"Knock-down" effect of being shot?


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Preacherman
August 15, 2003, 10:59 PM
Hi, folks. In a brief review of the film "Open Range" (see here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?threadid=35956)), Dr. Rob made this comment:
Shoot em up is good, though there are scenes of the shotgun knocking people sideways and back 6 feet.
Now, I've heard a great many people denying that there is any such thing as "knock-down power" - particularly out of a handgun (heck, I've done it myself). However, with firearms that inflict relatively massive injuries, such as shotguns, I've seen this more than once. All occasions were in another country in a riot/unrest situation. I've seen at least four or five people get shot at close range with buckshot and/or slugs, and they literally flew backwards and/or sideways under the impact.

The way this was explained to me by a medical guy was that with so great an injury to the chest cavity, the body's muscles spasm uncontrollably, thus giving the impression that the shot has made the person "fly" away, but in reality it's the spasmodic reaction of the muscles that causes this reaction.

I've never seen the same reaction to handgun rounds, or rounds from a high-powered rifle (e.g. 7.62x51mm. NATO, 7.62x39 AK, 5.56x45mm., etc.). I've seen numerous people shot with these rounds, and while they've certainly fallen (and a surprising number have been able to run for a reasonable distance before falling), I've never seen them "fly" under the impact of the bullets.

Can anyone shed any additional light on this subject? Those of you who've BTDT, or have been witnesses to such an encounter - have you seen similar reactions to massive gunshot wounds at close range?

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Moparmike
August 15, 2003, 11:03 PM
While I have no personal experience, I have heard that if a gun has knockdown power for the person on the recieving end then physics would dictate that the person shooting it would be knocked down as well.

But like I said, I have no personal experience with it, so YMMV.

Justin
August 15, 2003, 11:06 PM
Mopar, you're right, if that's what P-man was talking about.
But he's talking about a physiological reaction to being shot, not actually being bowled over by the round.

In other words, a person gets hit in the chest with buckshot, and as a response all the muscles in their chest spasm wildly enough to knock them off their feet.

Never having BTDT, I haven't the foggiest notion.

Moparmike
August 15, 2003, 11:10 PM
So all we have to do now is design a phaser-like device that makes all the muscles in the chest spasm (physically or psycologically) and knocks the bg to his butt. Cool! I would have to make it look like a remote control though, and the mute button be the trigger.:D

Ok, enough sillyness. I hope an answer is found, as the premise of the question seems quite interesting.

4v50 Gary
August 15, 2003, 11:20 PM
Remember Charles Henderson's Marine Sniper? It describes an incident where Hathcock used a 30-06 to shoot a fellow. The guy's response was to charge Hathcock. Hathcock had to put several rounds into the guy, including one to the brain, to stop him.

From pages 73-74 of their classic book, "Shooting to Live" by Capt. W. E. Fairbairn & Capt. E. A. Sykes: "We shall choose for our first instance one relating to the big lead bullet driven at a moderate velocity. On this occasion, a Sikh constable fired six shots with his .455 Webley at an armed criminal of whom he was in pursuit, registering five hits. The criminal continued to run, and so did the Sikh, the latter clinching the matter finally by battering in the back of the criminal's head with the butt of his revolver. Subsequent investigations showed that one bullet only, and that battery deformed, remained in the body, the other four having passed clean through.

A very similar incident took place more recently - though it relates to a different weapon. A European patrol-sergeant, hearing shooting and shouts of "Chiang-Tao" (robber), rushed to a rice shop which seemed to be the centre of the tumult, and there saw an armed Chinese robbing the till. The Chinese immediately opened fire on the sergeant with an automatic pistol at about 6 yards, firing several shots until his pistol jammed. Fortunately none of the shots took effect, and meanwhile the sergeant returned the fire swiftly and effectively with a .45 Colt automatic, commencing at about 10 feet and firing his sixth and last shot at 3 feet as he rapidly closed in on his opponent. Later, it was found that of those six shots, four had struck fleshy parts of the body, passing clean through, while one of the bullets remained in the shoulder and another had lodged near the heart. Yet, in spite of all this, the robber was still on his feet and was knocked unconscious by the butt of the sergeant's pistol as he was attempting to escape by climbing over the counter. Here we have two heavy jacketed bullets which did not waste their substance on mere penetration, one of them inflicting a wound which came near to being fatal. In theory these two heavy bullets should have stopped the man in his tracts, but the facts are as related..."

The authors go on to tell of the 7.62 mm Mauser smashing to pulp the bone in one man's arm, necessitating amputation. They conclude on page 77-78: "We do not know that a big soft lead bullet will not have the knock-down effect generally claimed. All we can say is that we have never seen it. We do not know for certain, either, that a full-jacketed high-velocity small-calibre bullet will always have the effect described in the particular instance which we have given.

"We incline to the belief that the human factor must influence to some extent the behavior of bullets. A pugilist at the top of his form can stand vastly more punishment than a man who is 'soft' and untrained. Capacity to resist shock and pain appears to be also a function of the nervous system, and marked differences occur in this respect as between individuals of different races. Perhaps that partially explains why some men are not knocked out by bullets when they ought to be."

Sounds valid except for the race bit. I think it was adrenalin myself. My own opinion? Shot placement is everything.

Wildalaska
August 16, 2003, 12:04 AM
My understanding is that if you shoot someone with a 45ACP, he will get knocked down, but the 9mm will only wound.

WildthatswhatIreadAlaska

Preacherman
August 16, 2003, 12:13 AM
Wild, I thought that applied only to the .50 Alaskan? :D

Hkmp5sd
August 16, 2003, 12:27 AM
I don't think there is an actual "knock-down" effect in which the person is physically thrown back, including muscle spasms. There may be spasms, but they will appear more like a fish flopping around on the ground.

On the other hand, there is human mindset. After years of Hollywood shootings, a person that is shot may react to being hit subconsciously by leaping backward. There have even been cases where a person with a non-fatal wound died because they had seen thousands of people in movies get shot and drop dead, so they did. The human mind is very powerful and if a person is convinced he is going to die, the mind is more than happy to comply.

DigMe
August 16, 2003, 12:34 AM
I've shot feral hogs ranging in weight from 200 to 300 pounds with 000 magnum (3") 12 gauge loads as close as 10 yards and there was definitely no flying back. I'd say it'd have to be a muscle reaction moreso than any physics or knockdown power at work.

brad cook

4v50 Gary
August 16, 2003, 12:35 AM
DigMe: if Hogs watched movies or TV, they'd know to fly back. ;)

sm
August 16, 2003, 12:41 AM
Preacherman,
I'm hoping a Doctor or someone contributes, Because I'm really not that smart, limited knowledge, and REAL rusty on this stuff.

Personally, I believe it is a combination of the Muscular,and Nervous Systems.

Each skelatal muscle fiber is connected to an extension (a nerve fiber) [myoneural junction] of a motor neuron. 3 types of muscle tissue: skeletal,smooth, and cardiac. A skeletal muscle is an organ of the muscle system and composed primarily of skeletal muscle tissue, nervous tissue, blood and connective tissues. Ok IIRC, going from outside to inside ( onion-..no think of unwrapping a braided cable) Fascia covers the surface of the muscle,Epimysium lies beneath the fascia, and perimysium extends into the structure of the muscle where it separates muscles into fascicles. Endomysium separates individual muscle fibers. < getting smaller yet> Skeletal muscle represents a single cell of a muscle. Each muscle fiber is a thin elongated cylinder with rounded ends that are attached to connective tissue. I'm going to skip TO the MYOFIBRILS, these play the fundamental role of contraction. Two kinds of protein filaments (we are basically proteins and enzymes anyway) Thick proteins are Myosin / Thin protein Actin. I'm real real rusty on the bands of H zone, M line A bands sacromeres ... You got nerves in there and then the responses to nerves and muscles to stumuli ...Threat.

Nerves are like the cable example again, so "peeling" or examining so to speak we have the schwann cells....wait( draw diagram) ok it goes dendrite, neruon neucleus, neuron cell body ummyelinated axion ( no "sheath") myellinated region of axion, NODE of RANVIER , myelin, Neurleimial sheath axon then Neurofibrils. Myelin = white. Unmyeliated= gray ( like brain, spinal cord...) I'm rusty so won't go on memory on the active transport and Inactive. Na+ and K- plays a major role with polarization and depolarization , open channels , diffused and I do recall the voltage of electrical impulse is at rest -70Mv ( negative 70 millivolts) at the peak of action potential membrane potential may reach +30 MV .

OK we have chemicals in the body, neurotransmitters are chemicals to ( they have electrical charges...blah blah) some 30 different kinds of neurotransmitters (NTs) are produced by the nervous system.Some NTs release only one type, others 2, 3 kinds. Acetylcholine stimulates skeletal muscle contractions. So my supposition is the Flight/Fight response is affected by the victim (sober, drunk,doped[street drugs] scripted, meds...which affect how chemicals are released, which in turn affects the nervous system, which affects the muscles) Epi...err..adrenline as Gary pointed out plays a role too. I recall the example being used about sheep with MG. short story is with everthing else related to MG think about the chemical aspect. Stand on a dog house and jump off to scare the sheep.OK the sheep would make an initial response, some would -"might" move a bit--but then would literally FREEZE. The chemicals (we'll forget a moment about the other stuff) would cause the NERVES to cause the NERVES in the MUSCLE to contract...but NO elecrical signal to RELAX affording the muscle to CONTRACT again. NO movement...after a bit but each sheep was different and different muscles were affected, but 'scared stiff" as it were.

So I think its a combo of all the above. If one sees a ball bat coming at them they "react" these above respones are going to be on a different level than if you see a balloon coming at you. The bigger the Threat ( bullet, caliber, ...etc) the greater the percieved response of victim and the body. The body is designed to protect itself, neat little computer we have, and adjusts itself accordingly.

Anyway thats my theory and thoughts.

DigMe
August 16, 2003, 12:42 AM
DigMe: if Hogs watched movies or TV, they'd know to fly back.

Hehe...

Nah, they would have shot me first because seeing violence on TV causes violent behavior.

brad cook

MJRW
August 16, 2003, 12:54 AM
I've wondered about the statement that "if it could knock the target down, it would knock you down." It seems to me that may not be the case for a couple of reasons.

1. The bullet is accelerating down the barrel. While the burn time of the powder is very short, we are not in fact catching the force instantly. Its the difference to me between getting punched and someone putting their hand on you and slowly pushing. You would be more able to resist the latter. The target however doesn't get the luxury of increasing force from nothing.

2. The bullet when you are firing doesn't impact you. It impacts the gun, which then increases the square inches thereby reducing the PSI. However, the target is catching that same force in a much smaller area.

Now, my physics was only enough to pass so anyone wanting to correct me, please do. I would rather be told why I'm wrong than assume I might be right if I am not. It just seems to me that these factors could explain why someone could get knocked down by a bullet when the shooter does not.

hso
August 16, 2003, 01:20 AM
MJRW,

While the bullet may impact a small area that area is part of a greater whole :rolleyes: (sorry, had to), i.e. the person being shot. It is the question of why a person is knocked down or even flys away when shot not why pieces fly off that is such a puzzel.

WRT the impulse during firing - the change in velocity is the same on both ends and the mass is the same so the energy imparted is the same. What I mean is that the force over time applied is impulse. The time for the bullet to leave the barrel of any small arm is a very small fraction of a second. The time for a bullet to come to a complete stop in a person is much the same small fraction of a second. Since the mass of the bullet won't change then the impulse the shooter is subjected to is much the same as that the person being hit by the bullet is subjected to. Energy is roughly equivalent as are momentums. Therefore, the shot that doesn't knock the shooter down doesn't knock the "target" down either. Some other mechanism than Newtonian mechanics must be at play.

Horsesense
August 16, 2003, 01:33 AM
A big stray dog attacked my Walker Coon Hound in my front yard. I shot it, with 20ga #4 shot, at about 10 yards. Unfortunately the only clean shot I had was his back leg. I know that sounds cruel but this thing had 20 lbs. on my 75 lb. $1000 dog and I had to do something. Anyway, the dog ran about fifty yards in the woods and just crouched down. I shot it at about 5 yards broadside in the chest and it did the mussel thing, if flew sideways a good five ft and was graveyard dead when it landed. I know that there is nowhere near the energy in a 20ga to do that.

westex
August 16, 2003, 01:34 AM
Several years ago while quail hunting with two hunters I knew and one I didn't I was hit from the side from about 30 yards with eight #8 pellets. Three in the stomach, three in one leg and two in the other. I'm still carrying one in my gut (makes for interesting conversations when I get a x-ray) and one against the bone in my left calf.

When this happened I felt like someone had hit me with a 2x4 on the left side. I was knocked down on my right side and not knowing exactly what had happened kept on walking for about 50 yards until I looked down and saw blood seeping out of my shirt. One of the hunters I knew was a GP so we drove about 40 miles to his office where he found the ones in my legs. On a Saturday afternoon he dug out all he could without major surgery. Some funny things came out of this event but I won't go into them here.

I wasn't knocked 10 feet back but don't let anyone try to tell me you can't be knocked off your feet by some little bitty pellets. At the time I weighed about 220. And did I ever hear anything from the SOB who shot me?:fire:

Jeff White
August 16, 2003, 01:41 AM
I think that a lot of it is psychological. Getting shot is usually a new experience for most people. It's only natural that they may react the way their mind has programmed them to react from the only experience in getting shot they have, what the entertainment industry puts out.

There are numerous documented instances where people have abosorbed many wounds, any one of which later proved fatal and they continued to function until they bled out. There are almost as many other instances where people have dropped like stones or appeared to be knocked off their feet by small caliber rounds hitting them in non vital places.

I personally know an officer who has experience with less lethal 12 gauge rounds. He reports that in many cases they have had better stopping effect if the subject watched the officer aim the shotgun at them, and didn't know that it was a less lethal round being fired. On the other hand, there are several documented instances where a subject was shot with a 12 gauge bean bag from a blind side and it had almost no effect.

I have no scientific tests to back that theory up, but how else do you explain it?

Jeff

Wildalaska
August 16, 2003, 01:44 AM
Wild, I thought that applied only to the .50 Alaskan?

Preacher, if I start a thread "Which is better, the 45 ACP or the 50 Alaskan", watch the fur fly :)

WildfordorchevyAlaska

Orthonym
August 16, 2003, 03:06 AM
MOMENTUM IS CONSERVED! (as my H.S. Physics teacher used to yell) The gun/shooter and the bullet have each the same momentum. Now, energy, that's a different story. The whole point of gun design is to put as much of the propellant's energy into the bullet as possible and the least into the gun. Think of the relative masses of bullet and gun. Think of the square term in the formula for kinetic energy. For that matter, think of the relative masses in an inelastic collision between a 200lb human and a 1/2oz bullet!(with due consideration for velocity, hence momentum, of the bullet)

mete
August 16, 2003, 04:02 AM
It's amazing how things change - originally it was "stopping power " now it has become "knock down power" !! You should look up info on the subject by Dr Fackler he is the real expert. Better than uninformed opinions.

only1asterisk
August 16, 2003, 05:58 AM
I have covered this before, but it seems most people don't believe me. Saying that recoil would knock the shooter down if bullet impact is strong enough the knock over a target person is missing the fact that the whole design of rifles, shooting stances and techniques is to deal with recoil. The person who is being struck generally doesn't have the option.

It is possible for a shoulder fired or handheld small arm to "knock a person down". That is, cause a person that would not otherwise have fallen down to fall quickly. It isn't to difficult to imagine a situation that this might occur. A police officer in a vest backpedals away from a man who has surprised him (armed with a .338), the guy with a rifle fires, hitting the officer's vest at the top of the trauma plate. The officer is off balance and the reduced needed to tip him over is reduced as a product of his rearward motion. The 338 has plenty of power to make him sit down hard. Imagine having the recoil of a loosely held .338 hitting you in you directly in the upper chest. You may not be knocked over. Now imaging it again, while you stick your foot out in front of you.

Knocking a person down is a combination of some of the following.

Body Position
Bullet strike in relation to movement
Bullet strike in relation to balance points
Powerful impact with deceleration of the projectile occurring in uncommonly short duration(lack of penetration)

It is possible, but under "normalish" circumstances the Earth, Moon and Sun have the line up with Mars just right.

Then there are big @$$ rifles:
http://www.serveroptions.com/humor/40.mpg
http://www.serveroptions.com/humor/wilvid.mpg
http://www.serveroptions.com/humor/saeed.mpg

Recoil knocked these guys around pretty good.

People are saying: See here, you disprove yourself!

Witness different person with the same rifle:

http://www.serveroptions.com/humor/ali1.mpg
http://www.serveroptions.com/humor/ali3.mpg

And a smaller guy with bigger rifle:

http://www.serveroptions.com/humor/k700.mpg

This guys feet don't even move, what gives?

http://www.serveroptions.com/humor/13.mpg

The fact is that getting hit with recoil that you're brace and ready for is different than getting hit by a bullet that you aren't.


David

standingbear
August 16, 2003, 09:27 AM
it has somthing to do with bullet energy and mass.the larger the bullet and the greater the energy from the bullet coupled with mass of the target.i.e. a rabbit shot with a 22 in a long rifle, is not going to just fly backwards and do the bojangles.a rabbit shot with a 22 in a 223 case,might if hit in a hard mass area(the skull,backbone)the 12 gauge on a dog sized animal at close range also will have a greater effect than would a 38 revolver or a 9mm.the 12 gauge has more mass when it hits;it spread out and retains the energy for a shorter distance until impact where it dissapates over a wide area.take a plastic jug,fill it with sand and shoot it.the sand will absorb the bullet energy in some while the high velocity rounds may penetrate.take the same sized jug w sand,fire a 12 gauge #6 load(or a buck load or even a slug) at close range..say 10 feet...itll help show what goes on with bullet energy,velocity and mass.

Mark Tyson
August 16, 2003, 09:42 AM
I saw, in a ballistic armor demonstration, a man standing on one leg shot at point blank range in the torso with a large caliber revolver(sorry, can't remember what caliber, but it was big). He did not tip over, much less fly back.

By the way the shotee was the inventor of the armor. He went around the country hawking his product this way to PD's and other agencies. It's either a lot of guts or a lack of brains; you decide.

Browns Fan
August 16, 2003, 11:40 AM
A couple of yrs ago I shot a deer that ran 40 yds in front of me at a full gallop with 00 buckshot; hit him right in the head. It was like I hit him in the head with an aluminum baseball bat. It was quite impressive!

TallPine
August 16, 2003, 12:01 PM
Getting shot is usually a new experience for most people.

Not one of those things in which one wants to accumulate a great deal of experience.

stevelyn
August 16, 2003, 12:19 PM
Rich Davis the president of Second Chance body armor has (does?) shot himself using a .44 Magnum to demonstrate the effectivness of the vests. He would place phone books under the vest to reduce blunt trauma from the impact of the bullet strike. I also remember him taking a step or two back on impact.
Remember however, the bullet is being stopped on the outside of the vest spending all it's energy on the surface imparting more of a push rather than passing through the vest and his body as would happen in a real world shooting.
It would seem that a bullet being stopped on the outside of the body, has more of a dramatic effect at moving that body than one which is passing through even with a bone strike.

Keith
August 16, 2003, 12:31 PM
I've shot well over a hundred large (human sized) game animals and seen many more shot by others - and with a variety of cartridges from .38 special up to 458 magnum and everything in between.

None - not one - was ever thrown back upon impact in the classic Hollywood style. I've seen them drop dead, jump in various directions, fall down, do cartwheels and do nothing at all. I've shot quite a few with handguns; mostly .380's and .45's as a "Coop Dee Grassy" through the neck or head at close range. The head doesn't even bob much when you do that.

With that said, one of my favorite movies is still "Last Man Standing" and part of my fondness for that movie, undoubtedly, is due to Bruce Willis levitating bad guys across the room and into the street with his twin gubmints. Movies are art (even bad or violent movies), and art sometimes requires you to suspend your disbelief and simply follow the story for it's own sake.

Keith

Lancel
August 16, 2003, 12:35 PM
Once I got educated in physics and experienced in hunting, shooting, and the military, I came to the simple conclusion that only a person's or animal's muscle reaction could account for aerial movement after being shot.

Normally, a shotgun's pellets are going to impact a lot more nerve endings than a single projectile.

I have jumped when poked with big stick, did not when shot with little bullet.

Larry

Loaded
August 16, 2003, 12:43 PM
Just remember this. It's pure hollywood. And if you don't want to believe otherwise then believe this... If the bullets/pellets are going to cause the recipient to fly backwards in mid air, or cause him to fall back with each succeeding hit, then too will the person shooting the bullets/pellets will also fly backwards in mid air and or fall back with each succeeding shot fired.

Pure hollywood my friends!

SDC
August 16, 2003, 01:13 PM
I think it's mainly a matter of what the "shootee" is expecting, or a subconscious reaction to try to avoid the shot. Mas Ayoob covered this in one of his post-shooting articles, in which someone was shot AT with a sawn-off .22 rifle, while he was responding with a .44 Special. (This happened during the robbery of a fast-food restaurant.) Even though the good guy was never hit, he SWORE he could feel the bullet impact him, and that bullet knocked him backwards. Afterwards, he was checked thoroughly and no bullet ever actually hit him, but he and everyone else who saw the event were sure that he'd been hit.

Browns Fan
August 16, 2003, 03:03 PM
Most of you probably can relate when I say that I have seen a deer jump straight up in the air when shot, even after a good heart/lung shot.

brownie0486
August 16, 2003, 03:23 PM
Once more for everyones edification on this subject.

Video of 22 - 308 rifle rounds fired at point blank range on a guy wearing a vest.

No knock-down, no knocking him backwards.

He even stands on one leg with the 308 and barely moves on impact at something like 2 feet.

Video of a perp hit by sniper with 308 at 60 yds--guy weighs 250+. At impact in the chest, he slumps to the ground like dropping a sack of potatoes. He was also very dead immediately, and never moved from the postion on the ground.

Movies are movies and real life is not the same. Imagine the movies where the BG's get shot and do nothing but fall down. No through the plate glass window, or through the closed door, that would not make for much excitement now would it.

Brownie

cracked butt
August 16, 2003, 03:55 PM
I read awhile abck in a hunting magazine an article on this exact topic. The knockdown energy idea was pretty much put to pasture. They made a model of a deer with about the same length of legs, same width and length on the footprint of the legs, a torso from a wooden box filled with rags and sand to give it a weight of about 125 lbs. They then shot it with several popular hunting cartridges such as .270, 30-06, .300 WM, .458 WM, and 12 guage slugs. They found that the torso of their deer stopped all bullets except solids from the .458. None of the cartridges knocked the deer over, and only the .458 rocked it a tiny bit.



I agree with those who say that if a shootee is knocked down, then a shooter should be knocked down as well. The shooter absorms even more recoil than the target, as they are also absorbing the recoil of xx grs of powder being ejected from the barrel in the form of gas, or shotgun wads or sabots, Plus the fact that the projectile has slowed somewhat before it hits the target.

I saw that someone mentioned the guy shooting himself in the chest to test his bullet resistant vest and taking a few steps back. If you were to do something painful and scary to yourself such as purposely smash your own finger with a hammer, wouldn't your mind almost certainly be trying to jerk your hand away from the swing of the hammer as its coming down? I remember a college biology class where we had to pick our fingers for blood- I had a difficult time doing it because my finger that waqs going to be poked kept moving away from the other hand that held the sharp poker.:D

Quartus
August 16, 2003, 04:44 PM
This thread illustrates why it has been so easy to sell the global warming nonsense. (And a whole host of bogus "science".) Americans don't know science. Quite a few posters on this thread clearly failed to learn a few of the most basic laws of science (which I remember learning in GRADE SCHOOL!!!!):

For every action there is an equal and opposite REaction.

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

The amount of energy that goes into the recoil of the weapon is EXACTLY equal to the amount of energy that is going downrange in the bullet. The weapon (and the person holding it) have a lot more mass than the bullet, so the velocity is VERY different. But the ENERGY is equal. Always.

There is a difference in the amount of time that the recoil energy is absorbed (by the shooter) and the amount of time that the bullet's energy is absorbed in the target. But the AMOUNT of energy transferred to the target (assuming the bullet stays in the target) is LESS than the energy transferred to the shooter (via recoil) because some of the bullet's energy is lost to the air via friction.


Did you get that? The target will always get less energy than the shooter. Always.

(Well, unless you are shooting a rocket of some kind. Different things happening there.)

Nope. Sorry. No knockdown. There may be physiological effects, and there certainly are differences of perception (like perceiving a pellet the same as getting hit with a 2x4) but nobody is going to fly 6 feet (or even 1 foot!) from a shotgun blast or a hit from a .44 magnum.

And no amount of personal experience or (lack of it) will change that until the laws of physics are changed.


And for those who think otherwise, I challenge you to write a nice letter to a local college physics professor.

THEN argue.

Preacherman
August 16, 2003, 05:12 PM
nobody is going to fly 6 feet (or even 1 foot!) from a shotgun blast or a hit from a .44 magnum.
Quartus, please re-read my opening post in this thread. I agree with you that the effect of a hit alone (i.e. the energy dump of the bullet) is not going to make someone levitate: but what about the examples I've seen with my own eyes, where someone - several someones! - have, indeed, "flown" several feet backward or sideways when hit with a shotgun blast? I know it can't have been the energy dump, but it happened nonetheless!

I advanced the physiological-effect hypothesis because that's what I've been told is the cause of such "flights". I don't know if it's true or not, and was hoping to get further insight from members of this forum. From a few of the posts, it seems others have observed (occasional) similar reactions.

We're not arguing here about whether or not a bullet's energy can cause such a physical reaction: we KNOW it can't, and I think we're all agreed on that. So, given that it's not the bullet, what is it??? :confused:

SodaPop
August 16, 2003, 05:32 PM
I believe there is such a thing as knock down power. I learned that with a 10 pump BB gun. If you pump the gun once it knocks a can down. The more you pump the gun the more penetration you get, and the less likely you are to knock the can down.

brownie0486
August 16, 2003, 05:44 PM
The minds reaction to being hit.

In the RVN, many were shot and didn't know it at times during the heat of a firefight. Only later did they learn they were bleeding out. In these instances the mind did not perceive the damage which had ocurred and did not react at all to the "force" of penetration or energy dump.

Snipers attempt to take you in the "sweet spot" of the brain stem. If they are successful at this, the body does not even twitch, it's "lights out". Hostage situations where the perp has a cocked gun on a hostages body are examples where if the brain is shut down by hitting the sweet spot the finger of the BG doesn't move one muscle to pull the trigger. Anywhere else and the BG may die almost immediately but not before the finger has reflexed and killed the hostage.

So, if the mind [ brain ] isn't allowed to send a signal to muscles [ a resultant reaction ocurring ] the body just slumps to the ground [ see above about the 250 pounder who droped like a rock at being hit with a 308 at 60 yds.

Brownie

SodaPop
August 16, 2003, 05:52 PM
I've seen with my own eyes, where someone - several someones! - have, indeed, "flown" several feet backward or sideways when hit with a shotgun blast?

The person's upper body may have moved back but their feet probable only moved back a little..... kinda like tipping a tree over.

I would measure the distance their feet moved.

telomerase
August 16, 2003, 05:53 PM
>So all we have to do now is design a phaser-like device that makes all the muscles in the chest spasm (physically or psycologically) and knocks the bg to his butt

This has been done. Two UV lasers make twin ionized-air trails to the target which serve as the "wires" for a taser-type 13-Hertz high-voltage current; it's supposed to have a range of 100 yards or so. But it won' t shoot through obstacles (even window glass, if the dielectric is high enough).

Hkmp5sd
August 16, 2003, 05:53 PM
go back to school and learn what they failed to learn when they were originally there. Preacherman has stated several times in this thread that he is not referring to Newton's Third Law of Motion (aka Conservation of Mass and Energy). He is talking about the human body's nervous system causing the muscles to cause the reaction.

If we are going to play the science game, let's throw in singularities, space-time and the uncertainty principle. :rolleyes:

Quartus
August 16, 2003, 08:57 PM
Quartus, please re-read my opening post in this thread.

Preacherman, please re-read my post. I didn't direct it at YOU, but at those who are still arguing for a knock down effect. Here, take a look:

Sorry. No knockdown. There may be physiological effects...


Okey dokey?

C.R.Sam
August 16, 2003, 09:41 PM
I advanced the physiological-effect hypothesis because that's what I've been told is the cause of such "flights". ....Preacherman.

Nuther variable...Psycological effect.

killed or not...
Some drop like a stone when hit.
Some get kinda violent.
Some of the violent ones focus the violence in one general direction.
Others are more random.

Maby...."Fight or Flight" comes into play for some.
Hitee jumping or flinging themselves backwards, away from the threat.

Even a "sweet spot" hit comes with no warrenty.
Have seen the hand of a detached arm clenching briefly.

No violation of the laws of physics is involved if one takes into account ALL of the factors. Including, but not limited to, psycological and physiological. There is a lot of energy stored in the body.

Sam

only1asterisk
August 16, 2003, 09:44 PM
I know my position isn't popular, but sometime being right isn't.

Quote:
The amount of energy that goes into the recoil of the weapon is EXACTLY equal to the amount of energy that is going downrange in the bullet. The weapon (and the person holding it) have a lot more mass than the bullet, so the velocity is VERY different. But the ENERGY is equal. Always.

Wrong, incorrect, untrue. Most of the time, MORE force is delivered to the shooter than the shootee! Ever heard of a muzzle break? These have no effect on the "ENERGY" of the bullet, but reduce recoil. How ever heard of expanding gas making bullet squirt out of hollow tubes. These gases have the same mass as they did when they were powder and are now moving a hell of a lot faster. In a 25-06 or 6mm Remington with varmint loads, your powder contributes about as much to the recoil as does your bullet. This isn't passed on to the shootee!


Quote:
which I remember learning in GRADE SCHOOL!

Exactly, in Physics 101 you learn that there is a great deal wrong with the "science" you learn in GRADE SCHOOL.

Fact:

I am not talking about making people fly like they got hit by a pulling lineman. (I know this is part the opening post) I'm talking about knocking a person down by bumping them in the right place.

Facts:

A hit to a balance point is take very little force to bring a person down, Far less than a hit to the chest. A person that is prepared is harder to knock down that a person that isn't. Penetration spreads out the force of an impact over TIME.

Overwhelming fact: Pulling the trigger on a shoulder fired rifle or shotgun capable of LIFTING a person in to the air with the impact of a pure kinetic energy projectile that penetrates is going to hurt. I'm not sure we have seen one yet.

My Position: Humans, esp. when moving are unstable and prone to being tipped over and falling down in most dramatic fashion. It takes very little force to accomplish this. When striking a balance point even a penetrating bullet has a chance. When hitting COM, the more powerful rounds have a chance esp. if the projectile is stopped by a trauma plate.

What will or will not knock down a shootee has little to do with what will knock down a shooter. Apples and oranges.

I don't mean to seem testy, but I have yet to post anything that isn't true, and I don't think experience and learning should be ridiculed without defense.

Ask your friendly neighborhood physicist that knows something about the subject. I have.


David

Chipperman
August 16, 2003, 09:48 PM
Last time I was unexpectedly stung by a hornet, I jumped about 3 feet away from the spot.
I don't think the stinger's velocity was very high. :rolleyes:

I absolutely believe that a person can be "blown back" but I think it's from their own motion, not the momentum of the projectile.

It's human nature to try to get away from a noxious stimulus.

The cases where people don't notice that they have been shot are cases where they are so ramped up, the "Fight or Flight" response wins out over the pain.

It's not a question of physics, it's a question of human neurophysiology.

Hutch
August 16, 2003, 10:46 PM
Preacherman, I've only skimmed most of the replies on this thread to make sure nobody else has already asked you....

How in the world have you managed to be witness to so much mayhem? I have gleaned that this was on the Dark Continent, but surely your experience has to be rare, even in that violent place. You should undertake to write memoirs, or Lawdog-files-like recounts of these matters. I for one would be spellbound to hear from someone who has "been there, done (or seen) that".

Thanks...

Quartus
August 16, 2003, 10:54 PM
Ever heard of a muzzle break

Yeah, usually happens after a bad porting job or because of an obstruction in the barrel.

A muzzle BRAKE is designed to redirect some of the muzzle gasses rearward and thereby reduce the rearward velocity of the weapon. Kinda like a car BRAKE system reduces the speed of a car. And yes, if there's a muzzle brake the shooter will not absorb all of the energy of the recoil, but the total energy going to the rear will STILL equal the total energy going to the front.

<sigh> Which only strengthens the original point: If the recoil of a weapon is not enough to throw the shooter back 6 feet then it isn't enough to throw the target back 6 feet. BTW, nobody is disputing that people can fall over when shot. :rolleyes:



I don't mean to seem testy, but I have yet to post anything that isn't true, and I don't think experience and learning should be ridiculed without defense.


:rolleyes:


BTW, the quote function is a marvelous thing.

Andrew Wyatt
August 16, 2003, 11:59 PM
If the recoil of a weapon is not enough to throw the shooter back 6 feet then it isn't enough to throw the target back 6 feet.


however, imagine firing a shotgun the same time your legs and most of your upper body stops working. What happens?

Quartus
August 17, 2003, 12:05 AM
however, imagine firing a shotgun the same time your legs and most of your upper body stops working. What happens?

You fall over. You don't fly backward. You just fall over.


Sit in a swing some time and fire a shotgun. (Uh, don't try this at your local public school playground! :D )


You'll move a bit. That's all.




All Star Wrestling is real!
you mean it's NOT?!?!?. :what:

:D

Yeah, Vic, I think you nailed it

:rolleyes:

Andrew Wyatt
August 17, 2003, 12:11 AM
a 12 gauge is about as forceful as a medium shove. that'll knock me a bout two feet, especially if i don't have any way to counterbalance myself to stay upright.

Preacherman
August 17, 2003, 12:33 AM
Folks.. It can't happen!!! :cuss:
... Unless it does happen, right in front of your eyes! As I said before, I have actually SEEN this happen on more than one occasion. I know that it's not the bullet's energy causing this, but what DOES cause it? It's no good saying "It can't happen" when I've seen it happen, more than once, and I know a number of other people who saw it too.

That said, do we have anything to suggest WHY it happens? Is the physiological-reaction (i.e. muscle-spasm) argument valid? Does anyone have the knowledge to address the issue?

Hkmp5sd
August 17, 2003, 12:39 AM
No one here has stated they believe that a shotgun blast or bullet will pick a person off the ground and throw them backwards. The debate is over whether the human body may react to being blasted and give the appearance of being thrown. Essentially a subconsious muscle/nervous system reaction.

only1asterisk
August 17, 2003, 06:22 AM
As usual, Hkmp5sd has nailed it.

Quartus, thank for the English lesson. Truth is, I really don't watch it as closely as I should. You miss the point, man. It isn't flying, it's falling with style. You get hit right and you fail around trying to stay upright, observers interpet this wrong. The bullet IS doing the "knockdown" just as I would be doing the knockdown if I kicked someone in the knee.


David

Mark Tyson
August 17, 2003, 08:31 AM
Preacherman, is it possible the shot person only appeared to fly through the air, and in fact just fell over or tripped? The senses can be fooled by perspective and adrenaline ...

4v50 Gary
August 17, 2003, 11:23 AM
Speaking of Rich Davis, another example shows him wearing a best capable of stoping the 7.62 mm Nato. He stands with one foot in the air and his arms outstretched. The shooter is at point blank (3 feet or less) away and fires into Davis' chest. He empties the magazine into Davis and Davis is still standing. Then again, Davis is just plain nuts (nice guy, but nuts).

Quartus
August 17, 2003, 12:30 PM
No one here has stated they believe that a shotgun blast or bullet will pick a person off the ground and throw them backwards.

Hmmm. Then what are these?

Preacherman:
Now, I've heard a great many people denying that there is any such thing as "knock-down power" - particularly out of a handgun (heck, I've done it myself). However, with firearms that inflict relatively massive injuries, such as shotguns, I've seen this more than once. All occasions were in another country in a riot/unrest situation. I've seen at least four or five people get shot at close range with buckshot and/or slugs, and they literally flew backwards and/or sideways under the impact.


Vic:
Ok, for all of you people that believe a person can be thrown through the air when shot by a shotgun, read this: .... It can't happen.

Preacherman replied:
Unless it does happen, right in front of your eyes! As I said before, I have actually SEEN this happen on more than one occasion.


Now, Preacherman has stated very clearly that he doesn't think it's due to a transfer of energy from the projectiles, and that's good. But he DID state clearly that people fly. And others have argued for the transfer of energy without stating that people fly. (At least not clearly enough to quote here.) But the context of the thread puts them in the camp of thinking that people fly backward due to the impact of the projectile.

And we all know there are plenty of shooters (most, probably) who believe in Hollywood's portrayal of people flying backwards from gunshots. I 'spect some of them are reading this thread without posting.

Oh, and have you noticed the title of the thread? Something about "knock down effect"?

The only way a bullet is going to knock someone down is if they are already off balance. Anything else is either falling down, incorrect perceptions by the witnesses, or physiological reactions. (Which is why insane persons or people on drugs often take a lot of lead to put them down.)

Hkmp5sd
August 17, 2003, 01:55 PM
In my limited understand of the English language,

No one here has stated they believe that a shotgun blast or bullet will pick a person off the ground and throw them backwards. The debate is over whether the human body may react to being blasted and give the appearance of being thrown. Essentially a subconsious muscle/nervous system reaction.

and

Now, Preacherman has stated very clearly that he doesn't think it's due to a transfer of energy from the projectiles, and that's good.

mean the same thing and

But he DID state clearly that people fly.

is the subject of the current debate. So let's drop the semantics, grammar and physics and talk about Preacherman's theme, which is identifying the reason why. As stated,

Anything else is either falling down, incorrect perceptions by the witnesses, or physiological reactions.

but which, if any, cause the effect?

Cosmoline
August 17, 2003, 02:21 PM
the ones that deliver over 100 ft. lbs. of free recoil and throw mortar-size bullets might actually knock someone down. I have read accounts of them smacking down medium size game--actually knocking the animal down on its side. Short of that, the physics just aren't there.

Keith
August 17, 2003, 02:44 PM
No bullet ever knocked anyone down, period.

However humans are bipeds and as such, we're left balancing our top-heavy frames up there on a couple of long stalks (legs). It's not unreasonable to assume that a normal reaction would be to recoil away from the noise, pain and bullet impact itself. And if you're suffering a traumatic injury at the same time your nervous system is probably working in all kinds of directions, at cross purposes to each other. You're liable to spring away from the shot in a pretty dramatic fashion and since you're a top-heavy biped it's likely you'll land on your head, or something equally dramatic and ungainly.

What would that look like to an observer?

Keith

Lancel
August 17, 2003, 02:55 PM
Not about physics but about physiology.;)

I thought the question was clear: What is the mechanism that causes muscle spams when shot by shotgun but doesn't happen with a pistol or rifle?

Preacherman:
Looks like your medical tech's explanation may be the best we're going to get for while. Though I still think it's related to number of nerves damaged + fight/flight reaction.

Larry

cracked butt
August 18, 2003, 12:33 AM
I'm thinking you guys who think a person actually gets blown back into the air when hit by a shotgun blast are the same people who believe All Star Wrestling is real!

All star wrestling is probably more real than a bullet or shotgun blast knocking someone over. I can at least see how an aluminum chair might knock someone over.:D

Erik
August 18, 2003, 01:14 AM
I know several people who havce been shot; some wore vests at the time, some did not.

None reported being knocked down, though several reported feeling something along the lines of being punched where they were shot.

One admitted falling down, then springing back up. He claims it was psychological. I imagine he'd know best.

Matt G
August 18, 2003, 04:54 AM
The body can do some pretty amazing things when presented with serious shock. I read once of a soccer player who was hit by lightning during a public match, who shot 12 feet into the air, by virtue of his legs simultaneously flexing from the electrical pulse. (he lived, BTW)

I personally saw a buck I once shot basically jump over its own head-- propelling its hind end so violently that its rump came sailing over the antlers end over end, to land in a rather violent crashing heap. The buck was running at the time, and had its head up and did NOT nose-in when hit; he simply went flying, and was dead by the time he hit the ground. [Hit was an oblique (rear to front)double lung chest shot, originating from about 4 o'clock and exiting at about 10 o'clock. Load was a fairly tame 150g '06 Ballistic Tip.] I've often wondered about that odd reaction of that buck.

Euthanized sick feral cats have also presented wild flying responses to fatal shots. (To kitty lovers: These were dangerously sick, really vicious tom cats who were attacking my own beloved cats. Please don't flame me!)

only1asterisk
August 18, 2003, 05:31 AM
I think there needs to be a common definition of "knockdown". It seems that I tend to be rather inclusive. A blow to the right place, under the right circumstances, delivered by a firearm, will cause a person to fall with drama.

I'll help anyone that wishes to disprove it, but you have to provide your own vest and sign a waiver.

David

rennaissancemann
August 18, 2003, 09:11 AM
I think your physician friend’s description on the physiological mechanism that can cause some individuals to "fly" through the air after being shot is correct. In my younger days I was a correction officer and had the additional duty of being assigned to my institutions SWAT team. Part of the training I received dealt with how individuals may respond when shot. The phenomenon you describe was briefed as a rare, but known physical response to being shot. As you pointed out in your original post, the issue is not about the ability of a handheld firearm being capable of blowing someone off of his or her feet. The physics is so straightforward that arguing about it seems rather asinine to me.

As an aside, the terminal ballistics of any given firearm is studied in a controlled manner to allow the performance of a one given loading to be compared to another. Problems arise when you attempt to extrapolate a rounds performance in ballistic gelatin to its performance in a living creature. Everything from bears to bad guys reacts differently when shot. That was the point that W.E. Fairbairn was trying to make in the passage a previous poster quoted from "Shooting to Live." There is no firearm that you can hold in your hands that is guaranteed to drop a bad guy in his tracks, instantly, with a single shot. If you've got to shoot, place your shots well and drive your gun until the bad guy drops or your slide locks back. Repeat as necessary.

Respectfully,

Dorrin79
August 18, 2003, 10:19 AM
I think we can all agree that small arms aren't going to pick someone up and send them flying.

One of the key differences to me is whether or not the hapless target is aware of the shooting in advance.

As I've mentioned before, I have been hit by a 9mm bullet. (some idiot(s?) were shooting in the air nearby). Even though the bullet was only on a ballistic arc, it knocked me down when it hit me (I was sitting on a railing, and it knocked me off)

perhaps a better description would be to say it caused me to fall down

I suspect that that amount of force, delivered when I was aware of it coming, would not have had nearly as dramatic an effect.

JShirley
August 20, 2003, 03:32 PM
So all we have to do now is design a phaser-like device that makes all the muscles in the chest spasm (physically or psycologically) and knocks the bg to his butt. Cool! I would have to make it look like a remote control though...

It's called a "Taser", and while not like a phaser, it does work essentially like you describe. Latest generation is shaped like a pistol for ease of use under stress.

Peter, I think I have the answer. The MA systems Byron and I have studied work in several different ways, to include tissue damage, bone breakage, and nerve attacks. We have both seen folks hit in nerve centers around the elbow had their arms violently repelled when hit "just right", even when the blow alone had nowhere near enough energy to blast that limb back like that. Nerves.

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