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The Overloaded Shotgun…

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Matt welcomes everyone to the “best and most wholesome place on the internet:” Demolition Ranch, of course. For this episode, he has a pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun that he bought at a pawnshop for a really cheap price. Why?

He says since he was a little boy, he has wondered what would happen if you fill most of a shotgun barrel with lead shot – the stuff they put in shotgun shells. He wants to fill at least half of the shotgun barrel with the bag of birdshot and then pull the trigger from a distance. He has an old computer monitor for a target, and he says he just wants to know if the gun will shoot a bunch of birdshot out the barrel, or if the gun will just explode.

He sets up his experiment, and uses a shell as a funnel. He pours the birdshot into the barrel up to three-quarters full. He has a loaded shell in the rifle, with the end touching the monitor. Matt now assumes how the physics would work. If you put the end of the barrel in water, and pull the trigger with a normal shotgun shell, it explodes into the barrel. But that’s because the shot goes all the way down the barrel, which is an air-filled tube, so it picks up speed and hits the water, spreading energy out and breaking the barrel open. If the barrel were filled with water, this would not happen.

Matt has a long string, and he goes behind his truck, takes the string and pulls to fire the rifle. There is a loud explosive noise. In slow motion, the shotgun can be seen breaking in half in a puff of smoke – which answers his question. He holds up the shotgun, and even the cinder block it was resting on has been destroyed. The monitor comes away unscathed, though. On inspection, the ruined barrel still holds jammed birdshot in it. He says he can’t believe how damaged the receiver is, and the birdshot are not round anymore, they’re squished.

In hindsight, Matt says everyone who wants to rid America of guns should send the guns to him, as he’s doing a good job of destroying them.

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