Gun Recoil Claims Life of 12 Year Old Boy


October 15, 2004, 11:53 AM
Gun Recoil Claims Life of 12 Year Old Boy

- A 12-year-old San Antonio boy died Saturday afternoon south of Giddings when he was struck on the top of the head by the recoil of a Ruger .454 gun he was firing. The boy, identified by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office as Marcus Wall, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Paul Fischer.

Sheriff’s Deputy Rodney Meyer stated that the victim and his father, Marc Wall, were with friends dove hunting on the Zoch place off County Road 233. Deputy Meyer reported that when the hunters took a break for lunch, they began shooting a variety of guns owned within the group. The Ruger .454 Casull was purportedly owned by Joe Ramsey of Austin.

According to the Sheriff’s report, when Marcus asked to shoot the Ruger, Ramsey told the young boy the gun was too large for him to shoot. However, allegedly it was later “ OK’ed for him [Marcus] to shoot the gun”. The report did not identify who gave permission for the child to shoot, though Ramsey stood by the boy when he fired.

From the Sheriff’s account of the incident, Marcus was instructed how to hold and shoot the gun. “Mr. Ramsey assisted the victim [when taking aim] by holding his hand above the victim’s [hands] for the recoil,” explained Deputy Meyer.

When the gun was fired, the gun recoiled upward, hitting Marcus in the head causing head trauma. The gun’s owner, Ramsey, received injury to his fingers but was not transported for medical attention.

The Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatch received two calls reporting the incident, though only the second caller could identify their location. Deputy Mike York advised dispatch that he was in the area and had been flagged down and directed to the location. Upon arrival at the scene, Deputy York radioed to dispatch to cancel the call for an ambulance and to send out a Justice of the Peace.

The recoil velocity of the Ruger .454 has been noted for its strength for some time. In a May 2001 article in Shooting Times, author Dick Metcalf reported that “...when the .454 Casull version of the Super Redhawk was introduced in 1999, Ruger spokesmen candidly acknowledged they did not expect the new chambering to be shot a lot for casual plinking or for steel-target competition. Its recoil was simply too severe.”

Deputy Meyer stated that the case is still under investigation.

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El Rojo
October 15, 2004, 11:56 AM
Those guys need prayer. What a horrible feeling that would be.

October 15, 2004, 01:41 PM
How horrific. That sort of loss can tear people apart.

October 15, 2004, 02:31 PM
I cannot even begin to imagine what these gentlemen are feeling. My wishes and prayers, gentlemen.

October 15, 2004, 02:53 PM
This kind of incident makes you have a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Hopefully they will let this case go as an accident and let their greif be their punishment.

Good Shooting

October 15, 2004, 04:00 PM
Very sad.

Got to wonder who OK'd a 12 year old to shoot a .454.:uhoh:

October 15, 2004, 04:07 PM
!! The SRH does not appear to have malfunctioned in any way. The fellow must have loaded it with powerhouse loads. From the description, I can only hypothosize that the kid let go at once, but the man's hands kept the back end of the SRH down without gripping it. This could have forced the recoil pressure to increase out on the barrel, flipping it back and nailing the kid sight-first right on the forehead. A child holding it would be likely to let go out of impulse, and at that point the revolver's weight would send it down and back, not up and back. Ironically he would have been better off without supervision if I'm correct.

This one goes into the freak accident file I think.

Joshua Hutchison
October 15, 2004, 04:23 PM
:( thats so horrible...

October 15, 2004, 04:55 PM
That is terrible. I can't imagine the pain the family is feeling right now.

October 15, 2004, 06:04 PM

Back when the .454 first came out in the Casull we had multiple adults plant a sight in their forehead at the Firing Line. The grip, as you know, is designed to roll in the hand. These guys would let their elbows flex as well. :rolleyes:

Went through quite a few bandages those first months.

Kid that size, I can see it happening the same but amplified by the size/strength difference. Again, horrible accident.

October 16, 2004, 02:15 PM
That's terrible.



October 16, 2004, 03:20 PM
That is very sad, as mentioned above I bet the guys feel terrible.:(

October 16, 2004, 03:33 PM
This is strange - this same story from the same source was posted on THR weeks ago. Now the same story is dated today and it's got the same goofy sheriff picture next to it.

The last time it said the boy's face was ripped off by the gun. It looked like BS then and it still does to me. Look down this thread - FPrice posts a link the same page referenced today - I remember that same sheriff pic. This is totally BS, unless they have kids dying from .454's every month.

October 17, 2004, 07:59 AM
I have to agree, sounds really bogus that one kid was killed by recoil, let alone a second kid, one month later in the same town, with the same sherrif investigating. Im chalking this up to a internet hoax unless shown some other evidence.

October 17, 2004, 08:41 AM
Duplicate Killing. (

October 17, 2004, 08:46 AM
I think the first time was in the mid 80's and the gun was a 44 mag. Last time was a few weeks ago and it was a S&W 500. This one ranks up there with black widows in beehive hairdos and rattlesnakes in toilets. And yes, I'm sure several members have uncles whose best friend found a rattlesnake in their toilet, and great aunts who died from spider bites after they hatched in their hairdos.:rolleyes:

October 17, 2004, 08:48 AM
As several people have pointed out I was the original poster on this. I heard about the incident on Dr. Laura Schlessinger's radio show from a caller who's family was present and wondered if they should go to the funeral. Several days later another THR member also started a thread when they saw the actual newspaper report (which Idid not have).

The bizarre thing here is why is it being reported all over again, almost 6 weeks after the incident? Is it a slow news season down there?

October 17, 2004, 11:42 AM
Is it routine to call a Justice of the Peace and not the Coroner? I used to volunteer with the Fire Dept when I lived in AZ, The coroner was called in to confirm all deaths...

edited to add: My wife is a nurse here in Cali, and she stated that only a Doctor or Coroner has the power to sign a Death Certificate here.

October 17, 2004, 12:32 PM
Recoil killing someone? :scrutiny:

October 17, 2004, 12:35 PM
In Texas, a Justice of the Peace is routinely called out to pronounce death in rural areas. I don't even think most counties have coroners except for the ones with the larger cities.

October 17, 2004, 01:39 PM
Not BS. I know people in Giddings. Also, the story was in their local paper.

Pretty horrible.

Phil in Seattle
October 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Here's the problem. The online edition of The Lexington Leader doesn't provide the date it's stories were posted.

Every story gets the current days header, but there is nothing that tells you what the date of the initial story was.

As I test I searched their archives for recoil, the only return was the story posted above, I then used car for a search term scrolled down the list and fouind a story with a date in it. The story contained a date "The Giddings Independent School District (GISD) Board of Trustees hired Michael S. Kuhrt for the district’s superintendent position at their Board meeting Thursday, May 13." but without a date contiained within a story the header of " Sunday's Internet Edition, October 17, 2004." remains the only other date reference on the page. If they are going to have archives available they need to supply the daye the story originally ran on.

FYI dove hunting in Texas opened September 1st at the earliest.

October 17, 2004, 03:04 PM
I find it hard to believe that a recoiling gun could kill someone. A 12 year old boy will be pretty good size unless he is way small for his age and it takes a pretty good blow to the head to cause death. I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I think I would need to verify this story because it just sounds wrong.

4v50 Gary
October 17, 2004, 03:16 PM
How tragic. :(

Remember that kids vary in size and so does skull thickness. Being struck on the head is major trauma. Yep, it can happen.

rock jock
October 18, 2004, 06:19 PM
I find it hard to believe that a recoiling gun could kill someone. A 12 year old boy will be pretty good size unless he is way small for his age and it takes a pretty good blow to the head to cause death.
Yes it does. And the .454 can easily deliver in the power category to do this. Think about taking a ball ping hammer and hitting a young kid on the forehead pretty hard.

October 18, 2004, 06:24 PM
Is the recoil potent enough to crack a skull if it swings back sight first? Yes. Esp. if the kid's head is right there. The recoil of the SRH nearly broke my middle finger, and no blow in decades worth of blows has been able to do that. It is by far the meanest handgun I've ever shot. Worse than the BFR and much worse than Thompson centers.

October 18, 2004, 06:35 PM
Very tragic.

My wife caught the front sight in the forehead from a 5.5" RH in 44M once. Lots of blood, big headache, healed fine.

Hang on tight. Don't feed fullhouse loads to youngsters and women.


October 18, 2004, 06:45 PM
I still have my doubts. I saw a man hit in the forehead by a .460 Weatherby (well, the scope hit him) and it gave him a half-moon cut but no bone-jarring blow to the head. Some of you may say "Yup, it can happen" but I will need some proof of this one.

October 19, 2004, 03:45 AM
the scope caught him as the rifle was on the way to having its recoil soaked up by his shoulder. say a half inch of movement?

this is a steel rod impacting the forehead, pivoting in the boys hands, with little to slow it down

I saw grown men with no-???? divots in their craniums from the Casull

October 19, 2004, 07:28 AM
Well, ENOUGH said! I would not be surprised if that caller was a "plant" just for anti-gun reasons!

Matt G
October 19, 2004, 08:00 AM
Life is not a John Wayne movie, in which you can smack a person on the head, they just slump down with tweety birds chirping, and ten minutes later join you for a beer. Trauma to the head can and does kill, under many circumstances. This one was pretty freakish.

Think of the rotational velocity put on a front sight of a longish revolver stoked with heavy duty .454 loads, with a little kid holding it too loosely and a man putting his hand at the pivot point, effectively creating a hinge.

October 19, 2004, 09:38 AM
I would nto be surprised if that caller was a "plant" just for anti-gun reasons!

I wondered the same thing.

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