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Thread: firing underwater

  1. #1
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    Default firing underwater

    Ok, how many of you folks have actually fired a revolver under water? I see this on the tube now and then, and can't see how it is possible. First, the hammer is slower than in air, but maybe fast enough. Ok, I can buy that.... sort of. But how does a bullet leave the barrel without generating gargantuan pressures and splitting the barrel? Too, how far would your, say, 357 mag bullet travel in water, anyway? (It has been a long time since I have shot a king or rainbow; sorry for forgetting that part.) Hey; it's winter. Not much else to think about today.... j

  2. #2

    Default under water shooting

    The Discovery TV show "Myth Busters" did a segment on shooting firearms underwater. It has been a while so my memory is a little fuzzy.

    In the show they were very careful about letting all air bubbles out of the barrel of the gun. They shot several pistols and a couple of longarms. I think the only real problems with the guns were the semi auto guns didnt eject the spent shell because of the water resistance.

    They shot the bullets into ballistic gel to see the lethality of the bullet. As I recall the guns had to be very close to the target in order to penetrate.

    They also did a interesting show on if you shot straight up into the air would the bullet have enough velocity to kill a person on the way down. I think they decided that it wold be extremely rare if the bullet penetrated enough to kill someone because the bullet starts to tumble on the way down.

    Very interesting shows.

  3. #3

    Default MythBusters . . .

    don't know everything. I watched one of their shows recently where they had to make a cast lead bullet for something or other. They put the hot mold into a bucket of water before opening it to release the bullet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Geniuses!!!!!!!!

    I'll admit, the show IS entertaining at times, but after that stunt, they've lost credibility with this viewer.

  4. #4
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Myth Busters....

    Pretty easy to put holes in an awful LOT of their methods and conclusions...but I LOVE the explosions!!!!!

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default

    Years ago there was a gun magazine article about this. Real shooters and not over-age college kids who never found a real job.

    The range was only a few feet for a target they had in a swimming pool.

    BUT, some guy invented a anti-shark weapon that usd a 30-30 brass with a long wood and metal dart. A sort of crossbow bolt without big fins.

    These mini spears were seated into 30-30 brass and they were fired from a weapon that looked like a long rotating pepper-box revolver.

    He was able to punch holes through targets 20 feet away underwater.

    They had another one where they used a 45-70 brass. I don't remember how that one worked.

    Makes me wonder how one of those old H&R 45-70 powered harpoon guns would work underwater.


    xx

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A_K_H_U_N_T_E_R View Post
    They also did a interesting show on if you shot straight up into the air would the bullet have enough velocity to kill a person on the way down. I think they decided that it wold be extremely rare if the bullet penetrated enough to kill someone because the bullet starts to tumble on the way down.
    -They may have "decided" that, yes, but that doesn't change the fact there's several injuries and a few deaths on record, caused by falling bullets, and that it's fairly common for people to sustain injuries from falling bullets in places where people routinely shoot guns into the air- like Iraq or Palestine.

    This article isn't difinitive, but it's a start.

    Doc.

  7. #7
    New member AkBubba's Avatar
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    Talking under H2O

    I'll try to be careful not to incriminate myself or anyone else....

    During pool training with a Sheriff's department dive team down in the lesser 48 a couple of these high engergy guys decided to see what would happen if you were to shoot a pistol underwater. Their findings were that only the HK USP's and a glock would actually cycle underwater. The rounds did not go straight either (please picture another diver with the target in his hands trying to swim toward the bullets path so it would hit the target).

    Conclusion......some will fire, a few will cycle and laughing with a regulator in your mouth is a hazard in its own. Also, added disclaimer.........DON'T DO THAT

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    Default falling bullet; pretty nasty

    Thanks for the info on firing a gun underwater. Maybe I'll try my 480 Ruger on a diving brown bear; I'll post pics later. In regards to what the Myth Busters say about a falling bullet being "non-lethal", or whatever they said, it's certainly a way to ruin your day. If you jump off of a 100' building, you will (forgetting about wind resistance) be traveling 55 mph when you hit (numbers approx, but not far off). Remember that when you are driving without a seat belt. I think you reach terminal velocity from a 250' jump. So, I SURMISE that a tumbling bullet will be traveling at, what, 80 mph? Maybe that is not enough to penetrate your gord, but it sure as hell ain't gonna be any fun.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default

    As for falling bullets,
    Using plunging fire is an old military battle trick.

    While not the same as shooting straight up in the air, the proteciles do come down from a fairly air altitude.

    A good book to read is McBrides A Rifleman went to war, While he was a sniper, he was first a long range machine gunner. They would fire several machine guns against road intersections late at night while the Germans were trying to extract their wounded via ambulances. As well as trying to bring up supplies and reenforcements.

    His crews were firing in super high arcs using artillery plotting methods.
    So the troops on the receiving end would have a rain of bullets falling all over the place from guns that were far way and out of sight.


    The Boers did the same thing to the invading British troops during the 1898 Boer War. Using massed fire from 7mm Mauser Bolt action rifles.

    One British officer wrote that it sounded like a hard pelleting rain as the wave of bullets started to knock his troops down long before they heard any shots being fired.


    xx

  10. #10

    Default

    Most of the unfortunate Iraqi's are getting wacked from bullets on an arched trajectory. These bullets are still under the influence of the original propelant. They are not falling straight down as a sole result of gravitational pull.

    We used to have a cannon at the highschool football field(30 years ago). It was fired after the home team scored. Late one night we climbed the fence and poured a half can of ffg down that thing followed by a sack of marbles. We pointed it straight in the air and touched it off. It seemed like a half hour before thoses marbles came back to earth and started clanking off the suroundings. I don't remember any damage being done by the marbles! Was the end of the cannon though. I don't know if we broke it or if they were afraid of a rerun! Dang kids anyway!

  11. #11

    Cool Falling Bullets

    The early model 303 SMLE rifles were equiped with a set of volley sights which were attached to the stock and graduated to 5000 meters. A company could fire in volley vomiting a hail of projectiles in an arc like motar fire. Might ventalate your shelter half and wool blanket, HUH.

  12. #12
    Member chrisWillh's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A_K_H_U_N_T_E_R View Post
    In the show they were very careful about letting all air bubbles out of the barrel of the gun. They shot several pistols and a couple of longarms. I think the only real problems with the guns were the semi auto guns didnt eject the spent shell because of the water resistance.
    The 12 gage they fired actually broke because they couldn't bleed all of the air out of it. Had someone been holding it, it would have been messy.

    As for injuries caused by firing int the air, the theory they had was that if the bullet maintains ballistic trajectory then it would maintain enough force to injure someone if it hit them. In the experiment they had the firearms mounted to a machine that kept them at a 90 degree angle from the ground and the bullets wouldn't maintain ballistic trajectory unless the barrel was at a smaller angle. The short of it is, don't fire unless you know what you are going to hit.

  13. #13

    Default Myth Busters ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by A_K_H_U_N_T_E_R View Post
    They also did a interesting show on if you shot straight up into the air would the bullet have enough velocity to kill a person on the way down. I think they decided that it wold be extremely rare if the bullet penetrated enough to kill someone because the bullet starts to tumble on the way down.

    Very interesting shows.
    In New Orleans every New Years eve the bangers in the hood bring in the New Year by shooting in the air. In 1978 their was a young lady who happen to be hit in the head by one of the falling bullets. A few hours later one of my medschool friends was harvesting her corneas.
    Don't belive what you hear on TV.

    Dr B

  14. #14
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    Default Dr B

    Sorry to hear about the girl. Yep, it's just simple physics. No mystery to it.

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