Ballistics type: In your opinion, has this bullet been fired?

Personally, I think it has, but I’m not not a ballistics expert or gun enthusiast.
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Same bullet, all from different angles.

It’s got obturation grooves from barrel rifling and no visible deformation of the circular groove on the front end. I’d say it’s been fired into water.

Unquestionably fired.

Water? Maybe, but my phone books in the basement are full of these. Complete with little specks of paper sometimes.

I’ve seen them come out of a person like this. Bullet deformation depends on speed, and what it hits. They don’t always act like you think they will.

(bolding mine)

For that matter, depending on the velocity, some bullets tend to disintegrate or at the least, break up into fragments when fired into water.

Well, how about this as an alternative theory instead of water:

What if it were fired straght up, more or less. It would top out “somewhere” and then start falling back to earth at the normal 32 ft/sec[sup]2[/sup], reaching a terminal velocity of about 200 mph. I wouldn’t expect much deformation from that, and since it would most likely be falling flat, instead of pointed end first, I would expect little if any on the point.

More of the story: When I *found this bullet, I did what I thought was my civic duty, and took it to a police station. They thanked me for my concern, but then informed me that since no crime had been committed, they weren’t going to take it and do any ballistics test on it (since there was no indication of a crime). The officer then told me, after he carefully examined the bullet, “I don’t think this bullet has even been fired.”:eek:

OK. That was the end of it as far as I was concerned. But I hung on to the bullet for future reference.

(And if you’re interested in the details of how I came upon it, I don’t mind taking it offline, but I don’t want to go into it publicly.)

Since the answers to the OP will include opinions, moved from GQ yo IMHO.

samclem, moderator

If you found it embedded in your siding or the headrest on your car, I’d call the cops, otherwise, no.

If you came across it in the yard or the park while walking the dog, it’s clearly from some idiot who shot it in the air somewhere, and there’s just no way in hell of finding out where, so why bother? If you live in a high idiot area, or the Middle East, I’d consider wearing a metal helmet of some sort.

My county is generally well-behaved, but not the one next to us. Smart people stay away from there on New Years Eve and July 4th!

Remember - serpentine! :smiley:

And where did it land? ISTM that something going 200 mph would get somewhat deformed when it slowed down from 200 mph to 0 mph, unless it went into water.

I’ve dug loads of FMJ pistol bullets out of earthen berms that look pretty much like the photos. They don’t deform much unless they hit a rock or something else hard. Heck, at those speeds, dirt is probably softer than water.

200MPH? That’s only 293 ft/sec. BB gun territory.

Now why a cop would tell you the bullet looked unfired is a mystery to me. Damn thing has rifling grooves in it, for crying out loud.

Because the point wasn’t deformed. I mentioned to the cop that I thought the striations looked like rifling grooves, but he was pretty dismissive about it.

Well, it is possible that the bullet was pushed through a barrel & never actually fired.

Or was a primer only misfire from something with a short barrel.