View Full Version : Do You Ever Wonder?

roy reali
March 6, 2007, 10:04 PM
Stopping ability of cartridges against man or beast has been discussed on many threads here. Some lively debates have been created by this. There is another type of stopping power that has always amazed me.

I have held 71/2 and 8 shot pellets in my hand. They are tiny projectiles. I have always wondered how these little things can kill anything.

I realize dove-sized birds are small and fragile creatures. But still, how a few hits from such a small piece of lead can drop anything is amazing. I have dropped doves dead on impact. Then as I clean them, I find only a few pellets and yet, there is the bird dead.

Have you ever wondered about this?

March 6, 2007, 10:38 PM
I can't say that I've wondered about it, but I know what you're talking about.

I went goose hunting once, and took one down dead as a doornail with one shot of #2s from a 12-gauge improved-cylinder barrel at ~30 yards. When I got home and plucked all of the feathers off of the bird, it turned out that only one pellet had struck the bird. Well, dead is dead, and we had a great meal out of that goose. :D

March 6, 2007, 10:47 PM
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to catch a load of small shot (#6 to #8) at close range? Gives me the willies just thinking about it.

Now I'm not one of those who believes in birdshot as a HD round. FYI, my 870 is loaded with 00Buck followed by 1oz. slugs. BUT, I'd damn sure hate to be shot with it up close and personal like.

Everytime I hear stories about turkey hunting accidents where someone catches a high brass load of #6's I just cringe. :eek:

March 7, 2007, 01:22 AM
I have always wondered how these little things can kill anything.

It's community thing... :rolleyes:

At the correct range...
They work together... ;)

Get #4 buckshot for HD.

March 7, 2007, 01:46 AM
Any of you gals or fellas ever work on a farm? Ever try to catch a little piglet? In a short space of time, you can cause a piglet to keel over dead from chasing it around. Trauma, apoplexy, shock; that's what kills that little porker.

Now, you're a goose and you're flying along in the V. Or, you're a dove or a quail and some thing's just spooked you into flight and then BANG! there's a sharp shock and a sting and then...darkness. We know from turkey hunting that ahead shot is your best bet, right? All those layered feathers and fat will keep the shot from penetrating. So, do all the pieces of shot have to penetrate to kill? Can we not kill a man if we punch him hard enough in the face/head/chest? The force will transfer in radiating waves of energy and kill, surely, if the blow is hard enough.

Shock of Impact + Trauma of Impact + Surprise! = DEATH

Could be, no? Remington Wingmaster HD Waterfowl loads for example. Say, 12 gauge 2-3/4" shells, 1-1/4 ounces of #4 shot flying at 1325 fps...that velocity translates to about a mile in four seconds, or about 900 MPH. Sound travels at what, 750 MPS. So there's a huge bang almost simultaneous with tremendous pain and an interruption in flight path and perception. I've never been shot or hit by a car but that sounds pretty close, no?

That's my SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess).

March 7, 2007, 02:41 AM
I've shot doves with almost no penitration found in the meat but yet they dropped dead out of the sky. My theory is the shot knocked the bird out cold and the 30' drop head first into the ground killed the bird :)

March 7, 2007, 03:09 AM
I've been peppered a few times by birdshot and I don't ever want to be any closer than that.

Jeff Mulliken
March 7, 2007, 07:49 AM
Compared to the size of a dove, a #7 1/2 pellet is like a .38 cal slug is to a human.

Imagine walking into a 30" circle of .38 slugs going 1200 fps and then falling 100 feet out of the sky.

Your dead.


March 7, 2007, 08:28 AM
I've been peppered a few times by birdshot and I don't ever want to be any closer than that.

Me too. I've been nailed from across a field on a dove hunt when some dingbat shot at a low bird. Caught shot along the leg and arm. Didn't penetrate my jeans but stung my arm a bit. Just a scratch or two, no real penetration of the skin. Like you say, No closer than that!

roy reali
March 7, 2007, 08:50 AM
I too have recovered birds with little or no trauma. I have been told that with doves that close calls will sometimes scare them to death. I don't know how true this is, but I have cleaned out doves and was unable to find any trauma produced by bird shot.

I realize that a small lead pellet is large in comparison to a dove. But, if a person is nicked by a .38, instant death ususally doesn't follow. I have shot at dove and seen them fold up and drop like rocks. I go pick up the bird and it doesn't look like its been hit.

I think that birds are just fragile creatures.

March 7, 2007, 02:11 PM
Yeah they are fragile, birds seem to go into shock quite easily. For what ever reason they just seem more prone to going into shock than other animals. Shock can kill all by its self....but that along with being fragile and hitting the ground at a speed that has to cause damage to their bodies as well....I guess that could do it.

March 7, 2007, 03:19 PM
I am sure we all agree that a 22 caliber round is one of the least threatening ones around (though I'm not saying it can't kill, I respect all guns and know what they can do). In a psychology class I took some time ago we were discussing the power of the "Belief" as it pertains to religion, karma, health, etc. One interesting case used as an example was of two guys, one an officer and the other a civilian. The officer was shot from within 10 yards with a 357 in the chest. The round did a number on one of his lungs. The other guy accidently shot himself in the foot with a .22 he was handling for the first time ever. The round went clean through his foot. His friend said he started loosing it and hollering about dying. There are no major arteries, organs, or nerves in your foot. This guy died. The cop lived. When interviewed later the cop said he just placed his faith in God as soon as he realized what happened. I always thought this was an amazing study. It really makes you wonder.

March 7, 2007, 05:00 PM
I would think that a flying bird would feel pretty secure. Just being touched while flying might startle it enough to cause it to pass out and then the fall kills it.

March 7, 2007, 05:17 PM
Kickshot, that is interesting. I do believe in the power of the mind, I have taken a few psych classes out of interest also. However with extreem examples like that.....I wonder if the guy shot with a .22 had a preexisting medical problem that the stress and panic of shooting him self made worse and ended up killing him. (Heart attack maybe?)

I do think, (as do many in the medical field) that a persons attitude after they have been seriously hurt can help OR hurt them alot. I know some ER Docs and RNs, who have often said if a badly hurt person starts saying "I'm going to die" they usually do.

Its Kind of like they gave up and stopped fighting to live. The mind can be very powerful.

March 7, 2007, 06:56 PM
I have always wondered how these little things can kill anything.

Velocity=Speed Kills.....................hpg

March 7, 2007, 08:36 PM
what Sgt Fathead said....hitting the ground does a good chunk of the killing - falling from the sky is hard on an animal. Plus shock and bleeding from the wounds. Birds are fragile creatures, unlike mammals. Squirrels can be tougher - have to get quite a few pellets on them, or a .22 bullet, to stop them immediately.

March 7, 2007, 11:00 PM

I've been trying to find that study online but can't seem to locate it, I had it saved on my computer before I had to reboot it. I know that it did have something to do with him going into shock, but don't remember there being any heart attack or anything like that, just shock. About the post concerning the 4410 (under my breath. . .STALKER:D) yes, that's the Judge. The one I bought has the 2 1/2 inch cylinder for .410s with the six and a half inch barrel, SS. I'd imagine the FPS would be somewhat less from such a short barrel, but I wouldn't think it is a terrible difference. This is both my primary HD gun and my favorite fun-gun. I can't wait to go shoot traps with it. It does a number on cans and snakes, though.