Poisoned Bullets

The concept of a poison contained within a bullet is not new and has been experimented with over a long period of time. As all poisons, in the quantities capable of being administered via a bullet, take some time to kill, the tactical use of such ammunition is of limited military or civilian use. However, it is an attractive concept for an assassin. If the bullet itself fails to kill, the backup system of the poison offers a twofold method of attack.

In 1892, Lagard transmitted anthrax to animals by shooting them through their soft tissue with infected bullets.

A poisoned bullet containing about 38 mg of aconitin (a vegetable alkaloid; 4 mg is a lethal dose) was manufactured in the former Soviet Union.

Jacket Lead core

Aconitin chamber

Jacket Lead core

Aconitin chamber

Poisoned Bullets

Wire soldered to steel tip & base

Solder

Figure 11.11 Soviet designed poisoned bullet.

Steel tip

Wire soldered to steel tip & base

Solder

Figure 11.11 Soviet designed poisoned bullet.

Aconitin is prepared from the roots of a flowering plant known as Aconitum napellus, three species of which grow wild in the United States and at least one in the Soviet Union. For centuries aconitin has been used to tip poisoned arrows. Figure 11.11 illustrates the Soviet design. On impact the steel wedge is driven backward, expanding the slotted jacket and lead core. The bullet fragments within the target releasing the poison.

A German modification of the Soviet design replaced the aconitin with a glass ampoule containing an aqueous solution of hydrogen cyanide, which is faster acting than aconitin. On impact the steel striker is driven into the bullet, fragmenting the bullet and releasing the poison. Figure 11.12 illustrates the German design.

Another German design was a jacketed bullet with a hollow in the nose. On impact the steel plug squashed the glass ampoule against the lead core, causing the fluid to pour out of the nose cavity. This is illustrated in Figure 11.13.

In August 1978, a Bulgarian defector living in Paris was shot with a tiny pellet made of 90% platinum-iridium alloy which was only 1.7 mm in

Steel striker

9 mm Bullet

9 mm Bullet

Cyanide Pellets

Steel striker

Gilding metal jacket with four longitudinal slits

Lead core

Glass ampoule containing hydrogen cyanide

Gilding metal jacket with four longitudinal slits

Lead core

Glass ampoule containing hydrogen cyanide

Figure 11.12 German designed poisoned bullet.

Hollow cavity

Jacket

9 mm Bullet

Lead core

Vintage Cyanide Ampule Cases Nazi

Glass ampoule containing cyanide solution

Figure 11.13 German designed poisoned bullet.

Glass ampoule containing cyanide solution

Figure 11.13 German designed poisoned bullet.

diameter. Two holes drilled in the sphere contained approximately 0.4 mg of ricin (a toxic protein derived from castor beans). This assassination attempt was unsuccessful. However, the same device was used successfully three weeks later to kill Georgi Markov in London. In this case the victim was stabbed in the thigh by an "umbrella" and injected with the pellet.

In 1975 a pistol was developed which was capable of accurately discharging a poisoned flechette over a range of 250 feet. Other dart launchers disguised as walking canes and umbrellas are also known. The flechette was coated with the shellfish poison saxitoxin. The launchers make very little noise and the toxin leaves no trace and has no known antidote. Another variation on this theme is a false 7.62 mm caliber rifle cartridge with a "separable" bullet, with the cartridge case filled with anthrax spores or botulinal toxin and designed for attacks on people within confined spaces, by breaking on the walls or floor and releasing the "poison."93,94

A 7.9 mm caliber false cartridge containing poison gas is also known and is designed for the same purpose. A .32" caliber poison gas cartridge designed to be fired from a pistol has also been manufactured.

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Responses

  • gracie
    What chemicals are used in poison bullets?
    8 years ago
  • ulisse
    Is bullite containing poison?
    3 years ago
  • jan
    What is the poison in bullet of gun?
    2 years ago
  • gualtiero
    Are there poisonous bullets?
    2 years ago
  • serena
    How to make bullets with poison?
    2 years ago
  • marissa cameron
    What is the poisen in gun bullet?
    2 years ago
  • retu varis
    Is there poison inside a bullet?
    2 years ago
  • leonie
    What bullet aavating posion?
    2 years ago
  • kibra
    How to make a poison bullet?
    11 months ago
  • AMY
    What are the chemicals that kill humans in ammunition factories?
    10 months ago
  • Verdiana
    Is bullet made of poison?
    2 months ago

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