A character is able to watch bullets in flight, predict where they'll land and so on, and he is also able to teleport himself (but not other people) and move his body parts extremely quickly.

It's going to hit and kill someone they want to save.

He can teleport himself in front of the person, in the bullets path, and save the person by stopping the bullet with his own body.

He also wants to minimise damage done to himself, he wants his own and the person behind him to have the highest possible chances of survival, and not be permanently disabled afterwards.

I am wondering how he should position himself in front of the bullet to achieve this.

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    $\begingroup$ What kind of caliber are we talking about ? The damages won't be the same with a bullet coming from a small handgun or from an assault rifle. $\endgroup$
    – Peamcy
    Apr 30, 2018 at 9:03
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    $\begingroup$ In addition to needing to know the calibre and energy, also need to know how far away the bullet is fired from. Deflection rather than absorption may be an option if the range is great enough, and may result in much less damage to the teleporting superhero. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2018 at 9:12
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    $\begingroup$ In Band of Brothers they made several jokes about "getting a bullet in the ass" and accoding to TV Tropes (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ShotInTheAss) it made sense: the ass cheeks have enough meat to be a "shield" and they don't have that many serious blood vessels in them. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2018 at 10:11
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    $\begingroup$ Honestly, the best body part to catch a bullet is someone elses body. Keeping bullets as far away from you as possible is the best strategy. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Clarke
    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ An "assault rifle" is not some more powerful form of rifle. An M-16 is actually a small caliber gun, using a .224 caliber bullet. It is designed for automatic fire. It shoots lots of bullets in a short period of time, not exceptionally powerful bullets. Handguns use calibers like a 9 mm or a .45. A .224 is less than 6 mm. Rifle rounds are longer cartridges than handgun rounds, not bigger in caliber. A rifle is more likely to shoot through something, as it has a higher velocity. A handgun often makes a bigger hole, as it is a larger caliber. $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    Apr 30, 2018 at 13:10

4 Answers 4

  1. Teleporter moves in front of the bullet. He allows the bullet to enter the front of his shoulder. Or he wraps his hand around it in flight.

  2. Before the bullet can travel more than 1mm, teleporter moves himself a short distance, rotated 180 degrees. Bullet exits his shoulder (or leaves his open hand) the same way it went in and continues on its path.

I like the version with the hand because he could teleport and release the bullet so it flies into the shooter or the shooters gun. His hand would get burned in the process and so he can wince and shake it after.

  • $\begingroup$ if he's that fast just slapping the bullet should deflect it enough? $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    May 6, 2018 at 20:48

Either your hips... Or your skull.

Unlike what games teach us, shooting the head isn't a good way of killing someone (although it is likely to incapacitate the target). The head is rounded, made of one of natures strongest materials and will often deflect bullets that don't hit head-on (heh) and aren't from heavy guns. In fact, from what I've read something like a Desert Eagle at point blank to the forehead is more often survived (with medical care) than lethal. Bigger guns like 7+mm rifles would need to hit your face head-on or it is likely to deflect with only a headache as a result, with a helmet on your character might even wonder if he was hit at all so low is the energy that you receive on a deflection.

Deflecting with the hips is an option (USE ONLY THE BACK OF THE HIPS!). It's a curved, strong bone with the strongest muscles of the body attached (illiopsoas) and it's unlikely to incapacitate you... Right away. There's a lot of medium arteries in the area that will kill you from blood loss, but you have several minutes to hours to find medical attention, except if your femoral is hit and you cant bind it with a belt or something right away. Fortunately the femoral is located at the front inside of your hips so it's unlikely.

A teleporting guy who thinks that stopping a single bullet is going to save someone would be able to get to safety and have his saved victim tend to him. Just make sure it's your ass pointed at them otherwise you are increasing the chances of dying to blood loss and a bullet stuck where you don't want to.

I wouldn't recommend your shinbone. It's likely to break and incapacitate you, and depending on where it breaks the arteries right next to it might get cut.

As you can imagine, stopping bullets with your body isn't going to be a pleasant or repeatable task. The most repeatable would be the head if you can assure how it hits and the caliber isn't too large/armor piercing, repeatable as in "can be performed a few times in a row", not "can be performed a lot over the course of a military career". The "safest" solution seems catching it with your ass near the spine (barely any nerves so low that haven't exited already) and having the bullet deflect off the bone to the edges of your hips, through the muscles and hopefully out of the body. If it gets stuck, it's a relatively good place to operate and get it out and it's unlikely to deal enough damage to prevent you from walking especially if adrenaline prevents pain from incapacitating you.

  • $\begingroup$ An answer like this could really benefit from references where the question is tagged science based. $\endgroup$
    – Firelight
    Apr 30, 2018 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ Could you make explicit that you are talking about forehead? The strength of the skull varies a lot. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2018 at 14:24

The correct answer would be: "Not at all", but assuming he did shield the bullet off with his body for the dramatic effect, it wouldn't matter which body part was hit, really.

Why not at all? Someone who can move fast enough to (deliberately) move in the way of a bullet that he can see already having been fired must be able to move with supersonic speed. Which means he only needs to run by, and the sonic boom (or simply the "wind") will deviate the bullet enough so it will miss the target. Flap your hands, if you will.

Similar goes for teleportation, which necessarily displaces air, or leaves a vacuum, respectively. That instantaneous displacement would provide for some form of "pop" (or rather a "bang") and a sudden rush of air, enough to safely deviate a bullet far enough so it won't hit its target (unless we're talking of something that's pretty much a contact shot, but then moving in between would be a challenge, too).

Why would it not matter? Someone who is able to not only move at supersonic speed without ill effects, but even moreso regularly accelerate to supersonic speed within the approx 0.1 seconds that it takes the bullet to hit a person must have not only have unbelieveable strength, he must also be able to easily withstand couple-of-thousand-g accelerations. In other words, his body must be exceedingly tough, virtually indestructible by any normal means.
This applies not only to bones, tendons, and muscles (those are very obvious) but also to e.g. the skin and blood vessels. If your skin is able to withstand the air current at supersonic speed, and if your blood vessels and organs do not rupture when you run a 5,000g curve, then a puny little bullet is not much of a challenge.

  • $\begingroup$ "Which part of the body is best for stopping a bullet?" You answer: "Not at all". That doesn't make sense $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2018 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ Well, why would anyone want to stop a bullet when that's not necessary? If the bullet can be made to miss, not stopping it at all is a viable option, is it not? $\endgroup$
    – Damon
    Apr 30, 2018 at 19:11

Foot first, then the rest

I assume that he can teleport in a lying position. He should present himself foot-first to the bullet. The bullet would enter from under its foot and travel toward the head. If he is lucky, it will stop below the knee and damages will be limited to one leg. If he is unlucky it will go further into the body.

The advantage is that the bullet will go through a lot of bones, which are likely to oppose a lot of resistance: all the small bones of the foot, tibia, femur, hips, … up to the skull.

It is the longest possible path in the body, so it is the path that will reduce the energy of the bullet the most, maybe even stopping a fairly high energy bullet.

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    $\begingroup$ I was thinking something like this. Stop it with the heel, or the palm of the hand. I think both ways does a lot of damage, so I was wondering if there was a less damaging way. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2018 at 18:10

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