Skip to comments.Errant Bullet Travels 1.5 Miles, Kills Amish Girl
Posted on 12/20/2011 9:38:28 AM PST by TSgt
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True, but that was an aimed shot. This was an idiot pointing his gun up in the air and pulling the trigger. With that higher trajectory the round will have no problem traveling a further distance.
I am obsessive/compulsive about knowing where my bullets are going. I could never forgive myself if I accidentally shot someone. I’ve often thought that if I accidentally discharged a weapon say at a 45 degree angle up what would be the chances of hitting someone out in the woods or rural area. The odds of this happening have to be astronomical. Of course in a suburb or city it would be much more likely.
Holmes County Sheriff Timothy Zimmerly said Tuesday that the accident occurred Thursday night when a man fired his loaded rifle to clean it. He says the victim, Rachel Yoder of Fredericksburg, was nearly 1.5 miles away when she was shot in the head.
I'm dubious. Projectiles from a black powder muzzle loader are big, and slow.
Very difficult buy this story. If the shooter was 1.5 miles away, how could he even know that he’d shot somebody?
Moreover, if he didn’t turn himself in to the authorities, how could the cops have traced the projectile to his rifle?
I hear you! I grew up on a creek, and one of the first things Dad taught me was how bullets ricochet off the surface of water. I wish more fathers taught their kids this stuff nowadays.
However, I’m learning massive amounts from this thread alone. The info condensed in this one lone discussion is mind-boggling.
Of course I did. Just keep saying that to yourself...
Perhaps the good Dr. J. K. Sinha can settle this for us? See: http://forensicfirearmidentification.com/clch.html
I grew up in a smallish town in Mississippi and we lived more or less on the edge of town. I remember once when I was a young boy of about nine or ten, I was playing outside when I heard a shot pretty far away. About that same time, I heard a loud buzzing object pass directly overhead maybe 10-15 feet up. Only after I thought about it years later did I realize how much danger I was in. Then many years after that was when I realized this bullet was tumbling end over end and that is what caused the buzzing sound. It must have been a ricocheted bullet. I could never join them, but I respect the Amish. I pray for this girl’s family and now I will remember her and this horrible incident forever since I came within about 3-4 meters to this fate myself.
I’m surprised you didn’t mention fingerprints on the bullit, ya shyster.
Too, too sad.
Condolences to her family.
>>Very difficult buy this story. If the shooter was 1.5 miles away, how could he even know that hed shot somebody?
Moreover, if he didnt turn himself in to the authorities, how could the cops have traced the projectile to his rifle?<<
He probably had no idea he’s shot someone. But in farm country, a circle of 2-mile radius might only contain five to ten people, and more than likely only one or two owners of muzzleloaders. The neighbors probably could have guessed who it was if told it was a muzzleloader and an accident.
“Oh, yeah, that must have been Luke over yonder; he’s a little slow and has one of those muzzleloaders, I hear.”
Not quite the same as tracking down the shooter in a city.
By the way, another explanation for the 1.5 miles (a distance which I find hard to believe) is that he could 1.5 miles away down the road, but just over the hill and only about X yards as the crow flies. Around here, a house can be a few hundred yards from another house, but still two or three miles down the road to get to it. Just a suggestion as to another possibility...
"....use the 250-grain Partition-HG in an inline muzzleloader capable of handling three 50-grain Pyrodex Pellets. Some time back I tried that combination, and it averaged just over 2100 fps for 2475 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle".
A pointed nose 250 gr bullet (enclosed in a sabot) at 2100 fps vs a round nosed 30/30 170 gr bullet at 2200 fps, my guess is the maximum range would be about the same. I looked at a box of 30/30 rounds, but a maximum range warning was not printed on the box.
A few years ago I did see on a box of 140 gr 7mm Remington Magnum rounds a warning of a maximum range of 3 1/2 miles.
50 years ago the 22 Long Rifle rimfire warned of a maximum range of 1 mile. Today 22 Long Rifle boxes say: Dangerous to 1 1/2 miles.
Perhaps someone knows or has seen accurate information as to the maximum range of a modern muzzle loader, I have not.
Not really, I have been using one for about 15 years. Even the “smooth bores” have imperfections that can be used to make identifications.
A MUZZLE loader?
Over a mile away?
Someone help me here.
Those numbers don’t sound right.
See post 114
Amish - so it's a small rural community. Something this horrific and inexplicable is immediately the only news in the area, and people are doing nothing but talking about it, thinking about it, and trying to figure out what happened.
So, some guy who knows he's a mile and a half away from where it happened remembered he fired his rifle right at th time the girl was calculated to have been shot. Or - someone knew he fired it because they saw him or heard the shot. In any event, very quickly it's known who fired the rifle.
Doesn’t the wadding prevent actual contact with the rifling?
If it was a sabot round, how do you ballistically fingerprint it? The rifling marks would be in the discarded sabot. You could match powder residue, but considering there’s probably very few brands of black powder, that may not mean much.
This story may get very interesting.
Yes, I have seen young Amish women driving buggies before. I go to Lancaster often for Kauffman’s apple cider.
Modern muzzle loaders can easily shoot a 275 gr 45 cal bullet at 2200 fps which according to my balllistic program will go 2500 yds when fired at an angle of 12.5 degrees and will still be traveling near 400 fps on impact.
Bottom line is no matter what the firearm always fire into a backstop. I unload my muzzle loader by firing into my target on my range at home.
Also there are muzzle loader bullets such as Powerbelts that do engage the rifleing an could be identified as from a specific gun.
See post 122
Violation of the ten commandments of gun saftey.
Know what your backstop is. Never shoot an unaimed shot.
Maybe not for a modern muzzle loader but that surely was the way to clear (not clean) a flintlock back in 1775. Paul Revere used that fact to help spook the British while they were interrogating him. During the questioning, shots could be heard and when asked about their meaning, Revere convinced his captor, Major Mitchel of the 5th Regiment, that the countryside was being alarmed [every Middlesex village and farm]. It was actually the arriving militia clearing their firearms before entering Buckman Tavern on Lexington Green.
That bit of history does not absolve this modern-day shooter of the crime of negligent homicide, however
A .22 long rifle can go a mile and a half, easily.
I believe it is possible.
Firing a minie ball through a muzzle-loader would presumably leave rifling marks in the ball that could be used in ballistic forensics. Not commonly done, but not impossible.
There was a case about two or three years ago where two men were firing into a lake. The projectile skipped off the water and struck a young boy that was standing on the opposite side of the lake. The young boy was standing beside his grandfather holding his hand. He was killed instantly.
I never heard the outcome of the incident. I don’t recall where it happened either.
Mile and a half? That seems to be a stretch.
... a muzzle loader at that...
website on max range of firearms.
looks like around 5 miles for a 30-06
A .22 LR will travel close to a mile. Your high power rifles may not be suitable to hit what you aim at that far away, but they will toss the slug out there.
A parabollic bullet trajectory slows to near terminal velocity, not the direct fire one which obviously still has kinetics despite having less potential energy and power developed.
This still doesn't really add up.
Under normal circumstances it is a bit unlikely. But we don't know if he was using black powder of the recommended load, or over-cooking it, possibly even using smokeless powder with too heavy a load. A .22 LR will travel about a mile at the right angle of elevation.
“Second, is it possible for a muzzle loader to shoot more than a mile? It seems unlikely, but I dont know for sure.”
It does indeed. With ball, about 1450 yards at 1370 Feet per second, possibly more as I had to estimate the Ballistic coefficient,I used .10). With 440 grain bullet, 2800 yards at 950 feet per second.
Having shot muzzle loading rifles for years the numbers seem to me to be correct.
1873 - .45-70 70 grains black powder, 405 grain bullet....3500 yards, accurately.
Black powder rifles are more capable than most people think.
Assuming of course, a flat earth?
See my post 122. Terminal velocity of 400 fps would be about half of muzzle velocity of say a .45 acp which IMO could penetrate and kill.
Agreed, FRiend. This was pure negligence on the part of the shooter... and the charge should be “negligent homicide”.
Thank you, the beauty of FR, ask and you will receive an answer.
2,500 yards equals 1.4 miles if fired at an angle of 12.5 degrees.
I recall some maximum distances listed in The NRA Fact Book. For some reason the angle of 37 degrees is rolling around in my near empty head as the firing angle for maximum range in some calibers.
Dunno where the fact book is now (the wife hid it again).
Have you tried some steeper angles in your program?
I like most of us here are talking about ballistics,,, the most important thing is this guy did not fire into a backstop
Thanks.... So how come these crazy middle eastern muzzies don’t do more damage when they fire their rifles in the air?
In a word, Friend..... bullsqueeze!
Again, FRiend..... bullsqueeze!
You apparently don’t have a clue what you are talking about!
A cleaning method I was not aware of.
I suspect the term should have been "clear it."
“someone on this thread can give us some decent estimates of the rate of velocity lost due to air resistance”
There are none really. Most are “calculated” by measuring test shots. Even so, these are basically averages based on a common starting shape. Any deformation skews that.
Mathmatical models exist but are not accurate for long ranges and are also skewed by varying shapes and conditions.
Way back in VN at New Years Eve time you could tell where all
The fire bases were from all the tracer rounds going up
Sad story this tragic death of this young girl....prayers up
On a direct curved trajectory, she got the inherent force of the bullet (diminished by air viscosity forces) but added by a vertical drop component regained after dropping from the top of it. A “drop only” energy or force of work into her head would be much smaller, but from a 50 slug still significant. A hail storm of that size is painful, let alone of that mass or density. I dunno, if people can hit and kill animals with long barreled muzzle loaders at these distances, it still is possible, I guess, to kill someone that way by accident, imo. Heavy bullets have inherent higher inertia and thus are less prone to energy dissipation than lighter bullet. It has to do with Reynolds’ number of a ball of lead. Check the ration of Inertia to air viscosity...
The higher the density and linear density of the bullet the more energy it keeps. An arrow is light but has great length and thus comparatively large linear density and could be deadly when merely dropped, and so may be a large calliber bullet compared to a pellet size one. And also the following
“” Reynolds Number From Slinging.org Wiki The Reynolds number is one of the main variables used in sling ballistics calculations. As a general rule, if two bullets have the same shape and Reynolds number, they will show the same aerodynamic behavior, even if they have different sizes or move with different velocities. Therefore, ballistic tables and formulas are greatly simplified when put in terms of the Reynolds number. Another advantage of the Reynolds number is that it is dimensionless, that is, its value is independent of the unit system used to measure it.