Bullet Base Styles (particularly jacket attachment type)

I do a fair amount of gunshot wound research and I post cases on LinkedIn (mainly for clinical and forensic audiences). In many of my research cases the bullets were either imaged by X-ray or were retrieved at surgery and I got to photograph them.

I’ve noticed a significant variation in the appearances of the bases of these bullets, especially when it comes to how the jacket meets the core at the base of the bullet. I would like to know if there is a standard way of describing these.

Here’s an example of four unfired 9mm bullets:


They have various jacket closing features, from flush, to recessed to plated. Number 2 is a sort of rolled jacket that sits proud of the core.

I have asked this question on other boards and got a variety of answers. The AFTE guys put me onto the CartWinPro team and I got a very helpful reply from Renee Jousma and Marinus Knap. They have an extensive list of descriptions of bullet bases, shapes and jacket closing types. I am not going to post that list here, but you can find it within the CartWinPro program.

So my question is: other than the CartWinPro list, have there been any other attempts to categorise bullet bases styles?

If so, I would like to know about those descriptions so I can use those to describe the bullets in my cases, rather than reinvent the wheel.

Howdy OddJob
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen any sort of ‘standard’ that your looking for. I’d think most of us would say the jacket was was rolled / swaged or however / whatever to form the flat, dimpled, dished, jacketed or whatever base.

Sorry not to be of more help. Perhaps the guys at the DOJ-CCI in Rancho Cordove CA, could help? As they do teach.

#4 is what is commonly called a “total metal jacket”/“TMJ”. These feature a closed base as opposed to “full metal jacket”/“FMJ” which has an open base with exposed core. Maybe that’s obvious and you knew it already, but there it is, FWIW…


Thanks gents, it seems the best option so far is to go with the CartWinPro designations.

I don’t have that as I think it’s for PC’s & I’m a MAC person & I don’t get into new cartridge design, or even much with ballistics to shoot, but it is a widely used program. I know it’s recommend at the Gun Smith school here in Prescott.