Blue-tipped .45 ACP


What does this blue tip mean?


I’ve seen a number of home-rigged “explosive” or “incendiary” rounds that resemble that; they’re normally JHPs that have had a cavity drilled into them, then a payload like black powder is added and the cavity is sealed off with a large pistol primer. To add to the “mystique”, model paint is usually used to colour the cavity blue, yellow, or red.


Vlad–I can’t see the nose very well, but it appears to be a Glaser Safety Slug. Is the nose covered with what appears to be matte blue rubber. If so then it is a Glaser.

SDC–Many of those rounds you say are “home-brew” are actually products of Velet, Velox, Bingham, American Ballistics, National, etc. In the 1980’s there were a number of these “Exploder” type rounds on the market. One of them you want to be careful with is a Black-tipped round headstamped “W W 45 AUTO” (and possiblely others). This is a Velet load with a capsul of mercury in the nose.


What is the purpose of putting a capsule of mercury in a projectile?


Falcon–I have no idea why. I have seen them used on the firing range against steel targets and they do make a nice bright silver splat. In the 1980’s a LOT of strange bullets were being marketed. Some worked and some didn’t.


I am sure that this is a Glaser Safety Slug. Later, the blue nose protruded from the copper and formed the nose of the ogive. Glaser was only about 20 miles from where I live and where I worked, and the owner was a friend of our store. I have a fair Glaser collection, and got most of mine direct from packaging, or from the Owner of Glaser. I worked in downtown San Francisco at a large gun shop, and Glaser was in Foster City, California, just a bit south of San Francisco.


I suppose the BATF have now put a stop to alot of these “Politically incorrect” bullets. I would like to fire one of those “Dragons Breath” 12 Bore shotgun rounds, that produces a 100 foot long blast of flame. But I believe they are now illegal. I have an old copy of Shotgun News from 1992 that is still advertising them. Nowadays there is alot of going on about environmetalyy friendly lead free ammunition, let alone spreading mercury around.


Besides the banning of importation and manufacturing of AP ammo by Congress and signed into law by the President, can you point me to the legal citation or ATF Ruling banned any sort of ammunition or “politically incorrect” bullets as you put it?



I was under the impression that many incediary and explosive rounds were now banned in the USA. Where it was discussed about them being sold in the 80s I guessed they had since been outlawed with the assault weapons ban and the like.


I am in New York and I am unaware of any ammo ban. We do have a restriction for destructive devices (live grenades, bombs and alike). One needs a licence to own them. I am a small arms and ammo collector so I don’t know too much of this subject. I want to hold what soldiers used to hold in their hands, call it a personal touch, if you will. Here is my father (3rd from right) holding a Mosin-Nagant in 1949.


Here is another hopefully better shot of the round (headstamp: R-P 45ACP).


Falcon is probably referring to local and state regulations and ordinances banning possession of certain devices, ammunition, and even bullets.

And there certainly are many local ordinances that ban or restrict both physical things and speech and thought for purely PC reasons.




Great photo! Now we know what you look like.

Like father, like son.



The new photo showing the front end of the .45 round now has me in doubt about whether or not it is a Glaser safety slug. The tip filler on the Glasers are made out of some material that appears to be pre-colored blue before being put into the tip. The new photo looks like the tip cavity is painted over, rather sloppily, with blue paint. While the general shape of the “nose fill” (for want of a better descriptive word for it) is simialr to a Glaser, it is not nearly so regular in shape. This may be one of the various blue-tipped incendiary rounds made up by small shops, as mentioned earlier in the thread. I simply am not sure, and probably would never be unless I had the round right in my hand to examine it. Sorry I had to waffle on this, but your second picture is much better than the first for purposes of really seeing what this thing looks like at the nose.


Here is a better look at the cavity.


I think the VELET/VELEX posts above are correct. I’ve seen similar rounds in a few different calibers, always ID’d as VELET or VELEX Exploding Rounds. However, I did not know they had a mercury filler.


Jon - while I can’t say whether or not this was made by Velet, it is NOT the round with a mercury filler. They have a black tip filling. My literature doesn’t show any incendiary (blue tip) rounds by Velet either - only their exploding bullets which had a red tip filler. In fact, none of the Velex/Velet price sheets I have even show the Mercore rounds. I forget if they were made by Velet, or if so, whether they weren’t made up for one purchaser, in short, not part of their regular line. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the rounds anymore, so I can’t check them.


The “mercury-filled” rounds are an outgrowth of an idea seen in “The Day of The Jackal”, where the purpose is apparently to increase the wounding potential of a bullet; since mercury is a liquid that’s almost as dense as lead, it would have almost the same ballistic properties until it hits. At that point (being a liquid), it would “splash forward” as the projectile disintegrates. The trouble with at least part of this theory is that mercury is almost a super solvent when it comes to other metals, dissolving some entirely, and making others very soft or very brittle. That’s why some old-time shooters recomended plugging the bore of a badly-leaded rifle and filling it with mercury to take the lead out. It’s also hazardous stuff to work with at the best of times; it concentrates in your skin, nerves, eyes, and brain if you handle it, or even breathe it in as vapour.
The pictured round is definitely one of the “explosive/incendiary” types, but the factory Velets I’ve seen and sectioned were all sealed with a red lacquer over the nose primer.


The mercury filled rounds with the black tip were made by Velet. When George Kass and I were in business together selling ammo to the police and crime labs, we handled all the Velet/Velex line. My black tipped round came directly out of a package from Velet.

As for the blue tip, it positively IS NOT Glaser, now that we have a better look at the nose. I have a .45 ACP with a W-W 45 AUTO headstamp that is a BLACK CASE DUMMY with 1 hole in the primer that is a Velex Dummy EXPLOSIVE round with a light blue tip. I do not have, nor do I remember ever seeing a round with the dark blue that Vlad’s bullet has.