Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

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Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by Close_enough » Fri May 26, 2017 4:50 pm

The author is scientifically and historically illiterate, and you have to ignore his prattle. But, the article does shed some light on the psychological tactics of warfare in general, and massed artillery in particular.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mor ... d957f4c9d3
The lead bullets were about 50 grams each. Strangely, about 10 percent of them contained small holes.

The confused researchers made replicas of several bullets, both holed and solid, and gave it to a trained slinger.

The solid ones flew at up to 100 miles per hour and could hit objects smaller than a human 130 yards away. Furthermore, they contained the stopping power of a .44 magnum, that gun Dirty Harry carried around specifically because it was so powerful.

“The biggest sling stones are very powerful — they could literally take off the top of your head,” Reid told Scientific American.

They also solved the mystery of why some had holes. Those weren’t as effective as a weapon, but they produced “a weird banshee-like wail” as the wind whipped through and over the holes,

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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by The Twizzler » Fri May 26, 2017 6:29 pm

I prefer this guy.

A point about slings.
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by Stercutus » Fri May 26, 2017 7:24 pm

Let's see a 240gr .44 slug at 1150 fps makes 717 ft/lbs of energy.

A 772gr slug at 147 fps makes 38 ft/lbs.

So nope, no where near .44 magnum. Would it kill you to get hit in the nugget with one? More than likely. A baseball can kill you.

But I could also block it with a piece of plywood. Try that with a .44 magnum. :shock:
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by woodsghost » Fri May 26, 2017 9:30 pm

This leaves me rather confused as to how they got "44 Mag levels of power" out of all that.

My guess is they got some of their numbers reported wrong. Probably the velocity. A paintball can go 300+ fps rather easily, and I'm betting slings get a 50 gram object going pretty fast.

But it needs to be moving at ~650 fps to reach 44 Mag levels of power.

Doing some math, if it reached 450 fps it could reach the lower levels of 44 spl power.
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Fri May 26, 2017 11:03 pm

Unless they had JoergS doing the slinging for the tests, I'm very much doubting they got anywhere near .44 magnum levels.

My guess is someone got the numbers wrong and just went "Eh, screw it." instead of getting the proper numbers from the data.

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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by Close_enough » Tue May 30, 2017 2:44 pm

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:Unless they had JoergS doing the slinging for the tests, I'm very much doubting they got anywhere near .44 magnum levels.

My guess is someone got the numbers wrong and just went "Eh, screw it." instead of getting the proper numbers from the data.
I think the author forgot that lbs. are units of force, and the unit for mass is slugs (lbs/gravity). If you run the numbers using that error, you end up with 1238 ft*lbs, which is comparable to a Buffalo Bore load.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.44_Magnum

The correct answer is 34.3 ft*lbs of energy. Entirely possible for one of Joerg's creations, and potentially fatal if bounced off somebody's skull. And, I did mention that the author was scientifically illiterate....

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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Tue May 30, 2017 3:31 pm

Close_enough wrote:
12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:Unless they had JoergS doing the slinging for the tests, I'm very much doubting they got anywhere near .44 magnum levels.

My guess is someone got the numbers wrong and just went "Eh, screw it." instead of getting the proper numbers from the data.
I think the author forgot that lbs. are units of force, and the unit for mass is slugs (lbs/gravity). If you run the numbers using that error, you end up with 1238 ft*lbs, which is comparable to a Buffalo Bore load.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.44_Magnum

The correct answer is 34.3 ft*lbs of energy. Entirely possible for one of Joerg's creations, and potentially fatal if bounced off somebody's skull. And, I did mention that the author was scientifically illiterate....
Yeah, you did mention that.

I may not be as smart as most of y'all (I'm probably at least a little smarter than the author of the linked article, though), but if I were to write an article about something like this, I'd at least do some research on the subject. Then I'd get the proper data and once I had compiled everything, gotten opinions on the data from the experts, then and only then would I write the article.

My guess is the author had a deadline to keep and just went with the data he had or he just didn't care about the scientific accuracy of it.
Last edited by 12_Gauge_Chimp on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by TacAir » Tue May 30, 2017 7:37 pm

Watched one of the History Channel episodes - you know the ones - where a Brits explain all about Romans or Saxons or the like because he/she is a re-enactor. Great fun.

The episode was about slings as a weapon and their ammo. The whistlers were designed as a Psyop weapon - scary as all get out and forced the OPFOR to keep their heads down or shields up. Advantage - Romans.

The presenter sent several missiles past a mike and they are loud. I can see wanting to duck.

Fun stuff, that.
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Tue May 30, 2017 8:07 pm

TacAir wrote:Watched one of the History Channel episodes - you know the ones - where a Brits explain all about Romans or Saxons or the like because he/she is a re-enactor. Great fun.

The episode was about slings as a weapon and their ammo. The whistlers were designed as a Psyop weapon - scary as all get out and forced the OPFOR to keep their heads down or shields up. Advantage - Romans.

The presenter sent several missiles past a mike and they are loud. I can see wanting to duck.

Fun stuff, that.
I'm guessing you're talking about that show "Conquest" or something along those lines with the bald British dude, right ?

I wish they'd bring more shows like that one back. If nothing else, they can use it to replace "Ancient Aliens" with the doofus with the crazy hair.

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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by TacAir » Tue May 30, 2017 9:28 pm

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
TacAir wrote:Watched one of the History Channel episodes - you know the ones - where a Brits explain all about Romans or Saxons or the like because he/she is a re-enactor. Great fun.

The episode was about slings as a weapon and their ammo. The whistlers were designed as a Psyop weapon - scary as all get out and forced the OPFOR to keep their heads down or shields up. Advantage - Romans.

The presenter sent several missiles past a mike and they are loud. I can see wanting to duck.

Fun stuff, that.
I'm guessing you're talking about that show "Conquest" or something along those lines with the bald British dude, right ?

I wish they'd bring more shows like that one back. If nothing else, they can use it to replace "Ancient Aliens" with the doofus with the crazy hair.
LOL

Bad hair indeed. It does make for a good laff as "UFO Investigators suggest..."
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by JoergS » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:37 am

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:Unless they had JoergS doing the slinging for the tests, I'm very much doubting they got anywhere near .44 magnum levels.

My guess is someone got the numbers wrong and just went "Eh, screw it." instead of getting the proper numbers from the data.
Well, did you guys see this video of mine?

I tested the impact of the bullet and got a million people saying "you tested at point blank, the result will be very different at 100 m distance". True, but I compensated that by shooting the bullet with the V100 speed of a true, trained slinger.

While the energy of a .44 Mag is much, much higher than the energy of a leadball launched by a slinger, the momentum is about the same. For blunt objects (think hammer blow), momentum is a much more suitable way to measure the damage potential.
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by Close_enough » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:38 pm

JoergS wrote:While the energy of a .44 Mag is much, much higher than the energy of a leadball launched by a slinger, the momentum is about the same. For blunt objects (think hammer blow), momentum is a much more suitable way to measure the damage potential.
First, excellent video. A rubber power trebuchet is just too cool.

Second: If looking at moment alone...
50 gram (.0034 slugs) at 150 ft/s generates .51 slug*ft/s of momentum
270 grain (.0012 slugs) at 1450 ft/s generates 1.7 slug*ft/s of momentum
Of course, if you use a staff sling (long staff, short sling), the projectile jumps from <2 oz to around 6 oz. with corresponding increase in momentum.

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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by The Twizzler » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:28 pm

I disagree. The epic escape march of Xenophon's ten thousand would have been a lot shorter if their slingers had 44 magnum revolvers.
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by JoergS » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:15 pm

Did you guys see this video of mine, recorded in South Carolina a few years back?

Muscle operated weapons CAN achieve the same (or better, almost the same) momentum as a .44 Mag.


Of course a .44 Mag revolver has many advantages over a sling - like much faster reloading, far longer reach, much easier to learn, much more accurate, much better penetration, much better accuracy - but it also has disadvantages, like the dependence on ammo you can not make by yourself (from scratch), cost and availability.

In terms of the momentum, we see a draw.

So yes, IF you have both weapons and plenty of ammo as well, the .44 Magnum is the better weapon to win a battle. The advantages outweigh the disadvantage in THAT scenario.
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by Close_enough » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:42 pm

JoergS wrote:Did you guys see this video of mine, recorded in South Carolina a few years back?

Muscle operated weapons CAN achieve the same (or better, almost the same) momentum as a .44 Mag.
.
I did see the video, and I'm not debating it.
JoergS wrote: IF you have both weapons and plenty of ammo as well, the .44 Magnum is the better weapon to win a battle. The advantages outweigh the disadvantage in THAT scenario.
That's also the reason that the AmerInd used bows and arrows as long as they did. They could make the bows and arrows, but had to trade for the firearm cartridges.

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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by feanor » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:12 pm

If it was close to what the math says you should expect then that's that I guess.
It just seems there's way more energy left in the bullets after hitting the target than the shot..
Could the lesser speed of the shot, and therefore longer contact with the target, mean a higher percentage of energy transfer?
Also the deformation of the bullets and target means a lot of heat instead of movement.
Maybe a clay target and measuring displacement would be more accurate, though more difficult.
I do understand that you get a lot of nitpicking on utube but then again I do have to voice my concerns in the pursuit of truth.

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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by JoergS » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:13 am

I think you can debate endlessly about such issues as deformation, energy transfer and so on. Even physicists would argue about that. All those effects exist but it is next to impossible to figure out how much of an impact they have on the result. That is EXACTLY why I performed this field test.

Turns out the math fits the results almost to the dot. The slingshot does 206 fps at 1072 gr, or 63 m/s for the 67 gram steel ball. The momentum is 31.4 lb-f/s or 4,2 kg-m/s.

Here are the mathematical results (gun data from the ruger ammo chart, http://rugerforum.net/reloading/7566-am ... chart.html):

(12) 9mm, 115 gr @ 1155 fps, Momentum = 19.0 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 341ft lbs [15]

(24) 357 SIG, 115 gr @ 1564 fps, Momentum = 25.7 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 625 ft lbs [35]*

(27) 45 ACP, 185 gr @ 1000 fps, Momentum = 26.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 411 ft lbs [23]

(00) 1.0 Steel BB, 1072 gr @ 206 fps, Momentum = 31.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 98 ft lbs

(40) 44 Mag, 180 gr @ 1610 fps, Momentum = 41.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 1036 ft lbs [44]

As you see the pendulum test totally confirms these math. The conclusion: All the other effects can be neglected.
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Re: Interesting take on "whistling" Roman sling bullets

Post by Close_enough » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:48 am

feanor wrote:If it was close to what the math says you should expect then that's that I guess.
It just seems there's way more energy left in the bullets after hitting the target than the shot..
Could the lesser speed of the shot, and therefore longer contact with the target, mean a higher percentage of energy transfer?
Unless the projectile bounces back out (more energy transferred) or punches through (less energy transferred), there's not really a significant difference
feanor wrote:Also the deformation of the bullets and target means a lot of heat instead of movement.
The recovered sling stones were fairly good condition. Bouncing off a bronze armor would dent them. But, punching into flesh... Not so much.
feanor wrote:Maybe a clay target and measuring displacement would be more accurate, though more difficult.
Or you could just mimic these guy
[YouTube]https://www.youtube.com/embed/WbpgnDYUXW0[/YouTube]

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