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Airburst Bullets

H.E. rounds for rifles.
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The chemical fuse lights from the initial propellant, timed to go off at 0.25 seconds, give or take. This gives an effective range of 100'ish yards before the internally scored round fragments and quickly falls to the ground in many pieces. What this means is that it's as safe to fire as a shotgun (regarding people/property).

Low caliber rimfire rounds are very inexpensive compared to both full caliber rifle, or shotgun, shells.

Useful for a more challenging skeet and trap shoot, and for blowing up ducks/small animals at short ranges.

FlyingToaster, Mar 01 2012

Smart bullet http://en.wikipedia...llet#Limiting_range
[xaviergisz, Mar 01 2012]

XM25 CDTE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM25_CDTE
The XM25 CDTE fires 25 mm grenades that are set to explode in mid-air at or near the target. [xaviergisz, Mar 01 2012]

[link]






       So, if you hit a partridge at less than 100ish yards, the thing lands in seven pieces full of shrapnel?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 01 2012
  

       pretty much: should work wonders on groundhogs too.
FlyingToaster, Mar 01 2012
  

       I think the culinary aspects of shooting may have eluded you.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 01 2012
  

       Originally I just considered it for more challenging skeet shooting, but plinking (cans, bottles... trees, roadsigns, etc.) would become safer given the lack of ballistic range.   

       Realistically though you just need enough powder to separate the pre-scored bullet into light unaerodynamic fragments, not actually "blow up" something: that and the "HE" tag was mostly just to see if I could get the Borg to provide a more reliable timing figure.   

       But... choosing the right caliber/charge combination could result in a custom "birdshot" load with the same general effects as getting hit by a bit of a shotgun blast that uses much more shot.
FlyingToaster, Mar 01 2012
  

       What kind of fragments are you envisioning? Are you aware of the current move from lead to copper for game that will be consumed?
normzone, Mar 01 2012
  

       Umm... this one's been in and out of the oven at least a dozen times in the last fifty years, guys.
Alterother, Mar 01 2012
  

       hmmph, and again the only reference I could find was to a .58 Civil War shell; probably poor search terms, ... anything more recent [Ao] ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 01 2012
  

       [xaviergisz]'s link, for starters. The 'smart bullet' concept was the core of DARPA's OICW system; originally it was supposed to be a 20mm all-purpose infantry weapon, then it was changed to a conventional assault rifle with an integrated 25mm launcher when the timed-fuse round couldn't be made any smaller. During and since WWII, timed-fuse exploding bullets have been tinkered with by the US, UK, and others, mostly for air combat applications, mostly unsuccessful.
Alterother, Mar 01 2012
  

       All the military applications mentioned are for ranges set by the operator at the time of shooting, thus the bulkiness.   

       This is a very civilian application: a .22LR round is set at the factory to break up and fall to the ground after 100yds, instead of after a mile. A larger round could be factory-set for 800yds or a kilometer.   

       The bit about blowing small animals up was just spurious.
FlyingToaster, May 22 2015
  

       I think the problem is that, in small arms, a bullet sufficiently weak to blow apart with the charge that will fit inside it is insufficiently strong to withstand the force of firing.   

       So it isn't even fitting a variable or fixed fuse, it's the basic functionality.
MechE, May 22 2015
  

       It seems like a bullet constructed like a stack of washer weakly bonded together would have relatively little stress on the joints when fired. The acceleration would be pushing them together, and the rifling would be applying spinning force to all the "washers" at the same time.
scad mientist, May 23 2015
  

       But the individual washers would be strong in the sort of loading that a bursting charge would provide. It might blow off the back couple along with the back plane, but I don't think a significant mass of them would separate.
MechE, May 23 2015
  

       Why have the bullet fragment? Just put the HE charge in the very tippity-tipmost nose of the bullet. If the charge is calculated correctly, it will cause the bullet to remain intact but stop dead.   

       As an upside, the manufacturer could display the reliability of the bullet by shooting it at the CEO from a distance of 100.5 yards; said CEO could then stoop and pick up the bullet.   

       As a downside, a miscalculation of the charge could cause the bullet to reverse direction and shoot the shooter.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 23 2015
  

       Conservation of momentum means that CEO isn't having a good day either way.
notexactly, Jun 07 2015
  
      
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