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Mythbusters and Guns

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Skribs, Jan 4, 2013.

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  1. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    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.
     
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    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.
     
  4. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    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.
     
  5. browneu

    browneu Member

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    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
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  7. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    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.
    That's what I said.
     
  8. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Brown, could you tell me if the phone book armor worked?

    RC, I think I agree with your theory.
     
  9. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    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.
     
  10. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    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 :)
     
  11. ccsniper

    ccsniper member

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    Just give it enough time, ammo and effort. There are many trees in my neck of the woods that are no longer standing.
     
  12. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    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.
     
  13. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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.
     
  14. xwingband

    xwingband Member

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    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.
     
  15. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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)
     
  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  17. SDC

    SDC Member

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    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.
     
  18. karateclarinet

    karateclarinet Member

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    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.
     
  19. ccsniper

    ccsniper member

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    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.
     
  20. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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

    AlexanderA Member

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    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.)
     
  22. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    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:
     
  23. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Yeah I didn't think about it until I started typing and I was thinking "oh yeah, THAT myth".
     
  24. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

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    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
     
  25. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    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.
     
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