Alec Baldwin shoots and kills cinematographer.

If there is no bullet, the mass (of just the expanding gases) will be much less, but the acceleration will be much higher as they're not held back by the mass of the bullet. What is the velocity of an explosion wavefront?
The estimates I have seen are somewhere between 2K and 4K fps, while projectiles are somewhere around 1K. But since the mass of the bullet is ~50x the mass of the expanding gasses, the momentum of the gasses is still considerably less than the bullet (momentum = mass times velocity). That's where the 14% figure cited by Geezer comes from.
Why the acceleration of the gasses is not proportionally greater has to do with how energy from the powder charge becomes mechanical force. The bullet, barrel, and breech form a vessel. Inside, the expanding gasses create pressure, which exerts force on the bullet, just like the explosion in an engine exerts force on a piston. In the absence of a bullet to create a vessel, less pressure is created. Less energy is converted into mechanical force, and more is dissipated as heat, light, and noise.
 
In the really old days, meaning silent film to maybe 30s age, didn't they sometimes use live ammo and just shoot low or high? I know that sounds silly, but safety was kind of an optional thing in a lot of trades 100 years ago.
 
In the really old days, meaning silent film to maybe 30s age, didn't they sometimes use live ammo and just shoot low or high? I know that sounds silly, but safety was kind of an optional thing in a lot of trades 100 years ago.

Well, it probably helped weed out some of the prima donna jerks....
 
Interesting.

 
Interesting.


Took me a minute to understand that article was not about Baldwin’s trial, but the trial of the armorer.
 
There's a ton of testimony out now from the trial of the armorer, both video and transcripts. Looks like the press has full access to the courtroom.

Main point of prosecution focus seems to be source of the live rounds, which is still not established. The defense is trying to show the overall set was chaotic. There is video of Alec Baldwin shooting a gunfight scene, then yelling "one more, let's reload" and running over to the armorer.

I feel sorry for the armorer. She was put in a position of responsibility through nepotism that she clearly was not prepared for. If she had been an experienced older man instead of a young girl with tie-dyed hair, she might have told Baldwin to slow the F up while she made sure things were done right.

 
She should never have been in that role if she didn't have the balls to tell him to slow up while she made sure things were done right. This shows failure on all sides really.
 
If there is no bullet, the mass (of just the expanding gases) will be much less, but the acceleration will be much higher as they're not held back by the mass of the bullet. What is the velocity of an explosion wavefront?

Not quite. Gunpowder, even modern smokeless powder is not, I repeat, NOT an explosive. If you make a pile of it on the ground and toss a lit match on it, it won't explode. It'll burn. It will burn very hot, but there will be no wave-front whatever. (This is in contrast with actual explosives. A YT channel called... uh... Explosions and Fire oddly enough has video of multiple kinds of explosives going off in open air if you care to see any.)

In order to get any kind of [BANG] or flash out of a blank, the powder must be contained long enough for some pressure to build. The entire purpose of a blank is to not shoot a bullet, thus the resistance against the powder in a blank will be much lower than in a 'live' cartridge. To coincide with this, the powder charge is also reduced (or at least, should be).

(I'm not quite sure what @geezer was getting at in his post...)
 
One of the things I picked up from the Armorer's testimony is that the blanks were modified with plastic BB's in the case, to replace the powder removed. Her procedure was to shake each round before loading and listen for the rattle to verify it was a blank. But apparently some were modified differently, with no plastic pellets but a hole drilled in the case to indicate it was a blank.

Watch the video of Baldwin. He gets a lot of muzzle rise with each shot. Unsure if that is actual recoil or "acting". I would guess the latter.

Also note how he fires in multiple directions on either side of the camera. Then when the scene breaks and the camera pans, there are dozens of crew standing in a semi circle facing him. They all would have been in the line of fire. That's why the "never point a gun at anyone" rule is just not realistic in that environment.

Finally, notice how he hands the gun to the armorer for a reload.
 
Also note how he fires in multiple directions on either side of the camera. Then when the scene breaks and the camera pans, there are dozens of crew standing in a semi circle facing him. They all would have been in the line of fire. That's how the "never point a gun at anyone" rule may have been violated on this set.

FIFY
 
Well, this was a fun watch.

Pay attention to the expert witness hired by the defense as he points a weapon directly at the judge, forcing the bailiff to intervene.


 
Oops, verdict on Armorer just came back, guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
 
Here is video of a whole bunch of people firing weapons with blanks right at each other. Taking careful aim to hit them, in fact. Virtually everyone who has served in the Army or Marines for the past 40 years has done this.

 
Oops, verdict on Armorer just came back, guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Would appear to be the correct charge for all involved. Their reckless conduct ended with someone dead.
 
I have a feeling that if this director and crew filmed a movie on location in an underground mine, rather than one person they'd all be dead. Just a guess. I don't know if it was reckless or stupid or both...and I'm not making light of the situation.
 
There's a ton of testimony out now from the trial of the armorer, both video and transcripts. Looks like the press has full access to the courtroom.

Main point of prosecution focus seems to be source of the live rounds, which is still not established. The defense is trying to show the overall set was chaotic. There is video of Alec Baldwin shooting a gunfight scene, then yelling "one more, let's reload" and running over to the armorer.

I feel sorry for the armorer. She was put in a position of responsibility through nepotism that she clearly was not prepared for. If she had been an experienced older man instead of a young girl with tie-dyed hair, she might have told Baldwin to slow the F up while she made sure things were done right.

I don't think nepotism or her being a young girl with tie dyed hair had as much to do with it. She had actually worked with her dad for years, but this was her first solo gig.

Being young and having that first job all by yourself I think probably played more into it than anything. I couldn't imagine being a 20 something on your first job and having the juevos to tell a veteran actor and producer of the film to stop. Even if that's the job.
 
I don't think nepotism or her being a young girl with tie dyed hair had as much to do with it. She had actually worked with her dad for years, but this was her first solo gig.

Being young and having that first job all by yourself I think probably played more into it than anything. I couldn't imagine being a 20 something on your first job and having the juevos to tell a veteran actor and producer of the film to stop. Even if that's the job.
lol exactly. Watch the video above of the "expert witness" point a firearm at the judge.
 
I read this afternoon that she wasn’t anywhere near the set when this happened. That the assistant director had keys to the armory and got the gun and handed to Baldwin telling him it was unloaded.
 
I read this afternoon that she wasn’t anywhere near the set when this happened. That the assistant director had keys to the armory and got the gun and handed to Baldwin telling him it was unloaded.
She testified that she loaded the gun, spun the cylinder to show the assistant director the rounds were inert, then handed it to him, who handed it to Baldwin.
 
Well, if that’s all it takes, then the guy who hired her and then held the gun, pointed the gun, and actually shot the poor lady should be shaking in his boots.
 
Point a gun at anyone on the range when I am Range Safety Officer and you are gone. Fortunately, in the years I've served as an RSO at the club I haven't had to do that. But I wouldn't hesitate. She was guilty of not checking to make sure that the ammunition was indeed blanks, and he should be found guilty of stupidity. Not what he is charged with, but the truth...
 
The source of the live rounds is still a big mystery. Here's a good NYT wrap up of what the investigation found.


One interesting point: the guns and some of the ammo came from the set of Yellowstone 1883. The ammo supplier had a bin of live ammo he had supplied to the 1883 cast for a "cowboy training camp."
 
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