Most people with more than a passing knowledge of firearms know what a wadcutter bullet is. A wadcutter is a special-purpose bullet (typically made of lead) that was designed for shooting paper targets. Often used in handgun competitions, a wadcutter cuts a very clean hole through the target, making it easier to score. It is also useful in reducing errors in target scoring because the clean edge is better defined than the holes made by other types of bullets. This can be a victory maker or breaker when a hole touching a target line could mean it all.
The Wadcutter is the center bullet in the above photograph. Because of their flat shape, wadcutters dont feed well in auto-pistols, so you will typically see them in the hands of wheel gunners.
What many people don’t know is where the name “Wadcutter” comes from.
An old-school piece of reloading equipment was a punch that was used to cut wadding from felt or cardboard when reloading shotgun shells.
This “Wadcutter” punched neat holes in whatever fabric the shotgunner was using. So, when looking to design a special round for pistol competitions, someone…somewhere…remembered what a clean job the old-fashioned “Wadcutter” did.