Fixing the slow-ass bullet code is in-progress. I've spent the last 24 hours or so hunting for the reason why recycled bullets won't show themselves.
I have found the bug. It was due to code that made the game run slightly faster at the time.
The code was written before [I read] all those highly-informative articles and posts on social media about project management and premature optimization. Don't do it, people. It's not worth it.
The funny part is that THAT bit of code had been written to deal with the number of bullets I had to deal with. Which was, itself, a fix for bullet code that doesn't properly recycle.
So once this is fixed, I can take a look at recycling bullets.
Ahh, old code.