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Discussion Starter #1
I’m new to the forum, and have no experience with shooting sports. Instead, I’m shamelessly hoping to tap into some of the expertise on this board.

In 1985 (age 11), I was the victim of a drive-by shooting. I was struck in the back of the neck by three projectiles. Ultimately, these were left in my neck due to the danger of surgery so close to the spinal cord (I was less than an inch away from probable paralysis). I’ve recently felt aching in the wound area, and have renewed my interest in the type of gun and ammo involved (nobody was ever caught).

Some details:

1. The shot produced only a “ping” noise (vs. a loud “bang”).
2. The three projectiles are all perfectly spherical.
3. The projectiles are two different sizes: ~1/4” (x1) and ~1/8” (x2).
4. The shot came from ~25 yards away.
5. Again, the shots went in the same “puncture” type of entrance wound – indicating one “single file” line of three, differently-sized projectiles. As a layman, it seems like this would narrow down the possibilities significantly.

One theory is that it could’ve been “home-loaded” snake shot. However, my quick research suggests that the range of this ammo is much shorter than would’ve been required. The air gun folks didn’t feel like they had the capability in 1985 (if today).

I would greatly appreciate any posts regarding the possible type of gun and ammo involved. Please let me know if additional details would help.

Thank you.
 

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Wow. I'm sure that there are a number of possibilities as to what you were hit with. Are you 100% sure this was a firearm? What is the likelyhood that this may have been a home made device?

IMHO, it is unlikley that 3 projectiles of such radically different diameter could travel single file down one bore and make it into the same hole after flying for 25 yards. There would be some scattering effect in that case, also a shotgun would have scattered the shot somewhat, had they all been the same size I would think a pellet or air rifle may have been a possibility due to the sound and rough size of the projectiles. How exact is the measurment of the projectiles you mentioned? Is it possible that the larger is actually roughly .22 inches rather than .25 and the smaller is actually .17 rather than .125? these would roughly coorespond to the diameters of common pellet gun ammo. Some of the board members more familliar with such ammo may be able to elaborate. This type of ammo was made of many different materials, so it is hard to say what is giving you the trouble now. Copper, alluminum and lead are all common for these.

I wish you all the best in figuring out what is causing you the pain.
 

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Sorry for your troubles. Air rifles have been around since about the late 1500's and have been used for killing deer size game since then. The air rifles from that era were of a larger diameter than what is common in todays air rifles. It is possible that someone made or modified a modern air gun to fire projectiles of the size you mention. Was anyone able to guesstimate the material the projectiles were made from? How far did they penetrate? did they pierce any bone?
Many more questions to be answered.

Kudu40
 

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Well, MT, I'll take an educated guess.

I'd venture that you were shot by a shotgun and that the shell was handloaded at some point. I'd also venture a guess and say the shotgun was stolen from a man that handloads and the ammo was stolen too. Most likely a single shot or double barrel shotgun. No ejected hulls. And I'd also not be surprised to learn it was a .410 shotgun, given the range.

As for not hearing the shot, that's not unexpected. The shock the body took with the hits kinda negates the ear hearing it. I've been shot at a few times. Pretty much all I heard was a "crack" as the bullet went by my head.

Count your blessings. You're still verticle. From now on, be aware of all your surroundings. Vow to NOT become a victim. I realize you probably had no idea this guy was even around though. Kaka happens.

Understand, this is all just my opinion. Probably not worth much anymore. I'm in my 60's. All I can tell ya is to enjoy the rest of your life. When your number is up, it's up. Live your life to it's fullest. Don't waste a moment. You can already see how close you came.

Lots of good guys on this forum. Learn from them. LOL, I do.
 

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2 shooters with different caliber home made bb guns? I just hope that your safe and feeling better soon!
 

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Sounds to me like an airgun. The spring types usually "ping", but given the situation and your orientation, it could have been a multi-stroke pneumatic or CO2 gun and the ping was actually the reflection of the sound off nearby glass or other hard surface which vibrated and reflected the higher frequencies in the sound? The relatively shallow penetration also suggests an airgun. I would guess it was 3 pellets pushed in the barrel to shoot at once. If they were pointed they might well stayed together given the hollow skirt an airgun pellet has would nest with an underlying pellet's point. The front one may have flattened to wider diameter than the rest on impact?

Whoever it was could have killed you, as I'm sure you realize. They may not have meant to, thinking, as some fools do, that an airgun is a toy and can't be lethal. A modern one has to hit just the right spot to be lethal on something the size of a human, as a rule, but it sure can be deadly if it does. Glad you made it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow. I'm sure that there are a number of possibilities as to what you were hit with. Are you 100% sure this was a firearm? What is the likelyhood that this may have been a home made device?

IMHO, it is unlikley that 3 projectiles of such radically different diameter could travel single file down one bore and make it into the same hole after flying for 25 yards. There would be some scattering effect in that case, also a shotgun would have scattered the shot somewhat, had they all been the same size I would think a pellet or air rifle may have been a possibility due to the sound and rough size of the projectiles. How exact is the measurment of the projectiles you mentioned? Is it possible that the larger is actually roughly .22 inches rather than .25 and the smaller is actually .17 rather than .125? these would roughly coorespond to the diameters of common pellet gun ammo. Some of the board members more familliar with such ammo may be able to elaborate. This type of ammo was made of many different materials, so it is hard to say what is giving you the trouble now. Copper, alluminum and lead are all common for these.

I wish you all the best in figuring out what is causing you the pain.
Thanks for weighing in. I particularly appreciate this statement, "it is unlikley that 3 projectiles of such radically different diameter could travel single file down one bore and make it into the same hole after flying for 25 yards". This pretty much says it all.

No - there's no certainty it was a firearm. That said, I'm not really familiar with the types of homemade options out there. Aren't they too crude for such a tidy shot?

The sizes of the projectiles are approximate (taken off an x-ray). They may very well be 0.22 and 0.17 if that makes more sense in this sport. I mainly wanted to emphasize that there are two different sizes - something that leapt out as unusual.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry for your troubles. Air rifles have been around since about the late 1500's and have been used for killing deer size game since then. The air rifles from that era were of a larger diameter than what is common in todays air rifles. It is possible that someone made or modified a modern air gun to fire projectiles of the size you mention. Was anyone able to guesstimate the material the projectiles were made from? How far did they penetrate? did they pierce any bone?
Many more questions to be answered.

Kudu40
Thanks for posting.

The air rifle theory has always been considered because of the relatively quiet sound, and the fact that more damage wasn't done. I'm a layman and not familiar with homemade or modified weapons, but there is no reason to rule them out if they can be capable of this type of shot.

The ammo material is unknown. The 3 projectiles penetrated the soft tissue of my neck - narrowly missing both the carotid artery and spinal cord. As I believe you're suggesting, it seems like an actual firearm would've done alot more damage in light of so little resistance...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, MT, I'll take an educated guess.

I'd venture that you were shot by a shotgun and that the shell was handloaded at some point. I'd also venture a guess and say the shotgun was stolen from a man that handloads and the ammo was stolen too. Most likely a single shot or double barrel shotgun. No ejected hulls. And I'd also not be surprised to learn it was a .410 shotgun, given the range.

As for not hearing the shot, that's not unexpected. The shock the body took with the hits kinda negates the ear hearing it. I've been shot at a few times. Pretty much all I heard was a "crack" as the bullet went by my head.

Count your blessings. You're still verticle. From now on, be aware of all your surroundings. Vow to NOT become a victim. I realize you probably had no idea this guy was even around though. Kaka happens.

Understand, this is all just my opinion. Probably not worth much anymore. I'm in my 60's. All I can tell ya is to enjoy the rest of your life. When your number is up, it's up. Live your life to it's fullest. Don't waste a moment. You can already see how close you came.

Lots of good guys on this forum. Learn from them. LOL, I do.
Thanks for the kind words. Knowing nothing about guns, I always assumed a shotgun produced a spray - at least after ~25 yards. It seems weird that there wouldn't be more wounds (or more victims - my friend was right next to me).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sounds to me like an airgun. The spring types usually "ping", but given the situation and your orientation, it could have been a multi-stroke pneumatic or CO2 gun and the ping was actually the reflection of the sound off nearby glass or other hard surface which vibrated and reflected the higher frequencies in the sound? The relatively shallow penetration also suggests an airgun. I would guess it was 3 pellets pushed in the barrel to shoot at once. If they were pointed they might well stayed together given the hollow skirt an airgun pellet has would nest with an underlying pellet's point. The front one may have flattened to wider diameter than the rest on impact?

Whoever it was could have killed you, as I'm sure you realize. They may not have meant to, thinking, as some fools do, that an airgun is a toy and can't be lethal. A modern one has to hit just the right spot to be lethal on something the size of a human, as a rule, but it sure can be deadly if it does. Glad you made it.
Shoot - I was really liking this theory, but...

The projectiles were all perfectly spherical (confirmed by multiple x-ray angles). I suppose this means that they couldn't have nested together in the manner you suggest. It also suggests that there was no ammo deformation during firing or impact.

Otherwise, your theory jibes with the relatively quiet sound and "low" damage.

Thanks alot.
 
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