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Recently, I have been reading the "Compilation of Narratives of Explorations in Alaska" published by the Senate Committee on Military Affairs. You can read this story below:

It was Solovief who conceived the idea of ascertaining how many human bodies a bullet would pierce, and to this end he ordered twelve Aleuts to be tied together (who were probably not altogether guiltless), and shot at them with his rifle. It is said that the bullet lodged in the ninth man.

Apparently, it's replicated here, here, and here.

I am quoting @DevSolar's comment here:

Did the event described happen, and did that bullet go through 8 people to lodge in the 9th?

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    A rifle bullet is perfectly capable of going through multiple bodies, front to back. But there are a lot of variables -- caliber, ammunition, rifle, whether the bullet hits soft tissue or bone. Do all rifle bullets go through 9 people, no. Can any rifle bullet go through 9 people? Yes. (.50 cal is a thing, you know.) Did the event described happen, and did that bullet go through 8 people to lodge in the 9th? I don't know. What, exactly, is the question? – DevSolar May 10 at 7:21
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    @BarryHarrison: I edited the title; does that accurately reflect your question about the actual event? – DevSolar May 10 at 7:36
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    I think it's useful to note that this supposedly happened in pre 1880s. Guns were far less powerful back then. – Jon.G May 10 at 14:22
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    @JamesJenkins You know that's from a sci-fi book right? – Jon.G May 10 at 15:05
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    @Jon.G the guns in use in the 1880s were not too different from those in use at the start of WW1. WW1. far more than the US civil war, was what started the rapid improvement of firearms technology and especially metallurgy to allow higher chamber pressures and thus higher projectile velocity. – jwenting May 15 at 4:16

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