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BS: Gunshot or not?

*Laura* 13 Apr 08 - 08:37 PM
*Laura* 13 Apr 08 - 08:38 PM
Big Mick 13 Apr 08 - 08:42 PM
Slag 13 Apr 08 - 09:20 PM
Rapparee 13 Apr 08 - 09:25 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 08 - 10:04 PM
Bee 13 Apr 08 - 10:08 PM
Sorcha 13 Apr 08 - 10:12 PM
Escapee 13 Apr 08 - 10:40 PM
Escapee 13 Apr 08 - 10:44 PM
Bert 14 Apr 08 - 12:34 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Apr 08 - 01:46 AM
Gurney 14 Apr 08 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,PMB 14 Apr 08 - 03:39 AM
Gurney 14 Apr 08 - 03:46 AM
Grab 14 Apr 08 - 06:26 AM
*Laura* 14 Apr 08 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,lox 14 Apr 08 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 14 Apr 08 - 03:12 PM
Slag 14 Apr 08 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 14 Apr 08 - 09:16 PM
JohnInKansas 15 Apr 08 - 03:45 AM

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Subject: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: *Laura*
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:37 PM

well. I live in the country so I am fairly used to the sound of guns.
Not so used to the sounds of cars backfiring though.
So I'm wondering if the sound I just heard from my window a few streets away was a gunshot.
It sounded like it... and I live in Elephant and Castle, London - so it's not unlikely. Except that the gangs round here tend to favour knives.

What do car backfires sound like?

I'm not worried or scared.... just curious....


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: *Laura*
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:38 PM

I should say I used to live in the country. Now I live in Elephant and Castle. Or 'the elephant' as I like to affectionately call it..... hmm


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:42 PM

Depends on the weapon, Laura. A car backfire sounds roughly like an explosion. Most street weapons would go off with a sharp report of varying intensity depending on calibre.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Slag
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 09:20 PM

I blew out a muffler once and it sounded like a bomb going off. I think it actually raised my old pickup a couple of inches off the asphalt! A backfire can be quite loud and sometines virtually indistinguishable from a gunshot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 09:25 PM

I agree with Big Mick. And like him I've heard a lot of gunshots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:04 PM

Really hard to tell the difference. Gunshots don't really sound like they do in the movies. Out of doors, they often sound like a fairly loud "pop." But as Big Mick say, it depends a lot on the caliber.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Bee
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:08 PM

And you may have heard the report of the boy gadget maker's favourite weapon - the potato gun, a device consisting of a couple lengths of PVC pipe, a can of hairspray (that Australian brand is most popular), and a bag of medium size potatos. All good fun until someone loses an eye....

I'll get me coat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:12 PM

Things other than caliber have a bearing too. Humidity, surrounding territory (open space/buildings, etc) Rifles, shotguns and pistols (handguns) all sound different. Car backfires are really not all that common.

How about fireworks? Could it have been that in spite of the fact that it isn't a 'legal holiday'? They sound different too, to folks that are 'used' to hearing gunfire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Escapee
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:40 PM

I live close to a police pistol range, half mile or so. They sound like roofers hammering away. 9mm pistols, mostly. I hope it was something else, Laura.
SKP


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Escapee
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:44 PM

Just read somewhere that fuel-injected cars ( all of them anymore ) rarely if ever backfire.
SKP


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Bert
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:34 AM

A gun sounds like "CRACK" a backfure sounds like "Bang".

Cars don't backfire much since they started using timing belts instead of chains. Belts pretty much hold their shape until they break, whereas chains stretch, which causes backfiring when the car overruns.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 01:46 AM

I applied for a job in a circus, as The Human Cannonball. Didn't get it, they said I wasn't the right calibre.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Gurney
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:21 AM

Laura, a car backfires because there is unburned petrol in the exhaust system, which is then ignited by burning exhaust gas. It used to be unreliable ignition systems that did it, often poor maintenance. Nowadays, of course, everone's motor is perfectly tuned.


If you really want to try it out, drive down a very steep hill, turn off the ignition, and let the dead engine slow you down. Depending on the length of the hill, when you restart the engine, you can open up the silencer(muffler in the USA) like a sardine can.

Some idiot boy racers turn the ignition off-and-on whilst racing on the flat to give 'gunshot' noises. As Big Mick says, if you've heard both, you can tell them apart, but possibly not with shotguns.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:39 AM

It could have been the elephant backfiring...

A doctor heard two Asian colleagues deep in discussion. "I tell you, the word is wump!"... "No,no, you are wrong, it is womm!"

"In English we say 'womb'", she suggested helpfully.

The doctors looked at her for a few moments, then one replied, "Madam, I do not believe you ever heard an elephant fart."


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Gurney
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:46 AM

"Hello hello hello, what's the difference between an Elephant's backside and a letter box?"

"I don't know, what IS the difference between an Elephant's backside and a letter box?"

"Don't worry, I'll get someone else to take the mail"


They don't write them like that anymore.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Grab
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 06:26 AM

Also consider cap guns. Or "devil bangers" - I don't know what they call them elsewhere in the world, but they're those little twists of black powder in tissue paper which you throw on the ground and they make a satisfying "bang".

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: *Laura*
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 06:41 AM

Gurney - I don't want to try it particularly!!
Sorcha - It definitely wasn't a firework. The sound was too short.

Ah well, guess it shall remain a mystery!


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:42 PM

I'm not far from you Laura.

I would say it's a realistic possibility that it was a gun. Elephant is a pretty concentrated area and violence is naver far away - it seems likely that you might hear at least one gunshot while you live around this end of London.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:12 PM

I've heard that a device exists which can not only identify the sound of a gunshot, and distinguish it from other noises, but can also distinguish a real gunshot sound from an echo, and that several of these devices placed strategically around a nighborhood can, by triangulation, pinpoint the source. Does anybody know of a place that actually has these? I'd also like to know what they're called.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: Slag
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:24 PM

Maybe it was an elephant gun?? Or an elephant train on a siding? Or the sound of a giant anchovy hitting the pavement!

Seriously, no one can say for sure here on the website, just endless fun speculating. I have done a lot of shooting in my day and heard gunshots in all kinds of situations. So much depends on the terrain, wind conditions, buildings present, humidity. The same gun can sound like a "ladyfinger" firecracker or a peal of thunder. Same for a backfire. Given your situation you can rest almost entirely assured that it was a backfire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 09:16 PM

Yes they can sound eerily similar.
I was driving in downtown Philadelphia one day and the van in front of me suffered a "back-fire". Most of the folks on the sidewalk turned and looked at the van with the exception of the two "gang-banger" dressed individuals that were flat on the ground looking for the shooter.

They do have devices that can triangulate the source of the sound and through a computer program deliver a firing solution to the source. whether or not they can actually tell you that the sound was a gun shot is something that I don't know. Examples of the devices can be seen mounted on the humvees in Iraq and afghanistan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gunshot or not?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:45 AM

We had a rather extended period with "gunshot" noises in the neighborhood a few weeks back. I tracked the source to the use of "cartridge actuated spike drivers" being used to "nail" anchors into the concrete on a nearby construction project.

Smaller "guns" of the kind are fairly commonly used even in home construction here, but these were driving three inch long x half-inch diameter pins. The smaller ones sound somewhat like a small caliber pistol - barely noticeable at a half block distance - but these were more like a large bore shotgun. Being about two city blocks distant, it was hard to pick up a characteristic "signature" in the sound, but it was close enough to "sounding like a gun" to raise my curiosity.

By about the third day I concluded it wasn't a gang fight - or that the gang were all very poor marksmen, and that it probably was safe enough to inquire.

John


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