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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
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Message started by Mithras on Jul 1st, 2004 at 3:10pm

Title: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Mithras on 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!  :)

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Douglas on Jul 1st, 2004 at 3:43pm
Smoothness may not be a virtue. Look to the dimples on golfballs:
Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Hobb on Jul 1st, 2004 at 4:01pm
So they're cuter when they smile, of course. ;D

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Johnny on Jul 1st, 2004 at 5:35pm
Ok Mithras, now we want to know how you made them, every detail!!!
Johnny

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Mithras on 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).

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Johnny on 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

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Yurek on Jul 1st, 2004 at 6:31pm
Mithras,

Nice glandes. Yours look more historically :)

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

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by ZaQ on 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.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Gun on 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.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Mithras on 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!

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by nwmanitou on 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.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by mgreenfield on 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

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Yurek on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 5:18pm
What about stannum? Seems be pretty good, not toxic and easy fusible, still dense.

Jurek  

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by TechStuf on 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.  

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Johnny on 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

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by TechStuf on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 5:44pm
Thanks alot Jonny......NOW you tell me.   If they ever let me off this iron lung machine....I'll show you how to sling the lead!      wheeezzzeee   coughhh.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Johnny on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 6:09pm
Oh,behaaaave!

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Gun on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 7:37pm
ZINC IS VERY DANGEROUS!!!!! In welding class, we were taught to be out side if we welded any thing with a galvanzied coating. It is also almost killed my machine shop instrutor. Please be very careful with zinc.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by ZaQ on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 7:43pm
Gun is right.  When zinc get's hot it gives off toxic fumes.  You you do anything with it, do like Gun said be outside in a well ventalated area and use a mask.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by mgreenfield on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 8:35pm
I like the chunks of steel rod idea.  Should be pretty cheep, and cylindrical shape of cut-off pieces probably close enough to glande shape to behave OK in sling and in flight.    Only challenge would be to find a power saw to cut them to length.   FYI see below:

For 2oz pieces cut 5/8" rod in 1-7/16" lengths
For 2oz pieces cut 3/4" rod in 1" lengths
For 3oz pieces cut 3/4" rod in 1-1/2" lengths
For 3oz pieces cut 7/8" rod in 1-1/8" lengths
For 4oz pieces cut 7/8" rod in 1-1/2" lengths
For 4oz pieces cut 1" rod in 1-1/8" lengths

mgreenfield

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by nwmanitou on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 8:46pm
Ok, here's another idea.

Anyone here do rock shaping? I don't know much about it, but I'm thinking that a reudimentary shaping wheel could be made from wood and metal, or even stone harder than the intended ammo

I wonder if there are machines out ther for cheap that would grind and polish stones into nice consistend football shapes.

Then again, we could be back to jamming clay into molds and letting them dry in the sun.  ;D

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by ZaQ on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 9:35pm
mgreenfield,

You just gave me an idea.  I wonder how well it would work if someone took a thick steel rod and milled it in the shape of a glande.  That way it would be heavy, aerodynamic, and durable(if you could find it again).

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Gun on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 10:44pm
wasn't there a rock shaping machine on one of the former subjects?

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Matthias on Jul 2nd, 2004 at 11:49pm
http://www.slinging.org/forum2/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=1;action=display;num=1083382323;start=0#0



I *really* want one of these!!! But I'd be almost as happy if someone else built one. Mine was going to be cast concrete grindstones, with an electric drive. We have lots of nice stone around here for this type of thing, and I could have perfect ammo, and wouldn't need to worry about scattering lead.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by TechStuf on Jul 3rd, 2004 at 12:56am
A somewhat underestimated sling ammo, in my opinion,  is the lowly water balloon.  For those who haven't tried it....it is great fun and the ammo, although requiring larger surface area to achieve the desired weight, still flies nearly as far and just as fast out of the pocket.   Now, one does have to procure a fully concave pocket dynamic that cradles the balloon correctly, but the results are well worth it.  One may be surprised at the distance achieved with these seemingly fragile projectiles.   They give great visual feedback as to one's accuracy, especially in direct sunlight.   All in all, a very fast and inexpensive way to produce consistent ammo.   Funny thing too.....I never had one break in the pocket despite my efforts!  And all I used was a thick terry cloth dish rag reinforced at the corners with cords attatched to each corner.   One can sling some very large balloons.....mine averaged the size of two fists put together and they consistently reached well over 200yrds down range.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by TechStuf on Jul 3rd, 2004 at 1:00am
P.S.  Did anyone see the expose on the history channel of the ancient Inuit tribes?   They were showing how the Eskimo hunters used ice ball ammo to hunt the white bear.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by TechStuf on Jul 3rd, 2004 at 1:06am
Not.


But it would be 'cool' (punny, I know) to try frozen ice balls or icicles for those 'hard core' true slingers among us!  You know, with the special break away parka that lets you fully reveal your slinging arm.   My mind now conjures up images of the 'true' slinger wearing an arm warmer with the embroidered Slinging.org logo like Stallone in that  'over the top' movie stinker.  .......YO.....fwippppp.....Adrian....!

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by mgreenfield on Jul 3rd, 2004 at 11:01am
A "plain vanilla" screw machine could be tooled to cut lengths of steel rod into very nicely shaped glandes at high speed and low cost, ....once you had the screw machine and tooling.    Many other milling machines and lathes could do the same, but slower.   You would not need special tooling, but you would need to program the machine.    mgreenfield

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Matthias on Jul 3rd, 2004 at 11:02am
Wow Tech, you're really into the "true slinger" mythos aren't you? Maybe Johnny will draw us up a composite... I'm more a fan of the claok thrown over the shoulder than the tearaway sleeve but to each their own. We'll need a "true slinger" soundtrack for when we go out prowling as well.

Do you remember where /when you saw this program? (if you aren't having a good solid pull at our legs)

(edit: d@mn it Techstuf... I should know better than this - and read more carefully)

The polar bear is the one animal that I pretty much want nothing to do with, and I can't imagine pre-firearms Inuit feeling much different. Even the big cats look pretty soft next to a young "white bear" - the only thing I've ever seen that can come close in terms a raw violent power is an orca, and they are too friendly to take seriously. I think we've become pretty sure of ourselves in our position at the top of the food chain. Being confronted with something that will stalk and hunt you (not mistake you for something else, or be surprised with her cub) for hours or even days is a distinctly uncomfortable feeling.

There is program that repeats pretty often about the Denver zoo's twins. Afwully cute when they are little (and even when they are adults, as long as they don't go insane in captivity - one of the saddest things I've seen). Lots of shots of wild bears shuffling along, or eating berries... You don't often see them exploding out of a stalk to smash a seal, or breaking into a rolling gallop at 45kph.

The arctic is a nice place for slingers though. Ancient beaches (complete with nice stones) all over the place, open ranges in every dirrection. No need to worry about hitting the neighbours house by accident. I bet I could even bag a ptarmigan or two! I don't think I ever got within range of a snowshoe hare, but they should be fair game as well (need big ammo)

Matthias

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by TechStuf on Jul 3rd, 2004 at 12:20pm
Yes,  glad you caught that,  Matthias!    Blame it on Nwmanitou.....he started it...... with all his "Browless one" talk!  






Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by justin Ball on Jul 3rd, 2004 at 6:12pm
Getting some bits for my car the other week, I asked if I could have a few wheel nuts from my local scrappy. Hard, dense, free, pretty much useless to anyone else...

Golf balls can be had cheap.

How about casting copper, rather than lead?

Rather than moulds, why not dropping 2oz amounts of molten lead from your garage roof into a 50 gallon oil drum filled with water...sort of like how they made bird shot up to .38 a few centuries back. Yes, they did find that dropping the lead from higher heights did improve the spheres produced, and produced towers to drop it from, visited one in Virginia.

I still think treating the world as your ammo dump makes a sling a wonderful toy.

Justin

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by nightweave on Jul 3rd, 2006 at 2:18am
Umm I found the old computer Mouse ball quite good to sling. Don't know how they construct them but they are quite heavy for thier size.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by slingbadger on Jul 3rd, 2006 at 10:35am
Have you ever tried soapstone? It works great for molds, and will last forever if taken care of right.
 Personally, I would put a smiley face on one side of the bullet, and on the other side, " Pleased to meet you."
  Have you ever thought of using either pewter or Brittania metal for the slugs? They are easier to get, and you don't run into the problem of antimony poisoning.

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by Antti on Jul 18th, 2006 at 10:43am
Well..
I can get 3 kilos of (scrap) lead with 1 dollar.. maybe I should try to make some glandes.. I was thinking of melting lead out in the garden, and keeping myself upwind from the melting pot.

Having said this, I have heard of a gas-mask, which is designed to filter lead-fumes.. might be a good idea.

Someone wrote, that he had grinded lead with a angle-grinder.. sharp knife should be enough, because lead is reaaaally soft.

I try to make some glandes, will post pictures, when ready..

Title: Re: By Jupiter! A Historical Sling Bullet
Post by siguy on Jul 18th, 2006 at 11:40am
nightweave, do you mean a track ball mouse or a normal mouse?  a normal mouse ball is  a little grey rubber thing.  track ball balls are big (there is a track ball company that makes trackballs that you can replace with pool balls) dense plastic things.  i have thought many times
"what good ammo this smooth dense hard sphere would make for my sling."

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