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Old 10th July 2017, 09:43 PM   #1
The Atheist
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I fired a bullet into the air, it fell to ground...

And killed someone.

Guns are good.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ullet-chicago/
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:10 PM   #2
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I've often wondered how often this happens in the Middle East where firing guns into the air is apparently a common way to celebrate.
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Old 11th July 2017, 01:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I've often wondered how often this happens in the Middle East where firing guns into the air is apparently a common way to celebrate.
Sometimes they go for the direct head shot.

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Old 11th July 2017, 01:47 AM   #4
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I'm surprised it's quite common ..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebr...ullet_injuries
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Old 11th July 2017, 02:35 AM   #5
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What was he doing outside playing basketball at night? Should have been wearing his helmet.
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Old 11th July 2017, 02:51 AM   #6
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This was not an isolated incident. Celebratory gunfire has wounded hundreds and killed dozens in recent years in the US alone.

Full article

http://forensicoutreach.com/library/...inal-velocity/

Apparently it's quite common ...

... myself? ... I can't see wasting ammo ... get some fire crackers or at least blank ammunition if they must celebrate that way ...
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Old 11th July 2017, 03:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
I'm surprised it's quite common ..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebr...ullet_injuries
Not a bullet coming back down but...
"October 12, 2003: Wedding guests in Belgrade, Serbia mistakenly shot down a small aircraft" !!!???
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Old 11th July 2017, 03:30 AM   #8
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If God is doesn't catch the bullet as it whizzes past, he obviously wants it to hit someone.
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Old 11th July 2017, 06:39 AM   #9
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It used to be the case here in St. Louis that the arrival of midnight on New Year's Eve would be attended by 15 minutes or so of sustained gunfire, all over the area.
Each year, there would be a couple of casualties.
I had my car hit one year, a nice dent in the hood and a spent .38 caliber slug lying alongside.
Fortunately, this has largely ceased.

We had a .30 caliber rifle bullet go through the outer walls of a house in the suburbs years ago, lodging in the drywall on the adjacent interior wall.
The trajectory indicated that it had been fired from the adjacent county....
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Old 11th July 2017, 07:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
We had a .30 caliber rifle bullet go through the outer walls of a house in the suburbs years ago, lodging in the drywall on the adjacent interior wall.
The trajectory indicated that it had been fired from the adjacent county....
It seems like shallow trajectories would be much more dangerous for this sort of thing. A bullet fired vertically is going to be coming down at terminal velocity, which shouldn't be that high, whereas a shot fired at, say, 15 degrees may still significantly exceed terminal velocity as it comes down.
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Old 11th July 2017, 08:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
And killed someone....
They're still looking for you.

Next time use blanks or firecrackers.

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Old 11th July 2017, 08:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
It seems like shallow trajectories would be much more dangerous for this sort of thing. A bullet fired vertically is going to be coming down at terminal velocity, which shouldn't be that high, whereas a shot fired at, say, 15 degrees may still significantly exceed terminal velocity as it comes down.
Falling bullets can be going 300 to 600 feet per second!
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Old 11th July 2017, 08:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
Not a bullet coming back down but...
"October 12, 2003: Wedding guests in Belgrade, Serbia mistakenly shot down a small aircraft" !!!???
A helicopter pilot in the US was shot in the foot in this manner and had to make an emergency landing
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Old 11th July 2017, 11:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
Falling bullets can be going 300 to 600 feet per second!
Compared to maybe 3,000 feet per second muzzle velocity. A free-falling bullet is considerably less deadly.

One aspect that I hadn't thought about before but discovered upon reading up a bit is the issue of tumbling. A bullet fired completely vertically will slow down to the point where it can begin to tumble. This tumbling severely decreases its terminal velocity. A bullet fired at an angle may maintain enough velocity even at apogee that it avoids tumbling, and thus has even more of its velocity upon impact.
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Old 11th July 2017, 03:06 PM   #15
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San Francisco has the strictest set of gun laws in a gun control happy state.

It didn't prevent people from celebrating the Warrior's win by firing celebratoty gunfire in my neighborhood:

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Pay attention to 1:33 - 1:34. That's either an actual automatic weapon or a semi auto with an (illegal in California) trigger activation device.
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:29 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
It seems like shallow trajectories would be much more dangerous for this sort of thing. A bullet fired vertically is going to be coming down at terminal velocity, which shouldn't be that high, whereas a shot fired at, say, 15 degrees may still significantly exceed terminal velocity as it comes down.
That's exactly what the wiki article says (who knew the Wiki had an article on "Celebratory gunfire"):
Quote:
Bullets fired at angles less than vertical are more dangerous, as the bullet maintains its angular ballistic trajectory, is far less likely to engage in tumbling motion, and so travels at speeds much higher than a bullet in free fall.

Last edited by SezMe; 12th July 2017 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:57 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
San Francisco has the strictest set of gun laws in a gun control happy state.

It didn't prevent people from celebrating the Warrior's win by firing celebratoty gunfire in my neighborhood:

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Pay attention to 1:33 - 1:34. That's either an actual automatic weapon or a semi auto with an (illegal in California) trigger activation device.
Or fireworks. I don't know anything about guns, but that sounds like fireworks. There were reports and videos of fans setting off fireworks in the streets that day.
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Old 12th July 2017, 01:54 AM   #18
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When I saw this Youtube movie yesterday, concerning Lindy Beige shooting for the first time, I had two thoughts.

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I like how the Swiss are rather relaxed concerning shooting fire arms, without being careless with them.
That said, i would not like to live in that house above the firing range!
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
Or fireworks. I don't know anything about guns, but that sounds like fireworks.There were reports and videos of fans setting off fireworks in the streets that day.
I'm a retired cop, certified weapons instructor and former SOT licensee, and my family owned the first indoor rifle range (1950's -early 1960"s) in the S.F. Bay Area. I grew up on that range. If there's one sound I know, it's gunfire.

What is on the video is gunfire, and at 1:33 - 1:34 specifically somebody fires a burst - it could be from an actual automatic weapon, or it could be a semi-automatic rifle or carbine with a "Trigger-Activator" type device that is either crank or lever operated to provide a higher rate of fire than possible with a finger - or the least likely scenario - it's somebody that is familiar enough with their weapon that they "Bump-Fired" it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bump_fire

Note that in the skyline you don't see any typical skyrocket type fireworks - they're common around here (4th July sounded like a company level mad minute) but not that night.

The specific reason I took this video is that the last time this subject came up, the first year the Warriors won, posters on this forum didn't want to believe that celebratory gunfire was a real thing. Their opinions were the same as yours.
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:32 AM   #20
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Ideally, anyone who fired a gun without aiming it at a target would be charged with, and convicted of, reckless endangerment.
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:49 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
When I saw this Youtube movie yesterday, concerning Lindy Beige shooting for the first time, I had two thoughts.

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I like how the Swiss are rather relaxed concerning shooting fire arms, without being careless with them.
That said, i would not like to live in that house above the firing range!
Thank you! Great vid.

From an instructors pov, the guy doing the instructing was proceeding well.

I watched the shooter while he prepared for his first live round and was pleased that the instructor had schooled the shooter about maintaining a proper "Cheek Weld" on the stock to maximize accuracy and minimize felt recoil. It's counter intuitive to new shooters, but the better you fit yourself to the rifle and maintain your cheek "welded" to the stock, the less felt recoil you'll experience. Recoil isn't so bad with standard service rifles types, but when you get into the magnum rifle calibers and wildcat cartridges for long range (1000 yds or longer) target shooting, good technique is a must. I've got a long range rig chambered in .30-378 - a .378 Weatherby Magnum necked down to .30 caliber:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.30-378_Weatherby_Magnum

The .30-378 Weatherby Magnum is one of the most accurate rifle cartridges. The cartridge held the world record for accuracy at 1,000 yards (910 m) for over thirty years. Given factory ammunition, Weatherby guarantees 1.5 MOA accuracy from their Weatherby Mark V action rifles and sub-MOA (.99 MOA or better) accuracy from their Range Certified line of rifles and Vanguard rifle lines. Careful handloading checking for bullet jacket concentricity, weighing of brass and bullets, uniformity of case length and overall cartridge length, choice of components, seating of bullet can all increase the accuracy of the cartridge.

Even with a total weight just at 20 lbs w. scope, etc. if you don't maintain a cheek weld when you fire it, you'll regret it.

The K31 in the vid is one of the worlds great bolt guns, and the Diopter sights on the one in the vid are fantastic for target shooting. The sights alone today go for more than the complete rifle went for in the old days - they're around $300.00 now, and so popular that the Chinese are making knock-offs.
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:50 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Ideally, anyone who fired a gun without aiming it at a target would be charged with, and convicted of, reckless endangerment.
Agree 100%
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:53 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Compared to maybe 3,000 feet per second muzzle velocity. A free-falling bullet is considerably less deadly.

One aspect that I hadn't thought about before but discovered upon reading up a bit is the issue of tumbling. A bullet fired completely vertically will slow down to the point where it can begin to tumble. This tumbling severely decreases its terminal velocity. A bullet fired at an angle may maintain enough velocity even at apogee that it avoids tumbling, and thus has even more of its velocity upon impact.
Good points ... it's an interesting subject ... perhaps another safety risk hunters should consider as well!
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:54 AM   #24
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I'd have no problem with that!
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Compared to maybe 3,000 feet per second muzzle velocity. A free-falling bullet is considerably less deadly.
But isn't that still about the same muzzle velocity as a black powder musket?
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:14 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
But isn't that still about the same muzzle velocity as a black powder musket?
Far less - approx 33 feet per second for a projectile fired straight into the air, even .50 BMG rounds.

Little known fact from WWII - many civilian causalities from anti-aircraft arttilery rounds returning to earth. Standard ball rounds in MG calibers not so much, but the explosive rounds were bad news.
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:27 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
Good points ... it's an interesting subject ... perhaps another safety risk hunters should consider as well!
Most hunters I know consider this risk constantly. For bird shot the range is minimal, rarely an issue in a proper bird hunting field.

For rifle hunting we always consider our backstop when setting up a blind or hunting position. This is one reason that elevated blinds are popular on land that has a variety of hunters, keeps the rifles pointed towards the ground, even on longer shots.

I once had really good shot on deer that was just coming over a ridge in hilly country. Very nice silhouette to see through a scope and ever so tempting to pull the trigger. But, I didn't know the area well enough to know where my bullet would go if I missed. So, I waited for the deer to come down the slope a bit so that the ridge was my backstop.

On our own land we use thick woods for most of our backstops. Bullets don't like underbrush much. We have considered elevated blinds but we don't hunt much anymore and some of the hunters would have trouble getting up into them.

You will still hear the story of a stray bullet form a hunter hitting someone's house, but I like to think that is fairly rare among seasoned hunters.
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Old 12th July 2017, 03:38 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Ideally, anyone who fired a gun without aiming it at a target would be charged with, and convicted of, reckless endangerment.
I'd be inclined to add the word "safe" before target, then I could agree with it.

Otherwise, taping a target to a plywood fence would be fine, and it isn't.
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Old 12th July 2017, 03:56 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I'd be inclined to add the word "safe" before target, then I could agree with it.

Otherwise, taping a target to a plywood fence would be fine, and it isn't.
I guess, but then there are situations where the gunner simply has to shoot another human being, which is decidedly unsafe.

The thing is, most towns and cities already have laws against recreational shooting and target practice inside town/city limits while outside approved firing ranges. I'd have no problem charging violators of such laws with felonies, too.
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Old 12th July 2017, 08:27 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
I watched the shooter while he prepared for his first live round and was pleased that the instructor had schooled the shooter about maintaining a proper "Cheek Weld" on the stock to maximize accuracy and minimize felt recoil. It's counter intuitive to new shooters, but the better you fit yourself to the rifle and maintain your cheek "welded" to the stock, the less felt recoil you'll experience. Recoil isn't so bad with standard service rifles types, but when you get into the magnum rifle calibers and wildcat cartridges for long range (1000 yds or longer) target shooting, good technique is a must..
...and I can vouch for that.

I have a Savage M12 .243 WIN, and even though its not a large cal, it still packs a punch. While its weight (5 kg) helps to lessen recoil, if you don't get snug with it, you can end up with an aching cheekbone.
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Old 13th July 2017, 12:38 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
It used to be the case here in St. Louis that the arrival of midnight on New Year's Eve would be attended by 15 minutes or so of sustained gunfire, all over the area.
Each year, there would be a couple of casualties.

That is not true. Unless you are misleadingly leaving out the topic of this thread, falling bullets from celebratory gunfire, on purpose.


In other words. At no point in the history of St. Louis was there a time where there "would be a couple of casualties per New Years Eve" from falling bullets from celebratory gunfire. Or even from wayward bullets from celebratory gunfire.

Sure it happened once in awhile. But "a couple times per New Years Eve"? Not in St. Louis.

Are you now going to claim the two sentences were separate? That the "couple of times per year" was not just on "New Years Eve" as the previous sentence implied. That would be deceptive writing at best.

I'm just going to assume you are talking about some years that had a couple of casualties each New Year's Eve from New Year's Eve gun crime in general and posting it in the thread either mistakenly or to be knowingly deceptive.


Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
We had a .30 caliber rifle bullet go through the outer walls of a house in the suburbs years ago, lodging in the drywall on the adjacent interior wall.
The trajectory indicated that it had been fired from the adjacent county....

That is not how ballistics works. You would not have enough information to judge the trajectory back that far. The "outer walls of the house" for instance could easily have changed the trajectory to give a misleading impression.

I'm going to assume that the actual forensic ballistics team knew it was not conclusive and the story was just just some cops wanting to blame the adjacent country.
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Old 13th July 2017, 12:44 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
It seems like shallow trajectories would be much more dangerous for this sort of thing.

You are correct in your reasoning, but wrong in your conclusion.

In other words, speed isn't everything.

Falling bullets are much more dangerous because they are much more likely to hit the head.

Study: Department of Emergency Medicine at King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles


Quote:
Most (77%) were hit in the head. The mortality rate was 32%, which is significantly higher than for all gunshot wound victims in general seen at the same medical center.

Compare that 32% with your average* gunshot mortality rate of only 5%.

*"all gunshot wound victims in general"
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Old 13th July 2017, 01:05 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
You are correct in your reasoning, but wrong in your conclusion.

In other words, speed isn't everything.

Falling bullets are much more dangerous because they are much more likely to hit the head.
That conclusion doesn't follow. Vertically falling bullets are not more likely to hit the head, they are just less likely to hit anywhere else on the body. The cross section of a human head from the top isn't larger than from the side, it's just the cross section of the rest of the body is much smaller, and partly occluded by the skull.

If you only look at the percentage of bullets which hit a person, then you've thrown out all the cases where the bullet doesn't hit anybody. But in assessing risk, you should consider the total number of bullets fired, not simply the bullets which hit.

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Compare that 32% with your average* gunshot mortality rate of only 5%.

*"all gunshot wound victims in general"
But that isn't the relevant comparison. The relevant comparison to determine risk is the number of deaths per bullet fired. And if a larger fraction of bullets are missing people completely (which is to be expected from a mostly vertical trajectory), then the deaths per bullet can be much lower even if the deaths per hit is higher.

Plus, that paper doesn't actually appear to distinguish different angles of "cellebratory gunfire". A shot fired at 15 degrees is counted the same as a shot fired at 89 degrees. Now you might argue that the high rate of head impacts means that the statistics should still be dominated by near-vertical firings, but I don't believe that's correct. Even fairly shallow shot angles can still get primarily head impacts.

Let's consider a large crowd of people in relative proximity to each other. Suppose someone decides to shoot someone else. The bullet, in most cases, will approach someone in the crowd from the side. Most firearms training teaches people to aim for the center of mass, which is the torso, not the head. But we can even assume that the shooter is a bad shot, and it will go somewhat randomly. Well, from nearby, a random shot could hit them anywhere. The head has a small cross section from the side, so the odds of hitting someone in the head are small. If it misses the person, then the person behind them might get hit, but again, the odds of getting hit in the head are smaller than getting hit elsewhere.

Now what if the bullet came down at a shallow angle, from a long distance away? If it approaches a person at the very edge of the crowd, the odds should be similarly distributed: low chance of the head, high chance everywhere else. But what if it approaches the middle of a crowd? Then, the odds of hitting a head become much, much greater. If you only look at one person, then the trajectory would most likely intersect somewhere other than the head. But there's a significant chance that any given trajectory intersecting the body of one person will actually be blocked higher up on the body by someone else (since it's a downward trajectory). This will skew the distribution upwards. Coming from a slight downward angle, the bullet will mostly "see" heads, and so will most likely strike a head.

So if both shallow and steep trajectories are hitting lots of heads, and both are included in the statistics, then the statistics can't tell us if steep trajectories are more or less dangerous than shallow trajectories.
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Old 13th July 2017, 01:10 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Most hunters I know consider this risk constantly. For bird shot the range is minimal, rarely an issue in a proper bird hunting field.

For rifle hunting we always consider our backstop when setting up a blind or hunting position. This is one reason that elevated blinds are popular on land that has a variety of hunters, keeps the rifles pointed towards the ground, even on longer shots.

I once had really good shot on deer that was just coming over a ridge in hilly country. Very nice silhouette to see through a scope and ever so tempting to pull the trigger. But, I didn't know the area well enough to know where my bullet would go if I missed. So, I waited for the deer to come down the slope a bit so that the ridge was my backstop.

On our own land we use thick woods for most of our backstops. Bullets don't like underbrush much. We have considered elevated blinds but we don't hunt much anymore and some of the hunters would have trouble getting up into them.

You will still hear the story of a stray bullet form a hunter hitting someone's house, but I like to think that is fairly rare among seasoned hunters.
Great tips! ... I'm sure most hunters follow similar practices ... and like you say shot shells fired in the air in much less of concern of hitting anyone.
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Old 13th July 2017, 01:14 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
You are correct in your reasoning, but wrong in your conclusion.

In other words, speed isn't everything.

Falling bullets are much more dangerous because they are much more likely to hit the head. ...
Another very simple but very important point .. seems obvious but I hadn't thought of the fact a head shot would be most likley with the bullets falling almost straight down .
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Old 13th July 2017, 01:38 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Vertically falling bullets are not more likely to hit the head, they are just less likely to hit anywhere else on the body.

That's the exact same thing. What an odd sentence.


As for the rest of your post, you just moved the goalposts to something I am not claiming.

Being hit by a falling bullet is much more likely to be fatal than being hit by a normal gunshot. I linked to the study.
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Old 14th July 2017, 12:13 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
That's the exact same thing. What an odd sentence.
No, it's not the same thing at all.

Let's consider a hypothetical with completely made-up numbers. Suppose that a bullet shot horizontally has a 10% chance of hitting someone's head, a 40% chance of hitting someone's body, and a 50% chance of simply missing. Suppose that a bullet fired vertically has a 10% chance of hitting someone's head, a 5% chance of hitting their body, and an 85% chance of missing.

The chance of hitting their head is exactly the same in both cases. The chance of hitting their body is the only thing that changed. The relative fraction of head shots will be 20% for horizontal bullets and 67% for vertical bullets, but it's not actually any more likely to get hit in the head from the latter than from the former. It's just less likely to get hit in the body, and more likely to be missed entirely.

Quote:
Being hit by a falling bullet is much more likely to be fatal than being hit by a normal gunshot. I linked to the study.
And that study includes low-angle falls as well as high-angle falls, which means it tells us nothing about relative lethality between low and high angle falls, or even between high-angle falls and normal gunshots. So the study doesn't contradict my own claim, which is what you were trying to use it for in the first place.
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Old 14th July 2017, 12:18 PM   #38
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The OP, Redux:

I fired a bullet into the air, it fell to ground...

And killed someone.

Guns are good.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...ticle35415651/
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Old 14th July 2017, 01:16 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I fired a bullet into the air, it fell to ground...

And killed someone.

Guns are good.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...ticle35415651/
It seems the middle east has had a positive influence on the shooting skills of western snipers.
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Old 14th July 2017, 01:22 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
It seems the middle east has had a positive influence on the shooting skills of western snipers.
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

- H.L. Mencken
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