Odd .357 Magnum

This is a W-W Super, .357 Magnum that appears original but the projectile is very odd. The exposed surface appears to be almost like sheet metal, dome shaped with a cross cut in the center and a pin or rod exposed, center of the cross. It almost appears to be a miniture canister shot!

I’m sure someone has seen this before and can tell me all about it.

A silly question, does it rattle?

It does not rattle but the cap is reactive to a magnet. I used a strong magnifier to look at it and can see nothing inside but the pin in the center is lead, as is most of the projectile.

Could this be a legitimate experimental device, something for controlled expansion? Under a strong glass there is no indication that this was reloaded.

I would value a “clearer” photo of the “business end”.

Whenever something is puzzling odd, I guess experimental/developmental and/or some type of tool/CAD round.

I love special purpose so I would like to see if the image conjures any recollection of previous reading, literature, etc.

Be well

Pepper Burruss
IAA President

Your Forum enthusiasm/participation/expertise is a welcome addition

A better view, I think.

Looks like a screw for a cross blade screwdriver with something stuffed in.

Werent there such rounds somewhen?I just do not remember the details.

I’ve seen something like this in 38 Special, called an “Omnishok”; the idea was that it was sort of an all-purpose round, where the screw in the nose gave it a semi-AP capability, and on impact, the screw would be driven back into the wadcutter-style body of the bullet, opening it up into a 4-bladed propeller-type thing. The rounds I’ve seen had a red nose, however.

I think this is a round called the “Scorpion” made by Hydro-Shok Corp. before Federal bought the patents. It was made in the mid-1980’s. It was made in .38 Spl. as well as .357 Mag.

Having experimented with home made exploding ammunition in the past, my first impression was that the pin is some sort of detonator.

If, and I do stress if, my theory was correct the pin would probably initiate a secondary charge on impact as an impact accelerator rather than an exploding round in the simple sense.
The unusual front of the projectile could then be explained away as a crumple zone so that the pin only activates the charge on impact and not from the inertia of firing.

Is it possible that the magnetism you detected is coming from a steel projectile inside the cannister?

If that theory holds good it would be effectively a minature anti tank round, possibly an experimental car block buster.(?) Though obviously not a successful one.

However, there are an awful lot of “ifs” and “maybes” about this theory. I’m not going to stake my reputation (such as it is) on it.

In the interests of science would it be possible to sacrifice it for the greater good? If so, be careful about using an inertia puller. You may also be suprised at just how long the projectile is inside the case.

You may be able to see how long the projectile is without pulling it. If you examine the loaded round from the side you can sometimes see the bullet outline revealed on the outside surface of the case if there is a bit of neck tension. This is often particularly clear on .357 cases.


I am inclined to buy in to the #2 Phillips head screw with a

After some effort I retraced where this cartridge came from.

Apparently someone brought a .357 revolver back to the dealer they bought it from, locked up. The frame was bent and cylinder locked. After some effort the cylinder was opened and 5 of these were in it, the sixth had been fired a created the disaster.

A 158 gr semi-wadcutter lead bullet had been milled down to leave only a thin lead post. A phillips screw head was like-wise milled out to create a cap, fitted over the post which was peaned to hold the cap in place. This created a bullet that weighed about 168 grs. This was loaded into a W-W case with a Magnum CCI primer and a 15.6gr duplex load of unknown flake powders. This devil’s cocktail destroyed a fine, well built pistol and could have done bodily harm to the shooter. A hard lesson learned.

I pulled the bullet, but did not disect it, and confirmed the above. I plan to reseat the bullet and put this in my collection, under ‘dumb-dumbs’, a term more explanitory of the creator than the round.


Wow! What a story! Sounds like a lot of work to go through just to blow up a revolver…
Also tends to make the “per round cost” rather high when all factors are plugged in.

Maybe a lesson there about being tempted to try out some exotic “gun show special” load that has no legitimate documentation of it being “Safe and Sane”. Keep that little bugger with your documentation attached for posterity’s sake!



Before you seat the bullet back into the case, weigh everything. Whenever you pull a bullet on some strange cartridge it’s always best to weigh and record the weights for posterity.

I can believe someone doing such a crazy thing but 15.6 gr of powder would be an awful lot for a 357 Magnum case. It would have to be compressed quite a bit.


SDC is right, the cartridge is an Omnishock, else it is someone’s clever copy of one. I have seen copies before, but usually people don’t bother to peen the lead ball into place as the original Omnishock’s did. Or more accurately it might be an “Ultrashock” which is what their inventor “Alex Goodrich” referred to them as from 1983-1984 before he changed the name to “Omnishock” in 1985.

For simplicity’s sake I’m just going to cut & paste some paragraphs on Omni/Ultra shock ammo from my work-in-progress pistol-AP ammo book:

The original Ultrashocks came in 6rd wooden boxes and they usually had a splash of bronze paint on the projectile tip. If it were an Omnishock it would have the red epoxy coating unless this has been removed or rubbed off?? Back in the early 80’s J&G inc. and B&B (Bumble bee) were distributing for them to both law enforcement and the general public, and B&B was distributing through Shotgun-News and they gained some notoriety that way. The bullet design for either the .38spl or .357mag loading consisted of a standard Hornady 148gr hollow-base wadcutter which was inverted, and which had a hole of about 1/16" drilled into the base of the hollow opening. At this point a #8 metal screw of either steel or stainless steel was screwed into the hollow opening with the threads digging into the 1/16" drilled hole. This projectile would be seated into its casing, and finally have a small #6 lead shot peened by hand (with a hammer) into the slot of the exposed screw head. Some of the later Ultrashock, (and all of the final Omnishock) bullets would have equally-spaced vertical scoring lines extending halfway down the bullet sides to aid in expansion, and a picture of the supposed complete expansion of such a bullet became the logo of the company later on. The final grain-weight of the Ultrashock bullet becomes something between 163gr to 166gr. . In 1985 when the name switch to Omnishock occurred, the entire process remained the same except for the fact that a red epoxy paint was used to conceal the slots on the head of the screw, and the bullet used was eventually something around a 105gr bullet of the same type, which when completed, added up to a final projectile weight of around 118gr, (although they were advertised as 125gr). The brass casings were all commercial, and were either Federal or Winchester with Winchester being the more common. The whole point of Omnishocks was to achieve maximum expansion of the wadcutter and created a large impact surface which would spin and shred as it entered a victim. The whole notion of the steel screw being something of an armor piercing element was a total afterthought, although this screw often would detach and pierce much deeper into tissue or Kevlar than a typical lead bullet ever could. Many tests have shown that the screw and bullet separate nearly half the time without really achieving the wadcutter expanding via threading, and that two impacts would be recorded on a target from both the screw and hollow wadcutter separately. The screw would usually always keyhole when this happened and was not an effective penetrator in this sense. When the screw did engage the bullet properly, expansion was achieved, impact was substantial, and the screw would often separate on impact and penetrate deeper. On Kevlar, a penetration of over 20 layers was reported in tests by the LAPD explosives firearms unit in early 1985. It is safe to say that the bullet was fairly unreliable with questionable quality control in manufacturing which would sometimes result in a separated core, a fragmented impact projectile, or a solid un-separated projectile. Actual

Dang! Just when I thought I had this thing figured! Should’ve listened to SDC
I now question everything but what I can actually see and that is that the Omnishock that DK has put up looks exactly like what I have in my hand, from the outside. I don’t want to section it.
I did measure the powder and it was 12.5 grs, not the 15 I quoted from another source. The bullet weighs 166.5 grs.

So I can only conclude that I have the Omnishock or Ultrashock (without powder) so I will put it back in my drawer, so labeled. I’ll keep the documentation too.


Superb info. Thanks for sharing.


I have to admit I gleaned most of that info on the Omni’s and Ultra’s from some old AFTE newsletter journals of which there were 2 good articles on the Ultra/Omni shocks.