Readers Write: Bullet vs. bullet

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We are again presented with stories of people being killed by an AR15 rifle, and are faced with questions about the weapons used. Let’s briefly consider those weapons.

Physicians regularly remove bullets from people who have been shot and repair the area around the wound. There is rarely any damage inflicted more than a half inch from where the bullet traveled.

These are bullets fired from a hand gun or a normal rifle, and those bullets typically travel around 500 mph when fired. So, unless the bullet damages a critical component of the body, most victims will survive.

Bullets fired from an AR15 are a very different animal. Where most bullets travel that 500 mph, the bullets fired from these semi-automatics travel more than four times as fast. They travel at more than 2,800 mph. While that may help with accuracy, it also does something dramatically different.

Where the area around a wound from a regular bullet is often not severely damaged, the very speed of the faster bullet creates a field of severe distortion that forms an area of destruction about 6 inches in diameter for the entire path the bullet takes. If the bullet directly hits a leg bone, 3 inches of that bone will be turned to dust, and an inch on either side is killed.

This means that almost any tissue within that 6-inch-wide path is virtually destroyed. Unless fired from more than a mile away, such bullets are never found inside the person hit. They pass clear through the body and typically exit leaving an opening the size of a large apple. Think about it. Do we really need AR15s?

Larry Kueneman

Pine Cove

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  1. A “normal” rifle. Can you please cite the caliber of a “normal” rifle?
    Are we taking powder type and load in to account?
    How about projectile material?
    The answer is no, of course.
    Did you know that the projectile passing through is better than it not?
    As a medical professional and hunter I can say, from both perspectives, that you are incorrect.
    Did you know that low velocity bullets have a tendency to fragment and/or bounce/curve within the body causing more damage than if it just passed through?
    No. Or else you wouldn’t have made a claim that higher velocity is more dangerous.
    Did you know that “normal” is not a bullet caliber?
    Possibly, but why learn that?
    Did you know that the AR15 shares calibers with other rifle types?
    Probably not.
    Why write if you don’t know either subject you are writing about?

  2. Not-So-Common Sense March 8, 2018, 3:32 pm

    “…being killed by an AR15 rifle…” do you mean they were bludgeoned to death with a rifle of this design, or were they simply “…SHOT…”

  3. Not-So-Common Sense March 8, 2018, 3:37 pm

    speed helps with accuracy? what is this nonsense.
    Does a fast Ferrari make for a better driver than a slow Jeep?

    You are making up stuff without any journalism or research.
    Really, interview a gunsmith, a ballistics professional, a seasoned guy at the range.

    This article appears to be written by an aging hippie that may or may not have a medical marijuana card.

    You are on drugs, but if you are sober then you are terrible lazy journalist.

    • The “Readers Write” section is for community members to voice their opinions. These are not “articles” written by journalists, but rather letters to the editor. As always, the views of our columnists and letter writers are not necessarily the views of the Town Crier editors. The Town Crier welcomes views from all writers, including those in letters to the editor.

  4. Larry Kueneman’s writing reminds me of a guy that has a collection of Hugh Hefner’s magazines in the garage, thus feels qualified to give Obstetrics and Gynecology medical advice.

    My recommendation to Larry and others is to find a trusted source such as CRPA: California Rifle & Pistol Association, or your local Sheriff or Police Union Rep, and request a conversation with a certified instructor, and get the real information.

    I think Larry means well, but there is no substitute for information from a trusted experienced source, instead of this Cliff Clavin barstool jibberish.

    PS: It’s never MPH, it’s always measured by feet per second. Because these are not Military-style jet figher planes.

  5. While the Reader “opinion” is not researched and violates laws of physics, the real question being asked “Why is the AR-15 platform linked with the mass murder shooting” and if it’s the problem, then get rid of it.

    I strongly recommend reader to search for articles about civilian lives being saved by other civilians using the AR15 rifle. Google “good guy with AR15”
    Many stories of an AR15 owner saving his neighbor with an AR15, a little boy (cop’s son) saving his teenage sister from home invasion (and worse intent) by 2 gang members. other stories of a granny that fends off home invasion by 4 hoodie men… also with AR15.

    So why the AR15 is popular. It’s easy to use. It doesn’t knock down a lightweight person backwards and break your teeth like a shotgun, it’s reliable like a Toyota and rarely jams. It’s America’s favorite rifle, just like the Klashnikov AK-47 is the darling of the Russians.

    Some people use the AR15 for legally hunting destructive wild pigs and boars.

    Some use it for self -defense.

    Some like to accessorize their rifle, with gadgets as a hobby.

    Some paint it pink for their girlfriend.

    The .223 caliber bullet is a hair thickness away from the .22 caliber bullet that the boy scouts shoot.

    The AR15 platform is popular in video games and air-soft paintball.

    The AR-15 is not the rapid-fire M16 from Vietnam.

    AR15 is one shot per one trigger pull.

  6. Yes, every gun is dangerous designed to kill. If every gun was taken away mass killings wouldn’t stop. Knives, vehicles, and more important, ways we haven’t thought about would prevail. The path here is early identification and mental health screening. Every school teacher knows the children who have a propensity toward violence. Every day teachers treat campus assaults as a civil matter. Treat them as misdemeanors or felonies for what they really are and not as recess detentions, suspensions, or expulsions and provide proper intervention services. It makes me sick to watch this chirade.

  7. Transcript from Dilbert cartoon dated: Friday October 14, 2011
    Miss Information says: Please stop researching every statement I make.
    Dilbert: I can’t. As an engineer, it is my solemn duty to stamp out ignorance.

    Larry Kueneman writes: “They travel at more than 2,800 mph”

    Does Larry Kueneman understand that this is 3.5 times the speed of sound? for reference that is the speed of a supersonic Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird jet fighter that looks like the X-Men plane. So according to the “new laws of physics of Larry Kueneman” these magical bullets will break and exceed the sound barrier THREE TIMES… every time a single AR-15 bullet is fired.

    Let’s hope North Korean doesn’t discover the AR-15, because according to Larry Kueneman’s modified laws of physics, a boy scout rifle bullet fired from Asia at over THREE TIMES the speed of sound could easily reach America soil.

    Let’s all pray that North Korea doesn’t stumble on the scientific revelations of Larry Kueneman, as published by the good people of the Town Crier.

    As I support the FIRST AMENDMENT, I do not call on the Town Crier to take down a page. But I do stand by my Dilbert cartoon:

  8. Jennifer Nelson March 15, 2018, 1:04 am

    For analogy and contrast:
    Would you take fornication technique advice from a 60 year old virgin?
    (answer that question quietly in your head)

    Then why would you pay attention and take advice from Larry Kueneman about your choice for self-defense tools from a person with zero direct experience in that category.

    Recycling paragraphs opinions written by strangers on Internet forums is the quality of gossip tabloids.

    Best of luck,



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