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Temperature of Bullets

awnlee jawking

In the current story I'm working on, which I will almost certainly never complete, I want the doctors examining a comatose shooting victim to notice a burn on his forehead. Do bullets get hot enough to cause skin burns? The terrorist was using an automatic weapon spray and pray style so that may have contributed to the bullet's temperature.

AJ

madnige

I'd guess only in exceptional circumstances. I've often fingered droplets of molten tin/lead alloy (solder) at about 400F and as long as the exposure was something less than about a quater of a second I didn't get burned (what was worse was holding the wires I was soldering until the solder set) and I can't see bullets getting up anywhere near melting point, so probably no hotter than that, and unless they hit something to stop them and then drop onto the skin and don't bounce/fall off, they'd not be in contact with the skin for long enough to matter. However, given the unusual circumstance of a bullet being stopped and dropping onto exposed skin, I suppose it could happen - I don't know what temperature the bullets would be after being swaged down a barrel by exploding gasses then whizzing through some cool air.

The Holywood visuals of sparks flying from landing bullets is just bad science.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

Most modern bullets are usually supersonic, and thus they hit fast enough they don't have time to leave a burn mark if they enter. I have heard of a very close graze looking like a burn mark, but never seen it myself. If they're using sub-sonic rounds, often used for the lower sound levels, they don't get hot enough to burn either.

It's because the bullets go so fast people can get hit before they hear the sound of the shot from a sniper.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzzle_velocity

edit to add:

The speed of sound is the distance traveled per unit time by a sound wave propagating through an elastic medium. In dry air at 20 °C (68 °F), the speed of sound is 343.2 metres per second (1,126 ft/s; 1,236 km/h; 768 mph; 667 kn), or a kilometre in 2.914 s or a mile in 4.689 s.

Small Arms - High velocity Between 1,066.8 m/s (3,500 ft/s) and 1,524 m/s (5,000 ft/s)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@madnige

The Hollywood visuals of sparks flying from landing bullets is just bad science.


Correct 99.999% of the time - but some of the metal jacket rounds can spark when they hit at the appropriate angle on a suitable metal surface - chance to happen in real life so low it ain't funny. Even in controlled conditions it's very hard to make it happen. Copper jackets rounds (a very common non-military cover) won't spark at all.

docholladay

I may be wrong, but at the most it would tend to be more on the order of a powder burn. That would require the shooter to be very close. I have no idea of what the maximum distance would be for a powder burn to occur. But I believe those would tend to be stippled.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

I may be wrong, but at the most it would tend to be more on the order of a powder burn.

If I'm not mistaken, powder burns require less than a couple inches distance.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Most modern bullets are usually supersonic,


Not true, generally only high powered rifle bullet's are super sonic.

That I am aware of, there are no pistols with supersonic mv.

There are a couple of pistols on the market that are designed for the .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) round.

This is the round used by the M2 Machine gun and the Barret .50 caliber sniper rifle.

In those weapons, the round is supersonic.

However, put it in a pistol and the short barrel reduces the muzzle velocity drastically. The reason for this is that the bullet is out of the barrel before the powder is fully burned so it stops accelerating well before the energy potential of the charge is fully expended.

Replies:   bondsman  Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

If I'm not mistaken, powder burns require less than a couple inches distance.


It would likely depend on the specific round and the length of the barrel, A pistol loaded with rounds designed for a rifle (there are pistols designed for this) can likely cause powder burns at a couple of feet.

awnlee jawking

@madnige

H'mmm. I may have to reply on a lot of willing suspension of disbelief if the story ever gets further than my computer.

I've suffered finger burns from an uncooperative roasting pan at 180F, but I believe your point about length of time in contact with the skin is a good one. In the story's scenario, that length of time is problematic, possibly infinitesimally small.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

but I believe your point about length of time in contact with the skin is a good one.


When it comes to heat transfer, time is king.

In their last season, Mythbusters looked at a viral video of someone firing a raw shrimp from an air cannon through a shower of egg wash, a cloud of bread crumbs and a fireball to hit a target and fall on a plate a fully cooked breaded shrimp.

After replicating the conditions of the video and ending up with a raw shrimp with hardly any egg or bread crumbs on it, they decided to try and see what it would take to cook the shrimp in mid air.

The fired a shrimp through 3 2000 degree sword forges lined up end to end. Each forge was 3 feet long for a total of 9 feet. Firing the shrimp at the minimum velocity that would clear the 9 feet, exposed to 2000 degree propane fire the temperature of the shrimp barely increased at all.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I don't know about the bullet, but the shell casing (I think that's what it's called) can be very hot. I know that from personal experience.

Whey I was in basic training, we fired M16s. The shell casing ejected to the right. The guy next to me was a lefty so instead of it ejecting away from him it flew at him and went down his collar. He got burned.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Whey I was in basic training, we fired M16s. The shell casing ejected to the right. The guy next to me was a lefty so instead of it ejecting away from him it flew at him and went down his collar.


Must have been quite a while ago. The more modern variants of the M16 have a deflector so instead of just going right and back, the casing goes right back and up going over the right shoulder of a left handed shooter.

There is also the ultra important time factor. the casing is exposed to the hot gasses longer than the bullet, it has more surface area exposed to the gas, for more efficient heat transfer and when it goes in your shirt it's in contact with your skin much longer than the bullet is in contact with your target's skin.

sejintenej
Updated:

One element to consider is the bore of the weapon; it was in automatic mode so the first bullet would have picked up no heat but the last would have gone through a hot bore.

That said, sub-sonic and it would not have heated much from air friction so in all liklihood would not have been very hot.

Next - the conditions; hot and humid and the victim would have been sweating (perspiring if female ;-) ) and the whole basis of firewalking is that the soles of the feet start off damp and the liquid takes a lot of calories to boil off; the same could happen with the victim. (Incidentally the same happens in a warm/hot kitchen with hot cast iron pans or even hot plates - you can pick them up safely but for a few seconds only.)

Lastly, we are considering a fly-by and not an actual partial penetration; the flyby would have been so quick that there would have been insufficient heat transfer to cause damage. Incidentally look at a paper target after it has been hit with a bullet - there is no scorching of the fibres.

The powder burn idea holds water better.

bondsman

@Dominions Son

DS, you're a bit off. I just counted no less than forty five common pistol rounds (not rifle rounds fired in a pistol) that have a muzzle velocity above 1125 feet per second. Beyond that the variables become too complicated to discuss in a forum like this. My source - http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Not true, generally only high powered rifle bullet's are super sonic.


That's not true, my old .22 fired supersonic bullets, and that round was also used in the pistol I was given when I first worked as a bank teller. There are some modern pistol rounds a little under the speed of sound, but few, and most are designed for older ammunition types like the .36 S&W and ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) that have been around for over 100 years.

Speed of sound is 1,126 ft/s.

.22 Short Rifle 1,164 ft/s - except those designs as sub-sonic rounds - often used in a lady's pistol

.22 Long rifle 1,200 ft/s and up.

.221 Remington Fireball pistol round 3,791 ft/s

.50 BMG 2,815 ft/s

.45 GAP (Glock Auto Pistol ) 1,152 ft/s

.357 magnum 1,500 ft/s

9 mm parabellum 1,155 ft/s (most other 9mm rounds are faster)

10 mm Auto Pistol 1,551 ft/s

.38 super 1,300 ft/s

.45 magnum 1,472 ft/s

.460 S&W Magnum Revolver 2,200 ft/s

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_handgun_and_rifle_cartridges

edit to add - I forgot to mention the .44 magnum at 1,550 ft/s

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@bondsman


DS, you're a bit off. I just counted no less than forty five common pistol rounds (not rifle rounds fired in a pistol) that have a muzzle velocity above 1125 feet per second.


I looked at your link, I got only 44 that were above 1116 FPS (Speed of sound, I looked it up). However the list is not strictly pistol cartridges.

The .22 LR rounds and .22 WMR are rifle rounds. Those account for 5 of the supersonic rounds.

Taking those out, there are 39 out of 69 listed rounds that are supersonic or just barely over half.

So Okay, I was a bit off, but most of those supersonic pistol rounds are either military designs (9x19) or magnums.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

True, but .22 lr and SR are RIFLE rounds and they won't develop quite as much MV fired from a pistol.

.50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) is a rifle round. There are pistols that fire .50 BMG, but the muzzle velocity will be lower when fired from a pistol than from a rifle.

The .221 Remington Fireball was an round developed for an experimental bolt action competition pistol (XP-100) which had a very long barrel compared to typical hand guns. The XP-100 had either a 10.75 inch or 14.5 inch barrel.

For comparison the Colt 44 Magnum comes in 4, 6 and 8 inch barrels.

ETA:

It should also be noted that most of the .50 BMG pistols are either one-offs made by custom gun smiths or novelty items, they aren't practical weapons. The average person would probably break a wrist trying to fire such a weapon.

tppm

If it's a belt fed machine gun and the bad guy fires it for long enough that the barrel of the gun is in danger of melting (as happened to some in WWI before water cooling jackets were introduced) the bullet might get hot enough, but there's still the problem of the bullet being in contact with the skin long enough to cause a burn.

Magazine fed machine guns have time to cool while magazines are switched out.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

True, but .22 lr and SR are RIFLE rounds and they won't develop quite as much MV fired from a pistol.


They are used in many cheap pistols because they are a light and cheap round, and they don't lose that much MV in the shorter barrels - the barrel length affects accuracy and range more than it does MV.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

I also see you totally ignored the very common pistol rounds of .45 GAP, 9 mm Parabellum, 10 mm .357 magnum, and .45 magnum. All designed to be pistol rounds, and what you'll find in most modern pistols. In fact, when you check the wiki list i gave every sub-sonic round created less than 100 years ago were specially designed sub-sonics for quiet applications. The two most recently designed sub-sonic general use pistol rounds are both (Automatic Colt Pistol) rounds from 1905 and 1906, both kept down in order not overpower the gun they were designed for.

As to the list Bondsman linked to, the list is big because it has multiple manufacturer's rounds in the sizes - all the guns used were 2 to 6.5 inch with most being 4 inch barrel weapons. There are 16 different rounds listed, except for the .22 LR and .22 WMR they were all designed to be pistol rounds. Some of the have both a sub-sonic and super-sonic speed from different manufacturers, and all the sub-sonics are designs from over 100 years ago, but all have a modern redesign option that is super-sonic.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@tppm

WWI before water cooling jackets were introduced) the bullet might get hot enough


Cooling jackets have been supplanted by better barrel materials that can handle higher temps, having multiple easily changed barrels, limiting rate of fire, and a tactical preference for short bursts over continuous fire even with belt feed weapons to improve accuracy and reduce ammo consumption.

The only machine guns on the modern battlefield that have a drastically higher rate of fire than the early machine guns of WWI are the multi-barrel Gattling style guns.

Crumbly Writer

I hate to ask dumb questions when everyone is discussing theoretical details, but what are you trying to achieve with the hot bullet in the story? Are you trying to plant evidence with it? If so, can you do it with the shell casing instead of the bullet itself? Or, for that matter, can you do the same thing with powder burns itself? Otherwise, you may have to plant the same evidence through another means (ex: cigarette stubs where the shot originated from).

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I also see you totally ignored the very common pistol rounds of .45 GAP, 9 mm Parabellum, 10 mm .357 magnum, and .45 magnum. All designed to be pistol rounds, and what you'll find in most modern pistols.


I suppose it depends on your definition of common.

Except for the 9mm, none of those is all that common in the US.

The most recent stats I could find to give a list of common ammo is from 2013 from a site that sells ammo and it lists the top 10 ammunition types by %of total ammo sales revenue.

http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/2013-ammo-stats/

The only one of those you list that makes the list at all is the 9mm Parabellum, I think its the same thing as the 9mm Luger.

The only pistol rounds on the top ten list are the 9mm Luger (9x19), .40 S&W, .45ACP, .22LR, and the .38 special.

That something exists and sits on store shelves, doesn't make it common.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Except for the 9mm, none of those is all that common in the US.


9 mm Parabellum was designed for the Luger and is sometimes called that. Of the rounds in that list the pistol designed rounds are 9 mm (1st) super-sonic, .45 ACP (3rd) some of which are super-sonic and some sub-sonic most would be sub-sonic for M1911 colts, .40 S&W (4th) super-sonic, 38 special (10th) some of which are super-sonic and some sub-sonic most would be sub-sonic for older revolvers. Of the rest you have one shotgun and the rest are rifle rounds, two of which are specific for auto-fire military weapons.

Anyway, on that list of top 10 of all ammo sold (rifle and pistol) super-sonic pistol rounds are 28.7% of sales as a minimum because the other pistol rounds can be in super-sonic or sub-sonic for 12.3% of sales. based on that data 70% of pistol rounds sold are definitely super-sonic and some of the rest probably are too. So people in the US are ore likely to be shot with a super-sonic pistol round than a sub-sonic one.

I excluded the rounds designed for rifles also used in pistols in the above calculations - like the .22LR.

docholladay

One major factor that is not being mentioned. The reason for having both rifles and pistols (regardless of type) using same rounds is the weight factor. Its much easier to calculate the weight that can be carried if a standard round is used for both. Weight is one of the factors used in making the weapon choices. How much can be carried including magazine weights. Utilizing a common round would increase the amount of ammo a person could carry.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Utilizing a common round would increase the amount of ammo a person could carry.


This is a major reason why many military organisations try to have their troops carry the same round for the rifle and pistol, as well as many other squad level weapons.

sejintenej

@docholladay

Utilizing a common round would increase the amount of ammo a person could carry.

I think equally important is that ammo could be used for rifle/carbine at range but also handgun in close-in fighting - no need to try to decide how much of each to issue.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@sejintenej

The same cartridge/round factor has been known for at least a 150-200 years. One man could only carry so much weight. Improvements in packs and techniques might have increased what is carried, but there are still limits. Weapons, ammo, food, medical, water and don't forget the rest of the needs. All of it adds weight so it is a balancing act, needs versus mission/goal. Load changes depending on different factors.

edited to add: barrel lengths are important for accuracy. But close in the ease of maneuvering a handgun instead of a carbine/rifle could be critical to survival.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

I know my chances of finishing the story are small, but if I do, it may well not be published on SOL. I don't want to risk the possibility of being accused of putting a teaser here, so if anyone would like to see a rough draft of the scene where the protagonist gets shot, e-mail me your e-mail address.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

The same cartridge/round factor has been known for at least a 150-200 years.


For most of that time there was a significant variation in the capability of pistols against rifles. Many gun manufacturers tried to create dual use ammunition by making handguns that used the same round as rifle, then tried to make some rifles that used handgun rounds. Neither option worked perfectly, but many worked for close and medium ranges. But with increased range on the rifles towards the end of the 19th century the gap started to grow again, due to people wanting the longer range on the rifles and being prepared to put up with carrying two lots of ammo. Some of the military resolved the issue by issuing people with only rifles or handguns, but not both. Now, with improved weapons and ammunition it's possible to merge back into dual purpose ammunition, except it's not going to happen as a wide use military option due to the experts wanting a different type of hit for the handgun and the rifle for most military usage. Some specialist units will use dual use ammunition, but not general military use.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Like I said its a balancing act. And regardless of the options the one who should be making the choice is the one putting his/her life on the line. But that is very seldom the case.

oyster50
Updated:

I have fired thousands of small arms rounds over the years. Uncle Sam paid for a large majority. I've fired machine guns at various targets including old trucks and tanks and plywood sheets and cardboard. Aside from tracers, the only signs of impact were not easily visible to the naked eye.

If we wanted visible hits, we resorted to API - armor-piercing incendiary - which had a very visible white phosphorus flash on impact.

Very rarely did I see the sparks that Hollywood loves so much.

As for post-firing pistol bullets, had one bounce back off a too-close steel target and land where it was visible. When I picked it up, I dropped it, not expecting the heat.

As a tanker, I carried a pistol only. In those sad occasions when I was employed as a grunt (the sound made when you run over infantry with a tank) I carried a rifle. Only special services folk carried rifles AND pistols. The official equipment list did not allow for it.

Replies:   docholladay  Capt Zapp
docholladay
Updated:

@oyster50


The official equipment list did not allow for it.


Sounds like the rule in that Mental Hospital (hell on earth, compared to one in Siberia, second place in listing). No fraternizing between male and female inmates. (made to be broken) Of course I obeyed the rule long enough to learn why everyone got caught (same places). One place that was never checked on weekends and holidays was the Director's private office. Guess where my favorite hangout was.

Capt Zapp

@oyster50

had one bounce back off a too-close steel target and land where it was visible. When I picked it up, I dropped it, not expecting the heat.


Is it possible that the heat was caused by the compression of the round on impact with the steel target? (kinetic energy transference and all that scientific stuff)

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Capt Zapp

Is it possible that the heat was caused by the compression of the round on impact with the steel target? (kinetic energy transference and all that scientific stuff)

I'd expect the heat to be the result of the firing of the bullet.

Very small mass, so it would heat up quickly. And while it would also cool down quickly, I expect the bullet was picked up within seconds of it being fired. Give it another 5-10 seconds and it probably would have only been warm to the touch, or possibly cooler (depending on the ambient temperature).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

I'd expect the heat to be the result of the firing of the bullet.


Could be, I don't know. I do know the bullets passing through paper targets don't leave any heat marks on them, be that at the 20 yards used by some pistol ranges or the 100 yards used at many high-velocity heavy calibre rifle ranges. Just fired bullets I've pulled out of dirt backstops haven't been as hot as those on the ground from steel backstops. I've never sought to find out what that is, because I thought it was due to the harder stop resulting in kinetic energy changing to heat.

However, the answer to the question at the start is clear: a bullet will not leave a burn mark on the skin of the person hit. But a round fired from a few inches is likely to leave burns in the surrounding area (skin or cloth) from the propellant - these are called powder burns.

Replies:   sejintenej  Grant
sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

Just fired bullets I've pulled out of dirt backstops haven't been as hot as those on the ground from steel backstops. I've never sought to find out what that is, because I thought it was due to the harder stop resulting in kinetic energy changing to heat.

I agree; the kinetic energy imparted by the cartridge explosive has to be expended by 1) air friction slowing the bullet down and 2) going into soft(ish) tissue (human, animal or earth etc) when it would be spread across all the tissue affected or 3) striking a resistant object - your steel plate.
The total kinetic energy lost has to equal the kinetic energy given to the bullet in the weapon. (one of Newton's laws of motion)

miksmit

The original poster said that the terrorists was shooting with a pray and spray style. To me that suggests an automatic firearm. I dont know much but im pretty sure the discussions of different round sizes should focus on those used by aks or m16s. Maybe uzi.

Ernest Bywater

@miksmit

I dont know much but im pretty sure the discussions of different round sizes should focus on those used by aks or m16s. Maybe uzi.


Ak47 and M16 are assault rifles and actual fairly old tech now. If the person is using a shorter weapons like a more modern style bullpup style weapons, say H&K MP 5 or similar, it's likely to by a 9 mm x 19 mm parabellum (luger) round being fired.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I want the doctors examining a comatose shooting victim to notice a burn on his forehead.


Been thinking on this one. If they'd been shot and the bullet penetrated, which is what I was concentrating on before, the bullet isn't in contact with the skin long enough to affect the skin with any heat at all. And once in the body the body fluids would negate any burn.

However, I just realised you said comatose, implying they're still alive. That means it's likely just a graze. Now that is more likely to leave a small groove than anything else, but it may be in contact long enough to sear the skin a little. What is more likely is if the person was hit by a bullet that only 'just' clipped their temple it can knock them out while leaving only a small scratch like mark. If this is near or just in the hair line, it could go unnoticed, at first, and only seen with a more thorough examination. That may be an easier way for you to go.

Also, if the shooter was using a concealed weapon, then it's most likely a bullpup design weapons, and about 90% of those made in the last 35 years are 9 mm parabellum, and super-sonic rounds. Thus it would have a hell of a hit, even in a grazing hit.

Replies:   sejintenej
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

f the person is using a shorter weapons like a more modern style bullpup style weapons, say H&K MP 5 or similar, it's likely to by a 9 mm x 19 mm parabellum (luger) round being fired.


Most submachine guns use pistol ammo, most bullpup style guns are submachine guns.

Most of them use some form of 9mm (not all the 9mm are 9x19) though there are a few chambered for .22 LR .45 ACP or 5.56 NATO and even fewer that are set up for other rounds.

P.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@miksmit

When it comes to firearms, the original poster (ie moi) is a complete idiot. I had assumed an automatic weapon of some sort - specific suggestions welcome.

AJ

sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

from AJ
I want the doctors examining a comatose shooting victim to notice a burn on his forehead.

Depends entirely on the story - from this short extract it could have been a burn the victim received well before the use of firearms. Perhaps he/she fell against a hot pan in the kitchen.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Most submachine guns use pistol ammo, most bullpup style guns are submachine guns.


Correct and the most common round is the 9 x 19 mm parabellum, which was first developed for the Luger pistol and is till a very common pistol round. Look at this list, sort it by year descending, and look at how many of those made in the last 35 years use 9 x 19 mm parabellum round.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_submachine_guns

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

specific suggestions welcome.


what they use will vary a lot on the scene you wish to paint. If they use the spray and pray method, then it has to be a fully-auto weapon, a military standard weapon like either a sub-machine gun, machine pistol, or assault rifle. Which they use will depend on how they get it to the scene, a shorter weapons like and MP 5 with a folding stock will be easier to carry around hidden than an AK 47 or an M16.

What they use, and how will depend on the scene you wish to create. In the start of Odd Man in College I have 13 gun men with military grade weapons taken down by a trained teen with a semi-auto pistol. It comes back to what you want to create and present.

Some years ago I was living in Meadowbank, a Sydney suburb. On weekend a guy went crazy with an automatic weapon in a shopping centre at Strathfield (see link below) another went crazy with a knife stabbing people at a party and in the streets in Meadowbank and put over 20 in hospital, don't know what the actual death toll was. But it never even got a mention in the news that weekend because the shooting was more spectacular being in a mall and not a rundown residential area (which Meadowbank was then - change a lot since then). Also, at that time the media were pushing shootings to push for anti-gun laws. Now we have no legal guns and a higher percentage of criminals are armed, where they used to have civilian grade weapons they now have military grade, and many are models not legally imported into the country at all - thus all are smuggled in. Anyway, the point is you can cause as much havoc with a knife as with a gun.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strathfield_massacre

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Correct and the most common round is the 9 x 19 mm parabellum,


I didn't say otherwise.

Look at this list, sort it by year descending, and look at how many of those made in the last 35 years use 9 x 19 mm parabellum round.


Sure, but if you look at just the 4 most recent designs, you see in ascending order:

A US design that uses 5.56 NATO (it looks like a cut down M16)

An Indian design that uses 5.56x30 (NATO is 5.56x45)

A US design that uses .45 ACP

A US design that uses 9x19

A Swiss design (SIG Sauer) that is available in 9x19, .357 SIG and .40 S&W

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Sure, but if you look at just the 4 most recent designs, you see in ascending order:


Most recent 2013 Sig Sauer in 9 x 19 mm for the Swiss military that allows for conversion to .357 and .40 S&W if you want it. Initial and main usage is 9mm. Info from the wiki page on it.

2008 Magpul 9 x 19 mm
2006 KRISS Vecto .45 ACP - latest version is 9 x 19 mm
2006 MSM Carbine in 5.56 specially made for India as a replacement for their assault rifle
2006 Kel-Tec PLR-16 semi-auto 5.56 mm

then we move into a long stream of 9 x 19 mm with a couple of odd specialty rounds in there.

There are a long list of undated weapons that show near the top at one point, but since they include the MP41 from Nazi Germany I have concerns about how old they are.

Grant

@Ernest Bywater

Just fired bullets I've pulled out of dirt backstops haven't been as hot as those on the ground from steel backstops.

Kinetic energy aside, a bullet buried in dirt will transfer much more heat to the surrounding dirt than one lying on the ground will transfer to the surrounding air.
And i'd expect it'd take longer to retrieve a bullet buried in the dirt backstop than one lying on the ground, so a bit more time for heat to be transferred.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


When it comes to firearms, the original poster (ie moi) is a complete idiot. I had assumed an automatic weapon of some sort - specific suggestions welcome.


Damn, I HATE when the SOL processor deletes everything after an unclosed html command, since I keep losing entire discussions. Grr!

As I suspected, the issue the author had wasn't affected by gun-porn details, but was his attempt to advance the story via post-shooting evidence. He sent me a story extract, and the problem was actually with a time-dilation effect, which was more writing technique than a specific plot issue. By eliminating the subsequent time-expansion, it avoided the problem with the scene entirely.

I don't know whether he'll use my suggestion or not, but it looks like his entire story is much shorter than the extended debate about bullet and shell-casing heating in this thread. :(

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

shorter than the extended debate about bullet and shell-casing heating in this thread.


Said debate is still providing many people with some useful information on the subject they find useful at a later date. I've researched a lot about guns, but hadn't realised how ubiquitous the 9 x 19 mm parabellum was until looking into the detail here.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Said debate is still providing many people with some useful information on the subject they find useful at a later date. I've researched a lot about guns, but hadn't realised how ubiquitous the 9 x 19 mm parabellum was until looking into the detail here.

That makes sense, and thread-drift is inevitable, but the discussion seemed to disregard the literary context and completely ignored the author's original question (how could he incorporate his passage if his assumptions weren't correct). That's why I classified it as 'gun porn', where authors get as excited about gun details as they do explicit porn scenes, while many readers are left completely befuddled. In order to reach readers, you've got to explain things in terms that reaches both gun aficionados and novices alike.

JohnBobMead

@docholladay

Utilizing a common round would increase the amount of ammo a person could carry.

Not quite. It increases the utility of the ammo, via not needing multiple ammo types, but doesn't necessarily change the total amount of ammo carried. What's really nice is if the weapons use the same magazine.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

it looks like his entire story is much shorter


Currently true. The section I sent out was the end of Chapter 4, the first 3 chapters introducing the protagonist and his relationships to his friends and family.

As such, it would never interest a dead tree publisher because, for new authors, they insist on some crash, bang, wallop occurring in the first 3 chapters :)

AJ

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

When it comes to heat transfer, time is king.

In their last season, Mythbusters looked at a viral video of someone firing a raw shrimp from an air cannon through a shower of egg wash, a cloud of bread crumbs and a fireball to hit a target and fall on a plate a fully cooked breaded shrimp.

After replicating the conditions of the video and ending up with a raw shrimp with hardly any egg or bread crumbs on it, they decided to try and see what it would take to cook the shrimp in mid air.

The fired a shrimp through 3 2000 degree sword forges lined up end to end. Each forge was 3 feet long for a total of 9 feet. Firing the shrimp at the minimum velocity that would clear the 9 feet, exposed to 2000 degree propane fire the temperature of the shrimp barely increased at all.


Pretty much this. The faster the bullet is going, the hotter it will become due to air friction(and possibly from its initial accelerant as well), but the flip side of the faster bullet is that the "time in physical contact" with any given molecule that isn't part of the bullet will be much shorter. Which means less opportunity for any significant heat transfer to occur until it stops moving.

This also is something of a design consideration for hypersonic aircraft, as moving at supersonic speeds will cause heating on the portions of the craft that are coming into contact with air as the craft moves. Meaning they have to design for minimal drag(air friction), or design for better heat dissipation capabilities.

Or for another option, it's why most people don't come out "well done" after being struck by lightning, IIRC, the temperatures it's supposed to attain are insanely high, but the duration is so low that the resulting damage isn't a guaranteed calamity.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Or for another option, it's why most people don't come out "well done" after being struck by lightning, IIRC, the temperatures it's supposed to attain are insanely high, but the duration is so low that the resulting damage isn't a guaranteed calamity.


The insanely high temperatures is what it does to air. Air is particularly inefficient at transferring heat to solid objects due to mass/density differentials. People struck by lightning will suffer burns, but usually only surface burns at the points where the current enters/leaves the body.

This is not from the super heated air, but from the current itself as it looses energy in the form of heat, and the greatest losses occur at the points it is moving between different conductors with different resistance levels.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

People struck by lightning will suffer burns, but usually only surface burns at the points where the current enters/leaves the body.

When people get killed, it's often because of grounding. If they're grounded, the charge will pass through them. If not, or even worse, if they're touching something metal, there's a circular pattern where the charge flows through them into the other object, and then passes back and forth, heating up each object.

Alternatively, cars are relatively safe (if the doors are closed) because the lightning hits the car and because of the rubber tires, the charge doesn't transfer to the interior.

Surprisingly, for years everyone said the worst place to be is in water, however lightning doesn't travel far if you're in the ocean (otherwise there would be massive fish kills every time there was a lightning strike in the ocean). If you're struck in the ocean you're toast, but if you aren't too close, you'll be moderately safe.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


If you're struck in the ocean you're toast, but if you aren't too close, you'll be moderately safe.


About the same situation as to being where a bomb lands.

edit to add, cause I forgot: How close you are to it makes a huge difference on the effect it has on you.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

When people get killed, it's often because of grounding.


The entry and exit points make huge difference in lethality of lighting strikes.

One of the most important factors for lethality is whether or not the current cross the heart. If the current crosses the heart, it only takes around 30 milliamps to kill.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Surprisingly, for years everyone said the worst place to be is in water, however lightning doesn't travel far if you're in the ocean (otherwise there would be massive fish kills every time there was a lightning strike in the ocean).


Actually, it can travel quite far, however, lighting wants to find the ground and sea water is a half way decent conductor. Rather than skipping and spreading out over the surface, the lightning probably goes straight down to the sea bed even if that is over a mile away from the surface.

The fish are probably safe because they are worse conductors than the sea water so the lighting goes around them.

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

Alternatively, cars are relatively safe (if the doors are closed) because the lightning hits the car and because of the rubber tires, the charge doesn't transfer to the interior.

Nothing to do with the tyres, the car just acts as a Faraday cage.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

awnlee jawking

@Not_a_ID

Pretty much this. The faster the bullet is going, the hotter it will become due to air friction(and possibly from its initial accelerant as well)


On balance, from the rsponses here, a bullet can be hot enough to cause a skin burn. The only problem is the vanishingly short time it spends in contact with my protagonist.

The presence of the skin burn plays a role later on in the story. My inclination is to ignore the 'kill your darlings' guideline and hope any readers (if the story ever gets finished) won't think too hard.

Thank you for your thoughts,

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

bullet can be hot enough to cause a skin burn

I think it comes down to if the bullet penetrates the skin it won't leave a burn mark for a number of reasons. However, if it's a damn near miss that only just breaks the skin as it goes buy, it is possible it will leave a small burn mark as well as the light break in the skin, like a tiny groove. This is due to the longer contact time with the metal of the bullet.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

if it's a damn near miss that only just breaks the skin as it goes buy, it is possible it will leave a small burn mark as well as the light break in the skin, like a tiny groove. This is due to the longer contact time with the metal of the bullet.


The contact is still too short for any significant radiative or conductive heat transfer. I would assume if a burn occurs, it is the result of friction as the bullet cuts across the skin, similar to a rope burn.

Replies:   bondsman  Ernest Bywater
bondsman
Updated:

@Dominions Son


The contact is still too short for any significant radiative or conductive heat transfer. I would assume if a burn occurs, it is the result of friction as the bullet cuts across the skin, similar to a rope burn.


I agree DS. Not to be forgotten though is that some amount of that friction, perhaps most of it, is created by the spin on the bullet in addition to its forward motion.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

The contact is still too short for any significant radiative or conductive heat transfer


I don't disagree, I only mention the only time I've heard of a burn from a bullet wound was in the situation of a light graze by the bullet searing the skin.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I don't disagree, I only mention the only time I've heard of a burn from a bullet wound was in the situation of a light graze by the bullet searing the skin.


Friction.

Replies:   richardshagrin  Grant
richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

Perhaps we have helped create a new category of literature, Science Friction.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Grant

@Dominions Son

I don't disagree, I only mention the only time I've heard of a burn from a bullet wound was in the situation of a light graze by the bullet searing the skin.


Friction.

The only thing worse than carpet burn, is bullet burn.

Dominions Son

@Grant

The only thing worse than carpet burn, is bullet burn.


Said by a man whose never experienced rope burn.

garymrssn
Updated:

I believe the last two posts may provide the answer to the original question.

Friction Burn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friction_burn

A friction burn that does not break the skin looks like a heat burn and a bullet passing close enough can cause a friction burn. It would be a rare occurrence but it is perfectly plausible.
Edit to add: The shock wave of the bullet displaces the surface of the skin so rapidly that capillaries near the surface are damaged causing redness. The higher the velocity of the bullet, the greater the damage.

Replies:   sejintenej
imsly1

@awnlee jawking

The easy answer is not unless it's point blank and a glancing shot..
I've shot thousands of rounds at a wide variety of objects ..
Marshmallows are fun as hell...FYI ..but no burns...
And if you shoot a 22 of any variety into a gallon of gas.or a half full gallon jug of gas ..no fire..nor will any pistol ammo that I've tried ...being young once ..we tried to recreate TV shots with zero luck...and we tried everything

Replies:   Dominions Son
sejintenej

@garymrssn

Edit to add: The shock wave of the bullet displaces the surface of the skin so rapidly that capillaries near the surface are damaged causing redness. The higher the velocity of the bullet, the greater the damage

This thread started with the suggestion that the temperature of a bullet, flying through the air after being fired, could cause(but, by inference did not penetrate) a burn on skin it touched.

Dominions Son

@imsly1

And if you shoot a 22 of any variety into a gallon of gas.or a half full gallon jug of gas..no fire..nor will any pistol ammo that I've tried ...being young once ..we tried to recreate TV shots with zero luck...and we tried everything


Mythbusters look into that as well. It can be done, but there are a few tricks to pulling it off. Hollywood usually just fakes it.

1. You have to use tracer rounds. Yes, you can get tracer rounds for just about any ammo type, even .22 LR.

2. You have to have vapor space in the gas container, it can't be full.

3. You have to fire so the tracer round goes through the vapor space, not the liquid gas.

Replies:   tppm
tppm

@Dominions Son

Apparently during WWI the British developed a special white phosphorus bullet for shooting down dirigibles which used hydrogen for their lift gas. Without those bullets they could shoot at them all day and they'd just punch holes in the gas bags and not do any real damage, and, based on later experiments, even with them only about one in five rounds would be in the gas bag long enough to ignite it. (Also, they needed to punch some holes first so there'd be some oxygen in the bag as well as the hydrogen.)

Ernest Bywater

@tppm

Apparently during WWI the British developed a special white phosphorus bullet for shooting down dirigibles which used hydrogen for their lift gas.


these pages tell you all about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloon_buster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incendiary_ammunition

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Perhaps we have helped create a new category of literature, Science Friction.

Is you're aiming to write a Science Friction story, might I suggest one using androids rubbing more interesting parts of the anatomy? 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Grant

The only thing worse than carpet burn, is bullet burn.

Even worse: carpet burns on your bullet wounds! (Things generally hurt worse when you're still breathing.)

Crumbly Writer

@tppm

Apparently during WWI the British developed a special white phosphorus bullet for shooting down dirigibles which used hydrogen for their lift gas. Without those bullets they could shoot at them all day and they'd just punch holes in the gas bags and not do any real damage, and, based on later experiments, even with them only about one in five rounds would be in the gas bag long enough to ignite it. (Also, they needed to punch some holes first so there'd be some oxygen in the bag as well as the hydrogen.)

Great! Now I can write that dirigible political thriller I've been sitting on all of these years. 'D

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