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What Would Happen If You Shot a Gun In Space?
Life Little Mysteries ^ | 2/17/2010 | Natalie Wolchover

Posted on 02/25/2012 3:43:56 PM PST by U-238

Fires can't burn in the oxygen-free vacuum of space, but guns can shoot. Modern ammunition contains its own oxidizer, a chemical that will trigger the explosion of gunpowder, and thus the firing of a bullet, wherever you are in the universe. No atmospheric oxygen required.

The only difference between pulling the trigger on Earth and in space is the shape of the resulting smoke trail. In space, "it would be an expanding sphere of smoke from the tip of the barrel," said Peter Schultz an astronomer at Brown University who researches impact craters.

The possibility of gunfire in space allows for all kinds of absurd scenarios.

Imagine you're floating freely in the vacuum between galaxies — just you, your gun and a single bullet. You have two options. You either can spend all of eternity trying to figure out how you got there, or you can shoot the damn cosmos.

If you do the latter, Newton's third law dictates that the force exerted on the bullet will impart an equal and opposite force on the gun, and, because you're holding the gun, you. With very few intergalactic atoms against which to brace yourself, you'll start moving backward (not that you’d have any way of knowing). If the bullet leaves the gun barrel at 1,000 meters per second, you — because you're much more massive than it is — will head the other way at only a few centimeters per second.

Once shot, the bullet will keep going, quite literally, forever. "The bullet will never stop, because the universe is expanding faster than the bullet can catch up with any serious amount of mass" to slow it down, said Matija Cuk, an astronomer with joint appointments at Harvard University and the SETI Institute.

(Excerpt) Read more at lifeslittlemysteries.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ammunition; banglist; physics; science; space; spacescience
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To: GAB-1955
This article puts some doubt on that conjecture.
51 posted on 02/25/2012 4:52:36 PM PST by Lazamataz (If unemployment helps the economy, like the W.H. says, then CONTRACTING CANCER MAKES YOU HEALTHIER!)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

“In space, no one can hear you shoot.

You can in the Hollywood part of space.”

Do you ever have to reload in space, or can you just keep banging away like they do in Hollywood?


52 posted on 02/25/2012 4:55:22 PM PST by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: mkmensinger

If a man shoots a gun in space and no woman hears it, will he still be wrong?


53 posted on 02/25/2012 5:03:27 PM PST by IM2MAD
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To: aruanan
Geez, wherever you carried the round, the physics would remain the same for the round since that is something from one part of the universe you're carrying into another part--the physics are inherent in the physical materials of which the round is constructed. Besides, it's called UNI verse for a reason.

If physics differed based on spatial location, the materials would behave differently. It's not like you carry a little bit of spatial immunity around!

Besides, the UNIVERSE stands for

Understanding
No
Inclination of
Virtually
Everything to
React the
Same,
Everywhere

Q.E.D.

54 posted on 02/25/2012 5:06:18 PM PST by Lazamataz (If unemployment helps the economy, like the W.H. says, then CONTRACTING CANCER MAKES YOU HEALTHIER!)
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To: U-238

my question would be this...

If you fire a 45 in space... the bullet takes off and travels at it’s rated ballistic speed forever. How fast will you travel the opposite way??


55 posted on 02/25/2012 5:08:41 PM PST by sit-rep
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To: Lazamataz
If physics differed based on spatial location, the materials would behave differently. It's not like you carry a little bit of spatial immunity around!

Yeah, "if," the longest word in the English language. And the evidence that physics could differ based on spatial location as opposed to a qualitatively different environment?
56 posted on 02/25/2012 5:14:50 PM PST by aruanan
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To: U-238
What Would Happen If You Shot a Gun In Space?

Believe it or not, this is a question that I've pondered before.

57 posted on 02/25/2012 5:16:00 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: Lazamataz
"Fires can't burn in the oxygen-free vacuum of space, but guns can shoot. Modern ammunition contains its own oxidizer, a chemical that will trigger the explosion of gunpowder, and thus the firing of a bullet, wherever you are in the universe."

BIG assumption. There is no guarentee that phsyics, and thusly chemistry, is a constant everywhere in the universe. All I'd need to do is adjust the Planck Constant just a bit, and the results might be that upon pulling the trigger, Bugs Bunny would peek out the barrel with a little BANG flag, kiss you on the nose, then dive back into the barrel.

Much hilarity ensues.

Holy Black Hole Laz-Man! With that response, I'm guessing you have been hitting the (great?) granddaughters of Einstein and Blanc at the same time.

58 posted on 02/25/2012 5:18:55 PM PST by Henchster (Free Republic - the BEST site on the web!)
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To: U-238

Something I have wondered for a long time is this:

Does God work through the laws of physics or can he change them at will?


59 posted on 02/25/2012 5:19:19 PM PST by yarddog
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To: aruanan
Evidence that the laws of physics could differ based on spatial location.

Not conclusive that they do, but evidence that they COULD.

60 posted on 02/25/2012 5:20:26 PM PST by Lazamataz (If unemployment helps the economy, like the W.H. says, then CONTRACTING CANCER MAKES YOU HEALTHIER!)
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To: cripplecreek; EGPWS

The Sun is a celestialized world, where its inhabitants are perfected. The Prophet Brigham Young taught in General Conference: “So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.

It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized.”

See Journal of Discourses, 13:271. Also see Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1 Page 88: “Earth to be Celestialized Sun”

P.S. Mitt Romney swallows this clap trap.


61 posted on 02/25/2012 5:25:38 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: mkmensinger
In space, no one can hear you shoot.

You never watched Battlestar Galactica.
62 posted on 02/25/2012 5:29:32 PM PST by Cheburashka (If life hands you lemons, government regulations will prevent you from making lemonade.)
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To: U-238

Type single action

Caliber 13x50mm rocket

Weight unloaded ~ 620 g

Length about 300 mm

Barrel length n/a

Magazine capacity 6 rounds

During the early sixties a small company MB Associates, founded by Robert Maynard and Arthur Bill, brought up a new weapon that was intended to revolutionize the world of small arms. Known as Gyrojet, it was sort of hand-held, multi-shot rocket launcher. It was advertised as a silent and capable to fire under-water, but in real life Gyrojet weapons turned out to be extremely unreliable and dramatically inaccurate; also, these weapons were rather ineffective at point-black distances, gaining its full power only at ranges of about 40-60 meters (yards). Few of the Gyrojet "pistols" made its way to the jungles of Vietnam in the hands of US military officers, who bought them at their own funds, but no successful reports ever appeared, and by late sixties the Gyrojet project was doomed.

Gyrojet weapon was one of the rare attempts to develop an entirely different weapon with some unique properties. This weapon tried to achieve several goals, including the low noise of firing and underwater fire capabilities, along with significant firepower and penetration. In doing so, it was far from any conventional firearms; in fact, it was a hand-held, multi-shot rocket launcher that fired "armor piercing" projectiles, made from steel and with pointed nose. Each projectile contained its own rocket engine and means for stabilization - either in the form of retractable fins or in the form of inclined jet nozzles which forced the missile to rotate, and thus provide gyroscopic effect for stabilization. Each rocket "motor" burned for about one tenth of a second; maximum velocity of about 380 meters per second (~1250 fps) was achieved at ranges about 20 meters from muzzle, while muzzle velocity was as low as 30 meters per second (~100 fps). Because of that slow acceleration the Gyrojet was almost useless a weapon at short ranges, within 5-7 meters. Another problem, inherent to this weapon, was poor reliability (even in ideal conditions this gun was to misfire about once in every 100 rounds; in actual life it did so much often than that). Add to this very poor accuracy because of insufficient stabilization of projectiles during early stages of trajectory, and you get more of curiosity and collectible piece rather than combat weapon. Probably the only plus of this weapon was that it indeed was more or less silent - when fired, it produced a short hiss, sort of a pierced tire sound, clearly different from any typical gunshot. However, it deserved its place in the history of small arms as one of the very rare attempts to made unconventional combat weapons that worked, even only to some extent.

Also, it must be noted that Gyrojet weapons were made not only as "pistols" but also as "carbines" as well, with longer "barrels" and shoulder stocks. Furthermore, there were two "marks" of Gyrojet. Major difference between Mark 1 and Mark 2 weapons was caliber of projectiles - original Mark 1 weapons used 13mm rockets, while later Mark 2 weapons used 12mm rockets to conform with US gun laws that set maximum legitimate caliber for civilian weapons as 0.5 inch (12.7mm).

The Gyrojet launchers were made in the form of a large pistol (or carbine). Frame was made from aluminium alloy, with perforated "barrel" which served as a launching guide for rockets. Up to six rockets were stored in integral, single stack magazine located in the grip; magazine was loaded from the top, through the slide-open cover. After loading, top rocket remained in the "barrel", resting against stationary firing pin, set into the rear of the barrel tube. Once trigger is pressed, it releases the hammer, which rotates back and hits the nose of a rocket, pushing it toward the stationary firing pin. Primer in the base of a rocket ignites the rocket charge, and sends the projectile accelerating down the "barrel" tube. This movement cocks the hammer and also frees the space for next rocket to rise from magazine into firing position. To provide necessary means for cocking the hammer for first shot, it has been fitted with side extension that projected outside of the frame from the curved cut on the left side of the frame. Manual safety was fitted at the left side of the grip, and magazine follower also had a projection that allowed to lower it manually for loading.

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg/usa/gyrojet-e.html

History Channel bit on the Gyrojet.

Firing Gyrojet on range.

Different camera angle.

63 posted on 02/25/2012 5:29:47 PM PST by AnTiw1
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To: U-238

Some aliens windshield would get busted and they would want to return the favor


64 posted on 02/25/2012 5:31:03 PM PST by Flavius (What hopes for victory, Gaius Crastinus? What grounds for encouragement ?)
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To: Lazamataz

The astronomers I regularly talk to - respected astrophysicists - are certain the laws of physics do not change - Except in a singularity, of course.


65 posted on 02/25/2012 5:32:44 PM PST by GAB-1955 (I write books, serve my country, love my wife and daughter, and believe in the Resurrection.)
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To: PapaBear3625

Room temp or vacuum of space temp?


66 posted on 02/25/2012 5:35:18 PM PST by BigpapaBo (If it don't kill you it'll make you _________!)
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To: GAB-1955
The astronomers I regularly talk to - respected astrophysicists - are certain the laws of physics do not change

There's not much by way of evidence of that, one way or the other. They've lept to an article of faith, not science.

The best we can say is, "We don't know yet".

67 posted on 02/25/2012 5:36:45 PM PST by Lazamataz (If unemployment helps the economy, like the W.H. says, then CONTRACTING CANCER MAKES YOU HEALTHIER!)
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To: Lazamataz
>"The discovery - if true - violates one of the underlying principles of Einstein's theory of General Relativity,"

Depends on your point of view.

Viewed from outside of the 4D time/distance/matter universe. It is known fact.

It's that we know so little of the other dimensions. Like fish in a fish bowl that don't even know they are in a fish bowl.

68 posted on 02/25/2012 5:37:23 PM PST by rawcatslyentist (BO Stinks! So does Mitts magic underwear!)
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To: U-238

Remember that story in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, published before the first moon landing, when the guy was transferred to the moon base and discovered there were no computers for him to use? They were all busy tracking the rounds of a machine gun fire fight, in low orbit trajectory about four feet off the surface. Suddenly, someone yells “DOWN!” and they all hit the deck as the thousands of rounds blow through the space station bulkheads.


69 posted on 02/25/2012 5:41:19 PM PST by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
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To: Cheburashka

One of the funniest posts I ever read on FR was on a thread about the Space Station’s toilet being broken. Someone posted: “In space, no one can hear you poop.”


70 posted on 02/25/2012 5:43:58 PM PST by mkmensinger
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To: U-238
Good evening. I know you don't want to hear my op/ed, but here goes...

There will be "gunfire," in space, what form it takes, plasma, lasers, whatever, there will be a contest for the high ground. Trust me.

5.56mm

71 posted on 02/25/2012 5:49:59 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: U-238
I think the more important question here is:

If you're driving your 2007 F-150 thought space at the speed of light and you round the backside of the moon, thereby necessitating the need for your headlights, what happens when you turn them on?

72 posted on 02/25/2012 5:50:49 PM PST by IrishPennant (Why isn't Garlic Bread an entree?)
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To: cripplecreek

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas... a gigantic nuclear furnace, where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbgul1NpEA8


73 posted on 02/25/2012 6:00:07 PM PST by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: U-238

Where’s the golf ball, then?


74 posted on 02/25/2012 6:13:27 PM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: sit-rep

One of the fundamental laws of nature is conservation of momentum. So your velocity depends on the ratio of the inertial mass of your body, spacesuit, and 45 pistol to the inertial mass of the 45 bullet.

The conservation law is m1*v1=-m2*v2. Rearranging terms,

v1 = -m2*v2 / m1

where v1=your velocity
m1=inertial mass of you+spacesuit+pistol
m2=inertial mass of 45 bullet
v2=muzzle velocity of the 45 bullet


75 posted on 02/25/2012 6:18:28 PM PST by Skepolitic
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To: IrishPennant

LOL


76 posted on 02/25/2012 6:19:36 PM PST by Skepolitic
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To: Bullish

“I sure am glad they cleared that all up finally.”

Yeah I was losing sleep over worrying what would happen if I shot a gun in space.


77 posted on 02/25/2012 6:23:06 PM PST by DaiHuy (One Big Assed Mistake America)
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To: U-238
Modern ammunition contains its own oxidizer...

So, Natalie, just why do you think the Chinese included saltpeter in their 9th century gunpowder? It wasn't there to prevent the minds of young Chinese studs from thinking unclean thoughts, sweetie.

78 posted on 02/25/2012 6:28:09 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: cripplecreek

Looks like there was a snafu in the belt feeder.


79 posted on 02/25/2012 6:30:44 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Lazamataz

If I’m traveling at the speed of light and I shoot a subsonic round...would that be, like, really lame or something?


80 posted on 02/25/2012 6:31:43 PM PST by Larry Lucido (My doctor told me to curtail my Walpoling activities.)
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To: Skepolitic

You also have to take into account the gases (and particles) ejected from the muzzle.


81 posted on 02/25/2012 6:37:14 PM PST by Sigurdrifta
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To: BigpapaBo
Room temp or vacuum of space temp?

Vacuum doesn't have a temperature. If you're in the shade, heat radiates away until the object is fairly cold. A cartridge sitting in the sun might get hot enough to go off.

82 posted on 02/25/2012 6:40:13 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: U-238
Only one (The Won) man/whatever with the fortitude to take that shot, and I suggest arrangements be made by NASA for immediate LIFTOFF! "GROUND CONTROL TO PFC OBAMINATOR" All clear to take the shot over - out! Stolen from FreakingNews.com Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

83 posted on 02/25/2012 6:42:54 PM PST by Chance Hart
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To: knarf

Alan Shepard brought three golf balls.The golf ball Alan Shepard hit went 2400 feet, nearly one-half a mile. Edgar Mitchell threw a javelin


84 posted on 02/25/2012 6:51:00 PM PST by U-238
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To: U-238

The Javelin that Edgar Mitchell threw was a handle of a lunar scoop.


85 posted on 02/25/2012 6:52:33 PM PST by U-238
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To: IM2MAD

[If a man shoots a gun in space and no woman hears it, will he still be wrong?]

No, but he will still have to go to bed on an empty stomach.


86 posted on 02/25/2012 6:58:24 PM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP (If you come to a fork in the road, take it........)
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To: Lazamataz

So according to this new development, what ramifications would this have, if an Astronaut were to fart in his space suit?


87 posted on 02/25/2012 7:01:42 PM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP (If you come to a fork in the road, take it........)
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To: sarge83
I think the soviets already fired a machine gun...

It was a cannon round, fired remotely by the departed crew of an orbital spy station, and it did start having mechanical problems with the next crewing, and was subsequently abandoned.

I'm guessing that the Soviets obtained the advance satellite technology to render a manned spy station an obsolete and unnecessary expense.

The USAF had terminated its own spy station program much earlier with the advent of its next gen satellites.

88 posted on 02/25/2012 7:02:31 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: NakedRampage
Dr. Smith forgot to secure the hatch !

89 posted on 02/25/2012 7:19:41 PM PST by timestax (Why not drug tests for the President AND all White Hut staff ? ? ?)
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To: U-238

What Would Happen If You Shot a Gun In Space?

I’d hit a wookie.


90 posted on 02/25/2012 7:27:36 PM PST by gitmo (Hatred of those who think differently is the left's unifying principle.-Ralph Peters NY Post)
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To: timestax
A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY

91 posted on 02/25/2012 7:28:20 PM PST by timestax (Why not drug tests for the President AND all White Hut staff ? ? ?)
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To: U-238

Not only would you move back at a low speed, you would spin unless you fired the gun from your center of mass.


92 posted on 02/25/2012 7:28:50 PM PST by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I miss Firefly.

Me too. I knew there'd be a Firefly reference on this thread. One of the (many) things I liked about Firefly was that the space shots were silent.

93 posted on 02/25/2012 7:30:43 PM PST by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: timestax
lost in thought

94 posted on 02/25/2012 7:42:27 PM PST by timestax (Why not drug tests for the President AND all White Hut staff ? ? ?)
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To: AnTiw1
Tiger Tanaka had his rocket guns including the special baby rocket for people who smoke too many cigarettes like Bond-san.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpLVwZVT6Hc

"It can save your life, this cigarette"


95 posted on 02/25/2012 7:43:25 PM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: righttackle44

That story was the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread title. That story must be at least 50 years old!


96 posted on 02/25/2012 7:45:47 PM PST by 11Bush
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To: Sigurdrifta

You’re right!

Assuming that all of the powder reacts and is ejected from the muzzle, I suppose that the ratio should be relative to the inertial mass of the cartridge minus the inertial mass of the casing.

I suppose that, since the question posed was for a 45, one also has to take into account the ejection of the cartridge as well.


97 posted on 02/25/2012 7:50:55 PM PST by Skepolitic
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To: Sigurdrifta

You’re right!

Assuming that all of the powder reacts and is ejected from the muzzle, I suppose that the ratio should be relative to the inertial mass of the cartridge minus the inertial mass of the casing.

I suppose that, since the question posed was for a 45, one also has to take into account the ejection of the casing as well.


98 posted on 02/25/2012 7:51:18 PM PST by Skepolitic
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To: U-238
"Modern ammunition contains its own oxidizer..."

Well, DUH! What does the technical genius, "Natalie Wolchover", think the saltpeter (Potassium Nitrate) in millenia-old black powder is?

99 posted on 02/25/2012 7:56:11 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: cripplecreek

And the GAU-8 produces a noticeable reduction in the forward velocity of the A-10 when it is fired. (Watch the head of the pilot...)


100 posted on 02/25/2012 8:05:48 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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