back to article US man blasts stubborn wheelnut with shotgun

A US man has been "severely injured" after blasting a stubborn wheelnut on his Lincoln Continental with a 12-gauge shotgun at an inadvisably close range, the Telegraph reports. The unnamed 66-year-old, from Southworth in Washington state, had been repairing the vehicle for two weeks and apparently lost his rag with the last …


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  1. Paul


    I can (Sort of ) understand the logic of shooting the nut, but with a shotgun? Dose he not know how they work?

  2. Steve
    Thumb Down

    Not even a candidate

    Unless there's some evidence to suggest that he's a 66 year old with no children.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    "inadvisably close range"

    Typical American attitude towards problems. Shoot it, and to hell with the consequences.

  4. Vaughan Trevor Jones
    Dead Vulture

    Guess no body told him

    I often wonder why products often ship with warnings that are so obvious (example do not use your BBQ in doors) but I am guessing that this guys "SHOTGUN" did not come with a warning.

    Attention do not shoot objects at close range, due to the facts bullets can and do ricochet'. He will probably end up suing the manufacture now.

  5. Andy G
    Dead Vulture


    Just as well he didn't have any explosives lying around ;o)

  6. Karl Lattimer

    This is why...

    americans are simply too dumb as a nation to have the right to bear arms.

    We constantly see schools and colleges getting shot up by crazed lunatics desperate to exact revenge on the system that robbed them of any humanity.

    So I simply say, it isn't guns that kill people, people kill people, so lets ban americans.

  7. Nick

    And he didn't think of using

    A bloody long torque wrench?

    Or failing that, a cutting torch to burn the nut off?

  8. Dan
    Thumb Down

    wheely stupid

    as jonathan ross might say.

    the guy must have been driven to distraction at this point, before actually taking a gun to his car, completely nuts in fact. still, theres plenty of milage in this story for taking the piss, if anyone wants to go down that road. lucky it was only a hub that slowed him down, he might have ended up gunning the engine. imagine he'll be treading carefully for a while. for anyone wondering where the IT angle is here, its in the boot.

    oh fuck me.

  9. Matthew

    But did he get the wheel off

    This is clearly half a story, we don't know if the approach worked?

  10. Dave
    Thumb Up


    So when is he going to file suit against the manufacturer for not putting an explicit notice in the manual? I guess he could try both the vehicle manufacturer (Warning! Do not use a shotgun to remove wheelnuts) and the gun manufacturer.

  11. Hedley Phillips

    Wrong ammunition

    He should have known better and used a solid slug rather than shot. The standard shot size in the US is I think 6 and this just does not have the momentum to remove stubbon wheel nuts, even though at that range the shot would be still in a small cylinder shape as it had not had time to open up and create a shot string.

    A solid slug may just have removed the head, allowing him to slip the wheel off.

    Don't know what type of weapon he would have used to remove the remaining bolt from the thread.

  12. jolly

    Like trying to fix a PC - only more frustrating!

    I can sympathise with the bloke's situation.

    Nothing has brought me closer to tears/rage/cracking than some situations where I've been working on cars. I mean even more frustrating than re-installing XP 4 times in a row only to realise that the last 100 bytes of a 1 gig memory chip were buggered.

    For example, try working on the brakes of an old mini that haven't been stripped down for a few years. Every last sodding part rusted to buggery. Penetrating oil can help when undoing rusty stuff but then things will always snap off and need to be drilled out. And then half the parts that did undo properly can't be reused as they're so damn rusty they'll break under torque. And for another example try working under the bonnet on a modern car - I changed the mrs' fiesta's thermostat a few months ago and had to remove about 6 other components to get to it. Oh the pain.

    I wouldn't go so far as to take a gun to a car though, admittedly. But I do know where the bloke was coming from. "Frustrating" doesn't begin to describe it.

  13. jon

    some folks

    some folks'll never eat a skunk but then again some folk'll

    like cletus the slack jawed yokel

    some folks'll never shoot a wheel but then again some folk'll

    like cletus the slack jawed yokel

    some folks'll never lose a toe but then again some folk'll

    like cletus the slack jawed yokel

  14. Lyndon Barry


    he didn't know that Remington shotgun was not the same thing as a Snap-On airgun

  15. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Hasn't this guy ever heard of WD-40? Isn't it available in the nearest Home Depot?

    Or why not just take it down to the local Kwik-Fit?

    At 66 he ain't much of a candidate for Darwin Awards, but he might become a presidential candidate to replace GWB so that the status-quo remains in place.

  16. Dr. Mouse

    @ jolly

    I certainly know that one! Even worse, try removing and dimantling an entire mini rear subframe! Half the bolts are rusted to hell and seized, half the subframe will disintegrate leaving sharp, rusty, jagged edges, and when it gets so bad you have to get a blowlamp on a nut to free it off, you burn and/or melt the underseal, leaving you coughing from the fumes and burned from the drips (working under a car sucks!).

    However taking a shotgun to a wheel nut is, well... nuts! (I'll get my coat) Hasnt he ever heard of a strongbar, blowlamp... even a grinder! Once again I implore the governments of the world to enforce Darwins Law: If you do something so stupid you should have died, you should be executed. Honourable mentions in Darwin Awards should involve the electric chair.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So now we know what a Washington Screwdriver is?

    Clearly we should recognize that shotguns have a role to play in the tool box as well.

    Following from the (hopefully) well know definition of a large hammer as a 'Glasgow screwdriver', this clearly extends the range of those prepared for ultimate tool re-use.

  18. Jim Hunter

    @jolly & @Dr. Mouse


    never worked on Minis, but I do have a Triumph Speed Triple with exhaust studs rusted to oblivion. I've tried the usual including WD-40

    I have now got to up the level of aggression. Although I think I'll stop short of the shot gun!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Shooting cars

    Reminds me of Top Gears method of emptying wet footwells, maybe he thought it would work on the weelnut instead!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Karl Lattimer

    ...and too dumb to elect a government that won't attack random countries. But at least we're not dumb enough to elect a government that tells us what kind of shopping bags we're permitted to use!

  21. Garth

    Darwin Awards.

    Its Amerika. We dont take no kindly to Darwinist evilution here. That be the devils lugnut. What this fella forgot to do was to pray to shore up his shot with Gods own rightousness.

  22. adam

    Shit for brains

    Never heard of a nut splitter if it's a nut? What about just drilling it out, it only takes 5 minutes to re -tap a hole unless you're a stupid yank bastard. What about a 3/4" drive socket with a 3 foot bar and some lube? Why not but a proper car instead of some American buit shite? Why not service the thing so you don't have this problem. What about copper slip? Why didn't he just point the shotgun the right way and do us all a favour? What a helmet.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yes I expect he's heard of all those possible solutions. But to state the obvious, some folk have problems controlling rage when experiencing frustrating situations. It seems to be so common sometimes it almost seems to be the norm. Question is, why is it so common ? Lead in the environment ? Food additives ? Or maybe it just has an evolutionary advantage that isn't obvious ?

  24. Peter

    It could have been....

    Gun nut blasts nut with Gun!

  25. Anonymous Coward

    B*tch, b*tch, b*tch.

    Let's take a look at the quality of the US-bashing -- it's gone down significantly lately. The ad hominem attacks are too long to be pithy, and too short to be a good rant. The few short ones are totally lacking in any kind of understanding -- a lot like "Oh -- You're from London? I know a distant cousin who met somebody that once visited there. Do you know them?"

    Come on, you can do better than that. If you're bigot enough to believe that the entire country is full of nut jobs based upon a few news stories, surely you can put forth a good effort, instead of this pathetic cr*p.

    And the presidential comments -- we always appreciate the comments on our leadership. They are most welcome and instructive as is all unsolicited family advice from semi-interested bystanders. I am sure that the issues we face can be quite promptly be resolved by somebody thousands of miles away with absolutely no familiarity with the environment other than what's been learned by watching the tube. I have to admit I am somewhat jealous -- after all, you are enjoying fine representation of such a high order that you are forced to bellyache about the leadership of a different country to fill the empty hours not spent getting watched at traffic lights and getting ASBO's for your cats.

    I suggest you clean your own damned house before you go bellyaching about somebody else's, if for no better reason than to not make the rest of your country sound like an island full of copper nanotubes and hypocrites.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evolutionary Advantage

    It's obvious. He's not dead, and he's flaunted the size of his shotgun publicly, which will attract many of the female yanks.

  27. Chris Seiter

    Inadvisably Close Range

    If he was standing at an inadvisibly close range, what is the advisable range of getting this taken care of?

    Stupid thing won't come off....the...hook...BOOM!!

  28. Mike


    Really laid the smackdown to all those soccer playing, tea-and-krumpet eating, red-coat-wearing limies*. Tell it like it is, my friend.

    And to the rest of you, shut up and buy more Joint Strike Fighters and Paris Hilton related media!

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @B*tch, b*tch, b*tch

    In diagnosing grumpy friendships, Nietzsche is much better than Dr. Phil.

    The coat with the ripcord please. Ta!

  30. Anonymous Coward


    "And the presidential comments -- we always appreciate the comments on our leadership. They are most welcome and instructive as is all unsolicited family advice from semi-interested bystanders."

    Dude, let me spell it out for you. Your president is a religious extremist who believes he is on a divine mission that gives him the right to kill whoever he wants in whatsoever country in the world he wishes to intefere with. He regards himself as ruling by divine right, completely above any notion of law and democratic accountability. And he's in charge of a huge collection of nuclear weapons that could destroy the entire planet many many many times over.

    In these circumstances, there is NO SUCH THING as a semi- (or un-) interested bystander. Everyone in the world has the right to an opinion, because we're all in danger from him.

    I will however concur that there's not a lot of substance to the various cheap shots people are taking at Americans in general. But the prez is not just any-old-American-in-general.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    WD-40, Colt-45, easy mistake...

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Religious extremist?

    Strong words coming from somebody who in all probability doesn't even know the religious affiliation of said president. People more familiar with the various different churches and religious extremes in the US just snicker when people cast him as an extremist. If a middle-of-the-road Methodist, a member of a church that is considerably more moderate that the run-of-the-mill qw(baptist apostolic episcopalian adventist mormon presbyterian catholic lutheran) is a religious extremist, then you've lost your basis for comparison. You missed out on the joke, son.

    He's only an extremist if you happen to be totally irreligious yourself, and buy what his political opponents say, hook, line, and sinker. Half of them belong to more extreme religious views, but since it's a popular meme, they'll just go with it, and get the unwashed all confused before they head to the polls.

    I don't care for any of them. Neither the liberal nor any of the conservative crop. It is a lot like a cockroach race -- no matter who has won, it's still a cockroach.

    Do the world a favor -- when you speak from ignorance, say everything of substance on your mind, and stop parroting what others say. Your attempt at justifying interference based upon heresay and political BS only reinforces what I said earlier. It reflects poorly on others to make this sort of comment. I wouldn't dream of making comment to you on British politics -- there's things I'd like, there's things I wouldn't, but I don't live there, and I don't vote there. Quite simply, it's none of my business. I won't render you advice on your family arguments, either. Pretending to be informed based upon the tripe you read in the news will only get you so far in life.

    People bleating about Bush with nukes doesn't scare me. The thought of Pres Clinton II "This time *with* pants!" with nukes scares the h*ll out of me. It should you, too.

  33. War Monger

    American Bashers...

    Hey, we all have our dumb@sses. Who can forget this feller?

    How about this guy?

    I see a few people who are so worked up about the good ol' US of A that they're using this story to bash all of us. I've got a message for those folks -

    You nuts better loosen up, or you'll get yours!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    impact wrench

    for $175 he could of bought him self a electric impact wrench and been done with. Or as some else said drill the bastard.

    Oh yeah in the US at least we have prosecuted and sent cops to jail for killing people for no reason

  35. Fozzy


    I was going to suggest a better headline such as

    "Gun nut shots gun at nut and left nut has near miss"

    I was even going to have a another jab at the Yanks and guns.

    I was even going to suggest the idiot had the gun pointed the wrong way

    But I think we all know that the 66 yr old was in fact Dick cheney on the piss and he mistook the wheelnut for a quail or whittingtons head again. In which case all the above, i guess, still apply <sigh>

  36. Aubry Thonon


    Quote: "While fans of the Darwin Awards will certainly applaud this valiant effort to earn a posthumous gong for those who have contributed to the "improvement of the human genome by accidentally removing themselves from it""

    Objection, your Lordship; the Darwin Awards are given to those who, as you rightfully quoted, "remove themselves from the gene-pool". This requires only that you are incapable of further procreation after the incident. While death certainly makes you instantly eligible, have your reproductive equipment destroyed by (say) a golf-ball cleaning machine also renders you... er... eligible.

  37. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    @ Religious Extremist

    I think we can call him a religious extremist by the rest of the world's standard (and i've lived in 6 countries so far so i have a fairly wide world view) because i can not think of another modern WESTERN politician who would quite openly say that he did something because it was what God wanted, or that God gave him permission.

    Modern Western politcians tend to keep religion and politics completely seperate (that whole thing about having a secular state biz) but GWB doesnt seem to be doing that. Thats why the rest of the world consider him a religious extremist. I know that he isnt by a long way as bad as many other religious extremists you have in USA. But for a politician he is BAD!

    Not much difference between GWB and Ahmadinejad when they both start saying things like "God is on our side" and "God gives us the right to do this"...

  38. Dion R

    a Lincoln Continental eh

    They should rename / rerelease the car model, I think the Cheney Continental's the shot !!

  39. Mike

    WD-40, or better

    Snide aside, but although I like WD-40 for many tasks, I actually use "Starter fluid" (Ether and light oil) for those severely rusted-on cases. Larn't that from an old railroad man, and boy, was he right. I'd have never gotten the speeder apart without his advice, and the skin on my knuckles has praised him ever since.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @B*tch, b*tch, b*tch

    I think the major difference between the USA and the UK is that you have raving nutters whereas we have eccentrics. We have a long tradition of embracing and even encouraging eccentrics, besides which they are, how can I put this in a way that an American would understand? I know, besides, eccentrics are quaint. Raving nutters, especially with guns, are not.

    Oh, and what's with the infantile spelling of words that may cause offence to delicate eyes? Possibly you think an under 25 may be reading.

  41. Slaine
    Paris Hilton

    @ Chris W

    The reason, my friend, that we are a nation of eccentrics is quite well documented. A few centuries ago we had the inordinate good sense to offload all the really dangerous nutters from our shores and pack them off in big boats called flower, or mayfly, or something. Anyway, the name is unimportant, the point is - the people who were to become our insane lunatic fringe would, in the most part, be descended from the old lunatic fringe and since we shipped them off someplace far far away there was only a very tiny little teeny lunatic fringe left in our country to make a bunch of gun weilding maniacs from.

    Now then - where was it we sent those boats?

  42. Ian


    The thing we did wrong was to let the Boats 'O' Nutters actually arrive somewhere. OK so we assumed they'd be eaten, but it didn't work out that way. (Aha, here's your evolutionary advantage! Shoot first think later means not getting eaten by savages! And this stuff takes a while to work its way out again.) Should have bombed them the moment they got out of the harbour (did we have bombs then? An oversight perhaps)

    Ah! Peace love and understanding

  43. Thomas Vestergaard

    Re: @ Chris W

    Oh - I know the answer to that one: The boats where send to Australia!

    But what does that have to do with anything? ...

    Back to Bash-the-American. It is all a cultural thing - and the US simply don't have the cultural history Europe does - for obvious reasons. For just as obvious reasons is it completely infeasible to try and teach all school children about these things - they are busy enough learning their own history!

    Yes, it is odd, that a country, which resembles us so much, is so different. But observing their current military and technological lead, they must be doing something right.

    I am, however, fairly certain that many Americans will agree with, that it isn't because of the current president.

    Another thing which is unintelligible for a lot of Europeans is the paradox with USA being "the land of the free" - and on the other hand having plenty of laws, which doesn't encourage personal responsibility.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Anonymous Cowardly Religious Extremist

    "The thought of Pres Clinton II "This time *with* pants!" with nukes scares the h*ll out of me. It should you, too."

    Many people think the election of a vindictive and partisan Democrat is a thing devoutly to be desired, the only possible chance that Justice will ever be served on the criminal conspirators presently occupying the White House. Personally the only thing I fear is that Hillary won't be vindictive or partisan _enough_. She looks like "more of the same" to me.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Vocabulary Lesson

    GWB is not a religious extremist. He is fairly middle of the road as these things go. Rather, he is a zealot. He is not particularly conservative for an American Christian, but he is very much out-spoken, and believes that every one should believe what he believes, which makes him a zealot.

  46. Daniel


    bloody software engineers.

  47. Daniel

    c'mon readers

    all these comments and no references to "shooting his bolt"?

    you're slipping.

  48. Brian

    Rusty Roadmaster Roller (1).... Geriatric Gun-totin' Goofball (0)...

    Tacoma Emergency Services (several thousand dollars)....

    Funny part is, I live on the eastern side of Washington State and WE are the ones considered the ignorant boomstick-wielding hillbillies by the folks on the other side of the Cascades.

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