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February 21, 2008

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Power Tools, Rifle Cartridges Don’t Mix

Do you ever recall some of the dumb stunts you pulled when you were a youngster—and think about how you’re fortunate to be alive, despite yourself?

Chances are that a couple of Sheboygan County, Wisc. teenage boys will remember an incident occurring this week as one of those seminal moments in their lives—that is, if they make it to adulthood.


Benjamin Fisher, 18, and a 17-year-old friend were messing around in Fisher’s backyard shed Monday when they got the wild idea to remove the gunpowder from some surplus 7.62x54R cartridges they found.

The two Sheboygan Falls High School students first tried to pull the bullet from the live cartridge using pliers. It didn’t work.

That’s when they opted for power tools.

After cutting the tip of the bullet so it offered a flat surface, one of the teens held the cartridge with pliers, while the other used a drill to bore through the bullet.

Within seconds, the backyard shed became a classroom of sorts, as the teens were taught an important lesson about physics and compressed gunpowder.

The two were fortunate to receive only non-life threatening burns from the resulting explosion.

Those burns, in time, will disappear. But the marks left by youthful indiscretion will remain. And the boys already know it full well.

“It’s just, I guess, bad judgment on my behalf, just kids being kids,” Fisher told the Sheboygan Press Tuesday. “I’d kind of like to drop it right here, but I know that’s not going to happen.”

You’re right, kiddo, it’s not gonna happen.


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In the words of Pat McManus "Poof no eyebrows"!

Sherrill Philip Neese

I can't laugh too much. I had a similar incident when I was in 6th grade. My brother and I decided to open a canister marked with "Red Star Parachute". We wanted the parachute. We cut off the top with a canister and inside was a ring with a string attached. I held the canister and my brother pulled on the ring. What we had was a red signal flare that was shot into the air and would then descend slowly due to the attached parachute. To make the story short, the canister blew up in my hands, the fire gutted the basement, and our house nearly burnt down. I am 50 years old now and I still have the scars on my hands. I also learned a very important lesson... Well... at least for a couple of years. ;)



What a great story!! Made my day. But I'll just bet'cha it didn't make the newspaper back in the 60s, either. Times have indeed changed.

Sherrill Philip Neese


Totally agree. Back then, it was no big deal to the press or anyone. It was just one of those things dumb kids did. My parents were a tad negative about the situation ;) but, that was about it.