Stories tagged guns

Oct
13
2008

A long shot: This goose hunter had plenty of success using the Quiet Gun on a hunt. The extended shaft of the shotgun includes vents that slowly release gases that cause loud sounds of typical shotguns.
A long shot: This goose hunter had plenty of success using the Quiet Gun on a hunt. The extended shaft of the shotgun includes vents that slowly release gases that cause loud sounds of typical shotguns.Courtesy The Quiet Shotgun
I used to live in a small town along the Mississippi River. Each fall, on the opening day of every waterfowl-hunting season, I’d be rattled awake at sunrise with the booming of shotguns of hunters getting in their first shots of the season. To put in mildly, I was never enthused to hear the start of another hunting season.

With increased housing development of rural areas, the noise of hunting is encroaching on the quiet and relaxation of people wanting to live in the country. But Wendell Diller, a Twin Cities area hunter and inventor, has come up with a device to reduce those conflicts. Here's a link to his website about his latest invention: the Quiet Shotgun.

I saw a report on his quiet gun on a recent episode of Minnesota Bound. While the main focus of the report was on hunting mentorships for urban kids, the guns they were using in the goose hunt were Diller’s Quiet Gun shotgun. Click here to see the guns in action in the video report.

Here’s how the shotgun works.

The Quiet Gun reworks gun technology to reduce a shot gun’s usual boom to the “whoof” similar to an air-rifle. Diller likes to describe the sound as “an air-rifle on steroids.”

To do this, a barrel extension is put on to the shotgun. Along the extension are port holes that allow the high-pressure gases of the shooting action explosion to leak out along the chamber rather than erupting out in one loud belch at the end of the gun.

Buck luck: This hunter used the Quiet Gun to bag a deer.
Buck luck: This hunter used the Quiet Gun to bag a deer.Courtesy The Quiet Shotgun
The extension also greatly reduce the amount of kick a shotgun fires back into the shoulder of a hunter. How effective are these guns? Quiet Guns are being used with the group Capable Partners – a group for disabled hunters who’ve been proficient in both hunting trips and trap shooting events.

So far, the Quiet Gun is not commercially available yet. And for safety concerns, Diller strongly discourages anyone from experimenting with this new shotgun technology on their own.

So what do you think? Is this a good application of science for easing a growing problem with the outdoors sports? Will the Quiet Gun be featured in a upcoming Coen Brothers’ film? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

Oct
06
2008

They stop bullets: But only—ONLY—after the bullets have had a go at Croatian supercheek.
They stop bullets: But only—ONLY—after the bullets have had a go at Croatian supercheek.Courtesy chriskeefe
The news item goes thusly: a Croatian couple gets on the wrong side of a gunfight (the middle side) and is fired upon. A bullet ricochets off the woman’s cheek, and hits her husband in the mouth, striking his false teeth. The man spits out the bullet, terrifying his attacker, who makes like a banana and splits. The couple, uninjured, makes major news outlets. Headline: “Man catches bullet in teeth.”

Indeed, the guy sort of did catch a bullet in the teeth. And I won’t argue that that isn’t kind of awesome, but the local police believe that things worked out so swimmingly for the false-toothed man because the bullet lost so much of its speed after hitting his wife in the cheek. Remember, the woman was uninjured…

What are Croatian women made of? There’s the real story: Bullet bounces harmlessly off woman’s face.

So… Science blog, science blog… Well, we have firearms physics and ballistics in general, as well as material sciences. The composition of the teeth, of course, is relevant, but also what could that cheek be made of that it could repel a bullet so well? I initially assumed that she might be a Kevlar woman, but I believe Kevlar is intended to absorb the force of a projectile to bring it to a stop, and I’m not sure if Kevlar ricochets are common. The cheek may be composed of a similarly impenetrable, yet more bouncy, material.

While we’re here, let us consider this compilation of high-speed footage of various objects being shot. Note that none of the objects are cheeks or teeth, as the results are apparently much less dramatic.

The British government is encouraging schools to allow young boys to play with toy guns. Their studies have shown that such play helps boys’ development, by allowing them to experiment with risk-taking behavior in a safe environment. This in turn helps their intellectual development.

Jun
20
2007

Ouch: This clean hole to the skull was made by a gunshot to the head of an Inca battling Spanish explorers some 500 years ago in what it today's Peru.
Ouch: This clean hole to the skull was made by a gunshot to the head of an Inca battling Spanish explorers some 500 years ago in what it today's Peru.
The National Rifle Association will probably object to these findings, but a oldest known shooting victim in the Western Hemisphere was recently found in Peru.

Archeologists near Lima found a skull with a clean, neat hole in the skull while excavating a pile of bones. It’s believed that the shot was fired some 500 years ago. They’re ruling out a recent gun shot striking the bones, since a blast from a gun today would have shattered the aging skull bones.

And the story adds up to the victim being hurt from a shooting. The bones of the excavation are from the early 1500s on ancient Incas who were massacred by Spanish conquistadors.

So how can the researchers be so sure it was a gun shot? New technology helped dig up the old story.

A scanning electronic microscope was used to analyze the hole. It found fragments of a musket ball embedded into the bone around the hole.

In total, the archeologists have found the remains of 72 Incas in the area and all show signs of violent injuries, suggesting that a large battle took place between the native people and the European explores.