Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! The Rimfire Report is all about the guns, ammunition, and trends that surround the rimfire firearm world. On new year’s eve, I happened across a video from one of my favorite gun YouTubers – TAOFLEDERMAUS. Jeff often tests obscure and custom ammunition and he doesn’t neglect everyone’s favorite plinking round – 22LR. Jeff decided to test the theory behind a “split point” modified case and compare his results to both standard round nose ammunition as well as hollow point ammunition.
The Rimfire Report: Split Point 22LR Testing with TAOFLEDERMAUS
As a kid, I would often experiment with my 22LR plinking ammo by cutting the bullet up in various ways. My results didn’t produce anything of value save for one thing I learned – bullets are shaped the way they are for a reason. I did learn that my modifications made my ammunition wildly inaccurate most of the time and this was at ranges of 50 to 100 feet. So if anything I learned pretty early on that modifying the shape of a bullet directly impacts your accuracy.
In Jeff’s video, he showcases his split point modification by testing the rounds against several different targets to test out its performance. This split point idea came from the website Box O’ Truth where he said the idea was explained but never put on video.
As expected, the first target Jeff tested the three types of ammunition against was a block of clear ballistics gel. The first two rounds behaved as you might expect with the round nose penetrating quite deep into the target but leaving almost no permanent wound cavity behind. The hollow point did its job and penetrated slightly less but also left behind a much larger wound cavity – ideal if your aim is to kill small game reliably.
Where things get interesting is with the split point round. The split point round (the same bullet as the hollow point but with a notch cut into the top) fragmented upon impact leaving behind 5 small pieces with the main body of the bullet traveling inwards to about 10 inches. The wound cavity from the split point bullet appeared to be much larger than both the round nose and the hollow point.
Why Would You do this?
Aside from the novelty of modifying the bullet to see it go through some ballistics gel, you might be wondering why in the world you would even take the time to modify a single 22LR round for any reason when hollow points clearly do their job. One reason might be for a more reliable kill, especially in a pest control situation.
The second test Jeff did was to shoot several different lemons with the same three types of rounds and to compare the results. Once again the round nose didn’t do much of anything while the hollow point blew open one side of its lemon. Again, the split point looks like it did significantly more damage with several chunks of the lemon being blown off in the distance.
The results were further replicated when Jeff chose to shoot some soap inside of a box with the most violent reaction coming from the split point once again. Personally, I could see this type of modification being done to a box of ammunition for someone trying to take down a small game on a budget. The rounds might be perfect for common pests like birds, rabbits, and squirrels.
Effects on Accuracy
As far as I can tell from the videos, the accuracy of the split point rounds seems to remain largely unaffected by the modification. Personally, I’ve never seen that type of modification made to a bullet so I am quite surprised that the shape didn’t affect the accuracy even at such short distances. Even bullets that don’t get enough stabilization or are shot through a smoothbore barrel will vary wildly in the accuracy department. However, Jeff and the crew seem to have been able to make reliable hits on their targets.
Once again this bodes well for the modification as it’s plausible that this might be a viable way to increase the effectiveness of your pest control ammunition without splurging for something like CCI Velocitor ammunition. One could make the argument that the split point concept applies the same concept of something like a G2 RIP round or Lehigh Defense’s Controlled Fracturing Bullets.
I will have to do some of my own tests this year to see just how well these can perform at more realistic pest control distances to see if these modifications can be applied in the real world. As always, thanks for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report. Be sure to check out the full testing video of the split point 22LR below if you have the time and we’ll see you in the next edition!