1. 2011

    Scattering a bullet off an RPG

    Yep, that’s right, a rocket-propelled grenade finally made its way on Mythbusters! Personally I’m surprised it took them so long…

    Anyway, let’s not get distracted from the science by cool explosions just yet. On last week’s season premiere of Mythbusters, Kari, Tory, and Grant tested a myth based on a scene in RED in which two characters are facing off, one (the hero) with a revolver and the other (the villain) with an RPG launcher. In the movie, they both shoot at the same time, the bullet hits the RPG in midair and detonates it, and the resulting explosion kills the villain. Now, in the show, this myth was busted on several counts:

    • RPGs don’t even arm until about 60 feet after launch, about \(\frac{3}{4}\) of the way to the target and long after this one would have been hit by the bullet
    • When an RPG explodes, it sends balls of molten copper flying forward, which wouldn’t have been stopped by the bullet
    • The distance at which the explosion would have taken place, 16 feet from the villain, is quite survivable

    Unfortunately, they didn’t test what I thought was the most …