The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Any Weaponry Experts out There?

Y'all might want to take a look at this picture. I don't know what to make of it, as I'm not generally weaponry-enabled, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a bullet which has just "hit" something wouldn't look quite this pristine:

An Iraqi elderly woman inspects a bullet which she says hit her bed during an alleged overnight raid by US and Iraqi troops in Baghdad's impoverished district of Sadr City. Residents said two people were killed and four wounded during the raid.(AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)

Update: Check out what the experts at Confederate Yankee and Gateway Pundit are saying. The general suspicion is that the bullet is unfired, as there are not any obvious rifling marks on it, and the number of horizontal bands on it exceed what is usually found on a projectile. Of course, I'm not weapons-savvy, so be sure to read both sites and their comments to find out what the real experts think!



#1 Confederate Yankee 10-Jul-2007
I guess got a very interesting email request from Brian at Snapped Shot, who wanted me to take a look at this AFP picture published on Yahoo News. The caption states that the woman in the photo claims that the...
#2 MIKE 11-Jul-2007
So are you trying to determine the precise length to which the Treason Media will go to insinuate that there are actual bullets being fired in Iraq? As if it weren't bad enough that they only report the bad news, now they're trying to tell us that people are shooting beds over there too.
#3 Rooster 11-Jul-2007
Lying sand monkey.
#4 James F McEnanly 11-Jul-2007
I'm no expert, but she seems to be holding onto the shell, which would have been left at the point where the bullet was fired.

The only way that bullet could have hit her bed is if someone came in and threw it

#5 Rooster 11-Jul-2007
You all care too much what that sand monkey is holding.
#6 sickboy 11-Jul-2007
Call me crazy but that looks like some sort of .50 muzzleloading bullet.

In my opinion, it was never fired from a weapon.
#7 GM's Corner 12-Jul-2007
There is a psychology behind presenting news, both the tenor of the article and the scope are intertwined to "inform" the public regarding what is happening, and, if the news...
#8 RMarkH 17-Jul-2007
You kids realize she is holding a ball point pen?

Go ahead, zoom in on it, you'll see the outline of the tip. And annular rings on a projectile? Those are to keep the fingers from slipping.? LMAO!

You righties not being able to tell ammunition from a writing utensil is sort of funny. That's the kind of thing I would expect from a liberal.
#9 RMarkH 17-Jul-2007
BTW, Yankee, Gateway, and their posters also missed this.
#10 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Jul-2007
Man, the moonbats are out in force today... Are we nearing some kind of infernal equinox or something that causes them to balance on their heads like this?

MarkyMark, unless you're looking at a magical high-resolution copy of that photograph, I'm not seeing what you are. There's no hole or other protrusion from the tip that would indicate the presence of a roller or other ink apparatus.

High-resolution photographs can be purchased from the wire servers, incidentally, but unless you have $100 a pop for a license, you would need to be rather financially-enabled to afford such services. And, while I'm a member of That Vast Zionist Conspiracy™, I'm not compensated for my work to any degree, so you'll hafta pay your own way.

The Getty link to the above photograph, from which you can purchase the hi-res version, is here, though ye olde blog software might eat the link. And here is a slightly higher-resolution (albeit watermarked) version of the picture, from the same.

From where I'm sitting, it's not a pen.

'Course, being a suspected moonbat, maybe you suspect that this is one of those [i]top secret Zionist pens[/i] that George "Chimpy McHalliburton" Bushitler will be forcing us all to use soon?

It was cute to see your effort, though. Be sure to keep chiming in, you're quite entertaining!

#11 RMarkH 17-Jul-2007

Such a visceral attack on the messenger.

THe Getty image is pooched. Enlarge the image on Yankees page and you'll see the outline of the tip.

Enlarge the picture, go ahead, you can do it.

It's not that difficult.
#12 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Jul-2007

Alright, I'm in a punchy mood right now. I don't mean anything bad by it, of course—

It's an interesting theory, but he's looking at an enlargement of the same photograph I am—and it's pretty clearly a reflection on a metal surface that we're looking at.

I'll let the other readers and Yankee weigh in for specifics, of course.

#13 Confederate Yankee 17-Jul-2007
I've been around bullets and cartridges for quite a long while, but I've been around office supplies far longer.

This is no pen.
#14 denton 19-Jul-2007
I don't know what it IS, but there are some things we can say it ISN'T.

Military rifle cartridges have a copper alloy jacket. Plain lead is not strong enough to allow properly spinning the bullet, so a copper jacket is required for decent muzzle velocity. Even non-lead bullets, such as armor piercing, have such a jacket to avoid abrading the bore of the rifle. So it's not a common rifle bullet.

It has no rifling marks, which would be present if it had been fired from a rifle.

There are some uncommon cartridges that use a mild steel jacket. Those show up in the very old Russian Mosin Nagant cartridges once in a long while. Those have been used in that part of the world. The length and diameter are about right, but there are no rifling marks which would be present if it were fired from a Mosin. It might possibly be an unfired cartridge, held so that we can't see the casing. However, that ammunition has a frosted appearance rather than shiny. I doubt that's what it is, but can't rule it out.

It is too large to have been fired from an M16. An M16 bullet is .224" in diameter.

It is roughly the right diameter to fit in an AK47, but it is too short to be an AK47 bullet.

It is too small to have been fired from a 50 cal machine gun or sniper rifle.

The diameter is roughly right for a .308 bullet, sometimes used by US snipers, but it lacks the required copper jacket and rifling marks. It is not a bullet for a .308.

It is completely the wrong shape and size to be any type of handgun bullet.
#15 fred 19-Jul-2007
What is it that she is actually holding on to with her fingers/hand?

The way she is holding it makes it seem as if the whole object is much longer than what an ordinary projectile/sabot would be. With those big fat fingers, it would seem that the object would have to be almost twice the length of what we see. If that's true, i'd have a hard time believing that is actually a "bullet", unless it is unfired.

If I had been holding it, I would have held it between my thumb and index finger so that everyone could see the entire object, not part of it.
#16 SDC 16-Aug-2007
She is actually holding the steel bullet CORE from a .50 calibre round, which has had its jacket stripped off by impact with a building, a car, or some other hard object. Based on that, I would'nt dismiss her story out of hand, but it's a long way from there to saying that Coalition forces were deliberately FIRING at her house; these rounds are known to ricochet for a LONG way, and after they hit something, you really have no way of knowing where they will end up. You can see some typical cores in the following photo:
#17 Ralph 16-Aug-2007
I'm responding long after the initial postings, but after seeing this issue being brought up again in conjunction with another "women holding bullets" picture, it appears the original mystery of the bullet hitting the bed remains.

It object is, in fact, the inner Tungsten Chrome core of a spent .50 caliber armor-piercing bullet. As others have correctly noted, there is no copper jacket or rifle markings on the object, yet it is shiny and remarkably unscathed. This indicates that after the bullet was fired, it actually sustained major damage as it penetrated its target and other objects before coming to rest (presumably at the bed of the woman in the picture). The damage was so significant that the outer copper jacket was literally peeled from the tungsten core and separated, leaving us with something not typical of a bullet lying on the ground (copper jacket, deformed tip, rifling groves).

The purpose of the armor-piercing bullet is anything but typical. The core is machined (hence the circular markings above the woman's fingertips) from this super-hard alloy to withstand the stress of penetrating the steel hulls of armored vehicles. The copper jacket serves only to help the penetrator get to the target. I've personally walked the ground surrounding vehicle targets at .50 cal machine gun ranges and have found numerous spent bullets in all stages of deformation along with tungsten cores that looked as shiny as the day they were cut on the lathe. I still have two of them on my office desk. That is what the woman is holding.
#18 Robert Slater 16-Aug-2007
I was in the Army for four years, had extensive interaction with .50 BMG and no round has ever been "stripped to the core" and looked that pristine. It's absolutely asinine to assume that' just how it ended up. Especially when you take a look at some of this particular photographer's other work, which someone on another forum was kind enough to point me to:
The photo: [img][/img
The source:;_ylt=AmRsk8HKRA96XQ609D7xS0_lWMcF

I didn't know American weapons were firing the bullet, the shell, the primer, and powder now. This photographer is no better than the guys taking staged pictures is Palestine, Lebanon, or the AP freelancer who clone stamped more smoke into photos of Lebanon.
#19 JMCD 16-Aug-2007
That does not look like a bullet. If it is, it is a very large caliber (seldomly used) and is missing its casing. The rifles used in combat have very high muzzle velocities. When a peice of metal moving at 2800fps (that is more tha 1.5 miles per second) hits something that makes it stop suddenly it becomes severly disformed. To get a bullet out of its casing and have it look so pristine you would either have to physically remove it yourself or perhaps find one that someone had shot into the air.
#20 Ace of Spades HQ 16-Aug-2007
[i][Ed.: Trackback from Ace originally tracked on 15 Aug 2007 at 12:40][/i]
#21 korbett 03-Sep-2007
Anyone that has seen a hardened steel core of a 50 cal light armor piercing round will know exactly what that is from the concentric rings that were made in the manufacturing process. Nobody is going to know this unless they have experience with spent rounds. I have.

Here is a photo of some 30 cal steel cores that i dug out of the earth around the entrance of a japanese cave, when i was a kid in the philippines.
(This is misc junk - my other collection is in that photo set) Click "all sizes" to zoom in.
The american forces poured alot of bullets at that cave entrance to knock down a berm in front of it (and didn't fully succeed) so there were plenty of 50 cal steel cores to dig up too. They are identical in shape, only larger. A 30 cal jacket is at the top of the stack of 30 cal cores in my photo. Follow the link in post number 14 for an accurate photo of the cores.

There are a few others who know what it is too. The round is going to lose its copper jacket when going through a wall and wont deform unless it strikes something as hard as it is. My 30 cal cores still have very sharp tips after being shot into the dirt and rock 62 years ago.

I see comments number 14 and 15 got the object right, while the one after it is clearly like the rest of the righties - too emotionally invested in the answer he wants, so cant be objective. He obviously has never seen a steel core or else he wouldn't have said that.
#22 saint 16-Sep-2007
Brian, you and your readers may enjoy the Dissident Frogman's instructional video for the AFP on the same topic.

Looks like you have found another Flat Fatima ruse.

Move over Hezbollywood, here comes the Sadr City Film Festival.
#23 SGT BLEVINS 19-Oct-2007
That round is either an 8mm russian mosin-nagant armour piercing round or and enfield round same type.
#24 bullet head 23-Jul-2008
OK, I was a 55B-20, that is a AMMUNITION SUPPLY specialist U.S. Army.
That is a 50 caliber AP core that she is holding there, and if fired through some mud, or brick, it would basically look just like what she has there in her hand. I wish she would have held it so we could see the length to caliber ratio, then there would be no doubt as to what caliber it was. I would say it is a .50 Cal AP 708 grain. I know that is what this is because I have one on my desk.
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