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UK headed toward pollen-coated cartridges

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by lookn4varmints, Aug 1, 2008.

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  1. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints Member

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    Here's an interesting twist from nanny state, anti-gunners across the pond. I'm guessing it won't be long before we'll be fighting this garbage in American legislatures. Check out the pic at the link. I'm sure crystalline grit added to a bullet would do wonders for gun barrels. :banghead:

    http://technology.newscientist.com/...-bullet-could-make-its-mark-on-criminals.html

    Pollen-coated bullet could make its mark on criminals

    18:21 01 August 2008
    NewScientist.com news service
    Barbara Axt


    A few pollen grains and some crystalline grit could link a criminal to a particular batch of gun cartridges (Image: EPSRC)Advertisement Pollen and grit are the components of a new coating for gun cartridges that UK researchers hope will help to identify criminals that use firearms.

    Under their scheme, batches of cartridges would be labelled with unique "nanotags", invisible to naked eye, designed to attach themselves to hands, gloves and clothing of anyone that handles a cartridge. Some of the tags would remain on the spent cartridge casing.

    The tags could perform a similar, but more authoritative role to the specks of unintended explosives residue sometimes used to tie people to guns or crimes.

    The nanotags are made from pollen, and a mix of grains of crystal oxides such as zirconia, silica and titanium oxide. Using varying combinations of crystal and pollen grains, it is possible to make large numbers of unique tags.

    "We decided to work with pollens because they have a unique structure, resistant to temperature and easily recognisable," said Paul Sermon from the University of Surrey, who has led the research. "It's also easily dispersed and carried around in clothes, skin, etc."

    DNA trap
    Pollen grains (see image, right) vary between plant species and are easily identified under a microscope. Chemical techniques could reveal which oxides were mixed with the pollen, and in which proportions to work out which batch of cartridges they originate from.

    "The most challenging part of the project was nanoengineering a coating robust enough to withstand the [high temperatures of] firing and that would still release the tags when touched," he added.

    Sermon says that the tags are designed to be compatible with current cartridge manufacturing processes and could be implemented within 12 months of companies or government supporting their introduction.

    In addition to the tags, the researchers are working on a way to have gun cartridges retain skin cells from anyone that handle them, for later DNA-based forensic analysis. Micro-scale grit can effectively trap cells and protect DNA from the heat of firing. Today, cartridges are smooth and rarely retain DNA or fingerprints.

    The team is also looking to apply that technique to knives so they retain DNA more reliably.

    The tags were developed by researchers from Brighton, Brunel, Cranfield, Surrey and York Universities, with commercial collaborators including UK defence firm BAE Systems.
     
  2. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Interesting, sand paper like cartridges and knife handles to retain skin cells.

    I wonder if there would be increased wear on the action as a result.



    Another concern, since most of the gun crime in the UK is with handguns, yet smokeless pistols are outlawed, how do they plan to provide the ammo in handgun calibers to criminals?
    Are they going to sell handgun ammo for illegal firearms?
    Implementing such legislation on things you have banned would seem relatively difficult.
     
  3. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints Member

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    Actually, what they are proposing is more abrasive than many types of sandpapers. They speak of utilizing CRYSTALLINE products, not amorphous products. Crystalline products (think diamonds, quartz, and the silica in glass) are much harder than amorphous products (think granite). Crystalline products have a much more uniform and typically more compact molecular structure. This uniformity explains why you can see through diamonds and quartz, and this also explains why diamonds are the hardest structures known to man. Amorphous products have a very random molecular structure, therefore, they are not as hard or as durable as crystalline structures.

    You might be more accurate in saying they are proposing diamond-like coated bullets rather than sandpaper-coated. Talk about barrel burn!!!
     
  4. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints Member

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    Seriously, as 2nd Amendment proponents, we have to be VERY vigilant about this type of stuff. The Heller case may have affirmed an individual's right to own a firearm, however, we can rest assured that the gun-grabbers will go after ammunition with even greater determination now. Remember the OSHA-sanctioned ammunition storage requirements that were proposed but defeated. Doesn't California now prohibit mail order ammuntion sales or import of ammo from out-of-state? There are a million more devious, ammunition-banning schemes underway, and these anti-gunner tactics are going to increase in ferocity and frequency. We'd better sleep with one eye open regarding these ammunition issues!!
     
  5. VegasOPM

    VegasOPM Member

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    Buy a reloader if you don't have one and stock up on supplies. Worst case, you will be shooting cheaper practice ammo for a few years.
     
  6. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Actualy a lot of sandpaper uses very hard crystalline abrassives.

    Some even use things like corundum, which is crystalline, and very hard. It is aluminum oxide, and a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale.
     
  7. Restorer

    Restorer Member

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    What an exciting development! I'm so sure this is going to be the wave of the future that I'm going on etrade right now to buy stock in Hornady, FTD Florists and 3M. The triumvirate!

    New fields of ballistics forensics will develop, too. I can just hear the new episodes of CSI..."We've identified the bullet. It's the new Hornady Flower PowerPoint (say it with flowers!) in 5.7mm. It's a copper jacketed round coated with 80 grit carborundum and pansy pollen. According to CODIS WalMart sold it to Bob last week. We matched the DNA tag with the blood sample required to purchase ammunition now."

    Maybe I'm not in that big a rush after all....
     
  8. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Member

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    Just inform them that pollen-coated cartridges are designed to penetrate bulletproof vests. Say no to cop-killer pollenbullets.
     
  9. Restorer

    Restorer Member

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    Guns N' Roses anybody?
     
  10. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints Member

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    Good info, Zoogster!

    Just think, after 20 rounds of crystalline ammo through your new .22-250, it will be time to re-barrel.
     
  11. wacki

    wacki Member

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    This is funny.
     
  12. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    Can you say prices skyrocketing?
     
  13. Hoplophile

    Hoplophile Member

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    Okay, admittedly, that's a pretty cool use for nanoparticles. Screw using it for firearms, dust your paper money with it and see where it goes.
     
  14. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    You would have to seal every box of ammo in plastic, or you'll get cross contamination during shipment. Imagine the database requirements to keep those lot numbers accessable.
     
  15. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    You know that is very similar to how they make some biological weapons viable and persistant in the environment. Or how they 'weaponize' them.
    I wonder if this would get flagged as a biological agent by detectors. If not it would tend to show a very high vulnerability to biological weapons.
    Yes cross contamination would be a real problem. Can you imagine the workers in the ammo factory trying to keep track of and keeping all the powders seperate to comply with the legislation? Or the machines that would have to be cleaned some way to avoid cross contamination between batches?

    To trace to specific purchasers they would also have to use an awful lot of different bio tags, which would require a lot of different batches, and frequent cleaning of machines or worker intensive operations. More workers or labor involved in the creation of ammo means higher ammo costs.

    So much cross contamination when people mix them in wallets that it would be pointless.
    Of course it could effectively show a very high vulnerability to biological weapons being used on the money supply, as active biological agents would actualy be being intentionaly used to taint the money.

    I wonder if detectors would start red flagging ammo, or containers that once held ammo for potential biological weapons.

    It might cause a lot of carriers to just refuse to shop ammo if that is the case.
    If not the case it would once again highlight a serious vulnerability to biological weapons.
     
  16. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    Wear gloves.

    Throw gloves away.

    ?
     
  17. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints Member

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    I think it would be safe to assume current biological detectors would not alarm in this case due to the testing thresholds at which they are set. They just aren't designed to alarm in response to the presence of non-pathogenic plant pollens. As a matter of fact, they are designed to filter out such background/atmospheric artifact so as not to register a "false positive" or "false alarm." Current detectors seek the trace signatures of highly pathogenic bacteria, bacterial spores (i.e., anthrax), or their toxins. Even non-pathogenic bacteria are below the alarm threshold.

    Granted, I say this realizing that detectors could certainly be designed to detect these particles in the future. They just are not currently designed to do so.
     
  18. LtShortcut

    LtShortcut Member

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    That's why this was talked about here in the US and then dismissed.

    It's not powders, it's nanoparticles. BILLIONS of them in one box of ammo. In a couple of years you couldn't walk down the street without getting at least a few thousand on you.

    None of it would ever hold up in a court that allows reasonable doubt.
     
  19. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints Member

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    I'll play devil's advocate and suggest "gloving up" wouldn't work either. We're talking about particles which are 50-one millionth of a meter in diameter; SUPER SMALL and invisible to the naked eye. This means that billions of them would be contained in a small ammunition package and it would be impossible to limit contamination to gloves only. They would be on your clothes, in your hair and probably in your crack, too. ;)

    Probably the only way to avoid getting the particles on you would be if all of your ammunition handling were done in a Biohazard Level 3 containment lab.
     
  20. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints Member

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    Hey LtShortcut, do you remember when or where this was discussed in the US by chance? I don't remember it.
     
  21. LtShortcut

    LtShortcut Member

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    Sorry Varmints, I don't.

    I'm a forensic anthropologist so it probably was discussed at a seminar or some such.

    I do know it was years ago and it was commented on as being impossible to use due to literally billions of billions of these things contaminating everything to such an extent that you would never be able to determine who had handled what ammo, or even if they had ever handled ammo in their entire lives. Whew. Run on.
     
  22. lookn4varmints

    lookn4varmints Member

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    That's OK. Thanks for the info, however.

    This is the first time I've heard of this, and my field is microbiology with only a small amount of forensics exposure. I would be very curious to know what type of testing standards the UK has mind in order to surmount the cross-contamination issues in a courtroom. Maybe positive thresholds based on particle concentrations? Who knows? I found it very interesting to say the least.
     
  23. brerrabbit

    brerrabbit Member

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    wear gloves, spray down the bullets with WD-40.

    Once they dry, the pollen should be encapsulated within paraffin. As far as the bullet case trapping skin cells, it should already be loaded with enough paraffin to preven this.
     
  24. 33-805

    33-805 Member

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    We visited England for a vacation a few years ago. The place is full of very nice people, beautiful scenery and the most screwed up attitude toward government I have ever seen. It was incomprehensible to me. I knew that we, as Americans will never be able to understand these people when I asked a cabbie about the big green locked plastic dumpsters on many of the street corners.

    I was told that they were for the "amnesty". I asked what she meant. She explained that they were there so people could turn in their knives without fear of prosecution. I asked why anyone would do that. I was told that "they say we don't need them, so why would we want them anyway?" I asked who "they" was and...you guessed it, the answer was "the government". The BBC was full of the success of the knife amnesty the whole time we were there.

    I tried to ask a few others what the difference was between the horrible, commando-esque knives they were showing on TV and the knives in their kitchens and they looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language.

    What I learned was that this stuff makes sense to these people. They are proud of their conformity. They LIKE to help themselves be oppressed. They are wonderfully polite and kind sheep. I doubt I will return.
     
  25. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    I'm just an ignorant person, in many respects, so I don't understand why the criminal is going to purchase this specially-tagged ammo which will be used to convict him.

    Surely the proponents of this can see that it will instantly create a black market for "safe" ammunition?

    How much ammo does the criminal use, anyway. I can easily see someone paying a black market price of $200/box (instead of $20) for tagless ammo.

    The "safe" ammunition could be created by one of two ways that I can immediately think of, and I'm not a clever criminal -

    1. Use old tagless components and assemble ammunition.
    2. Use ammunition stolen from another registered owner.

    So, I think maybe the effort should go toward something that would actually reduce crime, like stiff sentences without parole. Microstamping, nanotags, etc. is a solution looking for a problem.
     
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