#1323: Sublimatic

Conventional bullets are designed to be weighty, so that they can be aimed successfully over long distances without deflection (and also so that they will inflict great damage on impact).

Today’s invention is non-lethal, long distance round…a bullet which is heavy enough to accurately carry far but on reaching its target, its mass has decreased so that it delivers only a warning sting.

Bullets would be stored in an insulated magazine and made of dry ice. Solid carbon dioxide sublimes to vapour at a fixed rate (which is increased by friction with the air) so that the impact will decrease sharply with increasing range -and in a predictable way.


  1. Very interesting. Might work well on low velocity calibers, since friction with first the gun barrel then the air on high velocity bullets can actually melt the lead. At close range it may still be lethal, I wonder how CSI would deal with a wound where the bullet had evaporated!

    • I didn’t know that about lead melting. There is a Sherlock Holmes story I believe in which someone gets shot with a bullet made of ice.

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