Curious about the unusual metal called Gallium? Here’s the BLUF: It’s a brittle and reactive metal with a low melting point—of just 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Taofledermaus, Wide Open Spaces shooting video contributor, had a few plans for experimenting with the Gallium he managed to procure:
Plan A: Create Gallium slugs, but realize that they might shatter.
Plan B: Create Gallium slugs encased in aluminum and shoot those.
Plan C: Simplify the design of the Gallium slug into a pellet shape to try to increase the likelihood of accuracy.
In this postlude to an earlier video exploring the accuracy and effectiveness of Gallium shotgun slugs, Jeff of Taofledermaus tests his “Plan C” Gallium slug, a pellet-shaped slug that he finds to be actually quite accurate.
Gallium is weird because it’s one of the most brittle metals there is. In fact, it can shatter at the lightest touch. That’s why Taofledermous coated his “Plan B” gallium slug in aluminum: to make sure it didn’t disintegrate before hitting the target.
Gallium also has such a low melting point that this Gallium slug would actually start melting in a minute or so if you were to close your hand around it.
Not only that, but Gallium also reacts with other metals (including steel), “attacking” their structure and making them more brittle through contact. The same properties that cause it to react this way with other metals, interestingly, also make it an important part of the stability of plutonium nuclear bomb cores.
Sure, it’s a stretch, but in a way, you could call this one a nuclear experiment. How cool is that?