1. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Miscellaneous combat questions

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Flashfire07, May 19, 2011.

    Earlier I posted a thread asking about the damage of a circular saw in melee. While re-writing the scene and thinking about further combat in my book I cam across a number of questions which need answers, instead of cluttering the forum with a number of threads devoted to each question I decided to put them all here. All characters are normal humans and I'm aiming for a relatively realistic tone in my story.

    1. If a character Covers his face with his arms will a blast of buckshot be stopped or will it punch through his arm and still hit his face?

    2. If a character uses his arm to parry a knife will the blade scrape along the bone and cause a large slash wound or will it simply leave a small gouge?

    3. Is it likely a character pumped up on PCP and other substances will continue fighting for a time after a headshot from a low calibre gunshot (the gunshot leaves a hole in his head)?

    4. If a knife blade is not attached properly and comes off during a fight is it possible for it to become lodged in the opponent?

    5. Is it possible for a human to punch through another's ribcage and lacerate his hand in the process?

    6. If a loaded double barrelled shotgun is us used to bash an opponent could the gun fire upon impact?

    7. Would being shot in the chest with an arrow take an opponent out of the fight?

    8. Is it possible for an opponent to be pinned to a piece of relatively soft terrain by an arrow through the leg?

    9. Could a human continue to fight after being shot in the stomach?
     
  2. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    All right. I'll have a go:

    1. I guess it depends on distance, the exact type of buckshot used, and the thickness of his arm, but my guess is that it will hit his face and he is going to die.

    2. It depends on the knife, who is using it, and so on. A teenage girl without any experience using knives, equipped with something blunt from her kitchen drawer, is not going to leave more than a scratch on any arm. An extremely sharp knife used by a pro might slice the arm right off, and will definitely get as far as the bone.

    3. Not very likely. On the other hand, it depends on where the shot went. If it did no major damage, it's quite possible.

    4. I can't really imagine any knife like that. But ok, let's say you bought something for $0.25 Made in China. I don't think it would become lodged in the opponent, it would just fall off on contact.

    5. Never tried it. Probably possible, but there should be extremely few people capable of doing it. Like one in a billion or something.

    6. Extremely doubtful, in my opinion, but I am not a shotgun expert.

    7. If it hits the heart, yes. If it hits somebody who is pretty weak anyway, yes. If it just pierces the chest without damaging anything important, he may keep fighting for a little while.

    8. If the terrain is soft, why would be be pinned to it? He could just pull the arrow out.

    9. Depends on what he's shot with. Not if he has a huge gaping hole. He'll bleed to death too quickly.
     
  3. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    1. If a character Covers his face with his arms will a blast of buckshot be stopped or will it punch through his arm and still hit his face?
    --If by "buckshot" you mean 00 buckshot, or even #4 buckshot, it's going to go through his arms and his head.

    2. If a character uses his arm to parry a knife will the blade scrape along the bone and cause a large slash wound or will it simply leave a small gouge?
    --Depends on how sharp the knife is and if the person using it knows what they are doing. Sharp knives are certainly capable of cutting to the bone, but unless it's thin it may have trouble with a filleting action such as you describe.

    3. Is it likely a character pumped up on PCP and other substances will continue fighting for a time after a headshot from a low calibre gunshot (the gunshot leaves a hole in his head)?
    --Possibly. There are people who have been shot in the head, even when not on drugs, and have been relatively unharmed. A shot that passes between the two lobes of the brain or skims the brain could allow someone to keep fighting until the swelling sets in, but a shot through both lobes or lower in the brain will end the fight. I will note that .22 caliber weapons are often used for assassinations because of their tendency to bounce inside people's skulls, essentially shredding the brain.

    4. If a knife blade is not attached properly and comes off during a fight is it possible for it to become lodged in the opponent?
    --Yes, but that isn't very likely unless it gets stuck in a rib.

    5. Is it possible for a human to punch through another's ribcage and lacerate his hand in the process?
    --No. The human body is very flexible and even if someone breaks another person's ribs they tend to break inward and the skin will just stretch and be supported by the muscles and organs behind the ribs.

    6. If a loaded double barrelled shotgun is us used to bash an opponent could the gun fire upon impact?
    --If it is defective, damaged or the person doing the bashing has a finger in the trigger, yes. If it is in good working condition and nothing touches the trigger, no.

    7. Would being shot in the chest with an arrow take an opponent out of the fight?
    --An arrow fired from a crossbow or compound bow is going to pass completely through a human body, leaving an open, bleeding wound all the way through. If you hit them in the heart they will bleed out very quickly, but otherwise they may take a while to go down. If you hit the sternum the arrow will probably get stuck. In short, yes, but probably not right away.

    8. Is it possible for an opponent to be pinned to a piece of relatively soft terrain by an arrow through the leg?
    --No. It wouldn't feel pleasant but they could pull the arrow free of soft terrain with it still through their leg.

    9. Could a human continue to fight after being shot in the stomach?
    --Yes.
     
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  4. HBAdams
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    HBAdams Member

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    I can only imagine the story that involves all of these situations... sounds great, although gory! I'm no expert at these kinds of things, but here's what seems "natural" to me:

    1. I'd believe it would be stopped by his arms... as long as he's not being shot at point-blank. Although I doubt he'd be able to raise his arms to protect himself if this were the case. Also, the spray of bullets probably wouldn't just conveniently hit ONLY his arms... what about above/below where he covered? His neck/shoulders, or the top of his head (if it were exposed).

    2. Depends on the force behind the knife. If he's being attacked by a little girl, probably a decent gouge. If it's The Terminator, he'd probably lose the whole arm. Scale the damage accordingly to whomever is wielding it!

    3. I've seen stories on the news of people who have been nail-gunned in the head, pick-axed through the eye socket, shot, etc, and have survived with damage not surmounting to their death. If I'm correct, a low-caliber gunshot would have less of a chance to enter the skull and ricochet off of the inside of the skull and rip the brain to pieces. A straight bullet hole might not be fatal, as long as it doesn't hit the spinal cord. That's bad news bears.

    4. Depends on the type of knife and the location of the stab entrance. If it's jagged and gets caught between ribs, then I can see that happening. If it's a butcher knife in a leg, it probably would come out smoothly. I can't see a weapon of quality snapping, either.

    5. I doubt this is possible. You can break someone's ribs by giving them CPR, but the chances of your fist going through layers of muscle (probably tensed during the fight, no less.) AND bone are highly unlikely, I'd think. even with something like brass knuckles on, a human body isn't remotely the same as drywall. I don't think a normal human being could put the force behind a punch to cause that kind of puncturing damage.

    6. I would say no. I don't know much about guns, but I'm assuming that the trigger would have to be pulled to get a gun to fire... guns built in modern times tend to be safer than that, I'd hope!

    7. This is tough... depends how much willpower the person who got impaled has. It also depends what organ gets impaled, if one is hit at all. If it's just a flesh wound, then they can probably keep going. As long as the head isn't removed, the bleeding won't be too terrible. If it's the heart that is punctured, he's probably sh*t outta luck. If it's a lung that was punctured, you'd have to take into account how hard it would be to take more than a very shallow breath. Any movement would hurt like hell in any case.

    8. Maybe? If the wound was painful enough, the shaft of the arrow in his flesh could be painful enough to make him not want to move at all... on the other case, if his life was in serious danger (which I assume, he's getting shot at!) he might have the willpower to pull it out for his own self-defense!

    9. Again, it depends what the shot penetrates. I hear stomach wounds are the most painful, so it depends what kind of fighting you mean. Raising a gun to shoot it might be plausible, but having a full-fledged sword fight or anything involving using stomach muscles (which is just about everything...) would probably be out of the question. Even drawing back a bow string requires using stomach muscles.
     
  5. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    You've gotten some fairly good answers here and pretty much all of your questions are dependent upon several variables, so in other words... pretty subjective.

    The one thing I would like to address is #7. I have a Hoyt Compound Bow. I use Innerloc Falcon Broadhead's and I can tell you that while that arrow will pass straight through a deer, if you have any kind of aim at all he's also dropping right where he stands. Now if it does that to a deer I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that a human isn't going to fare much better. They do serious damage. Just trust me on that, kay? You're not gonna wanna keep fighting. If you're not dead you're gonna wish like hell that you were.
     
  6. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just adding to what everyone else has said.

    1. If a character Covers his face with his arms will a blast of buckshot be stopped or will it punch through his arm and still hit his face?

    Buckshot will tear through his arms into his face. Rock salt shells or rubber buckshot (both nonlethal rounds) might break the skin on his arms and cause minor injury, but they mostly likely won't kill him.

    2. If a character uses his arm to parry a knife will the blade scrape along the bone and cause a large slash wound or will it simply leave a small gouge?

    As already mentioned, it depends on the skill of the knife user and sharpness of the blade. It also depends on the type of knife used. Are you talking about a pocket knife, combat knife, or kitchen knife?

    3. Is it likely a character pumped up on PCP and other substances will continue fighting for a time after a headshot from a low calibre gunshot (the gunshot leaves a hole in his head)?

    If the gunshot doesn't directly damage his brain, he could keep going for a while. But if the shot destroys a part of his brain responsible for movement, it is a different story. Just think of a puppet with the string to an arm cut. No amount of manipulation is going to give the puppet master control of the arm again.

    4. If a knife blade is not attached properly and comes off during a fight is it possible for it to become lodged in the opponent?

    Again, this depends on the type of knife used. Age would also come into play. The blade breaking off might be more feasible considering how often things are inspected now.

    5. Is it possible for a human to punch through another's ribcage and lacerate his hand in the process?

    For this to even happen, not only would you have to break the person's ribs, you would also have to break through their skin and clothing. So no. Even if you could punch a person that hard, they would die shortly from the internal injuries sustained of such a punch.

    The average person's bones are said to be strong as concrete. People that exercise regularly have even stronger bones.

    The skin on your knuckles will naturally take damage over time in a fist fight due to friction, stretching, and hitting things like someone's skull.

    6. If a loaded double barrelled shotgun is used to bash an opponent could the gun fire upon impact?

    That would not be a wise thing to do for a large number of reasons, the simplest being that the kick of the blast could cause the weilder to lose his grip on the gun.

    If you want to hit someone with the shotgun, you use the stock of the gun.

    7. Would being shot in the chest with an arrow take an opponent out of the fight?

    Depends on the type of arrowhead used and where the arrow hits. Hit a person in the lung or heart, and they might be out of the fight. Anywhere else, they could snap off the arrow and keep fighting.

    8. Is it possible for an opponent to be pinned to a piece of relatively soft terrain by an arrow through the leg?

    Are you talking about muddy ground or a bed mattress? Is anything keeping the person from snapping off the arrow and pulling his leg off it?

    9. Could a human continue to fight after being shot in the stomach?

    Depends on how big of a hole the gun puts in him. If it's a shotgun, he's probably out for the count. A 9mm could be debatable. A derringer, he might not even notice the wound until after the fight is over.
     
  7. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Ok due to the fact most of my questions are rather subjective I figured it'd be best to clarify exactly what I'm asking.

    1. If a character Covers his face with his arms will a blast of buckshot be stopped or will it punch through his arm and still hit his face?

    In this instance a character is shot at with 00 buck from across a classroom, he wraps his arms around his had to avoid taking the shot to the face, I'm asking if the shot would penetrate the bone.

    2. If a character uses his arm to parry a knife will the blade scrape along the bone and cause a large slash wound or will it simply leave a small gouge?

    A character block a slash from a relatively sharp steak knife, I was wondering if the blade would scrape along the bone of his forearm or just hack off a wedge.

    3. Is it likely a character pumped up on PCP and other substances will continue fighting for a time after a headshot from a low calibre gunshot (the gunshot leaves a hole in his head)?

    A particularly desperate individual pumps himself up with a number of drugs to enhance his combat ability and numb the pain for his injuries. He gets shot in the head with a .32 revolver and my scene has his continue to fight for a short time before dropping dead.

    4. If a knife blade is not attached properly and comes off during a fight is it possible for it to become lodged in the opponent?

    An attacker slashes at his target with a cheap dagger, the blade comes loose and when he stabs his target the blade is left behind.

    5. Is it possible for a human to punch through another's ribcage and lacerate his hand in the process?

    I'm aware tat actually punching through the ribcage and muscle is impossible, what I mean to ask is whether it's possible for a rib to puncture the skin and cut the attacker if the ribs are hit hard enough to break them.

    6. If a loaded double barrelled shotgun is used to bash an opponent could the gun fire upon impact?

    A character hits his enemy with the butt of a double barrelled shotgun which has had the barrels swan off for ease of portability, the gun was cocked when used as a melee weapon, my question is if the impact would cause the gun to fire by setting off the hammers.

    7. Would being shot in the chest with an arrow take an opponent out of the fight?

    An individual is shot with a modern compound bow and hit in the chest, just between two ribs, the arrow has a standard hunting arrowhead. My question is if this would prevent him from fighting through shock/pain/damage/sheer survival instinct or if he'd just continue fighting. The question really should have been how many arrows does it take to incapacitate a human.

    8. Is it possible for an opponent to be pinned to a piece of relatively soft terrain by an arrow through the leg?

    The target is shot through the thigh at short range with a hunting arrow, it goes through his leg and into a table behind him, my question is if the arrow would be lodged in the table and if it does if he'd be pinned with it.

    9. Could a human continue to fight after being shot in the stomach?

    A character shoots an enemy in the stomach with a 9mm pistol and the victim continues to try to hack his limbs off, necessitating a few more shots to take him out of the fight completely.
     
  8. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    You've gotten a lot of good answers already, so rather than rehash and repeat the above, I'll just add a few after thoughts of my own.

    There are different kinds of knives.

    Blades that taper to a needle point are designed to make puncture wounds, piercing the flesh and organs of the target. As the thin point drives deeper, the taper of the blade grows wider as it gets closer to the hilt, thus forcing the tissue apart and widening the wound. Any professional knife fighter will tell you to twist the blade while its embedded, so the wound won't close and your opponent will bleed out faster, thus ending the fight. Google image search the British Commando Knife [sometimes called the British Commando Dagger] for an example of this type of knife.

    Combat knives have thicker blades that are usually longer, curved and only have a cutting edge on one side. These types of knives are designed primarily for slashing and cutting. Unlike the puncture dagger above, the combat knife can (if held firmly with a locked wrist and hard pressure) cut through a leather jacket at the elbow joint and very likely slice through the elbow joint...maybe even taking the arm off from the elbow down. Although not as efficient as the tapered bladed daggers mentioned above, combat knives can be used for stabbing as well, but require a bit more effort to punch the blade in. Google image search Bowie Knife or KaBar Knife for examples of this type of knife.

    So, to answer you question, it depends on the type of knife, the skill with which it is used and the training of the defender to deal with it, but both of your suggestions could result.

    If the gunshot doesn't penetrate the brain or brain stem running down the spine, then yes. I've actually seen domestic violence calls when I was in law enforcement where a man had a .25 ACP (one of the smallest hand gun calibers) embedded in his forehead. It was stuck in the bone, but it didn't penetrate.

    Larger caliber weapons, such as a 9mm or .45ACP, if the slug shatters a jawbone, rips off part of the ear or grazes the skull, would still allow a drugged up freak to keep fighting. In the event of a skull graze with a larger caliber bullet, you have the potential for a concussion. A drugged up attacker will be far less effective if he can't focus his thoughts and the room appears to be spinning (side effects of having a concussion), but if he can get a grip on you and pull you to him, he's just as dangerous as he ever was.

    If a larger caliber weapon penetrates the skull and brain, you'll need a spatula to scrap what's left of his brains off the wall behind him as he hits the floor like a sack of potatoes.

    The key here is that larger caliber projectiles ripping a wound channel through the brain turn him off like a light switch. Those same slugs ripping wound channels through his torso would take minutes for him to bleed to death or die from organ failure (unless the slug severed his spinal cord, which would instantly paralyze him from the severed point on down...but a man that can't use his legs can still be dangerous if you are within arm's reach of him).

    Arrows do not have the impact shock that firearm bullets do. They just punch a small hole through you without knocking the living crap out of you at the same time.

    An arrow through the chest must hit something important to take you out (heart, lungs, spinal cord, etc.), otherwise you will die from bleeding to death, which takes time. The arrow itself may even "plug" the wound, so that serious bleeding does happen until it is removed.

    Using the razor blade hunting arrowheads will ensure a deeper penetration and greater chance of bleeding wounds.

    Even if the arrow doesn't kill you straight out, I seriously doubt I'd be able to chase after anyone with a shaft through one of my lungs. I'd most likely fall to the ground and desperately look for a medic to properly treat me when it is removed. Even though you can live with only one lung, you're not very functional with a shaft through the other one. If your story is a medieval one, they may seek clergy, who often tended to the wounded after a battle.

    As a side note, about 30 seconds to maybe a minute after being pierced by an arrow, the initial shock wears off and the screaming begins...especially if you've moved after being struck and aggravated the wound.

    You can only be "pinned" to something that is hard, heavy and very difficult, if not impossible, to move (such as a house, tree, boulder, automobile, etc.).
     
  9. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    I think that, despite your clarifications, you will already find that your questions have been answered in previous posts, but I will go through and point them out for you.

     

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