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The Old Bullet Catch Trick

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November 18, 2010

The Old Bullet Catch Trick

By Phil Bourjaily

Occasionally we run items in this space that fall under the heading of “don’t try this at home.” I think we can all agree that bullet catching stands at the top of that list. The first clip shows the Great Throwdini becoming the only person to catch a bullet, a knife and an arrow.*

The bullet catch is a dangerous** illusion that magicians have done for years. Usually the bullet is “caught” in the mouth and there is trickery involved. The bullet catch here looks real. True, Throwdini doesn’t pluck the bullet out of the air but it would take a lot of nerve to stand motionless while someone shoots a bullet into a metal cup in your hand.

Next up we have David Blaine, who performed his own version of the bullet catch on a TV special, holding the cup in his mouth.

It certainly looks real, but Blaine is an accomplished illusionist so who knows? On the other hand, the mouth guard and cup he uses are very similar to those used by Carl Skenes, who did catch a bullet in his mouth on TV’s “That’s Incredible” back in 1980, as seen in the clip linked here (note, Youtube disabled embedding of this video, so you have to watch it there).

Maybe Blaine really did catch a bullet after all.

*Other than George Armstrong Custer.

**Years ago on a visit to Tombstone, AZ, I learned my favorite bullet catch story, which took place in the 1880s in Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theater, a notoriously rough nightspot. A magician had an assistant fire a blank at him, then he would spit out a bullet he had previously concealed in his mouth. One evening a cowboy, unimpressed with the trick, drew his .45, aimed at the magician and shouted “Catch this one, Professor!” Fortunately, another patron deflected the cowboy’s arm upward, so the bullet did nothing more than make yet another of the many, many bullet holes in the Bird Cage’s ceiling.

Comments (26)

Top Rated
All Comments
from vtbluegrass wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

The arrow catch is weak to say the least, I dare say I could hand throw an arrow that fast. Let's see if he can catch one from my bow.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from NorCal Cazadora wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

That kinda makes me wanna throw up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Well illusion or not it wont be long until these two are taken out of the gene pool.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 7Derrick wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Why stand so far away from the gun? Wouldn't it reduce the risk to stand only a few feet away? (Or even put your hand/mouth over the barrel haha)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

I don't like David Blaine he does some really shottie work. Anyhow did you notice in the slow motion how close the bullet came to striking the edge of the cup in his mouth? He was lucky to not be given a cleft palate!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from luckytexan wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Is it just me, or does this guy look a little like Wayne LaPierre?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

I've seen too many real "bullet and knife catchers" to find this amusing.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from thunderdog512 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

i dont know if i would call these magic tricks more like who has the biggest balls to do something this stupid.Cool yes magic no.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

"Is it just me, or does this guy look a little like Wayne LaPierre?"

I was thinking the same exact thing! I guess the NRA must be paying him pretty well for him to now be catching bullets, knives and arrows for them!! LOL

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

I can't decide whether they are dumb or stupid.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dale freeman wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Please make sure this dosn't get out in the outback.
the deer (and others) wll be catching the bullets and spitting them back at us.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

That last guy was just an idiot.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

ahhh the old west!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from abiddle013 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Not meaning to take anything away from this guy because I can honestly say that I would not allow anyone to shoot anything in my direction, but is it really a bullet catch if you're holding something to catch the actual bullet? And for the arrow catch... technically it may be a "caught arrow", but like utbluegrass stated: I could throw an arrow at that speed.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Can think of more dangerous things to do

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

buckhunter

yes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bassmasterking wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Definitely some weird stuff going on. I wish they would have "plucked" it out of the air though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckshot89 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

catching the bullets was just plain stupid... enough said, i'm not revisiting the subject. "throwdenie's" knife catch and arrow catch were both weak to say the least. if he caught a bullet from my glock or an arrow from my parker, i would be impressed. heck, i woule be more impressed if he caught a line drive hit by some of the people i've played ball with.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Handling dangerous snakes with no anti venom at the nearest hospital or doing this stunt they can have it!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from iowahunter18 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

That arrow shot was weak to say the least.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

The guy should try something with real danger involved...such as getting married!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

the knife and arrow catch were both just stupid. come to think of it, all were stupid. so now the kids can start trying these thing at home and gun owners can take the blame. why don't you just give them some crack while you are at it!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Candidates for the "Darwin Award"!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Buckhunter
I'm leaning toward stupid!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from simon13 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

ok theese guy are idiots its easy to catch a knife escpesally if the blade is dull(hint hint) the bullet was stupid cause i would have enough balls to let them shoot a bullet in to a cavlar cup and my GRANDMA could catch an arrow that fast!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DM5115 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

The human gene pool must be getting weak if people are trying to catch bullets. The arrow catch was the dumbest thing I have ever seen. 3 minutes of my life I can never get back.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from vtbluegrass wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

The arrow catch is weak to say the least, I dare say I could hand throw an arrow that fast. Let's see if he can catch one from my bow.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from thunderdog512 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

i dont know if i would call these magic tricks more like who has the biggest balls to do something this stupid.Cool yes magic no.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Well illusion or not it wont be long until these two are taken out of the gene pool.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from luckytexan wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Is it just me, or does this guy look a little like Wayne LaPierre?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 7Derrick wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Why stand so far away from the gun? Wouldn't it reduce the risk to stand only a few feet away? (Or even put your hand/mouth over the barrel haha)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

I don't like David Blaine he does some really shottie work. Anyhow did you notice in the slow motion how close the bullet came to striking the edge of the cup in his mouth? He was lucky to not be given a cleft palate!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

I've seen too many real "bullet and knife catchers" to find this amusing.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

"Is it just me, or does this guy look a little like Wayne LaPierre?"

I was thinking the same exact thing! I guess the NRA must be paying him pretty well for him to now be catching bullets, knives and arrows for them!! LOL

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

I can't decide whether they are dumb or stupid.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dale freeman wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Please make sure this dosn't get out in the outback.
the deer (and others) wll be catching the bullets and spitting them back at us.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

That last guy was just an idiot.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

ahhh the old west!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from abiddle013 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Not meaning to take anything away from this guy because I can honestly say that I would not allow anyone to shoot anything in my direction, but is it really a bullet catch if you're holding something to catch the actual bullet? And for the arrow catch... technically it may be a "caught arrow", but like utbluegrass stated: I could throw an arrow at that speed.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

The guy should try something with real danger involved...such as getting married!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

the knife and arrow catch were both just stupid. come to think of it, all were stupid. so now the kids can start trying these thing at home and gun owners can take the blame. why don't you just give them some crack while you are at it!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NorCal Cazadora wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

That kinda makes me wanna throw up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Can think of more dangerous things to do

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

buckhunter

yes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bassmasterking wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Definitely some weird stuff going on. I wish they would have "plucked" it out of the air though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckshot89 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

catching the bullets was just plain stupid... enough said, i'm not revisiting the subject. "throwdenie's" knife catch and arrow catch were both weak to say the least. if he caught a bullet from my glock or an arrow from my parker, i would be impressed. heck, i woule be more impressed if he caught a line drive hit by some of the people i've played ball with.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from iowahunter18 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

That arrow shot was weak to say the least.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Handling dangerous snakes with no anti venom at the nearest hospital or doing this stunt they can have it!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Candidates for the "Darwin Award"!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Buckhunter
I'm leaning toward stupid!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from simon13 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

ok theese guy are idiots its easy to catch a knife escpesally if the blade is dull(hint hint) the bullet was stupid cause i would have enough balls to let them shoot a bullet in to a cavlar cup and my GRANDMA could catch an arrow that fast!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DM5115 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

The human gene pool must be getting weak if people are trying to catch bullets. The arrow catch was the dumbest thing I have ever seen. 3 minutes of my life I can never get back.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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