I believe Ray previously posted pictures of Silvertips that were sectioned. However archives no longer has these photos. Does anyone have pictures of sectioned Silvertips in their original form? Does anyone know when Winchester changed the design to the current type? Thank you.
My article on U.S. Protected Point Bullets is in JOURNAL #445.
The Winchester-Western Silvertip was released in 1940. The new bullet suffered a setback with the outbreak of WW II and the virtual halt in production of sporting ammunition in the United States. But following the war it blossomed and became one of the most popular of the patented hunting bullets ever made.
The design was quite simple. The bullet jacket was made of conventional GM, the core a lead alloy. The core, however, was encased in a thin jacket of nickel-silver closed at the nose which gave the bullet it’s unique appearance, and name. Originally, the liner extended the full length of the jacket. Later, around 1950, the liner was changed to a softer, thin aluminum alloy that covered only the top half of the core, extending to approximately the crimping groove. Additionally, the inside of the liner was given an octagonal shape which enhanced bullet expansion.
The current “silver tip” has no resemblance to the original. Only the name is the same.
Thanks Ray, I had seen the pictures before but could not locate them. Hunting bullets have always been of interest to me. I remember the African PH and gun writer, Peter Capstick, talking of using his pocket knife to pry the Silvertip jacket from a 300 grain 375 H&H cartridge. He swore this made this load a great leopard load. I have a hard time imagining he was able to get the silver cap off if it did anything but cover just the tip. I guess I will have to sacrifice a similar cartridge to see if it is possible. Do you know if the newer bullets still have a jacket that reaches to the cannalure?
It may be that Capstcik was talking about one of the other protected point bullets. The U.S. ones were covered in my article, but there were several others in England and on the Continent during the same period.
I don’t follow the new bullets so can’t say much about them. I do know that the Ballistic Silvertip is more akin to the Remington Bronze Point and the Nosler and Hornady polymer tipped bullets.
If anyone has access to a copy of Frost’s “Ammunition Making” (which I think has been out of print for a long time, but shouldn’t be), he presents an interesting story about the development of the Silvertip bullet, including its testing on live cattle.
Are you sure?
I have a copy of Frost’s book, published by NRA in 1990 and there is nothing about Silvertip development in it, let alone test firings on cattle.
Could it be you are referring to some other publication?
See pages 26 - 27 in Frost
By the way, I have noticed that the Frost book, when you can find it, is priced at over $100 on the used book market. I wonder if NRA could be persuaded to relinquish their copyright so it could be published again? I do not know of anything else like it regarding the practical aspects of small arms ammunition manufacturing.
Sorry, my mistake. There is indeed the description of Silvertip development you mentioned.