You’d think someone had left a suitcase nuke lying around, the way this article describes it.
Basically, this guy finds an unfired .22 short round in a shop doorway in Walthamstow. They’re insinuating, not only was it likely to go off, but if it had, it would probably have killed someone. I’m sorry, but I’m calling bullshit.
Some basic internal ballistics here; gunpowder doesn’t explode, it burns rapidly. As it burns, the pressure builds and the only place for it to go is to push the bullet though the bore. As it burns, so the velocity increases (as an aside, the pressure actually decreases because of the increase of volume, but the force is still there). So, a bullet through a barrel is like a piston in a shaft, and that’s why they go so fast. Without a shaft, however, the velocity it can achieve is far, far less.
Some basic physics now, Newton’s second law, the total force is equal to the change in momentum, so a lighter thing will go faster. Which is lighter, a cast lead bullet, of a thin brass shell? If you guessed the brass shell, you’d be right! The light weight, flat brass shell. And that’s not penetrating anything.
If this round, by some unlikely circumstance, happened to go off outside of a firearm, the only danger would be to your ears (it would be mildly unpleasant).
This whole article just makes me think of elephants afraid of mice.