Smoking Gun?

A case of “pull my finger” gone wrong?

Just where was this thing propelled from? :wink:

[quote]Mystery shrouds girl wounded by bullet

TAIPEI, Taiwan, The China Post staff

Kaohsiung police are waiting for the results of lab tests to solve the mystery shrouding a girl wounded by what is claimed to be a bullet not fired from a gun at the home of a Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker.
The girl, identified only as Shen, is still in critical condition at the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, where a copper shard was removed from her neck Wednesday.

Shen was shot by what her boyfriend, Tien Tzu-yung, claimed was the bullet of a cartridge he had picked up at a night market, police investigators said.

Tien was quoted as saying he dropped the cartridge as he was trying to show it to Shen and another girl at the home of Legislator Hsu Chih-ming at Taliao near Kaohsiung.

According to Tien, the hand-made cartridge exploded as it hit the floor. The bullet hit Shen’s neck, causing bleeding from her right carotid artery.

An empty cartridge shell was found at the room of Hsu’s son. Also discovered were two fragments of Tien’s bullet.

Investigators found no gun, however.

A mobster fumbled while loading his remodeled pistol in a hurry and dropped the cartridge, Tien told investigators. The youngster said he picked it up and tried to show it to the girls and Hsu’s son like a trophy during their stay at the latter’s house.

The lawmaker, who rushed back home from Taipei at noon, denied reports that he was bringing pressure to bear on investigators to cover up for his son.

“I need a thorough investigation,” Hsu said.

He said the empty shell shows no sign of a firing pin hit. “That means,” he added, “it wasn’t fired from a gun.”

Hand-made cartridges might explode on contact with hard objects, Hsu claimed. He said he keeps no firearm.

One police investigator said hand-made grenades might explode just as Hsu said. “But, it is highly likely, if not impossible, that an such cartridge may explode,” he added.

Such cartridges have been reported to explode and burst the barrels of remodeled guns, the investigator said.

A Kaohsiung district prosecutor did not rule out the possibility that the bullet came out of the gun, which had been taken away from the scene before police arrived.

The prosecutor wanted investigators to question more closely the two boys and the girl. “Under pressure,” he added, “they may tell different stories.”

“At any rate,” the prosecutor said, “lab results will tell us what has happened.”

A regular Charlie Chan this guy, huh?

Boss H . Your signature enticed me to have a peak at the Taipei Life forum. I must say it felt rather like walking around a ghost town. It looks like a forum but there is nobody there. While I was there I was on my own + there are 85 registered users after 6 months.

I wondered if you had done a post mortem on what went wrong ? or has it met expectations ?) The site looks OK but isnt attracting traffic. Is it that it is very similar to Forumosa so offers nothing extra or do you feel its just a matter of time & it will catch on.

Interested in your analysis. So few websites seem to create any significant traffic & I’m interested in what makes the difference between success & failure.

check out the front page the info for foreigners including the names and numbers of English speaking Taxi drivers is quite useful.

I have picked up the traffic recently because I think it is nice to see some locals wanting to help the foreign community - here it is different - foreigners helping foreigners. I hope to give them a boost and a chance to grow as they wont affect forumosa.

Shouldn’t that be “highly unlikely”?

Aeh, am I not understanding this or did he just say it’s “impossible” that they may explode but they “have been reported to explode”. WTF!? :?

Well, speaking as a firearms enthusiast (aka “gun nut”), let me just say . . .

First, it is possible for cartridges to explode when dropped. Gunpowder is NOT shock-sensitive, but it is possible that the cartridge was filled with some other garbage that was. However, a more likely explanation is a primer that wasn’t seated properly – when you reload a cartridge, you stick a new primer in the back, and it is normally seated about 2-3 thousandths of an inch below the surrounding case-head. If it sticks out (not fully seated), it can go off when dropped; using it in a firearm would probably cause a jam, though. (It’s also possible, but much less likely, that the cartridge could have fallen on a rock, nail, or other hard pointy object at just the right angle and location to impact the primer with enough force to set it off.)

Second, if a cartridge is set off outside a gun, the case blows out. A few case fragments may fly around, but the bullet itself doesn’t move much. The main danger is to peoples’ eyes, although a case fragment might puncture bare skin.

If that “copper shard” was a fragment from the bullet jacket, though, there is no way in hell that the cartridge wasn’t in a gun – the bullet would have had to hit something (concrete wall, perhaps) hard enough to break up, which would mean it had to have been traveling at high velocity – in other words, fired from a gun.

In 12 years of serious shooting, I’ve had a cartridge blow up outside a gun just once – probably a hangfire, but it was a rimfire .22LR and I dropped it on a concrete gun-range floor, so it could have gone off by impact. I felt a small sting as a case fragment hit my sock over my ankle, but it didn’t penetrate. The side of the case blew out; the bullet was still seated in the case mouth.

Oops. Edited to remove my earlier “likely case” and say that from this:

there is no way in hell that the cartridge wasn’t in a gun when fired. If the bullet broke up, it had to have been fired at high velocity, and the kids are lying about there being no gun present.

A high primer can cause a “slamfire” if it doesn’t make the gun jam. This would leave no firing pin indentation, but there should be a small mark where the primer was pressed against the hole in the boltface through which the firing pin would normally be pushed.

So, my conclusion is, they were dicking around with a gun and it slamfired, firing the bullet into some hard surface, resulting in a fragment hitting the girl in the neck.

— edited again to add:

Since the case was intact, it is impossible that it went off due to being dropped. A cartridge that went off without the support of a gun’s chamber would have a mangled brass case and an intact bullet.

Of course, it is also possible that the reporter has royally screwed up his/her facts.