A special thanks to BudP on the Court TV Spector Forum for permission to copy one of his posts, here. Sprocket.
Ever since firearm expert James Carroll testified the gun would require four pounds of pull to fire, and eleven pounds of pull in double action mode, there has been quite a bit of speculation as to whether or not Lana Clarkson actually had the strength to pull the trigger on the gun herself. Her hands were weak from having broken many bones in her hands and wrists near Christmas, 2001. Most of 2002 was spent recovering from those injuries. Lana had told her new employer, The House of Blues, that she couldn't carry trays.
BudP originally posted on the Court TV Spector Forum, an experiment he tried at home. I'd also like to add that BudP tells me,
"...Do not think I am totally 'NUTS'. I've been handling firearms for a half century doing all kinds of testing and think more of myself than to blow my face off. I am just chagrined at the lack of gun-knowledge that people are giving as factual info. Uninformed speculation is dangerous."
Here is the context of his post. (I just corrected some spelling errors the editor found.)
I need to repeat myself here.......The only way Lana could have shot herself; in the mouth, gun upright and centered and bullet path centered from center of tongue to center of skull/top of spinal column, is if she held the gun with fingers on the butt, thumbs in the trigger guard. She would have to have an extra joint in her arm to hold the gun conventionally, gun upright and centered......I don't even want to think about twisting it about with previously injured wrists. Now.....
This extremely light-weight revolver would have had tremendous felt-recoil with extra pressure +P rounds. +P means extra or faster burning powder=maximum loads. Had she held the gun, in the ONLY way possible, given the trajectory and centering (broke front, upper teeth in extreme recoil), the backs of her thumbs (at least one) would have a bruise or laceration.
I tested this today(an hour ago) with a .38 Spec. Ruger SP 101. This revolver weighs eight ounces more than a Cobra and has (calculated) LESS recoil than a Cobra. I also used Max hand- loads equal to a S&W +P.)
The test; I set up two six-foot saw horses and placed a 4"x6" piece of 5/8" plywood over the top, outboard edges nailed to the horses. I layed on the plywood with my arms and shoulders hanging somewhat below the plywood. My wife placed my Ruger in my hands, pointing backward, fingers across butt and thumbs in trigger guard. She held the gun down aiming approx. 6" below the plywood and cocked the hammer for me. She had run a strap through the guard and held this down before cocking the revolver. This was to ensure the barrel was not pointed at me.
When she said everything was lined up right, I turned my head away and squeezed the trigger with both thumbs. Do not do this at home.....or anywhere else.
Both of us were wearing shooting glasses and heavy-duty ear protection. She was wearing gloves, hat and had tied a bandanna over the lower part of her face. I, on the other hand, only had eye and ear protection. Be advised that HOT GSR will....WILL singe a beard. Also.....and I held the gun in exactly the manner Lana would have had to, I now have a large bruise on my right thumb at the back-center. It is almost an abrasion/cut.
My wife is extremely pissed, at what she calls, 'stubborn stupidity'. Someone else gets to test the next one.
The prosecution case, as outlined in their opening statement, is really starting to come together.