home made hollow points


December 4, 2013, 09:54 PM
Since plated bullets are soft lead, then plated, I tried this. Took a punch and punched a hole in the tip of a 9mm plated bullet. Makes a pretty nice looking hollow point... What do you think, will it work?


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December 4, 2013, 10:00 PM
Actually no. Lead alloy cores used for plated bullets are harder than lead cores used for jacketed bullets.

What do you think, will it work?
All the plated hollow points I have shot have just deformed instead of expanding like JHP bullets. Plated lead HP bullets do work (like Speer Gold Dot HP bullets), but I think they need to be softer and driven to high enough velocities for proper expansion.

December 4, 2013, 10:10 PM
Try them in the old wet phone book media...if anyone still uses phone books, that is.

December 4, 2013, 10:25 PM
Assuming you dont shoot the cores out, probably like a sub-par HP.

Theres a reason they safety reject plated bullets showing cracks or other "through" imperfections in the plating.

With that said- shoot em up, and let us know. You might have just stepped on a goldmine.

December 4, 2013, 10:33 PM
I think the size of the cavity will matter too. I think the larger the cavity, the more likely they will be to expand. I don't know if a punch will be big enough and you start getting into a lot of deformation if you are swaging out a big cavity. You could drill one I suppose. Or you could just choose one of the many quality hollow points available for reloading ;-)

December 4, 2013, 10:35 PM
If you want to make a good HP just cast some.

December 4, 2013, 11:46 PM
"Paco Kelly" makes tools for 22 LR to make hollow points, need to invent one for centerfire bullets.;)


December 5, 2013, 12:20 AM
Forster makes a hollow pointer accessory for their case trimmer, useful with cast bullets. A buddy of mine is working one making a hollow pointer tool, as well.

December 5, 2013, 04:13 AM
From my understanding, the best way to do so, some argue even better than casting using a hollowpoint mold is to drill the hollowpoint into the cast bullets. This has the effect of work softening the areas that need to expand, without affecting the brinell hardness of the bullet base.
Of course, the trick is keeping consistent and centered hollowpoints, and how much time you're willing to invest into making something work.
I've seen plenty of pictures of bullets from hollowpoint molds expanding sufficiently, so those hollowpoint molds do their work fairly well.

For your methods, I think it's a good idea but you may encounter variable deformation of the bullet depending on how much force is used to strike the bullet, not to mention core separation for the plated bullets you are using.
If you want to continue to pursue this avenue, one thing that comes to mind is to fashion a jig that holds the punch, and bullet in separate halves, which you can use to close together using a vice. I'm just brainstorming but IF it works, im guessing this method may have more control of depth, deformation, and more consistent results.

OR! Do your thang, and purchase a Lee push through sizer (comes with alox, you won't need much if at all)to return your bullets to factory spec..
If you do load these suckers up, I'd use a micrometer to measure each one, and work your loads up carefully.

Interesting thought experiment!
As in reloading, the real struggle is time vs money.

Personally, I use quality HP factory ammo, and cast my own to meet the factory specs of my +P SD ammo for practice.

41 Mag
December 5, 2013, 05:44 AM
I just pour my own and go have fun....

While on the surface it sounds easy to punch or drill a cavity into the nose of a commercial made bullet and end up with a functional hollow point there are simply other things which keep them from preforming properly.

As mentioned above there is the chance that the core can be driven out of the jacket. Also you run the risk of expanding the outer diameter which can give you several other issues rendering the bullet no good. Then there is the core alloy being either too hard or soft to function properly for expansion in the first place.

Even pouring your own becomes a balancing and mixing act. You have to match the alloy to the pressure and velocities of your intended uses. Most use somewhere in the neighborhood of a 20-1 pure lead to tin recipe for consistent performance and expansion. While this works great for calibers such as the 45 ACP or similar low pressure lower velocity loads, bump up the horse power to something in the 1200 to 1300fps range, and you get terrible results. Not only including leading, but the noses usually simply blow right off.

When I started getting serious about pouring mine it took several attempts to get something that would reliably expand without either coming apart completely or fracturing instead of flowing. Everything has to do with the alloy. I use two different ones which I have tested in different loads from velocities of around 700fps up to around 1350fps. They are both malleable enough to flow without fracturing and they expand well within the ranges of velocities I use them for. One is softer one is a bit harder, and neither work well out of the range they were blended for.

These are a few of my higher velocity ones,

Even with jacketed bullets, say for instance simply cutting the tip back on a FMJ to expose a cavity in the nose has it's drawbacks. Usually when they impact they simply blow apart. While this might be useful on varmints, it doesn't by any stretch make them good for hunting.

All this said however if you find your project useful, then who is to say it isn't a success for your intended purpose. Just keep in mind that if your doing it for some reason of importance such as SD, or hunting, your much better off picking up the commercially available ones which have been designed expressly for the intended job.

December 5, 2013, 07:30 AM
I will second 41 Mag's suggestions. There are some really nice HP moulds available now, and you will get much better results using them with a known alloy as opposed to altering a bullet that was never intended to be a HP.


December 5, 2013, 08:49 AM
Ammo companies put lots of time and effort into developing rounds that will expand reliably. I would be weary of using homemade rounds for self defense. Barring that, try it out.

December 5, 2013, 01:31 PM
The RCBS trimmer can also be used to make hollow points.

December 5, 2013, 02:41 PM
41 mag,
Those are some nice lookin bullets you got there in that first pic. Well, I guess i should technically say boolits.

December 5, 2013, 08:46 PM
I think that if you used a punch and a hammer you better take yourself some calipers and measure the diameter of that bullet after you hit it. It may surprise you.

December 5, 2013, 09:02 PM
I say have fun and shoot 'em up.

But don't expect them to perform as well as HP bullets that are intentionally designed and manufactured as such.

For one, drilling or punching is no guarantee that the bullet will be "ballanced". Remember, the bullet has a spin imparted on it by the rifling in the barrel. An out of ballance bullet will wobble in flight, which can adversely affect it's presentation to the target and may even render the hollowpoint a moot feature. Not to mention affect accuracy.

And remember...many plated HP bullets are designed to be more than a simple hollowed out lead core. Some have designed fracture joints in the lead which causes them to more uniformly and reliably expand in predictable manners. And I think someone else already mentioned the alloy's may be different, as well.

That said...shooting is fun, and experimenting while shooting is fun, too! So have fun!

December 5, 2013, 09:53 PM
Even pouring your own becomes a balancing and mixing act.

Amen on that.

And its more art than science, it seems.

Hondo 60
December 5, 2013, 10:00 PM
One of the multitude of issues with hollowing plated bullets is concentricity.

If you don't have the hollow EXACTLY dead center the bullet will begin to wobble.
The farther you shoot, the more it wobbles.
Eventually it'll keyhole.

Someone above mentioned that you'll shoot the core out of the plating.
Yup, that too.

Don't mean to rain on your parade, but I just don't think it'd work.

December 6, 2013, 08:01 PM
As long as the cavity isn't too deep, and the bullet isn't deformed or expanded, I would give them a try. Just be sure to inspect the firearm after each shot to ensure everything cleared the barrel completely, just in case you blow the core out.


December 6, 2013, 08:12 PM
I would be of the opinion you simply cannot 'blow the core' out of a plated bullet.

No matter how badly you deform the nose.


December 6, 2013, 08:41 PM
I would be of the opinion you simply cannot 'blow the core' out of a plated bullet.

No matter how badly you deform the nose.

+1. But also, administering a HP to a plated bullet will not cause it to mushroom, as the plating all around the bullet will not allow for it.


December 6, 2013, 09:22 PM
I think it might, if you do it like the OP said he was doing it.

Set one on it's butt, and smack it in the nose with a center-punch & Hammer and see what happens!!


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