MN boy & screwdriver gun


April 22, 2003, 07:12 AM
I've heard of potatoes and frogs being fired from spud guns, but not a screwdriver. He's lucky to be alive.

Gun fires screwdriver into Erskine, Minn., boy's chest

Published April 22, 2003

ERSKINE, MINN. -- Two boys remained hospitalized Monday after a freak accident on a farm near Erskine in northwestern Minnesota.

One of the boys was in stable condition at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D., with a punctured lung.

Polk County Sheriff Mark LeTexier said the two friends were shooting a screwdriver from a homemade potato gun Friday night. The gun failed to fire after several attempts, then went off when one boy picked it up, the sheriff said.

The screwdriver just missed the other boy's heart, LeTexier said. He is expected to recover.

The boy who was handling the gun when it discharged was being treated for shock and was still hospitalized Monday in Crookston. The boys' names were not released because they are juveniles.

When they removed the scredriver, did they use the 'rightey-tightey, lefty-loosey' method?

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April 22, 2003, 07:40 AM
That boy is fortunate indeed. Kids really should realize that ANYTHING which projects a missile out of a barrel, be it BB's, potatoe, whatever .... is dangerous.:rolleyes:

I made three potato cannons ... 1", 1 1/2" and a 2" ..... and chrono'd them .. forget exact figures but a largish ''piston'' of potato came out of one of them around 200 fps .... now if that ''piston'' weighed shall we say, 1/2 oz (probably more like an ounce plus but let's be conservative) ...... then my math says there will be about 20 ft lbs of energy. Translate this into something heavier and so maybe slower .... but POINTED ... and well ...... not hard to imagine the possibilities for injury.

This is again maybe a ''parent thing'' .. not so much poor supervision but failure to educate.

April 22, 2003, 08:28 AM
It seems like in all these stories the person who got shot picked the gun up with the barrel either facing them or looked into the barrel. What's up with that?

April 22, 2003, 08:40 AM
It sound like one boy picked it up and was messing with it when it went off. The boy who got the point was just standing in the line of fire.

April 22, 2003, 11:10 AM
Discussion ongoing here:

TFL Survivor

April 22, 2003, 11:12 AM
Thanks, Leatherneck.

Closing as duplicate.


I don't know why it is we are in such a hurry to get up when we fall down. You might think we would lie there and rest a while. -- Max Eastman

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