Dumbbell Drops Dumbbell

A California weight lifter accidentally shot himself in the shoulder. The bullet was a .22 but there was no gun involved. He dropped a dumbbell on a .22 shell and it fired hitting him. Dude, buy a lottery ticket but don't cross any busy streets.
     Posted By: patty - Sun Apr 15, 2012

Who leaves bullets laying around on the floor? I mean, really??
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/15/12 at 08:59 PM
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 04/15/12 at 11:36 PM
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 04/15/12 at 11:36 PM
That lift attempt was worth a shot, anyway
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 04/16/12 at 12:54 AM
Sounds like a Wal Mart customer.
Posted by Larry on 04/16/12 at 08:37 AM
Oh of course, Larry, because wanting to save money on groceries is *so-ooo* stupid.
Posted by Robert on 04/16/12 at 09:00 AM
Actually, there are normal people who are just poor or smart shoppers or whatever at Walmart, but then there are so real freaks of nature that hang out there too, more so than at other stores I believe. It is just that the weirdos and freaks draw the most attention.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/16/12 at 09:21 AM
"Modesto police investigators say the man's story is suspicious, but not impossible."

Wrong. It is impossible. The primer would fire but it barely has enough power to push the bullet out of the case. Smokeless powder cannot explode unless confined; it only burns fast.

People frequently tell stories about how they got shot. Gangstas prefer to retaliate themselves rather than inform on another gangsta, people don't want to admit how stoopid they were or get a stoopid friend in trouble ... for whatever reason, people often don't tell the truth.

-Cougar :{)
Posted by Cougar Allen on 04/16/12 at 11:10 AM
It's confined by the casing and the slug. 😕

You set off a cartridge outside of a gun, it still goes bang.
Posted by Dumbfounded on 04/16/12 at 01:39 PM
No, it goes fizz. The powder begins to burn and builds up just enough pressure to push the bullet out of the case and then it's no longer confined, so it just goes fizzzzz and produces some weird purple smoke. Not much point in telling you to try it (obviously if you believe it's dangerous you won't try it) but that's the way it is. It's well known to reloaders. You can even send smokeless powder through the mails because it's not considered an explosive. (But you can't send primers through the mail -- that is an explosive.)

-Cougar :{)
Posted by Cougar Allen on 04/16/12 at 03:14 PM
Kinda like a tiny firecracker with an end not sealed?
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 04/17/12 at 05:09 AM
*sigh* Here's a bunch of cartridges being set off in a fire, no other confinement apart from the cartridges themselves, courtesy of Mythbusters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfoJAwlUopI (Fun starts at 3:30.)

Note the extreme lack of 'fizzing'.
Posted by Dumbfounded on 04/17/12 at 05:17 AM
DF, I was of the same opinion as you. There is an explosion not a slow burn. I've never, personally, experienced a rifle bullet but I have mounted a 12g shell on a post and shot at it with a BB gun until the primer was hit. The casing came a'wizzin' buy proving a direct hit!

That was a'wizzin' not a'fizzin'.

Then there's the case of the Darwin Award where the guy replace a fuse in his pick-up with a 22bullet and blew his left knut off!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 04/17/12 at 05:27 AM
In that mythbusters, it was the shells themselves that were flying all over the place and not really the bullets, they also think that it might not break your skin or at most would give you a good cut

In this article they say that the bullet hit him in the shoulder and not the casing... (also it was the shoulder, most of the bullets/casing hits in the mythbusters was around ankle height)

Also, I would like to note, there is a world of difference between hot fire and plummeting iron
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 04/17/12 at 05:57 AM
Once as a boy I set off a .22 with a rock, thinking the bullet would whizz off like it does out of a gun (towards a can I had optimistically set up about 5 yards away). Instead the rock was blown from my hand with some aplomb and I have no idea where the bullet went.

I didn't repeat the experiment. 😖

(P.S. I forgot to say so first time, but props to patty for a brilliant title for this post. I love the way it can be read as dumbbell (man) drops dumbbell (weight) causing his "accident", and also as dumbell (weight) drops dumbbell (man) through inadvertant gunfire.)
Posted by Dumbfounded on 04/17/12 at 05:58 AM
Both the bullet and casing would get the same momentum, approximately half what the bullet alone would receive if the casing had been held somehow (pinned by a dumbbell perhaps?). Whether by fire or setting off the primer (which the fire may be doing anyway), the cartridges are not restricted in any way other than by their design so should have fizzed, according to CA.

I've seen uncapped rounds set off, and they light up like little blowtorches, pretty much as CA describes, but the only time I've seen complete cartridges fire outside a gun they were anything but benign. If you want to argue that the extra constriction of the rock on the shell in my childhood folly caused the explosion, fine, but the same could be true of the falling dumbbell, so the guy's story would still no longer be "impossible."
Posted by Dumbfounded on 04/17/12 at 06:12 AM
The Mythbusters video is great. Watch it, all the way to the end. Some of the cartridges just fizz and don't even eject the bullet, some pop like popcorn. None explode as they would in a gun.

Dumbfounded, your .22 cartridge was confined between the rock in your hand and the one you crushed the cartridge against. I would expect the rock to be blown out of your hand, especially if you were caught by surprise and didn't have a death grip on it. I would expect the dumbbell to be lifted up a little. The bullet does not go flying with enough velocity to penetrate much of anything.

I think all the explosives in this video are black powder, but it could work with smokeless powder if a primer is used:
Of course those are much bigger charges than a .22 cartridge, especially the big one at the end.

-Cougar :{)
Posted by Cougar Allen on 04/17/12 at 09:26 AM
Thanks for the compliment Dumbfounded. Regardless of the science I would not want to try this. I also recommend picking up any stray ammo laying around on the floor just in case.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/17/12 at 10:11 AM
"Dumbfounded, your .22 cartridge was confined between the rock in your hand and the one you crushed the cartridge against."

You just contradicted your earlier statement:

"No, it goes fizz. The powder begins to burn and builds up just enough pressure to push the bullet out of the case and then it's no longer confined"

Nothing was stopping the bullet from being pushed out of the cartridge, nor the gases escaping once it had been. So why didn't it fizz as you say?

Also in the video, the MBs report undentified projectiles flying past them behind their ballistic shelter, which is clearly several yards away; I don't know how you cook your popcorn, but mine doesn't tend to do that. N.b. at 5:16, Adam Savage holds up a .50 cal casing that has been ripped apart and remarks "you see how much energy that is."

Also where in the video did you see the fizzing cartidges? At 4:45 Jamie Hyneman says "It's clear there are a whole bunch of bullets that are just not fired, they got ejected from the general mayhem there, but didn't go off."

So anyway, here's a .22 being set off by a blowtorch in slow motion. There's no bullet here, just the casing and charge sitting in the well of a steel plate. So no problem for the burning powder to push the lightweight little shell out of the well fizz away in glorious slow motion then...


They go bang.
Posted by Dumbfounded on 04/17/12 at 11:00 AM
Here we see a .22 shell with the bullet removed. The primer is sufficient to send the (practically weightless) shell flying out of the picture, and probably a few yards farther. I don't think the powder charge contributed to that at all; it was just the primer. (Don't try that without safety glasses!) I used to shoot plastic bullets indoors using just the primer, no powder charge at all. The Speer plastic bullets probably weighed a little more than a .22 case -- two or three times as much, I guess.

My experience (with pistol cartridges) has been a fizz and not even a pop like popcorn. I can believe a pop throwing a case for a few yards, especially with a high-power rifle cartridge with a heavy crimp. The Mythbusters used some .50BMG cartridges, extremely powerful machine gun ammunition, and one of them even made a considerable dent in that board -- but notice that was the case, not the bullet.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When you shoot a gun the bullet moves forward faster than the gun recoils backward because it's lighter. The momentum is equal.

When a primer, aided by the powder beginning to burn, pops a bullet and case apart the case moves faster, because it's lighter. If the weightlifter in question had claimed a .22 case hit him in the shoulder and bruised him a bit, gave him a blood blister, I would believe that. But he has a bullet in his shoulder. He's telling stories.

-Cougar :{)
Posted by Cougar Allen on 04/17/12 at 02:34 PM
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