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Converting target ammunition

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Mel57, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Mel57

    Mel57 Member

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    I want to convert Winchester target load ammunition by removing the 115gr jacketed round nose bullet and replacing it with a 115 gr Hornady XTP bullet. No other changes except bullet. Anyone see any problems doing this?
     
  2. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Have fun. But there is no way I would do it. Replace the powder as well? Now you have reduced the risk considerably.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
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  3. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Well the bullet profiles are not the same so you are going to be putting the bullet base into the brass a bit further. The hollow point has to be accounted for somehow. This will increase the pressure some. That is an unknown due to the factory using an unknown powder. So if I was doing this I would drop the measured charge by 5% at least and try. You might be able to work up some but do so with a crony and do not exceed factory velocity. Or use data in a manual and work up with a canister propellant like normal. YMMV
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
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  4. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Agree with @FROGO207. Might be possible, even worthwhile, but do it carefully by downloading a bit and working back up to no more than factory velocity. Personally, though, I would only do this if I didn't have a known powder to work with.
     
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  5. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    Even with downloading I would make sure to seat the bullet as long as possible and still fit in the magazine and cycle.
     
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  6. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    A Winchester round nose 115 FMJ bullet is .575" long. A Hornady 115 XTP is .545" long. A difference of 0.030". So, you can seat the XTP up to a 0.030" shorter OAL and there would be no change in the space available in the case.

    Are these Winchester bullets round nose or flat nose - I ask because they load both designs in their 9mm ammo.

    For example, if the Winchester RN FMJ bullet was seated to 1.150" OAL, then a 115 XTP seated to 1.120" OAL would result in the bullets at the same depth in the case.

    You'll need to determine what OAL is required with the XTP for the round to fit in your chamber. The bullet shapes are different and the XTP's abrupt shoulder might hit the riflings before it is seated at the 'desired' OAL based on bullet length.
     
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  7. ballman6711

    ballman6711 Member

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    First, welcome to THR.

    Second, I don't think any one asked what you are trying to convert the ammo into. Are you trying to make SD/HD ammo? Or just better target ammo?

    Third, WHY do you want to convert the ammo? Lack of components to make your own, or lack of factory SD ammo, or something else?

    I've only been loading for about 2 1/2 years, so still a bit new, but I wouldn't do it unless it was a serious SHTF situation, like zombies or something equally serious.

    You probably can do it given the above advice, but be aware you are working with an unknown powder. Pressure can spike quickly, and different bullets will have different bearing surfaces, and so on.

    If you decide to do it, tread carefully. Don't be the one that says "Hold my beer and watch this", but do be prepared to accept the consequences and responsibility should something go wrong.

    Good luck and stay safe!

    chris
     
  8. Mel57

    Mel57 Member

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    Self defense ammo.
     
  9. Mel57

    Mel57 Member

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  10. Mel57

    Mel57 Member

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    Will do more measurements of bullets vs seating depth. Bullets set to the same overall length as the target rounds loaded into magazine and cycled through my pistol fine.
     
  11. tmd16556

    tmd16556 Member

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    I’d probably just carry the Winchester FMJ before messing with reseating bullets. It’s not the best but it will function reliably and work better than a jammed pistol from trying to make ersatz custom ammo.

    Now if it’s just to see if you can, if the base is at the same depth and it fits the magazine and chamber then it should work. Might be accurate, might be garbage.
     
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  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    That hurts my head.
    I would rather handload hollowpoints from scratch in good brass.
    Have done so, in fact, ammo as reliable as factory. So far.
     
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  13. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    Definitely want to run them over a chrono after you figure out a safe way to do this. With the different profile the velocity could vary a good deal and you'll want to make sure you are still in the performance velocities of the hollow point bullet. Might be worth weighing the charge in a dozen or so of the factory rounds as you pull them apart to see what kind of consistency you are getting as well. Too much of a swing there and it would be very difficult to say if swapping projectiles would ever be safe.
     
  14. CMB

    CMB Member

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    You might want to measure the powder charge weight while your there for your own info. I suspect you will be quite surprised how much it varies. Reduce the charge to start with. It would be nice to know what powder is currently used in that round.

    I have pulled but never used the same powder.
     
  15. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    Welcome to THR.
    I give you high marks for inventiveness, but with the unknown powder it’s tough to say how it would perform with a different bullet even with the same seating depth. I’m presuming you’d resize the case first, dispense powder and seat/crimp. Then you’d want access to a chrono just to see if you’re getting the velocity you wanted for SD ammo.
    If I were that desperate, I’d be more tempted to drill a small hole in the FMJ, you wouldn’t want to remove much material, and see if it performed anywhere near what an HP did. If I had no other ammo, I’d just carry the target ammo until I could get some SD or some known powder to load SD. Good luck.
     
  16. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Probably the most important factor for SD ammo is reliability. Pulling bullets will certainly reduce the reliability.

    You can end a lot of trouble with a bang and miss. How much can you end with a click?
     
  17. packetloss

    packetloss Member

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    I suspect you are joking, but I wouldn't even joke about suggesting that. There is a LOT more that goes into a SD HP round than just being a hollow point.
     
  18. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Me, too. Jeepers, just carry the factory FMJ and be done with it.

    There are some rifle shooters that do what you are pondering... they pull the bullet on a surplus FMJ cartridge and replace it with a better (BTHP, etc) bullet, they call it Mexican Match ammo. I always thought that was a bizarre thing to do. Granted, they aren't carrying said ammo for SD purposes. Someone mentioned reliability... I consider reliability paramount in carry ammo.
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have loaded the small version of Mexican Match. A 52 gr SMK in place of a 55 gr M193 shoots quite well.

    I have a box of 173 gr .30 NM bullets that were replaced with Sierras by an old time High Power shooter.
    He didn't plan on reusing them, so he pulled them with nippers or dykes leaving deep cuts on the ogive.
    I have tinkered with them in .30-30 (bolt action) and .30-06 and they are fine for centerfire plinking.

    But to go to war with? I would just carry the FMJ. HAVE carried FMJ, but .45s.
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    This is the area you want to pay attention to and measure yourself. Maintaining the same internal volume should be your goal.

    Even if you were starting from scratch, you will find the same data for both FMJ and JHP bullets of the same weight, with the only difference being OAL or stated below as C.O.L.

    3A0D2AAA-5A11-4CF4-85BC-1C7627BC9DAE.jpeg
     
  21. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    This whole conversation gave me a headache and I seldom get a head ache. Just use the FMJ. If it doesn't stop your threat shoot it until it ceases to be a threat.
     
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  22. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    And then, I think it would be easier to simply drill the round nose, file grooves or whatever else
     
  23. murf

    murf Member

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    how do you plan on resizing the case?

    murf
     
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  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The "cut nose dum dum" is not worth the trouble. A drawn, not plated, FMJ is thicker at the nose and is not likely to expand no matter what you do to it. Captain Bertie Clay's idea didn't work all that well with 303s. The British didn't give up, though, and were making expanding bullets for shooting Afghans until the French and Germans nagged them out of it.
     
  25. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I would not be bothered at all to do this but I have loaded thousands of 9mm. How much experience do you bring to this situation? Do you plan on sizing the case reworking the entire process minus decaping and cleaning? Do you have enough to test for proper crimp and setback after modification. Do you trust your skills enough to regularly carry your reloads in a sd situation? These are just some things to consider if the choice is right for you....
     
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