The Firing Party Timing

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Forensic Experts Galore

What you hear and what you see can be two different things. A firing party fires so quickly that it can be impossible to hear that a single shot fired by all seven team members is not at exactly the same split second.

We hear perfection, but a photo or still from a video can show a very, very minute imperfection. However, just because all seven did not fire at exactly the same instant does not mean we do not hear what is called a “Boomer”, all seven sounding like one booming shot.

Just because you don’t see a plume of smoke or fire emanating from every single barrel doesn’t mean the team sounded like popcorn popping. OK, you have fired before and know the concepts behind it, that doesn’t mean you are a forensic expert.

In the photo at top, you can see the historic reenactment of firing black powder rifles. Notice the slightly different plumes of smoke and fire. Even with this variation in the photo, it’s quite possible they sounded like one shot. Same with these images below.

May 1919: Firing party at a memorial day for American and British soldiers buried at the war cemetery in Brookwood, Surrey.
Kelly Dragus, wife Jonathan Dragus–the last Oklahoma City police officer killed in the line of duty–fires her pistol with other members of the honor guard as fallen officers are remembered at a memorial in front of Oklahoma City Police Headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Friday, May 9, 2008. BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN

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