Bullet Core ID


Hello! New here and I have a serious question of the board.

I have what appears to be a slightly mangled flatbase spitzer steel bullet core.
No jacket material -if there was a jacket- remains and there a no rifling marks (Which is why we are calling it a core).

It is about .25 inches in diameter at the thickest part, tapering to about a .125 inch flat point. It would be about .75 inches long if the front 1/3rd wasn’t bent over.

The projectile went through several layers of aluminum alloy sheet metal.

The 1st layer penetrated produced a hole 1 inch in diameter.

I don’t want to influence any opinions with my thoughts of what the original caliber or cartridge is.

And, unfortunately, I can’t go into much detail of where/when/what etc.

Needless to say there are very interested personnel who are asking questions.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I might have here?

Thanks n advance.


A picture is probably the best assistance you can give to an identification. If it bent when passing through aluminium than it is certainly not an AP core. The description generally sound like a .30 calibre bullet, possibly eastern Europen from the flat point but that is just a pure guess at this stage.



Ditto what Tony said. And, probably the mild steel core from a 7.62x39mm or 7.62x54r projectile. Pics would help a lot as would the weight. I can weigh a core here for comparison…



I will try to get a scan, but there is a security factor to be dealt with. I will work on that.

Others and I are thinking along the lines of 7.62 X 54 too as the core is longer than any 7.62 X 39 projectiles I have seen


If it’s a rifle-caliber steel-core and if it’s something used in a crime, then it’s a 90% chance of being either 7.62x39 or 7.62x54R. That being said, there is still a handful of cartridge/projectile variations which the core might hail from within just those two calibers as far as country of origin and year/version. There’s an outside chance of it being a .308, 30-06, or 8mm Mauser core, but if the front tip is flat and not sharply pointed then lean towards it being 7.62x39 or 54R. There’s several other rifle calibers which it has a very slim chance of being, but most of those are obsolete bolt-action calibers that are rarely encountered in any way, especially a crime. A picture would solve it pretty easy. How about the grain weight? - this would narrow things down as long as it is whole and not chipped.


7.62x54r 1986 Russian light ball:

7.62x54r Hungarian light ball 1987:

Lots of info here on 7.62x54r: http://www.7.62x54r.net


Here’s a picture of the projectile.


It’s hard to tell how much the bend in that core has stretched the overall length, but it looks like it might be .75" if straight? Or had you figured something more like .90" if it has not been stretched? I have pulled and measured 4 different 7.62x39 cores that I have from E. German, Czech, and Chinese projectiles and they are all virtually identical, being just a hair over .75" - maybe .77". The grain weight of the 2 types of E. German I had was 55.0gr and the Chinese & Czech ammo was at 55.8gr. The E. German & Czech cores had a very small shoulder edge near where the core tapers towards the top, while the Chinese core was smoothly tapered with no edge. If the bent core in the photo above is much more than 56gr then it must either be a 7.62x54R core or maybe a core from a Chinese .308 rd like these?: