back to article Italian bloke sneezes out .22 bullet

An Italian labourer seriously impressed doctors by sneezing out a .22 bullet he'd accidentally picked up during lively New Year's Eve celebrations in Naples. Darco Sangermano, 28, copped a stray round in the right side of his head while enjoying the traditional trigger-happy knees-up with his girlfriend. Cue a dash to …


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  1. Code Monkey

    Hit by a stray round

    Holy fuck! Clearly my New Years are lightweight

  2. Gianni Straniero


    The weapon of choice for camorristi, because, instead of exiting the head, the round rattles around inside the skull, turning the brains to sanguinaccio. Or so I have heard.

    1. N2

      The weapon of choice

      I understood .22 was preferred because it could be silenced when used with low velocity ammo?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Most calibres

        can be silenced, but a silenced .22 doesn't carry a lot of energy. Better use a heavier calibre for those silent shootings. 9mm works pretty well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          .22LR subsonic is near silent...

          Assuming we're talking about the .22 Long Rifle (.22 LR) which is a rimfire round with the projectile little more than an air gun pellet in size then typically it's a very very quiet round - compared to some of the .30 range of rounds that tend to make a bit more of a racket.. The ammo is dirt cheap and available in a variety of flavours. I've heard the subsonic rounds are even quieter still and it would be a waste of effort to fit a silencer on these since they're little more than pops without.

        2. Roadkill

          Suppressed rounds

          As others have commented, the supersonic crack contributes a significant portion of the sound in many scenarios. Subsonic .22 LR has very low kinetic energy and is quite marginal for most purposes.

          While most calibers can be rendered subsonic by simply adding less propellant to the cartridge, it would ideal to partially compensate for the lower speed with greater mass. Most 9mm bullets are 90 - 120 grain, while .45ACP bullets mass up up to about 230 grain.

          Almost all .45ACP rounds are subsonic by default, so my suggestion would be to use a single-shot type action .45ACP platform for one's suppressed pistol needs (preventing the slide from cycling [ie. single-shot] will eliminate that noise factor). Regardless, it's just more convenient to use off-the-shelf ammo than have to load your own custom rounds, and that makes .45ACP the clear winner for this purpose.

          Don't forget to run your suppressor "wet" for additional sound reduction. Notwithstanding, nothing is going to make a suppressed pistol "Hollywood quiet", so expectations need to be realistic.

          1. william henderson 1
            Thumb Up

            welrod/wellrod (spelling?)

            is so quiet, you can hear the firing pin hit the primer.

            (or so i was informed by a squaddie that had used one).

  3. Jemma

    ... in fact ...

    All calibres can be silenced - its more a matter of the gun concerned - silencing a single shot weapon is more effective because in an automatic the bolt is open a substantial amount of the time the weapon is firing - which means escaping gases, which means escaping sound.

    As to the .22 its not much of a round as far as muzzle velocity is concerned, nor stopping power. There are ways to make it more lethal however - but the guy was still lucky - there was a case of a 16 year old girl who was accidentally shot by her brother - it hit her directly through the eye, the one place a .22 could easily kill.

    If you want to make a mess of a person, and make sure that other people aren't harmed then the Glazer round is your friend, its design is such that the round does maximum damage without going through the body.

    The problem with silenced weapons is that of muzzle velocity - the more quiet, the less muzzle velocity. Given that a silenced round at range tends to tumble they are only accurate at close range, hence a silenced weapon generally being used at close or point blank ranges.

    1. dssf

      SBB to the Are-EE-Ess-See-Yoo-Eeee

      One possible solution: Firing fully-automatic weapons from inside a "Stabilized Black Box", aka, "Ess-Bee-Bee"...

      Mufflers inside the box could cancel and or redirect bolt and other noises. Whisper-quited rotating, timed slot covers could open to permit the round to fire out of the box, sort of how prop-driven planes' guns were timed to get the rounds between the blades rather than through the blades.

      Visualization: heavy-assed, hip-slung Aliens-like gatling gun. Might need a tripod and caster wheels along with the recoil-and active-gyration kit...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All rounds can be silenced....

      .... somewhat stretches it. With more serious rounds, such as 7.62, you can reduce the signature, but that's about it.

      How much of a device would you need to silence a .50 calibre rifle? The silencer would probably be man portable......

    3. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      "the one place a .22 could easily kill."

      I use .22LR a lot (and others). I can guarantee you, shot within 50m any where on the head and you'll be good as dead. Same with a shot to the heart.

      I've seen expanding subsonic .22LR go through all sorts of materials in my time, including 6 inches of fence post (before burying deep in a backstop).

      Your comment would be closer to the truth for a 12ftlb air rifle.

      "silenced round at range tends to tumble" - actually it's the transition from supersonic to subsonic that tends to wobble rounds. Subsonic rounds tend to follow a very clean ballistic curve as they don't have the supersonic shock wave to contend with as they slow down. OFC in the case of .22LR, they are easy dragged by wind and striking anything mid flight (twigs, grass, et al.) can induce a tumble but the latter is the true for any bullet to varying degrees.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      ref: The problem with silenced weapons is that of muzzle velocity

      Which is why big heavy slugs are prefered, as you up the M part of E=M x (V x V)

      Subsonic eliminates one of the cracks made by the round being discharged. (bullet going supersonic)

  4. ratfox


    I didn't know that there was a city called Naples in the Middle East. It is a good thing that stupid behaviors like shooting at random for celebrating the new year would never occur on our civilized European continent.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      With Berlusconi in power...

      ... Italy can hardly be considered as civilised.

    2. amehaye

      So true

      I live in Israel, and indeed our Arab citizens have this habit of 'joy shootings'. Every year people get killed from these. IIRC last year someone shot his father by a mistake, in an Arab wedding.

      But hey, you have to be tolerant to other people beliefs, customs etc. Or something.

    3. skeptical i

      Actually, it's common practice here in parts of southwest Amurka ...

      ... oh, wait, you said "civilized", didn't you. Nevermind.

  5. TkH11


    I worry when a woman knows so much about firearms and bullets..perhaps she's an american...Palin by any chance?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I'm waiting for the redneck comments...

    ....such as "guns don't kill people, New Year parties kill people".

    1. Captain DaFt


      My experience is that idiots kill people... with guns, cars, knives, words, etc, etc, etc....

      A few even mean to do it! Beer icon because... I need a drink!

  7. Arctic fox

    I hope that the gentleman....

    .......had a Kevlar handkerchief available otherwise he would have been lethal at close quarters!

  8. Graham Bartlett

    @Mahatma Coat

    Guns don't kill people, bullets sprayed randomly into the air by gun-owning inbred third-world imbeciles kill people.

    FWIW, I'm in favour of gun ownership on the same basis as car ownership. Take an *extremely* rigorous test initially to get your license to own/use one, and repeated minor violations of sensible use or one major violation will result in the gun being impounded and your license taken away. (Yes, that means your range supervisor is watching you.) And if a doctor decides you're no longer safe to own one, he can take your license away too.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer

      @Graham Bartlett

      Actually "in the air" isn't really an issue if the bullet goes mostly up, it's when they go along (thus keeping most of the velocity before impact) which is a problem, in this case, the bullet went in the temple, difficult if the bullet is vertical (and of course a .22 bullet merely dropping from the sky under gravity alone is unlikely to do more than scratch).

      So, "Guns don't kill people, bullets sprayed randomly into the air by gun-owning inbred third-world imbeciles kill people" isn't really right, "random" isn't an issue "shallow angle" is, I'm not sure what the "inbred third-world imbeciles" is all about, but in my experience (a note for the ladies) if you go out with a man to a resturant don't judge your date by how he treats you, judge him by how he treats the waiter.

  9. Nick Galloway

    If that's what comes out his nose...

    ...I can only imagine he has a bomb proof toilet!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    OK, dummy, bullets fired in the air come down at the same speed.

    If you must fire a gun to celebrate, shoot it into soft ground, and make sure no one is there...I had the experience of a dummy doing this, it came down where I work and punched a hole right above the electrical box.... and it rained.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer

      Re: OK, dummy, bullets fired in the air come down at the same speed

      Mythbusters Episode 50;

      Their conclusion, at an angle can be dangerous (or even fatal), but straight up is unlikely to be fatal, consider a ballistic bullet, breaking the sound barrier on the way up, it won't break the sound barrier on the way down.

      This is simple mechanical mathematics, (for a perfectly vertical bullet) on the way up acceleration is due to the propellant (deceleration due to air friction and gravity), at the peak it has zero speed, on the way down acceleration due to gravity (retardation due to air friction, the combination of both means the bullet will reach terminal velocity).

      The maths is reasonably complex, but the concept is simple.

      The critical thing is the angle, an example (in my head estimate), a subsonic 22 round (say 40 grain) fired at 45 degrees would have approximately 45% of it's original velocity at impact (more than enough to kill), but vertically about 20%, identical rounds fired vertically, one being subsonic and the other being balistic would have identical velocity on the way down (after reaching terminal velocity).

  11. Anonymous Coward

    OK, dummy, bullets fired in the air come down at the same speed.

    If you must fire a gun to celebrate, shoot it into soft ground, and make sure no one is there...and watch out for your toes! I had the experience of a dummy doing this, it came down where I work and punched a hole right above the electrical box.... and it rained.

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