Start a Fire with a Gun: Is it a Myth?
This one comes from the MythBusters show. In this particular episode the crew decided to test the story that you could light a fire using a gun. An interesting idea and one that seems plausible given the power of most bullets.
The steps taken to test this fire starting idea are as follows:
- Remove the bullet from its casing.
- Pour the gun powder on to kindling.
- Put the empty casing in to a gun and fire it at the gun powder / kindling mix.
- Sparks from the blasting cap should light the gun powder.
Unfortunately, repeated tests revealed that a fire can’t be started in this way. The problem is that once the bullet is removed from the casing, the pressure that keeps the blasting powder in place is removed and so the powder just scatters. To remedy this, the MythBusters team tried stuffing cloth in to the bullet casing. This didn’t work either.
So there you have it. According to the MythBuster folks you shouldn’t rely on a gun to get a fire started. There are better things to do with your gun and bullets in a survival situation anyway!
Update: Note that in the Arctic Survival episode of Suvivorman, Les Stroud successful starts a fire using a gun.