World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Pistol-whipping

Article Id: WHEBN0030221421
Reproduction Date:

Title: Pistol-whipping  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cochise County in the Old West, Thomas Trantino, Jeon Myeong-un, Troy Davis, Rose Dugdale
Collection: American Old West, Blunt Weapons, Firearm Techniques
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Pistol-whipping

Pistol-whipping or buffaloing is the act of using a handgun as a blunt weapon, wielding it as if it were a club or baton.[1] "Pistol-whipping" and "to pistol-whip" were reported as "new words" of American speech in 1955, with cited usages from the 1940s.[2] However, both the term and the practice trace back to the Wild West of the 19th century.

Pistol-whipping should not be confused with butt-stroking, a close combat military discipline using the rifle.

Method

Paul Wellman notes that clubbing an opponent with the butt of a gun held by its barrel, as seen in some Westerns, is problematic. First, guns are designed for shooting, not as a club. Second, the danger of an unintentional discharge could fatally wound the "clubber". Additionally, many handguns, specifically revolvers, lack sufficient structural strength. Striking a target in this manner could cause damage to the weapon. Finally, rotating a gun so that it can be held by its barrel takes extra time. The loss of time may be crucial during a fight.

Instead, pistol-whipping should be done with the gun held in an ordinary manner, hitting the target with an overhand strike from either the long, heavy barrel of the gun or the side of the gun in the area of the cylinder. It was a fairly common way to incapacitate a man (assisted by the heavy weight of the handguns of the day), and was known as "buffaloing", with the verb form being "to buffalo".[3][4] This form of pistol-whipping with an 1860s-style revolver was tested on the Spike TV television show Deadliest Warrior.[5] The testers showed that using the long barrel of a Colt revolver in a whipping motion produced enough force to fracture a skull and could potentially kill a man with a single blow.

Forensics

Pistol whipping may leave unusual lacerations on the body of the injured due to various protruding details of the pistol.[6] Semicircular or triangular lacerations on the skin may be produced by the butt of a pistol. The magazine well and base produce rectangular lacerations on the skin.[7] These lacerations can vary in depth and severity, but if "whipped", fractures are common.

References

  1. ^ "Pistol whipping", Random House Unabridged Dictionary
  2. ^ "Fifty Years Among the New Words: by John Algeo, p. 142, from vol. 30 (1955), no. 4 of the American Speech, the journal of the American Dialect Society
  3. ^ The Trampling Herd: The Story of the Cattle Range in America by Paul Iselin Wellman (1988) ISBN 0-8032-9723-8, p. 196
  4. ^ The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-popping Cow Waddy, by Charley Hester, Kirby Ross, 2004, ISBN 0-8032-7346-0, Chapter 14: "Buffaloing"
  5. ^ Deadliest Warrior, Seasion 2 Episode 3 'Jesse James vs Al Capone'
  6. ^ "Pistol whipping", in Forensic Pathology, by David Dolinak, Evan W. Matshes, Emma O. Lew, 2006, ISBN 0-12-219951-0, p. 185
  7. ^ "Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques", Vincent J.M. DiMaio, 1999, ISBN 0-8493-8163-0, pp. 270-271
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.