Whinchester 50-110 explosive bullets


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MP-44
May 6, 2006, 10:21 AM
I am currently reading a book "TRAPPING WILD ANIMALS IN THE JUNGLE OF MALAY" by Mayer, published in 1920 ( I believe most of the stories take place in the late 1800s early 1900s). He keeps refering to his Whinchester 50-110 express rifle that fires explosive bullets and how effective ( because of the explosives ) it is against large animals.

Is he full of it? Were these rounds just gimmicks of their time or were they that effective and became illegal?

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RecoilRob
May 6, 2006, 11:40 AM
I have read about and seen pictures of old timers using rimfire blackpowder blanks stuffed into the drilled noses of 45-70 and larger rounds.

Think they used .32's in the bigger ones and .22 in the littler ones.

I'd imagine they WOULD make a flash and nice bang when they hit something but I really doubt they would be a superior big game stopper due to lack of penetration.

Probably work good on small game if they detonated....so long as you weren't planning on having it for dinner.

Cosmoline
May 6, 2006, 02:13 PM
I've held an explosive loaded express rifle round in my hand, so I know they exist. They're very rare these days. But these are black powder rounds with a tiny black powder charge in the nose of the bullet. It's not explosive in the sense of a modern 20mm cannon round. Rather, the explosive was designed to expand the nose. The round lacked the veolcity to expand itself otherwise. The charge itself was enough to open up the hollow lead slug, but not enough to do any serious damage unless you put it in your mouth or something.

I wouldn't be surprised if some yokels tried to replicate these expensive rounds by putting rimfires in the noses of .45-70's. But it's about as effective as putting poison in the tip of your bullets. The chance of a rimfire getting hit just right to detonate on impact to a soft target are minimal, but the chance that you'll loose some skin trying to tap it into place are pretty high.

None of these should be confused with the ranging incendiaries of WWI and WWII vintage. These were designed to create a bright flash on impact, so the range could be calibrated. In practice they were often used to create wicked wounds. Simo Hayha was hit in the face with one and barely survived.

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