Here are some pinfire cartridges with explosive bullets. The two on the right are definitively made using Eugene Pertuiset’s patented formula by SFM. The rest are also thought to be, but I am not positive. They could use some other explosive formula.
In the late 1860s a Frenchman names Eugene Pertuiset developed an special fulminate that would be inserted into a tube inside these bullets. When the bullet hit its target the heat produced from the kinetic energy coming to a stop would ignite the explosive powder.
The Times of London, at the time reported on a demonstration at a horse slaughterhouse of these being tested and demonstrated on a beast that had “been condemned as irreclaimably vicious”. Long story short; when the horse was shot it pretty much blew out nearly all of its head and liquified its brain.
The witnesses were pretty impressed that this kind of damage could be done by something a man could carry in his pocket.
Russia actually adopted its use for a short time until the Saint Petersburg Declaration of 1868 – which succeeded the First Geneva Convention – renounced the use, in time of war, of small explosive projectiles in Russia and Europe. The United States declined to hamper themselves by any such agreement.
On August 17, 1886 Gregorio Saturnino Ortiz attempted to assassinate Máximo Santos, the president of Uruguay with one.
According to the publication, Album-Galand, Galand’s shop sold Purtuiset bullets in boxes of 25 for 32 francs for 4g and 8g, 22 francs for 10g and 22 francs for smaller sizes.
This publication also states that Galand made his own explosive bullets as well:
Does anyone have any more information about Pertuiset, Galand or Devisme explosive bullets?