RARA-AVIS: ejected cases

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 31 Dec 2002

In a message dated 12/31/02 4:01:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

<< Andrew Vachss wrote in Pulse magazine several years ago:
 "That's why the Emergency Rooms of big cities are full of sociopathic
 little trigger boys with unique facial damage -- from shell casings
 ejected into their eyes when they held their precious nines parallel to
 the ground, Hollywood style, instead of the way the pistols were
 designed. Movies didn't give them the desire to commit homicide . . .
 but they sure showed them 'how.'"
 While my brother believes that this guy was also imitating TV or movies,
 had no gang ties, he said that Vachss was wrong about the way shell
 casings eject. He said that every weapon he has fired (M-16s and 45s,
 as a Marine, but never a nine) ejects the casings straight sideways, not
 backwards or back and to the side (as it would have to for the casing to
 hit the shooter in the face while he held the pistol sideways). I've
 never shot a weapon, so I don't know who to believe. Is Vachss wrong?
 My brother? Are nines different? Can someone with hands on experience
 clear this up?

I had to laugh reading Vachss comments and think such hospital cases are possible. While automatics (or semi-automatics, which is what we are talking about) are generally designed to throw spent shells to the side, there will be differences between models and between individual guns. A slight variation in the mechanics will result in the gun holding the casing a bit longer which will throw it back as well as to the side.

But here is what I think is happening. Forget the long guns, as pistol firing is very different. I have fired many semi-automatic pistols and own several now including a Colt Model 1911 caliber 45 like the one I carried in the Army and like the one Mike Hammer favors. Only experience prepares you for the "kick" of a big caliber handgun. Hollywood doesn't do that as they are using wadcutters or low power loads. The muzzle tends to go up if the shooter is not well-braced and prepared. I have seen idiots grab a 45 and try to empty it on rapid fire and the last two or three rounds are damn near straight up.

So when one of the gang types sticks a magnum out there with a bent arm and the gun turned sideways, the second and third rounds could well be ejecting casings straight into his face from very close range.

Richard Moore

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