Wadcutter Bullets, whats in a name?


#1

Any truth to the theory that wadcutter bullets got their name from the practice of cutting elongated projectiles/bullets from a lead block using a wad punch years ago or that the name “slug” was derived from hammering required in the same process?

I would place this back in the muzzle loading days when the only alternative was a ball, but the desire for heavier projectiles could not easily be met.

I could imagine the name “slug” also could have some connotation with the old hand swaging dies that required hammering to form the shape.

I have heard these theories mentioned but I have never seen any erudite mention of it in any book.

It seems a quiet time on the forum and I thought it might be a good opportunity to raise it. We use these words, or see them used, a lot but while they are in everyday parlance the origins remain a bit of a mystery


#2

I think it comes from the clean “wad” of paper that it cuts in the target, making scoring easier.


#3

Thats the other possibilty in my mind, but its not really a wad although the hole looks like it may have been made with a wad punch.

Maybe somebody could come up with a date for when the name first appeared.


#4

This is about the most comprehensive discussion I have seen:
lasc.us/Fryxell-Himmelwright-Wadcutters.htm
Maybe a predecessor to the flat-nose wadcutter?
I’d believe the name “Wadcutter” probably came from the clean, round hole produced by a wad cutter die or punch used for making shotgun wads.


#5

Thats a great article, thanks for that. I do still wonder whether he invented the name or whether he reused a term that was already in use, or perhaps fallen into disuse.


#6

Vince, this is on the same site, lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter … cutter.htm