yes.. ive heard of them from the middle east ... its comes down at quite a lick!... ill try to find the numbers but i remeber, tho not quite returning to earth as fast as it went up, its does come back well able to do damage.
"Spc. James I. Lambert III, 22, of Raleigh, N.C. — assigned to the 1st Armored Division — was killed on July 31 in Baghdad when a stray bullet fired by a celebrating Iraqi struck him.
Lambert was standing outside around 7:30 p.m. when fate and the bullet suddenly hit him square in the head. He was evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital where he later died of the wound, the Army reported."
From news reports in Iraq it sounds like 2 people have been kille by falling bullets.
The current strange deaths (FT 179: 27) has a report of a woman being killed by a falling bullet in Detroit.
Is it most common amongst people who have a nomadic ancestry? It was a way to alert people to news over a long distance but what did they do before guns? Also Iran has some of the oldest evidence for civilisation so you'd think they'd be furthest from their nomad ancestors? Hmmmmmmmm.
Is it that much different than the rattles and horns and poppers that we use to celebrate? Or for that matter, is it any different than excited chimps jumping up and down, shrieking and clapping? I'm guessing it's an evolved behaviour with primates. Something unusually good just happened, so you have to make a lot of noise so that the rest of the band knows to come and share in the good fortune.
They still shoot in the air in parts of Greece too. Five years back in Areopolis,on the Mani peninsuala, on the opposite side of the square to our hotel there was a wedding party in full swing. We were fascinated as it was the full 'Zorba the Greek' thing with all the dancing. At one point a lot of the blokes from the party disappeared round around the side of the taverna and what sounded like a small war started up as they fired a variety of guns into the air for about 5 minutes.
I assume they were using blanks as nothing came raining back down on us.
The square by the side of the taverna was littered with cartridge and bullet casing the next morning.
I think a few years ago, or maybe it was in the 1980s. a little girl was killed here on New Year's Eve by a bullet returning to earth. Around the New Years the L.A. County Sherriff's Dept. runs billboard and bus ads telling people not to shoot guns off in the city limits. I didn't hear any gun shots last year, BTW.
I've been told by someone who knows the Middle East and it's cultures that the tradition of firing weapons in the air had a two-fold purpose. Firstly, it acted as a long-range signal in a wilderness - starting in a time when horns or klaxons weren't common. Secondly, it demonstrates that the firing person can afford to "waste" ammunition; in effect it is a combination status symbolism and "visible affluence". This latter reason seems quite convincing in countries where gun ownership by even poor people is almost a survival factor.
ALBUQUERQUE -- Doctors are trying to save the life of an Albuquerque baby shot in the head by a bullet that fell from the sky Monday night. The bullet was likely fired into the air during a July 4th celebration.
The 11-month-old, named Alyssa, is being treated at UNM hospital and is in critical condition.
While she is fighting to stay alive, police are trying to find out who put her there.
One Monday night Alyssa’s family was wrapping up their 4th of July party at their grandmother’s house in southwest Albuquerque.
Alyssa's grandmother was just holding the baby in her driveway on Sunbow Court when the baby suddenly cried out and blood began to drip from her head.
“(The Bullet) entered in rear quadrant (of the baby’s head) and exited out and embedded into shoulder,” says John Walsh of the Albuquerque Police Department.
Police have recovered the bullet and have determined it came from a high caliber gun. Forensics tests will help determine more.
Police say finding the person who fired the gun could be tough. Depending on the caliber or gunpowder, the bullet could have traveled anywhere between a few hundred yards up to a mile.
That's why police are asking for help identifying anyone who was firing a high caliber gun in southwest Albuquerque on Monday night.
Alyssa did undergo surgery to help repair the gunshot wound in her head and shoulder. She remains in pediatric intensive care.
If you have any information about someone firing a gun Monday, you’re asked to call 242-COPS.
As a former firearms instructor, I can tell you that (barring horrid flukes) it would normally have to be a reasonably large round to cause major damage or death (or a lucky strike) - I have been hit by rebounds a number of times (from .38's and nine millies) and they hurt a bit, but don't penetrate. However (and this is probably an AFOAF) I remember when I started shooting .22 rifles as a kid (small bore not air) I heard two stories: 1) a .22 bullet was fired up at about 45degrees and killed a boy being given a piggyback by his older brother 2) someone shot a .22 at a crow/raven...however, the bullet was perfectly deflected off the beak and killed the marksman. Now, I have my doubts about these stories, but...
I think I can recall a story where a French farmer, out shooting crows with an old muzzle-loader when the gun fired while he was tapping down with the ram rod. Rod flew up through his jaw, out the top of his head, arced over an killed a cow but the farmer survived.
Probably an UL but I remember it somehow...
Anecdote aside, the terminal velocity of a bullt falling through air is not that great -
"For further insight, we turn to Hatcher's Notebook (1962) by Major General Julian S. Hatcher, a U.S. Army ordnance expert. Hatcher described military tests with, among other things, a .30 caliber bullet weighing .021 pounds. Using a special rig, the testers shot the bullet straight into the air. It came down bottom (not point) first at what was later computed to be about 300 feet per second. "With the [.021 pound] bullet, this corresponds to an energy of 30 foot pounds," Hatcher wrote. "Previously, the army had decided that on the average an energy of 60 foot pounds is required to produce a disabling wound. Thus, service bullets returning from extreme heights cannot be considered lethal by this standard."
...though clearly potentially dangerous. I', a little scpetical of all these'came straight down' stories, which sounds like a very conventient way of explaining away accidents.
My thoughts too...indeed, knowing how bad people are at shooting, I find it unlikely that someone could fire in the air and the bullet come straight down on top of them. When I was an instructor (mainly handguns) we would start our 'intros' by reminding people that 95% what they saw on TV and films wasn't really do-able,advisable or possible :lol:
True story - used to do a lot of shooting when I lived in the US (mainly 9mm but also .38 and .357). Shooting with my Uncle and his friend in to a paper target - my Uncle finished the magazine and we all went to check the target. Must have been 20 seconds after he stopped shooting. As I walked towards the target, I felt something hit my leg - looked down, and I had a 2 inch gash on my shin, and picked up the bullet. Still have the scar and the bullet - the earth behing the target wasn't very deep, and we'd got through to the stone beneath - the bullet had ricocheted up and hit me. Picked up the shell casing it came from, so I now have all of the bullet with my name on it
If you were shooting at a paper target in front of you, how did a bullet richochet back 20 seconds later - if your uncle fired a clip into the air, then (*puts on instructor/range officer hat*) that is irresponsible but would be plausible as the 'timing' is about right and also that you were moving away from the point of fire.
I have noticed on my travels that a) Americans aren't very good shots (we beat the CIA, NYPD and FBI teams - and over in Russia we beat the Moscos Police...hurrah for us!).
Uncle finished the magazine and we all went to check the target. Must have been 20 seconds after he stopped shooting. As I walked towards the target, I felt something hit my leg - looked down, and I had a 2 inch gash on my shin, and picked up the bullet.
Wow what were you shooting at - a steel plate angled at 45 degrees straight up? you sure about 20 seconds ?
As he emptied a mag I guess .380, 9mm, 10mm or .45 ACP (unless D.Eagle) so jacketed ammo. The one time I ever had a round come back was when it clipped several trees and came humming back over my head. They normally just bury themselves, flatten or shatter.
I'm keeping my accidental hit (just some No. 6 shot) because its still in me
Sounds hard to believe, I know (not sure about the 20 seconds - felt like it, but can't give a definite). Was shooting .380's from a Walther PPK/S. May have been 10 seconds, or 15, or 20, but all I know is I still have the scar and the bullet - both available for viewing if needs be....