View Full Version : Anyone catch Mythbusters last night?

12-06-2007, 01:23 AM
They ran a piece on a Civil War era steam machine gun... they verified the range of at least 300 yards and a rate of fire of about 400 rounds a minute (I think), but couldn't declare it lethal. It punched holes nicely through targets, but the bullets bounced off a dead pig - at close range. Pretty impressive experiment in my opinion.

These guys used protective gear and shields... I don't think the same safety standards existed back then. My one persistent thought through the entire piece was, "Heck, the guys who worked on this back then must have been crazy... it just looks more dangerous to the operator than the enemy..."

Anyone else see it?

Pete K
12-06-2007, 01:33 AM
My sons got me to watch it. Not a lethal weapon, too bad. Just seemed to smack of the Old "Wild,Wild West" TV show (stem machine gun). The "uniform" was a bit cheesey, but the science was good. They have done a few Civil War-type myths in the past: Confederate rockets, Could a minie ball inpregnate a woman (ODD!), etc... Always fun if not truly heavy science and history.

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
12-06-2007, 01:57 AM

Yes, IMHO an interesting segment.
However, there were two bits I might have missed. I assume the size/weight of the "balls" or projectiles were the "same." And, I am not so sure that their defintion of "lethal" was fully sound for a device that would throw a ball 700 yards.
Meaning, a rock in a sling can be deadly, or a hardball in baseball, etc., etc., and I am not sure that through-and-through penetration might should be the sole determinant of "leathality." (As much as a Minie ball at 20 feet.)

Not being critical, just missing a piece or two...

Blunt Force Trauma Mess

12-09-2007, 07:34 AM
I only watch it for Kari Byron anyhow.

12-09-2007, 08:29 AM

...Cause most women that work in labs wear red lingerie and high heels with lab coats.

12-10-2007, 03:55 PM
Howdy all,
As I watched the part where they shot the pig, I couldnt help but remember that the hyde of a pig (at least the ones on our farm that we raised to butcher) was much tougher then the epidermis of a human.I mean the hyde of those pigs were flat out tough! So their conclusion that it was not lethal solely based on the ball not being able to penetrate the pigs hyde raised some serious questions in my mind.I might be wrong on this but as I said our pigs hydes was extremely thick and tough unlike that of a human.I would have been more interested to see how fast the projectile traveled with a chronograph.
Just something to think about,
John Rogers

12-11-2007, 06:14 AM
pig skin and flesh is as close to human you can get without shooting a human cadaver. That's why they're used in all science and health substitutes.

12-11-2007, 09:05 AM
Thanks for your post, it is very possible that the pigs that we butchered were really old or something thats why they were so thick skinned.To tell you the truth, that was quite a few years ago and I clearly remember that I was not very thrilled about doing it.Thanks for the clarification.
John Rogers

12-26-2007, 06:00 PM
They have done many Civil War myths. This one is just the latest in a long line of old myths started during the Civil War.