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 I know there are no stupid questions...but: Modify Bullets 
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 Post subject: I know there are no stupid questions...but: Modify Bullets
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:37 pm 
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If you were properly equipped, and had all of the necessary tools to do it safely, what is to stop someone from modifying a FMJ bullet into a JHP bullet? Could you not simply drill a shallow hole into the nose of a FMJ, or counter-sink it, or do whatever you want to give the desired contour?

Would this lead to the jacket separating easier or anything else that is a downfall?

I am not a reloader, yet, but it seems you could extract a bullet, center it on a drill press (avoid the old "just eyeball it" trick), and you would retain most of the accuracy. Looking at current JHP's, some look little better than what I am talking about.

Any thoughts? I can't be the only one to ever think about this.

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 Post subject: Re: I know there are no stupid questions...but: Modify Bulle
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:50 pm 
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EJSG19 wrote:
Any thoughts? I can't be the only one to ever think about this.

No, you're not the only one to think about this. The "writers" of Law and Order: SVU did this in one of the few episodes I saw. I don't remember the whole premise, but a kid took his mom's illegal gun "with no safety and hair trigger, a drug-dealers dream gun" to school and shot a school-zone drug dealer that had killed someone else. The bullets used were standard FMJ bullets modified by carving an "X" in the top making them "ultra deadly hollowpoints."

Sounds like a good idea, do it. <--- Sarcasm.


Last edited by SultanOfBrunei on Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:56 pm 
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The bullets used were standard FMJ bullets modified by carving an "X" in the top making them "ultra deadly hollowpoints."



NO, NO, NO,.................carving an "X" makes them...................

"X"tra deadly hollowpoints

:lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:56 pm 
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I believe it has to do with the internal design of the bullet. The hollow point is made to peel back to a certain point and hold to together. You should be able to drill a hole in a full metal or plated bullet, but it will most likely fly apart on impact. This may or may not be your intent.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:00 pm 
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Two things occur to me:

1. "all of the necessary tools to do it safely" would include whatever it takes to deal with the lead shavings/dust/vapor created, and

2. It wouldn't take much labor per bullet to exceed the cost of buying hollowpoints, even nowadays. And that's commercial bullets of a known weight with tested performance.


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 Post subject: Re: I know there are no stupid questions...but: Modify Bulle
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:02 pm 
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EJSG19 wrote:
If you were properly equipped, and had all of the necessary tools to do it safely, what is to stop someone from modifying a FMJ bullet into a JHP bullet? Could you not simply drill a shallow hole into the nose of a FMJ, or counter-sink it, or do whatever you want to give the desired contour?

Would this lead to the jacket separating easier or anything else that is a downfall?

I am not a reloader, yet, but it seems you could extract a bullet, center it on a drill press (avoid the old "just eyeball it" trick), and you would retain most of the accuracy. Looking at current JHP's, some look little better than what I am talking about.

Any thoughts? I can't be the only one to ever think about this.
Sure. But are you going to get anything like the performance out of a hollowpoint that's designed to expand? Me, I'd rather have EFMJ; YMMV.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:15 pm 
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Well, the 2 things holding me up are the issue of it being cost effective. The second being that I doubt anything I could do to a FMJ would make it perform to the point of anything on the commercial market, but hell I have done it, and asked out of curiosity more than anything.

Second, I would never carry anything that I personally had hacked on, both for reliability, and legal issues of "this guys sits in his basement designing the ultimate killer bullet."

Spawned mainly by the idea of, Can I do this? and Why should I do this? Because if I can, then because I can.

or, Just Curious. Wondered if you could get a FMJ to mushroom at all like a JHP by home remedy, with relatively simple modification.

Lets get real though, I have held off getting into reloading because its time consuming, I wonder how much time I'd spend drilling bullets when you can probably buy HP's for very little more.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:52 pm 
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EJSG19 wrote:
... because I can.

Now that I understand. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:06 pm 
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Most of the bullet modifications were done back in the "dark ages" of reloading. That was when most reloaders cast their own bullets. Some of my old manuals show molds with a nose cavity to make lead hollowpoints. Back when almost everything was lead round nose all kinds of modifications were tried but none were as effective as modern bullet design. One of the more common ones was as mentioned earlier, using a fine sawblade and cutting a cross in your lead round nose. As I recall, they also sold a punch to make a nose cavity in soft lead swaged bullets. It worked in a loading press and screwed in where your dies fit.

It's fun to look at some of the things that were done back in the fifties and sixties. That's when I began reloading with some of the old "nutcracker" loading tools. I still have my old nutcracker, it might be a good survival tool. It was retired quite a few years ago in favor of more modern tools. I've still got some old gun magazines and catalogs stashed in my basement that are 40-60 years old that are interesting to look at from time to time and you can see how far we've come since then.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:04 am 
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True,

Also most of today's FMJ bullets have a pretty heavy jacket on them, and most JHP's have a thick jacket at the base, with a progressively thinner jacket as you get to the cavity in the nose. the concept is to have expansion, but controlled expansion, which opens to a designed place and then stops, giving you the benefit of expansion AND penetration.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:08 am 
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The only urge I have had reloading, mind you this is for someone else to try is to peen a small ball bearing into the hollowpoint of a bullet and do a penetration test with them. This of course would depend on whether it cleared the barrel without expanding the bullet and K-booming . :shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:45 am 
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MNBud, they used to make a .25 acp with a ball bearing in the end. It might have been Winchester. It was sold as loaded ammunition. The idea was when the nose hit the target it would drive the bearing back and make the bullet expand.

I remember reading about some tests of this cartridge in a gun magazine. The bullet usually acted like a solid jacket, just not enough velocity in the little .25 to make it expand.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:28 am 
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The ball bearing thing sounds sort of like the Glaser Safety Slugs, except they use some sort of plastic it looks like. Or maybe simliar to the Corbon PowRball?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:17 pm 
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The ball bearing in the tip idea is a whole lot older than y'all are giving it credit for. "Hoxie" made 'em for hunting-type loadings clear back pre-WWII.

IIRC, the Winchester .25 ACP loading with the ball bearing nosepiece ran afoul of the "armor piercing cop killer handgun bullet ban". Seems a real live steel ball bearing is considered AP material... :roll:

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Back to the OP: you used to see reference in shooting/hunting magazines and guidebooks about people messing with milsurp FMJ rifle ammo to try and Bubba up something that'd be a decent hunting bullet. Including cutting the tip off to expose some of the core (primarily talking lead cored bullets here). All well and good until you remember that a LOT of FMJs made for govt. consumption are constructed w. the jacket wrapping around the nose and sides and leaving the base open. Clip the nose off, especially going far down the sides and you've got a bullet that's like a jelly roll: a soft core stuck in a jacket metal tube. Take the tens of thousands of PSI a full-sized rifle cartridge develops, toss in a maybe slightly rough bore and you've got a recipe for a jacket stuck in there to make a bore obstruction for the next shot. :!:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:16 pm 
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I'm with Molasses on this one - dick with a bullet that was developed with one purpose in mind and try and turn it into something else, and you could wind up blind, dead, or worse yet, your ass intact and some stranger or family member maimed for life. Screwing with factory jacketed bullets is the same as mixing two powders together to try and get something better.

That kind of experimentation is for professionals only in safe explosion proof facilities, and NO ONE else!!

BTW, back in the 60's I was doing some synthesis work in college with some really lethal raw materials, and they made me do it in a "safe lab". A safe lab is one with 4" steel reinforced poured wallls, floor, and ceiling, a SOLID 1" steel door that only opens inward, and the outer wall was mounted on blast clips that can blow off before the other walls give way, and over that blast wall was a big 8' x 12' woven potholder kind of thing woven out of 3/4" diameter steel cable. The purpose of the potholder was to prevent the leftover bits of your experiment and YOU from blowing all over the campus.

Do you REALLY want to experiment with something that may generate 50,000 PSI when it's detonated, and just proceed with this experimentation with the attitude that you don't know for sure what will happen, but you're going to go ahead and find out anyway, JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN??


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