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Is it even possible to curve bullets as seen in the recent movie "Wanted"?


Lan(r)12
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At first I would say no, and that this is the same type of flawed logic that leads people to believe that when a ball is being swung in circular motion on a string, and that string is cut, that the ball will go in a an arc.

But instead it flies off tangential to the point at which it was cut.

 

But then someone pointed out to me that you can put english on a cue ball to make it spin. They then said that if you were to twist the gun so that the barrel was moving faster (in a curved motion) than the bullet inside the barrel (as most guns typically make their bullets spin as part of the design) the bullet would be essentally the same as a cue ball that was hit with an angular force or whatever, and that the bullet would curve.

 

If it was physically possible to spin the gun that fast, would the bullet curve? Or his logic fallacious in some way? I believe it is, but I can't think of how to put Newtons law into words to explain his error. Heck, I may be wrong.

 

What do you all think?

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I'd say the more applicable analogy is not a cue ball, which is interacting with the surface of the table, but a curve ball in baseball, which utilizes the Magnus effect to intentionally destabilize the flight path. It's a result a spinning object moving through a fluid (like air) where the axis of spin is not parallel to the motion (as it normally would be with a bullet). It creates uneven pressure on different sides, which deflects the path of the object.

 

I'm not sure whether it could theoretically be made to work with a bullet. (Practically it definitely couldn't, but I assume we're talking about some superhuman ability here.) It would mean somehow giving it a lateral spin as it leaves the gun, and I'm not sure how that would work. I'm thinking it wouldn't, but I'm not positive.

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The word "rifle" comes from rifling which are spiral grooves in the barrel of a rifle that cause a bullet to spin, but the axis of spin is parallel to the path of the bullet. That increases accuracy by gyroscopically stabilizing the bullet, improving its aerodynamic stability. The kind of spin needed to curve the path of a bullet would be perpendicular to rifling spin. It would cause the bullet to tumble the wrong way and be totally out of control.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifling

Edited by Airbrush
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awww you mean you missed the "My Little Pony" avatar I had yesterday too!

 

anyway, a bullet (spinning or not) never travels in a straight line as we think, in fact it`s falling towards the ground as soon as it leaves the barrel, and it`s falling at the same rate as it would if you just dropped it.

so, in order to hit a target you actually have to aim slightly Higher that it really is, and by the time it gets there it`s fallen to the correct height again.

so the actual path when seen from the side is an arc ;)

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you Should be able to curl an Arrow quite easily, and so by extension a Bullet too BUT it can`t be riffled in anyway, and you`d have to load the specially shaped bullet in the orientation you`de want it to curve.

this would exploit drag to create the curve, and so you`de lose a little distance/velocity a bit faster than you would with the ordinary equiv.

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I believe that it is theoretically possible to curve a bullet, as it is possible to curve a baseball—simply cause an uneven force (spin not parallel to direction) and the bullet should theoretically curve. The problem is initially getting the bullet to spin. Once the bullet spins, it will curve.

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You would need a seriously different shape on the bullet than what we have now... like one with threads (as per the baseball and arrow examples). You need something to "grab" the air and create the curve as it spins. Further, "flipping your wrist" as you pull the trigger is hardly gonna cut it... That movie scene was probably the single dumbest thing I saw last year.

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Curving bullets..... two things.. during 2nd world war I believe, they actually made curved barrels to fire around corners ;)

 

2. YT.. could you tell me how one 'curves an arrow quite easily' ? I used to shoot a lot with pistols, rifles and also with the bow.. curving an arrow sounds completely ridiculous to me :)

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2. YT.. could you tell me how one 'curves an arrow quite easily' ? I used to shoot a lot with pistols, rifles and also with the bow.. curving an arrow sounds completely ridiculous to me :)

 

you simply alter the flights at the back.

rather than running perfectly Parralel to the shaft they would have a slant, forcing the back end to one side in flight.

same with a paper airplane.

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you simply alter the flights at the back.

rather than running perfectly Parralel to the shaft they would have a slant, forcing the back end to one side in flight.

same with a paper airplane.

 

LOL. you afre free to go out and test that with an aarrow AND a paper plane :)

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Curving bullets..... two things.. during 2nd world war I believe, they actually made curved barrels to fire around corners ;)

 

 

yes, and the bend in the barrel typically shattered the bullets, creating a shotgun effect, lol.

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