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“The principle here is pretty simple. If you fire a bullet forward, the recoil pushes you back. So if you fire downward, the recoil should push you up.” Why didn’t we think of that? That means if Nick had bought a few more WASR-10s, he could save money on gas (and avoid all that “Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic war zone” traffic) by taking his jetpack to work instead of his slightly dented new car! That’s the conclusion of a recent post at, anyway. See, an AK has a better lift to weight ratio than a Saturn V rocket. Of course, the amount of ammo you can carry would be a consideration after a few seconds. We don’t know how far Nick lives from work, but if RF’s willing to fund the experiment (he’ll need AKs with giggle switches and the necessary ATF stamps, of course), we know Nick’s just the guy to strap on a helmet and give it a go…with Tyler filming the whole thing, naturally.

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  1. Okay, so who’s gonna test it? Mythbusters probably has the resources for it — testing range, access to full-auto rifles, budget for lots of ammo — but it’d be a looong time before it ever hit TV, even if they took it on.

  2. I like the part where he starts talking about the GAU-8 Avenger and how if a A-10 Warthog were to hypothetically have two firing at once it would actually be propelled backwards in flight.

  3. I just want to see the video of nick in flight!!! My ? Tho is about how he would land safely?? Stop shooting one or two at a time until he begins to descend!?
    In the words of Artie Johnson” Vely Intelesting”!!!

  4. Been reading xkcd for a while, but didn’t know about the What-if page. Guess I can say goodbye to my productivity.

    • Not to worry. Randall only does one per week, so you’ll lose at most a couple of hours of productivity. Not that I would know from recent personal experience or anything…

    • Or skipped his Ritalin doses a lot!!!
      Seriously maybe DZ could send you and me some of those AK’s for independent testing!!!
      Christmas is just around the corner you know.

      • I want to do that test where you fire enough rounds fast enough thru an AK to cause the forearm to burst into flames. As long aas someone else is buying the gun and ammo, of course. I think I’ve mentioned I’m a cheap bastid before.

        • Yea I would like to try that test myself!
          Our unit qualified with both US and Foreign weapons and I have literally shot thousands of rounds through an AK, but never had a forearm catch fire! Also shot hundreds and hundreds of rounds through the SVD’s. Want one of them too!!
          Hey jwm….think we could talk DZ into sending us an AK each to see if they will catch the forearm on fire.?? I can get ammo fairly cheap by the case so I would buy my own ammo!!

        • I live in Ca. Sending me an Ak might attract unwanted scrutiny from big brother. Traveling in the name of science would be cool though. I could meet the bearer of the gun and ammo in a free state and conduct the experiment there and then return behind the iron curtain.

        • I have yet to try any AK version of the infamous “bullet button” that I’ve liked even a little, which is the primary mod you need in CA. AKs with goofy magazine locks and 10-round-limited magazines are just sad.

          That said, I live a pleasant 4-hour drive (plus 10 minutes of reassembling full-capacity magazines from “parts kits”) away from fun-filled Nevada…

  5. is one of my truly favorite things on the entire intarweb. There’s only 18, so you can read them all, but my personal favorites, and the ones I recommend you start with are “Everybody Jump” (8), “Raindrop” (12), “Laser Pointer” (13), and “BB Gun” (18).

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