Bullet Porn? (Naked AP Pics)


February 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
I've heard and read about the steel rod penetrators that are inside the SS109's and M2AP's but never actually seen a cross section of one so decided to have a look see for myself. Very interesting so decided to share.

62g SS109
10.6g penetrator.

163g M2AP
79.4g penetrator.


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son of a gun
February 29, 2004, 01:28 AM
I read some where that The US military Has 7.62x51 depleted Uranium bullets.

February 29, 2004, 10:25 AM
Is that a 30-06 in the middle? That penetrator looks NOTHING like the ones that are in mine, that looks badly broken/oxidized/corroded.... The penetrators in mine are nice tungsten rods, nice and pointy.

February 29, 2004, 01:46 PM
Is that a 30-06 in the middle? That penetrator looks NOTHING like the ones that are in mine, that looks badly broken/oxidized/corroded....

The M2AP was pulled from 30/06 and the loaded round is 7.62 Nato. It does show some damage having had the jacket melted off of it. The best I could do with what I had to work with.

How'd you get yours out? Those bullets are constructed tough!

February 29, 2004, 05:28 PM
I clipped the boattail off with pliers, which took about 5 minutes. A few soild whacks with a hammer on the tip sent the core out.... another one I opened by getting large end clippers and clamping them down on the groove and twisting while applying pressure. The bullet then simply seperated with a tug on the ends. Easy enough!

February 29, 2004, 07:24 PM
Ya know, if ya putta bullet ina furnace, it'll splode? (Credit Bill Cosby, circa 1966):rolleyes:

February 29, 2004, 08:33 PM
Ya know if ya put oxy/acet flame ona bullet, it just melts away?:D (Ed circa 04)

Sounds like I did it the hard way. I pre drilled the bottom cap with a teeny drill bit (the thought of 'splode' crossed my mind) and held it with pliers upright so the lead could drain. An impatient whack or 2 on the nose with a hammer prolly damaged it while hot. Jus a lil more heat and the jacket disappeared.

Mostly just wanted to see how much rod was in them. The M2 was impressive.

February 29, 2004, 08:46 PM
Here's what those 163grn cores look like after nearly passing completely through a piece of 1 1/4 inch steel plate fired out of a 300WinMag...


February 29, 2004, 09:17 PM
WOW, look at the boobs...err I mean bulges on that steel plate!:rolleyes:

February 29, 2004, 09:37 PM
Mental note: reload .300 win magnum with 30-06 AP bullets. WOW....

February 29, 2004, 09:57 PM
Just curious; is AP ammo still avaliable? I don't know why, but I always though it was "restricted" or some non-sence. I'd like to buy a few 'just because' :D

(Ed, I'm not trying to hi-jack your thread or anything, just curious :confused: )

February 29, 2004, 10:10 PM
I think the 'AP' stuff has something to do with handgun calibers... SS109 is not considered AP.. But that doesnt explain the 30.06 stuff floating around; or the AP you can buy off of ammoman.. I'm not exactly sure what the rule is.

March 1, 2004, 12:33 AM
Neither is the ATF, and they regulate the stuff.

I'll summarize to the best of my ability--
AP ammo exists only in handgun rounds. Sadly, 7.62x39, .308, and many other rifle rounds are considered to be handgun rounds because somewhere, there exists a single shot pistol chambered for them. (Thank you TC, et al.) What AP ammunition consists of is determined by the materials used in the core, as well of the ratio of jacket weight to core weight (i think that the jacket can only weigh 25% of the total, but i'm not sure).

Most things harder than lead are considered verboten--steel, tungsten, Uranium (shame, too... i know i've got some somewhere :rolleyes: )

ATF specifically exempts SS109 and M2 bullets from the prohibition. Likely because of the amount of surplus in the case of M2, and because the penetrator in an SS109 bullet weighs less than 25% of the total weight of the bullet (again, i'm guessing on this one--i read it on the internet, for what it's worth).

March 1, 2004, 02:09 AM
Holey... 1.25" plate!? that's... impressive.

Time for a .300Weatherby Mag or .300RUM :)

March 1, 2004, 09:57 AM
Nick, you can order the M2AP as pulled slugs for reloading from HiTechammo.com for 12 bucks per hundred.

If you don't reload you will have to find them at a gunshow for .25 to .50 cents apiece. (someone PM'ed me wanting to sell some loaded rounds...forget who, maybe they'll PM you with the same offer after seeing your interest.)

March 1, 2004, 01:50 PM
Yeah, the 163grn bullets smoke from a 300WinMag. I too have wondered what they would manage to achieve if fired from a 300RUM or something like a 30/378.

My final load is now putting a hole clean through the plate from a distance of 70-80 yards, fairly warm charge of 4138 that I worked up to from starting. The loads pictured were my 2nd load over starting, the bumps on the plate without penetrators sticking through were the starting load.

I figure I'm getting near 3200fps which is a good deal more than a 30-06 could deliver. Can't help but wonder what a 300RUM would spank them out at, probably 3400fps or so.

I have had some tests done where I used 150grn AP bullets, those things are crap. It was my hope that the 150s would perform better due to higher muzzle velocities but the cores are of a more mild steel construction and they welded/fused to the steel target plate not even bumping the back of the plate out in a manner similar to my starting load with the 163grn bullets.

Construction differences between the 150 and the 163 are pretty interesting as well. 163grn WWII bullets use a small bit of lead at the tip ahead of the steel alloy core, possibly to do a certain amount of splash damage to the steel before the tungsten alloy core begins to penetrate into the steel(very notable crater pattern to the 163s on steel compared to other bullets). The 150s have a portion of lead located at the base of the bullet and I don't think it does anything beneficial when it comes to performance on target, maybe the lead at the rear of the bullet makes it more accurate though providing weight at the aft of the bullet.

Core construction is also markedly different. The 163 cores have a body that is sort of cylinderical along it's length and a tip that seems to sharpen into a conical point. The 150grn cores seem to have a rounded ogive that makes up a good portion of it's length. Upon impact I can't help but wonder if the 163grn core design help to assure that the core penetrates in a straight path, the 150s I suspect are yawing upon impact and it could have something to do with the much more rounded point. But it also probably has a LOT to do with the rediculous 300WinMag velocities which are causing my 150s to melt to crapola.

Interestingly though, if you go out to the FAS.org site and look up the pics they have of the M993 and M995 bullet construction it makes use of a core that is very similar to that I've seen in the 163grn cores.

Next up for the 300WinMag once I get a new steel target plate, I'm gonna try the Barnes copper solids in 125grn and 150grn weights to see how performance ranks between that of an all lead core bullet and a AP cored bullet. Hoping for better than 3500fps with the 125grn copper solids.

Somebody with a 22-250, 220Swift, or 22Cheetah needs to get out there with the SS109 bullets and put them on some steel to see if that little tiny "penetrator" tip is worth a darned.

March 1, 2004, 04:47 PM
Here's a couple of shots of some of the AP, semi-AP, and "sort-of" AP ammo I've sectioned for my collection: L-R, 12.7x108mm Soviet API, .50 Browning SLAP-Tracer, .50 Browning SLAP, .55 Boys Anti-Tank, 13mm Mauser T-Gewehr, .50 Vickers, .50 BMG M8 API bullet, .50 BMG M2 AP bullet, .50 BMG Mk 211 Mod 0 API bullet, .50 BMG M20 APIT bullet, .30-06 Springfield M2 AP, 8mm SmK-Leuchtspur (AP-Tracer), .303 British AP-Incendiary, and 7.62x54R Russian API.

March 1, 2004, 04:56 PM
Next, L-R: XM645 SPIW flechette, 5.56mm NATO SS109, .357 Mag Arcane, 5.7x28mm FN P90, PMC Ultramag w. bronze projectile, Remington "Metal-Piercing" FMJ, early-style KTW w. steel-core, later KTW w. bronze core, unknown steel-core, .38 Spl THV, .38 Spl Omni-Shok, .45 Auto THV, 9mm THV, 9mm saboted "arrow-head" AP, 9mm steel-core in brass base-cup, and 5.45x18mm Soviet PSM.

March 1, 2004, 05:30 PM
Nice collection!

March 1, 2004, 09:28 PM
What is the diameter of the steel core in the 50bmg AP/API? the 30cal cores?
any others that you have measured?

March 1, 2004, 10:06 PM
Good info uglygun. So these M2AP cores are tungsten?

SDC....that's some serious bullet porn! How did you section those so nice, and with intact cores?

I have one of those KTW's in 9mm. I've always heard that they was hollow all the way into the tip. I guess not.

March 1, 2004, 10:30 PM
Don't know if they are truely tungsten but perhaps some kind of alloy.

I suspect as much as they are remaining intact and in good shape after passing through a sizeable chunk of steel of fairly decent hardness. The steel plate I'm shooting at doesn't appear to be mild steel but it isn't of hardness comparable to true armour plate, somewhere in between.

I need to get something like a 1/2 inch thick piece of true hardened armour plate to shoot at to re-evaluate the performance of these bullets. I've shot at heavy duty truck leaf springs in the past and seen SS109 not even leave so much as a dent in the metal, something like that would probably be suitable for testing the 163grn bullets to see how they do. Same goes for the 150grn bullets as well, if the target is of high enough hardness the 150grn bullets which I suspect are mild steel should fail miserably to something harder like a tungsten alloyed bullet.

March 1, 2004, 11:04 PM
They're tungsten.... the amount of water they displace for a given weight checks out; I'm talking just the core, not the full round, btw.

March 1, 2004, 11:19 PM
ATF never had a problem with single-shot pistols like the Contender, Encore, Wichita, XP-100, and so forth. What they did have a problem with was Olympic Arms and their OA-93 autoloading pistol, based on an AR-15, when they produced the prototype chambered in 7.62x39, and threatened to put it into production. This was right around the same time in 1993 that those $100 Norinco SKS rifles, and 1000 rds. steel-core ammo for $100 showed up on the market. The industry pleaded with Olympic Arms not to make the gun. ATF warned that if the gun was produced they'd ban the 7.62x29 steel-core ammo. Olympic Arms disregarded the pleas and warnings, placing ads in Shotgun News for their new 7.62x39 autopistol. The rest, as they say, is history. :(

Read about it on Dean Speir's Gun Zone website:

March 2, 2004, 12:13 AM
hmm... so does that mean that no one ever built a semi-auto 30-06 handgun? (omg, that sounds like a visit to the ER...)

March 2, 2004, 11:35 AM
Ed, I do these all with hand tools (Dremel to start, but I finish everything flat with files). I usually slit the neck of the case so I can pull the bullet, dump the powder, then kill the primers with WD-40. I slit the cases down to the head with the Dremel, then go through the head with a hacksaw, then finish half the case flat with a file. For a bullet with a core that my files won't cut, I have to slit the bullet all the way around with a piece of fine-tooth hacksaw blade, then lift the core out and file everything flat again, then reassemble it.
The cores on the .30 M2 measure .242, and .422 on the .50 M2.
Here's a closer shot of the .30 M2 against a piece of 3/4" mild steel that I shot through with one; the lead "point filler" at the nose of the core is supposed to help the core "plant" against a hard surface while it's penetrating, so it supports it for a fraction of a second until the core starts to pierce; they used to use the same technique for anti-tank artillery rounds up to WW2, but shaped-charges made it obsolete for artillery.

March 2, 2004, 09:14 PM
Thanks for the measurements and one question: how in the world did you safely dremel a API round without igniting the incendiary compound?!?!


March 2, 2004, 10:43 PM
MOST incendiaries have a fairly inert filler that requires a lot of pressure and/or heat to ignite, so to be on the safe side, I use a piece of fine-tooth hacksaw blade (as above); for rounds with a WP filling (like the blue-tip Italian API), I have to do them completely underwater, to avoid self-ignition when the air hits the phosphorous.

March 3, 2004, 05:21 AM
Underwater: there's a good idea.
A fair amount of pressure or heat, huh? i wonder if anyone has looked into how much: that is, if one downloaded 50bmg, what is the lowest velocity at which the 'I' compound would ignite??????
Or maybe downloaded with the tip of the jacket scored (weakened) in a cross patern to facilitate flattening on impact???
That might be neat to find out just for chagrins.

March 3, 2004, 06:07 AM
SDC- you have bigger balls than I. Infact, they may be made of Tungsten :)

So, can anyone state with authority whether my M2Ap .30-06 ammo is Tungsten or Steel cored? The headstamp reads only:

"43 TW"

March 3, 2004, 10:38 AM
Artherd, the "bible" on US military ammo is Hackley, Woodin, & Scranton's "History of US Military Small Arms Ammunition"; they state that up until 1942, the cores in .30 M2 loads were 4% tungsten, but were then changed to a manganese-molybdenum alloy (presumably because the tungsten could better be used in machining tools for the war effort). Your rounds were loaded at the Twin Cities Arsenal (Minneapolis) in 1943, so they presumably have the manganese-moly cores.
PS. I really enjoy my hobby, but I hope no-one takes it as a green light to start cutting open old ammo; I wouldn't want to feel responsible if someone was to lose an eye or finger :eek:

March 3, 2004, 12:25 PM
I still say that the cores in my AP ammo are almost pure tungsten. We're talking 90% or more.... which doesn't work out with what you just said. I wonder where the hell mine came from, then?

March 3, 2004, 02:43 PM
Anyone got photos from API hits?

Oleg Volk
March 3, 2004, 03:09 PM
While on this topic: http://www.olegvolk.net/gallery/album19/golddot40sw?full=1

Fully mushroomed .40SW bullet - big file.

March 4, 2004, 09:13 AM
While on this topic: http://www.olegvolk.net/gallery/alb...ddot40sw?full=1

Nice pics :) . Shot api-pics, anyone?

March 5, 2004, 01:36 AM
I have shot some unknown 1/2" plate with a factory Barnes XLC load, went clean through and looked like an AP core (clean .30cal hole, no mushrooming or splatter.) Federal factory XLC .30-06 180 grain load.

I need to discover some .338 LM AP. The Barnes .338 may be as close as I get.

March 5, 2004, 03:40 AM
ban on steel core 7.62x39 is kind of a moot point...i don't think regular FMJ ammo in that caliber would have any problem slicing through 3A kevlar.

Gotta tell my buddy about the available .30 AP bullets...he's building a savage in .300 WUM and is the kind of crazy mother who would reload that stuff.

March 7, 2004, 08:44 PM
I managed to get a core out undamaged. I dremeled off the bottom and the core 'cap' came out. Couple'a twists with some pliers and out she came. Seems to be capped for & aft. Dunno why.

It did stick to a magnet. I presume this means steel core but I don't know if tungsten is attracted to a magnet, or the magenese ones. Anyone know?

March 7, 2004, 08:47 PM
Nope, tungsten and manganese aren't magnetic.

March 7, 2004, 11:08 PM
The elements Tungsten and Manganese aren't magnetic themselves, but when alloyed with steel (as in the .30 M2 cores), they should still stick to a magnet.

March 8, 2004, 05:04 AM
Check out:


March 8, 2004, 11:03 AM
That's because the magnet is sticking to the iron, not the other elements. They're just along for the ride!

Sam Adams
October 12, 2004, 03:57 PM
Any recipes for reloading the .30 cal. AP into .30-06 or .308?

The Grand Inquisitor
October 12, 2004, 05:21 PM
Is it just me or is Olympic Arms very often connected with assinine and moronic moves that do more to hurt firearms enthusists than to benefit them.

Master Blaster
October 13, 2004, 10:39 AM
The problem is not the arms manufacturers (even Olympic) but the Government.:barf:

October 13, 2004, 11:09 AM
Any recipes for reloading the .30 cal. AP into .30-06 or .308?

Just use recipes for that bullet weight range out of the book. Since they're 163gr, you could use data for a 165gr bullet. Technicallyu speaking, you should use 7.62 brass rather than .308 Win because I've heard that since some .308's have been chambered in pistols, and you can't have AP pistol ammo, that the BATman could get a hard on for you if you do. I've never heard of a pistol chambered in 7.62 X 51

Stay a full two grains below max when using .308 data in a 7.62 case because the brass is thicker and pressure curve is different.

Try IMR 4895 to start. 43.0gr is a starting load/46.5 would be a max load.

Sam Adams
October 13, 2004, 01:10 PM
Thanks, Edward.

October 13, 2004, 02:54 PM
Take care with the 163s though....

They have much more bearing surface coming into contact with the rifling so pressure signs could start pretty soon.

Here's a picture of a 163grn AP bullet in line with an older 168grn Amax and a 180grn Sierra Match King. The 180grn Sierra MK doesn't even have as much bearing surface as the 163grn bullet.

It's the volume of the 163grn bullet in comparison to a 180grn lead bullet that makes me question the alloy of the 163grn bullet's penetrator. If it were pure tungsten it is likely that we'd see a much more compact bullet thanks to tungsten having a density higher than that of lead. And certainly the bullet wouldn't be larger in volume than a 180grn lead bullet....


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