back to article US man saved by bulletproof DVD

A South Carolina fire chief caught up in a scuffle for a gun had a close shave when a ricocheted bullet hit a DVD in his jacket pocket, saving him from a slug in the guts. Barry McRoy, director of Colleton County's Fire and Rescue Department, had popped into Walterboro Waffle House early on Saturday morning after helping put …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    The disc didn't survive? I bet...

    ... a Blu-ray disc with the special coating would have.

  2. Ian Algie

    he found a use for HD-DVDs....

    Make them into bullet proof vests

  3. Ash

    A gift of a recorded TV show?

    An UNLICENSED, ILLEGALLY COPIED DVD of a televion show?!


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Knowing my luck...

    ...if it had been me with the DVD in my pocket the bullet would have gone through the hole in the middle.

  5. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Quick Call JT

    Oh lord just wait till Jack Tompson hears about this, I'm sure Rockstar are ~Quake~ing in there Boots right now!!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    What's that smell, smells a bit like a cow pat...

    No, it must be bull sh*t

    If a bullet had enough kinetic energy to smash a DVD, it would simply have continued into his stomach... more likely it smashed when he doubled over in surprise and simply broke it that way.

    The 'bullet fragment' might have fallen into his pocket, or it might be something quite old - I find all sorts of old things in my jacket pockets!

  7. Alexander Hanff

    re: Ash

    Here Here 100% agreement. If they can sue dead people and young children, they can sure as hell sue a fire chief.

    But more importantly, what a muppet. Who the hell would confess they have pirated material being passed around at work in a press conference?

  8. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @ac's cow pat

    Read the article again. It definitely doesn't say that the bullet was discharged directly into the disc. It says the bullet ricocheted off something and back into his abdomen, which means it probably hit the dvd at a shallow angle and bounced away again, shattering the disc in the process. If it had just been soft squishy flesh there it would have dug in and made a nasty hole but since the disc is made of a flexible material it would be able to absorb a lot of energy and disperse it by shattering under the stress, a teeny bit like ablative armour. I don't think anyone is suggesting that a DVD could stop a bullet travelling straight at it...

  9. milan
    Thumb Down

    @ Anonymous Coward

    You must have failed to read that the round had already been slowed by contact with the gunman, passing through a plate glass window and a richochet.

    It's very very possible that the round retained enough momentum to pass through his coat and hit the DvD. In all likelyhood it was the coat that saved him from any harm, (slight though it may have been). It's also possible that the DvD was the final piece of resistance that stopped the round as it was pressed against his body.

    If the DvD hadn't been there it's possible he may have been scratched or have a bigger bruise than he currently has, unlikely to be anywhere close to lethal though. Take it from someone who has actually been shot at far too may times.

  10. Bob

    @ Milan

    50 cent?

    Shot 9 times and he still doesn't take the hint :|

  11. Nick Cassimatis
    Black Helicopters

    Illegal to record a TV show

    Since when is it illegal to record a TV show? Would then owning a VCR be illegal? Is there a list of DVD recorder owners out there, with someone sneaking into their homes nightly to see what they recorded???

    If DVR's are illegal as well, I'll take Time Warner down with me!

  12. John F***ing Stepp

    I will have a banana as a pullet proof monkey should.

    (I am not chicken enough to avoid a bad pun.)

    Some DVDs are lexan.

    Some others are evidently bojooms.

    (One coat of bojooms to go, would you wrap that please?)

  13. Liam O'Flaherty
    Paris Hilton

    A Ben Dover DVD more like!

    I bet it was actually filthy muck muck and he was too ashamed to say:

    "Yes, I was on my way home to pummel the pudding to a vast compilation of dirt my friend obtained via p2p app's".

    Still, lucky guy (apart from the loss of his filth).

    Paris because she features in a dirty DVD, the wee harlot!

  14. Dave Ross


    I think we have a solution to the lack of body armour available to the British armed forces in Afganistan!

  15. geekWithA.45

    The DVD's irrelevant.

    Experienced shooters are often struck by riccochets of the "bounceback" variety. I've been hit myself, (from my own .45, no less) and I know at least a few others who have as well.

    A "bounceback" strikes a wall, target fame, or whatnot, and changes direction by nearly 180 degrees, which means that most of the momentum and velocity is expended. If you spend any time at the range and are observant, sooner or later you'll find a fired bullet on the wrong end of the range.

    They strike with roughly the same force as a paintball, which is enough to hurt & raise a welt, but generally not enough to break the skin. That it hit the DVD was entirely arbitrary and not germane to the outcome.

    The riccochets that can harm you are the ones that substantially follow the original vector of the bullet. Striking a wall, for example, will change the direction of travel by less than 180 degrees, leaving most of the velocity intact. Those are the riccochets that ranges are specifically designed to contain, as they can lead to tragedy.

  16. Jon Tocker

    re geekWithA.45

    Had a similar experience years ago with an air rifle and received a very light tap when the .177 slug came back at me. It surprised the hell out of me as I wasn't expecting it. Never experienced it with any of my more powerful firearms so far.

    To the AC who can smell cow-pats: I suggest the origin of the smell is a lot closer to you than your computer. I get seriously annoyed by those who obviously know no more about firearms than what they've learned from watching Hollywood movies trying to pass themselves off as experts on the topic.

    The fire chief did say "I felt something like being hit in the stomach and assumed it was the /percussion/ from the discharged firearm," (my emphasis on "percussion") which suggests it was not a particularly substantial impact so the projectile (or a fragment thereof) was probably already robbed of most its energy prior to striking him.

    Milan and gWA.45 are quite correct: in this case, he probably would have been no worse than bruised even if the DVD were not in the way.

    He was just plain lucky. If he'd been in a position to take a skimming ricochet of less than 180 degrees (such as gWA.45 mentioned) or the projectile had impacted with less objects en route, he would probably be in hospital getting fragments of projectile and DVD removed from his guts.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Air Rifle Bounceback

    Yeah, there was one particular fence post that I hit it square on with my air rifle it would send the slug almost straight back at me. I got hit a few times, never broke the skin.

    PS: This was in the days before DVDs and CDs, so I was unprotected.

    Mine's the one with the prirate copy of "The Shootist" in the pocket.

  18. Alex

    It takes guts

    Anyone at waffle hut at 6am probably has enough surplus flesh that they can be shot often without damage.

  19. Spleen

    Bah, story's missing something

    If it had been me I'd've told everyone the DVD was The Passion of the Christ. I'm not even Christian, it's just that that should blatantly be the punchline to a bullet-stopped-by-something-in-pocket story.

  20. stuart byrne
    Gates Horns


    it's illegal in the UK to record TV shows, always has been, it's just impossible to police.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    then you could have ebayed the shards of the dvd as a "miracle"!!

    my brother shot me in the leg once, he claims he was aiming for my head

  22. Chris

    @stuart byrne

    Thats a load of old crap.

    It's perfectly legal to record a TV show in the UK. Where the law gets stupid is that this recording can only be watched by the TV Liscence holder once, then must be erased.

    If it was illegal to record TV shows completly in the UK, these new DVR TV recorders (Sky+, BT Vision) would have a bit of a hard time wouldn't they?

  23. Jacob Lipman

    @people arguing about UK TV laws

    Irrelevant. This happened in South Carolina (conveniently located on the opposite side of the pond).

    Something similar happened recently in my area (Nebraska, US), but with much worse results. A fellow was disassembling a Glock handgun at a local range, and neglected to clear the chamber first. As a result, the weapon discharged when he pulled the trigger (which must be done to disassemble the weapon), and a bullet fragment ricocheted off a counter and into another man's chest.

    At the same range, I've been struck by chunks of copper jacket a few times, but never a whole bullet. They definitely lose the better part of their momentum when they bounce back; a piece of jacket roughly 2mmx3mm struck me in the throat once, and resulted in nothing more severe than a minor burn.

    I see no reason to doubt the fire chief's story. A projectile is bound to stop eventually, as it loses momentum every time it strikes something or someone. He simply happened to be the last thing it struck, and it lacked the momentum to penetrate his DVD.

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