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Old September 13, 2009, 02:58 PM   #1
The Kid
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Lethality of Rock Salt

I've heard of people filling shotguns full of rock salt to scare away would be bad guys or meddling kids...but if you shot someone at close range...say 15 ft, wouldn't you run the risk of it becoming a lethal round?

Rock salt just seems like a bad idea all around
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Old September 13, 2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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Is it 1945?

Who would even consider doing this in this day and age. You can get sued if a robber gets injured breaking into your house. I think if you took a load of rock salt close range, you'd almost rather it WAS lethal. Sounds painful
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Old September 13, 2009, 03:24 PM   #3
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Get close enough and even blanks can be lethal. I have taken down many wasp nests using a muzzle loading 12 gauge loaded with nothing but powder. Just hold the muzzle about a foot away from the nest, pull the trigger, and the nest and all the wasps are gone. No trace except maybe some goo splattered on the rafters of the barn.

On the other hand, get far enough away, and even lead shot loses its lethality.
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Old September 13, 2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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I think you'll find that the law in most, if not all, states does not differentiate between the types of projectiles you shoot at people - that is, in the law there's no difference between buckshot and salt. In either case it's considered lethal force. Unjustified use of lethal force = prison time/lawsuits/etc.
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Old September 13, 2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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haha...I would never do it. I think it's dumb. I've just heard of people getting shot by it.

I think there was episode of mcgyver where she tells mac that the shotty has rock salt in there
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Old September 13, 2009, 04:37 PM   #6
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I will say at 35'ish foot, through a sweatshirt and in the back it stings like hell for about 5 hours :P.

A friend of mine and myself used to ride quads all over when we were younger, about once a week we would cut through this farmers cornfield on our way to some other trails around an old onion farm (we did no damage as we stick to the tractor rows) tons of other people in our area also used his fields as a shortcut to some good trail riding. We heard the storys about people getting shot at etc etc... either way we were trespassing...
anywho..

we got chased off a few times and still continued to use it as a shortcut. We would just drive faster the next time through. Mind you we were 15 and stupid as all get out lol. Well we did find out the hard way the rumors were true and we both took some salt the VERY LAST time we used his field.

We were riding double doing about 20 or so down the fields edge next to a hedge row, when we flew by him standing at a space in the hedge row we both had pucker factor 20+ working overtime lol. I tried to duck and tuck against my friend as he mashed the throttle but we found out you cannot outrun a shot at about 35 foot lol... I took one piece of salt rock right through my sweatshirt on my right shoulder and he took one in the back of the hand and one that seemed to graze his right cheek.


We stopped about a mile away gave ourselves the once over checked our pants and made our way back to my family's farm in a very round abouts way were my father was waiting in the driveway and immediately began to chew us both out after receiving a call from Mr Crymer the guy who has just pelted us with saltrock.

Long story short, my experiences with it even after cleaning it out and soaking in a bath stung for about 5 hours. The back of my friends hand was black and blue for about 2 weeks though similar with me the stinging stopped after a bit. His cheek just looked like a scratch really and didn't break the skin.

I would go out on a limb and say it could be very lethal at close range given a good placement. It will go through clothes and will break the skin. I will say though it taught me a lifetime lesson about obeying no trespassing signs.
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Old September 13, 2009, 05:12 PM   #7
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They tried it in the Box O' Truth

End result?

Quote:
1. At 20 yards, you might scare a dog or some other animal, but you sure wouldn't break the skin.

2. At 10 yards, you might break the skin with a couple of grains, but nothing very serious.

3. At 12 feet, you might get the desired effect, if the desired effect is to "burn" the target with the rock salt.

4. At 4 feet, you might cause a wound requiring a visit to a hospital for a human, or maybe death to a small animal.

5. Movie plots that show someone "burning" a bad guy at across-the-yard distances are hogwash.

6. Rock salt makes a pitiful personal defense load, as if we didn't already know that.
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Old September 13, 2009, 05:35 PM   #8
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I've noticed that rock salt can come in different sizes; from fairly fine to very coarse - perhaps this is a time when size does matter?
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:12 PM   #9
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Size certainly does matter.

We used to visit my grandparents in Indiana every summer. There was this one corn farmer not too far away that would have an absolute conniption when we played in his corn field. We never caused any damage (my great-grandfather was a corn farmer too). Essentially we taunted this guy just for his reaction.

One day he cut down on us with a 12 ga. I was about 20 yds. out and making tracks, I caught two smaller pieces and one big one (about 1/4") in the back of my leg. The man had spoken to my grandparents a few times about us and I got zero sympathy.

BTW, a big chunk takes longer than 5 hrs. to dissolve and burns the entire time. On the + side, you do learn to deal with the pain.

Leathality? Sure thing at close range, it could be a good 'in home' round with some experimentation.
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:20 PM   #10
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Though I do believe elmer fudd's results at boxotruth ...it was only a one variable test with factory #6.

As I still have a slight scar that proves otherwise I will continue where fudd left off.

I will be heading out to a friends place next weekend for a day of target practice fun.

I will load up 2 more #6's and 2 more 00 bucks and doing my test with the three (white pictured) specifically loaded for salt shot rounds, 3 #6 factory rounds and 3 factory 00 bucks loaded with rocksalt. I will do 1 20 yard with each round, 1 10 yard with each round and one at 12 foot with each and photo-record the results also.

I will use morgans rocksalt also in my test, but the pic far bottom is what I would rather use. Your everyday run of the mill hard as nails driveway grade rocksalt which is unrefined from contaminants. If it was in season I would grab a bag and load 3 #6's with the driveway grade. Though I have a week, I imagine a Home Depot has a bag kicking around already.



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Old September 13, 2009, 06:28 PM   #11
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Jackson, Michigan. A couple of months ago the trial of a person charged with the death of a teenage girl he shot in his backyard with a rock salt was concluded. I am sure that she would agree that rock salt can be lethal.

That aside, salt is hygroscopic, attracts water, resulting in rust. Also, rock salt as mentioned is very impure form of mined salt frequently containing small bits of stone and dirt. Rock salt is not something a normal person would want to shoot through the barrel of a shotgun.
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Rock salt is not something a normal person would want to shoot through the barrel of a shotgun.
Unless that person has a beater field barrel not much good for anything else and a free weekend to experiment with rock salt rounds. Considering boxotruths test only contains one variable besides distance and is the only actual test with photos on the net about it (that can be found) vs a plethora of storys otherwise as well as my own personal experience. I feel it would be absolutely normal and much needed in the name of science to do such an experiment.

btw: I am not trying to debunk the bots results, I just want to show the results can vary.
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:48 PM   #13
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I'm still not convinced. If I was going to be dumb enough to shoot at someone with a shotgun when lethal force was not justified I would use rubber buckshot, beanbag rounds, or bird bombs.

That or a paintball gun.
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Old September 13, 2009, 07:57 PM   #14
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These days, firing a gun at someone is considered to be deadly force, whether its a load of Magnum buckshot or a load of goose feathers.

If the situation is such that deadly force is NOT permissible, shooting someone with any "less lethal" load of ANYTHING will bring a felony arrest.
As far as the law is concerned, if you fire a firearm (or even most BB guns) at a person you've fired a deadly weapon at a human.

In other words, according to my county prosecutor, shoot at a person with rock salt or rubber buckshot if it isn't a situation authorizing deadly force, he'll indict you for a felony.

In the words of famed Border Patrolman Bill Jordon, "Like being pregnant, there's no such thing as shooting someone "just a little bit". If you have to shoot someone, Shoot them GOOD".
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Old September 13, 2009, 08:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
In other words, according to my county prosecutor, shoot at a person with rock salt or rubber buckshot if it isn't a situation authorizing deadly force, he'll indict you for a felony.
Agreed.
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Old September 13, 2009, 09:49 PM   #16
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Dfariswheel I do not think the legality aspect of it is in any dispute at all. You cannot throw a pencil at someone not in self defense without running the risk of grabbing a charge of some kind or other.

Quote:
In other words, according to my county prosecutor, shoot at a person with rock salt or rubber buckshot if it isn't a situation authorizing deadly force, he'll indict you for a felony.
"if it isn't a situation authorizing deadly force" is the key there. Not sure why someone would only have rock salt for ammo, but if that is all they had and used it in a pure self defense situation, you would want to know its effectiveness especially for any legality's that arose after wards. Like a stun gun,rubber bullets etc etc all have went through rigorousness testing as they are commonly used by US law enforcement and have been proven to be lethal in some situations.

But say you went into a pure hd/sd scenario with rock salt shot thinking it was less then lethal and said bad guy died a few hours later in the hospital, is it worse on you to say you thought it was not lethal? You would be asked that question in the few hours prior to him passing on the initial questioning.

"Well officer he should come out of it fine, I only shot him with rock salt because I did not really want to hurt him to bad"

One could then say, well if you did not want to hurt him "too bad" then use of deadly force was not required as your life did not warrant protection with real rounds?

Though on your initial statement you stated you shot him with the rock salt to stop the threat knowing it would /could result in deadly force and he later died, imo you would lessen your risk of that hd/sd situation being turned against you legally.

Something like salt rock though and just for the sake of argument you take the legality and situations out of the equation all together, one persons test should not be the conclusion of it being lethal or not.

There are many other reasons why its legitimacy should be investigated. Accidental discharge damage, avoiding the creation of the myth it is not lethal. The first hint some idiot gets that it is a harmless round and you will see videos of said idiots shooting each other with them on youtube.

bot site tends to be steering those to believe it is a harmless round with lots of bark but no bite.
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Last edited by flippycat; September 13, 2009 at 10:05 PM.
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Old September 13, 2009, 10:45 PM   #17
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salt is hygroscopic, attracts water

And therefore can clump together in the shell in a humid climate. Then, you're shooting the rock salt equivalent of a slug, or maybe buckshot.

As to the legal aspects, the best advice I can give is to call the worst (cheapest) criminal defense attorney in your area, and ask them how much they bill per hour. Then ask them how long the average trial runs. Might be cheaper just to go to law school yourself... especially if you price a good attorney.

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Old September 13, 2009, 10:51 PM   #18
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Don't know about the law but that stuff burns like hell.I really don't remember how far away the potato farmer was. He was shooting a double barrel shotgun off a bike.this was a long time ago in Germany and it worked we didn't go back.Good Luck
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Old September 14, 2009, 08:39 AM   #19
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i use tactical rock salt
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Old September 14, 2009, 12:14 PM   #20
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There is two different trains of thought going on here, one describing what is the law now and the other what has happened in the past...

When I was a kid bask in the 50s early 60s I had the unfortunate ability to attract rock salt from shotguns--got hit on seven separate occasions from five different people whose gardens/orchards we would raid, frequently...was I, other then my pride, seriously hurt, noBUT
1) I got no sympathy at home, more of "you dumb ass, bend over and I'll try to pick it out",
2) IF the cops visited they'd have said, "dumb ass, don't do it again" or words to that effect,
3) You had to go and apologize to the person who shot you for raiding there garden and
4) No one sued anyone (hardly ever)...

Had I been seriously hurt, hospitalized, that would have been another matter but since it never happened why speculate on it...

Now, I'm scared to even talk to people for I might say something "racist or non PC" and get sued for Human Rights Violations or some such bullsh!te, afraid to slap a newspaper next to my puppy while training her for fear that the ASPCA or the dumb F*cks at PETA will turn around and have me arrested for animal abuse...

I'm sorry to say fellows, but your American society is ga-ga for law suits and stupid, nuisance (all encompassing) laws...I mean for a city to sue a gun manufacturer over their crime problem is just a little too far fetched but it happened...Robbers suing the home-owners for tripping over an ottoman in the dark and breaking an arm/leg and winning!

Here we still have the Gov. telling us how to live--better--but at least we don't have 1/1,000ths of the suits you do and those we have most carry a ceiling cap so no $10 million for a spilt cup of McDonald's coffee or for a $1,000 suit allegedly ruined by the dry cleaner...
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Old September 15, 2009, 04:11 PM   #21
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oooooowwwwwweeee

plainsman is right that stuff burns like hell. there was an abandon
moto x track in a field by my old house .the land had been sold
and the new guy did not wont us dum dirt bike kids in his field
not that he ever did anything with it,so after about the forth
or fifth time he cought us out there riding on the track he came tearing
out there one day in his old jeep mad as hell shot gun rested on the side
mirror.first couple missed completely and then one side of me lite up
ooooowwwww into gear and out the back of the field throw a hole
in the fence that had been there for years.we made shore he
was,nt home when we rode there after that.
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Old September 15, 2009, 04:25 PM   #22
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There is never a legal reason for a civilian to point a gun at a person where lethal force is not justified.

If you opt to fire a non-lethal projectile at a human and injury results, you will be sued for intentionally injuring/maiming a fellow human.

But I am one who took a blast in the back from about 50-75 feet and it did a good job getting me to fire the afterburners...
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Old September 15, 2009, 05:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Though I do believe elmer fudd's results at boxotruth ...it was only a one variable test with factory #6.

As I still have a slight scar that proves otherwise I will continue where fudd left off.
Care to provide a link to your website with your extensive test results.
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Old September 15, 2009, 07:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Quote:me
Though I do believe elmer fudd's results at boxotruth ...it was only a one variable test with factory #6.

As I still have a slight scar that proves otherwise I will continue where fudd left off.
Quote:
Quote:john1911
Care to provide a link to your website with your extensive test results.
Sure, I would not have any issue at all posting my results to one of my subdomains after I do the tests this weekend.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:46 AM   #25
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I too was committing trespass when shot with salt. I was about 6. Cured me of stealing tomatoes.

After Pop told me it served me right he went and broke the shooter's face.

I found that out years later from Mom. Pop never said a word.

As for its effects, it burns. I took it across the butt and backs of my legs.
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