Expanding Bullet Set for Display at SHOT Show

Advanced Ballistics Concepts has designed a bullet that immediately expands once it exits the tip of a rifled barrel that it plans to display in Las Vegas next week at the 2014 SHOT Show.

Called the Mi-Bullet, the round acts somewhat like a multi-pellet buckshot, but the separate fragments of the round are connected and will expand to a pre-determined diameter after the bullet is fired. The Mi-Bullet expands to a diameter of 14 inches when fired from handguns and 24 inches from shotguns.

ABC officials designed the Mi-Bullet to improve first and second shot accuracy for shooters in “high pressure situations,” according to the company.

The Mi-Bullet supposedly maintains its accuracy by utilizing an accelerated radial spread aided by the rifled barrel, officials say. The larger diameter makes it harder to miss, the company said.

ABC designed three levels of the Mi-Bullet to include non-lethal (Mi-Stinger), semi-lethal (Mi-Stunner) and the fully lethal (Mi-Stopper). The Mi-Bullet is designed for most popular handgun and shotgun cartridges.

  • BadFrank

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen this thing.
    Hasn’t become any less complicated though…

  • bigfingo

    Ah the ‘bolo bullet’.

  • Nam

    can not wait to try them

    • Civilized

      To Nam and all the rest of you – This is the sickness of gun nuts!
      An expanding bullet to wreck even more carnage by reducing “miss” probabilies
      Cops are lining up to use this on citizens who cause them “stress”… You know.. at traffic stops, random calls, loose dogs, and anyone else

      • Monty

        Wow……koolaid at work

  • crash

    Assuming a 185 gr .45, we’re looking at 3 60 gr projectiles moving at maybe 1100 fps., probably less. No thanks.

    • larry

      My thoughts exactly. Very little energy on impact. You will need a clear flight path since they are connected by strings. How will they stabilize the three curved pieces of metal in flight? Will the strings reduce penetration even more on impact?

      • Vixraine

        What you are forgetting is that the while the mass of the projectiles is being reduces, so is the surface area of the impact. Mass (multiplied by) Velocity (divided by) Surface Area = Potential Penetration. By reducing the Mass to 1/3, and the Surface Area to 1/3, the penetration potential of each fragment remains virtually unchanged (except as affected by the tether.

        The big trade off that you are looking at for in this round, is whether the smaller wound channel is worth the higher accuracy and the potential of hitting multiple vital areas/organs.

        • Kev

          The ratio of mass to area varies as a square … a fragment with one-third the mass has over 50% of the original surface area. Add in the surface area increase and mass decrease by including tethers, and the non-optimal ballistics of polygonal projectiles … it’s suitable for bringing down free-range chickens.

        • seans

          You are losing a lot of energy for this type of round. Its going to be dumping energy quick in flight, ever for short ranges it is made for. That is the problem with small projectiles they lose energy faster than heavier ones. And if anything you are increasing the surface area with this type of round. Easily more than tripling it. Look at the video. The three parts turn on to their side. By cutting a ball(for example) in half, you don’t decrease the surface area, you increase it. This is a gimmick round pure and simple. They have tried it before with shotgun bolo rounds and they has horrible results.

          • Monty

            One other item of note: If the spiraling release of the tethered pieces is not exact, in other words if one piece reaches its apex at a measurably different time, the accuracy of the round will be utterly defeated. Also, how energy is wasted spooling out the three bolos? I would fall in the ‘good for free range chickens’ as targets category, as long as they were within spitting distance. One question: The article states shotgun…I guess they are assuming a rifled shotgun barrel? Otherwise no spin.


          • Monty

            One other thought…..if the graphic is accurate, the aerodynamics of the bolo pieces could never allow acceptable accuracy. As they reach apex, they will act to slow the spin of the central projectile, which I would think would cause some rather nasty results.

          • seans

            To Monty. You don’t need a rifled shotgun to spin slugs. If the slug has its own rifling it can be shot in a smooth bore barrel and still come out spinning. And by losing mass and increasing its surface area it is going to slow down and decrease its energy. And considering from its own video it shows the three separate piecing frying in the most drag producing way this doesn’t look like it will be hitting that hard.

          • Monty

            True, true.

            One other thought I had was the impact force of the outer projectiles on whatever they are tethered with. Is the spin is indeed enough to get the bolos moving, and the distance is 10 “, then it would take little time to reach that point, and rebound. I just don’t see how this could be effective at any range past 5 feet.

  • Stormcharger

    “ABC officials designed the Mi-Bullet to improve first and second shot accuracy for shooters in “high pressure situations,” according to the company.”

    Isn’t that what we used to call training? I’ll side with Crash, ballisticlly the rounds would loose velocity very fast and make them only effective at close and point blank ranges where accuracy should already be high with minimal training.

    • Sharon

      Hi there. I’m a disabled widow of a police officer. Since my husband passed, my main concern has been “close quarters reaction” should someone break into my home. I live in a very rural area. Do you think these bullets might be of benefit to me? I’m talking about stopping someone 5 feet in front of me, which is about what I need to accurately identify the threat before shooting. Thanks for any info you can give me.

  • Lance

    May be more ingenious than practical. Can see many problems with a bolo bullet to much mancanics have to go right for a round in flight to the target. But still a ingenious idea.

  • Kevin Casey

    Might be great for turkey hunting !

  • Alann

    The true purpose of these genius rounds is to SELL ! Idiots and gadget freaks will buy anything just to have it or to be the “first on their block” to own it. Your technical explanations are quite good and on the money as well !

  • seans

    Can somebody with a better understanding of physics than me explain how all three pieces expand outward and don’t slow the round down instead of just falling straight behind which is what i would expect.

  • buster

    The flatter surface area of the outer pieces would likely have more drag on them and therefor would likely stay ‘behind’ the center mass, so you’re probably right seans. In order for it to stay in the same pattern as the graphic it would have to have an enormous amount of centrifugal force, which would mean it would have to be spinning very rapidly without moving forward too rapidly as the force of the drag pushing the outer shells backward would be stronger than the centrifugal force pulling them outward.

    I agree that it doesn’t look too promising. Think I’ll stick with my 00 buckshot..

    • Pete

      If you read the accompanying text it says; this video is a simplified graphic made to protect the proprietary process of the actual round. So the vide, I assume, doesn’t really depict accurately how it works or is manufactured. Shape, weight, etc.

  • Buster

    I would also be very interested to see a comparison of the muzzle velocity compared to say a couple hundred yards. I doubt these rounds would even make it that far before hitting the ground.

    • ArmyRn

      I believe that those with the need to know will disclose all of the physics at the show. I’m sure that they wouldn’t tell us everything b4 then. read the disclaimer at the bottom of the video. Trust me the centrifugul force needed to keep it airborne and on target will be there. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the target area once it’s fired. I’ve seen the injuries of high powered weapons and this one scares me. There won’t be anything left to save. I would definitely want to be the soldier on this side of with the weapon.

  • Jen

    The concept of the bolo as a non lethal entanglement device looks like an interesting addition to less than lethal force,

  • W. Earp

    21st century micro-chain-shot. Ho hum.

    If you target is in a doorway or there is any obstruction (post, furniture, tree, etc) between you and the target there is a high probability that one projectile will snag and all 3 projectiles will miss the target completely.

    Oh yeah, and try using this with a suppressor and not only will the round not go anywhere but it will probably destroy the can and render your weapon useless until you get the suppressor off.

    Where do these people get their funding?

  • G

    I hope they are making this in .45 Colt because the Judge fanboys are going to go nuts over this BS round.

  • daedalus2u

    The pieces expanding out could be shaped to interact aerodynamically and produce the angular motion that way. There likely isn’t enough angular momentum from the spinning due to the rifling.

    Typical rifling is ~ 1 turn per foot. Angular momentum is R*mV. At 1000 feet per second, = 1000 revs/sec. At a 10 inch diameter end radius and a 0.125 start radius (the center of a 1/4 dia projectile), then 0.125*1000 = 10*12.5 revs/sec.

    I suspect that the strings would break if they hit anything.

    Chained shot is not legal for hunting. I remember someone having magnetized iron shot to give a better cluster (in theory). This was long before high strength magnets, so who knows if it worked.

  • dobermanmacleod

    Does it come in 12 gauge shotgun?

    • Jay

      yes it does

  • aiki kenpo


  • Jack

    I liked the M198 7.62 back in 1968 Kontun Vietnam

  • –russell

    Hi, all. I enjoyed reading the comments, but I’d like to add a different perspective, one more in the line of Sharon’s question, as a concealed handgun instructor.

    Starting from the beginning, it seems in these conversations “effective” means “kill” or “wound,” and most of the comments follow that premise. I’d like to suggest “effective” means “to stop.” An assailant – or chl instructor – who is scared of being shot with a .45 is the same person who’s afraid of being shot with a .22. I don’t know what kind of wound this will make when it hits, but 99% of the people who have a weapon fired at them and then feel/see blood will (rightly) take themselves out of the situation.

    My perspective: any cartridge which makes the bad guy run away, especially after only one or two shots fired, will be given careful consideration.

    • seans

      That is a horrible mentality to have a Concealed handgun instructor. First were do you get the 99% percent run away fact. Going to call bull on that. You take in no account of drugs or the weirdness of the human body. I have worked with men who have been shot and didn’t know it until after the firefight. Okay if it makes him run away great, but what if it now puts him in the fight mode. Great you have a ineffective round to try and protect your life. Use a proven round. Stick .38 special, .380, 9mm, 40, and 45. And practice your reactive shooting, all much better tips then what you just gave out.

  • Guest

    “If” this round does what it says. If the wire’s hold, it would literally cut body’s in 3+ pieces with the 12 gauge round.