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Is it safe to shoot wet guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by alfon99, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Well-Known Member

    Considering some of the dismal conditions the Army had me in, yes. At least m16/m4's
  2. brickeyee

    brickeyee Well-Known Member

    It can at firearm pressures.

    The problem is that it acts like plug and adds mass to the bullet at a place in the barrel that may not be as strong as the breech end.
  3. col.lemat

    col.lemat Well-Known Member

    Water can be compressed? that's news to me.
  4. Bill4282

    Bill4282 Well-Known Member

    Go to your local drug store and the bandage section. Look for finger cots(condoms). Used to keep dirt and water out of wounds. Will fit snugly over rifle or shotgun muzzle and ruptures when shot through.
  5. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

    I wish it could there would be engines running on it then, after watching video of shooting guns under water I will not use a speargun anymore lol
  6. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

    so will small balloons much cheaper
  7. firesky101

    firesky101 Well-Known Member

    Indeed liquids and solids are compressible, however the pressure needed is very high. I am not sure if those pressures occur in a barrel without doing the research, but I do know for sure firing with a barrel full of water is not something you really want to do on purpose. Your gun may handle it just fine, but why risk it?
  8. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    A balloon will slip over a shotgun barrel and stay seated just fine (smaller balloons will stay on a rifle barrel too). Keep a few in your gun case if you plan on being in the rain a lot.
  9. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Well-Known Member

    Umm...no, I'm afraid not. Your supposition here is all wrong. And it's an error of magnitudes, as well.

    That 14.7 psia difference means absolutely...nothing. Outside of a submerged environment, the pressure inside the barrel is still exactly the same as the pressure outside the barrel...namely atmospheric pressure. If you submerged the gun in 33 feet of water, the pressure inside the barrel would be two atmospheres...and so would the pressure outside the barrel.

    The overpressure differential when fired submerged is exactly the same as the overpressure differential in the atmosphere for a barrel full of water, because the static pressures are equal inside and outside the barrel. It's kind of like the question I used to ask young submariners in the Navy: if we double the atmospheric pressure in the submarine, does that mean the submarine can dive twice as deep? The answer is "NO"...the submarine can dive 33 feet deeper if you double the atmospheric pressure inside.

    Even if you held the barrel of the gun vertical, that pressure of the column of water at the bottom of the would still be negligable. 20-plus inches of water is an insignificant amount of pressure when compared to the 33 feet required for a column of water to reach 14.7 psi at the bottom of the column.

    The danger comes solely from the presence of an obstruction, namely that provided by water, in the barrel. Water does have an inertial component to it and, when struck with sufficient speed and force, does exhibit some characteristics of a solid, what with it being an incompressable fluid.

    CAN firing a gun with a barrel full of water cause damage to the gun?

    The answer is "YES".

    WILL firing a gun with a barrel full of water cause damage to the gun?

    The answer is "DEPENDS".

    That "DEPENDS" encompasses a wide variety of factors, including (but not limited to), barrel thickness, barrel shape, barrel construction (including design and materials), type of ammunition fired, velocity of ammunition fired, breech construction, etc.

    Firing a modern small caliber rifle under water? Probably not. Lots of videos on youtube to support this.

    Firing a small caliber pistol under water? Again, probably not. Lots of videos on youtube to support this as well.

    Firing a large caliber magnum pistol underwater? Maybe. Haven't seen any such videos on youtube...perhaps because people aren't willing to drop the cash in the risk. .44 Magnum, TC in various high powered calibers...that kind.

    Firing a high powered rifle under water? Maybe. I suppose this depends on one's definition of "high powered". Personally, I don't consider the .223 to be such a cartridge. 30-06, definately. .50 BMG, definately. But I haven't seen any such videos of these calibers underwater.

    Firing a shotgun underwater? Definately. Very easy to see why, when you consider the large internal barrel diameter and thin barrel walls when compared to a rifle barrel.


    Bottom line:

    Don't do it just because you think it's safe or someone else has told you or shown you that they've done it. Barrel obstructions aren't joking matters, whatever the source.

    Drain the barrel and practice good habits to keep obstructions from happening.

  10. alfon99

    alfon99 Well-Known Member

    Good idea, except that my local drugstore is 25km away. Anyway I have electrical tape.
  11. brickeyee

    brickeyee Well-Known Member

    "Water can be compressed? that's news to me."

    There is a reason when you bring fish up from very deep water they all turn inside out.

    they have to be kept in a high pressure container to survive.

    Steel compresses also.

    it is all about how much pressure you want to apply.

    Water behaves very differently at 60,000 PSI than you would think.

    The steel in a rifle receiver stretches enough on firing to use strain gauges to determine chamber pressure.

    Electrical tape works well for covering barrels.
    Just shoot through it.
    The air in the barrel in front of the bullet is probably going to make a hole in it before the bullet even gets there.

    I have done this with even .22-250 rifles with sporter weight barrels with no problem.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  12. returningfire

    returningfire Well-Known Member

    Jeez guys, the OP just wanted to know if it was safe to shoot guns that had gotten wet in the rain.
    Ask anyone that was in Nam or in any South American countries during the drug wars if it is OK to fire a wet weapon. They would all be dead if it it were not safe. Oh wait, the VC would be dead too, my bad.
    Or during a firefight, someone yells out 'I have to wait until my rifle dries out".
    I never saw a hand signal that designated "wet weapon, cannot engage".
  13. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Well-Known Member

    Some of these answers are like telling a person how to build a clock when he asked for the time.:evil:
  14. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    :D I am going to be laughing at this all day. Thank you.
  15. brickeyee

    brickeyee Well-Known Member

    My cousin who served in Vietnam says they used condoms.
  16. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Well-Known Member

    I shoot in the heavy rain / snow all the time. Perfectly safe - Just make sure you dissasemble the gun and make sure you remove the moisture and condensation, then relube.

    The danger is rust, not kabooms.

    Bolt action guys, this means taking the bareled action out of the stock, not just lubing the bolt. ;)
  17. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Well-Known Member

    The HK vid: the problem is the gas tube. That tiny gas tube can't drain as quick as a larger, shorter piston tube, so overpressure builds up, ends up blowing up the rear receiver, not the barrel.
  18. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Well-Known Member

    No water cannot be compressed. That's how hydraulics works. It can be placed under pressure as in the the deep ocean but that water is not compressed one iota. Air will compress which is why it is so usefull for brakes and air-guns.
  19. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I personally think it's a common sense call. In other words, if the muzzle has snow in it, or rain has been coming down on the upward facing muzzle, I would consider that a bad situation. Because I care about my high powered rifles and don't want to risk damaging them, I always carry a finger tip protector on me when I'm hunting. If it starts raining or snowing I slip it over the muzzle to prevent any moisture from getting in it.

    I'm not as picky about handguns, but just the same, I don't just allow the muzzle to get soaked.

    As for shotguns, I take some of the above mentioned steps depending on how severe the weather is. I've actually seen a couple of SG barrels that got bulged because of snow build up in the muzzle.

  20. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Well-Known Member

    Yes, there IS a reason some deep sea fish have their insides pushed out when they are brought up to shallow depths too fast...and it isn't because water is compressible. It's because the ones that have a problem with this have an internal air bladder which they use for buoyancy control. Air IS compressible...a LOT. If such fish are brought up from the depths too fast, with not enough time allowed for the air in their air bladders to equalize/bleed off, then the expanding air inside their bodies will indeed push their internal organs out of their mouths.

    As for the pressures you're talking about with steel and strain gauges...what you're seeing is tensile stresses, not compressive stresses. Totally different beast.

    Water is not compressible...and any pressures which you MAY see compressive effects are far, far beyond any practically achievable pressures outside of a laboratory, and even those are very tiny.


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