Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Hickok45


Flying shrapnel anyone?


About Benjamin T. Shotzberger

Ben is an aspiring gun-writer caught up in the pursuit of playing with firearms for a living. He spends his days grinding his way up the corporate ladder and wishing for 5pm. His nights.. well the details of how he spends those are private.. His childhood dreams of chasing "bad guys" for a living met the unfortunate reality of student loans, bills, and promotion potential. Ben resides in the Northern Virginia area and enjoys long walks.. to the range. Ben is always on the lookout for new article ideas. Have a firearm you want reviewed? A product tested? Your suggestions are welcome!

65 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Hickok45

  1. avatarGabba says:

    leave the man alone

  2. avatarVan says:

    I think you are off base on this one. He had glasses on and was no closer to that mower than when he is normally shooting at steel targets. Bad call.

    Hickock45 has a great video on gun safety, which I frequently reference when talking to new shooters on gun safety. I think he can be dinged for allowing the oil to leak from the mower into the soil.

  3. avatarRudy says:

    Since I abandon college to join the army, can somebody of local intellectual type made calculations concerning real danger posed by that “shrapnel”? Or we got another “OMFG, firing pin can cause inertial disCHARGE!!!”?

  4. avatarJoe Grine says:

    I don’t see anything that is all that unsafe, but at the same time I’m having a hard time understanding the point behind the video. Seemed kinda boring to me. At least have an explosion or a hot chick or something. :-)

  5. avatarsdog says:

    i have to agree with the previous posts, hickok45 is one of the best out there, and the source of lots of good reference information. i also found the video quite funny as well

  6. avatarWilliam Woods says:

    Hickok45 is one of the responsible good guys out there. This didn’t look unsafe at all. Leave the man alone.

  7. avatarCUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    It would have been funnier if he had shot a Mime cutting grass. Mimes are creepy. I wonder if they would yell silently?

    • avatarJohn Fritz says:

      Or a clown. With the big smiley lips. He would be a happy clown while the life slowly leaked out of him onto the lawnmower.

  8. avatarA. Lee says:

    Don’t see the problem. Are you worried about flying lawnmower blades? That’s what the steel shroud is for. Putting 1/2 inch holes in it won’t do anything. Plus, Hickok’s first shot was through the dead center of the engine housing.

    More holier-than-thou posturing from TTAG.

  9. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I agree with Ben, the 500′s could have easily caused some flying metal pieces to take him out. I own three 500′s that shoot 300 to 700 grain ammo, and these suckers can cause some really nasty damage.

  10. avatarRebecca P. says:

    Hickock45 knows more about what he’s doing than most anyone I have ever known who shoots guns. He’s not about to do some stunt without fully checking out the hazards and making sure he and his son are safe. This is not an IGOTD.

    • avatarmiforest says:

      the 500 bullet will splatter or penetrat . the marble shot at wood? not so much. nothing wrong with what hickock did.

    • avatarRebecca P. says:

      I’m sitting here wondering how a marble shot out of a PVC airgun at a wooden target has any correlation with a .500 S&W being shot at a lawnmower? Especially when A) it’s done from a safe distance, and B) when you can obviously see the .500 projectile is going through the block and into the dirt?

  11. avatarIrock350 says:

    What is wrong with this video? The bullet penetrates the lawn mower an exits into the ground, there’s NO shrapnel to speak of and he has taken the time to wear all of his PPE. Me thinks that some of the writers are forgetting the definition of the word irresponsible. There is not enough energy from the bullet fired into the lawn mower to create shrapnel that would cause any damage to the shooter or anyone else.

  12. avatardavvehall says:

    you are crossing the line with this one!! to put Hickok45 in the same category as FPSrussia and idiots who shoot them self in the head to demonstrate how safe the gun is on SAFE.I call this the IRRESPONSIBLE GUNBLOG POST OF THE DAY!!.Dont make me loose my respect for you.

  13. avatarPatrick says:

    Disagree. Hickok45 is the grandfather we all wish we had, and he always mentions safety in his videos. This is no more dangerous than shooting steel plates.

    Besides, this is a secret fantasy for every man. It seems Mr. Shotzberger has apparently never had to mow the lawn in his life…

  14. avatarPatrick from Texas says:

    I agree that this post is b.s. I’m appalled. Hickok45 has done more to educate people in a constructive manner than just about anyone on the internet. He is fully aware of where each bullet is going and what effect it will have on whatever it may strike.

  15. avatarFan of Hickok45 says:

    Your bio says: “Ben is an aspiring gun-writer….”

    By writing this rubbish, may you always be in aspiration mode.

    I won’t bother opening anymore of your posts, Benji boy. You now hold the esteemed award for the IGWOTY Award. I’m sure you can figure out that acronym.

  16. avatarScottyV says:

    Besides only hitting it 2 out of 4 shots, B O R I N G!

  17. avatarThor says:

    Leave Hickok45 alone, and have a little fun in your life. What he did was not unsafe. Lighten up, Francis.

  18. avatarOld413 says:

    What Hickok45 did here is just good clean fun! This doesn’t even begin to compare to the fun and foolishness we got up to with guns back in the fifties and early sixties when WW2 surplus was plentiful. Things like shooting up old “field”cars with German war surplus “super high pressure anti-aircraft” loads out of our 8mm’s. Trying to see how thick a slab of limestone a surplus armor-piercing round might crack, trying to ingnite and explode gas and propane vessels with armor piercing incendiaries, etc. etc. Good grief, if you live long enough you’ll die, have a little fun before you do. By the way, guns were way more plentiful (and usually loaded) in and around the home fifty years ago and no one ever got hurt. Today guns are tightly controlled and people are getting shot every day. What’s changed? Well, the people have as we’ve worked very hard to bring all the world’s problems here. Now the foreign gangs flourish in our cities and we are all paying for it in so many ways.

    • avatarItchyTriggerFinger says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Our Founding Fathers didn’t stage a revolution and win our freedom so America could become a dumping ground full of third-world degenerates. Trying to uphold the words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….” has seriously backfired.

  19. avatarfermi91 says:

    Don’t go trashing on Hickok.

  20. avatarMark DeLitta says:

    I had enjoyed your YouTube channel videos and was a subscriber.
    You are entitled to your opinions but I have decided to unsubscribe to your channel.

  21. avatarJack Distefano says:

    There is nothing wrong this man named Ben is a liberal trying to have a ban on guns. and besides hickok45 is safe

  22. avatarJames A. Ritchie says:

    Find another profession. Gun writing is not your best choice. There’s nothing at all wrong with the hickok45 video, and flying shrapnel is something you apparently know even less about than guns and bullets.

    The irresponsible thing here is your writing, not the video.

  23. avatarM says:

    How dare you Hickok45 is awesome and very safe.

  24. avatarJoe F. says:

    Steel targets made out of AR500 cause bullets to essentially disintegrate with fragments generally ricocheting at a 20 degree angle from the steel. Nothing in a lawn mower can come close to the hardness of AR500. Any frag from the metal of the mower itself would travel forward since that is the direction of the energy. I think you’d have a difficult argument saying one would take any shrapnel in this situation. Moreover, anyone who shoots steels for any time has likely taken some frag (good reason for eye pro!), but speaking from experience, I’d equate it to the feeling of some boiling grease popping on you – not pleasant, but not a real threat to your well-being.

  25. avataroldpink says:

    Lighten up, Francis.

  26. avatarDave says:

    Hickock45 is not someone I’d trust very far. When he is given any sort of constructive criticism, he freaks. There are egos and then there is Hickock45 who is in a class by himself.

  27. avatarGotta be kidding says:

    Nothing ticks me off more than office people yapping away about shrapnel and danger when they have no clue. Serve a tour with me in the sand box and you’ll know what shrapnel really is, Ben. Hickok45 is genuine and conscientious. If you don’t see that, you’re either not paying attention, are jealous, or simply want to go against the grain and be “controversial” like so many “aspiring” writers do.

    - Retired 20 yr Vet

  28. avatarSTEPHEN V. CROWLEY says:


  29. avatarShambo says:


  30. avatartom frye says:

    I’ve been shooting for….nevermind…the earth’s crust was still kinda warm yet
    when I got started. And my first encounter with a renegade lawn mower didn’t
    happen ’til after they’d started building them with aluminum blocks…like Ol’
    Hickok’s mower. Not much there to make shrapnel of, Ben. But now I think
    about it…what Hickok did was a pretty dangerous thing…even fatal…for the
    lawn mower…

    Over the years I’ve had a few folks question the safety of something I was
    doing…even after I’d “scoped” everything out to the nth degree. My reply
    most often….”How old are you, youngster?” And I’d get an answer…to which
    I’d reply, “That’s what I thought. Older person who’d had enough time to go
    anywhere and do anything…or learn anything, wouldn’t have thought my
    actions unsafe.” So much for perspective…

  31. avatarClay B says:

    First, thanks Joe F for your insightful comments on shooting hardened steel. I have been watching Hickok45 for a while and have concluded that if it wasn’t safe to shoot hard steel, Hickok would have bought it a long time ago. My only comment on shootIng the lawnmower…Why shoot a mower that “runs”. I have several I want to shoot that wont start, but that wouldn’t be so much fun.
    I am a big fan of Hickok45. He gets a lot of heat for not being critical enough of the guns he showcases. If the weapon is reliable, and he can hit what he shoots (and i have never seen him have that problem) he is satisfied. He points out features, things he likes and occasionally things he doesn’t, but for the most part leaves the judgment to the viewer. Regarding safety: Hickok has a better understanding of ballistics than most would be experts. He knows what he is doing. The only real worry is that some moron ( and YouTube shows us plenty of them) will see this and try something really stupid, like pointblank shots at a propane tank.

  32. avatarBob & Wife says:

    Way to go Mr. Hickok45, Thanks for the entertainment. I need a laugh once in a while. And YES, ‘life is good’!

  33. avatarGT says:

    500 mag against a soft, thin steel mower is not going to bounce anywhere. That round went straight in to the ground on the other side.

  34. avatarSig2022 says:

    FLAME DELETED Hickok45 is a legend, and is a inspiration many, if not all gun owners, and represents the community better than most people on youtube. FLAME DELETED

    [Please send comments about TTAG's editorial stance or style to]

  35. avatarBrad says:

    Someone should fire Benjamin T. Shotzberger. This is the kind of slander I would expect from anti-american, fascist flag waving nanny states like France.

  36. avatarDregg says:

    I bet Benjamin voted for Obama too!

  37. avatarDarbys45 says:

    Ben I am sorry and usually do not respond when people say stupid things but you need to get your facts straight Hickok45 is one od the safest people I have seen on YouTube you are just a dumba$$. I would try another profession like maybe a Czar for Obama. It seems they don’t have to know crap about what they are doing and still make a living. Good Luck gun writing…….

  38. avatarSally says:

    I am a woman, small, but proficient and have been trained well in firearm safety. The fact that you call people out in the first place in annoying and holier-than-thou. Secondly, this hickock is a great reviewer. Third, you should immediately cease calling people out the way you are. Forth, this was completely safe by many people’s assumptions based on training. Last, it was amusing.

  39. avatarBuddy says:

    you need to leave the man alone and stay out of peoples biz, because the man does have pin point accurates with a Glock so i dont no how much you should keep running your mouth! Just sayin!! Hickok 45 all day!

  40. avatarChris says:

    Nothing unsafe. If you have writer’s block or posted this article just to bitch about something, the find another subject. Hickok45 is awesome and his videos are not only entertaining but educational. He has never been irresponsible. Lastly, that video is freaking awesome.

  41. avatarLeo says:

    Anyone notice this idiots initials are BS?!

  42. avatardoglips says:

    the author of this article is jealous. Check out hickok45 shooting the Glock 23, and you’ll wish you were half as good as he

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      You do realize that you’re commenting on an article from 6 months ago, right? That’s like 20 years in Internet time.

  43. avatarRussell says:

    I would be more worried about all the schrapnel coming from under the mower being thrown up from the blade than from the firearm Hickock45 is a veteran firearm shooter and knows what he is doing and does it safely, just the post of another person that dont know what they are talking about stirring up crap. so sick of this type of trash.

  44. avatarWayne Halford says:

    Hickok45 is a standup guy. Did you really expect the bullet to bounce back and hit him!

  45. avatarCarl Mazda says:

    Your just another safety Sally.

  46. avatarAndrew Spinney says:

    I think on this one, you’re off base. He’s what you’d call a “trained professional”
    ie, don’t try this at home.

  47. avatarj. j. hulsey says:

    I as a retired police officer of 22 years would be extremely honored to have hickok45 as a partner , backup or whatever we are very fortunate to have such a person as an instructor on all the weapons he demonstrates. J.J.Hulsey

  48. avatarjgregory says:

    You need to get your facts straight. Hickock45 is a class act. His approach is always safe. I viewed this particular video and I disagree with your assessment. Grind your agenda elsewhere. This man is a class act.

  49. avatarChristopher says:

    Hickok45 has done more for the firearms community then you ever will. He is a true american and you are nothing but a low life.

  50. avatarSergeant Nunya says:

    Another retired law enforcement/firearms instructor here. Uh……hickok45 is one of the best……..Never observed any dangerous behavior on his part, I think he may frighten you because he’s a bit colorful at times for entertainment purposes. Hickok rules!

  51. avatarWilliam Lee says:

    From what most of the response are saying you should stick to your day job!

  52. avatarChuck Truitt says:

    I’m thinking that if this is all BTS has to offer, he should pursue another line of work. -Gunny T sends

  53. avatarFrank Morehouse says:

    Obviously there is some type of jealously or bias because of Hickok45 popularity.
    His gun safety record is excellent.
    Just because you saw something that you did not like does not make it irresponsible.
    As, you can see by the replies you are outnumbered 100:1.
    You could apologize and that would be a good first step…

  54. avatarAli from Upfuqistan says:

    HEY! Where’s the original post? Is this website thetruthabout spineless journalists?

  55. avatarKevin says:

    blogger wannabe trashes well respected shooter to make a name for himself.

  56. avatarRob Brasher says:

    The man’s name is “Hickok45″, what else do you need? His reviews influenced my last few acquisitions more than any resource available and I couldn’t be more satisfied. Yeah he enjoys Guns and embodies the childlike fascination all us “Gun Nuts” continue to posses, but anyone with any knowledge of proper mechanics, routine maintenance, and even ballistics can easily see Hickok is nothing less than a professional QC rep as all the major manufacturer sends the man their latest product to review. You don’t see him taking 30 minutes to “properly inbox the product”!! he shoots the damn thing! And quite accurately I might add. You sir, are no Hickok45, or even a distant cousin concerning Guns period. Thanks Hickok, the Sprngfield XDS finally ended many years of searching for the perfect concealable I’ve been looking
    for that I can actually snap off as quick as I need and group successfully. That’s all you and your in depth review including the annihilation of a watermelon, several tins, carbonated drinks, and yes, you got it, a broke down law mower. Which I consider safe compared to me and my friends shooting televisions and 20# fire extinguishers. I know this is long but I appreciate all the responses and it encourages me that their are still folk out there who like Hickok, just plain like to shoot. Givem’ Hell 45, Run like it pencil $&@#!

  57. avatarmike says:

    lining up 3 old mowers after this post enough said

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