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Old January 22, 2011, 11:26 AM   #1
youngunz4life
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adding to your hollowpoints(JAWS II)

was watching JAWS II(1978) last night, and Chief Brody was adding sodium cyanide(I think) to his hollowpoints for his service revolver. He then was sealing the tops with candle wax from a dripping candle. Basically, he wanted a better chance of terminating the shark if he shot it while on the water. Has anybody seen this part before? Does anybody else enhance their hollowpoints or bullets, and is this legal to do? I am just curious+thought it might be interesting discussion possibly.

PS- I never noticed that my TFL quote was in the movie also which was interesting in itself as well.
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Old January 22, 2011, 11:42 AM   #2
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Not a good idea to make poison tipped bullets. Is your goal to stop the bad guy or make sure he dies? Better think about that.
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Old January 22, 2011, 11:47 AM   #3
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yeah I sort of figured that. I just couldn't remember anyone ever doing that before. I am assuming it is illegal, but don't actually know if its illegal if its done without poison as an example.
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Old January 22, 2011, 11:52 AM   #4
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Assuming it isn't illegal and assuming that it in fact works. Cyanide poisoning isn't going to stop the shark from eating you or kill the bad guy any faster than a follow up shot.
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Old January 22, 2011, 11:59 AM   #5
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well anything extra was a help with the shark. a service revolver isn't going to do much to the great white in the first place
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Old January 22, 2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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Can't speak to the legality, which could vary from place to place. I would think that any place it is allowed to poison pest animals, then poison bullets would be allowed. However, check local game laws carefully.

Obviously not something you want to do for defensive ammo, or for hunting ammo, where you eat the game.

In the movie, Brody was using anything he could think of that would kill the shark. Filling the hollowpoints with poison makes some sense. After all, the goal was to kill the shark, not just stop it. It is reasonable that knowing that he probably couldn't kill the shark with bullets from his service revolver, he figured that poisioning it might do the trick, over time.

And it looks neat on film. In real life, not a good idea.
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Old January 22, 2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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yeah I sort of figured that. I just couldn't remember anyone ever doing that before.
It was also done in the movie, The Exterminator, as Robert Ginty's anti-hero loaded his hollowpoints with mercury.
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Old January 22, 2011, 05:33 PM   #8
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Whalers did experiment with cynadie loaded harpoons but gave it up. One question is whether the HCN interacts with the lead. A chemist would know but I vaguely recall that mercury filled bullets - another movie trick - would dissolve. If someone doesn't know - I can ask a chemist at work.
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Old January 22, 2011, 05:35 PM   #9
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they did mercury bullets in the american. it was explosive supposedly. they did ice bullets that left no trace of the ammo in another.
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Old January 22, 2011, 06:21 PM   #10
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I think Mythbusters or someone tried ice bullets and couldn't get them to work.

I just read a book where the BG was carrying a 60 mm motor driven Gatling. Must have been Godzilla.
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Old January 22, 2011, 09:33 PM   #11
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They also did the mercury trick in "Day of the Jackel" if I recall. Seems to me mercury would cause instability and the bullet to tumble due to the increased weight off center of axis. Essentially any liquid should do near the same thing since by definition any liquid in uncompressable. Mercury has such a high thermal coefficient of expansion I would suspect that even a few degree change in temp would unseat any plug.
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Old January 23, 2011, 03:05 AM   #12
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Way back when... And I mean wayyyy back.... Before my time...

Bowhunters in the locale where I grew up would often buy nicotine powder under the table from local pharmacies...

They would partially fill a small balloon with it and run it over a field tip onto the shaft of the arrow, just behind the tip, with the balloon mouth (the part you would blow into) facing towards the tip with a rubber band holding it closed around the shaft. Then they'd unscrew the field tip and replace it with a broadhead.

The theory was as the arrow passes into the body of the deer, the flesh would peel back the balloon to expose the nicotine powder. The rush of nicotine (imagine the equivalent of 100+ cigarettes in a nanosecond) would cause the deer's heart rate to increase very rapidly, which led to them bleeding out faster/dead quicker.

Might be an old-timer's deer camp tale with little truth to it, but in theory, it is plausible...
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Old January 23, 2011, 04:58 AM   #13
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Reading your post about lead and Sodium Cyanide, I don't think they would react unless an additional solvent were present.

Sodium Cyanide:
Na+ + CN- ---> NaCN
Na carries a +1 charge and CN carries -1

As an ionic compound, ionic forces are hard to break unless you introduce some sort of influence like hydrogen bonding which is why table salt (Sodium Chloride, NaCl) dissolves readily in H2O because of the high energy of the dipole moments of the hydrogen bonds in H2O breaking the ionic bonds between Na+ and Cl-.

If the lead in the bullet is a stable Pb with no charge it shouldn't interact with NaCN at a noticeable rate without a catalyst. If the lead were to react it would still be an ionic bond in nature with either a +3 charge or +4 charge on the Pb atoms which would leave you with Na+ sitting out by itself (if there was any reaction anyway). It would more readily react if it were something like aqueous Lead Nitrate (example: Pb(NO4)3).

However, were you to attempt to introduce cyanide this way (with a bullet) I don't believe a sufficient amount would be absorbed into the system to cause death in an organism as large as a great white. Ingestion puts the cyanide directly into your system with no loss. A gaping would would have all sorts of issues, mostly the swelling and body defense against damage to the system. Secondly, assuming no over penetration, the bullet may not embed itself in such a way that the cyanide is introduced at a fast enough rate over metabolism to cause death. Third issue would be expansion. Would a hollowpoint bullet with NaCN packed unto the nose and sealed with wax expand reliably? Expansion could dispense the cyanide better and be more likely to lead to death from poisoning, but it all depends on amounts, blood loss, bleeding where and how fast, and again the absorption of cyanide into the system.
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Old January 23, 2011, 08:52 AM   #14
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Might cut down on the after action law suits.
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Old January 23, 2011, 09:06 AM   #15
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Might increase the after action lawsuits by family members.
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Old January 23, 2011, 09:24 AM   #16
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Used pure nicotine extract in school. That stuff if very dangerous.

Edited: In a lab setting

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Old January 23, 2011, 09:30 AM   #17
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During World War I the US Chemical Corps experimented with using nicotine in powder and oil forms as a poison agent against the Germans.

There were just a few problems with it, including that unless it rained HEAVILY, the stuff just didn't go away and posed a serious risk to anyone who came into contact with it, as well as the fact that clothes that would provide protection against it were unbelievably uncomfortable because they were fully rubberized, which was unrealistic for combat use.
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Old January 23, 2011, 10:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Might be an old-timer's deer camp tale with little truth to it, but in theory, it is plausible...
Nope - not an old tale at all.

Back in the mid/late 1970's (which BTW is the same time frame as Jaws II) the idea of marketing that upgraded/modern version of the ancient "poison dart/poison arrow was actually considered.

IIRC, the main opponents to it were concerned that any slight mishap an archer had would be fatal, so the idea was dismissed.

IIRC, I read about it in one of the magazines - Sports Afield or Outdoor Life..
It was, again, IIRC, something that went on for a few months, not just a crazy idea somebody had.

I don't recall what poison was to be used though.
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Old January 23, 2011, 10:37 AM   #19
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I have found bullets made of lead to be quite deadly.
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Old January 23, 2011, 01:52 PM   #20
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Anectine

A chemical call Anectine placed in a balloon like 'Pod' behind a broad head was legal to use while deer hunting in Mississippi several years ago. Don't know if it still is or not. The theory was that it would reduce the number of wounded deer.
Do a google search for 'arrow pods' if you want more info.
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Old January 23, 2011, 02:25 PM   #21
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Although my favorite is "Lets go back and get a bigger boat!" (repeated several times)

When dealing with a shark the size of a fishing boat (or close enough), A Browning M2 would be better than your service revolver!

There are lots of things, including many common household products that one could use to poison a bullet. The problem is (besides the legal issue) is that anything big enough and tough enough to not be finished by bullets is going to take a fair bit of poison to finish, and it will take some time. Sharks have slow metabolisms, and they take a long time to die, or at least some parts of them do. I think Brody was thinking that anything that had even a remote chance couldn't hurt.

The idea with mercury in the bullets was that the shift of weight when the bullet hit would make the bullets fragment, and mercury is also a poison. However, the drawback is that mercury reacts with lead. We used to use mercury to get lead out of barrels. Its another one of those "old wives tales" that doesn't work in the real world, but never seems to go away.

Mythbusters is a fun show to watch, but the way they bust myths often only prooves that it won't work the way they do it. They couldn't get a shotgun barrel to "banana peel", even when they welded a steel plug in the end. Split, yes, banana peel, no. So, the myth was "busted". Yet I have seen the real thing (after the fact). Also they "busted" the sniper shooting through the enemy sniper's scope "myth". And we know that has happened for a fact.
Still interesting to watch, just for entertainment.

I got to wonder, just what the law might be held to, when it comes to poison bullets. At first glance, it appears a really bad idea, and I'm positive it would be a bad thing for a jury to consider. But, defensive shooting is justified use of deadly force. So, its ok under the law to kill with a bullet, why would it not be justified to use poison?

Is it the time factor? Because almost every poison one could use would only take effect after the attack was stopped? Since stopping is the intent, and killing is not, killing them after they stopped (with poison) would be the same as shooting them in the head after they were down, right? Or emptying that third "clip" into the body on the ground?

So, if you shoot somebody with a poisoned bullet to stop them, and they don't die from the gunshot wound, but from the poison, its murder, right?
But if they do die from the gunshot wound, since the poison would have killed them anyway, is it still murder?
How would the law look at it? I expect you would lose your butt in a civil suit afterwards, but what would it be for the criminal law case? Also the fact that it might not even come up, if you didn't tell them. Not every pathologist is as good as the ones on TV. If you didn't tell them, and the autopsy missed the poison, so are you off the hook for the poison? Even if they find it later? I think that might be trouble. Doc looks, obivous cause of death, gunshot. Shooting ruled justified, you go home. A few weeks later, toxicology report comes back, says poison. Now what happens? Do you wind up going to trial for murder?

Just a lot of "what if's", for intellectual curiosity only, but it sure looks like poisoning a bullet is a real bad idea, no matter what.
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Old January 23, 2011, 03:31 PM   #22
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^^This, especially when you consider that to the uneducated, plain hollow points seem nefarious.
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Old January 23, 2011, 11:02 PM   #23
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How about tip it with Neosporin? That way you can say you at least tried to not kill the guy.
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Old January 24, 2011, 12:13 AM   #24
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LOL, that is great.
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Old January 24, 2011, 12:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davey
How about tip it with Neosporin?
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