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Some American compared the sounds of a cricket bat vs gunshots at a door…and the result is surprising [video]
Posted by on Mar 10th, 2014

Lots of debate last week during the Oscar Pistorius trial around the defence team focussing on the possibility that witnesses could have mistaken the sound of a cricket bat striking the toilet door with that of gunshots. Many people (including myself) were convinced that you simply couldn’t confused the two sounds since a gunshot was very distinct. Well some American guy decided to test and compare the noises and the results are rather surprising. He conducted the test at a gun range and recorded the two sounds over 180 meters, the approximate distance witnessess were from the home of Oscar Pistorious.

Have a listen.

Would you have been able to tell the difference if he didn’t tell you before hand which sound was which?


oscar trial

Granted he didn’t duplicate circumstances like time of night, weather and the fact that the estate where Oscar and witnessess live includes buildings etc. but still, that was definitely not a clear and distinct difference between the two noises.

Andrew says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

I am sorry, but for me the gunshots are still a lot louder than the bat shots. The sound of the bat hitting the door is slightly dull, while the gun shot sound is sharper, clearer.

Leigh says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

Well, it also depends of the time between the bangs..

AreYouCRazy says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

Sounds VERY different to me!

Savage says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

Ya when compared to each other, but if i played you only one sound without you hearing the other would you say with 100% certainty which sound it was

Savage says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

And im not saying that are identical. Merely that initially i was completely convinced anyone would be able to tell them apart but after watching that im not so sure. It definitely raised some doubt.

Toni says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

The sound of the 9 mickey mouse out in the open is unmistakable.
The microphones mess with the sound carry.
The expansion of the gasses (bang) are totally different to wood hitting on wood.
Another point to consider is that the door is fastened to a stand.
The door in the original bathroom was locked, and the lock would have broken easily further dulling the sound.
This is a poor simulation.

SkinnyHippo says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

Just a pity the whole incident in real life didn’t take place in an open area and not in a confined space inside a house!! (I’m being sarcastic here for those who do not get my point)….

JJ says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

It’s the screaming that buffezzles me

Ned says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

I can appreciate the similarities between two loud noises captured in this test but unfortunately I think the test is a little flawed due to following reasons:
• The sounds being compared in this online video have between compressed using standard youtube video compression methods. This process strips out allot of the sound data to make the video size smaller for web purposes. To get an idea of what I mean think of listening to a concert live and listening to a recording of the same concert on youtube; the difference in sound quality is vastly different. Therefore the sound heard in the video is not a true indication of the actual sounds produce by the test. I would be interested in comparing the actual sound waves recorded on the device as separate visual readings, as opposed to listening to a compressed youtube reproduction of the sounds recorded.
• Having had experience firing a hand gun as well as using a cricket bat I am not convinced that an audio device would be able to capture all the nuances of each sound such. For example the shockwave produced by a gun. In my experience a gunshot and a cricket bat sticking a wooden surface produce are very different shockwave. Personally I would like to hear from an audio recording expert as to how accurate a test like this might be at capturing the different sounds might be
• Who is the gentleman conducting the test? Is he just a random man who independently conducted the test to satisfy his own curiosity or was he commissioned by someone else? Is he a forensic or sound recording expert? Does he belong to a gun lobby? I think additional background information on who this man is, and what his motivations are for conducting the test is required to make an accurate of evaluation of the test he conducted.

Ned says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

…Following the last bullet point “”Who is the gentleman conducting the test?”,
I did a quick google to see what I could find out:

The title screen to the video credits:
“Alexander Jason, CSCSA”

Here is a link to Mr Jason’s website in case your interested:

Instructional video by Alexander Jason:
DEADLY FORCE – Firearms, Self Defense, & The Law

I’ll let you guys be the judge.

J Quinn says:
March 03, 2014 at 10:47 am

I’m sorry. This guy must have spent quite some time and effort to produce this video, BUT… unfortunately in South Africa, we are used to the sounds of gunshots and cricket bats alike. There is no way you could mistake the one for the other. Especially in a cluster complex, where neighbours are in close proximity, you will definitely hear a gunshot as a gunshot. We hear gunshots from two blocks away some nights and we know when people are shooting. We also hear screaming quite often. Sound seems to travel that much further at night when there is less traffic. I think it is clear that Oscar fired his gun. He never said he didn’t. I think the bullet holes and the casings found proof this fact. No need to assume that people heard the bat when they did indeed, hear the gun. Now, if only Oscar can prove that he did the screaming…

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