The snub nose revolver is a classic carry gun. The ole snub nose was a favorite of detectives, security guards, and of course, concealed carriers. They’re small, light, and easy to conceal. On the flip side, that ultra-short barrel has some drawbacks. While 2 inches is the established standard, most modern snub noses are a mere 1.87 inches long. The problem comes down to terminal effectiveness. Modern defensive hollowpoints were designed to function and expand at velocities snub nose revolvers simply can’t reach. With that in mind, a company called Georgia Arms created the ultimate defensive snub-nose ammo.
It’s actually called Ultimate Defense .38 Special snub nose. This isn’t a jacketed hollow point but a wadcutter. A full wadcutter at that. Wadcutters were initially designed for bull’s eye competitions because they left nice, perfectly round holes in paper targets. It turns out those same projectiles function well from a snub nose revolver for defensive use.
The Georgia Arms Wadcutters
These rounds look odd. The wadcutter sits into the case, and there is seemingly no projectile poking out of the case. The Georgia Arms wadcutters are a little different. They were optimized for defensive use and reached 750 feet per second from a 1.87-inch barrel with a 148-grain projectile. They are made from premium components. Most wadcutter loads are loaded a little slower for pleasant recoil. As we know, velocity helps penetration, so Georgia Arms amped it up.
At the same time, it’s not an uncontrollable round that’s painful and tough to shoot. Georgia Arms balanced the round to be effective but also easy to handle in those lightweight, snub-nose revolvers. The benefit of the wadcutter is numerous. In an optimum situation, you’d have a jacketed hollow point fired from a revolver with a 4-inch barrel. This round would expand and create a larger wound track.
When the projectile doesn’t expand, it’s not exactly effective. We know these rounds don’t expand consistently or even often from a short barrel. Normal .38 Special ball rounds will still zip through a target when fired from a .38 Special and risk overpenetration. Additionally, the roundish shape of a normal .38 Special doesn’t do a whole lot of damage as it zips on through.
The Wadcutter Difference
The Georgia Arms wadcutter hits the body and destroys tissue, creating a nice little hole as it travels through the body. It creates a larger wound cavity, and while it’s still just punching holes, it’s punching the biggest hole a .38 Special can. At the same time, the round loses speed quickly and penetrates sufficiently without over-penetrating and creating undue risk.
The Georgia Arms wadcutter is built from the ground up to be a defensive load from the modern snub nose revolver. Plenty of experts in the revolver realm agree it’s the way to go. This is becoming a very popular round with snub-nose shooters and is likely the best option on the market for the guy with the short nose. Check it out here if interested.