FN Solid Bullets



Well, not quite. Handgun hunters have known for decades that one does not shoot animals with round nose bullets. They tend to run away or, worse, towards you. Climbing trees is so undignified..... Cast lead semi-wadcutter bullets thus became the preferred hunting bullet for handguns. Cast lead is, however, not the preferred metal when it comes to the stresses imposed on a bullet at rifle speeds. For rifles a material with higher tensile strength than lead is required. We know which qualities a good dangerous game solid should have. We also know which qualities must be avoided.

A good solid should:
1. Not break up or shed weight, so that maximum momentum is retained.
2. Be tough enough not to bend in the shaft, as this will cause deflection from the bullet path.
3. Present a vertical face to the direction of penetration. It is the most efficient shape for disruption of tissue.
4. Have a centre of mass that is forwards of the centre line so that it will remain heavy side forwards.
5. Be as short and stubby as possible to minimise the tendency to tumble in tissue.
6. Have as much velocity as possible for elevated shoulder stabilisation, cavitation, momentum and energy levels.
7. Be as kind as possible to the bore of your expensive double or custom bolt action.

The above is a tall order. Look at the photos below and you will see that we have succeeded in meeting all of these criteria to give you simply the most reliable dangerous game solid in history.


There is a belief that a solid bullet should not deform in any way. Reality is that all solids, regardless of what they are made from, will deform to some extent. Whether you can see it or not, it is there and measuring the solid before and after will prove it.

Therefore, it is better when deformation is recognized, designed for and managed, rather than be uncontrolled.


The higher the impact speed and the denser the medium, the more deformation there is.

Even brass solids will deform

There comes a point where the forces acting on the bullet will exceed the tensile strength of the material and construction and the bullet will break, if it is hard or deform, if it is soft.

Broken brass solid.

If the bullet has bent as a result of tumbling, or severe impact has bent the bullet and tumbling resulted, deep, linear penetration goes out the window.

Two brass solids that tumbled. The one on the left hit a hard object on the side of the shank while rotating base forwards. The one on the right may have tumbled after striking the object that deformed the nose, or while the nose was forwards during end over end rotation.
Above are examples of uncontrolled deformation and breakage. If deformation and breakage is inevitable with hard bullets, it is better to accept that fact, design for control of the deformation, so that after deformation, the bullet retains the qualities that support good, linear penetration and still performs as required.

None of these GS Custom FN solids show evidence of tumbling after impact.

If deformation happens in such a way that the bullet remains shoulder stabilised (flat meplat), and/or dart stabilised (center of gravity forward of the physical center) and with the ogive and shaft shielded from flow pressure (meplat close to or wider than bullet diameter), the bullet continues straight on during and after deformation.

At left is a 540gr FN (500NE) recovered from the ground after an insurance shot on an elephant head and, at right, an unfired GSC FN solid.

The GSC FN on left was recovered from an elephant head and the one on the right from the body of a bull elephant. These are 416 caliber 380gr FNs fired at around 2600fps. Despite stresses that would have caused breakage and undesireable deformation in brass solids, GSC FN solids retain the qualities of dart and shoulder stabilisation that are required for correct terminal performance.

Here is the bullet above and the elephant femur it smashed. The bullet continued on and was recovered 36" further into the elephant body. Deformation like this is uncommon and extreme. Despite this, these GSC FNs did not lose the fight with the animal and completed the job that the hunter started.


Do you choose a bullet that will probably tumble and curve, with reduced penetration depth, after severe deformation? Or do you choose a bullet that is designed to manage the deformation and continues to get the job done, by penetrating deep and straight, even after the severest of impact deformation.

The pictures above are from the discussion forums at Accuratereloading.com


Since 1997, when GSC designed and tested the first FN solids, we have not changed the hardness, material or basic design of these bullets. Below are pictures and comments from 1997.

458 FN Solids

On the left in the picture are two 458 bullets that were fired into a steel drum filled with slurry. Speeds were 2700 fps and 2300 fps from a 460 Weatherby rifle. The middle bullet picked up a layer of steel on the nose from the lid of the drum. The right hand bullet is the final production version of the bullet with the driving bands optimised for minimum pressure / maximum speed.


The GS Custom FN design - The faster you drive them, the better they get. The left and middle bullets were fired from a 375 H&H rifle at 3000 and 2700 fps into slurry. Note the progressive compression from front to rear compared to the unfired bullet at right.

375 FN Solids

GS Custom FN bullets are precision lathe turned from solid copper with just the right hardness to allow the large flat meplat to progressively collapse the front of the bullet when it strikes and penetrates. The faster the bullet is driven, the more it expands in diameter when it strikes. This results in a projectile that relentlessly cuts through tissue, remaining heavy side forwards, with massive damage in the wound channel, no tumbling and with the least possibility of deflection. The examples in the two pictures were fired under controlled conditions into slurry but closely represent bullets recovered from very, very large animals.

All FN bullets employ the GSC drive band technology on the shank. This means that the bullet is bore diameter in the shank area with the thin series of bands at barrel groove diameter. The only stress imposed on the rifling by these bullets, is to cut the band and push it into the space behind it. The photos show clearly how this happens. This also gives superior gas sealing. All our bullets are coated for further protection of the bore. When GS Custom FN bullets are loaded to normal speeds, recoil is reduced. When loaded to normal pressure levels, higher speeds than normal can be achieved. GS Custom FN bullets can in no way damage the barrels of a double rifle. The advantages are obvious.

"All bullets are within 0.005mm of the stated size and within 0.25% of the stated weight regardless of when they are manufactured."

GS Custom Bullets are manufactured to rigid specifications. Bullets are individually measured at least four times to be within five thousandths of a millimetre of our specification on diameter, roundness and taper. Develop your loads once, and never again. The bullet you buy today is the same as the one bought last season and the one you will buy years from now.


Twist Rate by Manufacturer

Coating on HV, SP, FN and HG Bullets

Twist Rate Specification