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Old September 15, 2005, 09:52 AM   #1
Doug.38PR
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Silvertips vs. other Hollowpoints

What is the difference between Silvertips and other hollowpoint bullets? I know they are more expensive but are they a more effective round? Why?
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Old September 15, 2005, 11:40 AM   #2
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There are far better hollow points out there today. My dept. ditched the Silvertip after a bank robbery in Columbus, OH some years ago in which the bad guy, taking multiple hits, didn't go down. It seems that Silvertips have a tendency to clog up with clothing and don't expand, making them in essence no better than a FMJ. We went to the Rangers, which are basically the same thing as the Black Talon, without the paint.
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Old September 15, 2005, 12:15 PM   #3
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Years ago ??? Manufactures are constantly changing their bullets .Winchester especially has redesigned the Silvertip. So years ago it was not good now it's very good.Some think that they should have dropped the Silvertip name to get away from the bad reputation.
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Old September 15, 2005, 02:34 PM   #4
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Silvertips, interestingly enough, are no longer recommended by Seecamp for their guns. The whole "which one is more effective" argument is too broad as a round down here in Florida may not work with winter clothes in Chicago. A .32 or .380 owners may be looking for penetration while .45acp drivers want maximum expansion. I say, use what you're comfortable with (availability and affordability), what works well in your gun, and what you're accurate with. For me, the perfect compromise of all factors is Federal Hydro-Shoks. Don't get stuck on one name or another or what one shooter recommends over another. It's what works for YOU.
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Old October 1, 2005, 05:32 PM   #5
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I guess Silvertips are better Werewolf stoppers.
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Old October 1, 2005, 05:50 PM   #6
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Old October 1, 2005, 08:42 PM   #7
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Here ya go...

How about these numbers -

CorBon .45ACP, 165g. HP +P: 1250fps, 573ft/lbs
CorBon .45ACP, 185g. HP +P: 1150fps, 543ft/lbs
CorBon .45ACP, 165g. HP +P: 1225fps, 550ft/lbs "Power Ball" load

All three are "gonna leave a mark!!"
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Old October 1, 2005, 08:54 PM   #8
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Im going to be picking up some 165Gr +P cor-bons. Ive heard they are SUPER reliable.
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Old October 2, 2005, 12:09 AM   #9
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Silvertips are just jacketed soft points with a metal covering. Al, I think. No good against werewolves as it isn't a pure silver bullet fired by somebody who loves the werewolf.
"...they are SUPER reliable..." They're super expensive too.
In any case, no pistol round gives 100% reliable expansion. Not even a .45. Keep shooting with whatever you're loaded with until the threat goes away.
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Old October 2, 2005, 08:46 AM   #10
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silvertips

IMO, Silvertip hp are the best deal in premium ammo. 50 rounds for about $20.00 at Wal-Mart. I've never had a misfeed, and they're accurate. there are more modern, more expensive rounds out there, but STs will work just fine.
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Old June 29, 2006, 10:49 AM   #11
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The 110gr Standard pressure .38's are about one of the best things you can put through an older non +p rated .38 for self defense.
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Old June 29, 2006, 01:35 PM   #12
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check streichers prices for premium ammo.

HST-2 in 45 are 16.00 per fifty. hydrashoks are 19 for 50 and gold dots are also 19 for fifty. in fact the smaller calibers it is almost the same price for fifty as many places charge for those little packs of 20.
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Old June 29, 2006, 08:26 PM   #13
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Silvertips

The Silvertip is the first premium hollowpoint. the 115 grain 9mm Silvertip HP was designed to expand to .54 caliber. It is the most affordable of the high end HPs. It is the only brand still sold in 50 round boxes. The round was used by nearly every police dept. until the infamous "Miami FBI" shoot out of 1989. The 9mm STHP entered the bad guy's liver, destroyed it, penetrated 13 inches and expanded all the way. However, he just decided not to die. For that one reason, the silvertip fell out of favor. It was soon replaced by the "Black talon". Another very effective round, except for the sharp edges that cut medical person's gloves. Buy a box of silvertips, you won't be disappointed.
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Old June 29, 2006, 09:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
..."Miami FBI" shoot out of 1989. The 9mm STHP entered the bad guy's liver, destroyed it, penetrated 13 inches and expanded all the way.
The round went through Platt's upper arm, entered his chest, passed between his ribs, completely penetrated his right lung, cut a major artery in the arm and multiple blood vessels in the lung along the way and stopped about an inch short of his heart. It was a fatal wound but he lived long enough to kill some FBI agents. Overall penetration was decent, but due to the non-ideal angle and having to penetrate the arm before entering the chest, it didn't quite make it to the heart.

It was theorized that had it penetrated the heart, he might have expired more rapidly which may have saved some lives. Hard to prove either way given that it only took him about 1.5 minutes to do his killing, but the possibility was enough to make the FBI ditch the 9mm. I don't know that the Silvertip was blamed so much as the caliber was.

Black Talon ammunition was introduced in the early '90s, some 5 or 6 years after the Miami shootout which took place on 11 April, 1986. I don't know if Black Talon ammunition was ever issued to the FBI.
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Old July 1, 2006, 03:07 PM   #15
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Remington, Federal, and Speer still sell 50 round boxes, It is just your retailers not ordering them. It is hard to get retailers to do it because they are getting 15.00 bucks for twenty when you can get 50 rounds for 17. They would rathre take your money than order you the right box of shells.
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Old July 1, 2006, 06:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Silvertips are just jacketed soft points with a metal covering. Al, I think.
I have been told that WIN no longer produces Al jacketing on their Silvertips. In the days when they did, Al jacketing was limited to certain calibres. I know that 7.65mm was one of them and IIRC .45 was another. The significant feature of Al jacketing is that it is invisible on X-rays. Any detached jacketing therefore cannot be seen on the X-rays. On those older versions the Al jacketed Silvertips look like they are all lead on the radiograph.

In 9mm I prefer to use Gold Dots.
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Old July 1, 2006, 09:00 PM   #17
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Aluminum is not nearly as easily visible on X-rays as lead, but it is not invisible. However, you are correct in that there have been some concerns voiced in the medical professions about the difficulty of seeing aluminum bullet jacket fragments on X-rays since aluminum is only faintly radio-opaque.
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Old July 2, 2006, 02:28 AM   #18
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@ JohnKSa

Aluminium jacketing (or as some say 'aluminum') IS invisible on standard X-rays used for medical diagnosis. Even on 'soft' X-rays when exposed directly you cannot see an aluminium jacket. You might see a very thick piece of aluminium on X-ray (such as an aluminium step wedge used for film/developer QA), but then again you'll see a thick piece of anything on X-ray. But unless you have a great big piece of aluminium, you won't see it on X-ray. That is why they make the ports on X-ray tube housings out of aluminium.

Edit: check out this thread where I X-rayed some samples:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...11#post2022111

Last edited by Odd Job; July 2, 2006 at 08:58 AM.
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Old July 2, 2006, 10:51 PM   #19
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I asked a surgeon AND a radiologist and they both said you need a better machine. Both played golf with me this afternoon and both said they have no trouble spotting Al on film. They find it necessary to find it fairly often as aluminum is a fairly common component of both motorcycles and cars and in collisions, they find it pretty easily.
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Old July 3, 2006, 01:49 AM   #20
Odd Job
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http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...3&d=1139350174

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...4&d=1139350174

@ Guntotin Fool

It is not a question of needing a better machine. The X-ray unit itself has less to do with the overall ability of a system to resolve certain densities, than the quality of the intensifying screen and the grain of the film. Have a look at the pictures above. The radiograph is produced from high resolution film/screen combination. It is the same setup for orthopaedic assessments. There is certainly nothing wrong with that quality. Note the complete disappearance of the CCI aluminium cartridge case. Only the primer cup can be seen. Note also the disappearance of the .32 Silvertip jacket (the deformed bullet at six o'clock), even when other smaller copper-based jacket fragments have shown up on the film.

Also you need to ask that radiologist whether he knows what alloys of aluminium are used in motor manufacturing. Alloys will have a different density if the other metal component is not radiolucent. As I said earlier it also depends on the size of the piece of aluminium (if it is not an alloy). A sizeable chunk will be visible on X-ray.
But the bottom line is that when dealing with the sizes and types of aluminium found in ballistics, those pieces of aluminium are radiolucent. They do not show up on X-rays at those penetration ranges found in the hospital. Trust me, I have X-rayed many projectile and cartridge components. I am well-versed in the technical side of that because that is my job. If you are interested I can start a new thread on the radiological appearances of projectiles and projectile fragments. Your radiologist and surgeon friends are welcome to comment.

Edit: I just thought of something. A peeled aluminium jacket may be visible on X-ray if it has retained lead core particles on its undersurface, as a result of impact forces or manufacturing anomalies. But in that case I regard that fragment as a mixed core/jacket density. I don't have any examples of lead particles on aluminium jackets, but I do have examples of that phenomenon on copper-based jackets.

Last edited by Odd Job; July 3, 2006 at 12:07 PM.
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Old July 3, 2006, 02:04 AM   #21
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I don't know about silvertips but a round my partner got me to like and now carry is Winchester SXT's. I work at night and was really impressed with the low amount of muzzle flash as well as the accuracy out of my Glock 22.
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Old July 4, 2006, 02:39 AM   #22
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Odd Job,

The X-Ray pictures you linked to show how important it is to properly take contrast and dynamic range into account when performing any kind of imaging operation. Contrast and dynamic range affect visibility in any kind of imaging, be it X-ray ,visible light or thermal imaging.

Here is the X-ray you linked to now clearly showing the aluminum casing (#7). I used the auto-equalization function in the free-ware photo editing software that came on this computer to adjust your picture. It could be made much nicer to view, but I just let the photo software do it automatically rather than dink around with it manually.


Just a couple of minutes with an internet search engine will show that aluminum is indeed faintly radio-opaque. In fact, aluminum step wedges are commonly used to calibrate x-rays.

What's more, even soft tissues can be imaged using X-rays and the proper techniques.
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File Type: jpg Equalized MPC X-ray.jpg (221.5 KB, 546 views)
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Old July 4, 2006, 04:37 AM   #23
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@ JohnKSa

There are a few flaws with your manipulation:

1) The black area on the original radiograph represents film that was exposed by an unattenuated X-ray beam. In other words there was nothing being traversed by the X-ray beam. For arguments sake, let us consider only the black areas where no cartridge components were present on the cassette. Your manipulation has raised black total density to a mixed black and white mottle. This is a false representation of the latent image and is not diagnostic. It is a manufactured density.

2) Your manipulation would fail if there was any overlying/surrounding anatomy. The radiograph I provided was the simplest and clearest example of how you cannot see aluminium cartridge/projectile components on a radiograph. The items were resting directly on the cassette with no composite shadowing from overlying anatomy. Radiographs for medical diagnosis don't have that base black (unattenuated areas where you produced mottle) as the general background. The background or area of interest is anatomy that has been X-rayed and attenuated the beam to some extent so that you have a density that is more grey than black. If you try that manipulation on a similar radiograph with an abdominal phantom overlying it, you'll just get a white-out. You won't see anything. In fact you'll lose the densities that we can already see on the radiograph before you manipulate it.

3) That kind of manipulation is not possible on film-based systems, which still make up the majority of X-ray imaging systems in the world today. Even on digital systems in use today, you are limited by whatever software is available on your DICOM display device. You are limited to window width and center adjustments and you cannot perform any sort of filtering or multi-step selected pixel value adjustments. The reason for this is medico-legal. It is not permitted to make a manipulation of a radiograph so that the densities of the items being X-rayed are falsely represented. This is to prevent people from 'manufacturing' or 'hiding' features that may have a bearing on the patient's diagnosis. To this end, you'll find that even the basic DICOM adjustments that are done on today's high-end systems are not one-way adjustments. There is always a reset facility so that the image can be viewed in its original state. If this was not the case a radiologist could avoid a law-suit to do with missed micro-calcs on a mammogram simply by manipulating the image so that these are no longer visible. Also don't forget that the image was already manipulated before you got it: I scanned that film here on a 4800dpi high-end scanner. It may have picked up densities that would otherwise not have been visible under other normal hospital digitisation techniques (which are typically done at 1200dpi max, and do not have any hardware filtering applied).

4) Your manipulation has failed to show the Silvertip jacket. No part of it can be seen even with your aggressive manipulation. The same can be said of the aluminium cassette surface upon which the items were X-rayed. The rear end of the cartridge case can be seen and so I must concede that the cartridge case has a latent image of itself recorded on the film. This may be more to do with other metallic components combined with the aluminium of that cartridge case being faintly radio-opaque (either by alloy or by impurity). However even so, the case is not visible on the original radiograph and I contend that it would not be possible to see it if there was overlying anatomy because your manipulation will make the overlying anatomical densities completely obliterate the cartridge case density.


Technically, everything except a vaccuum will attenuate an X-ray beam. That means that technically there is no such thing as a radiolucent structure. Sufficient quantities of a material and/or manipulation of the latent image will reveal anything you care to show (on its own) but that is outside the realms of medical imaging today. The fact remains that on X-rays for medical diagnosis you are not going to see any aluminium projectile components. There is no getting away from it. Your manipulation is impressive, but it is not available/permitted in diagnostic radiography today. More importantly though (in this case with the argument about this aluminium), it would certainly fail if there was any anatomy surrounding the area of interest.

I suspect the only way I could convince you of this is to X-ray various phantoms/blocks of meat with aluminium components embedded therein and send you the original radiographs (the original films).

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Old July 4, 2006, 01:10 PM   #24
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Odd Job,

Yes, once an X-Ray negative has been exposed, it's not possible to make the sort of adjustment I did if you're dealing exclusively with the film. And, even with the sort of adjustment possible with computer manipulation, an improperly exposed and/or developed negative may still not show some thing that CAN be shown if the exposure and development process are managed correctly. (Like the SilverTip Jacket in this case. Although, I think if you do an actual overlay of the visible and X-Ray images, I think you will find that it is nearly all visible.)

Whoever took that X-Ray and developed it did not do so with an eye to detecting aluminum and therefore the aluminum showed up VERY poorly in some cases and not at all in other cases.

I have shown that X-Rays CAN show aluminum, as I stated in my eariler post, and what's more, I did it with your picture. Furthermore, as a pointed out earlier, it only takes a little work with an internet search engine to show that aluminim is faintly radio-opaque and that it is even used to calibrate X-rays--something that would not be possible if it were invisible.
Quote:
I suspect the only way I could convince you of this...
There is no way you will convince me. In the first place, I just posted an X-Ray with aluminum visible on it. You may not like how I did it, but clearly your assertion that aluminum is invisible on X-Rays is incorrect based solely on that picture. If that weren't enough, it only takes a little bit of internet search to confirm that aluminum is indeed visible on X-Rays. I can post a bunch of links if you want, but given that you're balking at the picture, it seems a waste of my time.
Quote:
Technically, everything except a vaccuum will attenuate an X-ray beam.
Not just technically, that is the absolute truth. That is why it is POSSIBLE to not only see light metals like aluminum, but also to image soft body tissues using X-Rays and the proper techniques.
Quote:
Your manipulation has raised black total density to a mixed black and white mottle.
The film was not properly exposed and developed to detect aluminum. It was exposed and developed to show details in the VERY dense lead objects and therefore the aluminum was washed out. My manipulation showed that the aluminum is visible, but because of the way the X-ray was initially made and developed, the results were not ideal.
Quote:
Your manipulation would fail if there was any overlying/surrounding anatomy.
It's likely that the manipulation would yield far better results if there were only overlying/surrounding anatomy. The problem with the X-Ray as it stands is that the VERY dense lead is monopolizing the dynamic range and washing out the aluminum. With only much less dense soft tissue as a background, the aluminum would be far more easily visible.
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Old July 4, 2006, 04:01 PM   #25
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@ JohnKSa

Quote:
Yes, once an X-Ray negative has been exposed, it's not possible to make the sort of adjustment I did if you're dealing exclusively with the film. And, even with the sort of adjustment possible with computer manipulation, an improperly exposed and/or developed negative may still not show some thing that CAN be shown if the exposure and development process are managed correctly. (Like the SilverTip Jacket in this case. Although, I think if you do an actual overlay of the visible and X-Ray images, I think you will find that it is nearly all visible.)
It is not. That grey halo around the bullet is not the jacket it is an anomaly associated with the lead core outline and the filter that has been applied to the image. How do I know? Because the same halo is seen associated with bullet No 3 which is an all-lead bullet. If you applied the above observation to that bullet too, you would falsely arrive at the conclusion that the bullet was jacketed. All of the high density items in your manipulated image have that grey halo, even brass cartridge bases. In fact all of them have also lost radiographic density from white to grey. This, like the mottle, is a misrepresentation of the densities on the radiograph. There are no exposure factors that can create that false representation. It is entirely due to your manipulation.

Quote:
Whoever took that X-Ray and developed it did not do so with an eye to detecting aluminum and therefore the aluminum showed up VERY poorly in some cases and not at all in other cases.
I took the radiograph, and actually the converse is true. I took it specifically to image jacketing. I used the lowest radiographic exposure that we currently used in that department at the time, which is the exposure used to X-ray hands/fingers. The film/screen combination was the highest detail available in the department. It was a fine grain film with a fine grain phosphor intensifying screen. Even if we could go lower, we would not be justified to apply a non-diagnostic dose to the patient. In other words you can't justify doing a really soft X-ray exposure on a person on the off-chance that there is a piece of aluminium jacketing in a gunshot wound. It doesn't work that way. Resources wouldn't permit it even if the radiation concern was ignored. If you wanted to prospectively detect those pieces of aluminium and you had time and resources to burn, then ultrasound would be a better modality. We don't alter the X-ray exposure for forensic purposes, the exposure is always governed by clinical need.

Quote:
I have shown that X-Rays CAN show aluminum, as I stated in my eariler post, and what's more, I did it with your picture. Furthermore, as a pointed out earlier, it only takes a little work with an internet search engine to show that aluminim is faintly radio-opaque and that it is even used to calibrate X-rays--something that would not be possible if it were invisible.
Yes you have shown that parts of the cartirdge case can be rendered visible under extreme and non-available/not permitted manipulation of the radiograph. If you want me to apologise to you about that, I will: here it is, I screwed up. I did not take into account the fact that the cartridge case was constructed of an aluminium alloy which would be detectable upon aggressive manipulation of my radiograph by you, JohnSKa. You showed me the cartridge case when I thought you wouldn't be able to. Does it change anythng in the world of diagnostic radiography? No, it doesn't, because in day-to-day radiography where you are X-raying anatomy there is no way you will see that. Bear in mind a cartridge case is quite big compared to a bullet jacket. Aluminium step wedges: I was the first to concede in this thread that a sizeable piece of aluminium will be seen on X-ray. I was the first to mention step wedges. If you look at a quality control film that has had a wedge exposed on it, the first step or two of aluminium are not detectable on film, and those are quite thick steps, certainly thicker than anything you would find in a projectile component. Thats why they use that step wedge: to get a range of densities from black to white. There isn't another metal you can do that with. Clearly aluminium is special in that it cannot be detected easily like other metals (and I contend that in small quantities and in the pieces of projectile fragments I have seen, it is not detectable at all with current radiography standards).

Quote:
There is no way you will convince me. In the first place, I just posted an X-Ray with aluminum visible on it. You may not like how I did it, but clearly your assertion that aluminum is invisible on X-Rays is incorrect based solely on that picture.
Actually, objectively I have to agree with you. I should have been more specific about the contribution of other metals in aluminium alloys to produce a radio-opaque shadow on the film. The use of that cartridge case in this debate has been a poor choice for me. I will have to find out what its metallurgical composition is. But note that it would not have been seen in hospital viewing conditions. It is not a projectile component either. But that's a point (when argued the way you have set out above) that you must win.

Quote:
If that weren't enough, it only takes a little bit of internet search to confirm that aluminum is indeed visible on X-Rays. I can post a bunch of links if you want, but given that you're balking at the picture, it seems a waste of my time.
That is not a waste of time, it just isn't relevant because it depends on which alloys of aluminium you are talking about. I think I said that in my response to Guntotin Fool above when he mentioned auto aluminium.

Quote:
The film was not properly exposed and developed to detect aluminum. It was exposed and developed to show details in the VERY dense lead objects and therefore the aluminum was washed out. My manipulation showed that the aluminum is visible, but because of the way the X-ray was initially made and developed, the results were not ideal.
I used a standard hand protocol for that radiograph. In that hospital, the exposure is 50kV and 2.5mAs. It is the most unsuitable exposure to use to image lead. It is a very low exposure. That is why you can see the copper-based jackets in good detail. You cannot see any lead detail because the X-ray beam at that kVp is incapable of passing through lead. There could be a massive air bubble in all of those bullets and you wouldn't know because the X-ray beam at that kVp is stopped by the smallest thickness of lead. In fact the beam has not even been able to penetrate the bases of the brass cartridge cases. In terms of the development of the radiograph, that is automatic these days in just about every hospital you go to. Nobody dips films anymore. You don't get a processor-related change in density that is under the user's control. There is nothing wrong with the processing.

Quote:
It's likely that the manipulation would yield far better results if there were only overlying/surrounding anatomy. The problem with the X-Ray as it stands is that the VERY dense lead is monopolizing the dynamic range and washing out the aluminum. With only much less dense soft tissue as a background, the aluminum would be far more easily visible.
It has nothing to do with lead monopolising anything. No density being radiographed can 'wash out' an adjacent one. In fact there is no such thing as washout in radiography. Washout applies to photography. You can't blame my radiograph for the effects of your manipulation. I have told you already, your manipulation provides a false representation of the actual densities of the items being radiographed. If this isn't the case, then how do you explain the grey halos around all the items, even the cartridge case above bullet 6 (there is no lead in that case)?

Now you've proved that some aluminium alloys can be seen in extreme circumstances. But these aren't the circumstances that apply to trauma radiography today. Even the radiograph I have posted is not indicative of the film/screen combinations employed today in the emergency room. Typical exposure values for chests and abdomens start at 70kV with 4mAs and can run to 90kV with mAs values up to 40, depending on the kV selected. At those exposures you can even miss copper-based jacketing, but you can still see tissue outlines. You can see the effects of kV increment on step wedges. At those kVs you might find that the first 4 or 5 steps of the wedge cannot be seen.
I am unmoved. Based on my knowledge of X-ray exposure factors and the appearance of projectile components in gunshot wounds I adhere to my previous statement that aluminium projectile components will not be visible on X-rays done in the hospital setting. I am still willing to prove this to anyone who doubts it. If you would like to send me your aluminium fragments I will insert those into the appropriate media and X-ray them with a range of exposures. You can have the original radiographs and tell me which ones have visible aluminium.
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