Can a Bat stop a Bullet? Lucille vs 9mm

In the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, Negan stopped Rosita’s bullet with Lucille, his barb wire wrapped bat. Though we don’t know how underpowered the round loaded by Eugene might have been, it was at least powerful enough to cycle the slide on Rosita’s Beretta.

Here’s a video that explores the reality of a scene from season 7, episode 8, wherein Rosita attempts to kill bad guy Negan by shooting at him with a handloaded 9mm. Could this really happen? Could a baseball bat stop a 9mm round? Let’s see.

TV shows aren’t really known for their accurate portrayal of firearms use, and The Walking Dead is no exception. (I don’t know whether to chuckle or sigh every time I see Rick lift and point his .357 Colt Python at an adversary’s feet. How in the heck does he aim?)

But TwangnBang does everything he can to give this a more than fair test. He buys a brand new ash Louisville Slugger and wraps the bat in fake barbed wire so as not to weaken the grain with the nails it would take to secure real barbed wire.

He takes the shot and the bullet goes clean through the sweet spot of the bat and into the rubber dummy behind it. So no, it is highly unlikely that Rosita’s shot would have been captured by Lucille like it was in the show.

But that’s TV! We just have to suspend belief and accept that some things aren’t going to match up with real life. Like, you know, zombies walking the earth.

[su_heading size=”30″]Video Transcription[/su_heading]

Hey, thanks for tuning into TWANGnBANG. Fans of The Walking Dead saw in the most recent midseason finale, the main badguy Negan completely, accidentally, by his own luck, blocking a 9mm intended for his face with his barb-wire-wrapped bat he calls Lucille. Now, the Walking Dead isn’t exactly known for firearms accuracy, and I think this is one of those cases, but I wanted to see for myself, can you block a bullet from a 9mm handgun with a baseball bat? We’re gonna find out next on TWANGnBANG.

[Intro music]

Before I shoot my homemade Lucille, there are a few things I want to point out about her. I’m doing my best to give the bat as much of a chance at stopping a bullet as possible. This is an off-the-shelf Ash louisville Slugger, just like you would expect Lucille to be, Louisville Slugger is the only brand that has an oval right here, all I did was put a brown coat of paint over this, and I took a marker to color in that oval. The other thing I didn’t do was wrap it with real barbed-wire, because you use big heavy-duty fencing nails to hold it in place, and that could weaken the grain, and could create weak spots, make it easier for a bullet to get through. There’s one other way I’m stacking the deck in favor of this bat.

The round I’m using is as close to what Eugene probably loaded for Rosita as I could find. It’s got a lead, round-nose bullet, and it’s loaded with just enough powder to reliably cycle the slide on the handgun. That’s one clue we got from that episode. The spent shell was sitting there on the road, which means that that round at least had enough power to cycle the slide.

OK I think Rosita was a little bit a better shot than I am, but we’re gonna see what we get.


UUGH. Hit a little low, but that went right through. Let’s try that again.


auuugh. [Laughing]

Right through again. Ok, let’s take a look at this.

I messed up my off-sight(?) shooting so close, so I just skimmed the bottom of the bat. The lead bullet still ripped the bat right open like I’d expect it to. My second shot was true though, right in the center of the sweet spot. Lucille was still no match for the power of a 9mm handgun, with the bullet passing RIGHT through the bat, and into the target’s face.

[Laughter] Well, that first round did just skim the bat, but it ripped it apart, the bat never had a chance. The second round was pretty much a perfect hit, right in the sweet spot. It did get deflected up, came out the bat here, splintered it, and went right through rubber dummy’s face here. So that’s– that’s a dead rubber dummy Negan, I think Rosita got ripped off. Even if you account for the fact that the powder that Eugene used to make that load might not’ve been as powerful as modern factory-produced stuff, it was powerful enough to cycle the slide, and the ammo that I used was as downloaded as possible, and still be able to cycle the slide. I don’t know, but [laughter] It’s the Walking Dead.

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2nd Version

I use ammo reloaded as close to what Eugene might have made as I could find, complete with lead round nose bullet and just enough powder to reliably cycle the action. Can a standard Ash Louisville Slugger stop a bullet?

Sources: David Smith, Walking Dead, TwangnBang Youtube

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