Sunday, February 12, 2023

Can a .223 (5.56 NATO) 'Split a human in half'?


 5.56 Match Ammo  by  mr.smashy,
CC BY-NC 2.0

There's been a lot of noise on Twitter recently about a 'firearms expert' witness providing sworn testimony in California noting that the .223 / 5.56 NATO round fired by the modern sporting rifle, the AR-15, can 'split a human in half'.  While a lurid tale, it's not true or accurate. 

The notion that a .223 rifle round can split a human body in half is a myth. It is not possible for a single bullet, regardless of the caliber or type, to physically split a human body in half. While a high-powered rifle round such as .223 can cause significant damage to the body and even result in death, it does not have the capability to split the body into two separate pieces.

The effect of a bullet on the human body is dependent on several factors, including the velocity and mass of the bullet, the angle at which it enters the body, and the target's body composition and location. When a bullet penetrates the body, it can cause damage to bones, internal organs, and blood vessels, and in some cases, exit the body. However, it is extremely unlikely that a bullet would cause the body to physically split in half.

It is important to note that any type of firearms can be dangerous and should be used with caution and proper training.  If you choose to participate in the shooting sports, please get training on your specific firearm and remember the 4 rules of firearm safety.

Namaskar, and shoot safely,