Friday, September 20, 2013

Firearm Forum Question: Exploding Bullets

Ask A Firearms Question:
My question is about Mercury Fulminate Bullets.
I have seen two movies where Fulminated Mercury was used as an explosive, one with a bullet that exploded on impact. Does this really work? Can you actually add this to the tip of a bullet?
Thank you Anonymous.

Blog Administrator -
This is a dangerous chemical and requires mixture by an explosives expert. The compound is also toxic and can cause lung damage among other things. Once mixed it is highly sensitive to friction, shock, and heat. It is often used as a trigger in explosives such as blasting caps.
Mercury Fulminate (II) Hg(CNO)2
It has been used in many Hollywood settings to include: Breaking Bad; Burn Notice; Mr. Roberts; and The Day of the Jackal.
If you did load a bullet with Fulminated Mercury, you would have to use it in a revolver. The bullet tip would have to be gently drilled out and the fulminated mercury added. Then using something like silicone or even chewing gun cover the the exposed bullet hole. Do NOT drop hot wax onto the bullet containing the mixer. Firing something like this is very dangerous, and using it in a semi-auto handgun could cause unintended consequences.
Important: Please do not attempt to make or use this.

Here is some reference points:

Body comparison from exploding bullet versus non-exploding bullet.

Mercury Fulminate is used by some military as a tracer, here is what it looks like before and after being fired.

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