Wierd Bullet

OK guys, just when I thought I had seen everything, along comes this bullet.

I have an ordinary looking 7.62x53Rmm Russian cartridge

VPT 44
Brass case
Flat brass colored Berdan primer, 2 flash holes
No primer crimp or pa color
Magnetic GM colored pointed FMJ bullet, 166.9 grains weight.
Roll cannelure in bullet about 1/8" above case mouth

The case has a very large corroded spot at the shoulder so I decided to pull the bullet to see what the powder was and what the bullet looked like. Tried an inertia puller but the bullet would only come part way out so I grabbed it with a pair of pliers and pulled it the rest of the way.

Much to my surprise there appeared to be tuft of cotton or wool or “something” sticking out of the bullet base. Closer inspection showed that this “stuff” was very hard like plaster or concrete, appeared to have a "twisted " shape to it and was definitely seated into the base of the bullet.

There is a part of the bullet base that is corroded and eaten away.

The powder is standard stick shaped granules and is in fairly good condition.

I don’t know how else to describe this bullet. I took a photo but it may not show enough detail for you.

What the heck is it? Probably something very common and ordinary but I don’t have a clue.



Turn the lights off and if the bullet glows in the dark…run like heck ;-)


I know you’re kidding but I thought the same thing! I was going to scratch or cut into the “stuff” to see if I might get a better idea of what it was but thought I’d best wait to hear from someone who might know what it is.

Weird things growing where they shouldn’t be (from a bullet or parts of my body) are always cause to pause and think before jumping to conclusions.

If you don’t hear from me again . . .


Rust growing out of the steel core, caused by the powder breaking down.

Since its likely you have already been exposed to a toxic dose of something really bad, why not grasp it in the same set of pliers that you so carefully removed the bullet with and see what happens when you heat it up with your butane torch. Consider it the ultimate sacrifice for the cartridge collecting fraternity.

And videotape it. For the record. So the rest of us can learn.

Well it’s not rust. It’s not magnetic (is rust magnetic??)

Anyway, I scapped a little part of it and it appears to be lead with a layer of white corrosion on the outside. So it may have been part of the core that is being extruded out the back end by some force inside.

What is most puzzling is that it appears to be comprised of a thin sheet of lead that has been rolled or coiled into a cylinder and then inserted in the base of the bullet.

If nobody can come up with an answer I suppose I will pull it out and see what’s underneath. Or, I will send it to the Old AmmO Guy and let him section it.


Yea. Let a PROFESSIONAL do it!

I’m really not afraid to pull it out or disect it, I just hesitate to destroy it simply to find out what it is.

And what’s the worst that could happen if it is toxic? Maybe shorten my life by a couple of years? I didn’t really have plans for those last two years anyway.


I agree, let a professional do it, and we all agree that’s not me. Besides, the chain saw that I use for my most delicate sectioning is out of commission. And need I mention that it hasn’t been determined if your bullet is toxic or not? I have lots of plans for the last two years of my life.

Ray, considering the corrosion at the base of the bullet jacket, is it possible that a portion of the jacket has been eaten away, leaving the core exposed, or could the core have just slipped back, rather than having been extruded?

I believe sectioning can’t be avoided - ya gotta do it now.


I’ll do it tomorrow. Right now I need to go lay down. I have a bad headache, a funny taste in my mouth, and I’m very tired.


You have my sincerest concern, but maybe you’d better drag yourself up from the couch and get it done tonight. Sounds like those last two years may have already been lived.

Much of the Finn stuff I have seen has been rotting away from the inside. I bet its just whats left of the bullet after the outside has been eaten away.

Either that or it’s some kind of radioactive special purpose ammo.

Well I sliced it in half and am just as confused as I was before.

It is a steel jacket, copper plated I suppose. The entire core is lead, including the jagged piece sticking out. It’s almost like the core had a long extension on it extending down into the case and that extension has been corroded partially away leaving the rough part. The steel jacket at the immediate base is partially corroded away too.

I don’t want to separate the care from the jacket until tomorrow after I take a photo of it, as is.

More later.

Does that HS signify a military round??


Does the projection appear to have ‘fins’ to anyone else, or is that just my overactive imagination?

Here’s the sectioned bullet. As you can see, the corrosion is eating away at both the bottom of the steel jacket and the “thing”. But it seems pretty clear to me that the original core was sustantially longer than the jacket and projected down into the powder space. Maybe it was covered with a cap of some sort, which has been eaten away?

I still have no clue. (about the bullet, that is)

I guess I was wrong about the thing being a coil of lead. It appears to be a solid extension of the core. The corrosion pattern was such that it gave the appearance of a coil.

Guy, do you mean finns rather than fins?

A funny thing happened last night when I was sectioning the bullet. I had the bullet clamped in my bench vise and was taking very slow cuts with a hacksaw so as not to create any heat since I still didn’t know what was inside the jacket. Very cautious. I have a bunch of big C-Clamps hanging above my workbench and just as I was taking a cut, one of the clamps fell onto the bench in front of me. BANG!

If I had been in Bejiing, I would have won the Olympic Gold Medal for Standing High Jump!


Unless I’m missing something here (which is not unheard of) this is merely the Finnish boattail bullet which has had all the lower part of the steel jacket and much of the lead core destroyed by deteriorating propellant. I’ll check my specimen bullet at first opportunity, but I think it is as long the the fragmentary bullet depicted. JG


That thought occured to me also. Except for 2 things.

1)The base, or bottom edge of the jacket, is essentially straight, except for a portion on the left side that is eaten away.

  1. Where is the residue from the boattail part of the steel jacket? The powder is relatively clean with just a small amount of red rust. If an entire boattail section had rusted away I would expect to find a lot more dust.

Does your BT bullet have that cannelure? It’s obviously there for ID purposes - to ID the BT bullet?

I know that this is getting a lot more attention than it deserves and, as I first said, there is probably a simple explanation.


Ray: The bullet certainly looks Finnish, but I’ll need to dig through my bullets and report back a match, if any. The Finns made a number of distinctive 7.62m/m projectiles, but your questions are good ones. JG

Same headstamp, for what it’s worth: