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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago I purchased a pristine Colt 1917 from a forum member.
I recall that it was so meticulously packed as to protect it from any transport condition.
Investigation of the serial number revealed that it had traveled to France in May of 1918.
Along with it was a ziplock bag containing what was obviously issue ammunition which I stored for years not wanting to dispose of a historical item.
Recently I inspected the rounds and found two with very peculiar bullets loaded.
The "hollow points" both appear to have a coiled spring inside them and appear to have something more going on by the depth of the hole.
Perhaps someone here could have a clue as to what the application may have been for these.
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It is a special bullet designed to circumvent the restrictions of the 1899 Hague Convention against the use of expanding or "dum dum" bullets. The spring in the tip causes the bullet to bounce off the enemy combatant who then realizes that the has literally "dodged a bullet" and throws down his arms and surrenders immediately.

Just kidding. Honestly I have no idea and have not seen that design before. Too bad you don't have a bunch of them, it would be interesting to fire a few into a block of ballistic gel and see what they do. Of course after 100 years they may be all corroded inside the tip and the spring may not work as designed. Or maybe didn't even work as designed in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is a special bullet designed to circumvent the restrictions of the 1899 Hague Convention against the use of expanding or "dum dum" bullets. The spring in the tip causes the bullet to bounce off the enemy combatant who then realizes that the has literally "dodged a bullet" and throws down his arms and surrenders immediately.

Just kidding. Honestly I have no idea and have not seen that design before. Too bad you don't have a bunch of them, it would be interesting to fire a few into a block of ballistic gel and see what they do. Of course after 100 years they may be all corroded inside the tip and the spring may not work as designed. Or maybe didn't even work as designed in the first place.
I would theorize that this was some form of experiment and you may be correct that it was a circumvention of the Hague Convention.
I may pull one of the bullets to look from the inside.
 

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I have checked History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Volume I, 1880-1939, Revised by Hackley, Woodin and Scranton. This three volume work is the most comprehensive source on the topic. No such .45 ACP round is mentioned, surprisingly enough. However, they do discuss experiments with "Manstopper" bullets in both cal. 38 and cal. 45 (revolver) cartridges for use in the Philippines. The cal. 45 bullets had three alterations: 1. nose part of jacket removed, exposing lead core; 2. hole drilled in nose; 3. longitudinal cut in bullet jacket on forward portion. All of these bullets were blunt-nosed and flat-based. The experiment stopped in 1907 from fear of world opinion against the use of such ammo. So, none of that explains why your cartridge, with a 1918 head stamp, would have such a bullet. It is a mystery.
 

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During WWI the Allies complained of the Germans using a truncated bullet in their 9mm pistol ammunition. Allied theory was that the truncated shaped projectile caused a more sever wound than the standard round nose ammunition, and surprisingly the Germans stopped using it.

Whatever the alteration, it was done after the ammunition left the military. Looks like the nose was filed flat and threaded.
 

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Most military's played with Truncated Cone FMJ's at one point or another. They all had pretty much the same findings. Accuracy improves, barrier penetration is slightly less. So they all eventually returned to RNFMJ bullets.
 

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The Germans were looking for "wounding capability" in their use of the truncated projectile rather than accuracy or penetration. In their reports of the projectile they reported a "wadcutter effect" from the sharp shoulder on the bullet, with increased bleeding from the larger wound.
 

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The Germans were looking for "wounding capability" in their use of the truncated projectile rather than accuracy or penetration. In their reports of the projectile they reported a "wadcutter effect" from the sharp shoulder on the bullet, with increased bleeding from the larger wound.
Yes, that was the driving factor for pretty much everyone. But when they encountered decreased barrier penetration, they tended to lose interest.
 

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The "hollow points" both appear to have a coiled spring inside them and appear to have something more going on by the depth of the hole.
Perhaps someone here could have a clue as to what the application may have been for these. View attachment 741123
A guess...

And exploding bullet, or Incendiary cartridge that is missing the nose cap. Now it's been a few decades since I have read on this subject, but... My recollection is, many of those types of cartridges will have a coil spring that holds back a firing pin, to keep it safe to transport. On impact, the distortion of the bullet overcomes the spring pressure, the firing pin strikes the primer section, and the bullet initiates the incendiary or explosive element.

But I'm not expert on the subject.
 

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Recently I inspected the rounds and found two with very peculiar bullets loaded.
The "hollow points" both appear to have a coiled spring inside them and appear to have something more going on by the depth of the hole.
Perhaps someone here could have a clue as to what the application may have been for these.
You have a Hollifield Target Practice Rod cartridge. This was a practice device made for both 30-06 and 45 ACP. I have one for my 1903 Springfield. The following link explains it better than I could.
 

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Yes, that was the driving factor for pretty much everyone. But when they encountered decreased barrier penetration, they tended to lose interest.
From the German reports of the day'

"The perception of enhanced wounding capacity of the bullet from the semi-wadcutter style and the action of the relatively sharp edge at the base of the conical section, which serves to punch a clean entry wound and develop a wider permanent wound channel in soft tissue. This enhances bleeding from the wound with little detriment to the penetrative capability of the bullet and without ostensible contravention of the Hague Convention."

The allies did complain, and the Germans stopped using it. Nothing to do with barrier penetration.
 

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jcmh1's right - this is one of those things you really don't run across unless it's with an 'old' shooter's box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A guess...

And exploding bullet, or Incendiary cartridge that is missing the nose cap. Now it's been a few decades since I have read on this subject, but... My recollection is, many of those types of cartridges will have a coil spring that holds back a firing pin, to keep it safe to transport. On impact, the distortion of the bullet overcomes the spring pressure, the firing pin strikes the primer section, and the bullet initiates the incendiary or explosive element.

But I'm not expert on the subject.
Good informed guess.
I thought the same but have kept an open mind to any other possibilities.
The cavernous interior suggests this and perhaps I should douse them with oil which will cause the primer to go inert I would hope.
Still, I have and will continue to treat these rounds as if they are live explosives.
 

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Been a long time since I saw a Hollifield Dotter for a 1911 Colt, but didn't they have a brass tube inserted into the barrel that had a spring loaded rod struck by the firing pin to drive it forward and "dot" the target (at the end of the muzzle)?

Cartridge still appears to be post military alteration.
 

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Been a long time since I saw a Hollifield Dotter for a 1911 Colt, but didn't they have a brass tube inserted into the barrel that had a spring loaded rod struck by the firing pin to drive it forward and "dot" the target (at the end of the muzzle)?
You are right, the Hollifield Target device for the 1911 Colt did use a straight brass tube. However, they were also made for the 1917 revolver which did use the 45 ACP case since a straight tube would not work with the revolving cylinder.

Jim
 

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There had to be a connection between the firing pin of the revolver and the rod that "dotted" the target. The Model 1903 cartridge for the Hollifield Dotter was made in such a manner that it was readily recognizable from a standard military round.

I have never seen or read about a Hollifield Dotter for the Model 1917 revolver, and would appreciate any photos. The photo of the cartridge in the original post is an altered standard .45 ACP round.
 

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I have never seen or read about a Hollifield Dotter for the Model 1917 revolver, and would appreciate any photos.
741226

The round shown is incomplete aand is missing the part that contacts the target rod.
Jim
 
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