while ensuring that criminal nutters are not offended or restrained ..

You know 'The GOLDEN RULE' eh ? - Them that have the GOLD make the rules.


TERMINAL BALLISTICS is about results. - These linked two pages below are words with pictures that ought hold your attention. - IF you can sleep well after viewing the effect of a 12 gauge - especially the solid slug .. may the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless you.

All ballistic info. is of interest .. but when the presenter also manages to entertain - that is bloody great ..

Marty K.

Friday 10 September 2021

Throwing Holes into Misleading Media:

Here is a considered thought from Rathcombe .. 
  " .. for most purposes the hole caused by a bullet is its only measure of lethality." 

Plasticine modeling CLAY can be used when testing - assessing & demonstrating Ballistic effects .. but when used on range the results are less than 'scientific'. - The truth is that a wide range of materials has been used to investigate bullet impacts over the years and sometimes the conclusions reached have been misleading rather than helpful.
"one I prepared earlier .."

What is required is some affordable stuff that will react to bullet impact and penetration and that will catch and retain the projectile for recovery and examination ..

Note for all my fellow retired forklift drivers:  How is your understanding of Newtons Second Law of  Motion? -- further, are you quite clear about both 'elastic deformation' and 'plastic deformation'? - Personally speaking I find that life is too short to pursue truth & clarity to the n'th degree and have settled-on that being a little confused is OK .. e.g. 'Terminal Ballistics' is not always terminal eh.

I have seen & read reports by jokers using media such as packed snow, oiled sawdust. sand/oiled sand, swimming pool/tank water, soft pine timber boards, WETPACK .. saturated phonebooks & stacked water-soaked newsprint, water filled plastic milk jugs, - cans of meaty pet food, - extruded pet-meat rolls, Dacron fiberfill,  duct seal compound, blocks of wax .. and would you believe .. that increasingly some testers are even using calibrated 10% Ballistic Gelatin.

A local jelly Link:



Here is many hours of well written & presented research - together with further links to yet more good reading stuff. 


Shooting is fun and so is examining recovered bullets and damaged test materials. In military testing of ballistic armor - Roma Plastillina #1 modelling-clay is used as a backing medium to measure impact-distortion-penetration in military testing of ballistic armor.

PLASTICINE is approximately 65% bulk gypsum, 10% petroleum jelly, 5% lime, 10% lanolin and 10% stearic acid. The stuff I'm buying here in NZ is made in Thailand. - It cannot be hardened by firing, it softens when warmed, it melts when exposed to heat, and it will burn if heated to high temperatures.

HIGH energy - high velocity bullets will blast and splatter your clay everywhere .. it being less than perfectly elastic.

'Visco-elasto-plastic materials' like this 'clay' mixture, are variable in how they behave - the harder you push some .. the harder they resist, while others will move aside eh .. so only use it to compare examples rather than measure.  BUT it doesn't degrade much when used and can be re-shaped & kept for further impact on another range day.

Marty K.

Saturday 4 September 2021

Security for the CHARLATANS:

Ex NZ Prime Minister Key With Some of His Armed Security team ..
There is such a shortage of decent housing in New Zealand that it is being classed as an emergency - but our present government - that might claim to be a 'worker's party' is abstaining from any effective remedial action.

It isn't the case of a lack of resources .. but rather that there are plenty of goodies for the privileged .. as the loot has been re-directed from wider distribution across the base of the pyramid - and delivered upwards onto the apex strata. Didn't the privileged "wealth creators" used to suggest that this was all part of a wonderful TRICKLE-DOWN THEORY  ?

Swedish ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) do not have official cars or private drivers, they travel and transport around like everyone else in crowded public buses and trains, Read more

In natural or "normal" circumstances I would not say that providing housing for ordinary families was a Government responsibility .. as in earlier days anyone needing permanent shelter from climate and predators would find a vacant area, gather materials, and build a whare. Government restrictions and limitations prevent this natural way of living so they now have an obligation to alternatively house the population. - When you prevent anything animal or human from looking after itself - you must assume that responsibility.

One example might be imprisonment or quarantine .. if you lock 'em-up - you have to house, feed & cloth 'em .. which obligation is likely a root cause for so many crooks & nutters being released back into  "community care" where they 'offended' in the first place.

- Something very similar applies to our Right to Self Defense .. any administration so stupidly arrogant as to restrict one's basic right of self defense from assault has both a moral and a legal obligation to provide every one of it's subjects 24 hour personal armed security of similar quality to that maintained for our political leaders and parliamentarians.

Arriving on scene AFTER an offence and then providing "REASSURANCE PATROLS" around the area where crimes were committed and the country in general is a political sham conducted by the CHARLATANS.

The Diplomatic Protection Service is based in Wellington and Auckland and is responsible for the protection of Parliament, Government House in both Wellington and Auckland, and at Premier House for the Prime Minister. A Protection Officer is assigned to Parliament Buildings and the DPS patrols high commissions, embassies and consular premises.

The Governor-General and Prime Minister are provided continual protection. Members of Parliament, the Judiciary and leaders of opposition parties are provided protection on an as-needed basis. A range of protection services are also provided for domestic and overseas VIP operations.

Huff & Puff as much as you like by presenting the underfunded, under-resourced NZ Police 'Department and "Defence Forces" as replacement substitutes for self-defense - but when they are only able to turn-up AFTER the event to hose away the blood, - that is not acceptable - while our PM has three armed guards parked outside her house in a vehicle with it's engine running 24 hours a day.

Kiwi Shed Living For Some ..
I truly cannot understand why we tolerate such gross mismanagement of our beautiful islands' resources .. we are not horribly overpopulated like the 70 million subjects in UK, - we produce a surplus of foods and primary produce including building timber.

 How can the 120 NZ Parliamentary "representatives" be so incompetent or corrupt as to themselves live in luxury while making new restrictive laws when many working folk are poorly fed and living in cars, domestic garages, and public parks?

Marty K.