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Discussion Starter #1
I'll bet some of you might remember this magazine article.

I remember reading, oh gosh - probably 20 years ago, a "gun" magazine (which specific one, I don't remember) in which the author of the particular article had reloaded 44 Mag cartidges with wooden, pine bullets.

From memory, the author said he liked the idea of a 44 Mag. for home defense but he considered the typical load too powerful to be practical. He decided to try using wooden bullets instead. He purchased some pine dowels from his local hobby store, and carefully turned a few samples on a lathe, which he reloaded.

After reloading some sample rounds, he compared the effects of the standard, jacketed 300 grain round to his reloaded pine rounds and their effect on ballistic gel. In short, I think he liked the results - the pine bullets didn't penetrate the gel much and just splintered "like a big dog". He said he bench tested the weapon and considered the wooden bullets to be accurate to about 25 feet. Beyond that, accuracy fell off noticeably.

I'm curious if anyone here has tried something similar with a .45 acp and your results? For those that haven't tried this, does it sound reasonable for a home defense round? The primary disadvantage I can think of is whether you want a deadbeat to live once you've made the decision to use lethal force? Maybe a criminal that actually lives after you shoot them is a bad thing?

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Not 45acp, but the Swedish military used wooden bullets for training and practice in 6.5x55 rifles. They threaded the muzzle and used some sort of muzzle device to make the wooden bullets go straighter and faster without disintegrating. I don't know what that muzzle device was. Maybe that will get the attention of some senior members here, they might know more about it.

The only reason I know about Swedish wooden bullets: My old Swedish Mauser is threaded for the muzzle device. But I don't know anything more.

I would think it handy for home defense in a pistol in case Pinocchio tries breaking and entering your castle.
 

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We had so much trouble with Vampires for a few years, most of us carried wooden bullets in out carry guns, they work, seen any Vampires lately. I have seen articles about it years ago but never paid much attention to it, I don't want anything in my barrel but lead. I think I've heard about the Japanese having to use some at the end of the second world war, but that could be old wives tale's.
 

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why not a hard wood? If I were going to try this - (And now I'm sorely tempted) I would have started with almost anything but pine - at least oak - since that is readily available in dowels.

Did he just trim them to the correct diameter and use them as wad cutters? or round the tip?

I kind of feel like I'd rather get shot by ball ammo (not a hp self defense round) than some wood that splintered into a gazillion pieces in me.
 

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Take most are too young to remember that the Nazis used wooden bullets on our soldiers during WWII......, my uncle was one of 'em that experienced their use.
 

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Do you think wooden bullets would be kosher in California, or would the tree huggers have a conniption. They would probably have to be inspected for preservatives and contaminates before being used on bad guy's. Old Youl Gibbins would bite the bullet if he were around today.
 

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In my cartridge collection I have one with a Japanese head stamp. It has a primer as if ready to be shot vs. a practice round.

All the best,
 

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The actual reason for wooden bullets was for practice rounds hardly more than blanks. They filled out the profile of the round so it would feed normally from the magazine. Many of them, the "bullet" was hollow to hold more blank powder.
The Swedish muzzle attachment is to shred the wooden "bullet" so it would not be a safety hazard for even the short distance it would travel if intact.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-85459.html
 

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Do you think wooden bullets would be kosher in California, or would the tree huggers have a conniption. They would probably have to be inspected for preservatives and contaminates before being used on bad guy's. Old Youl Gibbins would bite the bullet if he were around today.
As long as it isn't one of their precious Redwoods...like the fences in many '70's vintage housing divisions were...

Dang Redwood was a pain to us kids, mom's were always after us with rubbing alcohol, needles and tweezers trying to get the splinters out!
 

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I once had a pistol that fired wooden bullets exclusively, cork, actually. Had a string through the bullet, made reloading easy. Range was rather limited if I recall correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
why not a hard wood? If I were going to try this - (And now I'm sorely tempted) I would have started with almost anything but pine - at least oak - since that is readily available in dowels.

Did he just trim them to the correct diameter and use them as wad cutters? or round the tip?

I kind of feel like I'd rather get shot by ball ammo (not a hp self defense round) than some wood that splintered into a gazillion pieces in me.
Don't quote me because it's been such a long time since I read the article but I *think* he turned a soft-rounded point on the bullet since he made them in his lathe.

I wish I would have kept the magazine just for grins - *I* found it a really interesting article.

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The wooden bullet idea is neat and all but I'm not about to get shot by some thug that I splinter with a 20 grain wooden bullet while he returns fire with lead and copper. Maybe that's just me.

The vampire rumor is mostly untrue. Not in most handguns anyway. The wood slugs don't penetrate to the heart. If they are soaked in holy water first, they burn but I hear that it just serves to pi$$ the blood suckers off. But there have been a few reports of successful vampire kills with high velocity, custom made pointies like 5.56 made of very hard wood like Lignum. There is a "hunter" in eastern Europe, Jaan Van Helsing, who reportedly uses a highly customized FN Five-Seven and 5.7 x 28 handloads with meticulously hand turned (and blessed) Lignum projectiles. He, reportedly, has over 3 dozen kills.
 

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I agree, there are not many things I would shoot that I wouldn't intend to destroy and I don't think wood would work on steel plates very well.
 

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It would be interesting to see.

If you could get a barrel with the correct twist rate. And a round with a wooden projectile, that could actually be stabilized enough to have some decent range. I have heard about the Japanese wood bullets before. But not the German ones. Although as both of these Axis powers were running short on everything towards the end, I am not a bit surprised. It would be interesting to know what kind of effective range they were actually getting.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just out of curiosity - would the firing of a wooden bullet sound any different than the typical lead counterpart, or would it probably sound just the same?

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A 5/16 = .3125" dowel would make a number of wooden bullets in .30 or .303 for 91 cents at Lowe's.
I wonder if Quickload would go down to about a 10 grain .30 bullet.
 
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