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The Bullet Test Tube: Ever used or heard of it?

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by 21Carrier, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    Hey guys, I just ran across this thing called The Bullet Test Tube. Has anyone used this thing? I saw some blog where this guy had used some to test a bunch of bullets. It looks really cool.

    Basically it's a tube with this ballistics gelatin type material in it. You shoot it, and it catches the bullet. The really cool things about it: First, it doesn't rebound like ballistic gelatin. This means that the wound channel remains intact for studying. Second, it can be melted and reused.

    The guy whose blog I read just kept melting it and filling shipping tubes with the goop. It sounds pretty cool. If I read their site correctly, a handgun tube can be bought for about $30. I might have to get this. Check it out!

    http://www.thebullettesttube.com/index.html
     

  2. Kegs

    Kegs Ol 8 fingers ;)

    2,688
    3
    Oct 26, 2009
    Cold side of conus
  3. Jitterbug

    Jitterbug

    870
    6
    Aug 27, 2002
    This falls under the "Why didn't I think of that category"

    Coincidentally one of my shooting buddies asked me the other day if it would be beneficial if he "cooked" up some ordnance gelatin, I have no idea of what he has in mind, but he has a background in chemistry.
     
  4. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
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    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    You know, I might try that too. I have a chemistry background also, so I'm sure I could figure something out. It just depends on how much the components would be and how easy they would be to buy. I'll see what I can figure out.
     
  5. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    I'm definitely gonna try to replicate this stuff. They gave me the only clue I think I'll need: it's wax based. I was thinking a firm, partially dehydrated gelatin, but they say it's a non-water based wax. I'm gonna try to mess around and make some sort of softened wax compound. If I get it to work, I'll share the recipe with everyone. Wax-based is good; that means it will likely be cheap to replicate. You can buy bricks of Gulf Wax (paraffin wax) for like $5, I think. Hopefully, I can figure out what to add to soften it.
     
  6. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

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    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    Project time! :) (staying tuned). Reminds me of back in Organic Chemistry :)
     
  7. rippleAdder

    rippleAdder

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    Mar 1, 2011
    Wouldn't like a silly putty substance be equivalent like http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000039 probably need some tweaking but were smart people.
     
  8. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    Silly putty might stop the bullet, but it would not do what The Bullet Test Tube does, namely, retain the wound channel. It would return to its original shape (although not too quickly). Also, silly putty has the characteristics of an amorphous liquid. That means it sometimes acts like a liquid, sometimes a solid. If you hit it with a shock, or pull it apart real fast, it takes the properties of a solid, and will shatter, or break cleanly. Check out Mythbusters for more on this. They tossed a massive ball of Silly Putty off a roof, and when it hit the ground, it shattered. It does not take well to massive energy input. It would likely just shatter. There's another Mythbusters episode in which they fill a large container with an amorphous liquid. If you watch it, you will understand what I mean by amorphous liquid. When one of the guys just stands still on the liquid, they just sink, but if they move their feet around quickly, it acts like a solid, and they can walk right on top of it.

    I definitely think a wax-based medium like the BTT is the way to go. I'm not promising anything in the next day or so, but I'll see what I can do. I'm going to try just pure paraffin wax to begin with (although I suspect it will shatter). I have a feeling this BTT is not rocket science. It is likely just wax with some sort of softener added to give it some pliability. But who knows, maybe pure paraffin wax will react to extreme shock better than I think.
     
  9. Foxtrotx1

    Foxtrotx1

    4,036
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    Jan 29, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    Glycerin?

    While its melted down, add the glycerin. Might break up the structure of the wax enough to give a softening effect when it hardens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  10. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    That's a good idea, I'll look into the chemistry of all of this. Glycerin has about the consistency I'm thinking is needed and its melting point is at or slightly above room temperature, so it might add some fluidity to the situation. At least that's what I remember from glycerin promethazine suppositories! Hey, make fun all you want, but when you have walking pneumonia and have thrown up for two days straight, and can't keep down a promethazine pill, you remember these words: get a promethazine suppository! You can't throw up from that end!!!

    Ok, I'm seriously sorry for the above comments.

    Foxtrot, hello from a fellow Eagle Scout. It's funny, because I tutor high-school kids in Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish, and I was literally just teaching one of my students about waxes, lipids, fatty acids, and the like the SAME DAY I stumbled upon this product. I'm glad I kept all of my Chemistry and Organic Chemistry books. And we all used to say, "I'll never use this crap!"
     
  11. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    4,156
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    Wichita, KS
    Yep... its what's called a "non-Newtonian fluid"
     
  12. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

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    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    Plus, you can use the extra glycerin to make really awesome, big bubbles!

    Yea, that was pretty gross. Thanks man

    lol
     
  13. Foxtrotx1

    Foxtrotx1

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    Jan 29, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    I'm working on year 5 of my chem major :tongueout:
     
  14. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    4,156
    81
    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    Nice, fox!
     
  15. rippleAdder

    rippleAdder

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    Mar 1, 2011
    I just got over the same thing terrible 3 weeks still feeling some of it. The only thing that allowed me to keep food down while coughing was prescription cough syrup. Hope your doing better that **** sucks!
     
  16. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    Oh no, I'm not sick now. I had that crap years ago, but I still remember it. It was the sickest I've ever been. It seems like medicated suppositories are not too well known. At the time, I couldn't even take syrup or anything. Even a teaspoon of syrup. The second it hit my stomach I'd be throwing up for 30 minutes. The suppositories saved my life.

    Foxtrot, I did a little bit of looking, and we'll have to see about the glycerin (I need to quit thinking about it, and just start playing with it). It might soften up the wax a little, but being an alcohol (1,2,3-propanol), I don't know if it will even mix with the wax. Waxes are highly non-polar being esters. I'm just not sure if they will mix well. I'm not going to try to synthesize anything, I just want some sort of homogenous mixture that will slightly soften the wax.

    I definitely can't use anything water-based, because it will hydrolyze and break down the wax into its component alcohol and carboxylic acid when heated (and water being polar would keep them from mixing anyway). If pure wax fails, I'll try the glycerin, then move on to other organics if it fails. I don't even know where I can get glycerin in quantity. Any ideas? I was also thinking of Vaseline, but I haven't looked at its chemistry yet. Anyway, it's all just conjecture until I go get the wax.
     
  17. hubcap500

    hubcap500

    293
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    Jan 29, 2005
    Iowa
    If you look at some cast bullet sites they have recipes for bullet lube using paraffin and other ingredients like ATF, beeswax, vasoline, etc. Something like that ought to work???
     
  18. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    I would think so. I was also thinking of maybe using some type of car wax to mix in. Most are usually carnauba wax based, and any other ingredients are obviously wax-soluble. I haven't had the time the last 3 days to start messing with it, nor will I tonight. Hopefully in the next day or two though.