The Great Cutaway Ammunition of WolfgangGross

Those who frequent’s ammunition section or the IAA forums probably already know about poster wolfganggross and his excellent ammo cutaways, but for the rest, you’re in for a treat. Below are some samples of his high quality cutaways, exposing the innards of common and uncommon rounds alike:

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Cutaways showing the evolution of the M855A1 round. From left to right, M855, M855A1 prototype with sintered tungsten/tin core, M855A1 prototype with sintered tungsten/nylon core, M855A1 pre-production with bismuth core, current M855A1 with copper alloy core, M995 armor piercing. Image source: wolfganggross



7.65 Argentine/Belgian spotting ammunition, illustrating the internal “firing pin” which ignites the round through inertia. Don’t try to pull the bullets using a kinetic bullet puller! Image source: wolfganggross



7.62×39 grenade cartridges/blanks. Image source: wolfganggross



7.92x33mm Ptr. 43 SmE late war steel-cored projectile. Image source: wolfganggross


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British would-be NATO standard round 4.85x49mm, in XL2E1 tracer form. Note the extremely long bullet. Image source: wolfganggross



A selection of cutaways. From right to left, two .38 Special Navy flare rounds, .32 ACP and 9x18mm Makarov solid brass dummies, 9x19mm THV that has been damaged during loading, and a .223/5.56 tracer, almost certainly of the M856 type. Image source: wolfganggross



Left to right, 7.62×51 Dutch AP, 7.62×51 M276 Dim Tracer, 2 cannelure purple tip, 7.62×51 M80 Ball, 8x56R Armor-Piercing Tracer, 7.5×54 French Balle 1929 D, 7.5×54 French Balle Mle 1929, 8×59 Breda AP, 7.5×55 Swiss GP.11. Image source: wolfganggross


Sectioning ammunition is tricky, especially of the ammunition has tracer compound or other especially flammable substance integral to the bullet. Great care must be taken to to avoid the ignition of the primer, propellant, or other components. Wolfgang has great skill in doing this, and it shows in the products of his labor!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Jordan Hyers

    new wallpaper for the computer

  • Jack Morris

    These are incredible. I’ve always wanted to make a wall-hanging “shadow box” with an assortment of cutaway cartridges.

  • noob

    How does one make an ammo cutaway without the primer igniting the propellant?

    I’m especially curious about the other pictures around the web featuring explosive shells where it looks like the fuze has been cut straight through.

  • Kevin Gross

    Great article, thanks for sharing. Keep making posts like this and I promise to section more rounds.