Clothing catching fire when some is shot -- real or fiction?

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Replies

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,726 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    One year, when I have some time, I may shoot some shirts at point blank range just for kicks.

    Regular powder loads I reckon wouldn't do it. Flame thrower loads such as a 357 with a heaping helping of H110 powder, while they WILL throw out a two foot fireball, it's short lived.

    I dunno. Might be a fun 'speriment.

    I was already planning this in my head as well. Need to get the BP pistol kit finished so I can add that to the mix
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    There is a famous Old West tale set in Lincoln, New Mexico Territory. Billy the Kid and Tom O. Folliard were standing with a group of thugs including James J. Dolan and Jesse Evans. They were approached by the ailing Huston Chapman, the 37 year old attorney for Susan McSween who was trying to work out a way to sue the Army for the shooting death of her husband, Alex A. McSween. The men stopped Chapman who told them to get out of his way. He said he was not afraid of men such as they. One of the men, probably Evans pulled his pistol and shot the attorney in the belly. The man dropped dead. As the story goes his shirt caught fire. He lay in the street smoldering for some time. Some people have written that Evans, now very drunk visited the body and poured some whisky on it and re-set it ablaze. Much of the man's clothing was burned away the following morning when they finely recovered the body.
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    As I recall, the Lone Ranger and maybe Hoppy too could lite a fire by shooting their pistols into a pile of twigs. It does not work. The muzzle blast blows the yet un-lite fire all over the place. Mark Twain, who pre-dated Hoppy by some time, wrote about trying the pistol lighting fire trick in his book "Roughing It". It too did not work and the shot not only dispersed the makings of the fire, but also scared his horse away. So there he was, sitting in the middle of the desert in a snow storm. He figured it was "curtains" so he lay back and drifted off to sleep. The following morning he awoke, covered with snow. The house he was trying to get to was a few rods away, and his horse was over there munching on some hay. It must have happened because, as Twain was wont to say, He never told a lie.....most of the time.
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    While modern powders fired at close range will probably do not set a shirt on fire, and modern fabrics are likely not to burn, a gunshot at close range does tattoo the victim as one of the experts testified in the shooting death of Travon Martin.

    I suppose one could take a BP pistol, load it with powder, no need to insert a bullet, place the muzzle within an inch or so from a cotton shirt and fire it off to see if the flash sets the fabric on fire. If one shoots one of those BP pistols at night the muzzle flash is pretty astounding. I would say it is at least three feet long and bright! It is dazzling. Could the flash ignite a cotton or linen shirt? Could be.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    One year, when I have some time, I may shoot some shirts at point blank range just for kicks.

    Regular powder loads I reckon wouldn't do it. Flame thrower loads such as a 357 with a heaping helping of H110 powder, while they WILL throw out a two foot fireball, it's short lived.

    I dunno. Might be a fun 'speriment.

    I'm game to try it with this one as a 'speriment.

    460blast-1.jpg
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    I've heard on the internet it is safe for "you" to try Jay
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,611 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    I'm game to try it with this one as a 'speriment.

    460blast-1.jpg

    You ain't got a hair on your butt unless you put that sucker up against your tummy and pull the trigger.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    You remember the little dust up we had here about entry wounds that have organs, fat/tissue hanging out? It happens....

    Close/contact shots most always result in the firearm/shooter being showered with blood droplets, bone chips and bits of tissue.

    Thanks, Jay, I'm pretty sure this does occur. What I was wondering is whether a person doing the shooting or a bystander might see this little geyser of "dust" erupting from the wound. I suppose it's possible, circumstances depending.

    Regarding whether Wyatt was present at the shirt-fire incident is peripheral. I was just saying that the only time I've ever seen a shirt fire shoot was in the film Wyatt Earp and that in the movie, Costner patted out the flickering cloth (the fire, even in the movie, you understand, wasn't large, just a little flareup). Whether Earp himself was even there, oh, well. It's just that this was portrayed in the movie and I'd never seen this in any movie or TV otherwise.

    Others, I'm sure that you could set up some sort of trick shot load and situation that would set the target on fire. I'm asking whether this could occur under "normal" circumstances (normal for a real life gunfight) with 1920s-1930s handguns and ammo.

    The consensus seems "Probably not" so either it's at tall tale from my Dad or there was some sort of bastardized "home brew" cheap reload powder being used, a situation that could certainly be genuine. It's entirely possible that deepwoods gangstas (bootleggers, etc) might use old mixes containing black powder and such, and reload, rather than wasting hard-earned money on "store bought" ammo, "What was good 'nuf for grandpa is good 'nuf fer me" type of thing?

    It's a fun debate anyway, and I'd like to see whether fairly modern ammo can actually set cloth afire, even briefly. Blast debris and stippling of course, we all know occurs in point blank shots, but an actual flame? It would be fun to see.

    Next time I'm at the range and the guys aren't too busy, I'll ask around.

    Thanks again.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    You ain't got a hair on your butt unless you put that sucker up against your tummy and pull the trigger.

    Why? Only an idiot would do that :tooth:
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,611 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    It's a fun debate anyway, and I'd like to see whether fairly modern ammo can actually set cloth afire, even briefly. Blast debris and stippling of course, we all know occurs in point blank shots, but an actual flame? It would be fun to see.

    Next time I'm at the range and the guys aren't too busy, I'll ask around.

    Thanks again.

    I know an idiot who was unable to set his shirt on fire 12 times with a ported .40 S&W, a couple inches from his gut.

    That same Carney has toasted a few sets of BDUs with an M4 by laying the muzzle on them and firing. Blackens the fabric and blows a Hell of a hole in them. No fire, though.

    On a side note, I hear tell that both of the above actions hurt like Hell.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    I do wonder what a 500s&w or that 30 carbine pistol could do.
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,611 Senior Member
    I do wonder what a 500s&w or that 30 carbine pistol could do.

    The flame is too brief. Blacken, yes. Burn small fibers, probably. Ignite the garment..........higjly doubtful without some form of accelerant.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    Or an excessive buildup of lint.
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,611 Senior Member
    Or an excessive buildup of lint.

    Just goes to show the importance of cleaning out your belly button.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,726 Senior Member
    Or an excessive buildup of lint.


    Or excessive Pinto Bean consumption the day before
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    huh, no one commented on my Billy the Kid story.

    As a bit of an aside, Marshall White, who was shot by Curly Bill Brosus (sp?) was a relatively young man, I read he was 28 someone here said he was a bit older which is probably true. He was hit in the testicles. Talk about adding insult to injury! Doc, Goodman (I think that was his name.) tried to fix the marshall up, but I do not think he lived to the following day. As I recall there was no story of Whites clothing catching fire. There is a story about Chapman's shirt being set alite in Lincoln. Billy the Kid saw the shooting, and it was info about this event that he tried to trade to Governor Wallace to win a pardon, which Wallace promised, but it never came about.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    You ain't got a hair on your butt unless you put that sucker up against your tummy and pull the trigger.

    Body hair aside, I'm not sure I'd be cool with that. It's the hair on my tummy that would be my concern. I've seen pictures of damage caused by the blast out of the cylinder gap.

    I'll dress up a dummy and try it that way first. When you gonna be back in this neck of the woods???? :jester:

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTKHTXD6wMSTuwV2ZskXPEomVpnapTb-GbaBamzZedM0eqR8kQcYtEO33jG7w

    Edit - sorry to anybody who finds that pic too gruesome.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,050 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »

    Regarding whether Wyatt was present at the shirt-fire incident is peripheral. I was just saying that the only time I've ever seen a shirt fire shoot was in the film Wyatt Earp and that in the movie, Costner patted out the flickering cloth (the fire, even in the movie, you understand, wasn't large, just a little flareup). Whether Earp himself was even there, oh, well. It's just that this was portrayed in the movie and I'd never seen this in any movie or TV otherwise.

    Pardon the thread drift....Actually Sam, I was talking about the movie.. Costner (Earp) didn't pat out any flames in the movie...it was Tom Sizemore (Bat Masterson) that did the patting....In the movie, Earp (Costner) was in Fort Sumner when Ed Masterson (Bill Pullman) was shot and subsequently extinguished by his brother Bat (Sizemore)...Now, back to the pertinent subject...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    One of Dirty Dave Rudabaugh's claims to fame was that he was arrested by Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp and Pat Garrett, maybe the only desperado to experience such. Some say he was the only man who Billy Bonney was afraid of, but I think it was the other way round. Here is an unknown picture of Dirty Dave taken when he was riding with the Kid. This picture is oriented as he looks in the original tintype, so it is a mirror image. He was described as having a square jaw, and straight brown hair that turned up at the tips. Yep, this is he. The picture was saved by an acquaintance of his, and I found it.

    Newgroupingofcollection061.jpg
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    Jay wrote: »
    Body hair aside, I'm not sure I'd be cool with that. It's the hair on my tummy that would be my concern. I've seen pictures of damage caused by the blast out of the cylinder gap.

    I'll dress up a dummy and try it that way first. When you gonna be back in this neck of the woods???? :jester:

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTKHTXD6wMSTuwV2ZskXPEomVpnapTb-GbaBamzZedM0eqR8kQcYtEO33jG7w

    Edit - sorry to anybody who finds that pic too gruesome.

    Oh, I donno, made me huntry.
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,508 Senior Member
    Tracers will start range fires....But I am sure there were no tracers then...
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,611 Senior Member
    Tracers will start range fires....But I am sure there were no tracers then...

    So will NFDDs. But............I digress. :devil:
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Pardon the thread drift....Actually Sam, I was talking about the movie.. Costner (Earp) didn't pat out any flames in the movie...it was Tom Sizemore (Bat Masterson) that did the patting....In the movie, Earp (Costner) was in Fort Sumner when Ed Masterson (Bill Pullman) was shot and subsequently extinguished by his brother Bat (Sizemore)...Now, back to the pertinent subject...

    Thanks for the correction. Shows ya how much I pay attention to stuff.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,508 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    So will NFDDs. But............I digress. :devil:

    Yes they will....Smoke will too in Georgia in a pile of pine needles, in late August....I wanted to choke that kid....
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,611 Senior Member
    Does that mean it's time to shoot a sheep at muzzle distance? :applause:
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Yes they will....Smoke will too in Georgia in a pile of pine needles, in late August....I wanted to choke that kid....

    CS grenades will do that, too. When launched off the end of a 12 gauge with a launching shell, causing the CS canister to bounce down the road, into a pile of dry tumbleweeds. Or so I've heard......
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