# Why bullets don't contains venoms?

1. Dec 9, 2008

### fluidistic

Hi PF,
I didn't know where to ask this question.
About 2 months ago I learned a lot about rigid bodies and realized that an object has mechanical energy when it rotates. Hence to my mind the question "Why do bullets fired by weapon don't rotates, so that they could do a lot more damage", then a friend told me they do rotates. Now I understand why.
Still, why aren't bullets made of potassium so that when they enter in contact with blood they could react with it making much more damage than a common bullet. (If it is because potassium is too ductil to enter deeply I understand).
Why bullets don't contains mercury or arsenic or any strong venom so that there wouldn't be any injured? Mercury wouldn't certainly contaminates the environment, but arsenic?
By the way I'm against wars and any kind of weapons. These are just questions I have.

2. Dec 9, 2008

### Santa1

Maybe it is hard to keep the venom on the bullet with all the heat and "stuff" which comes with firing a bullet out of a gun?
Just a thought.

3. Dec 9, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

Bullets are primarily ballistic projectiles, and damage is inflicted due to the high kinetic energy. I Vietnam vet sold me that the M16 bullet tumbles so that when it strikes someone, the bullet tends to deflect inside the body doing a lot of internal damage.

Rifles are so named because the chambers are rifled, which induces a spin on a bullet which allows for accuracy because the angular momentum reduces the deviation from a trajectory.

Some bullets are hardened or jacketed (for piercing armour) while other bullets are soft so that they mushroom and expand to do more damage. In some cases, bullets can be scribed to fragment.

And some bullets may contain mercury or poison, but those would be special apps and not widely used on a battlefield.

4. Dec 9, 2008

### fluidistic

I don't think so. You could make a bullet with venom into it so that the venom isn't that affected by the fire. It would reveal its venom when it hits and enter the body.

5. Dec 9, 2008

### fluidistic

Interesting.
I just wonder why bullets containing poison aren't commonly used. I guess there are some inconvenients by doing so.

6. Dec 9, 2008

### Santa1

I don't know much about this stuff, but do most bullets that hit people pass through them? Making it not worthwhile to have posion inside of it?

7. Dec 9, 2008

### mgb_phys

Bullets from rifles do rotate - along their long axis. The inside of the barrel has a spiral groove cut in it to make the bullet spin - this makes the bullet more stable and improves the range and accuracy.
Bullets do sometimes tumble - spin end over end - this does cause a lot more damage when the target is hit. It is illegal for a military round but does happen with poor quality weapons.
Military rounds are not permitted to cause unnecessary injury. Although expanding or exploding bullets are common in police use.

edit - were 2 threads merged while i was writing this?
To reply to Astonuc. The M16 in vietnam was the example I was thinking of - when it was mass produced for the first time the tolerance were poor and the bullets tumbled. This led to accusations that the US forces were using illegal dum-dum bullets.

Generally the cost, storage problems, reliabilty and risk to your own troops handling them.

Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
8. Dec 9, 2008

### fluidistic

from Astronuc and here :
from mgb_phys.
Thank you guys, you've fully answered my questions.

9. Dec 9, 2008

### wolram

10. Dec 9, 2008

### fluidistic

11. Dec 9, 2008

### mgb_phys

.......

12. Dec 9, 2008

### wolram

Did i read some where that they were used in Korea by the vc? or may be that was a memory from MASH.

13. Dec 9, 2008

### Math Jeans

And besides, exploding bullets are so much more fun.

14. Dec 9, 2008

### BobG

15. Dec 9, 2008

### Math Jeans

Here is a question of mine:

We are at a point of technology where we can make weapons of small sizes that are able to track down and destroy.

Why can't we make a bullet that identifies enemies and curves into them? (besides the fact that your clips would be very expensive).

16. Dec 9, 2008

### mgb_phys

17. Dec 9, 2008

I think money is the only factor. No one wants to pay for a round that costs $1000. 18. Dec 9, 2008 ### mgb_phys It would probably be cheaper. It was estimated that in Vietnam an average of 50,000-150,000 rounds were fired for each enemy killed. For snipers it was 1.3 rounds/kill. In Gulf War II (the sequal) it is thought to be worse - certainly one operation involving a number of ground troops and helicopters fired almost a million rounds into a house - killing one insurgent. In modern wars where you are fighting a small number of targets among a large number of civillians then a sniper with$1000each bullets is not only cheaper in \$ terms but a lot cheaper in propaganda terms.

Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
19. Dec 9, 2008

### NeoDevin

It's cheaper to use 5 conventional bullets than 1 poisoned/exploding bullet.

20. Dec 9, 2008

### edward

There are a number of substances that can be put into a hollow point bullet that will result in eventual death.

On the battle field a soldier wants to kill the enemy quickly so that he can not return fire.
A second bullet is the fastest way of accomplishing this.