Bullets That Slowly Self-Destruct Make a Surprising Amount of Sense

Bullets That Slowly Self-Destruct Make a Surprising Amount of Sense

A self-destructing bullet isn’t the most intuitive thing: normally, you use projectiles to destroy targets, not the other way around. But people make mistakes, bullets can travel for miles, and civilian casualties (or friendly fire!) are sad realities.

In an effort to counter this, the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) has patented self-destructing bullets. The projectile would be filled with a flammable material that would ignite when the bullet is fired. As it burns, it would react with another material inside the bullet, which would cause the bullet to lose shape and become “aerodynamically unstable”—in other words, fall to the ground. By changing the composition of materials, it would be easy to tune the bullet to lose its shape…

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