What I love the most about this video is that you can see the pressure building up behind the load before the casing finally bursts. It’s a great illustration that gasses, not an explosion, propel the projectiles down the barrel. There’s an old myth that a shotgun shell doesn’t have enough power to penetrate a cardboard box if it goes off outside the chamber, and this seems to add some plausibility to the argument. Either way that’s some great slow motion video right there.

[h/t hoboguy7996]

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9 Responses to Video: What Happens When a Shotgun Fires Without the Barrel

    • Presumably due to the lack of a supporting chamber. Had the case not burst, I assume much more of the powder would have burned.

      It would be very interesting to see what a metallic cartridge would do, both held in place like this one, and “loose” (like a cartridge that was dropped and had its primer hit hard enough to go off).

  1. My only experience with that was a childhood friend of mine who decided it would be a great idea to throw a rock at a 9mm round until it went off. Once the round went off the projectile barely penetrated under the skin of his inner thigh. He did bleed a little and was scared half to death but no permanent damage occurred.

  2. When I was a just a mischievous tyke, my friends and I decided to rap primers with a hammer and nail. We got a nice bang, but not much else. Then we did the same thing, but instead holding the cartridge in a plier or vice, the cartridge was placed in a pipe. The bullet went through a wall. Not just a sheetrock wall, no. It was an old house and the wall was made of plaster, wood lathe, chicken wire and horsehair. Viola, the zip gun was born.

    • As kids, we would put a .22 short or LR in the jaws of an ordinary pair of pliers and smack the butt with a hammer. (Never tried it with a center fire cartridge.) We never got hit with a ricochet and the bullet never really penetrated much of anything. I didn’t do it more than 2 or 3 times because, even at age 11, it seemed somewhat unsafe and totally pointless.

  3. Most of that was done by the primer. This proves that the primer is a major factor in the pressure numbers you see for reloading. Substitutions of different primers is not recommended and for good reason.

  4. Big question: Has the ATF arrested the people who shot the video for making a “short-barreled shotgun”? Even if it has no barrel?

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