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Bullet deflects off Armadillo's shell, breaking man's jaw

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by everydefense, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. grampajack
    • Contributing Member

    grampajack Member

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    I would totally agree with you, but I've been hearing about this happening for many years. We have dillos coming out of our ears down here, and lots of drunken rednecks who like to shoot at them (and probably a few who like to eat them too). There's actually a whole industry down here of stuffing armadillos lying on their backs with a bottle of budweiser in their paws, so some of them are proly financially motivated.:D

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news...kills-armadillo-wounds-mother-in-law-ricochet
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  2. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Wow, I am glad my .22 CBee rounds just kill them.

    I do remember a friend telling me about a derringer side match at an SASS event. No power factor required and the target was 3/8" plywood, draw and fire at the target. "beep", "bang" and nothing from the RO...he is on the ground rolling around, holding himself like he needs to go potty. Yep a 125 grain bullet bounced off the plywood and hit him right in the wrong spot.
     
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  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    When I was a kid and could run, we used to chase dillers and grab 'em by the tail. You had to hold 'em way out in front of you to keep their claws away from your legs, but I never got leprosy from one. Am I just lucky? I wasn't the only kid doing this in the area, either. Was quite a sport. :D A country boy has to do SOMEthing to entertain himself.
     
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  4. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    I always thought leprosy was like tuberculosis, in that your body generally has no problems fighting it off without incident so long as your immune system is not compromised (not sick, infant, elderly, malnourished, stressed, etc) and you aren't veritably swimming in the pathogen (i.e. skinning the animal or eating it raw)
     
  5. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    Yeah, a cousin & me once killed one with a pump-cocking pellet rifle in 2 or 3 shots (1st through the shell immobilized it, 2nd anchored it, 3rd was probably extra), so I'm not buying this story. Ah, youthful stupidity.

    That richochet story of yours makes me wonder if VZ61 training was ever hilarious/terrifying for the poor gunners in the shoothouse; "Fire weapons! ...[BANGBANGBANG]OWOWOW!!!" Those things have a very high rate of fire, very low powered round (though underappreciated for what it is) and the service round was a very hard-jacketed FMJ with a steel core IIRC. Seems like a recipe for point-blank richochet unless you're really careful about what the target is made of & which way its facing, a whole other angle to the 'be aware of your target & what's behind it" rule, lol
     
  6. z7

    z7 Member

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    No way he shot a dillo with a 38

    A 38 special wad cutter passes through, 22lr out of a pistol passes through

    If yo have a very tough dillo, try a 30-06 with a soft 150g bullet, there isn't much left and the pieces rain down....

    I used to shoot them because they would set off the traps I had set for other critters and would destroy quail nests
     
  7. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Yep, people have been making up excuses for a long time, no doubt.

    An armadillo's shell is maybe 1/16" thick. Claiming that a bullet bounced off the shell (not enough power to penetrate) but then broke the jaw's jaw (plenty of power) that is several times thicker is pretty silly.
     
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  8. grampajack
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    grampajack Member

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    It's not about bone size, it's about density. Armadillo armor is also a composite, made up of bone, horn, and very tough outer skin. Think about it this way, they have to be tough enough to survive a predator's jaws. Definitely one of God's more remarkable creations.
     
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    A standard velocity .22 rimfire penetrates, I discovered back around 1943. How could a .38 Special rebound?

    The "victim" of the original story was lying about the circumstances.

    I know from observation that at 15 yards, a bounce-back from a .357 Maggie only leaves a large welt on a person's stomach.

    I know from experience that at ten yards, bounce-back from an IPSC Major .45ACP does almost nothing to a person's stomach.
     
  10. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I have dissected several armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus), primarily for the purpose of rendering for their skeletal material and I have shot several armadillos. The "tough outer skin" to which you refer is mostly on their underside and it isn't particularly tough or thick. Bone and horn? Yeah, there is a very thin layer of keratin over the bone that makes up the shell, the keratin being the "horn" material to which you are referring as armadillos don't have any horns. Where you see color on the shell of the armadillo is that extremely thin layer of keratin. In places, it actually wears off, leaving the underlying bone exposed. Your fingernail is made of keratin and is more bullet resistant, LOL. Then you have the bone, aka dermal armor. It serves as their skin. The bone is not particularly dense and is actually quite porous as a result of being vascularized.

    A predator's jaws do not exert force on the shell like that of a bullet denser material (lead) traveling at hundreds of feet per second.

    They are an amazing creature, no doubt, but they are not bullet proof. The claimed ricochet off the armadillo and resultant broken jaw is a fabrication.
     
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  11. grampajack
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    grampajack Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if a predator's canines exerted similar force per square inch as a low energy bullet. And anything travelling fast enough to leave a welt on someone's stomach could hypothetically fracture their jaw if it hit the right spot. I just don't see any reason to call BS on his story, at least not yet. I've heard of too many cases of yocals around here shooting at dillos and failing to penetrate. I would dare say it's common knowledge around these parts that they're somewhat bullet resistant. I think Odd Job's theory is probably the likeliest one.
     
  12. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    "Hold my beer and watch this!"

    " Well, hell, Vern, you just fired a full magazine at that 'dillo and it just ran off! Mind, you were swayin' in the wind... "

    "You know, those little fellers are nearly bullet proof. Why, I heard about a man in Texas broke his damn jaw on a ricochet off one! Now gimme back that beer"

    - The origins of armadillo bulletproof lore.
     
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  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Towards the end of my Grandmother's life, her nurse broke bones just trying to change her clothes while she laid in bed (osteoporosis), I know lots more folks that have broken bones and never had anything penetrate the skin in the area, unfortunately myself included.

    I do agree there is more to this story though.
     
  14. Rottweiler

    Rottweiler Member

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    Exactly
     

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