Monday, August 02, 2010

Jeez, something smaller than the Bernardelli!

The tiny 3 grain bullet has a muzzle velocity of about 650 feet per second. That means that the gun has about 1/2 the power that an air pistol produces. The projectile is so small that it would certainly penetrate if you shot someone's bare skin, but it also means that I really can't conceive of it doing anything but pissing an attacker off.

Unless you managed to shoot his eye out, of course

Found in comments at James' place


Keith said...

Kolibri pistols fetch a fortune at auction. They would have been extra cool if the tiny barrel was rifled. It isn't.

What the guys fail to point out is, when the Kolibri was in production, there were no antibiotics. Septiceamia and tetanus were a real risk, and fatal.

Regardless of lack of stopping power, one Kolibri bullet was going to be like getting a knitting needle stuck into you.

I think most people would happily forgoe whatever pleasure there is in stealing the contents of Lady's handbag or underwear to avoid that, and the probable infection which would follow.

Mattexian said...

Everything old will be new again, once we have troops in space. A high-velocity needle puncture to one's pressure suit will definitely put a damper on one's day. (I was reminded of Ian Douglas' Heritage Trilogy, where the US Marines battle the French Foreign Legion on Mars and the Red Chinese on the moons of Jupiter, using similar needle rifles.)

Anonymous said...

Poison -- such as Sarin or Ricin.
Or a piece of radioactive plutonium.

Doesn't have to be a lot.

B Woodman

Keith said...

A friend tells the story of one of her chemistry lecturers at college, who got some beryllium shavings into his flesh. apparently a big chunk of flesh had to be cut away around the wound before anything would start to heal.

I gather that some of the little rimfire derringer rounds used to have exposed lube grooves ahead of the case. Story goes that down and dirty types would replace the lube with horse shit. Even if the wound was not immediately fatal, the resulting tetanus infection usually finished the job a few days later.

I can't remember the exact words of the poem Jabewocke; but wasn't there something about "with vorpal bullet"?

Luton Ian said...

There is a strange combination of pestilent armadildo and a Beatles song going on in the back of my brain.

Bits and pieces falling off a me,
I'm not half the man I used to be,
Oh leprosy.

I really shouldn't eat cheese at supper time!

Keith said...


Isn't that the Irish state broadcaster's stereotype of gun owners and rural inhabitants in general?

Firehand said...

Actually, until the .44 Russian round was developed I believe all bullets were heel-type and had exposed lube grooves. I've heard of people sticking their sword into a manure pile before a duel, never heard of doing that to the grooves before.

I checked, it's vorpal sword.

And Ian, that's bloody awful.