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Re: [Shop-talk] Dangerous tool gloat

To: Nolan <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Dangerous tool gloat
From: "John Innis" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 07:39:34 -0500
A framing nail has more mass than a bullet from a .223 rifle.  The
velocity is the deciding factor.  The .223 round is doing about
2000fps when it hits you.  I have not chronographed a nail (yet) but I
am guessing it is less than 500fps when it leaves the nail gun.  It
would be interesting to get a mythbusters style experiment set up.
Use balistics gel and create an uber-nailgun that can get some decent
velocity on them.  Then compare the damage from a .223 FMJ to a
framing nail at similar velocity.

On Wed, Oct 1, 2008 at 4:57 AM, Nolan <> wrote:
> A nail from a nail gun can poke holes in you, but is unlikely to kill you,
> in my opinion.
> A nail has little mass, so it doesn't carry much inertia.  That means it's
> got weak power to penetrate when flung.  We've all seen this when we've
> gotten sloppy and let our nailer bounce or sit off the surface.  The nail
> sits proud of the wood.  This lack of inertia will rapidly grow worse with
> distance from the nail gun.
> Nails also have no expansion.  So the trauma one sees from a bullet would
> not take place.  At the most, they will poke a hole.  Not that a hole is
> pleasant mind you, or inherently non-lethal.  A bow kills this way, by
> shooting an arrow that pokes a hole, but the hole must be deep.  Due to a
> nails lack of inertia, the hole is not likely to be deep.
> The velocity is low, compared to a bullet.  So hydroshock (another form of
> tissue damage) would not take place.  Doubly so due to the pointed end of a
> nail.
> So, a nail shot from a nail gun, at very close range, aimed at the chest,
> not striking a rib, could well penetrate deeply enough to poke the heart and
> possibly result in your death.  Otherwise, you're going to scream and curse,
> but survive.  My opinion and speculation only.
> As a sidebar to nail stability, I've watched nails shot from nail guns (we
> used to have shooting competitions with them at a place I worked), they do
> not tumble.  They tend to continue straight quite nicely for their travel.
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