# Is it a good idea to fire a shotgun against a tree?

1. Apr 5, 2015

### Westin

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

When Danny was 13, he went deer hunting with his grandfather. He decided that he didn't like the "kick" of the gun, so he pressed himself against a tree before firing a 12-gauge (3.5kg) loaded with a deer slug (0.22kg). Evaluate this idea.

It was a big mistake.
It really won't matter.
It was a good idea.

Based on your knowledge of momentum conservation, explain the reasoning for your answer.

2. Relevant equations
Conservation of Momentum & Energy
ΔEsys=Wsurr+Q
3. The attempt at a solution

I believe it would be a good idea because the kick would transfer from the gun to your shoulder, and then into the wall due to the conservation of momentum and energy.

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2015
2. Apr 5, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Okay consider hanging a piece of wood in front of you from two strings and hitting it with your fist. Does it hurt more or less than if the wood is hanging and touching a wall when you hit it?

3. Apr 5, 2015

### Westin

It would hurt more if it was touching a wall, because the wall will have energy pushing back?

4. Apr 5, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

So what would happen to your shoulder?

5. Apr 5, 2015

### Westin

It would move more, resulting in a big mistake. I really liked the example you used, made it very easy to think through the concept, thank you.

6. Apr 5, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

No I was thinking more that it could seriously damage your shoulder.

It would probably be a more accurate shot though as your shoulder wouldn't move as much keeping the shot straight and accurate.

7. Apr 7, 2015

### DrewHizzy

You shouldn't have to explain this scientifically to know it's a bad idea..

8. Apr 7, 2015

### phinds

No, it would move LESS, resulting in a bad idea. When your shoulder is not against a tree it can absorb some of the recoil by moving backwards. When it's against a tree it can't move so all the recoil goes into your shoulder.

9. Apr 9, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Can you press the shotgun against the tree?
Or get something hard connecting the shotgun with the tree to transfer momentum via this object instead of the shoulder?

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