Shooting Myth Buster

Ever been told that you can shoot the seeds out of a watermelon?  Have pictures and proof?  Send them to me and I will verify and post.

Myth 1: .38 Super will pass through normal stage props and still make a "normal" bullet hole.

As Range Master at the 2010 NC Sectional, I had the opportunity to make several interesting calls.  Most of them made me think and I must give credit to the exceptional RO staff for seeking assistance when the shooter's score was at stake and there was the slightest question.

Two of these calls had to do with targets behind props that had questionable scoring hits.  I explained to the ROs (one of which their call I overruled) that a .38 Super will not go thru cardboard (a no-shoot target), wood (the target stick) and PVC (the wall frame) and still make anything resembling a normal, clean, "free-air" bullet hole.  Since we had time during the 1 hour score review (rule 9.8.3) period at the end of the match during which we could not tear down, we decided to conduct an experiment...  OK, OK, I was asked to perform said experiment to which I quickly and gladly agreed!

A target stick had an upper A/B zone portion of a target stapled to it and a piece of the same PVC pipe used to make (repair!!!) the walls taped to the back.  Three shots were fired through this assembly at the target.  As you can see from the pictures below, the holes rendered by the affected bullet are considerably different than a "clean" bullet hole, also shown for comparison.  Since the PVC was not replaced for each of the three shots, the second and third shots most likely just went through cardboard and wood, and still made holes far from normal.

Bottom line: the trajectory of the bullet must be affected by passing through materials in its path.  A follow up experiment would be to see how thin a piece of wood could be used to render a near-normal hole (of course, it will be missing the grease ring, but should otherwise appear normal) as observed by the human eye.  We all know too well that simply passing through another paper target (a shoot-through condition) will leave a near-normal hole sans the "grease ring."

Picture 1

Picture 1 - Normal Bullet Hole

Picture 2

Picture 2 - Three "Impeded" Bullet Holes

Picture 3

Picture 3 - All Four Bullet Holes

Note PVC embedded in right side of target


Picture 4

Picture 4 - Bullet Impedance Device

Picture 5

Picture 5 - Bullet Impedance Device (Alternate View)






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