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VCU Archaeology

The Trouble with Bullets

Digital Curator: Clinton King


Included in the artifacts from the Regional Archaeological Curation Facility in Fort Lee, VA is a .30 caliber bullet.  We decided to scan this object because we had yet to scan any type of ammunition.  Since the bullet is made out of a copper alloy we were concerned that the material may cause issues with the scanning.  However, it was not the material but rather the curve of the tip of the bullet that created problems with the scan.

Our standard approach of a Standard Definition setting with 10 panels failed to pick up the top 1/3 of the point.

The application of talc, along with increasing the settings to High Definition and using 16 panels instead of 10, allowed the scanner to pick up the entire artifact.


One thought on “The Trouble with Bullets

  1. Clinton,

    As with most modern small arms ammunition the .30 cal is typically a ‘jacket’ of ‘gliding metal’ (95% Cu 5% Zn) covering a lead core or ‘slug,’ unless it is a tracer or other special round in which case the filler would be different, but the jacket the same.

    John Haynes

    Posted by John Haynes | September 22, 2011, 1:49 pm

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