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The dangers of aluminum bullets

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There has been discussion before about using bullets as Hemalurgic spikes. With the new Hemalurgic table, things might be a bit scarier...

An aluminum Hemalurgic spike removes all powers.

I don't know how precisely the bullet would have to placed, but does this information open the possibility that someone could fire an aluminum bullet at another person with the intention to make a Hemalurgic spike, and successfully remove all of their powers?

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I think that depends on a few things. Do you have to be holding the spike in order to make it Hemalurgic? Or does your intent stay with it while it’s in the air? What kind of Investiture does it steal? There are generally two types. Physical Investiture like BioChroma or Stormlight, and Spiritual(?) Investiture such as being an Allomancer or the Nahel Bond. I feel like it has to be only Physical Investiture because otherwise Hoid would be one aluminum bullet away from death.

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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45 minutes ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

I think that depends on a few things. Do you have to be holding the spike in order to make it Hemalurgic? Or does your intent stay with it while it’s in the air?

We know that a bullet can be used to create a hemalurgic spike. You need the Intent to create a spike when you're firing it and you need the usual combination of right placement and right metal but the fact that you're firing it from a gun doesn't make any difference.

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I'm predicting sometime between era 3 and era 4 there will be a mass hunting of mistings and ferrings purging scadrial of the bloodlines.

I think the more important question is if you don't hit a bindpoint do you still kill the persom and remove their powers.

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4 hours ago, Weltall said:

We know that a bullet can be used to create a hemalurgic spike. You need the Intent to create a spike when you're firing it and you need the usual combination of right placement and right metal but the fact that you're firing it from a gun doesn't make any difference.

That WoB seems story breaking. I think that's the problem with putting an author on the spot like that, it forces them to make up cannon stuff on the fly. Like I said, this means Hoid can be killed by a single aluminum bullet, assuming it removes all Investiture rather than just physical Investiture.

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44 minutes ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

That WoB seems story breaking. I think that's the problem with putting an author on the spot like that, it forces them to make up cannon stuff on the fly. Like I said, this means Hoid can be killed by a single aluminum bullet, assuming it removes all Investiture rather than just physical Investiture.

I assumed breath is stored inside a person, unlike Stormlight which needs external refilling. So even within a aluminum room a person can use breaths to awaken/live longer. So Hoid can't really be killed if he's had access to breaths. 

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5 hours ago, MountainKing said:

I think the more important question is if you don't hit a bindpoint do you still kill the persom and remove their powers.

No. It has to be the specific bindpoint to do exactly what you want., otherwise it's just like shooting them any other way.

I'll be the bullet has to stay inside the person to make a spike, too, at least for long enough for the person to realize they've been shot.

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3 minutes ago, TequilaJack said:

I assumed breath is stored inside a person, unlike Stormlight which needs external refilling. So even within a aluminum room a person can use breaths to awaken/live longer. So Hoid can't really be killed if he's had access to breaths. 

Breath is Investiture. The way I understand it is (and I could be completely wrong) that BioChroma is Physical Investiture like Stormlight or Atium that, when held by a person, grants them access to different levels of Spiritual Investiture (long life, perfect pitch, ect..). If aluminum bullets are able to remove either type then breath would not help at all.

This would make the Cosmere an extremely boring place. "Uh oh here comes a Fullborn who has bonded all ten Honor Blades.. oh nevermind I brought my normal gun and one aluminum bullet, we good".

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@SwordNimiForPresident, that WoB is from 2014. In Shadows of self, wax fires a hemalurgic bullet. We know it's possible with kandra, but they have fluid bind points, so you have to be much more precise with humans.

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45 minutes ago, John203 said:

@SwordNimiForPresident, that WoB is from 2014. In Shadows of self, wax fires a hemalurgic bullet. We know it's possible with kandra, but they have fluid bind points, so you have to be much more precise with humans.

They used an already charged spike. We are talking about using an uncharged piece of aluminum to remove all of the targets abilities. Makes total sense that you could shoot an already charged spike into someone. In SoF they didn't even need to worry about bind points because the goal was merely to get her over the two spike threshold for Harmony to take control.

As for being precise, Wax shot a bullet that was in flight. Assuming that the aluminum bullet theory is true that makes Wax the answer to all of the "who would win in this fight?" scenarios that get posted. He can hit a target that is moving several times the speed of sound that is also smaller than half an inch wide and has ready access to aluminum. Step aside Hoid and Kelsier, Wax is the new king of the Cosmere.

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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On 1/11/2019 at 5:39 PM, SwordNimiForPresident said:

As for being precise, Wax shot a bullet that was in flight. Assuming that the aluminum bullet theory is true that makes Wax the answer to all of the "who would win in this fight?" scenarios that get posted. He can hit a target that is moving several times the speed of sound that is also smaller than half an inch wide and has ready access to aluminum. Step aside Hoid and Kelsier, Wax is the new king of the Cosmere.

Wax was inside a speed bubble when he did that. 

Not saying he isn't accurate, he is, but he isn't hitting a target that small moving that fast under normal circumstances.

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14 hours ago, Jace21 said:

Wax was inside a speed bubble when he did that. 

Not saying he isn't accurate, he is, but he isn't hitting a target that small moving that fast under normal circumstances.

If anything, the fact that he did it from inside a speed bubble probably makes it harder. He would have needed to time his shot based off when Wayne dropped the bubble. This shot has actually always bothered me because of how impossible it would have been. Unless it was some sort of “Harmony take the wheel” thing, it’s probably the biggest plot hole in any Cosmere book. I was more or less using it as an example of how, if true, the Hemalurgic aluminum bullets make all of the magic in the Cosmere irrelevant. Basically any idiot with aluminum bullets trumps anything less than a Shard.

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Well, there have been discussions about how aluminum makes for poor bullets because the metal has a low melting point (causing potential warping in the chamber) and are too light weight to do as much damage.  Now, there are aluminum slugs used today (though I’m not sure how feasible it’d be to make similar bullets for 1940s level firearms).  But they tend to do less damage then lead bullets, and more importantly for this discussion, they almost always shatter upon contact.  Instead of just compressing like lead bullets do, aluminum bullets often disentegrate when they hit a target.  This means it’s almost impossible to hit a Hemalurgic bind point since it’s impossible to predict the placement of the shrapnel.  There’s also the question of if the shrapnel will carry the Intent of the bullet, but I’m not knowledgeable enough about realmatics to answer that.  And of course, alloying aluminum with another metal to avoid this property in a bullet makes it useless as an aluminum spike since it’s no longer pure aluminum.  So, on top of needing a god level shooter like Wax to hit the bindpoint, you need to overcome problems like these.  So I’m my opinion, I doubt we’ll ever see a single successful case of using hemalurgic aluminum bullets, let alone widespread use.

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Put an aluminum core in a steel jacket bullet with just the end of the core exposed at the front and back. You could probably even do it with a softer jacket that’s meant to peel off on impact and let the core continue through the target.

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Maybe the first one would work.  I don’t know how much of the spike needs to be exposed to take effect.  The problem with the second one though is that I think you’d need to use a jacket made of a metal both softer and lighter than aluminum to get the effect your looking for, right?  Because you want the jacket to compress upon impact so it peels away from the core.  If the metals softer but heavier than aluminum, like lead, the momentum of the bullet jacket will outweigh the compression upon impact, so it won’t separate from the core.  And and a harder jacket, like steel, will result in the first method you mentioned.  Maybe magnesium or a magnesium alloy would work?  It’s melting point is lower than even aluminum though.  Maybe it’s feasible.

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You might be right about the heavier jacket penetrating farther than the aluminum core. You could instead use a full auto flechette gun. Go for quantity over quality since you only need one to hit the right spot.

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We never have gotten to really see what damage aluminum bullets do. The big thing is just that they can't be manipulated via allomancy, we're not actually sure how much damage they do. For all we know, they're really crappy bullets, just the only option for resisting magic. It might be that an aluminum bullet can't get deep enough or spreads out too much to work as a spike.

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The way that I perceived Aluminum hemalurgy working was not you stab someone with aluminum and they're void of metallic abilities, it seems you kill someone with an aluminum spike and then stab it into someone. Not just shoot someone with an aluminum bullet.

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