With the Coronavirus going around and everyone stuck inside, I decided to have a little fun outdoors with my very own COVID-19 shooting challenge. Using an image from the CDC of a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, I spray-painted a large styrofoam ball gray, and a few hundred Q-tips, painted red. I then cut off one end of the Q-tips and stuck them all over the ball.
The result was pretty impressive — my grade 5 arts and craft teacher Mrs. Riley would have been proud. The COVID ball was then placed on a broom handle and propped it up in the yard in a safe place to shoot.
GUNS USED TO SHOOT THE COVID BALL
I tackled the COVID course with a handful of guns to include:
- A Ruger 10/22 chambered in .22 LR.
- A Savage 93R17 chambered in the fast and deadly .17 HMR.
- A Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle chambered in .223 Remington.
- A Mossberg 500 series SPX Tactical 12-gauge shotgun firing 1-ounce slugs.
The COVID ball was engaged at a distance of 25 yards with all four guns. I started by firing a few rounds of .22 LR from the Ruger 10/22. The visual results were rather unimpressive. Though .22 LR rounds inflicted damage, they didn’t tumble or expand in the soft styrofoam. They simply passed through with ease.
Next up was the Savage 93R17 rifle. This is one of my favorite guns because it’s cheap to shoot and .17 HMR rounds are fast, deadly and very accurate. Again, the rounds just sliced through without many visual results.
The third gun was the Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, chambered in .223 Rem. This is one of the most common calibers in the world, with many military weapons chambered in it — most notably the M4 rifle.
The .223 round is a very capable round and the 55-grain bullet travels at a high speed, around 3,200 feet per second. Usually, it tumbles when hitting a target, causing damage; however, it sliced through the styrofoam like butter but gave the COVID ball a very bad day.
The last gun was the Mossberg 500 series 12-gauge shotgun. I fired 1-ounce slugs used for deer hunting. I was confident that these rounds would inflict massive damage and I was not incorrect.
The 1-ounce slugs traveling at 1,600 feet per second punched giant holes through the COVID ball and created massive exit wounds. It was obvious that they were the most effective medicine against the styrofoam COVID ball. If you’ve never fired slugs from a 12-gauge shotgun, you should give it is a go. They have a lot of recoil and, at close ranges, are extremely impressive.
I should say as a disclaimer that this test was not scientific in any way, shape or form. Shooting a homemade styrofoam COVID ball with guns is not a proven way to kill COVID-19, but it sure is fun.
We are all looking forward to getting back on the range to shoot and have some fun. Those days are coming, but until then, stay safe.