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Wax bullets are made of paraffin wax, and are pressed into a primed cartridge case. Gun powder is not used; the primer provides all the power.[1]

Contents

Inexpensive practice

Wax bullets may be manufactured quickly and easily by the user, and a number of companies sell commercially made wax bullets. Rubber or plastic bullets designed for short range target shooting with primed cases can also be purchased; these are generally reusable if a proper bullet trap is used, but are prone to ricochet. With wax bullets, a simple sheet of plywood is sufficient to stop the bullet--upon impact the wax deforms and sticks to the wood, where it can later be scraped off and reused. The cost per round of wax bullets is low as primers can be purchased for under US$ 2.00 per 100 in case lots and as the wax itself can be reused. Reloading is very quick, and requires minimal equipment; a decapper tool to knock out the used primer and a priming tool. With these, loading 50 rounds of wax bullets will take under ten minutes. Wax bullets are normally used only in revolvers and single shot pistols for short range target practice. Magazine fed firearms can use wax bullets, but they may need to be fed individually.[1]

Safety issues

Wax bullets are not normally lethal, and will not penetrate walls so they are safe to use indoors or in situations where live ammunition is dangerous. This is not to say that they are entirely safe — velocities exceed those of paintballs, and serious damage could be done to sensitive areas like the face, so eye protection is still required. Fast draw and trick shooters often use wax bullets for safety reasons, so that if they shoot themselves in the foot or leg when drawing from their holsters, they are not seriously injured. The World Fast Draw Association uses wax bullets in many of their competitions, along with special "balloon popping" blanks that fire coarsely ground gunpowder. Bullets used in World Fast Draw Association must be commercially manufactured, and there are a number of manufacturers who produce wax bullets for this purpose.[1][2]

Wax bullets for training

US Marines use Simunitions during urban warfare training.

Ultimate Training Munitions, UTM, is the manufacturer of the military 5.56mm non lethal marking round that is used in US military training. The bullet has two primers. The forward primer propels a wax filled projectile that marks with colored wax upon contact. The wax washes out with normal laundry procedures. Simunitions, short for "simulated munitions", are special cartridges that fire colored paint filled plastic projectiles which are used to mark targets much like paintballs. Simunitions are designed to cycle the actions in specially modified semiautomatic rifles and handguns. The paint filled plastic projectiles are more durable and accurate than paintballs, and it is safe to be shot by them when wearing protective clothing. Simunitions are used by police and military forces for realistic training. Unlike normal wax bullets, simunitions are not an inexpensive substitute for live ammunition — costs for simunitions cartridges are as much as three times the cost of live ammunition. Simunitions do, however, provide training options.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Nonte, Jr., George C. (1978). Basic Handloading. New York: Outdoor Life. LCCN 77-26482. 
  2. ^ "Fast Draw Equipment". WFDA. http://www.fastdraw.org/fd_equip.html. 
  3. ^ Seth Robson (February 24, 2006). "'Simunition' Adds Realism to Training". Stars and Stripes. http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,89262,00.html. 

External links

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