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Photos of Bullets Sliced in Half by Sabine Pearlman

Sabine Pearlman's intriguing photo series "Ammo" features images of a variety of ammunitions that have been neatly cut in half to reveal the surprisingly varied and intricate contents inside. Pearlman shot a total of 900 cross-sections of ammo, in a World War II bunker in Switzerland last October, documenting the meticulous and dangerous beauty that lies beneath the bullets' casings.

"I was originally intrigued by the ambiguous nature of the subject matter," she says. "The cross-sections reveal a hidden complexity and beauty of form, which stands in vast contrast to the destructive purpose of the object. It is a representation of the evil and the beautiful, a reflection of the human condition."

The ammo was cut in half by a munitions specialist who devised a technique to defuse the rounds before cutting them in half.

“It is a dangerous process, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing!,” warns Pearlman.


  1. Some flavor of 5.56x45 loaded with a steel projectile in a copper half-jacket to protect the bore
  2. 5.56mm XM216 SPIW Flechette
  3. 7.62/.220 Salvo Squeezebore

The images are quite fascinating. It’s pity, the photographer failed to provide captions that could have explained what each bullet type is. Apparently, a knowledgeable Redditor was able to recognize some of these bullets. The captions that you find underneath these images are based on his identification. Please be aware, they might not be correct (but I believe they are).

About the photographer:

Sabine Pearlman was born and raised in Austria. She moved to the US in 2004, and today lives and works in Los Angeles. As a photographer, she strives to create a poetry of images by synergizing the "big picture" with the small details. Educated at Pratt Institute, Otis College of Art and Design and Santa Monica College, Sabine's work has been exhibited at numerous galleries nationally and internationally.


  1. 7.62x51mm Plastic short-range training tracer
  2. This one is curious - it looks like a 7.62x51mm but the interior looks like a 'sabotage' cartridge as it appears to be loaded with a blasting cap and a small amount of explosive. Upon further consideration, I believe it may be a 7.92mm Mauser rather than a 7.62mm NATO based on the case dimensions and bullet construction.
  3. 6.5x55mm wood bullet blank (guessing at the cartridge on that one, it looks right!)


  1. .450 Adams - the case appears too short and the bullet is too short, the cavity too shallow and it doesn't have enough grease grooves to be a .455 MkII.
  2. .38 Speer Target


  1. .38 Special Glaser
  2. .224 BOZ


  1. 9x19mm Cobra "High Safety Ammunition" - steel darts inside a polymer sabot
  2. 9x19mm Israeli riot control - steel balls embedded in amber resin


  1. 9x19mm - looks much like a British 9mm MkIIz
  2. 9x19mm - solid brass hollow point - unsure of maker
  3. 9x19mm - either a tracer or possibly an explosive projectile. Not sure what that filler is

via Imaging Resources

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