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Thread: Odd 30 cal Ball Bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Odd 30 cal Ball Bullets

    I recently purchased an assortment of ammo, cases and bullets. This included two boxes that appeared to be military and contained "Stannic Stained" bullets.

    In addition, one set of bullets has an odd tip configuration or insert. These are non-magnetic and weigh 147 grains:

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    The other set contained bullets that weigh 150 grains:

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    My questions are:

    1. Are these actually USGI bullets?
    2. Does anyone know what the odd nose configuration is for?
    3. What is the purpose of the stannic staining?

    Thank you,
    Richard
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    I have never seen bullets like that or labeled like those. My guess is bullets with a penetrator being the look of a secondary round like part of the nose. . AS for Stannic staining, that is a new one on me and I have been playing with military ammo since the mid 1950's. I am very curious and will be watching this thread. james

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I am tempted to try to cut one of the odd-nose bullets in half lengthwise to see if there is some kind of insert. Since they aren't magnetic, it doesn't seem as though they would be armor-piercing.

    Richard
    Isn't a 9mm just a .45 set on stun? -- Amy W.

    "When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred."
    -- Niccolo Machiavelli

    USPSA A32025
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I did quick web search on Stannic staining. It seems to be an anti corrosion treatment of some kind. You might try posting on "gunboards" as there are a lot of military guys there, in addition to here.
    .

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The stannic staining is used for identification of experimental pieces made for research and testing purposes, to keep them out of normal production. The open-point bullets look like rejected culls which got inverted prior to the final point-up and sizing. During WW2 when softpoint hunting ammunition was scarce people sometimes experimented with cutting the tips off ball ammunition in trying to make expanding bullets, not very successfully...
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  6. #6
    RG 1911:

    Answers top your questions are:

    1. Are these actually USGI bullets? Yes, the M2 USGI bullet (150 grain flat base, almost the same as the M1906 bullet) was adopted for the 30-06 in about 1940 after there were too many complaints about the danger space of the M1 bullet adopted after WW1 (the M1 was a 173 grain boat tail).

    2. Does anyone know what the odd nose configuration is for? To me it looks like an M2 bullet that has been cut off to make a soft point. This was very common back then, before good soft point bullets were available. This also led to the fun practice of shooting the core out of the jacket, leaving the jacket in the bore as an obstruction, just waiting for the next round to hit it! IF the tip of your cut off bullet has a little steel ball in it, it may be an attempt to make a Hoxie type bullet.

    3. What is the purpose of the stannic staining? Stannic staining was simply tin plating. This was done with the cupronickle M1906 bullet as an anti fouling measure, it was done with early M2 bullets to differentiate them from M1 after they were loaded. Stannic staining was dropped as WW2 drew near.

    Hope this helps!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I found this comment about the tannic staining (not sure why the person uses the word "tinned":

    https://forum.cartridgecollectors.or...ed-m2-ball/863

    "The stannic stained (tinned) bullets were not “short range” but simply the early marking on the standard M2 Ball round to differentiate them from the M1 (172gr) that was still in service. The tinning stopped in September 1940."

    Looks as though I'll have to section one of the bullets with the odd nose.

    Cheers, Richard
    Isn't a 9mm just a .45 set on stun? -- Amy W.

    "When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred."
    -- Niccolo Machiavelli

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  8. #8
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    http://www.smallarmsreview.com/displ...darticles=1622

    Initially, M2 ball rounds used a stannic (i.e.: tin) stained bullet to identify them from the M1 and this staining lasted until 1940. To further confuse matters, one of the last lots of M1 ball rounds produced by Frankford Arsenal in 1941 for the U.S. Navy had silver-tipped bullets. These should not be confused with silver-tipped API rounds which didn’t appear until 1943.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I sectioned one of the bullets that looked like it has a BB in its tip:

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    Looking at the cavity for the BB, it appears to be too regular for a home-brew. The ball measures a nominal .110" and is non-magnetic. Lacking further information, I am considering that these are factory bullets.

    Cheers, Richard
    Isn't a 9mm just a .45 set on stun? -- Amy W.

    "When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred."
    -- Niccolo Machiavelli

    USPSA A32025
    NRA Life

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check