back to article Bulgarian airbag absorbs semi-automatic rifle round

A California woman caught up in a fatal shooting may have been saved by her D-cup breast implants, one of which took a round from a semi-automatic assault rifle, the Los Angeles Times reports. On 1 July last year, Lydia Carranza was working at the front desk of a dentist's office in Simi Valley, north west of Los Angeles. …


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  1. ZombieApoc

    squishy impact

    Doesn't surprise me. Many of the people who have survived falling thousands of feet from a plane without a chute have survived because of minor objects reducing the force of their impact at the last moment i.e. moss, trees, a skylight, ...

    1. Richard 81
      Thumb Down


      Pah! I'm not believing any of their so called findings. Mythbusters 'proved' you couldn't flip a car with jet engines once, using two puny truck mounted turbines. Having failed to do a proper literature search however, they missed Top Gear's far better experiments using a 747.

      Bunch of cow boys pretending to do science.

  2. LinkOfHyrule

    Don't tell the ausies

    Don't tell the government in Australia about this happening. They will use it as another reason to ban small breasts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      type your title here

      and thats a bad thing?

  3. Uwe Dippel

    So, it's

    The Bulgarian Bullet-Proof Enhancement from now on?

    On my way out with a 36-A under my coat.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Myth Busted!!

    Didn't Mythbusters already prove that this kind of thing is a hoax. It would take several feet of human tissue (~3-4ft or ~1 metre) to stop a high velocity round, or 14 pizza boxes (with contents).

    More likely the bullet hit her breastbone ....

    1. Bassey

      Not busted

      Nothing tries to suggest the round was stopped. Just slowed a little. If the fragments were mm from her vital organs it "could" be that a small reduction in velocity before it broke up was enough to have saved her life.

      Nobody is suggesting the implant acted like a bullet proof vest with the round just bouncing off.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Yeah but, the chemical in those implants isn't human tissue.

      1. Marvin the Martian

        Yeah but, no but @@mobifan

        The point of the (originally silicone, now salt water?) implants is to mimic human tissue. Corrolary: similar resistance etc (but different taste, colour, conductivity, whatever).

        Alternatively, 2 birds 1 stone solution: kevlar implants.

        1. Ben Tasker



          Kevlar isn't bullet proof.

          It's knife proof but not bullet proof.

          Implants could potentially slow a bullet enough, I've wasted several pages of paper doing the math!

        2. Ammaross Danan

          Not quite

          Breast implants aren't ment to offer the same penetration resistance as normal flesh, but to provide the same ELASTICITY resistance. It gives them the proper shape-holding and wobbley goodness of the real [oversized] thing.

    3. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      um... no

      First of all, Mythbusters is NOT science, it's a very entertaining TV show that occasionally stumbles into correct science.

      Secondly, there is no mention of the calibre of the "assault rifle" (a much overused and frequently inaccurate term, but I digress). There are aftermarket enhancements that can make a .22 rimfire look enough like a top of the line "assault rifle" to confuse your average reporter, etc. There are also plenty of "assault rifles" in pistol calibres which lack the penetrating capability of calibres typically associated with such weaponry (5.56mm and up)

      1. Greg J Preece


        Nuff said.

    4. Ammaross Danan

      RE: Myth Busted!!

      Yes, mythbusters busted the bullet-stopping capability of implants (didn't they use Silicone ones anyway?). However, they didn't measure its effect at REDUCING penetration depth. The round fragmented (obviously, since "fragments" are mentioned), and with the extra inch or so of "high pressure" salt water to penetrate, the fragments didn't penetrate deep enough to kill her (by mere millimeters in this case). Ever see a bullet shot into water? Stops quite quickly. Or didn't you see that Myth Busters of shooting a cube of gel at various angles/depths in water?

    5. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      On the other hand...

      Mythbusters also did an episode that showed high velocity rifle shells disintegrate on impact with water, as I imagine they would do with human flesh. The difference is that the water would quickly leech out the energy of the bullet by squirting out of the hole it made, whereas flesh doesn't tend to do that. The water would also absorb most of the initial shockwave and thus reduce the amount of damage the bullet could actually do. The combined effect could theoretically remove enough energy for the bullet to merely embed itself in the chest cavity with relatively little damage, rather than passing right through it and shredding everything on the way.

      A high velocity bullet to the breastbone at point blank range = dead. It would shatter like glass.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Could be...

      ...that the impact on the liquid combined with multiple phase transitions (air/flesh/solid/water/solid/flesh) broke up the bullet and took enough energy away from the fragments to save her life. Or it could just be a plastic surgeon shooting off his mouth to get a bit of attention. Didn't know plastic surgeons did ballistics as part of their education.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    machine gun jubblies

    even better, than you can return fire. yeah baby yeah

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Once did an experiment to see if it was possible to be so fat that you were bulletproof, it turns out not, but it does offer some protection! So even non-enhanced jubblies could save your life.

  7. S Larti

    That explains...

    why that Jordanian surplus bulletproof vest isn't Jordanian Army...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Will have to be a head shot for Jordan then..

    1. Lan ser

      small target

      and would probably still miss any vital organs

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        But timed correctly could probably remove the ability of her partner to reproduce as well.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My girlfriend asked how her breasts look and I said

    "like a high-pressure bag full of salt water which would probably would provide more resistance than plain flesh".

    Now I'm not allowed within 50 feet of her.

  10. Brian Miller

    Mythbusters = junk science

    Believe it or not, rifle rounds are not necessarily meant for penetration. The news reports only state that it was a semiautomatic rifle, which may have been a .223 (5.56) round. This round was originally designed to wound, and fragmentation would be expected.

    1. Dave Bell

      Myths and busts

      Terminal ballistics is complicated, and there are a lot of tall tales about what bullets do.

      Miltary rifle ammunition is designed to disable an enemy soldier who is several hundred metres away. This was at point-blank range.

      But high-velocity bullets do some nasty things when they hit flesh, and a lot of nastiness happened in the implant. Yes, it would make a difference.

  11. Blubster

    @AC 16:28

    Not necessarily - the resulting explosion from her mams could take out her AND two city blocks.

  12. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Low-powered weapon or a ricochet?

    The only description I can find is that the weapon was a ".30 caibre assault rifle", which covers everything from an AK-47 to an old M1 carbine, and several stocked guns firing pistol rounds. Given the media phobia for even .22 calibre clones of the AK I'd expect any variant to be described as an AK rather than as a ".30 caibre assault rifle". An M1 Winchester .30 carbine round I can believe as being slowed by an implant given that it isn't the hottest of rounds, but the word "fragments" does imply it had either come through some part of the scenary and was already slowed or was broken up on a rib or breastbone. At short range an AK slug would have gone right through the lady even after passing through a plasterboard wall or office divider, unless it hit a large bone. Still, she sounds like a very lucky lady given how worse the affair could have been.

    As for Jordan, I suspect a headshot would have a hard time finding anything vital to damage.....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Let's make it official...

    From now on, all women will need to have D cup size implants for safety reasons.

  14. Crazy Operations Guy

    Sure sounds like LA to me

    Semi-Automatic Rifles and breast implants...

  15. Justin 17

    High Velocity Round

    A high velocity round entering water will disintegrate into fragements dumping a lot of energy. About 2 ft of water would stop a high velocity round; mind that is pair of pretty big implants.

  16. Kenno


    And later she was quoted as saying:

    "Well when a bloke usually shoots at me tits I normally just wash it off,"

  17. Anonymous Coward

    I was there!

    Living, and working in Simi Valley, I remember this day. Namely, because when we (myself and a female colleague) were going out for Indian food for lunch (there's a great little buffet in town) we found the street in front of that dental office blocked off, and had to detour (after getting out and asking people what was going on).

    Now, far be it from me to compare the tragedy that occurred that day, and the loss of human life, to the delay that it caused me on arriving to my curry (because it cannot compare, truly), yet I still find it amusing that something from my little town would show up on this site that I've read so regularly for so many years.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one...

    ...find breast enlargements actually increase the risk of a possible incoming projectile!

  19. Dale Morgan

    Best quote ever

    "I didn't look or think about it. I just felt wet in my chest area. I thought I was going to die."

    If it wasn't the "i thought i was going to die" part

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