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By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet (Read 11039 times)
Mithras
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By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Jul 1st, 2004 at 3:10pm
 
After the 'runway' thread where I vowed to try casting my own bullets, I've had a go.

I'm a Roman re-enactor and wanted to cast authentic bullets I can show to the public. I made two inscribed bullets, the first inscribed with the Roman thunderbolt (found on shields) and one inscribed LEG VI (6th legion).

This is my lead thunderbolt bullet: http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/lord_mithras/History1/bullet1.jpg

... based on this original found on an excavation: http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/lord_mithras/History1/b7775.jpg

My other bullet is here: http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/lord_mithras/History1/bullet6.jpg

They may not be brilliant (compared to Yurek's smooth bullets) but they look the part, and I'm a proud father!  Smiley
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They shrink for fear, abated of their rage,&&Nor longer dare in a blind fight engage;&&Contented now to gall them from below&&With darts and slings, and with the distant bow.&&&&Aeneid 9.503&&
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Douglas
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #1 - Jul 1st, 2004 at 3:43pm
 
Smoothness may not be a virtue. Look to the dimples on golfballs:
Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?
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Hobb
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #2 - Jul 1st, 2004 at 4:01pm
 
So they're cuter when they smile, of course. Grin
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Johnny
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #3 - Jul 1st, 2004 at 5:35pm
 
Ok Mithras, now we want to know how you made them, every detail!!!
Johnny
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I also love sushi..!
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Mithras
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #4 - Jul 1st, 2004 at 5:49pm
 
You do? I'm flattered!

STEP ONE: I scrounged some lead pipe from a friend who is renovating an old cottage.

STEP TWO: I made some models in beeswax of glandes. I used photos of Roman finds from museum websites.

STEP THREE: I encased these wax models in clay and left to harden. The tip of each wax model just poked out of the clay.

STEP FOUR: I upended the clay mould and baked in the oven with a foil tray underneath. The wax melted away leaving the glande impression on the interior.

STEP FIVE: I sawed the mould in half, cleaned up the glande impressions and carved mirror image inscriptions in one side.

STEP SIX: I tied the mould together and propped it up securely by the stove. http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/lord_mithras/History1/bullet4.jpg

STEP SEVEN: I dropped a chunk of pipe in a tin cup and heated it up on the stove. http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/lord_mithras/History1/bullet7.jpg. In a few minutes it was liquid. Using workgloves and pliers I carefully but quickly poured the lead into my moulds.

STEP EIGHT: Untie the mould (or smash it) and prise out the glandes. They need a bit of filing to get the flash off, but so what! The finished glandes: http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/lord_mithras/History1/bullet3.jpg

Trouble is, I can't go through it again too easily. I need a reuseable mould. I doubt I'll be able to carve some from wood (like these here: http://www.larp.com/legioxx/bullets.jpg, in fact I don't know how this guy's managed to align his two wooden moulds .... )

BTW: I learnt to do this type of casting on a bronze casting workshop (where I made a sword, axe head and bronze age daggr blade).
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They shrink for fear, abated of their rage,&&Nor longer dare in a blind fight engage;&&Contented now to gall them from below&&With darts and slings, and with the distant bow.&&&&Aeneid 9.503&&
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Johnny
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #5 - Jul 1st, 2004 at 6:00pm
 
I've read a similar account where a guy used plaster of Paris. Be careful about breathing those fumes in your kitchen! My wife would go berserk! I've made four lead glandes from a wooden mold. I had to break up the mold but I learned from my mistakes and will try it again.
Johnny
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I also love sushi..!
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Yurek
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #6 - Jul 1st, 2004 at 6:31pm
 
Mithras,

Nice glandes. Yours look more historically Smiley

There was the thread about dimpled glades once. I even molded a few these ones, but can't say that they flied further than smooth ones. Anyway, no significant difference.

My last glandes are smooth due to the technology and nature of plaster of Paris I used, only.

Jurek
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In the shape, structure and position of each stone, there is recorded a small piece of history. So, slinging them, we add a bit of our history to them.
 
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ZaQ
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #7 - Jul 1st, 2004 at 7:24pm
 
Mithras,

My Dad and I do alot of fishing, and we have plenty of fishing related catalogs.  In my Bass Pro Shop catalog there is a mold for making your own lead slip sinkers which are the same shape as the glandes you made.  it might make it a little easier for you to cast your own ammo quickly and easily.
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #8 - Jul 1st, 2004 at 9:48pm
 
Maybe you can modify one of the fishing molds?
I am a machinsits, so i might try this here soon. Keep you posted.
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"A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" Old Nordic Proverb
 
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Mithras
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Slinging beach pebbles
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #9 - Jul 2nd, 2004 at 4:23pm
 
Thanks for the advice!

I was wondering about 'cheapy chuckers' - buying cheap fishing weights? Are these roughly the right size and shape?

Or, now I know how malleable lead is, just hammering up some aerodynamic shapes to test.

On fumes. S**t. It might have been the dust from the angle grinder (!!?*!) or the fumes, but I got tunnel vision, felt sick and had a stunning headache - I had to sleep it off for an hour. I have been warned.

I'm not laughing either. As soon as I felt it I knew I'd inflicted it on myself.

Let that be a lesson!
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They shrink for fear, abated of their rage,&&Nor longer dare in a blind fight engage;&&Contented now to gall them from below&&With darts and slings, and with the distant bow.&&&&Aeneid 9.503&&
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nwmanitou
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #10 - Jul 2nd, 2004 at 4:47pm
 
Here is that mold from baspro... I'm pretty tempted to get it myself. http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=20862&hvarTarget=search

Oh yeah, considering the toxicity of Lead, are there any other metals with low melting points and of sufficient density to be used as a glandes that isn't toxic?  Zinc sounds like a possible substitute, however I'm not sure about it's toxicity. It's readily available, it is used to make the core of pennies. $5 worth of pennies would be enough for quite a few glandes.
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #11 - Jul 2nd, 2004 at 5:10pm
 
Fumes from zinc are also toxic, and I think zinc melts at higher temperature than lead.  Also, it's pretty lightweight, ....closer to aluminum than lead.   So, probably not such a good alternative for glandes.   mgreenfield
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Yurek
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #12 - Jul 2nd, 2004 at 5:18pm
 
What about stannum? Seems be pretty good, not toxic and easy fusible, still dense.

Jurek
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In the shape, structure and position of each stone, there is recorded a small piece of history. So, slinging them, we add a bit of our history to them.
 
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #13 - Jul 2nd, 2004 at 5:30pm
 
Obviously Bismuth comes to mind.  Since it's introduction as a safe replacement for toxic lead shot, it has enjoyed not much success generally.  It is now priced considerably higher than lead and although obtainable and quite safe.....is also quite expensive, especially for our purposes.   I would submit that some of the most accurate ammo one can obtain is also quite inexpensive.  Metal rod.   One can use various and inexpensive metal rod materials.  Cut the rod into suitable lengths and grind one end sharp if that is your aim, and fletch the other end.  These darts can prove to be the best 'bang for the buck' one may obtain in our sport.
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Blessings in Yeshua!&&
 
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Johnny
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Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Reply #14 - Jul 2nd, 2004 at 5:33pm
 
I think it would be a good idea just to do a little experimenting with lead and go back to rocks or whatever. Handling lead over  long periods of time is just not healthy. I've made a few lead glandes and will make a few more. I'm not going to get into a habit of making and slinging lead on a weekly basis. I don't want any of you folks to grow a tumor on your lungs in the future!!
Johnny
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I also love sushi..!
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