Thursday, September 09, 2010

Important safety tip:

No matter what you saw in the movies, you can't shoot your buddy "just a little bit".

Some people are so dumb you wonder how they don't starve from forgetting which end of the spoon goes in their mouths...

(H/T to Billy Beck via email.)


Anonymous said...

The only part that does not make sense is the fact that this somehow did not transpire in Indiana.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

That website is truly depressing..except for the Darwin Award nominees.


Außenseiter said...

Hey. A good shot with some knowledge of anatomy and a .22LR pistol could probably put a few holes into someone in a manner that'd make it highly likely the guy wouldn't die.

For example, I have it on good authority* that if you ventilate your forehad laterally(from the left side of the skull to the right) with a .22, not only you won't die, if you're dumb enough people won't even notice a a few dozen CC's of your frontal lobes aren't there. His colleague in Budweis has seen a case where a man drove to the ER, saying he shot himself in the head. At first they thought he was crazy, but upon closer examination, he did have two extra holes in his skull. The ER staff were at loss at what to do with the guy, except refer him to a psychiatrist. It wasn't even bleeding much. So they fixed him up with two stitches, one on each side and that was it...

It's also quite common that people survive one or more shots to the head.

A flesh wound, if it hasn't hit any major blood vessels isn't fatal.

*chief medical examiner for south-eastern Moravia, I think.

Tam said...


The problem is that, no matter how much you explain to little Mr. Bullet the path it's supposed to follow after impact, sometimes it just doesn't listen.

For every guy who's soaked up a dozen or more rounds of 9x19, there's someone else who leaked out in seconds after a lowly .22 LRN clipped his brachial or femoral artery.

Tam said...

Also, reading between the lines, it sounds like the shooter in the story jerked the second shot low and left, which to anybody who's spent five minutes at a shooting range is about as surprising as sunrise.

BobG said...

I'm still trying to decide which one was dumber; the victim or the shooter. I think they break even.

Jay G said...

Shooter's still alive, Bob...

kahr40 said...

For now. Happened in Texas. They'll probably end up sticking a needle in his arm.

Außenseiter said...

I'm curious what may cause them to change direction of movement. I know they can ricochet, but in soft tissue?

If you know of any articles about it, I'd be thankful for links. Interesting topic.

Tam said...

In a nutshell, the human body is not like ballistic gelatin. It's full of all kinds of tissues of varying densities, bones, blood vessels, et cetera. The bullet can be deflected by a hard substance, such as bone, or deform or expand unevenly, causing it to veer off in odd directions.

These factors cause bullets to behave in an unpredictable fashion on impact and it's what makes terminal ballistics such an imprecise science: Basically each and every bullet impact is affected by so many variables that each one is practically a unique event.

TOTWTYTR said...

Police say both Moten and Wheeler have extensive criminal histories.

Color me shocked! Well, not really. With luck this will end up a two fer. One guy dead, the other guy in prison forever.

And Tam, that was the best wound ballistics lecture I've ever seen. I've sat through a lot of boring ones that didn't do 1/10 the job yours did.

Anonymous said...

"... that was the best wound ballistics lecture ..."

Yeah, thanks a lot. I was hoping Aubie's next post - or not - would indicate the results of a scientific test of his little theory there.

And if things (like that little quarter-inch projectile) don't quite go his way, so to least then he can make his planned visit to A. Rand's final resting place a little more...permanent.


Tam said...

"Color me shocked! Well, not really. With luck this will end up a two fer. One guy dead, the other guy in prison forever."

Yeah, this definitely reads as yet another NHI incident. ;)

Anonymous said...

Seeing as neither will really be missed, I'd point out that the only way it could have been better is if the shooter had been an expert shot and equally dumb, taking "a little bit" to mean two in the x-ring and one between the running lights.

I feel bad for the kid though, he'll have some rough nights soon enough.


Bubblehead Les. said...

Evolution in Action. One less Dumbass to continue contaminating the Gene Pool.

Matt G said...

That's one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read. If only the bullet could have caught the shooter (Wheeler), too.

Außenseiter, I'm actually doing a research study in grad school on that very topic. I'll let you known how it came out. We're checing the deflection of handgun bullets in flesh.

Außenseiter said...

I'm sure bone can deflect bullets. I've seen pic where the bullets started "skidding" across the bone and so on. Even one where a 9mm shot that hit the skull at an angle instead of piercing the bone sort of travelled under the skin halfway around the skull.

Sinews and stuff like that also may deflect a slowing bullet. But other meat and organs, I'm not so sure.


You know it never even occured to test this theory on myself. Plenty of dim & beefy young guys with shaved heads around. Furthermore, their party affiliation ensures I won't feel no guilt at all about shooting them...

After all, is it wrong to shoot people who freely choose to be nazis? Who, in a country where nazis killed several hundred thousand people go around and proclaim the holocaust never happened? While liking songs that boast about killing jews and burning them in ovens?

So, if I ever feel the burning need to test it out, there's an ample supply of volunteers on hand...

Tam said...


I'm not going to vomit twenty years of reading books and articles and papers on terminal ballistics into a two paragraph response, and I'm not going to bother to try.


The bullet is not necessarily going to impact perfectly perpendicularly.

The bullet's rearward weight bias will cause it to yaw.

The bullet is not necessarily going to encounter uniform resistance across its frontal area.

If an expanding bullet, it is not necessarily going to expand evenly, causing greater drag on one side or another.

The bullet is not necessarily going to retain structural integrity (core fragments, or jacket separation can cause secondary missiles which will travel on their own trajectories.)

For a place to start, go to Shawn Dodson's website (firearmstactical. I think it's still up, or you can use the wayback machine) or google Martin Fackler. There's enough reading out there to make a career of it. I am but a dilettante.

Anonymous said...

The .22 to the head reminds me of a story.

Seems a guy decided to end it all, but all he had was a single shot .22. Over twenty rounds to do the job. If this is a true story, I kind of admire his determination.

I think I first heard about this from an old video about fatal shootings and how uncertain things could be.

Owen said...

Even shooting into jello, the bullets don't travel straight or even with a predictible direction of curvature.

Tam said...


I've had more than one person tell me that their wet phone book tests of SS197 were cut short by the bullets exiting the top or sides of the stack after a surprisingly short distance...

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the damn things are spinning like tops too, so everything Tam said is happening with PLENTY of rotational energy.

I've personally read documented of bullets travelling up viens and arteries to end at the other end of the body from the entry hole.

Blew my mind. Must have felt pretty wierd too.

And if you are still not convinced, start reading WWII personal battle accounts, sooner or later you come across Private X, or Sturmbahnfurher Y who notices he's been shot in the head or chest ( entry and exit), etc. and only noticed z days later. Wierd stuff happens.

It is, however, _not the way to bet_

Außenseiter said...


I've read the same story, but I think it took 2. Shot himself in the garden, walked back to his ammo supply, loaded another cartridge, went back to the garden and then shot himself again.

Maybe a decapitation hanging isn't that bad an idea. At least, you can't survive it.


Thanks, I'll look it up.

Tam said...


I had an acquaintance who had tried to end it all when he was still a kid. .38Spl to the temple. The bullet traveled from side-to-side across his cranium. The only lasting damage was to his optic nerves.

Ironically, for someone who could have grown up bitter and blaming the gun, he didn't. As a matter of fact he now has a toter's permit.

Larry said...

Your comment triggered a flashback to a quote from my youth:

"Aww, sherrif, I won't shoot off his whole ear; just the little hangy down part."

Gunsmoke Episode 364 "Eliab's Aim"
Feb 27, 1965

Außenseiter said...


Supposedly, there once was a British officer who upon retirement got depressed and did the same with a Webley .455 I think, and it cured his depression to the point he refused to believe he had any reason to shoot himself..

May be just a urban legend. It was in a book, but not a very reputable one..