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Silver Bullet Member
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Devil Dog,

Do you have any pictures of the boattail lead core Chinese bullets? Did you section one? I'm interested because I thought that all lead core Chinese ammo was flat based.

I know that some of the Chinese boattail steel core bullets have a thin lead coating on the bottom which hides the steel core.

The one on the left is the typical steel core, the one on the right has a thin lead coating on the bottom.


This is a flat based lead core bullet on the left, and the bullet from above right but with the lead partially scraped away to reveal the steel core.
 

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Silver Bullet Member
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6,367 Posts
Yes, I have sectioned the all-lead core Chinese 7.62x39mm to confirm type. Unfortunately I don't know how to post pics here to show. But if you follow the above link, you can see a pic of this round and some others that I sectioned for the guy who originally wrote the article. In fact, much of the info and pictures of Chinese boxes and cartridges on that site came form my personal collection. As I said in my original post, these are found in cases headstamped "31 90" and "31 91". Copper washed cases with a GREEN case mouth seal. Green was the color used by "31" to designate lead core and was used 1990-1995. The flat based lead core projectile was first used by "31" in 1991, so it is possible to find both types of lead core projectiles with this headstamp. The projectile is interesting in that the front 1/3 of the projectile is a hollow space EXACTLY like the "Wolf" brand HP and FMJ, only it is filled with tiny white plastic beads. Like the Russians, it appears that the Chinese wanted to use the same tooling and jackets of the PS type steel core round for the lead core only projectiles. Makes sense from a manufacturing point of view to use as much common tooling as possible. When these rounds first turned up in 1991-1992 on the surplus ammo market, people thought that it was some sort of exotic load. These were often called "lethality" rounds under the presumption that the lead slug in the projectile being at the rear of the projectile would make the round tumble faster. After some reasearch and examination of sectioned rounds, it has been concluded that the plastic balls were simply there to fill the void and give the lead core somewhere to be seated against during the manufacturing process. Bill Woodin, dean of the Woodin Laboratory and respected authority on small arms ammunition had the opportunity to ask some Chinese engineers from the factory that made these rounds what they were. Their comment was that "it was just something we tried.".

D.D.

Thanks for the information. I learn new things from this board all of the time!
 
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