Modified projectiles


September 13, 2003, 01:49 PM
Hello guys!

My name is Rogelio and I live in Lima, Peru. Down here we have no LEGAL reloading, so I guess the only legal thing I can do to improve the performance of my 4" Ranger in .38spl is alter the rounds...

A fellow member of THR suggested that I might Dremel ot the tip of my bullets (Here in Peru we can only get FMJ or LRN) to get flat it ok??

Maybe I can also Drill a small hole with my dremel in the already flattened bullet, so it would be something like a "Flat nosed hollowpoint Metal jacket" sort of thing....

Why am i telling you guys this stuff?? You know reloading, you know about bullet weights and you are way more experienced than I am in kinetic energy (just read a review and some guy was giving really understandable explanations using physics) and because I hope to get some help!!

What ammo is it that I buy?? Aguila ( LRN and FMJ....also a friend of mine (police officer) has just given me 20 rounds of Semi Jacketed Round nose....can I drill a hole on those to improve performance??? Drilling too much will decrease bullet weight to a point where the bullet is innefective??

Please help me out with these ones...THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!!!

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Black Snowman
September 13, 2003, 03:01 PM
Any such modifications are going to alter bullet weight and possibly unbalence the bullet making it less consistant. If you're just shooting paper I'd leave it as-is.

If you're hunting it might be worth it to attempt to drill a cavity in the tip for a better mushrooming effect but that depends on the gun, ammunition and target. If the bullet isn't comming out the other side you're probably already getting pretty good terminal performance.

If it's for self defense you don't want to modify the rounds because they might point to that as being a violation of the kinds of ammunition you can have and could get you in trouble.

Hope that helps.

September 14, 2003, 12:33 PM
I'll leave the terminal ballistics questions (best shape for best effects) for someone else, but I will say that quite often removing a little weight from a projectile (I usually do this by selecting a lighter projectile, not by machining) actually leads to lower velocities with the same powder charge. The reason seems to be that the lighter projectile starts moving sooner and accelerates faster so you never actually build up the pressure in the chamber. Since the burning rate of smokeless powder is dependant on pressure, the burn rate is lowered and this even FURTHER contributes to lower pressures. The bottom line is that by lowering the mass AND the velocity, you will very likely cause your kinetic energy to drop significantly. Like the other post said, if you aren't shooting clean through your game, then you don't need the modification.

If FMJ is easier to find, you might consider making a jig that would allow you to take the tip off of it and expose lead ... I would use a file, NOT a dremel, though. See for a design idea if you need to do this.

Be safe,

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