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Old 12th December 2012, 09:51 PM   #1
fernando
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Default Square bullets

This is a topic not so strange to discussions mainly within the area of fantasy.
I just wish to say that, my eyes nearly popped out when i saw a square (cubic) bullet in someone's great collection the other day. Noticing my excitement, the owner took me to next room where, among several antique guns, he picked a wonderful German example and ... there it was: a square bore barrel.
Just that .
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Old 12th December 2012, 10:52 PM   #2
Norman McCormick
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Hi Fernando,
See the 'Puckle gun' advert. Round for Christians square for Muslims. The rudimentary ballistic qualities of the square rounds were less than efficient.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 13th December 2012, 12:11 AM   #3
Jim McDougall
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Really strange!!!
I once had a guy ask me about a hexagonal bullet he claimed was from the Civil War, and I honestly thought this was some fable concocted by whoever gave him the piece. Turns out this was from the British 'Whitworth' rifle, made in England 1857-1865 and sold to Confederate forces. Apparantly the rifling was more effective.
The well known parable about these sharpshooters often told is about Union General John Sedgewick, who in 1864 was angry at his troops for ducking for cover from the Confederate sharpshooters some 1000 yards away. His words, "...why they couldnt hit an elephant at this dist..........!!! the words cut short when he fell from his saddle, a marksmans bullet hit him just below the eye killing him instantly. Apparantly the rifles being used were the Whitworth's.

I think the German bullet referred to might be a jaeger flintlock item.
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Old 13th December 2012, 12:29 AM   #4
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fernando, you mean like this one by Augustinus Kotter, 1632.
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Old 13th December 2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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Outstanding
I thought this thread was dead even before i started it .
Excelent advert, Norman. Wonder why the bullet shape depended on religions .
Great narration Jim ... as always
Thank you for that, Miqueleter; could even be the same gunsmith. I'll have to see about that
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Old 13th December 2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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Thanks Nando!
It truly is a great and esoteric topic, and always fun exploring the 'lore' of antique arms. It seems from what I've seen on the variations of round vs. square was that the square 'hurt more' so presumably creating a more painful wound? This is what I mean by 'lore' much of which is purely nonsense. A bullet is intended to be deadly, not concerned with pain etc.

There is a great deal of these sort of fables in the stuff about the gunfighters here in the 'wild west', but unfortunately none about bullet shape I can recall. Being as far from a firearm and ballistics person as can be, I am just amazed that a square bullet can traject with that much velocity...I thought the turn in the barrel was what did that.


all the best,
Jim
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Old 14th December 2012, 03:49 PM   #7
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Default A (n absololutely) non expert reply

Hi Jim,
The turn in the barrel (rifling) is, in a rough manner, an improver of accuracy and stability.
The bullet shape in general use in the begining of wild west was in fact round (ball). Later approaching the Civil War bullets became pointed, their dynamics further improving. In addition to that, their bases became slightly hollow, to allow them to expand and better engage the barrel rifles, this still improving accuracy and also velocity, as (here the vital trick) combustion gases would not escape through the bullet/barrel gap.
... This not meaning that the pointed bullet idea was a new invention as, apparently, Leonardo da Vinci had already thought of that.
As for bullet shape variations, a zillion of them was experimented, but the majority didn't resist tested practice, most being born dead.
Speaking of more painful versions, in a more recent period, bullets were modified in order to kill more effectively, aside from those to hurt more, but that's another story; too real to discuss in here, where we intend to maintain fantasy
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Old 14th December 2012, 04:04 PM   #8
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there is a 20c. main battle rifle (g3) that used a polygonal rifling system. and a well-known austrian plastic pistol manufacturer still uses it. some famous german machine guns ( ww2 vintage mg42) used a polygonal rifling system. see this linky

This Linky

Quote:
Originally Posted by this linky
A number of advantages are claimed by the supporters of polygonal rifling. These include:

Not compromising the barrel's thickness in the area of each groove as with traditional rifling.

Providing a better gas seal around the projectile as polygonal bores tend to have a slightly smaller bore area, which translates into more efficient use of the combustion gases trapped behind the bullet, slightly greater (consistency in) muzzle velocities and slightly increased accuracy.

Less bullet deformation, resulting in reduced drag on the bullet when traveling through the barrel which helps to increase muzzle velocity.

Reduced buildup of copper or lead within the barrel which results in easier maintenance characteristics.

Prolonged barrel life.

whitworth projectiles were also used in hex rifled cannons in the civil war by the confederates. 70 pounder:


12 pounder whitworth as used by the CSA

note that it was a breech loader.

projectiles:

Last edited by kronckew : 14th December 2012 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 14th December 2012, 04:23 PM   #9
fernando
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Default An addenda to post #7

There certainly is a lot of technologies that started in the past and kept evoluting until today.
However we all know the scope of this house: keep 'antique' .
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Old 14th December 2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
in a more recent period, bullets were modified in order to kill more effectively,


This is actually shown in a Swedish documentary series (Svenska Slag) about the Scanian War (1675-79). So it might be a reasonably old practice.
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Old 15th December 2012, 01:03 AM   #11
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THERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE RIFLE AND SQUARE BULLETS IN THE J.M. DAVIS GUN MUSEUM IN CLAREMORE OKLAHOMA. THE COLLECTION IS SAID TO BE THE LARGEST PRIVATE GUN COLLECTION IN THE USA. I USED TO VISIT WITH MR. DAVIS MANY YEARS AGO AND CAN WELL BELIEVE IT WAS THE LARGEST PRIVATE GUN COLLECTION. IT COVERS QUITE A RANGE OF WEAPONS MOSTLY GUNS BUT THERE ARE A FEW EDGED WEAPONS AND MANY STONE POINTS AND ARTEFACTS AS WELL, DEFINITELY WORTH A VISIT IF ANYONE IS IN THE AREA.
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Old 15th December 2012, 01:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kisak
This is actually shown in a Swedish documentary series (Svenska Slag) about the Scanian War (1675-79). So it might be a reasonably old practice.

You are quite right, Kisak.
Don't pay notice to my unfortunate expression. I was influenced by casern talks about the use of contemporaneous methods while i was serving in the armed forces... a period for oblivion.
As i (also) approached above, we often find that those techniques thought to be recently invented, have their roots in ancient times.
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Old 15th December 2012, 04:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
... Thank you for that, Miqueleter; could even be the same gunsmith. I'll have to see about that

I have phoned the owner of the example i saw. It is hardly from the same origin; he remembers by mind (was not at home) that his gun originates from Schwerin while Augustinus Kotter is a barrel smith from Nürnberg.

On the other hand, he reminds me of a book written by his friend Dr. Arn Hoff, in connection with the Copenhagen Arsenal, titled Feuer Waffen, where he exposes a lot of material on unconventional gun bores ... square, triangular, oval and ... surprise ... with a shape of a heart; from which only one example exists.

Last edited by fernando : 15th December 2012 at 04:51 PM.
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