When people talk about guns, they often focus on the weapon itself — its magazines, buttstocks, scopes, trigger guards, compensators and suppressors.
Any gun, though, is a means to an end, and that end is hurling a projectile — at high velocity — toward a target. Today, almost everyone refers to such a projectile as a bullet, a word derived from the French boulette, meaning “small ball.” And that’s what early bullets were — lead balls fired from smoothbore weapons — although they evolved into cylindrical, pointed objects launched from rifled barrels.
Although much has been written about the evolution of firearms, less attention has been paid to the development of the modern bullet. For example, did you know that the earliest black-powder weapons were bamboo tubes reinforced with metal that used a charge of black powder to shoot arrows? Or that lead became a popular musket ball material because iron balls required such extreme temperatures to melt and often ruptured the musket barrels trying to fire them?
Keep reading to learn more…