Exploding rounds


April 8, 2010, 11:17 PM
I just hopped on gunbroker and saw exploding rounds for sale. They had a blue tip and it says they have primers in tip. I would think that these would be destructive devices so it would be 200$ for each bullet?

Also, do these actually work well and are more damaging than an average ball or HP?

I didnt see any info on the next that had them in ballistic gel or water jugs so just wondering if anyones used them.

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April 8, 2010, 11:33 PM
These are incindiary rounds. They don't have primers in the tip, but they do have a very small amount of explosive that is set off when the round impacts a hard target. They are also referred to as "spotter" rounds.

They are not DD's as the amount of explosive is too low - less than 1/4 of an ounce.

April 8, 2010, 11:36 PM


April 8, 2010, 11:44 PM
I think they're Northern Arizona Munition Starburst ammo.

April 9, 2010, 12:02 AM

They sau they have primers on their tips. I am familiar with incendiary rounds but these dont look the same. I assume being hit with one of these would really ruin your day.

Anyone have any experience with them? I am going back up to alaska for work and carry while hiking because of bear. I dont carry a .45 often because i want a higher velocity round, but i would think this would give a .45 round extra stopping power against a big animal.

April 9, 2010, 12:56 AM
Why don't you use a drill and some primers and test it yourself? If it doesn't work you'll be saving yourself money assuming that you have a drill.

April 9, 2010, 08:10 AM
If you're worried about dangerous animal defense, a gimmick "exploding bullet" is the opposite of what you'd want.

The basis of a bear defense (or hunting) round is deep penetration and the best rounds are generally heavy solids.

And a .45 ACP is not even in the right league.

April 9, 2010, 10:11 AM
Thanks for chiming in Sam. Could you source where its a gimmick so i can look into it myself? I havent been able to find any gel or gallon jug tests using these so that would be helpful.

Last time I was in Alaska I carried either a 10mm eaa elite match or my gfs .357 gp100. I understand that the .45 doesnt have the velocity for deep penetration in a big animal like a bear which is why this kind of intrigues me. I am all about ammo consolidation and if I can carry one gun with different rounds instead of having different guns that would be more practical.

April 9, 2010, 10:30 AM
Source where it is a gimmick? It is a gimmick EVERYWHERE.

The fact that you can't find any widely repeated calibrated gelatin tests, or studies of law-enforcement statistics where such rounds are used, or really anyone anywhere using such things for serious purposes should give you some idea of their merits. Folks have been playing with that idea for a very long time -- and always abandoned it. It just doesn't DO anything.

Among other things, a primer is designed to give a hot spark to light off a propellant. It isn't an explosive charge to the level that could do the kind of work required to "explode" a bullet on impact. The energy of a bullet striking an object is many MANY times more powerful all by itself than the small "boost" that a primer going "pop" at the instant of impact would make any kind of improvement toward.

Kind of like hitting someone with your car and simultaneously throwing a rock at them.

Even if these could be made to explode reliably, that would be COUNTER to your goals with a dangerous-game defensive round. You don't want the bullet to come apart at the surface. You want it to hang together and penetrate through all that muscle and bone to (hopefully...maybe) reach something important inside.

EDIT: You can do a little resarch on this on your own. Go to midwayusa.com or other bullet source and look at bullets listed for varmint shooting. "Varmint Grenades," "extreme expansion," etc. All about getting that bullet to do something impressive to expend as much energy as possible in a thin-skinned little critter in the fraction of an instant that its in the animal before drilling out the other side. And they really work, too. Then go look at large / dangerous game bullets. Swift A-Frames, Barnes Solids, Nosler Partitions, A-Square, etc. All designed to hold that bullet together so it can power through the massive structures of a large animal. These exploding handgun rounds are like a absurd extension of the varmint bullet concept. That's going to be sub-optimal on a charging Grizzly or Brown bear -- see what I mean?

Ammo consolidation is cool if that's your kick, but there is no replacement for the combination of penetration and projectile toughness available from a more appropriate platform. A 10mm or .357 in their heaviest loadings are just scratching at the lower threshold of really being very effective to damage a large, aggressive dangerous animal.

If it HAS to be your .45, you could look into the .460 Rowland conversion. That will get you into .44 Mag territory, though I don't think you're still up in the "big boy" class loadings. And you'll have spent enough on the conversion and making ammo to probably have bought an Alaskan in .454 or something similar.

April 9, 2010, 10:51 AM
I have witnessed someone that did this with the .44 magnum. His method was to drill smaller hole in lead, semi-wadcutter, gas-check bullet, then drill larger hole, same size as large pistol primer. Filled smaller hole with bullseye powder, and then inserted large pistol primer, very carefully. He shot it at three or four 2x4's nailed together. The bullet penetrated the first two or three boards and then pulverized the last one. The speed of the bullet would of course determine when the thing would blow. Shot it into a bucket of sand, and it looked like a volcano going off.

April 9, 2010, 01:36 PM
It looks like he stuck primers in standard HP ammo and used some glue or something to hold it in. It sparks but I don't think it's actually exploding unless the primer has enough pop to blow the jacket apart on the HP bullet. Either way you aren't going to have enough penetration to reach vitals on a dangerous animal. The only exploding round I'd trust for that is the raufoss but that's a .50bmg so you don't need it to explode to do the trick. They aren't exactly cheap http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=163491909

April 9, 2010, 06:41 PM
Exploding rounds? A couple already come to mind but not all fancy with goofy doo-dads in the bullets. A .17 Remington with a hollowpoint will completely explode and come apart on an eggshell. Remington used to have a still photo of that for advertising. And using a hollowpoint in a .220 Swift at maximum load levels will cause the bullet to fly apart in the air about half the time and never make it to the target. If this turns you on you can buy all of them you want. Generally, as Sam1911 says, exploding on impact is NOT viewed as a good thing. You can get videos of exploding prairie dogs where a .220 Swift will turn one into a red spray and a greasy spot on a rock. I've shot squirrels with a .220 Swift and only been able to find the tail and a red spot on a branch. You can do it, but I don't see the point. As for dangerous game, the LAST thing I want IN THE WORLD is a bullet that flies apart at impact. But it's a free country, if you want to carry birdshot in bear country that's your business.

April 9, 2010, 06:53 PM
Starburst incendiary rounds have exactly 1 use I can think of: anti-vehicle defense. You don't have to hit the driver, you don't have to pray you hit some critical component of the engine. All you need is to get 1 round through a window. If you set the interior on fire, or burn the driver or set his clothes on fire, it's a good bet that vehicle is going to veer off or stop in short order.

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