magnetic ammo


August 31, 2011, 06:57 PM

How come they say lead core but attract magnet? Is it the jacket that is magnetic or there is a steel core too?

Thank you

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August 31, 2011, 07:07 PM
Steel jacket usually because it is cheaper than copper is my guess. Tula markets its ammo as lead core "bimetal jacket" which is a nice way of saying "cheap ammo with cheap jacket".

People have been asking me at the range now, "what brand of ammo are you shooting?" I don't know what kinds they are looking for, but I have handloads so it has not been an issue. I was told that certain brands have been causing steel pieces to bounce off the backstop.

August 31, 2011, 07:35 PM
They're copper plated steel jackets. Real common, of no concern, they won't damage your bore. The copper plating is plenty thick so the steel jacket never touches the rifling.

August 31, 2011, 07:44 PM
Maybe I've misread what I've seen but what I understand about "magnetic bullets" is one of the following:

1. There's a small amount of steel in the jacket (alloy) but it's mostly copper.


2. There's a steel core which, in most cases, is just to save money (how I don't know).


3. There's a steel "penetrating core/tip".

In any case you'll need to research what you've got using the head stamp as reference. I'm sure I'll be corrected.:)

August 31, 2011, 11:02 PM
Most bullets that I have looked at that attract magnets are made as follows. Lead core, inner steel jacket, outer copper jacket or plating.

Even if the steel does contact the rifling, it would not hurt anything. All steel bullets that I have pulled to examine have a very mild steel.

September 1, 2011, 12:15 PM
Yep, "very mild steel" jacketed bullets.


September 1, 2011, 08:50 PM
I know that Russian made Tulammo ammunition will attract a magnet, but I also have a few old 9mm cartridges which also attract a magnet. These 9mm's have a head stamp of;( 51 bxn - + 7 ) I have wondered if these have either a steel core or a steel jacket. If you can go by the bullet's color which is the color of steel, then my guess is that they have a steel jacket. LM

September 1, 2011, 09:03 PM
A great deal foreign ammo, especially Russian and Chinese, and some WWII & later American GI ball ammo will have mild steel jackets with a thin copper coating.

The reason being, a shortage of copper in Russia & Europe all the time, and in the U.S. during war time.

If a magnet attracts the bullet, you can bet it has a steel jacket, or has a steel penetrator inside it.
In some cases, both.

There is no such thing as a magnetic copper jacket, magnetic gliding metal jacket, magnetic bronze jacket, etc.
All copper based bullet jackets are non-ferrous alloys, and simply cannot be magnetic.

If it looks like a copper colored jacket, but yet is magnetic, it is a steel jacket with a copper alloy coating.


September 1, 2011, 11:36 PM
The indoor range I shoot at will not allow any ammo that will attract a magnet. I believe their concern is the steel core ammo.

September 2, 2011, 12:06 AM
I've heard of ranges not allowing ammo that attracts magnets, why is this? Is it a penetration issue, because of the steel?

September 2, 2011, 12:09 PM
Bullet trap deflector plate damage.
And sparks can start fires in some types of bullet trap media.


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