The  lead glans  attached to the bolt in the photo below weighed in at 5988  grains.  The Bamwood shaft and fins weighed in at 4012 grains.  Add those two together and the total package we are delivering downrange is exactly 10,000 grains.  There was no planning on my part to make it all come out on the nose at 10,000 grains.  I couldn’t believe it either, so I weighed them again.  Same result.  Exactly 10,000 grains.  Go figure.  (It’s stuff like that, that makes me a believer.)

As mentioned in a previous posting,  the original Roman glandes would likely have been tossed out of their machines by some kind of  special pouch arrangement integral with the string.  We are not far enough advanced in our project  to be able to do that yet, hence the special bolt to deliver our experimental payload.  Here is the video of what that “delivery” looked like.

20100322154856(2)

Stats are:  Bolt weight 10, ooo quirkily precise grains,  velocity 264.5 fps,  energy 1553 fpe.

Firefly seems to be doing pretty well despite her bent kamarion and slightly buckled starboard field frame.  The broken strand in her starboard torsion spring does not seem to have progressed to a more general loosening of that bundle.  I am going to make repairs ASAP, but it is heartening to see her doing so well despite the damage.  Visible in the above video is the curious phenomenon of having the starboard limb retract further than the port one, presumably the result of that aforementioned damage, and yet the bundles seem to be balanced well enough that the bolt flew straight and true.  This is another big, “go figure”.  It is almost as if she yearns to perform well.

This lead glans is the heaviest projectile we have fired out of Firefly so far.  As a result, the velocity was down from an average 300 fps with the 7,000 grain bolts, to 264.5 fps with this 10,000 grain bezonian.  As far as energy goes, that was up by a couple of hundred foot pounds or so.  Cap’t Harpoon had predicted as much in one of his previous comments.   Clearly, we need to do more exploration with these super heavies.

Below we see a lead limpet clinging to our concrete block.  There appeared  to be zero damage to the block.   Only some plumbous graffiti was left to mark that anything had happened at all.

These comparative impacts on our concrete block would seem to rule out lead glandes as being the prime suspect in creating impact craters in ancient walls.  Perhaps if the wall was made from sandstone or something equally soft,  lead projectiles might make more of a crater.  It may be worthwhile to consider what effect could be achieved by melting some antimony in with the lead before casting the glandes, to form a harder projectile.  However, my experience with hand cast lead bullets for handguns tells me it probably wouldn’t make much difference.   When relatively slow moving chunks of lead, be they hard or soft,  hit something square on like a  rock, they really only do one thing ……. go splat!

One Response to “Splat!”


  1. Vernon says:

    I keep listening to the news speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one.:)

Leave a Reply