Friday, January 9, 2015

Firearm Forum Question: How to Buff Bullets

Ask A Firearms Question:
What does it mean when someone says, 'They Buff Their Bullets?'
Thank you The Huntress.

Blog Administrator -
Accuracy depends a lot on a 'Bullet' holding its shape.
This concept arose from when lead bullets were cast by hand either for musket style balls or bullets hand loaded for cartridges.
Buffing or Sanding the Bullet part of a Cartridge supposedly removes any burrs or imperfections. A smooth round helps a bullet hold its shape. Hollywood depicts snipers as sanding their bullets or bullet tips, for the most part this is a myth. The real fact is if it does anything it reduces the weight of the bullet.

For accuracy it is more important to load your magazine with ammo from the same manufacturer and lot number. Some snipers and hunters will weigh bullets to get them all close to the same weight.

Filing a Bullet is when you take a Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) or Round Nose Solid Lead bullet and file it flat. Some people believe this creates what is referred to as a Dum-dum Bullet (a bullet that flattens upon impact). That is a total myth and filing the bullet decreases accuracy. This is also referred to as Bullet Trimming. In todays modern shooting world manufacturers use bullet physics and create either Hollow Points (mostly used for self-defense); or Soft Pointed Round Nose Bullets (mostly used for hunting).
If you are still one of those who are bent on sanding or buffing your bullets make sure you remove any filings by wiping the entire cartridge so no lose particles end up in you bore or rifle barrel. 

A homemade video is provided to demonstrate how to Buff (sand) a Bullet correctly, but I do NOT endorse the practice or do I ever use buffed bullets.

Buffing a Bullet:
Needed -
1) Emery Cloth, fine course sandpaper, use the 800 Grit 4/0 Mesh (see chart)
2) Scissors
3) Loaded Cartridge
Instructions -
1) Cut Fine Emery paper into a strip the size of the bullet.
2) Run paper around Bullet Nose only a few times, see video.
3) Wipe Bullet Nose off.
4) Warning: Do NOT Buff (sand) the Shell Casing or Primer, this will damage the cartridge.

Emery Paper Grades:

Standard FMJ Rifle Cartridge:

Homemade Video: Showing How to Buff (sand) the Bullet Nose of a FMJ Cartridge ....

People do all sorts of crazy things to there Ammo, here is a partial list that I have come across over many years of shooting, I don't suggest that you do any of these:
- Waxing Bullets
- Rubbing the Bullet with Pigs Fat
- Engraving the Shell Casing
- Coloring the Bullet or Bullet Head (point) with Paint or Fingernail Polish
- Rubbing the Bullet with a Poison (such as a pesticide)
- Carving an 'X' in the top of the bullet

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Key Search Words: Bullets, Cartridge, Ammo, Ammunition, Filing a Bullet, Buffing a Bullet, Hand Loading Bullets, Bullet Trimming, Casting Bullets, Lead Bullets, Round Nose Bullets, Hollow Point Bullets, Soft Nose Bullets, FMJ, Full Metal Jacket, Dum Dum Bullets, Flat Nose Bullets, Copper Jacketed Bullets, Tracer Bullets, Hot Loads, Facts, Myths, Truths, Coating a Bullet, Sanding a Bullet, Painting a Bullet, Engraving a Bullet, Cartridges, Barrel Damage, Hunting, Big Game, Hunting Rifles, Large Bore, Center Fire, Rim Fire, Snipers, Firearms Forum, Firearms Discussion Board, Ask A Firearms Question, Q-n-A, Firearm Pictures, Test Firing, Cleaning Your Weapon, Firearm Accessories, Gun Repair, Bolt Action Rifles, Target Shooting, Gunsmith, Physics of Shooting, Gun Rights, Outdoor Shooting Range, Twitter, Pinterest, Indoor Shooting Range, NRA, GOA, SASS, Safety First, Damaging Your Weapon, Gun Parts, Targets, The Firearms Guy, Gun Rust, Corrosion, Firearm Maintenance, Protect Your Firearms, Rifle Cartridges, Muskets, Black Powder, Hollywood Creations, Movies, Bullet Weights, Ammo Manufacturers, Ammo Lot Numbers, Ammo Recalls, Homemade Video, Hunting Ammo, Target Ammo, Sniper Ammo, Long Distance Shooting, Gun Clubs, Rifles, Handguns, Shotguns, Revolvers, Semi Auto, Full Auto, Scopes, Optics, Picatinny Rails, Weapons, Assault Rifle Accessories, Assault Rifles, AR15, M16, M14, M4, AK47, SKS,               

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  1. I did know this, but Hollywood has a deep influence upon the weak minded.

    What about dipping bullets?

    1. I might do a separate post on this. You are the third person to ask me. What are you dipping your bullets in out of curiosity?

    2. Hollywood is full of left wing communist bastards that are totally influencing American youth into socialism.

  2. I am so impressed with the information on this forum. Unlike many other forums about firearms that contain useless babble from uniformed idiots commenting about crap they are clueless about, this forum stays on point and is direct.
    Also from reading the many comments here, it shows the integrity of the people commenting.

    1. Thank you ever so much for your valued input you comment is greatly appreciated.

  3. Got you email today, thank you ever so much Mr. Firearms Guy for posting my question.
    Very informative,
    The Huntress

    1. No problem if you have any more Topic Questions for The Firearms Forum (Ask A Firearms Question) please feel free to submit them.

  4. Your site never seems to be out of Topics that is why I endorse it with full knowledge you wont let gun owners and shooters down.

    1. I thank you ever so much, but most of the Topics come from readers like yourself.

  5. The stupid ass things people do to there firearms never ceases to amaze me.

  6. Buff my bullets are you kidding me or what

  7. I don't know about buffing bullets but my gun needs to be buffed on a regular basis.

  8. Changing the weight of a bullet changes the dynamics (physics).

  9. Ah Hollywood has struck again and now can the stupid people all get in the line to the left please.

  10. Ladies I don not want sandpaper used on my bullet hard shaft.

  11. Personally I only want one thing buffed and it is not my bullets.


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The Firearms Guy

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