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You are watching: How far will a bullet travel in water

Water stop bullets: confirmedYou deserve to do a complete 360 on a swingset: mythbusted

The how amazing thing about the bulletproof water was exactly how poorly the high-powered rifles did. The full metal coat bullets for the high-powered rifles came apart upon hitting the water. Even the dreaded .50 caliber rifle was only able to penetrate around 3 ft that water.

I didn"t think the 360 swing collection myth was the interesting, however if you were patient through the totality episode you gained to see them strap rockets on come a fake in a swing collection -- rockets space always great fun ~ above the show. According to hold Adam Savage, "Well hopefully that"s ours job, come strap rockets top top everything"

Bulletproof Water

Myth: Water will protect you from being shot by bullets

They know that water will eventually stop a bullet, for this reason they desire to check to see exactly how deep you have to dive to prevent being shot.

Gun selection

The various guns they tested during the myth were:

9mm pistolM1 Garand/.30-06Replica Civil war black powder rifleShotgun.50 cal rifle

Regarding the .50 cal ammunition:

Adam: "That"s what this thing fires?"Jamie: "It"s smaller than mine head, it"s alright"

Water tank tests

They constructed a "ballistic tank" out of 1" thick acrylic and also iron girders. They stuck a block the ballistics gel right into the tank that can be increased up and also down to various depths.

6ft: the cartridge went right through the ballistic gelatin -- fatal9mm
7ft: the bullet went directly through again -- fatal9mm
8ft: the bullet just went 1/2" into the gelatin -- non-fatal3" deer cheese + Shotgun
6ft: as one could have expected, firing a shotgun into a small tank the water wrong the tank and sent everyone to run to rotate off every the lamp to prevent brief circuits. The cheese shot went with the ballistics gelatin -- fatal

The shotgun test was the end of that details test setup.

Pool tests

A vertical rig was a worst-case scenario. In order to make it easier to check and also to do it correspond much better with a real-world scenario, they chose to do their brand-new rig be in ~ a 30 degree angle. In ~ a 30 level angle v an 8 ft penetrating bullet, you would certainly only have to be 4ft underwater.

Someone strangely i agreeed to permitting Adam and also Jamie to shoot off firearms in your pool. Adam made a brand-new 20 ft railway because that the ballistics gel target and also they mounted it at a 23 degree angle.

For the very first test they supplied a replica Civil war black flour rifle shooting Jamie"s homemade bullets in ~ 1000 ft/s.

Replica Civil war rifle
15 ft: The cartridge veered way off target.Replica Civil battle rifle
5 ft: they couldn"t uncover the bullet and also the ballistics gel was still undamaged -- nonfatalReplica Civil war rifle
3 ft: The bullet went with the gel -- fatal. In ~ this distance, though, the gelatin was only 2 ft underwater due to the fact that of the angle.

They switched come a .223 rifle, i m sorry shoots in ~ 2500 ft/s

.223 rifle
10 ft: the complete metal jacket bullet shattered into tiny bits ~ above hitting the water -- nonfatal223 rifle
3 ft: when again the bullet damaged up. The guideline of the cartridge was resting on the ballistics gel -- nonfatal (myth confirmed)

The following gun up to be the M1, i m sorry shoots at 2800 ft/s. In their Bulletproof Glass mythbusting, the M1 was capable of penetrating 2.5" that bulletproof glass.

10 ft: small bullet pieces once againM1
2 ft: the bullet only pierced the gel 4", which would certainly be enough to just pierce the skin.

They finally broke out the huge gun, the .50 cal v armor-piercing rounds, which space shot at 3000 ft/s.

Adam: "Hopefully we"ll it is in gone prior to the pool completely drains"

.50 cal
10 ft: also though the water exploded, the ballistics gelatin was intact. Water do it every the method up to the ceiling. As it was with the vault guns, the bullet round come apart top top impact. That lost every one of it"s energy within the very first 3 ft. You would be for sure 14" underwater at a 23 edge from a .50 cal.

confirmed: you can defend yourself indigenous a cartridge by diving underwater. If the shooter were straight overhead, girlfriend would most likely be for sure from most guns at 8 ft. In ~ a 30 degree angle, you would certainly only need to be 3 ft underwater to be safe.

360 swing Set

Myth: If friend go quick enough, you can swing every the way around a swing collection in a 360 arc

Jamie: "Yet one more common day-to-day item turned deadly"

They placed a range behind a swing set so they might measure the rate of the swing using a high-speed camera.

Kari under her very own strength: Kari was able to make the 11ft high (just over horizontal) v a height speed of 23.5 ft/s

Tory under his very own strength: Tory cracked his butt as the swing damaged under his weight. Previously they showed Tory reading the warning label on the waver that claimed it to be for kid"s use only. Tory didn"t do it together high together Kari and only walk 22.4 ft/s

Grant in the red security suit, pushed by Tory and Kari: Tory and Kari to be able to acquire Grant as much as 22.9 ft/s and also 11.5 ft high

Simulaid Susie (65 lbs) v half-length chain: castle shortened come chain to do it simpler to flip her over. Grant and also Tory tried to flip her over using ropes to pull Susie but were unsuccessful. Tory dubbed in some biker friends and also all four of them pulling to be able to gain Susie over. Even though they acquired Susie end the bar, it wasn"t a complete 360 -- closer come 300 prior to she came crashing down.

The Circus Tests

They walk a scale model test v swing set and uncovered that you required to go 36 ft/s to do it end in a 360. However, if you offered a rigid-arm waver instead, friend only essential to go 10 ft/s.

Grant, Kari, and Tory went to Trapeze arts in Oakland, whereby they have actually a full-size rigid arm swing. Eric Braun, circus acrobat, aided each that them shot out the rigid arm swing. One by one they acquired on the swing and Eric jumped ~ above behind to get it walking higher:

Eric + Grant: Eric and also Grant acquired up come 230 degrees prior to Grant asked for him come stop, lest he hurl.Eric + Kari: Eric and also Kari as much as 240 degrees prior to she asked for him come stop.Eric + Tory: Eric and Tory do it come 280 degrees but they simply didn"t have actually enough power to make it over.Eric alone: Eric do it quickly aroundRocket Susie Tests

They still wanted to obtain a 360 degree swing ~ above a non-rigid-arm swing, so they made decision that they to be going come strap rockets top top the ago of Simulaid Susie to obtain her over the swing. They an initial did part scale version tests to figure out the best method to mount the rocket ~ above Susie:

horizontal (max velocity): Scale-model Susie was sent tumbling and also lost she hand.vertical: quite useless in gaining Scale-model Susie end the bar40 degrees: Scale-model was sent out over the bar four times

With their scale design tests done, they gained the full-size Simulaid Susie setup because that a genuine attempt in ~ doing a 360 top top a swing set. In spite of the outcomes of their scale model tests, they decide to connect four rockets to Simulaid Susie because that the really test for 400lbs the thrust.

First firing: just one next of the rockets ignited, sending Susie right into a spin

They determined to take 2 of the rockets turn off so that less can go wrong

Second firing: One side fired off prior to the other, sending Susie bouncing around and also twisting.

They dropped down to a solitary rocket so that they wouldn"t have to worry about simultaneous ignition. Castle also set the edge at 60 degrees since they to be worried around Susie"s weight.

Third firing: Susie proper swung ago and forth together the edge of the rocket was as well steep

They set the angle back to 40 degrees, which intended that they were finally ago at the original parameters their scale design said they should have actually used.

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Fourth firing: Simulaid Susie make it over in a complete 360


Did anyone else notification something... Totally off through the end results of the water and also gun testing? The an initial half v the right up and down instance I anticipated every move from the firearms all going right through and also the shotgun blowing out the political parties of the case very easily but as quickly as they relocated to the pool setting nothing seemed quite right. Ns don"t watch how any type of of that an effective ammo do to not blow to piece just dropped apart in some pool water. Anyone else think there to be purposeful sabotage simply to finish the segment without any type of further problems?

Shooting firearms into water is around as common as shooting B. Gel. I have shot .270 and also .223 into water and also the bullets room fine. Other guns tested, .303 and .22 and also .22 long. You obtain some mushrooming however thats it.

As for the .50 cal. IIRC armour percing usage a brittle main point or shell (don"t remeber the perice an approach on .50). Yet a plain ball shot would certainly not shatter i"m quite sure. If you room on a angle yet the bullets often tend to bounce turn off from most weapons (i have done it) and this often tends to create a level spot on lead bullets (not complete metal jacket).

Either method this experimentation is minimal and really adds an ext to myths than debunks them.

Having stated that. Penetration of any kind of bullet in water will certainly be very restricted no issue what. (supercavitating rounds anyone?)


Nitpick: the Mythbusters team provided a M1 Garand, no a M1 Carbine. I simply watched the illustration to confirm this. The difference is far-reaching in this case, because the carbine offers a less powerful .30 carbine round, when the Garand uses the .30-06 . In this case, actually, the carbine can have performed far better than the Garand, since the high-energy rifle bullets all shattered once they struggle the water, if the smaller sized pistol rounds (which are comparable to the .30 carbine round) penetrated more underwater.