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Old 08-09-2011, 03:38 PM   #1
Sam Baughn
 
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Default Cyanide bullets seem strangely effective...

So, I was just checking the rules for poisons and I noticed that cyanide does a whole load of damage with no resistance roll and no delay. Using the rules for poison bullets from High Tech, that means you can roughly double the damage you get from a pistol by using cyanide-tipped ammunition.

Is that actually realistic? I know that it doesn't take a lot of sodium / potassium cyanide to kill someone, but most poisons aren't effective in less than a second unless delivered directly to a vital organ and / or in large doses.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
vierasmarius
 
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Default Re: Cyanide bullets seem strangely effective...

Apart from assassins, I haven't heard of people actually using poison-tipped ammo. I suspect that it's not as simple as Basic and High Tech make it sound. Possibilities include:

The bullet modification is more complex than merely making a hollow-point, which adds cost and malfunction chance. This may also restrict what bullets may even have the modification.

The poison delivery is not reliable. Perhaps it's hard to fit a full dose within one bullet, or the transfer of poison to the target frequently fails. Even with a "hollow-point" bullet there's a possibility of blowthrough, which may carry the poison out the other side.

The poison does not act as quickly as indicated. I suspect that the "zero delay" of injected cyanide is a simplification. It's also likely that even once the poison takes effect, the full lethality takes some time to occur. Either way, this would make a cyanide-tipped bullet have no better immediate stopping power than a regular hollow-point.

I haven't studied this subject, so this is basically speculation. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can steer me on to the right track.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:23 PM   #3
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Cyanide bullets seem strangely effective...

'No delay' is not realistic for any poison, for blood agents it takes on the order of a minute for blood to circulate (though, depending where the injection occurs, it may reach somewhere critical sooner), and any wound with substantial bleeding (necessary to be particularly lethal as a wound) isn't going to be particularly effective at injecting poison, simply because the blood is escaping the body rather than being recirculated and thus the poison doesn't go anywhere. Inhaled agents should average faster, the time for blood to circulate through the lungs is shorter and a significant fraction will head for the brain, but we're still talking upwards of 10s. Not that this is really limited to poisons, the time it requires blood to circulate is also the limiting factor on wound lethality unless dealing with direct damage to the brain.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: Cyanide bullets seem strangely effective...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
The poison does not act as quickly as indicated. I suspect that the "zero delay" of injected cyanide is a simplification. It's also likely that even once the poison takes effect, the full lethality takes some time to occur. Either way, this would make a cyanide-tipped bullet have no better immediate stopping power than a regular hollow-point.
Injecting a liquid cyanide solution into the bloodstream will knock someone out pretty close to immediately and kill within seconds.

You can't put 100 CCs of liquid cyanide on a bullet tip.

200-300 mg worth of Cyanide salts will knock you out in seconds and kill you in minutes, you can put salts in a bullet tip, that's a pretty nasty form of illegal chemical warfare, but it's not going to matter in a firefight.

Last edited by Ze'Manel Cunha; 08-09-2011 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Deleted Cyanide site link...
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