Mythbusters and Guns


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Skribs
January 4, 2013, 05:34 PM
I love the mythbusters, and they have done several episodes where they test gun-related myths. Here's the ones I remember. Do you guys remember any others?

Shooting an enemy sniper through the scope. The MBs tried to recreate Carlos Hathcock's famous kill (well, one of his famous kills) and shoot a dummy through the scope of a sniper rifle. The result was that the bullet ricocheted inside the scope and lost a significant amount of power, but the conclusion was that you either ruin the other sniper's scope or you miss by a few inches and hit his head.

Diving underwater = bulletproof. The MBs determined that pistol rounds would still travel underwater (albeit with significantly reduced velocity), but rifle rounds would fragment on impact. I believe they used FMJ pistol rounds, JHPs would probably slow down faster. So diving underwater does reduce the effect of firearms against you.

"Stopping Power". They tested the ability of guns to knock people down by loosely hanging dead pigs and shooting them with everything from small pistols to high-power rifles (I know they used a Garand, can't remember if they used a .50). The result was that the bullets had no effect. Unsure if they used rounds that would just zip through or rounds that would transfer energy better.

Shooting C4. Somewhat related to shooting, they tested the ability of C4 to not ignite unless ignited by a detonator. They used it to cook food, tried igniting it with thermite, bullets, even API bullets (seemed to ignite the C4, but it was just the plastique getting blasted apart and set on fire, not an actual explosion). So movies where people shoot C4 and it blows up...fake.

Curveball Bullets. I believe it was the movie Wanted that had them curving bullets, a recent episode of Flashpoint did the same thing (came out after the MB episode). Proved that it was virtually impossible to affect the trajectory of a bullet in the short range. Even if the bullet was tumbling randomly, it still would go fairly straight.

Chopping down trees. Most weapons proved ineffective at cutting down trees. I can't remember if a belt-fed machine gun could do it, but I know they got hold of a minigun and that worked like a charm.

Shooting the gun away. The myth that if the BG drops his gun, you can shoot it away from him. I only heard about this myth, but I believe they were able to do it.

Tueller Drill. I believe the MBs came to the same conclusion as the rest of us, about 21 feet is the threshold where drawing your gun wins against a knife-weilding attacker.

The gunpowder fuse. Not specifically guns, but thought I'd mention it. In a pirate episode, they did the myth of the fuse of gunpowder, and IIRC most of the movies have it spot-on. 1) The fuse can be started by shooting it. 2) The fuse will ignite the keg. 3) The fuse isn't too fast, you can catch up to it or outrun it. 4) Kicking the fuse ahead of the sparks is likely to stop it.

These are all the myths I can remember. What other ones have they had that I've missed? I admit I haven't seen too many of their episodes, so I'm curious to know what I'm missing. If you're listing myths, please also list their findings.

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CoRoMo
January 4, 2013, 05:37 PM
Celebratory Gunfire. They tested the myth that if you fire a round straight up into the air that it could come back down and kill you. All the bullets were blown by the upper winds away from the point of fire and they fell/landed on their side rather than point down. IIRC they also did not have enough energy to inflict a mortal wound either.

mgmorden
January 4, 2013, 05:40 PM
The exploding scuba tank from the end of Jaws. They shot it and rather than exploding it just took off like a rocket to the pressure from the gas escaping from the bullet hole.

They also tested barrels exploding due to an obstruction and despite repeatedly pluging the end of the barrel they could barely get it to bulge.

mgmorden
January 4, 2013, 05:41 PM
Celebratory Gunfire. They tested the myth that if you fire a round straight up into the air that it could come back down and kill you. All the bullets were blown by the upper winds away from the point of fire and they fell/landed on their side rather than point down. IIRC they also did not have enough energy to inflict a mortal wound either.

IIRC, that one had a caveat though - it was only safe if the bullet was fired directly upwards. Bullets fired at an angle but still generally "up" were still dangerous.

browneu
January 4, 2013, 05:42 PM
Phonebook armor. They put phonebooks on a car and shot at the car with different arms to see if anything got through.

Cutting down trees and the minigun turned carie byron into someone who was afraid of guns to someone who likes them.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2

rcmodel
January 4, 2013, 05:43 PM
Shooting an enemy sniper through the scope.I believe the SP bullet blew up on the glass lens inside the scope at 25 yards or less.

I think that would have turned out differently if they had used a FMJ bullet and made the shot at long range after the bullet had slowed down considerably like Hathcock did.

The bullet would have been flying more stable and wouldn't have blown up on the glass at lower velocity.

rc

CoRoMo
January 4, 2013, 05:44 PM
Spinning Ice Bullet. They recreated an act seen on YouTube where the shooter is on a frozen lake and fires a pistol into the ice. The bullet is then found somewhere nearby and is still spinning on its nose from the effects of the rifling. Pretty amazing because I would certainly have figured that the bullet impacting something would easily stop the rotational motion.

Bullet-proof Pizza Boxes. Tested a myth that a pizza boy, when attacked by a violent shooter, held up the order of pizzas he was carrying, covering his torso, and the bullet was stopped/restricted by the load. Didn't work out so well for the mannequin that stood behind the MB stack of pizzas.
...safe if the bullet was fired directly upwards....
That's what I said.

Skribs
January 4, 2013, 05:52 PM
Brown, could you tell me if the phone book armor worked?

RC, I think I agree with your theory.

mgmorden
January 4, 2013, 05:58 PM
Quote:
...safe if the bullet was fired directly upwards....
That's what I said.

I know, but I wanted to point out the distinction simply due to that fact that most "celebratory gunfire" is not fired directly up. It's usually fired at an angle. The distinction is make sure people don't get the idea that it's ok to go outside and start capping rounds off into the air.

holdencm9
January 4, 2013, 05:59 PM
They did one where they tried to lodge a bullet in either the barrel or the cylinder of an enemy's revolver. I think they weren't able to do it but concluded plausible.

The problem with shooting through an enemy's scope is the angle. It has to go straight through. At long range, the trajectory will be coming down ever so slightly. I still think it is possible though :)

ccsniper
January 4, 2013, 06:00 PM
Chopping down trees. Most weapons proved ineffective at cutting down trees. I can't remember if a belt-fed machine gun could do it, but I know they got hold of a minigun and that worked like a charm.

Just give it enough time, ammo and effort. There are many trees in my neck of the woods that are no longer standing.

holdencm9
January 4, 2013, 06:00 PM
I know, but I wanted to point out the distinction simply due to that fact that most "celebratory gunfire" is not fired directly up. It's usually fired at an angle. The distinction is make sure people don't get the idea that it's ok to go outside and start capping rounds off into the air.

I think within 10-20 degrees would be sufficient for the bullet to lose stability and start tumbling down, but I would never do it. Even a tumbling bullet would hurt like heck. Anything under 60 degrees and (depending on the weight/shape and spin of the bullet, it could maintain its trajectory and hit with more force coming down.

1KPerDay
January 4, 2013, 06:04 PM
they did the sniper scope shoot again with period scopes and AP ammo and got a kill shot FYI.

Anyone mention the ricocheting bullet yet?

They also revisited the banana peel barrel with a 10-guage damascus and got it to blow up a bit, and with a rifle they got a split and called it plausible the second time.


They still get about half of the things wrong whenever they do gun myths, though.

The one where they try to see if a big fat/muscley guy could be bulletproof, they use a .45 ACP FMJ round. They should try with hollow points.

The one where they test the gunfighter myth that he could hold a silver dollar on his left wrist, drop it and fire 5 shots before it hits the ground... Kari says you have to account for human reaction time.

No... you don't, because you're the one dropping the coin.

xwingband
January 4, 2013, 06:11 PM
They did an episode with Hollywood movie sounds and tested if silencers actually sounded like they did in the movies. They called it plausible that the sounds are alike. I didn't agree with it because they didn't consider volume, simply that it was the same "type" of sound.

1KPerDay
January 4, 2013, 06:17 PM
how about the civil war ones where they shoot through a bag of sperm and into a "lady's womb" to see if she could get pregnant? ("son of a gun")

or the one where they see if two musket minie balls can fuse in midair (they can)?


Or the one where they test the physics question about whether a bullet fired and a bullet dropped will hit the ground at the same time?

Or the bunch of "what is bulletproof" ones? Or the one where they bulletproof a car by stuffing phone books int the door panels?

or explosive decompression in a plane by shooting out a window? (didn't do anything)

Jim Watson
January 4, 2013, 06:19 PM
Shooting an enemy sniper through the scope.

They called themselves debunking it but I believe they were pressured into rerunning it with a real Soviet surplus scope and the bullet went through.

Diving underwater = bulletproof.

Pretty much, yeah. How long can you hold your breath?

"Stopping Power". They tested the ability of guns to knock people down by loosely hanging dead pigs

Thompson and LaGarde "proved" that the Army needed a new .45 by shooting suspended cadavers and killing livestock.

Shooting C4.

There are other explosives that are more sensitive. Don't try this at home with surplus or DIY explosives; British Lyddite (mostly picric acid) was very bad.

Curveball Bullets.

I know a champion PPC shooter who claims he can flip the muzzle at discharge and cause a .38 wadcutter to keyhole. Maybe related to Gil Hebard's writeup on the then-new S&W M52 where he saw 40% oval grease rings... from a Ransom Rest.

Also related to the Depression era legend of "slewing" a shotgun. Catch a flock of doves perched on a telephone wire, level your Long Tom at one end, pull the trigger and yank the barrel hard towards the other end of the wire. This was said to spread the shot laterally and knock all the birds off the wire.

Chopping down trees.

Cutting down a post is a featured event in CAS and NSSA matches. It can take a while and a lot of shooting. I think they did it on Top Shot, too.

Shooting the gun away.

There is a video of a SWATter shooting the gun out of the hand of a wacko. He sat down and let the pistol dangle. So a rifleman shot it out of his hand and the rest of the squad jumped on him.

Tueller Drill.

I've done this on a regular range with electric target trolley. You gotta be quick.

The gunpowder fuse.

It's a movie, son, it's a movie. A real demolition man in the black powder era would use a piece of slowmatch to give him time to depart, then quickmatch. I found one reference that said quickmatch could burn up to 500 fps.

Bullet-proof Pizza Boxes.

Bill Davis, the founder of Second Chance bullet proof vests, once worked in pizza delivery. When he was stuck up, the crook shot him. He escaped because the crook only had a .25 which was deflected by his eyeglasses frame, not the pizza boxes.

hold a silver dollar on his left wrist, drop it and fire 5 shots before it hits the ground

Five shots? No. Chic Gaylord said one shot was very good. He recommended starting with drop the hat before advancing to drop the dollar. Bill Jordan could hold a ping-pong ball over his gun butt and draw the gun fast enough to let the ball fall in the holster.

SDC
January 4, 2013, 06:23 PM
They've also done at least 2 "skipping bullet" myths, one to see if a bullet can ricochet all the way back to the shooter who fired the shot, and one to see if a shot fired at the road can skip upthrough the floor panel of a car to disable the driver.

karateclarinet
January 4, 2013, 06:25 PM
Phonebook armor. They put phonebooks on a car and shot at the car with different arms to see if anything got through.

Cutting down trees and the minigun turned carie byron into someone who was afraid of guns to someone who likes them.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
I noticed in the Thanksgiving episode when Kari was feeding Grant and Tori different meats to see if they tasted like chicken, that Kari was wearing a gold necklace that looks very much like the silhouette of a handgun. I had to pause and take another look to be sure of what I was seeing. Sure enough, it looks like she wears a pistol charm around her neck.

ccsniper
January 4, 2013, 06:26 PM
Or the bunch of "what is bulletproof" ones? Or the one where they bulletproof a car by stuffing phone books int the door panels?

can anyone find that entire episode? I have been wanting to watch the one where they make a pistol proof panel out of some ceramic tiles and cement but I can't find it anywhere.

Skribs
January 4, 2013, 06:32 PM
I know a champion PPC shooter who claims he can flip the muzzle at discharge and cause a .38 wadcutter to keyhole. Maybe related to Gil Hebard's writeup on the then-new S&W M52 where he saw 40% oval grease rings... from a Ransom Rest.

Also related to the Depression era legend of "slewing" a shotgun. Catch a flock of doves perched on a telephone wire, level your Long Tom at one end, pull the trigger and yank the barrel hard towards the other end of the wire. This was said to spread the shot laterally and knock all the birds off the wire.

The mythbusters keyholed the bullet, but they didn't make it curve around solid barriers as suggested in the movie Wanted.

AlexanderA
January 4, 2013, 06:37 PM
Chopping down trees. Most weapons proved ineffective at cutting down trees. I can't remember if a belt-fed machine gun could do it, but I know they got hold of a minigun and that worked like a charm.

I once had a single .50 BMG round shatter/topple a tree with a 4"-5" trunk at 100 yards' distance. (And we weren't trying to do this -- it was a complete surprise.)

CoRoMo
January 4, 2013, 06:43 PM
Holy cow! I never knew they actually did this many gun myths. I've seen a few that the OP posted, the three I posted, but few others.
...they shoot through a bag of sperm and into a "lady's womb" to see if she could get pregnant?
Never saw it. What did they determine? Which of those guys were chosen to fill the bag? :eek:

Skribs
January 4, 2013, 06:44 PM
Yeah I didn't think about it until I started typing and I was thinking "oh yeah, THAT myth".

morcey2
January 4, 2013, 06:47 PM
They did another one about the muzzle blast from a handgun igniting a natural-gas-enriched atmosphere. It had to do with a movie where the bad guy turned on the gas on the stove so the good guy couldn't shoot him without blowing himself up. He shot through a full milk container in the movie. Mythbusters couldn't get the gas to ignite with a pistol because the muzzle blast was too fast and didn't have enough energy transfer. Or something like that.

Either way, I wish I had their machine shop.

Matt

Skribs
January 4, 2013, 06:54 PM
Oh, they also did one where shooting a revolver wrong would cut off your fingers. Determined it was unlikely to actually sever the fingers, but it would do a lot of damage to your hand.

USAF_Vet
January 4, 2013, 06:56 PM
The myth from the movie Red where john Malkovich shoots and RPG with a .460 and it blows up, killing the shooter of the RPG.

Busted. That was a good one, though.

1KPerDay
January 4, 2013, 07:04 PM
Holy cow! I never knew they actually did this many gun myths. I've seen a few that the OP posted, the three I posted, but few others.

Never saw it. What did they determine? Which of those guys were chosen to fill the bag? :eek:
They determined that it was busted, and the young lady likely got pregnant in the usual fashion. :)

can anyone find that entire episode? I have been wanting to watch the one where they make a pistol proof panel out of some ceramic tiles and cement but I can't find it anywhere.

I think it's the "what is bulletproof" or the follow up/revisit to that episode. They did a couple. Adam tries to use thin plastic bags of cornstarch/water and fails miserably... "jamietile" works great.

If you have netflix seasons 1-9 are all avaliable, plus the "big blasts" collection. Also if you have Amazon Prime, they have all seasons available... I think seasons 1-5 are free and they have some additional content that netflix doesn't list.

soloban
January 4, 2013, 07:24 PM
I think they should get rid of Adam and Jamie and just do firearms myths with Kari full time. :)

browneu
January 4, 2013, 07:29 PM
I can't remember exactly but I think the phonebooks stopped smaller rifle rounds but didn't hold up to the .50 cal. They used a lot of phonebooks.

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Lucifer_Sam
January 4, 2013, 07:31 PM
Another was where they tested to see if a gun barrel could be cut off by a sword. Had to do with a WW2 myth that the samurai sword carried by Japanese troops could cut a barrel in half. I think they finally got a barrel to fracture in half by basically retempering it then hitting it with a sword.

Skribs
January 4, 2013, 07:33 PM
Dangit 1K, now I gotta get a netflix sub. Hulu just isn't cutting it...

browneu
January 4, 2013, 07:33 PM
Kari admitted to the transformation in one of the episodes. She called herself the granola vegetarian who loves shooting guns and cites the chopping down trees as the turning point.



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Quat
January 4, 2013, 07:44 PM
Shooting a playground merry-go-round to see if they could get it to spin, from that one movie. May have been part of that one where they were shooting guns away from people.

Starting a fire in an emergency/survival situation with black/smokeless powder.

Starting a car on fire by shooting the gas tank.

Two gun shooting, twice.

Hollywood gunfight durations, shooting out the floor around you/someone else to drop through.

Distance you can spot muzzle flash/how far away do you have to be in order to dodge a bullet.

Lucifer_Sam
January 4, 2013, 07:51 PM
Oh, yeah Quat made me remember a good one, different shooting stances from movies, like holding the gun sideways, holding it at the waist like they did in 40s and 50s movies, etc.

c4v3man
January 4, 2013, 07:51 PM
Quat beat me to the gas tank ignition one (which was not possible, even with tracers).

I think they tried the James Bond opening shot, where you shoot down another gun's barrel at range. I believe that was impossible.

They also had a test to see if a sword could split a bullet. I believe they were able to get a quality sword to split a handgun bullet (a .45 out of a 1911 if I recall) but the sword was damaged pretty badly. They tried a couple swords before they found one that could do it...

JohnBiltz
January 4, 2013, 07:55 PM
Shooting fish in a barrel.

The phone books car armor worked. .50 cal went through it but .50 will go through an Armor Personnel Carrier. Note a key word in Armored Personnel Carrier, big clue its the first one.

Skribs
January 4, 2013, 07:58 PM
JohnBlitz is it Personnel? Sorry, never was good at counting. ;)

Distance you can spot muzzle flash/how far away do you have to be in order to dodge a bullet.

I need to see this episode.

I've seen the machine gun barrel and the gas tank ignition, forgot about those.

parsimonious_instead
January 4, 2013, 08:02 PM
I really wish I had photocopied this one cool picture... something I stumbled across in the mid-80s at my local library. It was a thin book, possibly an Arco book from the 50s or 60s.
It talked about various weapon systems. I believe in the section on mounted machine guns, they had a really cool picture of some US Military folk who dramatically demonstrated the might of a Maxim gun to a Hawaiian chief by cutting down a rather large tree - there was a neat group picture of soldiers, Hawaiians, the gun itself and an obviously dead tree...

Ms_Dragon
January 4, 2013, 08:04 PM
The phone book armored car was my favorite episode EVER!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctauhnIjnso

SDC
January 4, 2013, 08:37 PM
Just remembered another couple; there was one test that Kari, Tori, and Grant did on diving through a doorway and firing at a bad guy while doing so, and one recently where they tested "does a knife beat a gun?" They found that someone within 16 feet or so could easily stab you before you could draw, even when expecting an attack.

Coop45
January 4, 2013, 08:47 PM
As I recall, they said the Gunny couldn't have made the shot. I sent the show an email made up almost entirely of colorful Marine Corps language and haven't watched them since.

barnbwt
January 5, 2013, 12:00 AM
The problem with shooting through an enemy's scope is the angle. It has to go straight through. At long range, the trajectory will be coming down ever so slightly. I still think it is possible though
That's why the story is so crazy; both shooters were aimed/zeroed directly at eachother. IIRC, Hathcock noticed a scope glint (something the other guy didn't have with his viewpoint) and got his shot off first. Otherwise, both would have been unaware of the other. Sort of a "stealth Mexican standoff" :cool:

TCB

Sheepdog1968
January 5, 2013, 12:45 AM
The mythbusters keyholed the bullet, but they didn't make it curve around solid barriers as suggested in the movie Wanted.
The spin placed on bullet by the grooved barrel helps,to keep it flying straight. I had wished they had tried it in a smooth bore pistol barrel.

Ranger Roberts
January 5, 2013, 10:39 AM
Didn't they do an episode about different shooting stances and the accuracy you get with them? For example, a gun in each hand while shooting at 2 targets, shooting "gangsta style" (gun tilted to the side), shooting one handed etc

TurtlePhish
January 5, 2013, 11:53 AM
There was one about Hollywood and MGs where they also drop-tested a MAC-10 down a flight of stairs a few times. Funny enough, it didn't go off even once.

Elkins45
January 5, 2013, 12:06 PM
As I recall, they said the Gunny couldn't have made the shot. I sent the show an email made up almost entirely of colorful Marine Corps language and haven't watched them since.
They said they couldn't re-create it, which isn't exactly the same thing. They must have gotten a lot of letters like yours because they revisited it with period correct guns and made it work IIRC.

wickedsprint
January 5, 2013, 12:10 PM
Did they use a vintage non zoom scope? Maybe easier to fire through an older one that possibly had less internal glass elements.

browneu
January 5, 2013, 12:17 PM
Did they use a vintage non zoom scope? Maybe easier to fire through an older one that possibly had less internal glass elements.

That's exactly what they determined. Modern scopes too much glass. Vintage scope they recreated it.

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morcey2
January 5, 2013, 12:27 PM
They switched to a period scope and AP ammo (I think) and it worked. On one of the sniper shows on either History or the Military Channel, Hathcock was interviewed and I thought he said that the snipers always used AP ammo. Don't remember if it was .30 M2 or 7.62.

22lr
January 5, 2013, 12:37 PM
The spin placed on bullet by the grooved barrel helps,to keep it flying straight. I had wished they had tried it in a smooth bore pistol barrel.
They did try it with a smooth bore, nothing they could do to the gun or bullet caused the bullet to curve. They got keyholes, but the bullets traveled in a strait path for the entire range.

David E
January 5, 2013, 12:47 PM
I know my Jennings can "curve a bullet," but it is a progressive arc. It can't/won't come back to point of aim like the movie.

skiking
January 5, 2013, 02:25 PM
The Jaws scuba tank one irritated me a bit. Knowing that older scuba tanks were made of a more brittle alloy and visually inspecting tanks for years and seeing some pretty scary cracks in them, makes me wonder if using an older tank that may or may not pass a visual or hydro test, combined with the common practice of topping off 10% if they would achieve the same results. I have seen tanks that have ruptured and the damage cause by it and it is pretty devastating.

wickedsprint
January 5, 2013, 04:10 PM
The Jaws scuba tank one irritated me a bit. Knowing that older scuba tanks were made of a more brittle alloy and visually inspecting tanks for years and seeing some pretty scary cracks in them, makes me wonder if using an older tank that may or may not pass a visual or hydro test, combined with the common practice of topping off 10% if they would achieve the same results. I have seen tanks that have ruptured and the damage cause by it and it is pretty devastating.

Not to mention being clamped on by jaws.

Quat
January 5, 2013, 05:24 PM
One of the very first things they did was a 22 as a replacement headlight fuse, and if it would go off eventually, which it did.

1KPerDay
January 5, 2013, 07:21 PM
The spin placed on bullet by the grooved barrel helps,to keep it flying straight. I had wished they had tried it in a smooth bore pistol barrel.
They did.

Capybara
January 5, 2013, 10:12 PM
I've got to ask, who would be carrying around a "bag of sperm."?

SDC
January 6, 2013, 11:51 AM
Most of us are, in a little skin bag between our legs :-)

Sheepdog1968
January 6, 2013, 01:33 PM
Oh, they also did one where shooting a revolver wrong would cut off your fingers. Determined it was unlikely to actually sever the fingers, but it would do a lot of damage to your hand.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. A local gun store owner and gunsmith extraordinair Frank Tabor (who sadly retired and closed his shop about two months ago) provided many of the firearms and was on many locations while they filmed. I walked in after that episode aired and that exact revolver used in the show was for sale at his shop. It was fun to chat with him about the show. Frank was shown in season one on the episode when he shot apart a hangmans rope. He actuall did it with both a rifle and revolver(s) but they only aired one of them. He had a great shop and I bought lots from him over they years. I also liked that if I wanted to order something that had a reputation of being an unreliable or poor firearm he would let me know it. I always appreciated that.

Sheepdog1968
January 6, 2013, 01:38 PM
They did try it with a smooth bore, nothing they could do to the gun or bullet caused the bullet to curve. They got keyholes, but the bullets traveled in a strait path for the entire range.
I must have missed that part or dozzed off. Thanks for letting me know.

Skribs
January 10, 2013, 05:22 PM
They also tested to see if heavy bass speakers could cause a weapon in your car to go off. They got a really nice sound system and had like 10 SKS carbines in various positions (I believe loaded with blanks; been a while), and the constant jarring from the bass caused none of the rifles to ND.

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