30-06 AP Ammo "Without" A Black Tip?

I just bought some .30-06 ammo headstamped TW 53 that is supposed to be AP, however, the tips are NOT black, and don’t like they ever were.

Is there anyway to tell if this stuff is really AP short of cutting one open?

You can hold a magnet at the very tip. If it’s not magnetic there but becomes magnetic as you move down the side, that means it has a steel core.

Bad thing is, if it’s magnetic all the way that means it has a steel jacket. Then you’ll have to cut one open to see what’s inside.

Good luck.


You can try weighing the cartridges. M2 .30 Cal. ball has an average loaded weight of about 396/7 grains. .30 Cal. AP weight is about 420/22. These are averages. JH

If you are willing to pull a bullet: the ball M2 is 1.1 inches long and weighs 151 grains on the average, while AP M2 is 1.4 in and 165 gr.
(Both have tolerances, but the difference between both should be obvious.)

As stated, there is no mistaking the bullets. The spec weight for the M2 AP bullet is 166-7.5 grains vs. 152-3 grains for the M2 ball bullet. The spec cartridge weight is 424-28 grains vs. 408-23 grains for the M2 ball round. I have to believe you probably have M2 ball ammunition that is incorrectly marked.