Can You Really Shoot a Hangman’s Rope in Two?
Russ Chastain 01.12.21
(Image: Screenshot from ‘shoot a hangman’s rope’ video)
Jerry Miculek can usually make me smile, but this time he got so silly he made me literally laugh out loud. You owe it to yourself to check out this video from a few years back, in which Jerry explores the myth of cutting a hangman’s rope with a bullet.
The opening bit of the video is what tickled me so much. We hear some western movie music as Jerry approaches in his Clint Eastwood poncho to face the Naked Jelly Bandit, an utterly ridiculous creation consisting of a cowboy-hat-wearing cantaloupe sitting atop a headless and nude mannequin. When Jerry notices an empty jar nearby marked “Jerry’s Jelly,” he utters a G-rated “son of a bleep” before the “gunfight” ensues.
After saving his jelly jar he gets down to business, which in this case is trying to replicate the B-western movie feat of shooting a hangman’s rope to cut it in two in order to save someone from death by hanging. He rigs up a sisal rope with 200 pounds of weight and gets all set with a Colt single action revolver in 45 Colt.
I’m not sure why he didn’t actually raise the hanging “victim” up so the actual weight is placed on the rope, but it’s clearly resting on the wooden deck below his simulated gallows. Hmmm.
Anyhow, the 45 Colt (no Jerry, it’s not “long Colt” dang it) didn’t do the job in one shot, so he drags out a Sharps rifle in 45-70, which seems kinda silly, since the caliber is the same as his handgun and would seem to have an equal chance of cutting the rope. Which, by the way, is 3/4″ diameter — more than half again the diameter of these less-than-half-inch projectiles he’s testing.
Does the rifle do any better than the revolver? Well, I’ll just let you watch the video to find out. And you will definitely want to watch it, because otherwise you’ll miss seeing Jerry shoulder a 50 BMG to shoot a hangman’s rope!
I think you’re gonna enjoy this one.