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Flower Power to Beat Gun Crime?

How lily pollen will make gunmen come unstuck - Times Online

Scientists have perfected the technique of “tagging” bullets with microscopic specks of pollen from the oriental lily (Lilium orientale) and the white trumpet lily (Lilium longiflorum) which will stick to the hands of anyone who handles them.

The research team is now extending its work to see if the “nanotags” can also be attached to knives....

In addition to the pollen, cartridges would also be coated with a slightly abrasive chemical coating which would strip off tiny skin fragments of anyone handling it. This would increase the chances of DNA being retained on the cartridges.

The coating and tags could be altered between batches of bullets and manufacturers to ensure that cartridges would have a chemical signature....

The technology could be in use within a year, but its usefulness in detecting crime will require a major diplomatic effort by ministers to persuade other countries to require their ammunition manufacturers to use it.

Most of the 9mm ammunition recovered by police units is manufactured overseas. Criminals have also resorted to making their own bullets.

My local milsurp dealer (before he was banned) used to wash great quantities of 7.62 in acid in his cement mixer, came up nice and shiny and his overseas clients never knew better....


For large quanties, a cement mixer loaded with shredded corn cob and a little mineral oil will do a nice polish job.

Just to mess around I once made a knife out of fiber glass. For a really sharp knife get some obsidian and pressure knap it into shape. A brittle blade but sharper than steel.

Mean while I waiting for improved battery technology and increased diode efficency for my laser varmit rifle. No coyote within a three mile radius will be safe.

So, if everybody follows through, forensics can pinpoint the manufacturer - and maybe the batch (week? day?) made. Then trace the batch to what, a hundred distributors? Then to two thousand retailers? Then to, well, probably nobody unless everybody is required to register ammunition (and yes, I know this has been proposed in all seriousness by the utterly clueless) and there is never a "Hey, you've got a lot of .38 and I've got a lot of .22, how about a swap - say five of mine for one of yours?"

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