Two bullets that hit each other back in the 1850’s

A blog named Odd Russia has photos of what they claim are a French and Russian bullet that hit each other during the Crimea War.


Odd Russia has many more photos but no link to the source of the images. It could be true, or it could be a hoax. I think both the French and Russians both used muskets or rifles of caliber between .60″ and .70″ and I do not know enough about the ammunition at the time to say if the mushroomed bullets look authentic.

Thanks to Jim for emailing me the link.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Minié balls were used at that time. Such bullets were fired from muzzle-loaded rifles. The base was sunk, allowing overpressure to move in and press the lead tot he sides – into the rifling.
    The bullet was undercalibre when it was loaded, but at calibre once expanded by the gas pressure.

    The top of the photographed item looks like such a sink to me (albeit quite shallow, possibly due to the impact).


  • Popcorn

    Two ships that didn’t quite pass in the night…

  • Mike

    The museum at Gettysburg had several such examples which had been collected from the battlefield. There was an awful lot of lead flying around…

  • Kyle Huff

    I would have expected there to be enough kinetic energy to result in about 0% mass retention.

  • this is still a wonder, how the impact was perfect.

    I Bullet Am Sorry

  • I have seen claimed examples of this at the Gettysburg battleground as well. Who knows but It would be completely logical. Fascinating piece of history.

  • Nomen Nescio

    with all-lead bullets, i can see this happening; but with jacketed hardball, i doubt two projectiles would stick together. smokeless powder may have put an end to this phenomenon.

  • TJP

    A Minie bullet has a hollow base. I find it doubtful that these two were of that type. The three grooves (and the context) indicates that it’s probably a French Tamisier bullet. The other is so distorted I can’t really identify a shape.

    I have recovered plenty of bullets that collided inside berms. The flow of the lead certainly seems authentic. You’d be surprised how sticky 30:1 or 20:1 lead alloy can be. Bullet casters who hunt prefer the softer alloys due to the fact that the bullet holds together as it deforms. Antimonial and arsenical alloys tend to be brittle.

    Also keep in mind that a 700 grain bullet backed with black powder wasn’t exactly screaming along at modern rifle velocities. In fact, I’d be surprised of one left the muzzle going faster than 1,200 feet-per.

    • TJP, interesting, thanks.


    During the Civil War, two soldiers’ bullets collided in midair and fused together.


    The MythBusters first tried to mount two Civil War rifles in front of each other so that when fired, the bullets would collide in midair. However, this proved impossible because they were unable to get the guns to fire at the same time. Instead, they aimed a single rifle at a bullet suspended in the air. The fired bullet hit dead center, and the MythBusters found that both bullets had fused together into a single mass. Though incredibly unlikely, it is possible for two bullets to collide and fuse together in midair.

  • joe haas

    I used to own 2 civil war bullets stuck together from a collision in mid-air.
    It was actually legally bought from a museum in the early 70’s.
    It may have been from Gettysburg.
    It’s true I saw them and they were still attached to the museum card explaining this fact.
    I only wish I still had them.