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Thread: Curving bullets

  1. #1 Curving bullets 
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    I was just watching the movie "Wanted" (with Angelina Jolie) and there
    was a guy there that by flicking his gun somehow he was able to make
    the bullet curve and hit Angelina's car which was BEHIND a track (it didn't
    recochet from anything btw)...

    I was just wondering if it's possible to accomplish such a feat in RL??


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  3. #2 Re: Curving bullets 
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    This is sometimes done with the ball in some sports; the most spectacular instance I can think of is a corner shot in football (I mean soccer) almost miraculously curving its way to the goal.

    However, a bullet is much smaller and much faster than a soccer ball, and I really don't think that the spin you could give it by flicking the gun could curve its trajectory in any degree to speak of.

    Add to this the spin the bullet gets from the rifling in the gun barrel, and the difficulty of synchronizing the flick of your hand with the actual explosion of the propellant, and whatever curving effect you can create will be so unpredictable you cannot hope to make it a sniper shot.

    Good luck anyway,
    Leszek.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    Hum... how about trying this with a gun with a 'no-spin' barrel?
    And skill is just skill, if it's possible than with much training yah can master it
    (if it's possible that is.. that's why I'm asking)...
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    The change in the momentum (mass times velocity) of the bullet can only be equal to the momentum gained by the air, due to aerodynamic interaction. I don't know the maths for that, but intuitively it seems improbable that it might make much of a difference to the bullet trajectory. At most, I think perhaps you could make the bullet swerve by a few degrees.

    As for practicing, you would have to tune your moves to how fast the firing mechanism reacts to your trigger finger, and how fast the propellant goes off. That means a lot of training with one gun, one identical type of ammunition.

    Very much very hard and very unrewarding work.

    Good luck anyway, keep us posted.

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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    hum, well I can't train for the time being anyways, but when I be in the army;
    on the battlefield it seems like a kwel trick to know...

    And for those who might be confused by what I mean by "curving" the bullet
    I mean that the bullet will curve like a baseball.
    ie, exists the barrel with a target on mind curves(moves) to eather side and
    returns to route just to hit the target, by this curve it may bypass any obsticle
    that might block a bullet which travels in a straight line.

    For training I'm willing to dedicate much time if this kind of thing is possible, so
    lets leave it aside for now, this is a physics forum afterall...

    I was thinking.. perhaps if one learns how to make a "massive(strong) flick" than
    the curve can be achived with greater angles?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    And also, I'd assume that the volocity of the bullet can compensate
    for the the curve angle and still retain a skin-penetration volocity
    even after extreme curves.

    So the real question is 'how?'.

    right?? :?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    Hanuka, if the army of your country allows recruits to wave guns around while firing live bullets then please let me know which country it is so I stay well clear of it. You're way more likely to kill your own than the enemy.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    I asked to please leave the "practical" stuff outside.

    In my experiance trying to have a (forum)conversation about great feats AND
    trying to incorporate the actual practical uses and training into it quickly
    spoils the experiance of all the practipians in the discussion...

    Theories 1st, training l8erz.

    ..Theories anyone?

    p.s. you don't have to be in the army to wave a gun, and in that matter;
    you don't have to shoot to actually train(at least for starters).
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    Actually, I think it'd be safe to say that that particular trick is basically impossible. For spin to curve something sideways, it'd have to be spinning sideways. A bullet will not fly like that.

    Second, the time it takes the bullet to leave the barrel is so small that your hands can't impart any significant motion in that time.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    I asked to please leave the "practical" stuff outside.

    In my experiance trying to have a (forum)conversation about great feats AND
    trying to incorporate the actual practical uses and training into it quickly
    spoils the experiance of all the practipians in the discussion...
    OK, I was joking. And I assure you that in a real-life experiment, the experience would be even more disappointing.

    Of course, in principle, arrangements could be made for this kind of practice to be safe - standing on a lonely boat in the middle of the sea for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    p.s. you don't have to be in the army to wave a gun, and in that matter;
    you don't have to shoot to actually train(at least for starters).
    I'm afraid you wouldn't get much valid practice without actually shooting, unless you design some very sophisticated simulator. Synchronizing the movement of the gun with the movement of the bullet in its barrel, taking recoil into account, you need to somehow feed the characteristics of all that - not into your intellectual knowledge, but into the reflexes of your hand and trigger finger.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    I asked to please leave the "practical" stuff outside.

    In my experiance trying to have a (forum)conversation about great feats AND
    trying to incorporate the actual practical uses and training into it quickly
    spoils the experiance of all the practipians in the discussion...

    Theories 1st, training l8erz.

    ..Theories anyone?

    p.s. you don't have to be in the army to wave a gun, and in that matter;
    you don't have to shoot to actually train(at least for starters).
    I love strange phenomena but, I don't see even a tumbling bullet, going around corners.

    And especially not a real ball or shot. They just will not curve around corners. They will curve though.

    They used to put cuts in rounds when clearing out trenches during World War One, I believe. The cuts would allow the round to split up and arc, and make a right turn using the flesh and liquid to split the round and turn the round 90 degrees in four directions. Because the round turned in an arc, it lost little momentum. Some said it seemed to gain velocity as it hit a man and made a right turn and got the guy next to him. It was said to be a very scary thing to have them coming into your trenches.

    I believe this was banned during the Geneva convention. I believe it was called hatching the round.


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    I've read that some airsoft guns put backspin on the pellet to give the pellet some lift to counteract the drop due to gravity, making a little flatter trajectory. I think this is done by ridges on the upper part of the bore. This gives the pellet a little more range. I suppose something similar could be done with a round metal ball. This would allow you to curve the bullet, but it would be done by canting the gun, not by putting English on it. The curving effect would be less than an airsoft pellet because the metal bullet would be heavier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
    The change in the momentum (mass times velocity) of the bullet can only be equal to the momentum gained by the air, due to aerodynamic interaction. I don't know the maths for that, but intuitively it seems improbable that it might make much of a difference to the bullet trajectory. At most, I think perhaps you could make the bullet swerve by a few degrees.

    As for practicing, you would have to tune your moves to how fast the firing mechanism reacts to your trigger finger, and how fast the propellant goes off. That means a lot of training with one gun, one identical type of ammunition.

    Very much very hard and very unrewarding work.

    Good luck anyway, keep us posted.

    Whatever you do, keep guns out of the reach of children. And vice versa.

    I used to fire a stainless steel Ruger Mini-14 with a metal folding stock. It fired the 223 round. When it got hot after about 22 rounds it would get wild. You could get shots that would miss the target maybe at two hundred surely at 300 yards.

    But the first couple were ok. I am wondering what the heat did to the gun? And why it caused such erratic shots. Not around corners but noticeable differences at the target.

    I still shoot every now and then. My son bought a Wassa almost a year ago. And that is the last time I went shooting. To test it out.

    It fired somewhat consistently but still not a Browning 30-06. It had jamming problems. But so did the Browning 30-06 after it got hot.

    http://www.Rockwelder.com/WMV/WildBill.wmv


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  15. #14  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    Maybe if the round was.. round??
    Like in the old flintlock pistols, if I recall correctly these bullets at times did have a curve.

    And I also remember a show that I've seen once: they were firing from a cannon
    and you could clearly see the cannonball making around 10^+ curves.

    So maybe to curve bullets you be needing a ball shaped bullet instead the standard
    dome shaped one??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    Maybe if the round was.. round??
    Like in the old flintlock pistols, if I recall correctly these bullets at times did have a curve.

    And I also remember a show that I've seen once: they were firing from a cannon
    and you could clearly see the cannonball making around 10^+ curves.

    So maybe to curve bullets you be needing a ball shaped bullet instead the standard
    dome shaped one??
    I don't see a ball making those kind of turns around a corner.


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  17. #16  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    *coughcurveballcough*.. :?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    *coughcurveballcough*.. :?
    A baseball going maybe 65 to 75 miles an hour maybe even slower for a curve ball. Covered in friction creating material.

    Means the baseball is not in the ball park with ball ammo fired at around 900 feet per second. The ball ammo can go 75 miles in 439.99.... seconds, or 7.316... minutes. While it will take the curve ball, one hour. The ball ammo is smooth so it is not affected by wind or other things. And so it does not change direction.

    You are just not going to get those kind of corner turning effects from ball ammo.


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  19. #18  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    I have to agree with William this time. A baseball isn't exactly smooth. The stitching in particular creates enough drag to curve the ball. A smooth lead ball wouldn't cause enough friction by itself. IIRC, it's said that an older, more worn baseball is much easier to curve than a fresh, smooth one. (Of course, anecdote doesn't equal evidence, but it'd shouldn't be too hard to test.)
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  20. #19  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    Well, I'm telling yah I saw a cannonball curve in the air.
    It may not travel as fast as a bulletn but it cetrainly weighs more and has the
    same unragged surface.

    Putting into consideration that shooting the gun normally obvoiusly won't curve it,
    skillz need to be applied; like flicking the
    gun and shooting just b4 the gun is tottaly straight, then maybe guiding the arm
    to the desired curve location.(if the feat is possible offcourse)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    Well, I'm telling yah I saw a cannonball curve in the air.
    It may not travel as fast as a bulletn but it cetrainly weighs more and has the
    same unragged surface.

    Putting into consideration that shooting the gun normally obvoiusly won't curve it,
    skillz need to be applied; like flicking the
    gun and shooting just b4 the gun is tottaly straight, then maybe guiding the arm
    to the desired curve location.(if the feat is possible offcourse)

    Arc or curve sure. But to go around corners, it is just not going to happen.

    You know why seeing a projectile curve is so amazing, is because of its velocity and still it curves. But if you measure the distance it travels and the amount it turns. It would be hard to notice it turned unless you can see its whole path.

    If you have ever played pool and used English on the ball, you know that the ball turns much better as it slows down.

    Over a long distance, the ball will move a lot, a fascinating amount, but not enough to get around balls blocking your shot on the table. Unless you put back spin on the ball as well, to slow it down when it gets to where you want it to turn, at that point the right or left English can turn the ball around corners.

    However on a low velocity round, a very long round, like the type that they claim shot Kennedy, if it tumbled, and was going slow enough, it might very well, make some sharp turns. Just like some rounds after hitting paper targets or brush, tumble and make rather pronounced turns. But I don't think you could control it to any useful purpose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    flicking the
    gun and shooting just b4 the gun is tottaly straight
    Consider that the velocity of even a slow handgun bullet is on the order of 1000 feet per second. Then if your barrel is 1 foot long, the bullet, traveling an average of 500 fps, is only in the barrel for 1/500 of a second. Now consider that your reaction time is on the order of 1/5 of a second, or 100 times as long. Your chances of "flicking" the barrel with the bullet still inside the barrel are slim and none.
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  23. #22  
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    You don't need to flick the gun only when you shoot, you can make a long enough
    flick so when you shoot, the flicking motion will already be in action
    and the bullet still be in the barrel. so there.
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    Curving a ball shot might be possible but only with serious modification of the barrel and shot. The move used in the movie would not be humanly possible.
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  25. #24 Re: Curving bullets 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    I was just watching the movie "Wanted" (with Angelina Jolie) and there
    was a guy there that by flicking his gun somehow he was able to make
    the bullet curve and hit Angelina's car which was BEHIND a track (it didn't
    recochet from anything btw)...

    I was just wondering if it's possible to accomplish such a feat in RL??
    Yes you can make a round ball curve quite a bit. That is why muskets (guns that preceded rifles) were so wildly inaccurate. The problem is that you can't control the curve, so the movie effect won't work repeatably. I didn't see the movie so I don't know how extreme the curve was.

    But you cannot get this effect with a gun by "flicking" it. That is pure Hollywood.
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    curve would need the bullet to roll
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuka
    I asked to please leave the "practical" stuff outside.

    In my experiance trying to have a (forum)conversation about great feats AND
    trying to incorporate the actual practical uses and training into it quickly
    spoils the experiance of all the practipians in the discussion...

    Theories 1st, training l8erz.

    ..Theories anyone?

    p.s. you don't have to be in the army to wave a gun, and in that matter;
    you don't have to shoot to actually train(at least for starters).
    This is a physics forum and, here, the word "theory" includes tested hypotheses and, well, physics. Forum conversations about "great feats" might be a better fit in the SciFi section.
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    A "flick" (meaning moving the gun horizontally while the bullet is in the barrel) cannot cause the bullet to curve no matter how fast or precisely-timed the movement is. Why has nobody mentioned Sir Isaac and his First Law!? If I fire a bullet north and add a westerly component to its motion (no gravity, no air) it will travel in a perfectly straight line in a north-west direction that is the vector sum of the two velocities!

    To make a body in motion deviate from a straight line it must be subject to a force while it is in flight. A constant force, such a gravity, will result in a curved flight path. The only force that could cause a sideways curve would be differential air pressure caused by faster airflow on one side of a spinning spherical shot. This is the curve ball in baseball, or the corner shot in soccer, previously mentioned.

    MagiMaster and McCormick were on the right track. Billiard balls can be strongly curved by experts. The shot is called a masse shot. One uses a short cue and stikes downward on the cue ball. If I hit down of the left side of the ball, it will spin downward on the left (as seen from above) and it will curve to the left due to friction with the felt on the table. A good pool player can curve the cue ball by more than a foot over the length of the table! This effect would not work in air.

    In air, the shot would have to be spherical and it would have to be spinning in a horizontal plane (around a vertical axis). For example, if the left-hand edge of the shot were spinning towards you, the shot would curve to the left. Dimples like a golf ball would help.

    The air in contact with the left side of the ball would be "thrown" towards the back of the shot by contact with the spinning surface. This air moves past the shot faster than the air on the right-hand side, causing a partial vacuum that moves the shot to the left. The effect is exactly the same principle that causes lift on the top of an airplane wing.

    A regular bullet, without rifling in the barrel, would tumble and would deviate from a straight line in sporadic unpredictable ways. With rifling in the barrel, the most you can get from a sideways force on the bullet is a wobble (gyroscopic precession) such as is sometimes seen on a thrown American football.

    So how do you get a (nearly) spherical shot to consistently leave the barrel of a gun spinning around a vertical axis? So far as I know, there is no way to rifle the barrel or shape or weight the shot to achieve this, but it is theoretically possible. Perhaps if the shot lets a little more gas escape down the left side of the barrel because there is a straight groove down the left side of the barrel?
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