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If you’re going to be shot, it’s safer to be naked, in a way

Yes, if you’re going to be shot, it’s safer to be naked, in a way, says this study:

Clothing increases the risk of indirect ballistic fractures,” David C. Kieser, Debra J. Carr, Sandra CJ Leclair, Ian Horsfall [pictured here], Jean-Claude Theis, Michael V. Swain, and Jules A. Kieser, Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, vol. 8, no. 1, 2013, pp.  1-7. (Thanks to investigator Ivan Oransky for bringing this to our attention.) The authors insist:

horsfallThe objective of this study is thus to determine the effect of clothing and soft tissue thickness on the risk of indirect fracture formation.

Methods: Twenty-five fresh red deer femora embedded in ballistic gelatine were shot with varying distances off their medial cortex with a 5.56 × 45 mm North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bullet while being filmed with a slow-motion video. We compared the effect of two different gelatine depths and the effect of denim cloth laid onto the impact surface of the moulds.

Results: Bullet passage in thinner moulds failed to cause fracture because the bullet exited the mould before a large expanding temporary cavity was produced. Clothing dramatically altered the size and depth of the expanding cavity, as well as increased lateral pressures, resulting in more severe fractures with greater bullet distances from the bone that can cause fracture.

Conclusions: Clothing increases the risk of indirect fracture and results in larger, more superficial temporary cavities, with greater lateral pressures than are seen in unclothed specimens, resulting in more comminuted fractures.

BONUS: Co-author Horsfall is also known for his work with knives.

Improbable Research