Which is Faster: DetCord or a .50 Caliber Bullet?

This is not a question that’s been vexing me lately. Well, ever. But I’m a big fan of doing stupid things [safely and] scientifically in the pursuit of facts with no appreciable utility. Call it trivia in action. And let’s face it: anytime you fire a .50 cal is a good time. Full stop. Or not, depending on the backstop. Still, what’s with the X-Box hate? FullMag’s usual shtick: destroying Cupertino’s finest electronic gear. Don’t talk to me about microprocessor speeds and upgrades; Microsoft’s X-Box is so 2001. I’d like FullMag destroy a Flosstime, which not only measures out the perfect amount of floss but keeps blinking for a 90-second floss time. Any other suggestions?



  1. avatar Siris says:

    Depends on the length and quality of the cord I’d say.. Some charges can be set at 2,4,8 milsec. Apart.
    The longer the distance the better odds for the cord is my guess without cheating and reading the article first.

  2. avatar CRF says:

    In the video it looks like the .50 reached the console just a hair’s breadth before the set cord. You can see the fifty tumbling as it flies out of frame, so I’m assuming the shockwave caught the tail end of the bullet.

  3. avatar bobmcd says:

    Saying that an X-Box is from Cupertino is lots more worser than calling a magazine a clip.

    1. avatar Katy says:

      Don’t watch this guy, but it sounds like RF is saying that he normally shoots up Apple products and that this attack on Redmond was a bit different and surprising.

  4. avatar Paul53 says:

    Finally the answer to my most intriguing question. Should be good for trivia, though. Jeopardy here I come!

  5. avatar John in Illinois says:

    Straight detcord = PETN = 23,500 fps so yeah detcord.

    Wikipedia rounds that off to 4 miles per second:

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Yea, that’s what I was about to say. “High” explosives have a propagation speed of about 8,000 meters/sec.

  6. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I would really like to see if Richard can time it so the .50 projo reaches and goes through a ring coil of det cord.
    Just to see the effect of say, a 6″ coil tube of super expanding gasses and high heat on a copper and lead bullet.
    I’ll even help… ?

  7. avatar William says:

    I hate to see people wasting expensive items.

    1. avatar CRF says:

      I doubt it cost a fourth of what it retails to manufacture.

  8. avatar Nate H. says:

    Ok, this is just cool. Scientific? Probably not. Practical applications? Probably zero. Fun to watch? Hell yes!

  9. avatar Gary McClenny says:

    The ma deuce spits out 668 gr projectiles at 2900 fps while det cord velocity is between 24,000 and 26,000 fps (ammonium nitrate is much slower at about 8000 fps), so the det cord wins.

    I spent 7 years as a demolition specialist (12B3O) for Uncle Sam and can tell you flat out that all of the above are just way too much fun, especially when someone else foots the bill. I used det cord as a firing device in place of caps for ring charges to conserve caps. Only two electric or no electric caps for 20-40 charges. Nearly instantaneous detonations of all charges. Two caps, one at each end of the ring ensures more positive results.

  10. avatar CRF says:

    I wish I was alive for the time when one could walk into the hardware store and buy high explosives and suppressor and order a machine gun (or any gun, for that matter) and receive it in the mail.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Eat right, exercise regularly and vote Conservative (not RINOpublican). Could happen again.

      1. avatar Timmy! says:

        Suppressors? Maybe. The rest? Not likely.

  11. avatar Bobiojimbo says:

    There’s a whole blog out there dedicated to stupid stuff sold on the internet. http://theworstthingsforsale.com/ Any item found on this blog could be a good target.

    1. avatar SpeleoFool says:

      Thanks for that. My day just got a little brighter.

  12. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    This video is a couple years old–it came out when the XBox One was brand new. There’s another good one from around the same time with a det-cord Christmas tree.

    I really enjoyed the setup on this video. It’s really cool to see the bullet practically suspended in mid-air while the det-cord ignition speeds along at a rapid-but-visible pace. Awesome camera work. Plus the precise timing made for a good “drag race” in the finale.

  13. avatar Moe Sizlak says:

    Waste of an Xbox

  14. avatar IdahoPete says:

    How do you dispose of unexploded ordnance? “Three wraps of det cord and blow in place.”

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