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Pencils as projectiles

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Oleg Volk, Sep 19, 2004.

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  1. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    I am curious as to the likely velocity, range and terminal effects of a plan lead pencil propelled by a primer. The idea has to do with improvised munitions. Let's assume that the barrel is not rifled and that the pencil is fired eraser end first for stability (metal fittings are a little heavier on that end).
     
  2. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Oleg...... (OK, this ain't just primer!) back in about 1962, when out on manouvers during basic training .. we had our Enfield issue drill rifles (this was UK remember) .... and we were issued with a limited number of .303 blanks for use during excercizes.

    I takes little imagination to realize that there would always be some (harrumph!) who needed to ''experiment'' in such situations and yeah .. the ubiquitous pencil did come in for some ''evaluation''.:D

    I cannot give any hard data like velocities etc .. but let's just say .. when put down the barrel .... ''pointy'' end kept up front ...... it did when fired at a tree disappear into said tree!:p :rolleyes: :D

    As for primer only ... guessing here ... I'd expect the pencil to exit quite smartly but .. cannot imagine the energy quotient as being other than desultry, even at quite close range. Mind you - I just may have to check this out sometime!:evil:
     
  3. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    On a similar thought, would a regular bolt fired cap-first stay drag-stabilized or tumble?
     
  4. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Hmmm ..... ''regular bolt'' ...... I am imagining a threaded bolt with an Allen socket head ... assuming that is what you mean ... IMO it'd be diabolical for stabilty! The head would have to fit the bore and so the threaded portion, being reduced diameter woul make this tumble quickly I think. It would need spin stabilization to achieve any ballistic stability. Oh and ... need to be loaded with head to front.

    If however we had some studding ... that might be better. 5/16" would be 0.3125" and so could well be a good fit in say, a .303 barrel .. where bullets are IIRC usually 0.314". Even this tho unless spin stabilized would rapidly aquire tumble.

    Without rifling ..... and I know you refered initially to smooth bore - I reckon the only thing worth using is a ball ... everything else needs spin.

    My 0.02 only.
     
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Your problem here is that the pencil (or whatever) is smaller then the bore. If you wrapped the back and middle of the pencil with 1/4" wide tape you would have two driving bands, and the bore would be effectively sealed. If propeled by a large primer (rifle or pistol) and the flash hole in the case was drilled out a bit I suspect whoever or whatever got hit would hurt.
     
  6. grislyatoms

    grislyatoms Member

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    Pencils as projectiles? Gives new meaning to the term "barrel leading",
    doesn't it?:neener:
     
  7. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Bwhaha!:D

    Get the 'point' ?? :p
     
  8. strambo

    strambo Member

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    My old Army "Improvised Munitions Handbook" TM 31-210 1969 (a classic;) ) has projectiles made from cut bolt pieces same length as origional bullet and caliber as barrel (or pipe on improvised gun-that it shows how to make) loaded into the brass case. It also shows how to use crushed "strike anywhere" match heads as propellant and how to make reuseable primers. Pretty interesting stuff. I haven't tried it (or any of the other cool stuff Agt. Schmuckatelli)...yet.:uhoh: :D

    Improvising a firearm to test would be legal correct? It isn't a destructive device and you couldn't sell it obviously.

    Disclaimer: For information purposes only, and for Petes' sake don't fire a steel bolt piece through a good barrel just to try it.
    :uhoh: :what:
     
  9. Warren

    Warren Member

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    "Don't move or I'll fill you full of graphite!"


    "A #2 pencil ain't good enough! You need at least a #3!"


    Ticonderoga!

    No! Eberhard-Faber!

    Ticonderoga!

    Eberhard-Faber!

    Ad naseum....
     
  10. forquidder

    forquidder Member

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    danger

    Just the firing pin striking the pencil in the eraser end develops enough energy out of a pistol barrel to be dangerous around eye balls. :scrutiny:
     
  11. Jaywalker

    Jaywalker Member

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    I always wondered why Buffy didn't load up some wooden bullets for vampire slayage...

    Jaywalker
     
  12. The_Antibubba

    The_Antibubba Member

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    New Poster?

    (Photo of a young woman pointing a Glock at an unseen menace, with a sharpened No. 2 sticking out of the end)






    The Pencil Is Mightier Than The Sword!

    Write to your elected officials and tell them how you vote.



    :D
     
  13. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    Ready to do some research - - -

    Munitions Test Setup

    Load number one
    Case: R-P Nickel plated, once-fired with hunting loads, previously fire formed in test bed rifle.
    Sole propellant: CCI Large Rifle Magnum primers
    Projectile: New Office Depot #2 wooden pencil with standard pink eraser. Preparation: Trimmed to 7.50†length on Boston model 16 office desk type electric sharpener.

    Test bed: Rifle No. 4 Mark 1, 25.4†barrel

    Instrumentation: Oehler Model 35P chronograph, Start screen at 24â€, check screen at 36â€, stop screen at 48â€.

    Okay. I’m set to conduct tests. All I need is to get a round tuit.

    :D
    Johnny
     
  14. griz

    griz Member

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    Never tried a pencil, but I have used a primed 223 case to shoot 22 caliber pellets. They penetrate about an inch in newsprint, which is about equal to a pellet gun. I would think the gas leakage around the pencil would be a problem, but some wadding, tape on the pencil perhaps, would fix that. As for stability, I think it would be terrible.
     
  15. noonanda

    noonanda Member

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    I have done similar with an M-16A2, a cleaning rod, and a blank round to show Marines that blanks are dangerous. inserted a m-16 cleaning rod down the barrel, then loaded 1 blank round. fired from the hip at a 14" tree from approximately 6 feet, said cleaning rod embeded itself into the tree about 6 inches(the cleaning rod is approx. 8 inches long). Definately proved a point to those Marines. Hell looking back on it I think I was pretty dumb to do it myself.
     
  16. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Member

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    Somebody has WAY too much time on their hands.

    ZM
     
  17. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    This brings up a lot of questions. Johnny, let us know as soon as you get some answers ;)
     
  18. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...Somebody has WAY too much time on their hands..." I'm suspecting moonshine.
    Here2Learn, nope. A Sanford Eagle HB. Geezuz, now he's got me doing it.
     
  19. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    An old trick

    for 1911 target shooters was to wrap a few turns of electrical tape around a pencil at each end, and drop down the bore eraser first. Then dry-fire at a piece of paper an inch from the muzzle. Make a black spot proportional to how a real bullseye looks, aim at that.

    If your technique is consistent, you should have one small, ragged dot under your aiming bull. I've done it many times. (Pracitced that way, I mean, not made one small perfect dot)

    And yes, the 1911 firing pin protudes out quite a ways, and will throw a pencil a fair distance.
     
  20. Chuck Dye

    Chuck Dye Member

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    As I recall, the BIC pen ad in which a pen was fired from a rifle used an unsealed blank behind a pen sitting loosely in the barrel. The safety factor was in the small propellant charge and the huge leakage.
     
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