The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 4, 2012, 01:04 AM   #1
Join Date: November 27, 2012
Posts: 22
Custom/Modified Rounds

I have a friend who swears by putting a few drops of mercury into hollow points and sealing the tips with lead. Says it makes coyotes and prarie dogs explode. Would y'all say it's because of the modifications or because of good hollow points?

I realize that playing with mercury, let alone putting it in the end of a bullet generally is a bad idea. I have no intentions of doing this myself, I'm more just making conversation.
BigRick is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 01:44 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: August 4, 2005
Posts: 2,017
A 40gr. 223 needs no help exploding P-dogs. And your friend is a moron.
"Why is is called Common Sense when it seems so few actually possess it?"

Guns only have two enemies: Rust and Politicians.
Rangefinder is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 02:18 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,081
Heating mercury is the worst thing you can do with it. Better to eat it and let it pass through your system than to heat it and catch one whiff of the vapors.
Plenty of good hollowpoints out there.
Leave the urban legends in the hood.
Hammerhead is online now  
Old December 4, 2012, 03:34 AM   #4
serf 'rett
Senior Member
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart, AR
Posts: 1,569
I suspect scattering even small amounts of mercury around the landscape may violate any number of federal regulations. Your friend says bullets are for dogs, but if he gets crossways with the law, the DA will say the modified bullets are meant for bipeds and friend is screwed.

This type of mall ninjas stuff can lead to serious problems.
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 04:01 AM   #5
Join Date: November 27, 2012
Posts: 22
He is kind of isolated in a small town in Arizona. Some things he does definitely qualify as moron.

I didn't try to tell him he shouldn't do it with the rounds. It's kind of the situation of you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink. Some people are just more stubborn than is good for them.

As I said my intentions were just to make conversation and maybe hear about other modified rounds you guys have heard of not to make people go crazy and start controversy.
BigRick is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 10:30 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Western Colorado, finally.
Posts: 19,118
I'd love to hear his theory on why mercury would have this magical property. What could it possibly be doing that would make an animal "explode". The bullet would be heavier and going slower. It wouldn't be any different than loading a heavier bullet, except it would be a lot more work and a lot more dangerous than just using a heavier bullet.

As for a discussion of custom/modified rounds, I guess you'd have to define that a little more narrowly. Almost all handloaded ammo would be considered "custom", unless it's an exact duplicate of factory ammo, and there are all sorts of ways that a round might be "modified". Any of the many Ackley Improved versions of standard cartridges could be considered "modified", for example.

A few guys on this forum have rifles chambered in unique, on of a kind cartridges, even. Doesn't get more "custom" than that.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 11:03 AM   #7
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 14,062
There may be some validity to the idea from the standpoint of developing radial hydraulic pressure to help expand the tip and help prevent hollow point clogging by hair or hide on its way in. A blob of silicone dielectric grease in the cavity sealed in with silicone RTV should do about the same thing, and it requires no heat so it's safe to do on ammo that's already loaded.

You could try shooting that creation into a ballistic test medium to see which whether the bullets thus treated or those left untreated really open up first or most reliably. I'd have them pass through a layer of old handbag leather placed over the front of the medium to mimic clogging performance. Don't be surprised, though, if the untreated bullet does as well or better than the treated one. Unlike self-defense ammo, bullet makers get to test their hunting products on game, so they usually have a pretty good handle on how to optimize them without your help.

Another drawback to mercury, other than those already mentioned, is that it adds to bullet weight. That will raise pressure if the load was developed without that added weight. Silicone grease shouldn't add enough weight to matter, and it is used to lubricate food handling equipment, so it's environmentally pretty safe.
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member

Last edited by Unclenick; December 6, 2012 at 03:05 PM. Reason: typo fix
Unclenick is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 11:19 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2012
Location: East Texas
Posts: 407
Brian Pflueger said:

I'd love to hear his theory on why mercury would have this magical property. What could it possibly be doing that would make an animal "explode".
Why it's true because it's in the movie "Day of the Jackal".

Hollywood wouldn't make that up.
Woody55 is offline  
Old December 6, 2012, 08:08 AM   #9
Join Date: November 27, 2012
Posts: 22
I understand your points Brian. More specifically I was looking for unusual bullet designs or modifications people have heard of or dealt with rather than unusual chamberings. Interesting cartridge designs are also worth the time to talk about IMHO, stuff like ammuntion for the H&K G11 or Gyrojet series of weapons (not those platforms specifically, although they aren't excuded if someone knows an interesting tidbit or happens to have shot them personally).
BigRick is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.05742 seconds with 9 queries