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Cutting Bullets

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  • Cutting Bullets

    I would like to cut a bullet in half just to see the cross section. Its just the projectile part that i want to cut, so no primers or gunpowder. I would like to do it for multiple different versions, although they should be close to the same size. Most of them will be copper plated lead.

    So far the only way i can think to hold it, would be to cast it in some polyester resin, mill it and then pry the bullet out, but since its so smooth to begin with, i dont think the resin will hold. Any other ideas on how to hold it for cutting/milling/sanding in half?

  • #2
    Have you tried a small block of wood? Drill a hole, press the bullet in, then use a slitting saw. FIrst thing that came to mind, haven't tried it...
    Location: Newtown, CT USA


    • #3
      Drill and screw anchors into the backside of it, and bury them into a fixture containing some of that low-temperature alloy? I'd cover the entire bullet, then put it on the mill.

      If you mill across the width, milling half the bullet to depth at a time, you can re-pour additional metal where you've already machined, or screw a steel scrap over the milled area to keep it contained. Then you can do the other end. This will mean the bullet will always have some manner of mechanical support.

      Wear a face shield.

      Oh, I have about 2 hours, total, on milling machines. How's that for a disclaimer?


      • #4
        i ended up trying the slitting saw with the bullet in a block of wood. it worked ok. there is a spot of lead that was torn out, and there is copper flakes embeded into the lead. The lead soft point broke off too, but there wasnt much holding it together.

        It was a Sierra GameKing spitzer bullet in 270cal and 130gr.


        • #5
          Would sanding it in half on a disc or belt sander accomplish the same goal?
          Esoteric Garage


          • #6
            When I worked in the aircraft industry, welders test pieces were embedded in a clear resin before sectioning and polishing so that they could be inspected for quality. The same technique could be used here.
            Why do you need to pull the bullet out afterwards? Why not leave it in the resin?


            • #7
              I just did about 20 of these for a government contractor. I embedded each bullet in a block of epoxy and then used a TNG322 triangular insert mill to mill them on my bridgeport. They came out pretty good once the speeds and feeds were found. I then hand lapped them on silicon carbide paper on a surface plate.