Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 12/9/2005 9:08:15 PM EDT

Hollow point bullets filled with mercury. What is the history of this. Anybody have any first hand experience? (I don't see them tested in the box of truth. )

I am not interested in making, having any, or using any. I don't think I need anyone to educate me about how bad or stupid an idea it is. I am just asking if this was common or had been a fad.

For whatever reason they decided to do this, I know someone who told me he helped another make mercury tipped bullets in the 70's. He was young and just helped run the drill press. He recalls the rounds were effective or supposed to be effective. I suspect their experiment may have been flawed. Their control may have been comparing the rounds to FMJ and not including hollowpoint or soft tips.
Link Posted: 12/9/2005 9:48:00 PM EDT
I don't see the point of the exercise. Perhaps there is some increase in terminal performance, but whats the point? If you were ever to use them in self defense, you would be screwed. Essentially, the bullets would be injecting a toxic substance into the person being shot. This goes far beyond "stopping the threat", with little or no ballistic benfit. (I will retract this statement upon confirmation of superior balistic performance).

Imagine going to trial for shooting a burgler. The police medical examiner finds that the wounds stopped the threat, and the burgler would have recovered, but he died as a result of mercury poisoning. Most would probably think "Big deal. Asshole had it coming" But killing is not the objective in self defense situations. Good luck convincing the jury about superior balistics...

Furthermore, adding a very dense liquid to a bullet would most likely introduce instability and greatly affect accuracy of the round, which would probably more than counteract any improvements in terminal ballistics.

Just my .02
Link Posted: 12/9/2005 10:36:59 PM EDT
I'd like to see uber-AP rounds. Made out of DU with a copper casing.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:03:54 AM EDT
I thought the point of mercury was to add mass and increase expansion. The old hollowpoints were'nt known for dependable expansion. This might just be a hollywood myth, like fingerprint-proof tape.


Originally Posted By N1Rampage:
I'd like to see uber-AP rounds. Made out of DU with a copper casing.



I just want tungsten. Not for AP value, but can you imagine the BC of a .30 400 gr bullet?
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:05:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By azathoth:
...This might just be a hollywood myth...



Bingo.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:22:28 AM EDT
Whatever the effects, or ballistic characteristics are of a hollowpoint round filled with mercury...

I still guarantee that 1 mercury filled round to center mass is less effective than 2 FMJ or HP rounds to center mass. Fire until the threat is not a threat.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:36:02 AM EDT
Wasn't it the original "Jaws" that had the guy filling the HP's with wax? I remember my Grandpa doing the same thing with some .357 ammo once. wonder if it the same principal.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 5:13:43 AM EDT
Frederick Forsyth made this up for "the Day of the Jackal". Doesn't anyone read books anymore?
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:33:00 AM EDT
Beat me to it , Mercury supposedly would make a DUM DUM bullet according to the Jackal
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 6:40:47 AM EDT
Wasn't the premise that even if the target got medical attention for the gun shot, the mercury poisoning would still get them?
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:05:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 50cal:
Wasn't the premise that even if the target got medical attention for the gun shot, the mercury poisoning would still get them?



No, it was for increased terminal effect. The whole bit about the exploding melon played that up.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:17:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 7:31:38 AM EDT by HermanSnerd]
I have heard the term "dum-dum" used my whole life, and I don't know what the hell it means.

Will someone give me a definition of "dum-dum" and how they are different from
hollow point ammo?



Edited to add:
I remember watching a movie on HBO in the early 1980's called Search and Destroy
with Perry King and Don Stroud. They were in the same unit in Vietnam, and a Vietnamese
guy that they left for dead in the jungle is hunting them. In that movie, there was a scene
where one of the guys is adding mercury to the bullets.

Link Posted: 12/10/2005 7:20:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 7:22:28 AM EDT by bsbg]

Originally Posted By HermanSnerd:
I have heard the term "dum-dum" used my whole life, and I don't know what the hell it means.

Will someone give me a definition of "dum-dum" and how they are different from
hollow point ammo?






Google it man!

First hit: www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/dumdum.htm
Dum-Dum Bullet
Updated - Saturday, 1 November, 2003

The 'dum-dum' was a British military bullet developed for use in India - at the Dum-Dum Arsenal - on the North West Frontier in the late 1890s.

The dum-dum comprised a jacketed .303 bullet with the jacket nose open to expose its lead core. The aim was to improve the bullet's effectiveness by increasing its expansion upon impact.

The phrase 'dum-dum' was later taken to include any soft-nosed or hollow pointed bullet. The Hague Convention of 1899 outlawed the use of dum-dum bullets during warfare.

During the First World War the Belgian government faced German charges of having used dum-dum bullets in battle. Kaiser Wilhelm II wrote a telegram to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on 7 September 1914 protesting such use; the Belgians strongly denied the Kaiser's charges.

And another: everything2.com/?node_id=808242
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 8:27:12 AM EDT
I think the idea is that the mercury spreads on impact, and at the high velocity, acts like a solid. Sort of like hitting water at a high speed is like hitting a solid barrier. Whether or not it actually works, I have no idea.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 11:04:02 AM EDT
Supposedly, the technique was to fill the bullet cavity with mercury, and close the end with melted lead.
The idea was that when the bullet hit the target, inertia would cause the heavy mercury to continue forward as the bullet decelerated, and would "blow" the tip off the bullet, spraying lead and mercury through the target, doing great damage.

There's one big problem with this: Mercury amalgamates with lead.
Old time shooters that didn't know about the effects of heavy metal poisoning used to fill leaded gun barrels with mercury and allow it to bond with the lead.
They'd then just brush the amalgamated lead/mercury out the barrel. (Also breathing in a deadly mix of lead and mercury).

This puts paid to the famous Frederick Forsyth "Day of the Jackal" assassin mercury filled bullet.
Fill the bullet with mercury, and the mercury would quickly liquefy the bullet.

This is one of those old "urban legend" things that everyone just KNOWS is true, but doesn't stand up to reality.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 1:07:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2005 3:46:15 PM EDT by yekimak]
DFW got it, I just got done looking for info on it. It is crap.

Dum-dum is a place in india where the British troops were disappointed in the effectiveness of their ammo and cut the tips off, exposing the lead.

there is ALOT of utter crap out there on this, like www.totse.com/en/bad_ideas/guns_and_weapons/162568.html This dork says they are illegal....they are if you signed the Hague Convention.

And this www.socialistaction.org/news/199903/dumdum.html.....Gotta love commies....They do not realize that not everyone is willing to kneel and take a shot in the back of the head like good prolies.

( I got the above links from Googling around)

Wikipedia seems to have the most accurate definition I can come up with ]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dum_dum
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:10:00 PM EDT
During the Civil War, the Union tried out exploding minnie balls. They were filled with fulminate of mercury. This compound would explode if you struck it. This was the same material used in the caps that wer used to set off the powder in the barrel. They were not all that great. Many would explode in the barrel and some poor guys had them set off if a bullet hit their cartridge box. Since the Minnie ball was such a devestating round anyways, there was no real need to "imporve" it's effectiveness.
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:45:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
During the Civil War, the Union tried out exploding minnie balls. They were filled with fulminate of mercury. This compound would explode if you struck it. This was the same material used in the caps that wer used to set off the powder in the barrel. They were not all that great. Many would explode in the barrel and some poor guys had them set off if a bullet hit their cartridge box. Since the Minnie ball was such a devestating round anyways, there was no real need to "imporve" it's effectiveness.



You know, you might be on to something about the origins of the mercury filled bullet there. Everyone knows the word "Mercury", but not everyone comprehends the word "fulminate". MAybe that is where the exploding mercury bullet thing is from....
Link Posted: 12/10/2005 3:56:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yekimak:
Wasn't it the original "Jaws" that had the guy filling the HP's with wax? I remember my Grandpa doing the same thing with some .357 ammo once. wonder if it the same principal.



jaws 2. and as i recall he only made 6 and used them all on a school of bluefish that he thought was a shark from the tower. anyways i thought he put cyanide in the hollow and then made a point with the wax. but thats enough about movies.

mercury is as i recall the only metal that is a liquid at room temps. therefore you would have to cap it with something to keep it in the tip of the bullet. and i thought that it was only harmful if inhaled.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 1:32:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By aaronrb204:

Originally Posted By yekimak:
Wasn't it the original "Jaws" that had the guy filling the HP's with wax? I remember my Grandpa doing the same thing with some .357 ammo once. wonder if it the same principal.



jaws 2. and as i recall he only made 6 and used them all on a school of bluefish that he thought was a shark from the tower. anyways i thought he put cyanide in the hollow and then made a point with the wax. but thats enough about movies.

mercury is as i recall the only metal that is a liquid at room temps. therefore you would have to cap it with something to keep it in the tip of the bullet. and i thought that it was only harmful if inhaled.



Mercury is the only one that is liquid at room temps, but there are a few others that will melt at temps less than body temperature. Kinda like ice bullets...
Link Posted: 12/12/2005 4:51:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yekimak:
DFW got it, I just got done looking for info on it. It is crap.

Dum-dum is a place in india where the British troops were disappointed in the effectiveness of their ammo and cut the tips off, exposing the lead.

there is ALOT of utter crap out there on this, like www.totse.com/en/bad_ideas/guns_and_weapons/162568.html This dork says they are illegal....they are if you signed the Hague Convention.

And this www.socialistaction.org/news/199903/dumdum.html.....Gotta love commies....They do not realize that not everyone is willing to kneel and take a shot in the back of the head like good prolies.

( I got the above links from Googling around)

Wikipedia seems to have the most accurate definition I can come up with ]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dum_dum



There really was an arsenal at DumDum, and they really did make softpoints for military service. They were good, but not as good as the hollowpoints they were replaced with.

I've handled one of each in a friend's cartridge collection. The HP was impressive to say the least.
Link Posted: 12/13/2005 6:21:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
During the Civil War, the Union tried out exploding minnie balls. They were filled with fulminate of mercury. This compound would explode if you struck it. This was the same material used in the caps that wer used to set off the powder in the barrel. They were not all that great. Many would explode in the barrel and some poor guys had them set off if a bullet hit their cartridge box. Since the Minnie ball was such a devestating round anyways, there was no real need to "imporve" it's effectiveness.





Ahhh, so that's how Frank James in American Outlaws is able to shoot the box of cannon balls and blow it up. Always wondered about that.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 1:51:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bullseye_Doc_Holiday:

Originally Posted By gaweidert:
During the Civil War, the Union tried out exploding minnie balls. They were filled with fulminate of mercury. This compound would explode if you struck it. This was the same material used in the caps that wer used to set off the powder in the barrel. They were not all that great. Many would explode in the barrel and some poor guys had them set off if a bullet hit their cartridge box. Since the Minnie ball was such a devestating round anyways, there was no real need to "imporve" it's effectiveness.





Ahhh, so that's how Frank James in American Outlaws is able to shoot the box of cannon balls and blow it up. Always wondered about that.



I knew a guy 30 yrs ago who "discovered" putting primers into the nose of his .44 Mag hollowpoints. He said it blew stuff up real good. Now I was a teenager at the time, and he was one of my dad's friends, but I told him he was the craziest person I ever met. Sounds like it ought to work but I've never been inclined to try it.

I may be stupid, but I ain't crazy.
Top Top