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From: (Geoff Kotzar)
Subject: Re: Exploding bullets
Organization: Case Western Reserve University

In article <> (Duke McMullan n5gax) writes:
#In article <> (Mickey Boyd) writes:
##A more traditional way of obtaining an exploding bullet is with mercury.  A 
##hole is drilled in the nose of the bullet, a drop of mercury inserted, and the 
##hole sealed with lead (with some airspace over the mercury).  The idea is 
##that the mercury slams back in the cavity, then shoots forward when the 
##bullet hits something (in theory "exploding" the nose of the bullet).  Also 
##mercury is poisonous.  This idea also has its problems (the subject of a 
##long lived thread on this group about a year ago).
#Can anyone document somebody actually _trying_ this?  It strikes me as being
#unlikely as hell, plus it's my understanding that most people read about in a
#work of fiction (name, anyone?).  I'm not trying to jump on Mickey about this;
#I'm simply curious if it's more than rumor.
#			    Visualize Whirled Peas!
#  Duke McMullan n5gax nss13429r phon505-255-4642

Yes I did try this about twenty years ago using .22LR hollow points as the
vehicle. It does not work. After injecting the mercury into the cavity, I
don't recall if I enlarged the cavity or not, I placed a dab of epoxy over
the nose. The following morning after the epoxy should have cured I found
I had one of the prettiest silver, not lead-colored, bullets and the epoxy
had receded into the cavity. Since that time I found out about "amalgams":
alloys of mercury with other metals.

Mercury goes into solution with a number of metals at room temperature, lead
being one of them along with silver, tin, copper, zinc, aluminum, and a host
of other metals. This is the reason you can use mercury to dissolve any leading
in your barrels. For the record any of you with fillings in your teeth are in
all probability walking around with silver-tin amalgams in your mouth. The
reason these are safe is that they are mixed up in precise proportions and all
of the mercury is bound or is supposed to be anyhow. There has been some
concern in the biomedical arena that some of the mercury may leach out.

Back to the issue, the reason the bullet surface was a bright silvery color
was that the mercury had migrated along the free surface of the cavity and
reacted with the fresh lead along the way. I guarantee that if you put mercury
in a hollw cavity in a lead bullet without first coating the lead you will
wind up with a fairly brittle homogenous bullet that will not "explode" or even
"splash" upon contact. It will instead fracture. I am assuming here that the
hollow cavity is of conventional size in relation to the bullet. What the
result would be like with a large cavity and a smal amount of lead I cannot

Geoff Kotzar   

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