Amid news that there’s a shortage of ammunition in the US (specifically .22 300-, .303 and .243 caliber shells) it may be time to think of some alternatives.
Regarding rumors Homeland Security has stockpiled ammunition, the NRA has clarified in fact government purchase are down in the last three years. In fact it is due to increased demand, rising raw material and labor costs, and tighter gun control. So, here is our list of viable alternatives for this year’s empty handed subsistence hunters:
Owing to their large bore size, shotguns can load all sorts of unique ammo you wouldn’t normally find on smaller-caliber weapons like rifles or handguns. And if you’re a Tarantino fan, you probably remember the scene in Kill Bill Vol. 2 where Bud blows the Bride away with a shell full of rock salt. Turns out, Tarantino didn’t completely make that up.
Used as something of a poor man’s rubber bullets, rock salt slugs were designed to scare off trespassers—it was a stronger warning than foul language, and not as much overkill as live ammunition. And from the ballistic tests we’ve seen, the idea makes sense. Rock salt is brittle enough to shatter at close range without breaking skin, but it’ll still hurt. Of course, given that you have to hand-load the salt yourself, and the shotgun’s barrel has to be cleaned right away afterward to avoid corrosion, it’s not very practical. On the other hand, it’s the perfect ammo to stockpile if you’re expecting an invasion from giant alien snails.
Over at the Sandia National Laboratories, engineers have developed a “smart” bullet, which is expected to hit targets out to a range of 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) with Duke Togo levels of accuracy. The bullet is equipped with an optical sensor that controls a set of miniature fins near the bullet’s tail end. Once a target is “painted” by the laser and the bullet leaves the barrel, the sensor tracks the laser dot, sending signals to the fins to keep it on course and land it within 20 centimeters (7.9 in) of the target.
As far as targeting is concerned, it is a miniature Tomahawk cruise missile, a pocket-sized Liam Neeson that will look for, find, and kill anything within a mile.
Not all bullets are designed to shoot people with. Some, like the Dragon’s Breath ammo for shotguns, look more like somebody’s way of indulging their inner child (or pyromaniac).
The round uses a magnesium-based ammo that, when fired, triggers gout of flame that can get as long as 30 meters (100 ft). It looks absolutely awesome on a dark night, and it’s guaranteed to make that next home invader wish he brought an extra pair of pants, as long as the shooter remembers not to burn down his home.
If you’re looking for a solution to the shortage however, look no further. Shanghai Metal manufactures the Copper Clad Steel used to make bullets. Copper clad means both sides of the carbon steel are covered with T2 copper. This is a novel alloy material which can be used in a variety of applications. To find out more, please visit our website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Or you could try our new mobile app by scanning our QR code.
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Siobhan R.// SMC Editor