True Stories, But Names Changed To Protect The Innocent

About 10 days ago, a local buddy texted me a brochure for an annual machinegun shoot at a regional rod and gun club of some renown. It’s a big fundraiser for youth shooting sports programs. Not having served in the military, he is infatuated by high rates of fire and almost indifferent to accuracy or effectiveness of the same. So he was super-amped up about this event. I had a prior commitment. But I encouraged him to go and enjoy himself. So he did.

He was behind the firing line enjoying being a spectator as some folks demonstrated the full-auto capabilities of SMGs and looking at a brochure he was holding in both hands in front of his torso when he was shot…through the brochure and in the stomach below the solar plexus…by a 9mm round. Nothing in his training as an Eagle Scout prepared him for this!

After a few seconds on his knees regaining his composure and ability to breathe, he retrieved the 9mm slug laying on the ground in front of him and inspected the red welt on his belly. He’s apparently bulletproof! So his girlfriend is making him a shadow box composed of a few pics she took of the incident, the brochure with the bullet hole through it, and the slug.

Moral of the Story: Ricochets happen now and then, even if you follow all the proper safety protocols. The second we begin to think something “couldn’t happen to me,” we are on the short path to something happening to us. Statistical anomalies like a ricochet hitting a spectator at a shooting event or a 9mm slug bouncing off your stomach are just that: statistical anomalies…exceptionally rare events that do happen now and then. No one in this situation did anything negligent. A slug may bounce off a rock, a steel part of an old car body you’re turning into Swiss Cheese with an H&K MP5, or even a hard knot in a piece of wood. Also, if you happen to find out your significant other is bulletproof, don’t tell anyone – but make a big deal of it. It’s a great story to tell his grandkids someday in hushed tones behind his back.

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Great story.
People have to realize that flying projectile can be unpredictable, especially at outdoor range. That’s why I’m very careful when we shoot steel targets. I’ve been hit by ricochet and bullet’s fragments in my pants few times already.
Even we proceed with all safety protocols there’s still chance of accident.

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Which is why we always tell shooters to have a trauma kit (IFAK + TQ + compression bandage) in their range bags or on their belt when they go to the range. In the years I ran shooting facilities, almost nobody had a IFAK in their range gear, and less than half had 1 in their vehicles. This is the single biggest blind spot in the shooting sports. I was also a hunting outfitter for many years, and I could count the hunters who had a IFAK with them on 1 hand out of the hundreds whom I have guided/outfitted.

FYI, the most common injuries I’ve seen in the shooting sports were poisonous insect/snake bites, heat casualties, sprained/broken ankles, slide bite and/or minor burns, and foreign object in the eye. I’ve never needed a TQ or CB or QC while engaged in shooting sports activity, but I have used a bunch of Neosporin, Bandaids, Visine, gauze pads, ice, surgical tape, and burn cream. I have also used one Cravat bandage and made 1 finger splint from popsicle sticks and duct tape. So…to me…the basic IFAK is going to get a lot more frequent use, but the TQ and CB are like a fire extinguisher. IF you need it, you will really need it!

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Moral of the story is to also wear a steel cup?

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Not exactly… Just be smart during shooting sessions.
Stay far enough from steel targets and shoot with people you know.
If you wear long pants, long sleeves, eye protection and regular cap - I wouldn’t expect any problems.

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Not a 1000 yards but…

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…but recalculating energy difference between caliber .50 and 9 we find out that the same may happen with 9mm or .40 within 20 yards.

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Holy smokes! What are the chances of that? I’d like to know more about their target setup.

And that whistle… the result of the deformed bullet cutting through the air on its way back. I wonder if they found it. Who wouldn’t spend the rest of the day looking?

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That video is quite old now.
Here is deep analyze of that accident:

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Yeah, also don’t wear sandals because of this… Hot lead wedging itself between your toes will wake you up

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Good analysis.

I also watched the Demolition Ranch 50BMG video that popped up. Always a fun time.

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That’s incredible and glad no one was hurt bad. Back in the early 60s we would go to a conservation club here in Michigan and shoot our recurve bows outside on a range with like 70 some targets into bales of straw. One day a young guy took his 22 rifle out and was walking the course and plinking away at the targets. I know, not very smart. but no one was there at the time. His dog was running with him and of to the side at almost 90 degrees to the target he shot at and when he shot the bullet come out of the straw at a 90 and hit the dog. The dog lived but what a scary memory to me as I was probably 10 or 12 years old.

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Question? Did he stick with that story? :crazy_face:

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As far as I can remember, he did.

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