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Can shooting reloads raise heart rate?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by bob35, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. bob35


    Dec 11, 2009
    I am 76 and have had some heart problems. Yesterday I shot my .223 (TAC) and some 9mm/45 (Bullseye) with wind blowing in my face. An hour later I went to Cardiac rehab and my heart rate was double my normal with some A-fib. Five hours later everything was back to normal. Could inhaling the un-burnt gun powder or smoke have caused this? I have never checked my heart rate after shooting before.

    Sorry if this is not the right place for this question, but this is an active forum and I thought this might be of interest.
  2. JBnTX

    JBnTX Bible Thumper

    Aug 28, 2008
    Fort Worth Texas
    I doubt it.
    I have A-Fib and I've never had a problem.

    Now checking out the teenage girls at the mall on a Saturday afternoon,
    that's a different story.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011

  3. Isnt there some chemical compound that I cant remember the name of used for irregular heart beat that is also contained in gunpowder? I am talking about original blackpowder gunpowder. It is a pill that you stick under your tongue I believe. It will come to me but I am currently drawing a blank.
  4. Am I thinking of glycerin or nitroglycerin?
  5. JBnTX

    JBnTX Bible Thumper

    Aug 28, 2008
    Fort Worth Texas
    Nitroglycerin, but I doubt there's enough concentration to affect heart rate.

    Nitro is used to stabilize heart rate, so it probably wouldn't have caused his
    increase in heart rate.

    My heart goes nuts sometimes and starts beating really fast for no reason.
    I shoot a lot of reloads at an indoor range and I've never had a problem.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. OctoberRust

    OctoberRust Anti-Federalist

    Jun 15, 2011


    I hope you don't have daughters that age.
  7. ColoCG


    Mar 18, 2011

    Black Powder is just composed of Carbon, Sulpher, and Potassium Nitrate also known as (Saltpeter) so it might help control JB's heart at the Mall.:supergrin:
  8. jr05


    Jun 9, 2007
    If it is something to do with the shooting, I would guess reloading vs. factory would not have much of a difference.
  9. mogollon


    Nov 20, 2002
    Bullseye powder has a very high nitroglycerin content, about 40%. This could very well cause the symptons you described. I believe Bullseye has the highest percentage of nitroglycerin content of any powder in use. You might switch to a single-base, nitrocellulose-only powder, such as IMR PB, some of the Viht powders.
  10. Hogpauls


    Nov 6, 2009
    Have you had a heart attack? With my heart attack I experienced quite a bit scar tissue on my lungs from the loss of blood during the episode. Now when there is any kind of smoke in the air my heart rate will elevate. Just a thought, I don't know how smoky Tac or Bullseye is.

    Shooting is an exciting sport for sure and during a session my heart will race, sometimes to the point where I'll have to sit and relax for awhile. Although it does so I've never felt my defibrillator kick in and pace or shock me.

    Check these out

    JBnTX probably hit it on the head. Nitroglycerin is a the top of the ingredients list on Bullseye and second on Ramshot meaning the mixture has the highest concentration of that compound. Ask your cardiologist about it.
  11. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I take nitroglycerin from time to time but I have always wondered about nitrates, specifically in food. Some prepared lunch meats can produce, in me, severe angina, high blood pressure and elevated heart rate. I check the labels for salt content but I don't think they say much about nitrates.

    I SERIOUSLY have to watch what I eat. I haven't noticed such an effect from shooting but I don't think I shoot with the wind in my face very often. I'll have to think about it.

  12. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Certainly an interesting discussion, one I've never heard before. Mogollon is correct about Bullseye and other double-based powders but I wonder if the nitroglycerin, (especially after being altered by combustion) could have an effect by mere inhalation.

    Nitroglycerin tablets relieve angina pain by being absorbed directly into the blood stream, hence the correct application is to place one directly under the tongue... the effects are almost instantaneous, or very close to it. As far as I know there is no inhalant application for a nitroglycerin based treatment.

    The OP mentions that the wind was blowing directly into his face and it would be a safe assumption that he was breathing the smoke produced by the fired rounds. A normal, healthy body can overcome the reduced oxygen level and contaminants being inhaled with no problem but a body compromised by age, medical issues, or both will compensate with increased breathing which formulates more red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.

    The negative effect is that as the body produces a higher level of red cells the blood actually becomes thicker, (the normal thickness, viscosity, of blood is usually around 20 on a medical scale). As the blood becomes thicker because of the increased red cell count the heart pumps harder and harder to move the blood which not only puts a strain on the heart but increases its rate. Left unchecked the blood viscosity will get to a point where the heart can no longer pump it resulting in a heart attack.

    It is for this very reason that doctors highly recommend a daily baby, (81mg) aspirin regimen or at the very least taking an aspirin when one suspects that they are having a heart attack... it thins the blood and helps relieve the stress on the heart.

    As an aside, Viagra was originally developed to mimic the effects of nitroglycerin tablets and relieve angina pain... fortunately they discovered, quite by accident, that it had a much more important role.

    Interestingly enough, if you ever find yourself out of Viagra and the situation demands immediate chemical enhancement a nitroglycerin tablet placed under the tongue will produce the same desired effect but will leave you with a headache that will make you question if it was worth it... it is. :whistling:

  13. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I doubt it, unless the smoke was really thick. No, more like you just get excited about shooting & that raises your heart rate. My heart rate goes up quite high when ever I watch liberals on the tube spin the latest BS about anything. I am not inhaling any diff air. You need to try yoga or meditation or something along those lines before & after shooting. As Jack notes, daily baby aspirin & several herbal supplements, like ghinko, Hawthorn Berry, Argenine, etc all help blood flow in several ways. Not a bad thing for us old guys.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  14. JBnTX

    JBnTX Bible Thumper

    Aug 28, 2008
    Fort Worth Texas

    That was a joke.
    I'm not as self-righteous as most people.

    Sorry if I don't meet your high standards.:sorry:
  15. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

    Aug 11, 2010
    San Diego
    Sounds like a case of IST Irregular Sinus Tachycardia. Many things can get the heart rate elevated, and with age and health can take some time for it to go back down to normal BPM. Coffee, sugar, smoking, tea, chocolate any of these things and a exciting activity can for sure cause elevated heart rate. I highly doubt it was reloads causing it, but like jack said, smoke inhalation, diet, or underlying condition and coincident of going shooting with reloads. follow up with it, and monitor your diet when it does happen.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  16. Don't carry your press up the stairs by yourself.

    Call Jack and ask for help.

    Hope you feel better.
  17. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    It can be fun and exciting to shoot and that might raise your heart rate but I don't think anything in the burnt powder would do it. Otherwise when I was getting a face full of back blast form the M88's that I got to test fire when I worked for McMilian Arms I'd have had my heart blow up.:supergrin:
  18. Roughedgekid

    Roughedgekid Old Fart

    Feb 12, 2005
    North Carolina
    Yes it can ,the nitro in powder can ack like a nitro tablet. A friend and I was shooting in a basment range with little ventalation and his heart rate went up so much we had to call the EMT's. They said for him to stay out when we was shooting.
  19. n2extrm


    Feb 24, 2009
    I think jack is pretty close to on track here. Lets see what I can remember from pharmacology and cardiology.

    First Nitro is a rapid acting fast observing vasodilator, it can be absorbed transdermal (a paste put on the skin and absorbed slowly that way) or sublingual the most common a tablet under the tongue, also it can be found in a spray bottle and is misted under the tongue.

    As a vasodilator all it does is dilate the vessels in the body and reduce the load on the heart. It is possible that when the vessels dilate the pressure can drop enough to cause the heart rate to pick up. You can and will get a drop in blood pressure with nitro, and that is what gives you the headache. (We would spray our partner in the face or mouth by accident sometimes and boy is that a headache!) How ever I think you would see a rise in the ventricle heart rate not the atrial alone. Of course if there is an irritable foci in the atria then it could cause A fib I guess.

    The more likely cause is as jack said the smoke.

    Smoke could lead to 2 possible reasons. First smoke would enter the blood and bond with the red blood cells displacing the oxygen they normally cary. This would not increase the red cell count or make the blood thicker, just less productive at transporting oxygen. This would irritate the heart muscle, and could cause a Fib. Nothing the heart likes less then a lack of oxygen.

    Second possibility is a change in the blood chemistry. The carbon could in theory change the blood chemistry and the resulting change in the Ph would lead to an irritable heart muscle giving you A Fib. Ph changes are usually very slow and one of the reasons further into the cardiac arrest protocol bicarb is pushed IV to try and correct the change in PH and help the heart reestablish a rhythm.

    You would need a monitor, blood gases and BP cuff at the least to really know what was happening. My best guess, try to stay up wind. If your on O2 use it.
  20. TX Archer

    TX Archer

    Jun 4, 2011
    Austin, TX
    My resting heart rate is usually right around 60 bpm. I swear I broke 100 bpm when shooting my first reloads.