Identity of found bullet

Hi all, 1st post here hope this is the right place to ask.
I recently found a bullet metal detecting in south Oxfordshire, England, and wondered if someone might recognise the type.
The projectile is approx 20mm length, 8mm diameter, and weighs 11 grams. It appears to be copper coated lead, has 2 circumferential grooves in the lower half, and there is a basal hollow with an unknown white substance packed in.
Thanks for reading and any ideas appreciated

I’d say this is a .380" Revolver Mk II from your description. The weight is certainly correct at 11 grams (178gn) and the two cannelures look to be in the right places. The jacket is of cupro-nickel and the white substance in the base will be oxidised lead. The .380" Revolver was the military’s standard sidearm from WWII until the early 1960’s.

1 Like

Excellent, thanks Jim. When you say military I’m not sure where you are, would that be UK military?
I’m still somehow hoping to find bullets from aircraft during WW2 - I would have thought they were scattered everywhere around here given the sheer number that must have been fired - but 3 years detecting and none!
Thanks again

Yes, sorry, I should have made that point clear. I am in the UK and the .380" was the standard sidearm for the UK’s armed forces.

1 Like

Thanks again Jim, great knowledge 👍🏼

Just curious. How was it determined that the bullet pictured was with a cupro-nickel bullet Jacket? I know that the bullet was subjected to harsh conditions, from the description likely buried in the ground. However, the color of the bullet in the picture, without any further explanation about the jacket, would indicate that it was Gilding Metal, rather than cupro-nickel. The British made ammunition with jackets of both materials.

John Moss

My first thought was that it was a copper plating, it’s kind of dark red and quite rough like sandpaper. My knowledge of bullets is almost zero tho and Jim’s response seems knowledgeable and accurate in all other ways…

John is quite correct in pointing out that this is more likely to be gilding metal (copper coloured) as opposed to cupro-nickel (silver coloured). Both materials were used but with cupro-nickel being the more common by far. I simply assumed it to be cupro-nickel but stained by the soil.