AP bullets with exposed core at tip/German Poison Bullet


my question is: were any western AP bullets ever made with penetrator core exposed at the nose of the projectile, the same way as it done in Soviet 9x39 SP-6 and PAB-9 bullets?


If yes, what bullets and when?


I don’t know if this is quite what you are looking for, but this was tried in the 1880s with cartirdges for the 1 Inch Nordenfelt crank operated cannon.

The bullets had a brass jacket with an exposed pointed steel tip. The gun was used to defend large warships against the new threat of small, fast moving torpedo boats.

Here is a photograph of a cartridge from municion.org:

Here is a diagram of a later mark of cartridge with a more pointed bullet:

Here is a drawing of the gun:


There is also a Nordenfelt loading in the 11mm Spanish Round, made by Kynoch. The only difference is that the sheath/envelope for the steel core is lead.

There were also experimental .303 AP designs that had an exposed core at the tip but none made it to service. Then of course there were the various calibres of British experimental AP projectiles where the steel core was only supported by a copper cup at the base, .303. ,5 Vickers…5 Browning etc.


There are quite a few AP loads with exposed cores, just in 9x19mm. Below is an example from Geco in about 1960.

Ignore the seperate core. It is from a Geco AP bullet from the 60s, that I have never been able to identify. All I have is the core.

A couple of companies in the US produced AP rounds with all steel bullets and one of them also produced steel bullets with GM half jackets. There is a French 9x19mm with an exposed core and a number of others. Most were just experimentals.



Not to forget the Russian 8-line (20.32mm) wall gun cartridge which also had a steel core with a lead sleeve.

i see a french 9x19 with ap bullet (brass jacket and exposed pointed tip supposed tungsten alloy ,case headstamped lm 98 for “le mans”)
sorry i haven’t got picture of this round

There is also some Finnish .30 cal ap bullets with open core like that first one.

Ammogun, Besides the LeMans round you describe there is also a French bullet design that was loaded in MEN cases that is currently manufactured by Caracal in Abu Dhabi and pictured in the catalog that Fede recently posted the link to on the Forum.



i nevers seen the men loading by adcom
for the round of “le mans” i miss the sale for small price

Ammogun, Sorry, perhaps I was not clear in my previous post. Illustrated below is the Le Man round you mentioned. Also illustrated is the French Anthena core and a loaded round (in this case using an MEN case). ADCOM in Abu Dahbi (now Caracal) currently produced this design and it is offered in the catalog that Fede posted. I feel sure the Caracal load has their headstamp.


Athena apparently developed a number of similar bullets in calibers through 12.7, but the only example I know of in production is the 9mm by Caracal.


Lew, I think the ANTHENA 12.7 is made by MEN today and in use by the Bundeswehr as DM31 sniper AP cartridge.

Anyone with more info?

EOD, New information to me. That relationship could also explain why the Anthena 9mm bullets showed up in MEN cases! Thanks!


Lew - Thanks for posting the pictures. I have the LeMans round, so know of it, but it is my
first notice of the the French round in the MEN case. Great that you also picture the core,
which is quite unusual. Will print this one out for my French 9 mm file!

Lew, ok I confused MEN with DAG (as for the 12.7). BUT:
MEN was loading plenty of cartridges for the French after they totally ceased small arms ammo production (Manurhiun is doing export contracts only - so I was told). I do not know the current status.

DAG seems to have taken over the ANTHENA design.

RUAG Ammotec have acquired the rights to the Anthena bullet designs: the 12.7mm Anthena AP2 is now designated the RUAG “Penetrator SX” and the 12.7mm Anthena G2 is now the “Solid Core SX”. In 7.62x51 RUAG also offers the “Penetrator”, which is an Anthena design.

To return to the original question, I have a 9x19 AP bullet with an exposed, sharp-pointed steel penetrator in a National case. Only a small section of jacket is visible above the case mouth.

Tony - that was National Cartridge out of Georgia from the 1980’s. I did an article about them in the most recent IAA journal. Below are a a couple pics showing the two type of 9mm exposed steel core tips they did. The one with the section shown next to it is the more common type:



Here is an end-flap of a 10rd box that these came in:


All the later-style National boxes with AP loads looked like this (shown with 38spl cartridge):


They also did cartridges like that in .38spl and .357mag

I suppose that these 2 rounds are the Solid Core SX that Tony references. I’ve always thought of them as the PPI loads, but this is the old name.

The top round has a MEN headstamp ‘(+) MEN 99)’ while the lower round has the French ‘(+) SF 87’

This round is the German 9 x 85 experimental with exposed tungsten penetrator. There is no headstamp.

Alliance armament in the U.S. also currently produces some .338 bullets which are brass enclosures housing a steel penetrator:

VBR in Belgium produces the “Paralight” projectiles and the “Kate” in 9x18 which have exposed steel core tips. There’s a bunch of photos to scroll through on their home page:


Here is another pic of the LM load that Lew posted earlier, along with what I assume is another version of that having a rounded exposed tip? Also the headstamp:


Here is one that I would love to have some information or history on. It is called a “Forsythe load”, and here is the entry as shown in my book:

Here is a “Kelson load” with limited info on that one, and also a Mohaupt load which is really intriguing to me. I think these are all limited experimental rds that are scarcely seen, but they all have exposed steel core tips. These 2, plus the Forsythe load pics come from the Woodin Lab:

Tony - that was National Cartridge out of Georgia from the 1980’s. I did an article about them in the most recent IAA journal. Below are a a couple pics showing the two type of 9mm exposed steel core tips they did. The one with the section shown next to it is the more common type:


Yep, that’s the one that I have - thanks Matt.