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Profile of jeremysweiss
I have caught arrows before. A variation, which is not catching the arrow--but breaking it with a "karate chop" as it zooms past, has also been done.

No crossbow. You need a great archer. Low pound bow, eye protection, timing, nerve and practice with blunted rubber tipped arrows.

But I don't think there is a safe way to learn this stuunt or teach it. Looking back on my time doing this stunt, I was a fool to do it. So, I don't recommend it. There are so many other great, safe, ways to make a show.
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Chris Legion
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Dear Colleagues,
I am writing in regards to what is transpiring here. Somehow we have blurred the line between Illusion and Reality in regards to the “Bullet Catch”. In the general public’s eye, this would be satisfactory, however within our group we should all know better. We all know (or should know) that there is indeed a difference between the “Bullet Catch Trick” and the “Bullet Catch Stunt”. What prompted me in entering into this discussion was when I ran across a post mentioning the Mythbusters episode aired on the Discovery Channel. Below is the letter I sent to them in hopes of enlightening many that were discussing this topic on their forum.

In closing I wish to remind ourselves that we are professionals and as such need to respect each others accomplishments. I firmly believe that Carl Skenes deserves the utmost respect for what he has given to our craft. I believe it is wise to remember that we all stand on the shoulders of giants.


“Hello Everyone,
I have never posted to forums before so please forgive any mistakes that I may make.

I was watching MythBusters (as always!) and was intrigued by Episode 47 which this discussion seems to be about. The reason I am posting is to try and set the record straight. From reading the posts it seems that this has almost turned into an urban legend. There are several inaccuracies in the posts that I have seen. With reference to the show “That’s Incredible!”, the assistant was not harmed in any way, the bullet was fired from bolt action rifle, and the Magician was injured, but not killed. Please allow me to explain.

I am the protégé of the Magician which most of you are referring to; his name is Carl E. Skenes. Carl is the Magician most of you are referring to on “That’s Incredible!”. I hope I am not overstepping my bounds, and I will not go into the details of his stunt. If Carl wishes to discuss this further that is up to him.

When referring to the “Bullet Catch” one must understand that there are TWO different methods;

Method One is a Trick, plain and simple. As pointed out in the show (which was justifiably “Busted”) it cannot be done. As the show demonstrated, human physiology cannot withstand the impact of a .357 cal blast! Penn and Teller will tell anyone that this method is a trick, and they will tell you that what I am about to tell you is also true.

Method Two is a Stunt. The bullet is not caught in the teeth, but rather shot into the mouth which contains a receptacle to stop the bullet. Carl taught me the stunt and I would NEVER under any circumstance perform it! I have seen the receptacle and can verify that on more than one occasion that the bullet skimmed the sides of the receptacle, indicating that Carl could have “bit the bullet” (sorry for the pun) within an 1/8th of an inch.

I cannot stress this enough, this stunt is real and no one should attempt this. Carl spent a great deal of time calculating the set up for this and the construction of the apparatus involved. That said, on the episode which some of you are describing (That’s Incredible!) Carl was injured due to shrapnel ricocheting out of the receptacle, luckily it was minor. I am not discouraging anyone from doing it on the basis I don’t want someone to “one up” my mentor, I just don’t want to see someone get hurt or God forbid lose their life over something like this.

I am not sure if I can add any additional information but I do hope that this clears up some misunderstandings regarding this episode. In closing I would like to thank everyone for their contributions and interest in this subject, but please try to understand that what MythBusters busted was the Trick not the Stunt.”
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Profile of aggieman
Criss angel attempted the Bullet Catch Stunt, but A&E decided against airing it, due to its danger.
I don't know how exactly he did it, but I know he had a small metal box I his mouth.
Harley Newman
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The crossbow act is a marksmanship thing, that ends up with a series of crossbows, each of which fires a bolt, that triggers the next crossbow. The final bolt usually splits an apple on the assistant's head. It's a beautiful thing. A complete set-up (with hands-on instructional training) for it was for sale a couple of years ago, for USD 30,000.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain
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Profile of gsidhe
That I have seen...It was absolutely fascinating to watch, and something that came to mind for a long time afterwards. I love the action/reaction of objects in motion, and the whole thing had a Rube Goldbergian feel to it.
It was cool.
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Profile of magicusb
For those not familiar or who want more information on "That's Incredible" a synopsis can be found at

It also mentions "a daredevil who caught a bullet in his teeth;"

A very interesting read.

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Harley Newman
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One of the questions I'm asked a lot is "Aren't you worried that children might go home and copy you?"

My answer is "No. Kids have a better sense of reality-testing than most adults." It's true, too.

So at the beginning of each show, I warn all the kids, and all the adult guys, not to try what I do. I have to warn the guys, because they think they're smarter than the little kids, and all the women know what I'm talking about. The word "guy" and the word "stupid" have the same number of letters.

It's simple. Most of us who post here, do things that people say are impossible. We take risks, educated risks perhaps, but risks nonetheless.

For the most part, we keep how-to information elsewhere, so it's not used irresponsibly. We all realize that just because somebody WANTS to know how to do a stunt, doesn't mean that we must teach them.

If somebody's stupid, we can't help that. It's their problem, not ours.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain
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Profile of Destiny
In the good old days, stupid people who, for example, dived head first into a shallow pond, would have removed themselves from the gene pool.

Now they are medivaced, treated with advanced medical knowledge,and even paid insurance money.

We pay a high price for interfering with nature.
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