Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Bending Bullets

like the movie "Wanted"
  (+2, -8)(+2, -8)
(+2, -8)
  [vote for,

Bullets that curve horizontally with the aid of two miniature retro rockets. When the bullet is shot, one of the rockets will fire to give the bullet a horizontal vector . Then to curve the bullet around an object an additional rocket will fire to complete the curve.
redpandainventor, Jul 07 2008

(?) New Steerable Bullet Trajectory Tactics http://jeffreyandtr...tsofvideoresources/
[nuclear hobo, Jul 07 2008]

(?) bent guns http://findarticles...is_7_50/ai_n6038095
[pertinax, Jul 08 2008]

(?) Knife Missile http://forums.space...ex.php/t-30341.html
Does what it says on the tin, but better, depending on sophistication [gnomethang, Jul 09 2008]

(?) Curved Barrel for M3 "Grease Gun" http://images.googl...%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dde
I've also seen a Thompson Sub set up with a curved barrel but I couldn't find the pic. [MikeD, Jul 09 2008]

(?) Bend the barrel, not the bullet. http://www.sarcoinc.com/krummerlauf.html
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 10 2008]

Burt Reynolds Pancake http://blog.craftzi...archive/food/7.html
Very close to the topic of bending bullets... [Jinbish, Jul 11 2008]

Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/EXACTO
in-flight guidance of .50-caliber bullets [xaviergisz, Jul 12 2014, last modified May 07 2016]


       I liked the flying hypodermic needle in the movie ‘Dune’.
CwP, Jul 07 2008

       "Well, sur, them thar f** - er, I mean, civilians, they wuz, like, around uh corner from our puzishun, so we, like, had tuh kill um cuz we coodn't see what they wuz."   

       "Ah, I see now, Corporal. Quite. Thank you; case dismissed."   

       Maybe we need to reverse the trend and get some of the smart back behind the trigger instead of in front of it.
lurch, Jul 07 2008

       2 ways I can think of, with one inherent assumption, that is your projectile still needs to be spin-stabilised.   

       1) use piezoelectric nose on the bullet to use aerodynamic steering to change the trajectory. The piezo elements can actuate quickly enough to allow the nose to turn in the direction of desired travel, while keeping up with axial rotation. Downside is the turning circle will be huge, and turning will heavily decelerate your bullet. 2) A rocket system similar to an 80's era dragon missile. slightly helically offset rocket nozzles near the base of the bullet impart spin but are microprocessor controlled to "steer" the bullet. Ultimately the rocket engines can't react as quick as the piezo version, but then again, given the helical alignment of the rocket motors, you don't need to spin the bullet as much to achieve stabilisation.   

       Anyhoo - not very practical, requiring a level of miniaturisation of the controll components and processors far beyond what we can put together today. This is pretty much textbook WIBNIICHABLTOISITM.
Custardguts, Jul 07 2008

       [CG] No, I just saw the movie and thought about it and you missed the most obvious method, the one they use in baseball. The magnus effect will work, but you have to go back to round bullets and smooth bores with one rough side. Spin the barrel to change the direction of curve.
MisterQED, Jul 08 2008

       if you're going to give it directional control it doesn't need to be rifled.
FlyingToaster, Jul 08 2008

       This thread could get unbelievably technical like really quick. There are projects that are targeting calibers as small as .510 (.50 BMG) that are using piezo servos to adjust in flight trajectories. No you do not need to spin a projectile to stabilize it, though generally there is a aerodynamic drag stabilization used. And magnus effect has to be calculated into any projectiles trajectory. Range cards will correct for this effect if set up properly. Wind also effects magnus effect calculations. the main thing preventing us from the assassin syringes in DUNE is the fact we do not have any countergrav technology. If you send me your countergrav specifications I promise not to sell them to the government. ;)
LoboCal, Jul 08 2008

       [Mr.QED] makes a valid point - smooth-bore, ball-firing weapons might allow the firer to 'finesse' their shots by clever wiggling of the barrel.
zen_tom, Jul 08 2008

       Gyrojet style, or there was a concept in the 1980s based on Copperhead artillery shells that would be steered reactively by banks of single-shot explosive "thrusters" to nudge the trajectory.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 08 2008

       wouldn't it be easier to spin the ball up magnetically *before* you shoot it ?
FlyingToaster, Jul 08 2008

       Spin a spherical bullet by having most of the barrel smooth but one side 'slightly' rough.
Bad Jim, Jul 08 2008

       //spin the ball up magnetically *before* you shoot it// It's going to be tough to do that AND get a good seal for propulsion. Also I don't know how you spin something magnetically.
MisterQED, Jul 08 2008

       I've a "soft BB" gun that puts a top-spin on the plastic balls to increase distance (some paintball guns do that, too). I just went out and shot it on its side. The ball curves a bit, indeed. But not enough to be useful.   

       This idea is a wish for something seen in a movie, and doesn't give a halfway practical method of accomplishing the desired result. And, as best as I can make out, only one rocket would be needed to make a bullet curve. [-]
baconbrain, Jul 09 2008

       // don't know how you spin something magnetically// at the risk of showing complete ignorance of railguns... if you make say a dozen guns coaxial with the barrel surrounding the ball and make the ones on one side go forward and the other side backward...
FlyingToaster, Jul 09 2008

       The problem here is that this invention does not go far enough. The bullet should not just curve, but be fully steerable. Soldiers could then remain in a central location and fire through small holes in the wall, or from a ship offshore, then steering their bullets to lodge in the knees of evil doers. Ideally, bullets would also be able to pause in the air (supported by retro rockets), then reaccelerate if needed. Bullets hanging in the air could serve as an occupying force, with the threat of reacceleration ever present.   

       It may be that as the civilians get used to the bullets hanging in the air, they come with complaints, pleas for help, demands that the bullets accelerate and lodge in the bodies of enemies, requests to help get shoes out of a tree where the neighbor kid threw them. If needed, bullets might communicate with a waggling dance powered by rockets, akin to that successfully used by honeybees.
bungston, Jul 09 2008

       on a more serious note, filter motors used in aquariums spin the propellers magnetically. This allows the motor and electrical stuff to be completely enclosed and not in contact with the water.
bungston, Jul 09 2008

       Hmmm - most of this is descending in to "not really bullets" territory.
Just gimme a 'Knife Missile'.
gnomethang, Jul 09 2008

       Chainsaw gun?
Jinbish, Jul 09 2008

       Alright, here we go...   

       One of the most difficult tasks, when engaged by enemy fire, is pin-pointing exactly where the hostile fire is coming from. Sure, it looks easy in the movies, but then again, the camera always seams to be pointed right at the bad guy when he shoots.   

       Imagine, you hear enemy fire. You are in an urban environment (A battle field where your rocket bullets would be most desirable, yes?) The reverb off of the surrounding buildings makes it almost impossible to tell which side it is coming from.   

       It's broad daylight, (If it was night, You wouldn't be able to see the obstacle your rocket bullet needs to fly around), so the enemy's muzzle flash isn't very attention grabbing. You are now doing what every fibre in your being says is the wrong thing to do ... Poke your head up and look around.   

       From personal experiences, it will take about three or four shots to get you looking in the right quadrant. And other couple to get your eyes on the right building and that last one shot to pin-point his position.   

       Now, you open up with a good 20-30 rnd burst. Your buddy, on one of the other machine guns, sees where you are shooting and joins the party. Now you two talk the guns back and forth to maintain a constant stream of well aimed, lethal fire on this a$$-hole, while one of your sharp-shooters puts cross-hairs on his nugget and ends the engagement.   

       This is your basic enemy engagement.   

       I really don't see any room for your rocket bullets in here, or all the *not-shooting* that would be required to dial them in. On top of that, U.S. Military troops don't* shoot at targets they cannot identify.   

       * not suppose to anyway.   

       P.s. I'm on my way home!
MikeD, Jul 09 2008

       Congrats, [MikeD]! Very happy for you--I hope you'll keep us in your new schedule, once you get done celebrating and relaxing. Enjoy.
baconbrain, Jul 09 2008

       //Chainsaw gun?//
Nope, a "Knife Missile" (Linky)
gnomethang, Jul 09 2008

       It has also occured to me that you have a gargantuan physics issue here as well. But to get through this, we are going to have to define our coordinates:   

       You are at the origin of a 3-D cartesian coordinate system. You are firing along the x axis, and gravity is pulling your bullet parralel to the z axis at your standard 9.8 mps^2. You are wanting to bend this bullet around a corner in the y direction, but you still have some pretty amazing velocity in the x axis. To get this bullet to do anything more than a 45 degree angle at this corner you are going to have to put at least as much "ass" on this thing, in the y axis as the initial firing of the bullet provided along the x axis.   

       To get this thing to turn sharp enough to get a guy hiding around the corner, you are going to have to get the bullet going sideways (y), somewhere to the tune of 2.747 times the original speed of the bullet for a 70 degree turn.   

       My question is, if you can accelerate a bullet to such phenomenal speeds; then why go around the corner as apposed to through it?   

       And just to clarify my original point; If you know he is behind a particular corner, then haven't you had a clean shot on him already?   

       [Bacon] Of course!
MikeD, Jul 09 2008

       I guess I'm the only one who got a serious "Wasn't it cool that thing I saw in that movie" vibe with this poorly thought out anemic little "idea".   

       Geeze, you go a way for a month or two and the whole place goes to pot.
jhomrighaus, Jul 10 2008

       [jh] no indication that the poster saw it in a movie. "wasn't it cool that thing YOU saw in that movie ?"
FlyingToaster, Jul 10 2008

       DOes the line //like the movie "Wanted// from the mean anything to you [Toast]?   

       Hence my WIBNIICHABLTOISITM call in annotation #3.
Custardguts, Jul 10 2008

       Pssst .... chaps, it looks like [Custardguts] is getting a teeny bit anal-retentive .......   

       Someone keep him talking while we fill the enema bag (again).....
8th of 7, Jul 10 2008

       you expect me to actually read something before posting ? phhht. Anyways, the only real solution to the problem-in-waiting is a multiple-rails gun allowing you to spin a ball before firing.
FlyingToaster, Jul 10 2008

       // spin a ball before firing //   

       That's gotta hurt .... can't you get some ointment or something ?
8th of 7, Jul 10 2008

       HEY. I resemble that remark.
Custardguts, Jul 10 2008

       There was another movie with an reference to guided Projectiles. I think it was "runaway". I know it had Tom Sellek as the star. That was a rocket propelled projectile that used an infra-red fire and forget seeker. It came out in the early 80's. Hey I was right looked it up in wikipedia. It would take a great deal of energy to vector more than a few degrees out of axis. The trick is how much distance do you have to achieve the off bore solution! You also have to consider the increased drag as the projectile is turned. This would cause increased "drop" that would have to be adjusted for.
LoboCal, Jul 11 2008

       Yeah, right. Like every entry in wikipedia is chock full of "facts".   

       I agree with [CG]'s WINBI...whatever. Besides, wasn't this all baked by the toon bullets in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Canuck, Jul 11 2008

       A boomerang gun methinks.
hidden truths, Jul 11 2008

       This reminds me of that film with Tom Selleck in. Can't remember the name though. It had Tom Selleck in it I think, but then again I can't be certain.   

       Tom Selleck.
theleopard, Jul 11 2008

       They also covered this in The Fifth Element with Bruce Willis.
jhomrighaus, Jul 11 2008

       ...and in Judge Dredd and also that film with the moustachioed guy. You know, the one that played the detective who was named after an ice cream!Oh, what was his name? Oh yeah...Tom Selleck.
DrBob, Jul 11 2008

       You guys are all wrong, it was Burt Reynolds.
zen_tom, Jul 11 2008

       Burt Reynolds has an ice cream named after him ?
8th of 7, Jul 11 2008

       No, but he does have bacon named after him, which is almost the same thing.
zen_tom, Jul 11 2008

       //Burt Reynolds// //... bacon named after him//   

       And a pancake made in his image (linky)
Jinbish, Jul 11 2008

       Burt Reynolds framed Roger Rabbit?
Who'da thunk it?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 11 2008

       Isn't Who'da on first?
jhomrighaus, Jul 11 2008

       I'm named after Burt Reynolds? And my mom really likes his movies. Hmm.
baconbrain, Jul 11 2008


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