The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

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The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby ivysbuddy » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:31 pm UTC

Okay, so imagine my surprise that there are currently NO threads on this (at least none that I could find by searching). So here it is.

I already know why bending a bullet is impossible: you can't alter the trajectory of a spinning bullet, especially considering, you know, it's leaving the barrel at around 1000fps. Once it leaves the barrel, the bullet flies the direction the barrel was pointing--rifling, momentum, that whole deal. That's all well and good.

The more interesting discussion--fruitless or not--is: How would it be possible?

No bent barrels, either. Smartasses.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby felltir » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:37 pm UTC

Ferric bullet, and a fat ass-magnet.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby ossix » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:53 pm UTC

shooting at a downwards/upwards angle and letting coriolis "force" do the rest ;)

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby RAPTORATTACK!!! » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:55 pm UTC

That's using human shields! not nice!

and using copper or DU bullets... a jet engine?
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby thoughtfully » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:46 pm UTC

Felltir wrote:Ferric bullet, and a fat ass-magnet.

Eddy currents!

The main problem with bullets is they are moving so bloody fast. If you could blow up the scale sufficiently, you might be able to do stuff. A turning radius of a thousand feet wouldn't require anything exotic (aside from the iron bullet), just a lot of gear spread out over a lot of space.

You might think of it like making little models of explosions and monsters and stuff for movies, just in reverse. All kindof silly though, when its a lot easier to do it on a computer :)
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Cosmologicon » Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:30 pm UTC

The curving bullets in Wanted don't so much fly through the air as mosey. Fox fires a shot, lowers her arm, and casually tosses the gun across the room, and the gun lands before the bullet does. I think you could probably spin a bullet that can't outpace a shuttlecock.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby scowdich » Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:14 am UTC

I think the idea was that the bullets were acting somewhat like baseballs; however, I've never seen a baseball
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I'd have believed the curving a little more readily if the bullets had some special design, like the little aero-whatevers on that rifle bullet at the beginning.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby ICDB » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:38 am UTC

You could make the bullets shaped like little boomerangs? Maybe?

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Dobblesworth » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:54 pm UTC

I think the pieces on Wanted where 'wings of flies were shot off', and where 'bullets were counter-fired at each other and collided directly head-on', would make one awesomely epic Mythbusters episode. I think those sections didn't break the laws of physics that much.
The bullet-bending might be a tad harder to replicate though. Even with that Zen thinking where you deny that your initial assumed knowledge that a bullet can only fly straight, I don't think the swerving of your handgun prior to firing will provide that angular momentum to curve the bullet to your target.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby 0.0 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:08 am UTC

You could make the bullets shaped like little boomerangs? Maybe?


The boomerang works on a principle of rotating at speed to the point that the blade rotating in the direction of flight will have more lift than the receding blade creating the same effect as an airplane with one aileron up and the other down. At the speed of a bullet, the difference in blade speeds compared to relative air will be too small to create the kind of turns you see in the movie. Of course firing the thing will be a significant enough problem.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby ArmonSore » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:08 am UTC

Dobblesworth wrote:I think the pieces on Wanted where 'wings of flies were shot off', and where 'bullets were counter-fired at each other and collided directly head-on', would make one awesomely epic Mythbusters episode. I think those sections didn't break the laws of physics that much.
The bullet-bending might be a tad harder to replicate though. Even with that Zen thinking where you deny that your initial assumed knowledge that a bullet can only fly straight, I don't think the swerving of your handgun prior to firing will provide that angular momentum to curve the bullet to your target.


Swerving your handgun prior to firing would have no effect. It doesn't matter what you do to the bullet while it's in the gun. Newton's first law holds as soon as the bullet loses contact with the barrel.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby 0.0 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:16 am UTC

Swerving your handgun prior to firing would have no effect. It doesn't matter what you do to the bullet while it's in the gun. Newton's first law holds as soon as the bullet loses contact with the barrel.


I would say negligible but not no effect. Like you said, Newtons law holds, so the bullet will be going X,000 fps straight from the barrel but also left to right at the same speed it was going before the charge went off. Although this would still end up being a straight line trajectory, so still no curve.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby jmorgan3 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:18 am UTC

ArmonSore wrote:
Dobblesworth wrote:I think the pieces on Wanted where 'wings of flies were shot off', and where 'bullets were counter-fired at each other and collided directly head-on', would make one awesomely epic Mythbusters episode. I think those sections didn't break the laws of physics that much.
The bullet-bending might be a tad harder to replicate though. Even with that Zen thinking where you deny that your initial assumed knowledge that a bullet can only fly straight, I don't think the swerving of your handgun prior to firing will provide that angular momentum to curve the bullet to your target.


Swerving your handgun prior to firing would have no effect. It doesn't matter what you do to the bullet while it's in the gun. Newton's first law holds as soon as the bullet loses contact with the barrel.

But swerving the gun would provide some angular motion to the bullet. Imagine the bullet just before the tip has left the barrel, but before the tail lost contact with the barrel. The gun and bullet are moving in a circle. The tip of the bullet is slightly farther out and therefor has slightly more sideways velocity than the tail of the bullet. This will cause the bullet to spin slightly about a vertical axis even after it leaves the barrel, and the aerodynamics of the bullet will cause it to move in the direction that the bullet is pointing. The effect will be minuscule to the point of irrelevance, but it will exist.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Soralin » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:03 pm UTC

Use some form of Smart bullets. That page already has a couple ideas (shape memory alloy or spoilers and micro gyro).

You could put some mems like structures on the surface of the bullet, or as spoilers or such, a little microprocessor in it, and use it to quickly change the shape of the bullet over time to adjust it's course. Firing it might be a bit difficult like that, maybe just sacrificing those mems that get taken out by the rifling. Or firing it out of a smooth bore might be easier on it, since you could then just use the mems to control it's course and keep it steady, spinning it up, or extending fin-like projections. You could put a little camera on it's tip and have it track in on an infrared dot or such from a laser in the gun, not so useful for shooting around corners, but might be useful for a sniper rifle to keep the bullet on course, although there could be easier ways of accomplishing that. Or rig a camera or other sensors on the gun and give it enough processing power to recognize targets, obstacles, etc., and then it could program a course into bullets right before they're fired. Although all of that requires a lot of really small and fast (and cheap) computation.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Indon » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Very, very miniature, computer-controlled (because the bullet is spinning, the firing needs to be periodic) rockets mounted on the bullet.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby sgt york » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:15 am UTC

Assuming no wind effects, shoot precisely up.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Indon » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:16 am UTC

sgt york wrote:Assuming no wind effects, shoot precisely up.


Why no wind? Wind bends the path of bullets!
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby roundedge » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:38 am UTC

ossix wrote:shooting at a downwards/upwards angle and letting coriolis "force" do the rest ;)

or shooting upwards and letting gravity do the rest

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby quintopia » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:36 am UTC

Easy: return to using ball-shaped bullets and old-timey non-rifled pistols. A sixty-paces-turn-and-shoot with those involves considerable amounts of shooting and reloading before a bullet happens to hit. That is, they curve on their own. I guess the downside is you can't determine which way they're gonna "bend".

So, option 2: Fight with railguns in space across the width of the solar system. Bend the bullets around Jupiter and you'll get a significant speed increase at the same time if you do it right.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Mr. Freeman » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:31 am UTC

Throw the gun and somehow rig something up such that the trigger is pulled sometime after the gun is thrown. Thus, the bullet is fired from somewhere else while you are in the same place. That's as close to curving the bullet as you're going to get.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned DO A BARREL ROLL.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby 0SpinBoson » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:48 am UTC

Dobblesworth wrote: where 'bullets were counter-fired at each other and collided directly head-on', would make one awesomely epic Mythbusters episode.


Mythbusters did it! :-)

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby ian » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:10 am UTC

Search 'bullet versus sword' on youtube.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby oxoiron » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:55 pm UTC

Firing a spherical slug out of a barrel that has a coarse section running the length of the tube along the inside, covering about a quarter of the diameter, will produce spin that will curve the bullet's path after it leaves the barrel (assuming the bullet isn't fired into a vacuum). By locating the coarse section along the top, bottom or a given side of the barrel, you choose which way you want the bullet to curve (like putting spin on a baseball to throw a curve, slider or sinker). Having a barrel that rotates around its long axis would allow you to alter the direction of the curve by adjusting the location of the coarse section between shots.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby SpitValve » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:45 am UTC

ArmonSore wrote:Swerving your handgun prior to firing would have no effect. It doesn't matter what you do to the bullet while it's in the gun. Newton's first law holds as soon as the bullet loses contact with the barrel.


A bullet isn't going through a vacuum. You can curve a ball, why not a bullet?

To answer my own question: they're probably too fast and too aerodynamic for the spin from jerking the gun across to have any effect. Especially because bullets are spun in the barrel (rifled) anyway, to increase stability, and that spin is probably much bigger than anything you can get with your bare hands.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Thisisnotausername » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:31 am UTC

To fire around an object and hit a target significantly beyond the object: aim a bit upwards, let gravity curve it downwards.

To fire in one big circle and hit self: fire bullet at roughly 6.5 km/s.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Mr. Beck » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:54 pm UTC

Thisisnotausername wrote:To fire around an object and hit a target significantly beyond the object: aim a bit upwards, let gravity curve it downwards.

To fire in one big circle and hit self: fire bullet at roughly 6.5 km/s.

...And make sure there is nothing in the way.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Charlie! » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:47 am UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:
Thisisnotausername wrote:To fire around an object and hit a target significantly beyond the object: aim a bit upwards, let gravity curve it downwards.

To fire in one big circle and hit self: fire bullet at roughly 6.5 km/s.

...And make sure there is nothing in the way.

Like air :P
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Mr. Beck » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:12 am UTC

Charlie! wrote:
Mr. Beck wrote:
Thisisnotausername wrote:To fire around an object and hit a target significantly beyond the object: aim a bit upwards, let gravity curve it downwards.

To fire in one big circle and hit self: fire bullet at roughly 6.5 km/s.

...And make sure there is nothing in the way.

Like air :P

Precisely.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby meat.paste » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:38 pm UTC

Another possibility would be to shoot the bullet in a sufficiently curved section of space-time (like near a black hole). It would appear to go straight from a local observer, but it would arc in a complete circle to an observer sufficiently far away. Light makes a closed curve about at 1.5 times the Schwarzschild radius, so you would see the back of your head when you looked straight ahead. There are some minor technical hurdles to overcome in realizing this concept in practice though. :lol:

http://casa.colorado.edu/~ajsh/singularity.html has some interesting ideas.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:35 pm UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:
Thisisnotausername wrote:To fire around an object and hit a target significantly beyond the object: aim a bit upwards, let gravity curve it downwards.

To fire in one big circle and hit self: fire bullet at roughly 6.5 km/s.

...And make sure there is nothing in the way.

And make sure you actually fired it a bit faster than that, assuming you're on Earth...
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby tday93 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:06 pm UTC

Ok, i don't believe this has been mentioned, and feel free to shoot this down, but be nice ok :)


assuming that you could move the gun as fast as needed, wouldn't the fact that the front of the bullet leaves at a slightly different position as the back, and that however small it may be there is a slight gap between the sides of the barrel and the bullet, wouldn't it slightly twist the bullet sideways? pushing it out of a straight path? Then wouldn't the bullet try to go the direction that the nose was facing, and turn/bend? Obviously the effect wouldn't be as great as was portrayed in the movie, but is this possible?
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Mother Nature's Son » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:45 am UTC

Here's just a thought, which will probably seem drug-induced upon further inspection, but could a bullet the density of which was irregular deviate from a straight course due to its rotation?
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby fjafjan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:25 pm UTC

Magnatically Charged bullet, and Strong Magnetic field?
Getting the bullet charged enough is probably the hardest part of that.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Iv » Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:27 pm UTC

I once read stuff about R&D around bullets that go inside fighter planes machine guns. These are big enough to put some complicated stuff inside. They were talking about bullets with a head similar to a ball-pen that could move a millimeter in one direction or the other, altering the aerodynamics of the bullet and curving the trajectory. It was several years ago, it may be in use today. I don't see why one couldn't use a MEMS in bullets, maybe making one side of the bullet rough and the other smooth, it could be used to direct it. Even while spinning if done correctly.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby cypherspace » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:43 pm UTC

No rifling, spherical bullets, and the Magnus Effect. There only needs to be a way of reliably inducing a spin around an axis perpendicular to the direction of travel. Hey presto, bending bullets.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby oxoiron » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:56 pm UTC

cypherspace wrote:No rifling, spherical bullets, and the Magnus Effect. There only needs to be a way of reliably inducing a spin around an axis perpendicular to the direction of travel. Hey presto, bending bullets.
Been there, done that.
oxoiron wrote:Firing a spherical slug out of a barrel that has a coarse section running the length of the tube along the inside, covering about a quarter of the diameter, will produce spin that will curve the bullet's path after it leaves the barrel (assuming the bullet isn't fired into a vacuum). By locating the coarse section along the top, bottom or a given side of the barrel, you choose which way you want the bullet to curve (like putting spin on a baseball to throw a curve, slider or sinker). Having a barrel that rotates around its long axis would allow you to alter the direction of the curve by adjusting the location of the coarse section between shots.
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Delta_50 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:20 pm UTC

Oxoiron's idea is already used in airsoft guns to make them shoot further, and it dose cause a noticable effect. The only problem I can think of is that the curve is more of a 90 degree curve then a move around an person curve. Also the effect takes a few seconds to kick in if it dosent have a strong enough back spin, so in addition to a twistable barrel you would need the rough strip to be adjustable in length. The other option would be to use a bump in the barrel that can be moved in and out instead of useing a rough strip, but in the end I think it would just be easier to bend the barrel or turn the gun.

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby cypherspace » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:10 pm UTC

oxoiron wrote:
cypherspace wrote:No rifling, spherical bullets, and the Magnus Effect. There only needs to be a way of reliably inducing a spin around an axis perpendicular to the direction of travel. Hey presto, bending bullets.
Been there, done that.
oxoiron wrote:Firing a spherical slug out of a barrel that has a coarse section running the length of the tube along the inside, covering about a quarter of the diameter, will produce spin that will curve the bullet's path after it leaves the barrel (assuming the bullet isn't fired into a vacuum). By locating the coarse section along the top, bottom or a given side of the barrel, you choose which way you want the bullet to curve (like putting spin on a baseball to throw a curve, slider or sinker). Having a barrel that rotates around its long axis would allow you to alter the direction of the curve by adjusting the location of the coarse section between shots.
Aha, missed that. Sorry!
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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby gorcee » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:34 am UTC

Mid-course correction has already been shown possible on spin-stabilized projectiles through the use of Active Flow Control technologies, cf. M. Amitay.

If you're interested, some details can be found in the first few results: http://www.google.com/search?client=fir ... gle+Search

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Re: The possibility of bullet-bending -- WANTED

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:36 am UTC

Start with a gyrojet-type pistol, lose the spin, and add a secondary propellent charge that fires out the side of the bullet.


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