Ammunition Sectioning Types/Styles

I have definitely caught the sectioning bug and recently decided to try sectioning a group of experimental, inert PATEC discarding sabot items. In each one I tried a different sectioning style or look. After going threw many of the pictures in this forum, my own photo reference collection, pictures of others collections and the net, I was amazed at all the different ways ammunition is sectioned, some are pretty wild with multiple windows and degrees of sectioning. Some are cut exactly in half, some have a pie shaped groove removed, some have windows of all shapes and sizes cut in their cases, ect.

With the 25mm’s below I tried sectioning the cases at 120 degrees, 90 degrees and 50 degrees with a weird outside the box shape :-) I have also experimented on angled windows showing the primer apparatus with small windows in the cartridge neck to show how the projectile is seated. I can not figure out which style I like the best for future attempts. I am curious what the preference is amongst the forum members. What are your favorite ways/styles you like seeing specimens sectioned, cut in half straight down the middle, case windows, ect, ect, ect…If possible it would be cool to post pictures of wild & crazy sectioned rounds even if the item being sectioned is not your primary collection or research interest. Solely on either the pure quality of the sectioning job or radicle way the Sectioner allows the internals to be viewed. For example some of the artillery fuzes I have seen sectioned are off the charts.

Here are my first attempts :-)


Group Shot with different case sectioning

I went kinda outside the box with this one :-)

These were all from a group of experimentals. These 2 are exactly the same in every-way with a mild difference in the design of the metal sabot petals at the base of the projectile. They are shaped exactly the same except one has a groove between the 120 degree joints where the petals join each other. This groove is actually occupied by part of the resin discarding sabot petals. I am guessing these were used in a study on the most proficient way to design a sabot system that discards most efficiently from the sub-projectile dart? I really have no clue.


Very nice Jason


I’d say you are well on your way to becoming an accomplished sectioneer. I like all of them.

As to your question, I do not have a single preference. I look at each cartridge as a unique individual and try to design a sectioning procedure that will best show off its most interesting features. For example, if the bullet is what I want to emphasize I may not section the entire case and will leave out the powder, painting the inside of the case flat black. If the type and location of the powder charge is important I may leave the neck and bullet intact. If there are several features to emphasize, such as a Hollifield Dotter, I will section two or more “windows”, one for each part of the guts that I want to draw attention to. If everything is the same color, such as a bullet made up of 3 or 4 gilding metal parts, I will darken one or more of the parts, or even paint them, so that they stand out. I’ve found that polishing the edges differently sometimes accomplishes the same thing. For example - for two adjacent parts, polish one horizontally and the other vertically.

Looking at yours, I think you are taking a similar approach.


Thanks so much for the great advice and perspective Ray. Much appreciated! Their are so many ways of sectioning rounds, as a newbe I am kinda blown away.


I prefer a sectioned cartridge to be exactly in half. One exception is when I section an AP type. I leave the core intact to emphasize it’s function and method of manufacture and also to distinguish it from a mild steel core. In the case of larger and more complex rounds like yours, windows and partial sectioning seems appropriate and sometimes necessary to hold everything together.

Nice work and very educational.


Thanks big time AKMS! Great advice! I really like the 50% down the middle idea and want to try that. I need to walk around the collection to see what I can section next. Running out of stuff but am really enjoying learning this art-form. I keep going back to some of Paul’s work and get more and more amazed.


An example of leaving the core intact. This shows the lathe marks on the front of the core. Cartridge is a 1937 vintage 7.62x54r “BT” Armor Piercing Tracer.



Personally, I prefer to section rounds for 1/3. It has the advantages of being more stable to place in a cabinet and the viewer has a better look on the shape of the original cartridge because of the additional third dimension that a 1/3 cutout features.
However, it is far more challenging to make a precise 1/3 cutout in small caliber ammunition because of the relatively large cutting edge. It is difficult to let both cutting edges end in the exact middle of the bullet and case.

It’s great to see the large amount of sectioning enthousiasts here! Isn’t it an idea to add a subforum dedicated to the processes and resultst of sectioning? Some kind of “section section”, only accessible by the more taught members regarding this subject? Personally, I would like to exchange ideas with other members about sectioning.

Here’s some of mine:



Those are some sweet beauties! Thanks guys!

I hope more pics of different styles get posted. We have to be careful not to get into sectioning methods and techniques here as not to violate any IAA policies.

Like you said Thijs, one of the benefits to sectioning smaller portions of a round is that they do stand up better compared to the 50% down the middle. With the saboted projectiles, I think I prefer the cartridge case sectioned to meet the lines of the sabot petals. So if the projectile uses 3 sabot petals, I’d section the case at 120 degrees or 1/3rd. If it uses 4 petals I’d section the case at 90 degrees or 1/4 so it lines up with the sabot petal pre-fragment lines.

I really like the way AKMS sectioned that round down the middle leaving the inner core 100% intact adding the extra dimension to things. It really is a art-form with endless possibilities.

Here some most professional large caliber cutaways. Look for the user PzGr40:

WOW! You are not kidding around EOD! Their were some of the best large caliber sectioning jobs out their. Unfortunitly, I could not enlarge the pictures and had to view them very small. Either way, incredible sectioning! Thank you for the links.


Jason, did you try a right click and “open in new window”?

Here’s my first attempt at sectioning. Well, serious attempt, anyway. A little more practice and I’m figuring I can line things up a little better. And I was thinking, everybody does all these fancy-schmanchy APFSDS rounds and fuzes and such. This is the plain old 20MM Dummy we all find at gun shows and surplus catalogs. This one had something in it, which was noted when shaken. Turns out its a slug of plastic of some sort. Solid projectile. A divot where the primer should be and no h/s. Just a plain old dummy. Lot’s more impressive now, if nothing else.
On a side note, this picture was taken with a borrowed camera. Gotta get my own. Any suggestions? It’s gotta be simple. And digital.

EOD, when I try, it asks for membership information. It could be because I have a Apple? I think I will go back and join/register to see if I can open some of those pictures which looked awesome but small :-)

Rick, WOW! WOW! WOW! You did an amazing job sectioning that 20. Hard to believe it is your 1st try. Totally awesome, you should definitely do more if you have any safe to section stuff in your collection. Be warned, it becomes addictive :-) Again, really great job with awesome clean lines. Also, I think some factory dummy round in that caliber purposly install what I was told was called a “Rattler” inside the case to help ID it as a empty dummy? I could be wrong.


I’d say not just a dummy, but a cartridge designed to replicate the loaded weight of a live cartridge. This was done to test guns with a more realistic load on the belt for functioning tests.

See, this is why I like sectioning so much. Often what we find on the inside is more interesting or revealing than what we can see on the outside!


So true AKMS!

This is one of my favorite sectioned rounds.

This one is also a interesting style.

Is that top one the 35x228 AHEAD by any chance? Very cool!

Yes! I think it is but not 100% positive. Really a nice factory sectioned round.