Katherine Armstrong, one of the owners of the 50,000 acre shooting gallery, said her guest, Mr. Whittington, was "peppered" with birdshot from a 28 guage shotgun. The physician quoted below said that Whittington had between 5 and 150-200 pellets in his body. (Looks like medical science could do a little better than this, precision-wise.) But anyway...
David Blanchard, head of the emergency room at the Corpus Christi hospital in Texas, said a birdshot pellet about 5mm in diameter had lodged in Mr Whittington’s heart, causing “irregularities”. He will remain under “close supervision” in hospital for at least another week. (from the Times Online)
Five millimeters in diameter? That's not bird shot. That's nearly as large as a .22 rifle bullet (5.6mm). I'd guess that would be in the realm of buckshot, and a load of buckshot is not something anyone, even the Vice President, is likely to be firing from a 28 guage shotgun, which is a low-recoil sissy piece used by draft dodgers, as I understand it. It's been many years since I've gone hunting, and my technical knowledge may be a little rusty here.
And I don't see how a 5mm piece of lead (lead shot is still legal for quail, I think) or steel is gonna migrate very far, drifting through blood vessels to the heart.
I'm guessing that the good doctor "misspoke," as people explaining anything about this administration are wont to do, and meant something like "2mm" which might make sense.
Perhaps our free press will soon resolve this mystery for us. I know it's not nearly as important as the question of whether Cheney was drunk, but I would kinda like to know what Whittington was actually shot with.