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Raquel
03-09-2011, 08:44 PM
Okay, I don't know that much about guns and I have a scene in my book that uses them. I need something that is powerful enough to shoot a car tire and have it flattened, but ricochet off the car frame itself. The gun also needs to have the ability for someone to shoot it with enough precision that it passes through someone's hair without actually hitting them, and yes the marksmen meant to do it that way. Any ideas? Do i need more than one gun to fit all these things, or is there a single one that would work?

Chase
03-09-2011, 09:02 PM
Okay, I don't know that much about guns and I have a scene in my book that uses them.

You've come to the right place. Lots of folks here don't know much about guns, either, but will respond anyway.


I need something that is powerful enough to shoot a car tire and have it flattened, but ricochet off the car frame itself. The gun also needs to have the ability for someone to shoot it with enough precision that it passes through someone's hair without actually hitting them, and yes the marksmen meant to do it that way. Any ideas? Do i need more than one gun to fit all these things, or is there a single one that would work?

Just about any gun will fit your needs. However, a .22 rifle with a telescope will fill the bill.

Its forty-grain lead bullet may be placed with nail-driving accuracy, even to part someone's hair. It will flatten well on a metal chassis part near the tire and still we able to penetrate the tire.

Marksmen? You want more than one marksman?

Williebee
03-09-2011, 09:04 PM
There is the question of distance -- as in, from how far away are these shots being taken? That plays into type of weapon, caliber, etc.

Drachen Jager
03-09-2011, 09:45 PM
Personally I'm a little shaky on a .22 LR penetrating a car tire. From the side, sure, but a new steel belted tire, on the treads, especially if it's spinning. I am not so sure.

When you say "frame" are you talking about superstructure 1/16" thick steel or so, or are you talking about the structural steel which is 1/4" thick or so.

Any calibre will part a person's hair with a good marksman at under ten metres. What range should we be looking at?

Raquel
03-09-2011, 10:04 PM
Well, the MC drives up in the car and the guy starts shooting out the cabin window, so around 50 feet or so. There's only one guy shooting, and he doesn't hit any people on purpose.

As for the frame, as long as the bullet doesn't go completely through the door and hit anyone I don't care if it embeds into the car. By the end of the scene the car's worthless anyway.

Drachen Jager
03-09-2011, 10:40 PM
I don't know about that. I have never seen a comparison between car tires and car doors, but I suspect the door would take less to penetrate than the tire (except perhaps from the side of the tire). Car doors are only a very thin sheet of metal with plastic on the inside normally, even a .22 LR would penetrate most of the time.

As for shooting at 50 feet. It's more important the type of weapon rather than the calibre. To accomplish that shot confidently your shooter would need a rifle with a good scope. Preferably zeroed at that range (zero is the range at which the bullet strikes exactly where the crosshair rests)

Chase
03-09-2011, 11:03 PM
Fifty feet is perfect .22 rimfire range. Most smallbore competition is at fifty feet, so a telescope may not even be necessary for the accuracy you need.

Unless you write in some special-made tire to withstand punctures, you may have full confidence in a standard .22 LR penetrating and deflating a car tire, even by ricochet. I've seen it done many times on ranges with old car bodies to be shot up.

You may have to choose the bullet path carefully in your narrative, such as into seat cushions, as most smallbore fire will go through side doors easily. However, if you're talking about one shot passing through hair, glancing off the chassis, and into the tire, you most likely aren't dealing with bullets passing through car doors.

Hope this helps your story.

Raquel
03-09-2011, 11:24 PM
Thanks so much, Chase. As this guy can obviously shoot well and takes several shots at MC i can certainly use this.

Hallen
03-10-2011, 12:53 AM
Flattening a tire with a round out of just about any weapon is going to be easy -- it just might take some time. Explosive decompression isn't going to happen unless the tire is really torn up. You will get a nice leak though and the tire would deflate over time.

A car frame is the structural part of the car. It would take a powerful weapon to penetrate the frame components. The skin of the car, the thin sheet metal that constitutes most of the outside surface of a car is easy to penetrate. Unless a low power round hit some of the actual frame when passing through a door, it would easily penetrate all the way into a car. Ricochets are always difficult to predict because angle plays a huge role in how much energy is retained and how much is lost.

Shooting well is not magic. It takes tons of practice and training to shoot accurately with consistency. There are variances in the trajectory of every round fired unless they are special made rounds. So, how much hair are we talking about here? Are we talking beehive or are we talking a flattop? Beehive is easy and reasonable. Flattop would be outlandish.

movieman
03-10-2011, 01:46 AM
Car doors are only a very thin sheet of metal with plastic on the inside normally, even a .22 LR would penetrate most of the time.

No, there can be a ton of other stuff inside a car door. I've seen a video of a 70s American car door shot with various different guns and no pistol round could reliably penetrate it; I'm not sure whether a modern car door with side impact bars, airbags and the like packed in there would do better or worse.

Hallen
03-10-2011, 04:06 AM
No, there can be a ton of other stuff inside a car door. I've seen a video of a 70s American car door shot with various different guns and no pistol round could reliably penetrate it; I'm not sure whether a modern car door with side impact bars, airbags and the like packed in there would do better or worse.

"Side impact" is generally referring to the airbags. Most of your side impact protection still comes from the car's frame, not the door itself. There is metal in the door itself, but it's mostly there to stiffen the door. Old cars from the 70's still used the actual exterior parts to provide structural integrity to the car, but newer cars don't do that. So yes, there is enough metal in the door to stop a bullet depending on where it hit, but it certainly isn't 100% of the area. The picture below is from a modern BMW. There is a cross bar, but again, it's to stiffen the door. It would probably stop a .22 but I doubt it would stop a 9mm at close range. Maybe...
It would be interesting if the bullet hit the air bag inflation canister. :)

http://www.impee.co.uk/windowregulator_repair/window%20regulator%2011.jpg

Raquel
03-10-2011, 04:29 AM
This is wonderful information. Thanks.

GregS
03-10-2011, 04:54 AM
Most car doors are easily penetrated by most ammo. There are, of course, exceptions on both side of that. If you're fixed on it not penetrating doors, we can come up with a scenario...but if I didn't want to hit people inside a car, I would never shoot at the door. Too high a risk it goes through.

Beneath the car, though, there's a ton of stuff that's bullet resistant. Car frames themselves are pretty tough, as are engine blocks. Older hoods, too, are usually tougher than doors and provide a nice angle for deflection.

End of the day, for the scenario you originally described-- assuming nothing unusual--you could shoot through a tire or wheel into the base of the frame (same place you put a jack for flats), and anything short of a high-powered rifle would likely not penetrate and could ricochet. Medium pistol calibers (i.e. 9mm) could also be shot from either a pistol or a rifle and produce that effect--so that gives you good options story-wise.