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Photo of two bullets collided mid air


Hywyn
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I follow a Twitter feed called Historical Pics (@HistoricalPics)

This photo appeared this morning and is said to be ' Two collided bullets from the Battle of Gallipoli, 1915-1916' Nil other info re source etc.

I have absolutely no idea if this sort of thing is feasable and thought I'd share it here to see what, if anything, some of our experts think. With due apologies if it has turned up before.

Hywyn

post-10462-0-32729400-1437564620_thumb.j

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Some of the comments left on the photo by different people

"Errrr neither of those bullets have been fired!! Those are the full cartridges the bullets are the tips!! ?"

" there are hundreds of them maybe thousands, it's not the only one "

"impossible"

and this one made me laugh (from an obvious Turk?)

"well the bullets went in ur ass thx to Atatürk ;) "

This link might work for those on Twitter

https://twitter.com/HistoricalPics/status/623794816187502592

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No idea about feasibility etc but it's very evocative. the art student in me is rather taken with the obvious violence of it.

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Hmmm... Something about the angles the bullets have met says to me that the physics looks wrong for a mid air meet...

However, 90 degrees is how I could (more) easily replicate two collided bullets if I wished to fake it. Or if the bullet being struck was lying on the ground when hit.

One of our far far more expert ballistics gurus (ie. virtually anyone other than me) will be along in a minute?

Regards

Ian

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Only the darker bullet seems to have engraving from rifling. If the lighter one has not gone through a rifle barrel then it is unlikely to be a "mid-air" collision.

Both bullets seem to be hollow point, or is that a trick of light and shade ?

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Mid-air strikes are unusual but there are many examples recorded. They are big sellers among American Civil War collectors. It is possible, even likely that this example is not a mid-air strike but a fired bullet that hit a cartridge in a British or Australian soldiers ammunition pouch. Such a circumstance would have easily pulled the bullet from it's cartridge case.

The one with the engraved rifling appears to be a Turk Mauser bullet, probably Caliber 7.65mm in common use by Turk forces at the time of Gallipoli, and the one that has been pierced by the Turk bullet is a British .303 Mark VII bullet.

Stoppage Drill, neither are hollow point, as you say it appears to be a "trick of light and shade".

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The one that was struck, has no rifling marks. No way did this happen in mid flight, unless the one was tossed into the air. It was certainly never discharged from a rifle.

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Quite possibly struck whilst in an ammo pouch, and became another 'Bible, coin, wallet, army biscuit, wot saved me life' souvenir.

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Coming soon at an inflated price to an auction site near you...

I have found something similar, on the butts of a disused rifle range where such non-midair strikes must be quite common. Unfortunately for great war enthusiasts one of mine can be easily id'd as a 7.62mm NATO bullet.

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Quite possibly struck whilst in an ammo pouch, and became another 'Bible, coin, wallet, army biscuit, wot saved me life' souvenir.

The most likely explanation by a very long shot - or the engraved bullet hit an ammunition box or loose rounds lying about.

It's clear these didn't collide in midair as one has no rifling, as has been said. The one with engraving has right-hand twist, so it didn't come through a Lee-Enfield, though there are other 303 calibre weapons it could have.

Both look like 303 Mk.VIIs. I'd guess at a friendly fire incident, or - perhaps more likely - soldiers fooling about.

Regards,

MikB

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Coming soon at an inflated price to an auction site near you...

I have found something similar, on the butts of a disused rifle range where such non-midair strikes must be quite common. Unfortunately for great war enthusiasts one of mine can be easily id'd as a 7.62mm NATO bullet.

I have (or had?) a few I picked up from a disused rifle range with a dent in the middle suggesting that they had been struck but not penetrated by a later round.

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I have (or had?) a few I picked up from a disused rifle range with a dent in the middle suggesting that they had been struck but not penetrated by a later round.

The dent is more likely to have been caused by the snap-turnover many rounds, most especially 303 Mk.VIIs, go through when decelerating rapidly. The centre of gravity being behind the centre of pressure during this deceleration, there's a violent tendency for the bullet to topple if there's any variation in the resistance of the medium it's passing through. If the medium is dense, like sand, this can easily fold the bullet into a vee or even snap it in two.

I can remember sorting through piles of used 303s at Rainham ranges as a cadet at a time when the butts were being re-sanded, and being unable to find a single bullet that hadn't been dented or doubled-over in this way.

That being so, and the fact that the two bullets remained swaged together, suggests that the moving one may have been pretty much spent, at the end of a long trajectory.

Regards,

MikB

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The immutable laws of physics all but rule out mid air penetration.

While the hitting round is doing its best to penetrate, the target round is being knocked sideways out of the way.

The target needs to be virtually immovable in the timescale considered.

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There were loads of Royal Engineers on the Western Front, working in workshops equipped with metal-working tools, repairing guns and other equipment, who in their free moments were churning out souvenirs that they could sell - little trench-art tanks/bi-planes, bibles/cigarette cases with bullets carefully placed in them: I'm sure that someone's speciality was these colliding-bullets.

William

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So the story's a bit of a dud.

Mike

Pretty much so. Both rounds would have to meet with their last few foot-pounds of energy to remain locked together. Two bullets meeting in flight at normal fighting ranges would either destroy each other if the impact was direct, or far more likely glance off each other and continue on separate chaotic trajectories somewhere into the Wide Blue Yonder.

Regards,

MikB

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When I was into reloading my own ammo, I used to dig out the backstops on the range when shooting was over, and there were 100's of bullets like that, I used to take them home in a bucket, and melt the lead out of them to cast my own bullets, they had the right amount of tin and antimony for cast bullets. When I had enough jackets I used to take them to the scrap dealer and got a good price for them, he used to think they were all made of nickel, some of them were, they were the old Mk 2's.

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The dent is more likely to have been caused by the snap-turnover ...

Hadn't thought of that... Thanks!

When I was into reloading my own ammo, I used to dig out the backstops on the range when shooting was over, and there were 100's of bullets like that, I used to take them home in a bucket, and melt the lead out of them to cast my own bullets, they had the right amount of tin and antimony for cast bullets. When I had enough jackets I used to take them to the scrap dealer and got a good price for them, he used to think they were all made of nickel, some of them were, they were the old Mk 2's.

Nor did I think of that... Given the number I collected in a mere 15 minutes on the rifle range I was exploring I could have made a small fortune in one day!

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I have posted this before but it is relevant here.



A few years ago I took this photo of a display in a small WW1 museum at Notre Dame De Lorette. Mostly French items.



I know absolutely nothing about it but just thought it was interesting.

post-103138-0-22442900-1437642513_thumb.

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What a crock

This is exactly the same as the hundreds of manufactured 'bullets through a coin' on Ebay, discussed before. The fact the point of the bullet that penetrated the other remains perfectly pointed tells even a non-expert such as myself that it couldn't have just burst through another bullet of the same density.

Martin's photo from the French museum looks more like a broken example of the common trench art decoration using three bullets to make a sort of star to put on top of tobacco jars etc.

IMHO

James

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What a crock

This is exactly the same as the hundreds of manufactured 'bullets through a coin' on Ebay, discussed before. The fact the point of the bullet that penetrated the other remains perfectly pointed tells even a non-expert such as myself that it couldn't have just burst through another bullet of the same density.

Martin's photo from the French museum looks more like a broken example of the common trench art decoration using three bullets to make a sort of star to put on top of tobacco jars etc.

IMHO

James

Not so sure. I think the first photo really does show an unfired (stationary) bullet perforated by a fired one with little remaining energy - due either to long range or from penetrating enough soft cover to consume most of its KE. The point is damaged, and the peeled back jacket of the struck bullet around the hole looks right, and difficult to achieve with a hammer and punch.

But I think you could be right about the 2 French Balle Ds - the 'stricken' one looks to've been cut apart and brazed onto the 'striking' one. The solid bronze construction would especially lend itself to that, and I can't see any rifling marks on either of 'em.

Regards,

MikB

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  • 1 year later...
On 23 July 2015 at 19:28, MikB said:

Not so sure. I think the first photo really does show an unfired (stationary) bullet perforated by a fired one with little remaining energy - due either to long range or from penetrating enough soft cover to consume most of its KE. The point is damaged, and the peeled back jacket of the struck bullet around the hole looks right, and difficult to achieve with a hammer and punch.

But I think you could be right about the 2 French Balle Ds - the 'stricken' one looks to've been cut apart and brazed onto the 'striking' one. The solid bronze construction would especially lend itself to that, and I can't see any rifling marks on either of 'em.

Regards,

MikB

This bullet is from Llanidloes museum. It is believed 100% genuine. The unfired round was in a bandolier belonging to, and worn by a Llanidloes man. He sent it home, I think the museum also has the letter telling his family of the near miss. He was killed not long after. I'll try to chase up a name.

image.jpeg

Edited by GWF1967
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  • 2 years later...
On 22/07/2015 at 13:35, Hywyn said:

It's a mass of weapon in Bronze patina dating from 9th-8th century BC  (16.5 cm)
Don't worry i'm not make pub so what report will you tell me?
it's just like a current automatic weapon ammo. Amazing !!!
The big question how is a 3000 year old alarm gun can coexist with two bullets merged ?

 

http://www.beaussant-lefevre.com/html/fiche.jsp?id=5422363&np=&lng=fr&npp=10000&ordre=&aff=&r=

 

 

1.jpg

 

Edited by Guest
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On 17/03/2017 at 22:58, GWF1967 said:

This bullet is from Llanidloes museum. It is believed 100% genuine. The unfired round was in a bandolier belonging to, and worn by a Llanidloes man. He sent it home, I think the museum also has the letter telling his family of the near miss. He was killed not long after. I'll try to chase up a name.

 

 

I think you are on the right lines with this.

 

As one bullet has no rifling marks it is more likely to have been in a bandolier on a soldier. If he was hit and the bullet lodged in a bullet in his bandolier he would have been thrown backwards and probably had a good bruise.

 

Taking this pair of bullets home as a souvenir would be completely natural.

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