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Remembered Today:

Strange unfired bullet


marc coene
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Hello,

This British bullet has its top inversed into the bullet?

On the underside of the unfired bullet there is marked J 17 VII

Somebody knows what could be the reason of this inversed top in the bullet?

Thanks for your info

Kind regards, Marc

post-46229-0-20862500-1403365444_thumb.j

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Do you mean that it is an illegal reversed round?

Where did it come from? Where did you buy/find it?

What is its history? If you have any.

Does the cartridge still hold a charge?

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If you go the 'arms' forum and search for 'reversed bullets', you will find a long discussion of why this was done.

Old Tom

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Do you mean that it is an illegal reversed round?

Where did it come from? Where did you buy/find it?

What is its history? If you have any.

Does the cartridge still hold a charge?

This is a surprising find. Forcing a reversed bullet into a .303 Mk.VII case, deep enough for the neck to grip the bearing surface, will drive the point into the pasteboard wad and the cordite sticks. I guess if you took out the wad, the point might just push the sticks apart enough to enter, but I'd've expected that might swell the case just below the shoulder. It would be interesting to know what's inside, but my guess is the OP doesn't want to take it apart... :D

Regards,

MikB

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If you go the 'arms' forum and search for 'reversed bullets', you will find a long discussion of why this was done.

Old Tom

And even in the British case if it was done (other than to produce shocking stories). It was very difficult to remove a British round because of the way the cartridge case neck was crimped and a seal used. Pliers and possibly a vice would be needed. With the German round this would be easier. Given the composition of the French bullet there was no real point (except on the round!). Soldiers did sometime remove the round but to get at the cordite which had a number of (unapproved) uses.

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Coemar, when you say "unfired" do you base that on the fact that there is a bullet pushed back into the cartridge case, or because there is no firing pin strike mark on the primer ?

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As others have said, there is little room in a filled .303 cartridge case for the point of the bullet so I suspect there is no propellant (cordite) in the case. At this late date, who can say why it was done?

The headstamp indicates the case was made by Birmingham Metal and Munitions Ltd at the old F.Joyce plant at Waltham in Essex.

Regards

TonyE

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Coemar, when you say "unfired" do you base that on the fact that there is a bullet pushed back into the cartridge case, or because there is no firing pin strike mark on the primer ?

Indeed there is no firing pin strike in the back. Regards, Marc
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Its not to hard to remove the head of the round, there are numerous commercially available special 'hammers' available for this very purpose. The round is placed within one end of the hammer, held in place by the rim. The remainder of the case is within the main body of the hammer. Strike the hammer on a hard surface with the bullet facing downwards and the head comes out along usually with any wadding etc.

regards

Dave

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Hello all of you,

Thanks for your answers. I opened the case (it broke a bit as indeed it is about 100 years in ground) to see if there was something in the case.

As you can see on the photo there is indeed 'cordite' in it.

In found the bullet just laying on the land at our ground in battlefields on our farm.

Still a mystery what the reason of this action will have been. Thanks for your answers.

post-46229-0-81787000-1403428881_thumb.j

Kind regards,

Marc

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And even in the British case if it was done (other than to produce shocking stories). It was very difficult to remove a British round because of the way the cartridge case neck was crimped and a seal used. Pliers and possibly a vice would be needed. With the German round this would be easier. Given the composition of the French bullet there was no real point (except on the round!). Soldiers did sometime remove the round but to get at the cordite which had a number of (unapproved) uses.

Pulling bullets from mkVII cases is actually reasonably easy using a kinetic puller. I've done it thousands of times to replace the FMJ bullet with hollow/soft points. Inserting and re crimping was done in an old RCBS press. American made ammunition was much easier to do than British manufacture but the accuracy less consistent.

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That bullet appears to have lost its tip.

I have only used a kinetic puller on ball and chopped powder. However I imagine that one ends up with at least some cordite in the puller. As the case was necked after filling, it must be a job to get it back in.

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Hello all of you,

Thanks for your answers. I opened the case (it broke a bit as indeed it is about 100 years in ground) to see if there was something in the case.

As you can see on the photo there is indeed 'cordite' in it.

In found the bullet just laying on the land at our ground in battlefields on our farm.

Still a mystery what the reason of this action will have been. Thanks for your answers.

attachicon.gifIMG_5818.JPG

Kind regards,

Marc

The tip might have been broken off to get the bullet back in without having to remove cordite but if so it would seem to be a pointless(no pun intended) exercise as the bullet would be just as ugly a missile unreversed with no tip and its flight characteristics (and accuracy would probably be equally impaired either way). With regard to bullet pulling devices mentioned - it would seem unlikely that soldiers in the front line would have ready access to such kit.

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The tip might have been broken off to get the bullet back in without having to remove cordite but if so it would seem to be a pointless(no pun intended) exercise as the bullet would be just as ugly a missile unreversed with no tip and its flight characteristics (and accuracy would probably be equally impaired either way). With regard to bullet pulling devices mentioned - it would seem unlikely that soldiers in the front line would have ready access to such kit.

due to the composition of the mkVII bullet, the tip may have simply corroded off.

Ingenuity is not confined to people away from the front. A simple kinetic puller can be made by boring a hole in a piece of wood. It might seem unlikely to someone contemplating that kit may not be available, but to many soldiers, necessity is the mother of invention.

You mentioned in an earlier post about cordite being used for other uses. I was told years ago that wire cutters were usually used for this purpose as they were commonly available .

I think there is a post somewhere on this forum about bullets being broken whist used as some kind of tool?

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With the jacket open at both ends, very little ogive left, and only a little 'mushroom' of lead at the driven end, there's an especially high risk of the core being forced through the jacket with this particular round, leaving an obstruction in the barrel, to cause considerable and dangerous mischief when the next round goes up <:-o.

Regards,

MikB

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That bullet appears to have lost its tip.

I have only used a kinetic puller on ball and chopped powder. However I imagine that one ends up with at least some cordite in the puller. As the case was necked after filling, it must be a job to get it back in.

When I've pulled service Mk.VIIs with a kinetic tool, I've found that some of the cordite sticks actually end up protruding through the wad, but don't recall any of them following the bullet into the puller body. It takes quite a severe use of the puller to overcome the stab crimps and crack the sealant, unless you crack it first by pushing a few thou deeper in the seating die.

Regards,

MikB

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due to the composition of the mkVII bullet, the tip may have simply corroded off. Whilst inside the cartridge ? I think not

Ingenuity is not confined to people away from the front. A simple kinetic puller can be made by boring a hole in a piece of wood. It might seem unlikely to someone contemplating that kit may not be available, but to many soldiers, necessity is the mother of invention.

You mentioned in an earlier post about cordite being used for other uses. I was told years ago that wire cutters were usually used for this purpose as they were commonly available .If you don't mind wrecking the cartridge - yes

I think there is a post somewhere on this forum about bullets being broken whist used as some kind of tool?

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due to the composition of the mkVII bullet, the tip may have simply corroded off. Whilst inside the cartridge ? I think not

Ingenuity is not confined to people away from the front. A simple kinetic puller can be made by boring a hole in a piece of wood. It might seem unlikely to someone contemplating that kit may not be available, but to many soldiers, necessity is the mother of invention.

You mentioned in an earlier post about cordite being used for other uses. I was told years ago that wire cutters were usually used for this purpose as they were commonly available .If you don't mind wrecking the cartridge - yes

I think there is a post somewhere on this forum about bullets being broken whist used as some kind of tool?

That bullet does not appear to be 'back to front'

If cordite extraction is the only reason for opening the case, why any bother about wrecking it?

Keep digging!

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due to the composition of the mkVII bullet, the tip may have simply corroded off.

Ingenuity is not confined to people away from the front. A simple kinetic puller can be made by boring a hole in a piece of wood. It might seem unlikely to someone contemplating that kit may not be available, but to many soldiers, necessity is the mother of invention.

You mentioned in an earlier post about cordite being used for other uses. I was told years ago that wire cutters were usually used for this purpose as they were commonly available .

I think there is a post somewhere on this forum about bullets being broken whist used as some kind of tool?

The tip is certainly not correced away in this xase.
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I did see a case not long since of a court of inquiry over a man who used a bullet to peg down a tarpaulin and then hammered it down causing the round to go off.

Craig

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Soldiers did sometime remove the round but to get at the cordite which had a number of (unapproved) uses.

As with the 'Jackel' in The day of the Jackel ?

Kath.

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To save confusion, here's a quick tutorial on small arms ammunition nomenclature. The "bullet" is the projectile, the bit that comes out of the end of barrel. The thing that holds the whole thing together is called the cartridge case or just case - as in "empty case". The propellent filling is usually called the powder charge or just charge. Finally the thing that makes it go bang when hit by the firing pin or hammer is called the primer

The whole thing is generally called (in the British Army) a "round" (Although round can mean just the bullet as in: "There were dozens of rounds flying past me".) or a "cartridge".

So the guy wasn't trying to use a bullet as tent peg but a round or cartridge. BTW2 you could probably bash the base of a round with a hammer with impunity because the primer face is recessed below the base by a few thou. and additionally needs a sharp blow by something more "pointy" than a hammer. (I don't recommended the practice however.) I'd like to see a reference to the Court of Inquiry because in my day we were actually taught the danger of messing with SAA.

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Because of the sealant I have never had much luck removing the MK 7 bullet from the case using a kenetic puller, normal procedure locally was to run them into a reloading press with no die and seize them with a pair of pliers then back the case out leaving the bullet extracted. Then when you have a few done you can easily seat a modern soft point bullet on top. The shape of the Mk 7 bullet as stated above, and the case being full of cordite means it would be difficult to reverse the bullet and reseat.

However thats a lot of hassel you can easily hollow point them by snipping off sufficient tip, a very small amount to expose the core then drilling a small hole into the tip on a bench drill. As schoolboys we used to do this in the metal work shop under supervision of the metal work master. This was before the advent of what we call Health and Safety. As mentioned above blowing the core through the jacket was a known hazard however the hole in the top only needs to be very small.

At some stage I think the CAC (Colonial Ammunition Company) in NZ used to do this on a commercial basis as I used to have some rounds I purchased hollow pointed. The disadvantage of these bullets was they disintegrated when they hit anything, the only time I have seen two deer killed with one shot was when a piece of copper jacket from one deer hit another standing close by in the spine.

This case doesn't look like a reversed bullet maybe its just been damaged somehow.

James

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Because of the sealant I have never had much luck removing the MK 7 bullet from the case using a kenetic puller, normal procedure locally was to run them into a reloading press with no die and seize them with a pair of pliers then back the case out leaving the bullet extracted. Then when you have a few done you can easily seat a modern soft point bullet on top. The shape of the Mk 7 bullet as stated above, and the case being full of cordite means it would be difficult to reverse the bullet and reseat.

However thats a lot of hassel you can easily hollow point them by snipping off sufficient tip, a very small amount to expose the core then drilling a small hole into the tip on a bench drill. As schoolboys we used to do this in the metal work shop under supervision of the metal work master. This was before the advent of what we call Health and Safety. As mentioned above blowing the core through the jacket was a known hazard however the hole in the top only needs to be very small.

At some stage I think the CAC (Colonial Ammunition Company) in NZ used to do this on a commercial basis as I used to have some rounds I purchased hollow pointed. The disadvantage of these bullets was they disintegrated when they hit anything, the only time I have seen two deer killed with one shot was when a piece of copper jacket from one deer hit another standing close by in the spine.

This case doesn't look like a reversed bullet maybe its just been damaged somehow.

James

Quite apart from any other possible pitfalls, hollowpointing with a bench drill makes concentricity a major issue unless someone makes a jig that locates accurately on the ogive and guides the drill with a close-fitting bush.

If the hole's off-centre, the bullet will be out of balance in rotation and will travel in a conical helix - you'll just have to hope that some vital organ of your quarry intersects the conical helix at the point your bullet happens to be on it as it arrives at that distance... :D

Anybody doing this commercially would presumably use a precision-profiled lathe chuck to hold the bullet concentric within close tolerances and drill from a turret or tailstock tool.

Regards,

MikB

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Quite apart from any other possible pitfalls, hollowpointing with a bench drill makes concentricity a major issue unless someone makes a jig that locates accurately on the ogive and guides the drill with a close-fitting bush.

If the hole's off-centre, the bullet will be out of balance in rotation and will travel in a conical helix - you'll just have to hope that some vital organ of your quarry intersects the conical helix at the point your bullet happens to be on it as it arrives at that distance... :D

Anybody doing this commercially would presumably use a precision-profiled lathe chuck to hold the bullet concentric within close tolerances and drill from a turret or tailstock tool.

Regards,

MikB

For sure it was not a quality product. However in the 1970s "real" ammunition was very expensive but there was a large supply of dirt cheap MK7 ammo and you could buy a fully wooded No4 for about $20? With open sights a 3" group at 100yds was all we aspired to. The hole doesn't have to be very big or deep. Cheers James

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