New Darwin Awards

kamalktk

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#2
Only number 1 could actually be a Darwin award winner, as they removed their ability to contribute to the gene pool. None of the rest did so.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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#4
Is that a real list of Darwin awards? I'm pretty sure I've heard most of them before, they all seem to be variations on old urban legends.....maybe they became self-fulfilling?

Number 4 is definitely an old story, location details changed I think.
 

OneWingedBird

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#5
I'm not sure where the 'official' lists of Darwin Awards come from, there does seem to be quite a few fake ones doing the rounds.

The one about the bus stop and the mental patients goes back a good ten years or so.
 

escargot

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#8
The official Darwin Awards site doesn't seem to have been updated for a year and the related Facebook page since last December.

Perhaps the joke is wearing thin, now that Snopes can quickly tell us whether a bizarre death really happened or not.
 

Mythopoeika

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#11

EnolaGaia

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#12
This is a contender. A couple doing a YouTube stunt where he held a thick book in front of his chest meant to stop the bullet that she fired. From a Desert Eagle handgun, at 30 cm distance. ...
To put things in perspective ... The .50 AE cartridge involved has a conservative muzzle energy rating of circa 1500 ft/lbs - equivalent to the Soviet 7.62×39mm cartridge (the round used in the original AK-47's).

Even if the book had stopped the bullet, the impact could easily have driven the volume against his chest with enough force to shatter his sternum and kill him instantly.

The choice of weapon for this stunt was so mind-bogglingly idiotic that I can't help but wonder if it was a veiled suicide plan.

The other thing that strikes me from reading multiple news stories is that the victim advised multiple family members in advance of the planned stunt, and they unanimously begged him not to do it.

I suspect the entire family will be grappling with emotional / psychic damage for some time.
 

Xanatic*

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#14
It's probably also an interesting case from a legal perspective. They have accidental killing, but with a filmed consent.
 

EnolaGaia

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#15
It's one of the most powerful handguns available. What were they thinking?
The other angle on this concerns the shooter (a young pregnant woman who doesn't appear to be all that large in the photos I've seen).

A .50 caliber Desert Eagle is an oversized pistol with considerable weight (up to more than 4 lbs. with the optional 10" barrel). Firing this beast has been known to knock even expert shooters off-balance when testing or reviewing the gun, and several such 'pros' have complained about how ungainly it is to grip.

The idea that anyone would ask a pregnant woman to even try to wield such a hand cannon boggles my mind as much as the idiocy of the stunt's planning. Unless she was firing it from a bench rest (sandbags; whatever ... ) there would have been a significant risk of its knocking her flat on her ass.
 

gerhard1

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#16
I have a Smith & Wesson Model 629. Mine is the Mountain Gun variation and it is chambered in 44 Magnum.

A quote from a long-ago post on a US gun forum. A note: 44 Special cartridges can be shot in a 44 Magnum handgun and is quite commonly done as the noise and recoil is much less.

One time, I was at the Bullet Stop [a firearms shop and indoor range] with my 629 Mountain Gun, and I had just finished shooting it with 44 Specials, and was trying some magnums in it and this guy comes over and asks me what I am shooting as the MG was LOUD. He had been shooting a 22 or some such.
I said, "it's a 44 magnum MG. Would you care to try it?"
"Yeah!"
"Now I have to warn you that it kicks like hell."
He shrugged it off. "Aw, that's no problem."
All right I handed him the MG, and some Remington 180gr cartridges. He loaded the gun and cocked the hammer. You could tell he was not prepared for that recoil. He touched another one off and then one more. He handed the gun back.
"You f**ker."
"What are you talking about? I told you it kicked like helll."
"You told me." And he walked away.
The post of the esteemed enolagaia brought this amusing (to me, anyway) episode with the MG to mind. Sorry about going off-topic.
 

EnolaGaia

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#17
I can offer a similar, and more extreme, anecdote.

It was back in the 1970's. I was visiting an old friend at his farm. Another old acquaintance showed up with something he wanted to test. It was an antique smoothbore muzzle-loading long gun - flintlock with a thick flared / belled barrel. Although it resembled a stereotypical blunderbuss, we finally agreed the metal work seemed more suggestive of a 19th century piece (probably early 19th century). Such guns persisted into the 19th century as fowling pieces, and we figured this must be one of those. The relatively short (circa 20 - 24" barrel) was the only thing that didn't align with the fowling piece theory, so our runner-up interpretation was that it was an early coach gun.

Anyway ...

Our acquaintance was dead set on trying it out, even though we other two weren't sure it was wise to fire such an obviously old piece. The acquaintance assured us he'd had someone knowledgeable examine it and declare it fit for firing, and he'd thoroughly researched both its operation and its limits, down to exacting spec's for loading it.

We set up some large butcher-paper targets out in a field to check the spread pattern. The acquaintance then carefully loaded the powder and some medium-sized shot, tamped it all down, and proceeded.

It fired, all right ...

When Mr. Blunderbuss pulled the trigger a 3-foot jet of flame issued from the flared muzzle, the entire gun jerked itself out of his hands, and it pinwheeled up into the air. The shooter was knocked backward at least 2 full steps and almost fell down.

He managed to maintain his balance and was resuming a standing position when the somersaulting blunderbuss landed squarely on his head and shoulders - knocking him prone once and for all.

It was the most accurate live action re-enactment of a cartoon scene I'd ever witnessed. :evil:

After an embarrassingly long interlude during which we, the audience, literally fell down and laughed ourselves silly, it was determined that neither the shooter nor the gun had suffered anything worse than grass stains and caked-on soil.

The punchline? Mr. Blunderbuss had missed one key factor in all his research. The loading / load spec's he'd found pertained to vintage black powder. The powder he'd purchased for the test was a much more potent modern variety.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Blunderbuss retired from the scene in haste, and the subject of his blunderbuss was something he would not tolerate anyone mentioning thereafter.
 

gerhard1

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#18
I can offer a similar, and more extreme, anecdote.

It was back in the 1970's. I was visiting an old friend at his farm. Another old acquaintance showed up with something he wanted to test. It was an antique smoothbore muzzle-loading long gun - flintlock with a thick flared / belled barrel. Although it resembled a stereotypical blunderbuss, we finally agreed the metal work seemed more suggestive of a 19th century piece (probably early 19th century). Such guns persisted into the 19th century as fowling pieces, and we figured this must be one of those. The relatively short (circa 20 - 24" barrel) was the only thing that didn't align with the fowling piece theory, so our runner-up interpretation was that it was an early coach gun.

Anyway ...

Our acquaintance was dead set on trying it out, even though we other two weren't sure it was wise to fire such an obviously old piece. The acquaintance assured us he'd had someone knowledgeable examine it and declare it fit for firing, and he'd thoroughly researched both its operation and its limits, down to exacting spec's for loading it.

We set up some large butcher-paper targets out in a field to check the spread pattern. The acquaintance then carefully loaded the powder and some medium-sized shot, tamped it all down, and proceeded.

It fired, all right ...

When Mr. Blunderbuss pulled the trigger a 3-foot jet of flame issued from the flared muzzle, the entire gun jerked itself out of his hands, and it pinwheeled up into the air. The shooter was knocked backward at least 2 full steps and almost fell down.

He managed to maintain his balance and was resuming a standing position when the somersaulting blunderbuss landed squarely on his head and shoulders - knocking him prone once and for all.

It was the most accurate live action re-enactment of a cartoon scene I'd ever witnessed. :evil:

After an embarrassingly long interlude during which we, the audience, literally fell down and laughed ourselves silly, it was determined that neither the shooter nor the gun had suffered anything worse than grass stains and caked-on soil.

The punchline? Mr. Blunderbuss had missed one key factor in all his research. The loading / load spec's he'd found pertained to vintage black powder. The powder he'd purchased for the test was a much more potent modern variety.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Blunderbuss retired from the scene in haste, and the subject of his blunderbuss was something he would not tolerate anyone mentioning thereafter.
Oh my GAWD!!! That was dumb! I have done some reloading of my own ammunition and you have to be careful not to put too much of the propellant powder in the case. In modern firearms, you have a good margin of strength built into the gun, and they are subject to what is called 'proof firing'. "Proving" a gun is done by shooting a round through each chamber that is much higher pressure than most commercially available ammunition. This verifies the strength of the metal used to make the gun.

With an antique firearm, the metal is not as strong as it is in modern ones, and smokeless powder is much more powerful than the black powder used in times past. Mixing the two can have adverse consequences, as your friend discovered. He was lucky. I have seen a couple of modern Smith & Wesson revolvers that had been blown up by faulty hand loads. In the shooting fraternity, this is called a ka-boom.

Ka-booms are to be avoided if possible.
 

EnolaGaia

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#19
Just so we're clear ... The powder he'd purchased was a mixture supposedly formulated for black powder firearms (which were becoming a big hobby at the time ...), not the same powder used for reloading modern cartridges. In any case, it apparently was more potent than the stuff the piece used back in its glory days.

... Or else his research notes were wrong about how much to use. He was very exacting in loading it.

Since the topic of the blunderbuss became forbidden immediately upon its first appearance, we were never able to investigate what the problem had actually been.
 

gerhard1

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#20
Just so we're clear ... The powder he'd purchased was a mixture supposedly formulated for black powder firearms (which were becoming a big hobby at the time ...), not the same powder used for reloading modern cartridges. In any case, it apparently was more potent than the stuff the piece used back in its glory days.

... Or else his research notes were wrong about how much to use. He was very exacting in loading it.

Since the topic of the blunderbuss became forbidden immediately upon its first appearance, we were never able to investigate what the problem had actually been.
Was it Pyrodex by any chance?
 

RaM

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#22
Bloke gets a knock at the door, local cop standing there, you know a bit about old guns
what do you think of this, shows him a muzzle loading rifle, seems they had been
demolishing a old pub and this had been over the fire place, somehow the cop had
ended up with it, anyway the bloke as a look its in very good condition but when he
gently slides a rod down the barrel it hits something soft before getting to the bottom.
So they take the thing down the field lash it to a fence post tie a long string to the trigger
fit a percussion cap and retire beind a big tree, there is a earth shattering kaboom and
when the smoke clears all is well with the now unloaded gun but there are bits of newspaper
everywhere, with stories announcing queen victoria's coronation,
Back then they would load guns up with powder and stuff paper on top to make a bang
much like fireworks today on certain occasions and it seems this had been loaded up
for the coronation and not fired it had then sat loaded over the fireplace for the best
part of 180 years but still went off, always treat a firearm as loaded until proved
otherwise.
 

gerhard1

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#23
Bloke gets a knock at the door, local cop standing there, you know a bit about old guns
what do you think of this, shows him a muzzle loading rifle, seems they had been
demolishing a old pub and this had been over the fire place, somehow the cop had
ended up with it, anyway the bloke as a look its in very good condition but when he
gently slides a rod down the barrel it hits something soft before getting to the bottom.
So they take the thing down the field lash it to a fence post tie a long string to the trigger
fit a percussion cap and retire beind a big tree, there is a earth shattering kaboom and
when the smoke clears all is well with the now unloaded gun but there are bits of newspaper
everywhere, with stories announcing queen victoria's coronation,
Back then they would load guns up with powder and stuff paper on top to make a bang
much like fireworks today on certain occasions and it seems this had been loaded up
for the coronation and not fired it had then sat loaded over the fireplace for the best
part of 180 years but still went off, always treat a firearm as loaded until proved
otherwise.
Good advice!!

BTW, if anyone happens to come across an old blackpowder firearm, I hear that wet powder is very hard to ignite. There is a saying to the effect of 'put your trust in God, but keep your powder dry'.

I do apologize for de-railing the thread. Sorry about that.
 

Frasier Buddolph

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#27

EnolaGaia

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#30
In light of recent thematic mutation(s), I would recommend re-titling this thread New Nominees for Darwin Awards, so as to disconnect it from the actual annual awards.

... Or maybe merge it into Oops! The Silly Mistakes thread.
 
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