.303 projectile mystery

This is getting pretty tangential to the thread and Ray Meketa could likely tell it better, but as I recall the first bullets made for the .22 Hornet, circa late 1920s, were 5 m/m Velodog FMJ bullets reversed and reformed as pointed soft points. Otherwise, there was no source of jacketed .22 bullets in the U.S. at the time. JG

Gravelbelly - Lord, I am getting dumber and dumber. Of course that’s how it would happen. I was simply thinking in a box that there was only one step in the bullet production where the bullet could get reversed. Thanks for clearing that point up for me.

[quote=“DocAV”]The other possibility is that the “VI” refers to a Buckingham Mark VI (6) Incendiary loading (common in aircraft belts), and that the Incendiary pellet in the nose “cooked off” and the build up in gas pressure pushing the lead core out through the base rollover of the jacket.
When did Mark VII (ball) officially change from an aluminium tip to a pressed fibre tip???-- a 1941 date could still be aluminium tipped, given overlap between manufactured components and actual “orders” from above.

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics[/quote]

The bullet in question is a ball bullet without doubt. It cannot be an Incendiary B.Mark VI for a number of reasons. There is no lead core in a B.VI, only a thin lead sheath that surrounds the tubular steel core that holds the incendiary composition. Also, there is no composition in the tip of a B.VI so I am afraid your theory does not hold. Also, the B.VI was filled with SR.365 so was not a Buckingham which were phosphorus filled.

With respect to the date that fibre fillers were introduced, it was 1916. After the war production reverted to aluminium but in 1939 it was calculated that 40 tons of Alumoinium could be saved per week if a substitute was used and so fibre (plus other materials) was re-introduced. Of course, you are quite right that there would still have been some bullets with aluminium tips.

I still have not seen any explanation that is better than the “extruded” theory, and we know the ammo was in an aircraft fire.

Regards
TonyE

I have been reading with interest all the theories on the 303 with what appears to be the extruded lead through the base of the bullet. It seems to me that no one is going to weigh the bullet or X Ray it so I decided on a simple trial. Get a few .303 ball bullets and heat them up to see what happens. The first problem of course is that it is impossible to tell which have aluminium tips and which have fibre tips so it was just a question of heating a few up by different means. Using the gas ring established two things, firstly the melting point of the lead was quickly reached even just heating up the tip, and secondly it did not amuse the wife. Next I decided on using a small meths burner in the garage, (the kitchen now being out of bounds). I put the bullet in a vice and heated up the tip but nothing happened. On some bullets as well as heating up the tips with a meths burner I used a candle to heat the rest of the bullet moving it when it appeared that the lead was about to melt. As nothing major happened I cut off the top of the bullets to discover that all had aluminium fillings in the tips. Only one showed any signs of extruding the lead.

The last bullet I did had a somewhat different result. I placed it in the vice and began heating the tip as well as the central section lightly with a candle. Watching carefully I could see the lead starting to extrude, and thought this is good. It must have pushed out about a

Cool experiment. Looks like we are both right. The ammunition probably cooked off in the fire and the heat in the ensuing fire extruded the cores and voila… mystery bullet.

Good job “ian jones”

Was the third bullet a standard ball bullet? I’m surprised it went with such a bang.

Could please somebody weight that thing in question?

[quote=“ian jones”]I have been reading with interest all the theories on the 303 with what appears to be the extruded lead through the base of the bullet. It seems to me that no one is going to weigh the bullet or X Ray it so I decided on a simple trial. Get a few .303 ball bullets and heat them up to see what happens. The first problem of course is that it is impossible to tell which have aluminium tips and which have fibre tips so it was just a question of heating a few up by different means. Using the gas ring established two things, firstly the melting point of the lead was quickly reached even just heating up the tip, and secondly it did not amuse the wife. Next I decided on using a small meths burner in the garage, (the kitchen now being out of bounds). I put the bullet in a vice and heated up the tip but nothing happened. On some bullets as well as heating up the tips with a meths burner I used a candle to heat the rest of the bullet moving it when it appeared that the lead was about to melt. As nothing major happened I cut off the top of the bullets to discover that all had aluminium fillings in the tips. Only one showed any signs of extruding the lead.

The last bullet I did had a somewhat different result. I placed it in the vice and began heating the tip as well as the central section lightly with a candle. Watching carefully I could see the lead starting to extrude, and thought this is good. It must have pushed out about a

Falcon,

Yes definitely .303 ball.

Gravebelly,

Yes can see the see the crack in the original pic.

Ian

[quote=“ian jones”]Falcon,

Yes definitely .303 ball.

Gravebelly,

Yes can see the see the crack in the original pic.

Ian[/quote]

Ian,

The motive force for the bang could have been a bit of water lingering inside the bullet, it looks like a dug-up. I have had some dug-up .303 rounds for 15 years or more, in a central heated house, and they are still wet inside when pulled.

gravelbelly

Velodog bullets wre available in our country (which one isit ?) at this time?
JP

I spoke to the projectile owner. I hope to have an answer on Monday as he is having it x-rayed. I will keep you posted.

OK…here is the results of the research…

TonyE was correct… (Thanks TonyE)

The empty envelope, weight is 11.29 grams which is 174.2 grains…

here is an xray of the projo…

Thanks to everyone else for the informative experiments and answers.

very cool I should get some stuff x rayed