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High Speed Video of Pistols Underwater – Smarter Every Day 19

Hey it’s me Destin. Welcome to this week in Smarter Every Day. Today we’re gonna try to figure something out that I’ve always wondered. What happens when you shoot a pistol underwater. I think revolvers are gonna act a little different than semi-automatic pistols. [music] Alright, here we are in the field, this is the setup. So what we have here is a revolver in an aquarium that we made out of plate glass and silicone. This should be pretty cool, but we’re gonna film this with this Phantom v10 camera made by Vision Research. We’re gonna film it at 2200 frames per second. We’ve got about a 40 microsecond exposure time. But in order to get enough light we have to use this, which is a 15 million candle power spotlight. This should be pretty cool, but the intent here is we’re gonna fill this up with water over the pistol, and we’re gonna see if we can capture that gas bubble as it comes between the revolver and the barrel. It should expand, and hopefully not blow up. But I’m expecting this to blow up. And immediately after we capture all that video we’re gonna compress it into a pretty small format and then we’re gonna beam it via this satellite dish straight to the 80s so that my granddad can.. I’m just kidding. Anyway, let’s do the shot. [music] Do I look as sad as I feel? [laugh] Or maybe nervous? I really don’t want this to blow up because I don’t have money to buy it again if it does, so… I’m doing this so you can learn. You don’t have to blow your pistol up. [music] Alright, let’s see if she lived. I really hope so. 3..2..1.. [bang] Yay Ruger. Alright so now let’s talk about the results. To my knowledge this is the first time handguns have been studied like this, and there’s obviously a lot of stuff to learn here but I’ll focus on three things that are pretty simple. The first thing is, it was pretty clear that as soon as the hammer struck the firing pin which hit the primer, there was an outgassing, you could actually see a bubble. It’s pretty interesting. My assumption is that that’s the seal around the primer breaking down and causing a little outgassing. Nothing really new there. The second thing that we learned is it appears that the semi-automatic pistol is more efficient at applying the gases generated by the cartridge to the back of the bullet creating more velocity than the revolver. You noticed when the revolver fired there was this large blast wave that came out from between the revolver cylinder and the barrel. All that is wasted energy that could be applied to increasing the velocity of the round, which wasn’t. So that was also pretty interesting. The next thing that we learned is when the weapon is fired, you see this large blast wave come out the front of the weapon. Now the assumption is, or at least the assumption I made to begin with is that it’s a spherical blast wave. It’s actually not. It’s more like a bagel or doughnut. It’s what’s called a toroidal vortex. Root word being torus. So if you were to take this and… let me draw this… alright. So this is kinda what’s happening here. The gases are coming out from the barrel, and they’re going in a loop around the outside of the bullet. Toroidal vortex, that’s what’s going on there. Anyway, there’s a whole lot to learn here. I hope you’re getting Smarter Every Day. Have a good one. [music] [ Captions by Andrew Jackson ] Captioning in different languages welcome.
Please contact Destin if you can help.

85 thoughts on “High Speed Video of Pistols Underwater – Smarter Every Day 19

  1. Aside from the flatulent political trolls, did anyone else notice the utter lack of gas exiting through the compensator cuts on the Ruger frame?  Interesting, though.  I was told, as a kid, that the bullet would be slowed by the water and the gas overpressure would rupture the barrel. I learned something.

  2. That was by far my favorite video of this series!!! guns underwater, I've always been curious how that works but now thanks for explaining it ^^

  3. What you could of done is make the tank a little bit more longer like 4 ft because you can see more impact. and they don't travel that long mayb they do

  4. Its Vacuum, not a vortex. 4 milion people think there is gas there, when its just nothing. You can see no bubbles apear from the top of the water.

  5. On a related note, will a gun fire in a vacuum?  What would happen?  Firearms in space (vacuum+no gravity)?

  6. That means that the longer the barrel, the more energy-efficient it is ? Now the question is, how long until it is deficient again with let's say 9mm ?

  7. Dustin, you earned my subscription on the first one, the Prince Rupert Drop. I subscribe to a couple similar channels, but yours instantly became my favorite. Well played, sir!

  8. Hey destin I couldn't help but realize you were wearing a Richland Bombers t shirt!!! I don't know what your background is with RHS but I attend everyday!! This is so cool!!

  9. More interesting is how far do the rounds travel before the water stops them, and the weapon become ineffective. It seems from the videos the answer is about 1m for most rounds, the round tosses around and looses it penetration power after then.

  10. The air bubble that comes out as the hammer drops is not from the primer, the primer is about 3 inches away from there and its just a small amount of trapped air in the firing pin cylinder. I have a couple of Ruger P95's also,  its a great gun and I have won several shooting competitions with it. They are very cheap but well made.

  11. Wow, he is wearing a Richland Bombers shirt. I used to attend Richland High. I guess it's not too surprising as we have one of the most offensive high school names in the country, buuuut Hanford was also a part of the Manhattan project so that's probably a more logical reason he's wearing the shirt, other than the fact that it's a cool shirt. What's funny is that it actually used to be called Columbia High School. For those of you who do not know, Richland is in the South Eastern corner of Washington state which is the side that's actually almost a desert and is NOT evergreen.

  12. I wouldn't want to count on getting many rounds off with the semi-auto under water. The empty casing barely clears before the slide is closed, and actually might even get struck by the slide on the way forward. That's a "stove-pipe" looking for a place to happen. Awesome video though, I love high-speed camera action!

  13. Its really interesting that pieces of glass are sucked in… with all that energy going towards the outside (bullet + water pressure)… is that an effect of the toroidal vortex?

  14. Destin: in your comparison of the revolver and the pistol, you indicate that the pistol is more efficient at directing the energy of the expanding gases to the bullet as it loses less from the "jump gap" where the bullet leaves the cylinder and jumps to the barrel. While I agree that this DOES in fact happen- obviously we see it occur, what I was surprised to hear was you essentially discount the revolver as a less efficient device. You did not account for the tremendous loss of potential bullet energy that occurs in the pistol due to using expanding gases to drive the action of the shell ejection and reload.

    The only way to effectively compare energies inefficiencies is to run controlled production ammunition through identical barrel lengths (one revolver, one pistol) and determine impact energies.

    BTW: what calibers were the handguns? The pistol appeared to be 9mm Parabellum, but I could not decide on the revolver…38? Very cool way to spend some time!!

  15. The "toroidal vortex" thing he mentioned is the same principle as a mushroom cloud (or smoke ring), I believe.

  16. The good ole days of Smarter Everyday when Destin couldn't afford to blow up his gun.
    Today he makes thousands of dollars every time he uploads a video. Ahh…Memories.

  17. Hah! the music..
    "Today i was driving along in my car, and by car i mean car–dboard box"
    cool video! 🙂

  18. I disagree. I thing revolvers have more power because they don't use a gas mechanism.

  19. Old video but what i think was interesting, is that the semi automatic had a long delay between the firing pin hitting the primer and firing of the bullet than the revolver. The revolver fires of the bullet almost immedietly when the pin hits the primer.

  20. the Torus is found throughout physics and nature…magnetic and microwave fields, shapes of fruits & seeds, the human digestive system in principle…willing to bet there are lots more

  21. 0:29 I JUMPED.
    0:59 lol
    1:44 I want it to blow up.
    2:09 YAY!'
    2:19 I didn't know that it produced smoke!
    3:11 so much wow
    3:13 much wow
    3:20 much much wow

  22. Your obsession with guns in these videos has moved you down, down, down in what I spend my time on. And, BTW, I am NOT anti-gun…I own several. I just don't find videos about guns the least bit interesting.

  23. i swear that tune at the end is creepy, ima have dreams with it the clown whispering ''smarter smarter smarter, every every every, day day day''

  24. So , Is dry patching before you fire after cleaning to prevent excessive pressure due to oil or solvents in the barrel is false ?

  25. The gas coming out of the revolver between the barrel and the cylinders can actually take your tumb off if you put it there.

  26. I got really hungry when he cut that bagel open, then immediately lost my appetite when he drew on it with a sharpie. So weird how the mind can mess with a person based on what is seen.

  27. I'd be interested in him firing a revolver (hammer fired) vs. a striker fired semi-auto. Both of these were Hammer Fired.

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