I was reading this question about a soft bullet thereby getting inspired to think of how to deliver a fake insect sting. I want it to leave as little bruises as possible, to resemble a sting and nothing to remain in the wound. Ideally, it would look like someone was stung by an insect. That would be the advantage to just shooting a needle.

When I drive in a car and the car decelerates, I continue flying forward, unless I wear my seatbelt. Suppose I have a very soft bullet filled with one or several needles facing in (exactly or nearly) forward direction, loosely tied to the back of the bullet. Could the needles upon impact continue moving in the direction of motion, slightly come out of the squeezed bullet and deliver a fake insect sting? The idea is that after the sting the soft bullet falls off, pulling the much lighter needle out of the wound.

Probably the terrible aerodynamics of a soft projectile would not permit long ranges. But perhaps it's enough if the tip is soft.

How thin a needle would be theoretically possible, if I had very hard materials available? Obviously only very thin needles can leave stings delicate enough to be mistaken for the doing of insects.

To provide for more inertia, the tip of the needle could be very fine, while the body could be somewhat thicker. It would still have to be light compared to the bullet. Furthermore, I suspect it would have to be fine tuned to a very narrow distance range.


Let's first not focus on tricking experts! Whether it works is the main question. Imagine a world where poisonous insects sometimes occur. A man is killed using the correct venom. At worst it will take time before anyone looks at the sting with great detail.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why not just shoot a needle? Like a tranquilizer gun? $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 9:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If the soft bullet penetrates the skin it would probably also remain stuck. Insects need to put in effort to extract their stingers, but your bullet cannot do that. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 10:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Erik the idea was that only the needle penetrates. Then the soft bullet falls off and drags out the tiny, much lighter needle. $\endgroup$
    – Ludi
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 10:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Allergic reactions on the skin can look a lot like insect stings to people that are no experts. Some other things, for example the burns of strong bases in small, localized doses on your skin likewise. Experts will most likely not be fooled by your gun either. For allergic reactions, you could easily use the gun from the other question. $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 10:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Ludi Perfect. Take the gun from the other thread and make a mixture of x% poison and (100-x)% some allergen $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 12:19

2 Answers 2


One idea is to use a flechette gun, which is basically a small arrow. enter image description here

But you don't want the flechette left in the wound, so instead you make it out of some material that dissolves when it gets wet, i.e. from blood, and thus leaves no trace that it was there. As a bonus the material that the flechette is made from could contain a toxic chemical, maybe something that mimics the effects of a insect sting allergy.

These can be fired from a normal gun by using a sabot round.

enter image description here


First off you need to make your soft bullet cylindrical so it doesn't tumble or spin otherwise the needles won't be pointing in the right direction upon impact, then make it less soft so it can survive being fired from the projectile weapon of your choice, then move a single needle to the front to make a more likely hit on your target and finally add some stabilizers to make it fly straight.

You have rediscovered the tranquilizer gun dart.



As for your requirement for it to fall out after injection; a dart could do this with some modifications, you could provide a simple spring driven ejection system to remove the dart after the poison has been injected.

Normally these are fairly large (to deliver the required amount of tranquilizer agent) and would definitely be noticed, but there is no reason they couldn't be made smaller, and less noticeable, if you only need to inject a very small amount of material. The big problem you would have with a sufficiently small projectiles is air resistance would limit you to a very short range, likely requiring some direct contact method.

This technique reminds me of an actual assassination performed during the cold war.


It is theorized he was poked with a modified umbrella: he said he felt a quick sharp pain similar to an insect sting and saw a man pick up a dropped umbrella and hurry away. The sting site contained a small hollow 1.7mm platinum pellet containing ricin, with the openings sealed with a material designed to melt in the human body releasing the poison after insertion.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .