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Saturday, 21 November 2015

Zombies & Silver Bullets & The Lone Ranger:

You shouldn't ever really be surprised that silver has been used to make bullets - as silver is found present around the world in association with the ores of lead, lead-zinc, copper, copper-nickel, and gold. - If you are making lead you'll likely have some silver to get rid of.

A 'common' ore containing both lead and silver (perhaps 2% silver) is Galena (aka 'Lead Glance') . Mined and smelted since well before the times of Ancient Greece and Rome - many silver coins were minted when money had real value.
 Ancient Athenian Silver Coin.

- and crushed Galena was used in ancient Egypt as "Kohl" a dark cosmetic paint applied around the eyes to reduce glare from the desert sun and to repel flies.

Galena Crystal

Galena is the 'crystal' used in 'Crystal Radio Sets' to detect radio signals with the 'Cats Whisker' - as it is a natural semiconductor.

Silver (Symbol Ag -Atomic number 47) is a precious metal and is harder than lead but lighter (lead is approx. 10% denser than silver).  Silver has the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and reflectivity of all metals.

Silver is produced from lighter elements in 'core collapse' supernova explosions by nucleosynthesis - Oh No! .. (the r-process - as opposed to the s-process .. a form of nuclear fusion .. look it up eh!).

There are two naturally stable isotopes (107Ag and 109Ag) and 28 radioisotopes of various half-lives.

Its melting temperature at 961.8 Centigrade is much higher than Lead 327.5 Centigrade - so when melting down your wife's jewellery to cast bullets - be sure to use a high temperature crucible that will not itself melt. - Silver does not react with sulphuric acid, so this is therefor used for cleaning silver jewellery .. but it readily dissolves in nitric acid - so don't confuse the two.

- Remember to have all silver jewellery (and bullets) removed before bathing in the hot sulphurous pools at Hanmer in the New Zealand South Island Alps - as it will all turn an interesting shade of black sulphide tarnish that will later remind you of that warning stink of rotten eggs ..

Hanmer Springs Hot Pools, South Island New Zealand.

Although harder than lead - Silver will still accept the rifling in a barrel (- like lead and copper).  Theoretically - silver bullets will tend to be slower at distance but penetrate well in ballistic gelatine - being harder - while tending to be slightly less accurate than lead.

Folklore has it that silver bullets are the only effective weapon to use against werewolves, witches, the "un-dead", vampires, zombies and other monsters - thus becoming reputed as being the ultimate 'fix' or cure-all.

-  While 'The Lone Ranger' (much to Tonto's disgust) used to leave silver bullets as symbols of  'Law & Order' - he is said in some cowboy movie episodes to favour their use against "Baddies".

No guarantees but, - Silver is known to be anti-bacterial (as is copper) and can safely remain in the body - although too much silver in your system may cause a disease called 'Argyria' that results in a permanent bluish-grey colouring of the skin - particularly where it is exposed to sunlight. - Whereas Silver bullets may cause a decease.
(Was this guy a recovering 'Werewolf'?)

A Rare Silver Nugget.
Although most useful in many different fields  - silver bullets are not in reality "a silver bullet".
Marty K.