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Home struck by bullet fired at nearby SDF training ground in Shiga

14 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

It seems at least one member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force needs a little more practice, though, since one of his shots missed the target he was aiming for and hit a civilian home instead.

On the afternoon of July 16, around 1:30 in the afternoon, a resident of the Imazuchohozaka neighborhood in Takashima, Shiga Prefecture, heard something thud into the roof of his house. It wasn’t until four hours later, though, that the homeowner walked into a room on the second floor of the house and discovered the source of the noise.

A two-centimeter hole had been punched through the ceiling by a bullet, which was had first pierced one of the house’s roof tiles. After contacting the local police, an investigation was carried out with the cooperation of the Ground Self-Defense Force. The two organizations determined that the six-centimeter long 12-caliber shell had been fired at the Japan Self-Defense Force training field at Aibano, some 500 meters southeast of the home, where personnel had been conducting firing practice that day.

None of the three residents of the home were injured in the incident.

Source: Sankei West

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14 Comments
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What goes up, must come down.

In the case of a bullet fired at a precisely vertical angle (something extremely difficult for a human being to duplicate), the bullet would tumble, lose its spin, and fall at a much slower speed due to terminal velocity and is therefore rendered less than lethal on impact. However, if a bullet is fired upward at a non-vertical angle (a far more probable possibility), it will maintain its spin and will reach a high enough speed to be lethal on impact.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From the description it sounds like a standard 12 Gauge Shotgun slug. A standard rifled slug weighs about 22 grams. It travels at ~ 550 meters per second when it leaves the barrel then immediately begins to slow down due to resistance as it travels through the air. Slugs are not very aerodynamic so they slow down more quickly than a rifle bullets normally used by military. At 50 meters it would be traveling at ~ 380 meters per second. At 100 meters it has slowed down to 300 meters per second. At 500 meters it will be traveling far slower. Even though it would have been traveling much slower than a rifle bullet, a slug's mass makes it potentially lethal up to 500 meters.

Its becoming more common for gun ranges to install shooting tubes that force the gun to remain pointed down range. This helps to ensure accidental misfires don't happen with the gun pointed outside the range.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Suppose people were laying on floor and taking a nap in the room ? I see SDF training field is very close to civilian housing area.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Googling current news for the town name finds: It was a '12.7mm bullet (x 60mm length) heavy machine gun, 6.5 km max range, 3.5 km from the house in question', and photo of the bullet in question: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201507170056

Heavy machine guns used by SDF are (or include) shooting 12.7x99mm cartridge: M2 (tripod mount) or M85 (turret mount, max range 6,702.6 m).

Saw a photo on Google Maps of an SDF Type 74 battle tank giving rides to civilians at the facility. Maybe the shell was fired from a tank.

Japan Type 90 tank (latest) and Type 74 tank (replaced by Type 90) both use "M2HB" 12.7mm heavy machine guns (according to wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M2_Browning

Photo comparing 12.7x99mm rounds to smaller rifle rounds (5.56mm / .223in) and 0.500 pistol round: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:50BMG_Rounds.jpg

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@turbostat. Thanks for the link. That changes everything. Obviously not a shotgun round.

And 3.5 kilometers is quite different from 500 meters talked about in this article.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@toshikoJUL. 19, 2015 - 09:17AM JST

Suppose people were laying on floor and taking a nap in the room ? I see SDF training field is very close to civilian housing area.

Yes they are. It poses problems to both sides, and generally every time an accident happens, the lines are redrawn to limit the angles the SDF can fire at more. So another step back for SDF training in the future :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Googling current news for the town name finds: It was a '12.7mm bullet (x 60mm length) heavy machine gun, 6.5 km max range, 3.5 km from the house in question', and photo of the bullet in question: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201507170056

Heavy machine guns used by SDF are (or include) shooting 12.7x99mm cartridge: M2 (tripod mount) or M85 (turret mount, max range 6,702.6 m).

Saw a photo on Google Maps of an SDF Type 74 battle tank giving rides to civilians at the facility. Maybe the shell was fired from a tank.

Japan Type 90 tank (latest) and Type 74 tank (replaced by Type 90) both use "M2HB" 12.7mm heavy machine guns (according to wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M2_Browning

Photo comparing 12.7x99mm rounds to smaller rifle rounds (5.56mm / .223in) and 0.500 pistol round: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:50BMG_Rounds.jpg

Thanks 'turbostat' for the in depth and correct information! Scary to think what that round could have done.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I care about life of people.. Do SDF there distribute notice to people know could be in danger if they stay home at certain hour of certain day ? Maybe donate all surrounding home family members bullet proof vests?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You're (both) welcome ... re bullets dropping from sky, sometimes people in some states are killed by others who use guns fired in the air as a substitute for fireworks. Also there's the Lazy Dog bomblet, basically a bullet with fins, about the size of the 12.7mm bullet, air-dropped in a cluster munition canister.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazy_Dog_%28bomb%29

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Leave it to Japan to put it's training grounds in front of residential areas. Where's the outrage over the drills and base there? I sure know what the media would be like right about now if it had been downwind of an American base.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sounds like the safest place to be during an SDF shooting practice is right in front of the target.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

toshiko

Maybe donate all surrounding home family members bullet proof vests?

There's no bulletproof vest in the world that will stop a .50 BMG round. And I doubt a bunch of civilians sitting in their homes would wear them anyway.

I qualified as a Range Safety Officer a few years ago. Training ranges are SUPPOSED to be designed so that there is either a) nothing behind them that can be damaged/injured or b) all the rounds go into some solid piece of earth (usually a hillside). To fire in such a manner that one of your rounds lands in a house 3.5km away.....well, that's a pretty serious range safety violation for which heads would probably roll and procedures would be reviewed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@noble: Rhank you for explaining, Can SDF do shooting practi ce with smaller bullet using guns? Sounds some of them are not sharp shooters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sure they DO train with smaller weapons, but in order to maintain any realistic combat readiness it's absolutely necessary to practice with every weapon system you will use. 50-caliber heavy machine guns are a common (and very useful) weapon on vehicles, and it sounds like there might be tanks at this SDF base. The only way to NOT (eventually) be a danger to civilians around you is to train with them. As carefully as possible.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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