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    Some of us may not be as flush as others, have the same quality firearms or access to the same ammo.

    So to start here with a few bargain choices, the TT-33 (aka the Tokarev and just called the Tok for this write up) and the CZ-52 pistols.

    Either can be picked up for under $300 in the US, less elsewhere we can assume.
    However despite the attractive price, most ammo is imported, not reloadable (for the purposes of our discussion) and limited to full metal jacket bullets.
    While great for punching sheet metal doors and impromptu body armor, it seldom has the same effect as expanding bullets on softer targets.

    So is there an easy or even reasonably easy way to improve this effect?
    Actually, yes. By changing the bullet out.

    In typical Russian fashion, the bores of the Tok and the CZ are a lot closer to .312″ than the US preferred .308″. This actually makes this part of the equation easier, by using Hornady .312″ 85gr XTP bullets designed for the .32 H&R Magnum suddenly we have a bullet that can withstand both the pressure and velocity generated by the x25 cartridge and still reliably expand.

    Most x25 cartridges are stab crimped, with two or three pointed indentions that hold the bullet in place.

    Let me say at this point that a set of cheap reloading dies are tremendously helpful after this point but can be worked around.

    Taking a small vise with a “V” cut on one side, grab the rim and head area of the loaded cartridge, firmly but don’t try to crush it as we are dealing with a small explosive here.
    Take a pair of pliers and grab the bullet and twist it in the case to release the crimps, try not to rock it side to side as it will enlarge the neck diameter and make reseating and recrimping another bullet difficult. While twisting, try to pull the bullet straight out without spilling any powder.

    Trying one of the new XTP bullets in the case, hopefully you can’t seat the bullet or do more than just start it into the case.

    The last time I did this was while making tools to perform just this procedure for someone going overseas.

    A bullet seater was made much like an open ended fire piston, with the interior diameter a loose fit for the head/rim diameter up to just past the case shoulder and the rest just over neck diameter.
    The “plunger” turned to just fit into the tube, and trimmed to length to stop on the tube, stopping when the bullet cannelure is at the proper point of the case mouth.

    One can simply carefully tap or press the bullet into place but it’s not nearly as accurate as using a tool of some sort.

    Once the bullet is seated to the proper depth, the crimps are redone. One can use a nail and hammer, it’s crude but works.
    A pair of modified pliers or vise grips, bored out to match the neck diameter of a factory cartridge with a sharp nib added to one side is better, as it can both crimp the case to the bullet but also size down the case neck at the same time.

    Luckily the chambers of the Tok and CZ are normally generous and will tolerate this procedure as long as you’re careful.

    Certainly not as good as using proper dies to perform the task but the ammo is generally servicable.

    And as an afterthought, Lee makes a steel 3 die set that retails for $42. That and a Lee Hand press, and you are almost ready to start making ammo.

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Whirlibird Whirlibird.

    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, 1 month ago by Whirlibird Whirlibird.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Whirlibird Whirlibird.

    The .22 Long Rifle.

    If ever there’s a cartridge that has had more time and money spent on it for redevelopment and improvement you’re going to search long and hard to find it.

    Even today there are certain modifications that can help, depending on your needs.

    The CCI SGB load came about thanks to some intrepid bullet modifiers, but finally made available at a full 40gr weight unlike the others. And it’s good if you can find it, and don’t mind the cost.

    For some of us, cheap is important, same with commonly available. Which the CCI product seldom is, if it’s still in production, which varies.

    What’s an intrepid shooter to do?
    First option used to be to pick up a Hanned SGB tool. Sadly Hanned appears to now be out of business, not just out of production. So the options begin at home (or a local machine shop).
    If one is even remotely handy, a SGB tool can be made.

    It is that easy, and by making a couple of them with various lengths, one can make them personalized for various firearms. My pocket model is a little short for use in semi auto’s and some magazine fed guns but single loading it is worth the effort. I went so far as to make a 50 round SGB block on the milling machine, to do an entire box of ammo at one time.

    Effectiveness on game is surprisingly good, a large number of jackrabbits have fallen to this bullet with more obvious “punch”: than standard ammo. Same for prairie dogs.

    To take bullet modification a step further for manually operated guns and wheelguns, there’s the tools available from Paco Kelly at
    The ATS Lethal Tool is a new version of the SGB tool, with nippers included. He keeps modifying the design and improving on it, it’s worth a look.

    Then there’s the Acu’rzr Tool.
    It performs several functions, but with the most options to make plain vicious bullets out of factory ammo.
    Cup Point, the Nasti-Nose hollowpointer and the Scorp’n tool heads make for both more accurate ammo, but highly effective ammo at the same time.
    For a better vision what can be done with these, check out:

    As with all ammunition modification, your mileage may vary, and the risk is on you.

    I will say that the old .223 version of the Convert A Ball I made years ago for 55gr ball takes soft point ammo to a new dimension of messy.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Whirlibird Whirlibird.
    Profile photo of namelus

    Thanks or this info some i knew some new, your effort is appreciated

    Profile photo of sledjockey

    Nice post WB….. Thanks!

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