Last night’s CSI was ‘Night at the Movies.’ The summary of the B-Plot is that these kids found a gun, decided to play a Jackass type stunt by letting it shoot at them as it spun down a bamboo pole in an empty warehouse, accidentally killing one of them. The CSI’s found 109 bullet holes and 109 shells, and the pole, and reconstructed the scene from there.
For the gun, it looked like a sub compact automatic machine gun. I thought it was an Uzi at first but I’m not sure now. Anyway, since I know Uzi the best, I’ll explain about that. An Uzi takes a 9mm bullet, has a magazine capacity of 20 to 50 rounds (depending on the size of the magazine), and fires at a rate of 600 to 1700 rounds a minute. There is a 300 round magazine, but that’s 5’3″ long!
Now that said, anyone can buy bullets. In Florida you have to be 21 or older (which was fun for my former Miami-Dade cop buddy, who was on the force at I think 18 and had to get his mom to buy bullets). In the ’50s, zip guns were popular because you didn’t need a gun permit to buy bullets. This is still the case in many states. It’s relatively easy, though a little time consuming, to refill a magazine. Provided the magazine stays in shape, it can be reused indefinitely. I looked around on line and I don’t know the age limit on bullets in Nevada. I’d peg it at 18, though.
As for the gun being on … Supposedly they gave the gun a really hard spin and the pressure of the trigger on the pole left it on. Thing is that I don’t think that would have worked. Having fired a sub machine gun once, it requires a healthy bit of pressure to keep the fucker on. That said, you could rig up something to hold the trigger back (a healthy bit of duct tape would do it), but you’d waste a lot of bullets randomly firing off into the distance.
That may account for the fact that there were 109 bullets. That’s a weird number, and given that the most common magazine sizes are usually 20, 25, 30, or 32 round clips (though you can get a 40 or 50 clip if you look for it). None of which math out to 109 bullets. Since there are 109 bullet holes and 109 shells, I’m going to assume that Sara didn’t find any shells outside or on the roof, so all I can reckon is that either they didn’t fill the magazine completely, or they didn’t find a full magazine for the first run. 9mm bullets are popular, used by (among others) the Sig Sauer. A Glock uses a 9×19 up to a solid .45, but is typically known as a 9mm gun. The Uzi also uses a 9x19mm Luger/Para bullet, and you can use the bullets in a Glock or an Uzi.
This is probably more than you all wanted to know about sub machine guns. And I still have no real idea on how they got the gun to stay on, but having only used an Uzi-type gun once, I can’t imagine that a gun was made with a ‘leave on’ function.
I have to throw out the duct tape hypotheisis since I can’t visualize how the hell you could do that, get it on the pole, spin it, still have the same numbers of holes to shells and not kill yourself. I thought about maknig a mock up but I’m at work and my office already thinks I’m weird.
Oh and later I was asked about the bamboo not having gunshot residue on it (GSR) and my suspiscion is that it actually did get trace amounts on it, but since the majority of GSR tends to be sprayed back at the hand level, and gets more on the top of your hand than around the trigger (there’s also a trigger guard there to prevent the hot GSR from getting on you). Factor in the rotation of the gun and I think that there should have been trace amnounts on the gun. Given that the bamboo was left on the roof, the GSR was probably washed off by morning dew. That’s a little stretch but entirely likely.