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Old May 5, 2012, 09:32 AM   #27
Double Naught Spy
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Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Posts: 12,446
There was a hostage situation, I THINK, maybe in Alaska but I don't remember. A man had grabbed a little girl and was blocking traffic on a bridge and holding her over the edge threatening to drop her.
A police sniper ran something like a mile and a half through backed up traffic to get where he could make a shot.
He waited until the guy brought the girl back over the railing (which the guy was doing repeatedly) and shot him right at the bridge of his nose, specifically because he knew it would instantly cease all motor function.
That was Steve Rodriguez. The incident took place over the Rio Grande. He ended up in court over the shooting, as I recall, or some extensive dead-guy's family complaint-started internal investigation, as he killed the father of the child literally within seconds of setting up his rifle when came after running with it for a considerable distance because the road was choked with all the stopped traffic from the closed bridge. He set up, got his breathing under control, had the scope on the man holding the child out over the edge (which was a moved already repeated by the guy several times), and when the man brought the child back over the bridge , Rodrigquez made his shot. The child and man dropped in place and the child was basically unharmed. The suit or complaint stemmed, in part, from the child NOT being in mortal danger when he wasn't being held out over the gorge.

Remember we are talking about head shots here so there is no way the brain will not be damaged.
This is a perfect example of what I am talking about when I talk about folks who do not understand anatomy. Usually my comments are in regard to consider 2D anatomy and almost always frontal perspectives and Capt. Charlie touched on this briefly with ...
Not only is the brainstem a small target, it's also a 3 dimensional target. If the bad guy is looking directly at you, the preferred shot is through the center of the nose. However, if said BG turns his head to the right, the shot has to be placed to the left of the nose.
The problem with hitting the brain stem and severing it is that you have to aim at an external spot on the person, behind which will be the brain stem assuming the bullet is able to maintain the original intended trajectory and penetrates sufficiently to do the job. That is why shot placement is nothing without trajectory and penetration. Bullets hitting the head often do no go where anticipate due to bone deflection and to a lessor extent, soft tissue deflection.

Capt. Charlie's aimpoint of the nose works best when the nose and brain stem form two points of an imaginary line and that line being part of the trajectory taken by the bullet. A raised chin (and hence, nose) would alter the angle of the line between the nose and brain stem relative to a more normal level position. If the nose was using as the aimpoint with the head turned up, the round can based bisect the brain's halves and pass up and in front of the brain stem.

Depending on whose biometrics you use, the averag weight of the human head is 4-5kg which corresponds fairly with with water displacement information indication about 4500cc. That average human brain is about 1150 cc in size, though modern human variation will find smaller people with brains way down around 950 cc (and a corrspondingly smaller head) and up to 1600 cc and sometimes more (and a much larger head). So in this reguard, the brain itself is only about 1/4 of the volume of the entire head.

With that said and changing animal types, I posted in the hunting section on headshooting 2 hogs with a .45-70 at 30 yards, hitting just below and forward of the ear and in one case, the bullet did ZERO bone damage. Shot placement was outstanding. Penentration was outstanding and the round exited the opposite side of the neck. Trajectory apparently was a problem, possibly suffering from deflection. Not only can you shoot the head and not do brain damage, you can shoot a large caliber medium velocity projectile at the head and have it not even damage the bone around the brain.

Every year, there are a goodly number of folks who are shot in the head and who do not have brain injuries. Most of these folks will suffer facial shots. Some well actually have the brain case struck by the bullet but not penetrate. If you google, you can find several nasty descriptions of botched suicides where people do things like put the muzzle of the gun in their mouth, pull the trigger, and the bullet passes beneath the brain case, off center, and exits the back of the neck. Guns placed under the chin and the trigger pulled and the round travels up through the mouth, nose, and sometimes and eye and exits forward of the brain. The you have temple shot attempted suicide where basically the shooter blows off the lateral orbit of the eye and takes out one or both eyes, but fails to hit the brain. In short, there are a goodly number of ways for a person to be shot in the head and not have bran involvement.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
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Last edited by Double Naught Spy; May 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM.
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