Another option is to modify loaded ammo.

The Hanned Line used to make a product called a “Convert-A-Ball”, which was a die you stuck the loaded cartridge into and either nipped or filed off the bullet tip, increasing the bullet meplat and therefore impact area and effectiveness.

With the demise of the Hanned products, the next easiest option is to modify a case headspace gauge by trimming it to length. Once at the proper length, one can simply nip off the tip and file it flat and uniform.

For $20-25 for the tool, and chatting up a local machinist to cut and harden the tool, it’s an inexpensive way to make cheap ball ammo more effective.

Just file one cartridge by hand first to see where the lead (or steel) core begins so as to not expose the core.
Depending on the bullet design, an open base bullet can open up at the tip if overly cut/trimmed and allow the core to continue down the barrel while the jacket is stuck in the barrel, not good for subsequent shots.

One dirty trick that dates back in various forms, taking and carving/filing a divot out of the side of the bullet ogive on one side only. (I will try and find a picture)
This slightly destabilizes the bullet in flight, and while it does effect accuracy a little, it has a great effect on target. Basically it causes the bullet to tumble by using the hydrostatic pressure against the “divot” to force the bullet nose ‘away’.


More recent innovation is “Loeffelspitzung” of bullet tip. (German: “Loeffel” = spoon or small dipper; “Spitz” = point or tip). It may be done by carving or simply by pressing a shallow “dimple” on the side of bullet tip. Loeffelspitzed bullets are usually as accurate as intact projectiles in flight, but they shall tumble after the hit, being asymmetric.

Trajectory of spoonpointed bullet is somewhat more crooked than trajectory of intact projectile. If the spoonpointing is uniform (width and depth of each pit or dimple are similar on each bullet) trajectory of every bullet is also similar. Sight may be re-adjusted for shooting with spoonpointed bullets. These projectiles shall loose their flight stability and tumble over in flight, but the range is usually about a thousand yards. (Depends on twist of rifling and width/depth of a dimple). Air resistance shall slow down the rotational rate of spoonpointed bullet until it is too slow for gyro-stabilization. Shortened hazardous range is beneficial from viewpoint of shooting safety.

raloffel.jpg (9630 bytes)
Point of solid brass 4.7 mm spoonpoint bullet. Considerably less asymmetricity shall be efficient if the bullet is a long pointed boat-tail projectile, just marginally gyro-stabilized in it’s flight, but stable within all practical ranges of actual shooting.

Loeffelspitzung was designed for military purposes; almost adopted in West-Germany for 4.7 mm solid brass bullets of their Heckler & Koch assault rifle. In 1970s vetoed International Committee of Red Cross, because Loeffelspitz bullets inflicted “at least as horrible wounds as explosive or Dum-Dum projectiles”. Germans ceased development of 4.7 mm assault rifle and spoonpointed bullets. Russians designed about in the same time their 5.45 x 40 mm cartridge and bullet with terminal effect similar to German Loeffelspitz bullet, but they managed to hide “intrinsic asymmetricity” into the intact steel jacket.

Pointed FMJ rifle bullets are improved in Finland by filing the tip very sharp from one side, just like a tip of ancient quill or an usual hypodermic needle. Asymmetricity is usually less than one millimeter, but terminal effect of a long (marginally gyro-stabilized) bullet is “impressive”. Some moose hunters and many poachers know this trick in our country. Filing of bullet tip is done so carefully that the lead core shall not become exposed. It is also possible to “emboss” a dimple on the ogive of bullet’s point, about four or five millimeters rearwards from the tip, with some thin ball-pointed tool or to drill a tiny hole through jacket on the bullet’s ogive.

Usual diameter of a drill bit is 2.0 millimeters and depth of the hole is to central longitudial axis of the bullet. Use of full-metal jacketed bullet for moose hunting is illegal in Finland, but drilled projectile is allowed for purpose, because lead core is visible on it’s point. Poachers use “quill filed” bullets or those with a dimple embossed on the ogive. Most poachers are, however, using common factory-made cartridges or handloading components, but: “Kaikkea on kokeiltava, paitsi kansantanhuja ja pikkusiskoa” says a Finnish proverb. (= One should try everything, with exceptions: Country-dance and little sister).

As to the old cross cutting bullets?


  • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Whirlibird Whirlibird.
  • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Whirlibird Whirlibird.