Supercavitation (Expialidocious): Ballistic FU to Great White Sharks

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“Typically .308 bullets will only go through three to four (3-4) jugs at most,” soldiersystems.net reports. “This example shows it going through 13 one gallon jugs, a steel plate, and then another jug. In waterborne operations this general purpose version of the projectile can go over 15 meters underwater and then have positive effects on target.” That depends on your point of view. [h/t thefirearmblog.com]

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    i made a deal a long time ago with sharks, i stay out of the ocean and they stay out of my house. we’ve both honored the bargain and peace has reigned.

  2. avatar hoppes#9 says:

    Two holes in steel plate, showing signs of opposite bullet travel paths. Frugality, or some of that magic Kennedy bullet material? You decide.

    1. Seems like the top hole was from a prior test. The video shows the holes from that test to be the lower one. Frugality wins.

  3. avatar Loyd says:

    The bullet looks like a Minie Ball. Technology is a cyclical thing I guess?

    So much for my water jug bullet proof vest.

  4. avatar AnotherMatt says:

    That’s some awfully dramatic music for water jugs.

  5. avatar Sanchanim says:

    I don’t think this is your normal FMJ bullet here. Usually most bullets break up within the first 12 to 16 inches of water travel. I know myth busters did a bit on this a couple of years ago.

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot19.htm

      I don’t know about myth busters, but here’s a guy who tests penetration through walls/jugs. A couple of calibers go through 7 jugs of water and the rounds typically stay intact. Didn’t test a .308 though…

      1. Penetration through water filled jugs & that through a single body of water bear little resemblance.
        In the former, the KE from the bullet is able to displace the water into a less dense medium; the surrounding air.
        Fire the same bullet into the side of a tank containing several thousand gallons & it’ll travel nowhere like as far.

  6. avatar scm says:

    Some time ago I read about attempts during the cold war to make a faster torpedo using supercavitation. It surrounds the projectile in a pocket of water vapor or some other gas to limit friction and allow for greater velocity. Kinda curious about the physics behind this though.

    1. avatar Loyd says:

      And to make a stollen Russian submarine with a Scottish captain silent.

      1. avatar Sanchanim says:

        ssshhh don’t give away all the secrets!

    2. avatar hoppes#9 says:

      scm, supercavitation research has produced some remarkably fast underwater weaponry. You are spot on. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercavitation

  7. avatar Rambeast says:

    I’d like to see the fps rating on those.

    The projectile looks to be a lathe turned alloy (‘spensive). High BC, hard projectile. I wonder if these would be sweet LR target rounds.

    P.S.- Holy barrel wear. >.>

    1. avatar Montesa_VR says:

      Yeah, good news, it fires right through an engine block. Bad news, you replace the barrel after each magazine is fired.

      1. avatar matt says:

        You can fix that problems if you fire them in a sabot.

  8. avatar Accur81 says:

    Hmm. A 180 grain Trophy Bonded Tip will penetrate through 5 jugs, I could believe that this could penetrate more. As also would a round with a stacked-tip Tungsten penetrator.

    1. avatar Sanchanim says:

      Well I am sure they don’t want to give away their trade secrets but having said that, this is a prototype hence the manual turning, but I would guess that if a contract is picked up they would move to a cast form.
      Very expensive but designed for a purpose…

  9. avatar matt says:

    How does 13 jugs equal 15 meters? And how far does a 50BMG penetrate underwater in comparison? What is this really going to be used for? It seems more like ‘because we can’ rather than for a realistic threat.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    If I was a carp, I’d be sh!tting my pants right about now.

    1. avatar karlb says:

      What kind of pants would you wear if you were a carp?

  11. avatar Mark N. says:

    One of the vids at the end of this particular vid (the one in the upper left hand corner) is a lecture by an anaesthesiologist, apparently given to EMTs, about bullet wounds, cavitation, and how hand guns (versus rifles) cause injury. Lots of good stats, one of which was that 6 out of 7 people shot with a handgun survive, while rilfe bullets, with their much higher energy, cause devastating wounds. Talks about .308 and 5.56 wounds and wond cavities. Also notes that the primary cause of death by handgun is not impact with a vital organ but bleed out. And it may take a long time for someone to bleed out. which is why, he says, police officers fire so many shots. Absent a hit to the midbrain, a perpetrator will not be stopped. In fact, the impact of a 9 mm with the body is the equivalent of dropping a 10 lb weight on yourself–from .72 inches.

  12. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    Cue the dramatic music! Cue the same impacts SEVEN TIMES! From a few different angles! This seems a very amateur demonstration for a very expensive and limited-use product. And I’m calling BS on the claim that this projectile, or supercavitation in general, will “change naval warfare forever.” Underwater combat is rare to begin with, and once you exclude submarine combat it basically never happens.

    Even Mythbusters did a better water penetration test than this (shooting into a swimming pool) and they’re not exactly known for their scientific rigor.

  13. avatar LarryArnold says:

    “In waterborne operations this general purpose version of the projectile can go over 15 meters underwater and then have positive effects on target.”

    1. Fifteen meters is way too close to a shark.
    2. I want my bullets to have a NEGATIVE effect on the target.

  14. avatar BambiB says:

    I’ll take a pneumatic speargun and a bang stick over the supercavitating .308

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