Sunday, April 28, 2013

How Florida can you GET?

This...this is the essence of Florida, folks.  At least, MY part of Florida, the idiot redneck part.

This Is Quite Possibly the Most Florida News Story Ever Written 

Not even The Onion could make up a more Florida story than the real-life misadventures of one William Daniel Lloyd, AKA Florida Man. 

The 31-year-old Gainesville resident, who has been in and out of mug shots for charges ranging from grand theft to drug possession to disorderly conduct, recently had a hankering for some dinner squirrel, so he tried to hunt one down with a BB gun. To improve his chances of taking the squirrel out cleanly, Lloyd decided to tape a bullet to the end of his Pumpmaster 760. 

Surprisingly, his MacGyver-esque troubleshooting backfired. Literally: Lloyd fired the BB gun, causing the BB to strike the cartridge's primer. The cartridge discharged and fragmented, striking Lloyd in the upper arm and lower leg. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Lloyd was subsequently charged with discharging a firearm in public and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. He later told police he found the cartridge while looking for scrap metal to sell. As for the squirrel, one commenter suggested he probably died. Laughing, that is. 

Let's make sure you understand what he did.  He has a pump air gun, that shoots BBs (every man needs a "Pumpmaster 760," I'd say!).  He "finds" a bullet (maybe, maybe not.  He's a convicted felon, like pretty much everyone in my extended Florida family, like Dutch Boy and Jackie Blue.  So he can't have a bullet, legally).   (More after the jump)

So, he gets an idea:  Duct tape the bullet to the end of the Pumpmaster so that when he fires the BB it will hit the back of the cartridge and the bullet will be propelled by the powder to hit the squirrel.  Kind of a two stage thing.  Phht-BANG.  Dinner time.

There are several problems, of course.  Since the bullet is sitting on TOP of the barrel of the Pumpmaster, there is nothing to guide it, no barrel to engage the bullet in the rifled spinning motion that gives the "rifle" its name.  The bullet is just sitting there, like a zit on teenager's nose on prom night.

Worse, there is nothing like the chamber of a gun action to contain the cartridge.  The cartridge is just thin metal; the only reason it can normally contain the explosion is that it is in a tightly fitting chamber with some kind of bolt/firing pin arrangement behind it.  It has to be completely surrounded by hard, thick metal to be able to project the bullet forward.

You see this if you put live shells in a fire (don't ask).  When the rounds cook off, it's the CARTRIDGES that go flying, not the bullets.

But Florida Man knew that (I'm sure he had tossed handfulls of rounds into a campfire; it IS pretty fun, if you are a suicidal redneck idiot).  So he had the Pumpmaster behind the shell, and taped it tightly.

Problem:  No chamber to hold the SIDES of the cartridge from blowing outwards, with considerable force.  And since the bullet has more mass than the cartridge, the sides of the cartridge will blow out BACKWARDS, toward the idiot.  The bullet hardly goes anywhere.  This means that, in terms of shrapnel, Florida Man had created a pretty dangerous weapon.  The shrapnel from the cartridge spread out pretty wide and fast, and had more killing power than the bullet by far.  Squirrel was safe, Florida Man was down.

With a nod to Webster and Main

UPDATE:  The brighter side of growing up in Florida...


Ironman said...

Ah. What DeLong has suddenly discovered is that the U.S. economy is a complex, occasionally chaotic system. Kind of like how stock prices behave, but at least there, we don't need to wait for 200 years worth of data to arrive at that conclusion.

Unknown said...

My felony conviction is expunged, I’ll have you know! I don’t even have to notify my neighbors no more. –J. Blue

Anonymous said...

Oh please unca Mikey, tell us that story ag'in of when you'uns put them bullits in that fire. Oh please unca mikey, oh puhleeeze!

Chris Lawrence said...

The only surprising part of this story is that it's not bylined "Lake Weir" or "Dunnellon."

Samuel Wilson said...

At least 10% more Florida than an idiot and his BB gun.

Anonymous said...

Or even this story.