There are harsh bits. A proper spade bit will put pressure on a horse's palate if their head isn't held vertical. I've ridden with one before - again, I'm not a complete snaffle queen. However, that horse I rode in the spade with rode off leg and seat aids only. I didn't even touch the reins.
A twisted wire bit is going to exert specific pressure points even when just attached to the headstall, unless adjusted too loosely. Those pressure points become magnified when the rider picks up the reins. I've ridden in this bit too in the past and it will never be used by me again; I greatly dislike wire bits. There is no sense in telling a horse to accept contact against a bit that is designed to back a horse off it with pain. The offset double twisted wire bit is a thing of torture.
Western is different from English. Period. You can get away with much harsher bits because you are not asking the horse to be on contact 90% of the ride.
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Ok, I'm done......