Deciphering Bullet Tip Color Codes and Bullet Types


Round nose bullet with no tip color - Model 1891, this is the original loading for the Mosin-Nagant. Early rounds were loaded with black powder. Always found in brass casings.
Nickel bullet with no tip color - Check the headstamp, from 1908 until 1930 this was the standard ammunition. Called the type "L", it contains a 147 grain bullet with a lead core. This bullet type was also used by the Finns from 1920 through 1938 where is was called the type "S". The headstamp will determine the country of origin.
Short dark bullet with no tip color - East German practice ammunition. Probably loaded in East Germany with components manufactured in another country. Sintered iron 123 grain 7.62x39 bullets are of Bulgarian origin, casings with a 21 headstamp are Hungarian, code 10 headstamp are Bulgarian. The bullets have been blackened as a way to designate for practice only.
Copper bullet with no tip color - You must know the date of manufacture and country of origin to determine the loading of this round. If it is Russian and made prior to 1970, this will be a 147 grain lead core "L" bullet with copper plating. If the date is 1970 or after, the round is loaded with a 147 grain mild steel core "LPS" bullet. Using a magnet will not discriminate between the two. The "tombac" jacket of the type "D" bullet contains steel and will attract a magnet as well as the "LPS" bullet. If the round is Czech or Hungarian and made prior to 1980, then it will be a 172 grain lead core "D" bullet. After 1980, steel core "LPS".
Yellow - 172 grain lead core type "D" bullet. Production was discontinued and out of first line inventory by 1970. The Czechs refered to this bullet as type "Tz".
Silver or Gray - "LPS" 147 grain mild steel core bullet. The Czechs called this the type 59 bullet, the Chinese, the type 53.
Silver over Yellow - 182 grain mild steel core bullet. This code is only used by Hungary. Headstamp will be 21.
Green - Tracer
Red - You must check the headstamp for the country of origin. If Russian, it is the "PZ" Exploding bullet. If Chinese, it is an Incendiary/Observation bullet.
Black over Red - API Armor-Piercing-Incendiary
Purple over Red - APIT Armor-Piercing-Incendiary-Tracer
Black - You must check the headstamp for the country of origin. If Chinese, it will be API (Armor-Piercing-Incendiary). If Russian, it will be Armor-Piercing. Chinese rounds should be dated after 1967, the year they changed their tip color code from black over red to just black. Russian rounds should be dated prior to 1940 as the standard Armor-Piercing bullet was dropped in favor of the Armor-Piercing-Incendiary bullet in the late 1930's.
White tipped very short bullet - Czechoslovackian plastic core short range practice bullet.
Match Grade bullet - This is the fat profile of the Extra brand 300 meter target bullet. 200 grain weight.
Fat Profile with canilure- This is the Finnish "D-166" bullet.