Bullets Loaded Backwards

Saw this on Every Day No Days Off. Mike, of ENDO, posted a video by The Ammo Channel. The Ammo Channel looks at an internet myth of loading bullets backwards to increase damage. The results are interesting but it doesn’t seem like a good idea.


Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • James

    some days I swear that 75% of the posts on this blog are just content that went up on ENDO between 30 minutes and one day prior.

    • David Knuth

      Well, there’re a couple of factors to consider. Firstly, the Firearms community is a fairly small one. Secondly, short of expanding the horizons of the blog from firearms to accessories, training, and other related fields that talk about firearms in use, the cadence of things that come out of the various firearms companies is fairly limited.

      Then there’s the problem of the fact that, outside of the core writers, the people writing for this blog are likely average joes who have other jobs and responsibilities, not just gun writing.

      So, I expect a fair amount of bleedover between blogs as it drives traffic in mutually beneficial directions, spreads information, and ensures wide audiences that will attract readers.

      Now, if you have some original content that you’d like to see covered, I’m sure the writers of this site and others would be willing to listen and consider them, since only a few guys can come up with only so many ideas.

      • David I’ve never heard it expressed better. For Steve and I this is our job. The other writers do have regular jobs, responsibilities, family etc. I think they do a darn good job especially considering the other obligations they have. Nathan S makes a good example. Before his move to Faxon he traveled all over the planet. He might arrive overseas work a full day then go back to his hotel and write for TFB. Heck I know he’s submitted articles while working in the middle east or Asia.
        Most people don’t realize that the majority of gun writers across the industry have other jobs no matter if it’s a print publication, blog etc. Gun writers do the job because they love guns and enjoy writing about them and interacting with the readers.
        You’re also correct about readers sending us articles they’ve written. It happens all the time and sometimes they end up having the occasional article published.

  • Peter Larson

    I love the end of the video – “My suggestion: do not try this. Thanks for watching, and do not try this.”

  • dansquad

    What about precision? It would have been very interesting to show the differencies between the two at some distances.

    • Scott Tuttle

      yup, should’ve done at least a 100 yard comparison. be funny if the big boat tail on the reversed made them more accurate 😛

  • Ken
  • David Knuth

    Considering the level of engineering involved in the various bullet designs for rifles, I wouldn’t expect turning a rifle bullet around to try and make it a wadcutter would be useful/efficient, especially not at high velocity. Most modern rifle calibers just weren’t designed to use such a bullet.

    Big, fat, wide projectiles are best left to calibers designed for them, and if you want to increase your effectiveness, look and see if there are bullets for the caliber similar to the old-style hunting bullets found in .30-30 (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/261895/nosler-partition-bullets-30-30-winchester-308-diameter-170-grain-round-nose-box-of-50)

    Chances are, if it ain’t a thing commercially, it’s because an engineer couldn’t find a way to make it work.

  • USMC03Vet

    Thanks, Obama

  • Thracian Beast

    Handloader Magazine did an awesome accuracy article with modified bullets and pressure test. Ill find it and post later. Backwards bullets have been used in the 300 Whisper for along time for better terminal performance.

  • jack

    Jack. Not a new concept. In WW I soldiers would load the bullet backwards so that when they hit the metal plate protecting a sniper, the backside would spall and splinters would fly. Also British Tank round today is predicated not on penetrating the target but to causing spalling on the inside. US Abrams has anti-spall fabric on the inside.

    • gunslinger

      squash head?

    • Madeleine Goddard

      Yes, I was told this many years ago by an ancient relative who had fought in the trenches from 1915-1918. Tommies would carry a pair of pliers to reverse the bullets in the hope of increasing wound severity, but this was officially frowned upon and NCOs would be ordered to carry out snap checks on soldiers’ pouches. It was a serious offence to be caught with modified cartridges and you could be charged with damaging government property. Reversed rounds tended to be used in defensive actions where short ranges meant accuracy was less important. He also told me that it was widely believed that the Germans would execute anyone caught with ammunition of this sort.

      • Wolfsbane

        The Brits accused the Germans of modifying cartridges like this during WW1 as well.

        It’s likely both sides did such things as animosity grew as the war dragged on.

  • Blake

    If you shoot unjacketed (e.g. cast lead) bullets such as cowboy loads, I’ve read in more than one place that shooting a normal copper jacketed bullet loaded backwards every so often is a good quick way to get the lead build-up out of your barrel.

    Another way is to use good hard-cast bullets that are hard enough that they don’t get torn up by the rifling 🙂

    • petru sova

      Good way to raise pressures and also increase headspace, not a good idea at all. Hard cast bullets are used when velocity is high and soft swaged lead bullets for velocities that are usually low but when I checked out a factory .44 magnum ammo loaded at full velocity the bullets were dead soft. If the bullet is larger than the bore diameter this cuts leading down to a great degree as no hot gasses can escape around the sides of the bullet and this is what causes leading not the bullet skipping the rifling or the base of the bullet melting.

  • Doug Burger

    Before there were hollow points the old timers would load .38 lead wadcutters backwards. Never heard of loading rifle bullets backwards.

  • david

    The whole idea of loading bullets backwards for better damage is from the days of lead round nose and hollow-base wadcutters in low velocity handguns. 38S&W, 32 Colt, etc. It has no applicability to rifle bullets, and never did.

  • gunslinger

    i think the little tikes (R) easel makes the video!

  • Seth Hill

    I expected with the flat “nose” hitting the target that there would be considerable energy transfer. I am curious how the rounds would be if they were solid copper, that way there was no jacket separation.

    Taking this one step further, what if you had a bullet that the nose and base were shaped the same as the base of these? That should eliminate the primer and case issues AND still provide the energy transfer that we see.

  • wetcorps

    The Ammo Cannel is a good one, and deserves to be more popular. I recommend it.

  • ghost

    I don’t think I would do that.