15 thoughts on “Bullets HITTING Bullets

  1. I suspect the two major factors in not getting fusion are the bullets traveling too quickly and the fact that the lead is too hard. It’s just a guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if tests revealed that Civil War lead were much softer than lead used in today’s projectiles.

  2. Oh, way friggin’ cool! Nothing useful to add other than engineering-appreciative enthusiasm.

    ETA: Hurculanium, MO was the last lead foundry to shut down in the USA, IIRC, thanks to Obama. Civil war era soft lead equivalent is not available domestically?

      • Rolf: Oh, good!. Thanks for the info.
        Aside: As a lad, I poured a few ladles of molten lead and caulked soil pipe joints. No doubt OSHA would’ve disapproved had it existed back then.

        • Haven’t done that, but I spent some small amount of time around “hot metal” composing rooms in newspapers, back around 1980. Some of those machines still exist. I’d love to have one, they are quite amazing.

  3. That was probably the most recreationally productive use of half an hour I’ve had in some time (with the exceptions of reading books and hitting the range).

  4. Various commenters on the video noted that the Minie balls are bigger, slower, and softer than modern bullets. Destin rallied formidable engineering talent to design the apparatus, but didn’t enlist anyone seriously gunnish who could have identified that issue. The powered shields were overkill but allowed under the Rule of Cool.

  5. Most excellent geekery! As much as lead composition and speed have to do with it. The other is bullet shape. As that is what will control the transfer of energy.
    Which to me is the most important part.
    If those mini-balls were more conical, the lead would have been pushed to the outside? Rather than the energy being pushed into the center of the other ball?
    To much fun!

  6. Visited Gettysburg in 1996 and saw two bullets in the museum that were recovered from the battle field that were fused. They had hit at intersecting angles. Later on a guided tour of the battle field, the guide was talking about the fused bullets in the museum. I happened to look down and saw another set of fused bullets! I gave them to the guide since we were in a National Park. Seeing one was very interesting but finding one was unreal. Having seen two sets of bullets like that, I have often wondered how common that might be when there are thousands of bullets flying at any given time. I am sure the odds are still tremendously large. Just shows how amazing the engineering work is that enabled such consistent results as this video.

  7. Some years ago, I read that fused bullets were fairly common on those big CW battlefields.
    Also, those battlefields were one of the places that were examined for lead poisoning, since there was so much of it laying around. Turns out that it doesn’t happen, there is no lead transfer to the soil or water. The lead quickly develops an oxide coating that insulates it, among other effects.

    • “lead quickly develops an oxide coating ” which segues into my OT pet-peeve: gazillions of tax dollars to replace harmless water laterals because of non-existent lead poisoning.

      And I geeked out real hard over this video. Way cool.

      • It reminds me of the modern panic about traces of mercury. Bring an old thermometer into a school and they’ll lock down the whole building and bring in bioharzard suited hazmat teams to remove it. The reality is that mercury salts, if ingested, are dangerous; mercury metal is basically harmless; and mercury vapor is somewhat harmful in chronic exposure to large quantities.
        My father had a pendulum clock with a temperature compensated pendulum: the bob is a glass jar filled with several pounds of mercury. Didn’t bother anyone. I badly wanted to inherit it but it disappeared from his estate before I got to it. He did tell me about headaches he suffered as a chemistry student, in 1939, which apparently were caused by the vapor from all the spilled mercury that had leaked through the cracks in the wood flooring of the lab and settled on the subfloor. But once that was cleaned up the symptoms went away, and he was none the worse for it afterwards.

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