Hollow points + Wax

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Big Bubba

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
112
Location
WV
Just a thought and maybe some of you have tried this or have an idea if it will work.

Hollow point handgun bullets tend to plug up when striking clothes fabric, wall board, etc. With Hornady and others using polymer and or rubber like substances to enhance hollow-point performance, why couldn't wax be melted and dripped in the cavity of large caliber hollowpoints, like .40, .44 and .45 caliber.

Liquids will not compress, and I doubt wax will either to any degree. The wax isn't going anywhere when the bullet is fired, because it is trapped in the HP. Looks like an easy way to keep a hollowpoint from plugging up and to help initiate expansion. Sort of like a wax Ballistic tip.

Sounds too easy and simple to work. Anyone have any comments or ideas?
 

Airpark

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
20
Location
MS
Don't know about that but do know I had a friend who re-loaded wax bullets for his .44 Magnum. He shot RATS! with them.

Lived on a farm that had old chicken brooder houses with old dried manure about 8 inches deep. Rats lived in tunnels under this and ate the undigested corn and other old chicken feed.

They were the largest rats I have ever seen. He THOROUGHLY enjoyed opening the door, turning on the lights and BANG..one more dead rat.

Did not seem to hurt his .44 so I guess that wax would not hurt yours either.

Good Luck,
Bill H
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,222
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Well, the easy thing to do is to add wax to 6 of them, and go to the range. Get a test medium, such as a big box filled with wet newspapers, and fire a few wax ones in it & recover them, and then fire some w/o the wax & check the expansion etc to see what happens.
 

Lost Sheep

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
407
Location
Anchorage Alaska
Big Bubba":168p00kk said:
Just a thought and maybe some of you have tried this or have an idea if it will work.

Hollow point handgun bullets tend to plug up when striking clothes fabric, wall board, etc. With Hornady and others using polymer and or rubber like substances to enhance hollow-point performance, why couldn't wax be melted and dripped in the cavity of large caliber hollowpoints, like .40, .44 and .45 caliber.

Liquids will not compress, and I doubt wax will either to any degree. The wax isn't going anywhere when the bullet is fired, because it is trapped in the HP. Looks like an easy way to keep a hollowpoint from plugging up and to help initiate expansion. Sort of like a wax Ballistic tip.

Sounds too easy and simple to work. Anyone have any comments or ideas?
I think the polymer points are not so much to enhance expansion, but to enhance reliability of feeding through a self-loader. Hollowpoints can hang up on a feed ramp. The plastic round nose makes them feed like roundnose hardball. Supposedly the plastic nose doesn't hurt expansion, but I think if it improved performance, they would be marketed in revolver-only cartridges, too. Seen any?

I have no idea if filling the tip with wax would keep clothing from clogging the hollow point, or, indeed, if cloth filling up the hollow point is actually a problem or just the imaginings of gun magazine writers and ammo makers' marketing wonks. I just don't know. But I don't trust ballistic gel or wet newspapers to tell me, either.

I, however, am of the school of thought that I will use unmodified factory ammo only for social purposes. Reduces the (however unlikely or irrelevant) questions in any post-shooting analysis.
 

Big Bubba

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
112
Location
WV
Yep I have seen them. The new Hornady Critical Defense FTX Ammo with a polymer pulg in the HP was what got me thinking about this idea.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,137
Location
So. Florida
A few months ago there was an article in one of the gun mags about early development of hollow-point bullets. A large hollow-point with notches cut in the jacket and filled with wax was one of the best expanders. The only draw-back I could see would be the fact that hot storage might melt the wax. I'm sure that is why there was none manufactured commercially. Silicone seems like it would be the best alterative. :D

...Jimbo
 

pps

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
306
Location
PRK
Jimbo357mag":3im6dh6w said:
A few months ago there was an article in one of the gun mags about early development of hollow-point bullets. A large hollow-point with notches cut in the jacket and filled with wax was one of the best expanders. The only draw-back I could see would be the fact that hot storage might melt the wax. I'm sure that is why there was none manufactured commercially. Silicone seems like it would be the best alterative. :D

...Jimbo

Works for breast expansion quite nicely.
 

Big Bubba

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
112
Location
WV
Just thought this topic might really be interesting to ponder. I wouldn't advocate anyone tampering with factory loaded self defense ammo due to the real or imagined chance of litigation in it's use. Let's not argue that point. Just say'n.
 

sceva

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Messages
340
Location
Illinois - but I'm an Ohio Buckeye
If used for self defense I would think that modified bullets (I.E. wax filled) would end up being a huge liability for the defense. I can just imagine the prosecutor explining how the bullets weren't deadly enough or damaging enough for you. I may be wrong on this but I will stick to factory loads in a carry gun.
 

Big Bubba

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
112
Location
WV
Like Jimbo said about silicone, I too believe it would work. How about the Permatex Blue form-a-gasket stuff you use on valve covers and oil pans?
 

Pal Val

Buckeye
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
1,532
Location
S.E. PA, USA
Sounds too easy to work? Probably is. Trust your instincts.

When it comes to bullets, I follow the old sage: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I may be wrong, but if a hollow point bullet's cavity plugs up, that means that the bullet is traveling too slowly to expand. In that case, having stuff in the cavity has no advantage.
 

pps

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
306
Location
PRK
I'm with Val Pal on the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy. Make the lead soft enough, the cavity big enough, and the speed high enough and it will expand.
 

CJofWolfcreek

Bearcat
Joined
May 6, 2006
Messages
4
I am not a ballistic expert but what's the difference between getting "plugged up" with clothing or flesh? Isn't that sudden plugging up what triggers the expansion of the hollow point? In which case wouldn't pre plugging it with wax or silicon lessen the expansion force?
 

mike7mm08

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
1,709
Location
Milwaukee Wisconsin
Clothing is soft and compresses. You use a lot of energy compressing the clothing before expansion is initiated. In some cases by the time clothing is compressed there may not be enough energy left for the bullet to expand.Flesh being very liquid creates hydrostatic pressure very quickly initiating expansion. The principal behind filling the cavity with wax or silicon is both materials compress very quickly like flesh and initiate the expansion.
 

Lost Sheep

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
407
Location
Anchorage Alaska
pps":2sttumt9 said:
I'm with Val Pal on the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy. Make the lead soft enough, the cavity big enough, and the speed high enough and it will expand.
If you make the velocity high enough (and, considering the centrifugal forces of the bullet spin, the twist rate, too) it is possible to get expansion even before the bullet reaches the target. Usually followed by disintegration in mid-flight.

This is not unknown in rifle bullets. In handguns I am not aware of this happening, but it is possible for a very soft bullet to expand too much, leave a nasty-looking wound that does not incapacitate, therefore not doing the job. Almost as bad as the solid bullet that does not expand and passes through the shootee with little incapacitation.

Getting the balance jst right between fragility/overexpansion vs power vs overpenetration vs penetrating through clothing/cover is tough. That's why large, blunt objects still do better. If you achieve the proper wound channel (expansion with penetration) with a 9mm or 327 mag in a shooting, they are great rounds. But put the shootee in heavier clothing or behind cover and the bullet is broken up or slowed such that it is out of its "optimal performance zone". The 12 gauge slug at 850 fps has a MUCH wider optimal performance zone than any bullet that depends on expansion for effect. But the compromise in concealability and firepower is 'way too much to be practical. So we go smaller. Down to the 45 ACP. But some have determined that even THAT miniscule round is too large for practical concealability. So, the 9mm, 327 Mag, 380 ACP and even the 25 ACP or 22 rimfire hollowpoints are used. You pick your trade-offs and optimize for your situational requirements.

If waxing your bullets widens their optimal performance zone, great. If you can get an established ammo manufacturer to certify that they are not just some "gun-nut's" search for sanguinimity, so much the better. If a government agency pick them up as being more effective but less lethal, you have hit the trifecta. (I recall debate over whether full metal jacket solids were more appropriate than hollowpoints for police use. The argument went thusly: A hollowpoint will stop a bad guy with fewer shots than fmj solids; Police shoot a bad guy for as many times as it takes to make him stop doing what he is doing that made lethal force necessary; therefore whichever puts fewer holes in him and works faster is going to be more survivable/less lethal and therefore more humane. That would mean the really nasty looking hollowpoint is actually the kinder bullet.)

Food for thought.

Lost Sheep
 
Top