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Display Bullets: Frequently Asked Questions

Are you selling real rounds and how safe are they?
Can I get a different set than the ones advertised?
Can I load them into real firearms?
Can I get them cheaper if I buy more of them?
Why so expensive? I can get (calibre x) cheaper elsewhere!
Which rounds fit my Denix pistol?
Are the Tracer rounds safe?

Q. Are you selling real rounds and how safe are they?

Yes. They are real but made inert so they cannot fire and are not dangerous - unless you throw them at someone.

WARNING: They are a potential choking hazard and most bullets contain lead which is a toxic heavy metal.
Keep them away from pets and children, and wash your hands after handling them, especially .45 Long Colt which have exposed lead projectiles.

You could paint the lead with a clear varnish to prevent contact if they are going to be handled by others. Some other lead bullets come with a black coating for this purpose (.455 Webley, some .22 LR). Do not remove this coating, just paint it grey if you want that lead look.

Q. Can I get a different set than the ones advertised?

Absolutely, yes you can.

Send me an email and tell me what you're after; I'll get you a quote.

There's a minimum number I'll sell because any less isn't worth the overheads (my profit margins are very small).
Usually it's a 3 bullet minimum - but don't be afraid to ask me anyway.

Q. Can I load them into real firearms?

Maybe some of them - but don't do it!

Although they are real bullets in the correct calibers, they may not have been resized after firing which can cause feed problems.
But more importantly, it's too easy to confuse these inert display rounds with live rounds!

Do not use these display bullets to cycle through real firearms.
Do things the right way and buy some snap-caps instead. Or paint these ones blue so you can tell which are which. Safety first!

Q. Can I get them cheaper if I buy more of them?

A little, although each bullet takes the same time, effort and cost to make.

Contact me for quotes and I'll do the best I can to keep costs down.

I have to source all the bullets by case and projectile, and polish and assemble each one. Buying 20 from me means 20 times the cost and effort for one to prepare them for sale. I don't get any price breaks from a supplier the way I would if I was simply on-selling pre-made display bullets so I don't have discounts I can pass on to you.
However there are one-off costs and overheads per lot sold, which drops the average price per bullet with larger lots (up to a point).

It pays to ask me directly for all the bullets you want after winning an auction. Don't continue to bid or Buy Now on more auctions.
That way you don't get hit with larger TradeMe fees that I have to pass on or multiple shipping costs.

If you've bought from me before, contact me directly by email or text, and I'll keep the costs down for you.

Q. Why so expensive? I can get (calibre x) cheaper elsewhere!

I have built up an extensive range of display bullets, not just one or two.

You won't get the range of calibers I provide anywhere. Not just in NZ, anywhere...
I know because when I wanted some to go with my replica firearms I could hardly find any.
I have around 37 calibres that include all the most iconic military cartridges spanning more than 140 years. I'm not here to sell the occasional single round, there are others doing that and I am not going to try and undercut them. I'm here to sell sets for people who want to start a collection, or add to their existing collection, or have a number of rounds to enhance the display of replica weapons.

My costs include sourcing and shipping the cases and projectiles, maintaining thousands of items in stock, polishing tools and reloading equipment, packaging and printing of information sheets and labels, and a lot of time spent polishing and assembling.
This is a hobby business that has not yet managed to make a profit, so please don't ask me to drop my prices because I already make less than minimum wage for the time I spend on it.

For example, I supply .45 Long Colt display rounds for Western shooters to have in their gun belts, and other specific collections for military enthusiasts to complete their projects.

Q. Which rounds fit my Denix pistol?

Short answer = none

Denix decided to not let their pistols take any actual rounds for safety reasons. Imagine some idiot in the US putting a live round into a replica pistol to see what happens. The term is "catastrophic failure", followed by "lawsuit".
So they have a proprietary round equivalent of around about .25 calibre that doesn't match any real pistol round. You have to buy their fake rounds to put in their revolvers.

However for these Denix pistols you can display the following real rounds alongside them:

  • Single Action Army revolver (Peacemaker) - .45 Long Colt, or .38 Special or .357 Magnum (the Single Action Army was chambered in a lot of different calibers over the years including a small number in .45 ACP as well)
  • Walther PPK - .32 ACP (or .22 LR)

Q. Are the Tracer rounds safe?

Short answer = yes

The flammable compound has not been removed in the tracer rounds I sell. In live rounds this would be a problem.

The extra effort required to remove it safely makes the rounds unaffordable. They cannot be ignited with a match or lighter (I've tried many times, unsuccessfully) and are well protected inside their cases. Magnesium needs over 600 degrees C to ignite. They are made to ignite under the intense pressure and heat generated by the round being set off in the firearm's chamber, typically around 50,000 psi and hundreds of degrees in temperature.

There is always a risk that in a house fire, these rounds might ignite. But given the temperatures required to set them off, their momentary burst of extra flame is insignificant. Your house is toast long before these 2 or 3 second mini-flares go off. They won't fire around the room either, there's not enough force in the tracer compound to move the weight of the rest of the bullet.
You can ignite them using a directed blowtorch (there are YouTube videos). At the point they ignite, some of the copper jacketing on the outside of the bullet will be starting to melt and some of the lead inside will already be liquid.

I assessed the risk when I looked at tracer rounds for display and would not be selling them if I felt they were not safe.

The tracer compound inside the projectile is ignited as the round is fired, leaving a visible streak of light to show where the round ended up.

There is a momentary delay to ensure the bullet is free of the barrel before it burns and then it burns only long enough for the round to reach out to 600m for 7.62 NATO (2 seconds) and about 800m for 7.62x39 Russian (3 seconds).

Rounds that hit before the tracer is burnt out can start fires. Army training with tracer often starts scrub fires in NZ and in 2013 a Dallas gun club was burnt to the ground by the mistaken use of tracer rounds.

Modern tracer is a mixture of pvc, magnesium and strontium nitrate in a cement form inside the bottom of the projectile. The orange tip for 7.62 NATO Tracer and the green tip for 7.62x39 Tracer is just paint to identify them. (Phosphorus has not been used in tracer rounds for some time, although it is still used for incendiary rounds.)

Any other questions?

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