Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fun With Magnets

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Visited my nephew last weekend, with some neodynium magnets (small disc) in tow.

Nephew rooted around in the garage and found a couple lengths of copper pipe and we did some experimentation.

Notes from the exercise.

* The fewer magnets we used, the slower they fell.

* The narrower the pipe, the slower the magnet falls.

* Putting one pipe inside another and dropping one magnet down - awesome slo-mo tumble. If I were putting this experiment together on purpose, I'd find a pipe with a diameter just barely bigger than the magnet, with the walls of the pipe as thick as possible for maximum effect.

Also that weekend, got to shoot a large stuffed Elmo with my Glock 17 9mm. Oddly (to me), the entrance wounds had huge tufts of stuffing poking out of them. This surprised me, since I would've expected all the stuffing to be poking out the exit wounds. Can anyone explain this?

Also, also discovered that the Tickle Me Elmo doll is actually rather a marvel of design engineering, the way he rolls around on the floor - even on his side - and can still stand up on his feet afterwards. Very annoying, yet very impressive.

Final note - if you drop a neodynium magnet into a gravel driveway, it will pick up very fine particles of rust from years of cars driving over the spot. The particles are so fine that you will not be able to pick them off by hand. To remove them, I put the dirty magnet on one side of my shirttail, and a clean magnet on the other side. The rust particles were then drawn into the fabric. You could use a rag or a paper towel, if you're fastidious.

[SBA day 29]


  1. Tickle-Me-Elmo is of the Devil. The fuzz coming out the entry wound is from the demons escaping into the world. Now we're all going to die in a fiery apocalypse.


  2. I have to say that that is not the Tickle Me Elmo from back when my niece was a baby. The old one vibrated when he laughed, and sounded more like Elmo than this one... as far as I remember anyways.

  3. Harv, the stuffing pokes out the front because the range is short and the velocity is high so you get a "splash" effect. At the same time there is not enough resistance to expand the bullet, if you even used an expanding pill. Of course, if you did it wouldn't expand anyhow because of the low resistance and, worse, the hollow point gets filled with fiber turning that expensive hollow point bullet into a quasi full metal jacket.

    I'm just an effing fountain of useless information!

  4. Peter - ok, that makes sense.

    If you're curious, I was using CCI Blazer 9mm Luger 147gr. TMJ through a Glock 17 at about 15-20 yards (I didn't measure).

    So yeah, in-out, no expansion.

  5. There is a reason almost all my carry ammo is loaded with soft lead hollow point bullets. The only time I vary from that is when, in a moment of whimsy, I slipp Linda Lou's S&W Model 60 "Ladysmith" into a pocket that is slightly too small for my own Ruger SP101 .357 three inch. The Ladysmith carries that Speer 135 grain Gold Dot short barreled ammo. Although it sometimes carries the Winchester +P 158 grain lead hollowpoint, too. Those are the only two rounds that ALWAYS expand from a two inch snubby.

  6. the bullets were traveling around 1200 fps the sonic boom at the back of the bullet blew it out