Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Of the Party

You probably should have dialed 911 a few minutes ago, but we'll get to that later.

As per the standard, a traditional 'double-ought' buckshot shell contains eight lead pellets, although steel is a relatively common substitute. Regardless of the pellets' composition, said munitions are designed to spread out when fired from an appropriate device, thereby increasing the likelihood of a target being struck and, ideally, disabled if not killed outright. Buckshot pellets, unlike birdshot, cannot be poured into the shell due to their comparatively large size; that being of a magnitude sufficient for taking down bigger game, be it deer, moose, or man. Dimensions of ammunition and target notwithstanding, buckshot has an effective range of roughly thirty to fifty yards and one need not be an award-winning physicist to ascertain the reason for such limitations. Beyond fifty yards or so, the pellets are spread too thinly to cause much damage, though to say they lack any stopping power whatsoever would be an egregious error, albeit a less-than-catastrophic one.

Someone's been shot, yes, and you're right, precious time has been lost. Nine. One. One. It's that easy.

As stated earlier, distance plays a critical role in determining the amount of damaged sustained by those on the business end of a shotgun blast. At thirty yards, for instance, a round fired from a break-action, double-barreled twelve-gauge shotgun manages to pelt its intended victim with five of the eight pellets available, namely in the throat, face, and upper chest, boring into flesh and bone alike. A second round from the very same gun discharged at point-blank range, however, effectively obliterates whatever lies in its path - a human foot, for example. Both injuries are, theoretical considerations aside, grievous indeed yet the former is, statistically speaking, far less likely to result in death whereas the latter, barring immediate treatment, will invariably prove fatal.

You're a mess! Just push the buttons. You know, if you hadn't jumped the gun, as it were, and shot me at such a distance, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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