Orgone Research

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mythbusters and Padlocks

Tonight I watched the Mythbusters episode on "movie myths". One segment tested whether bullets could blow a padlock off a hasp. I enjoyed this segment, as I myself had tested this in about 1990.

One of the first videotapes I ever owned was from the makers of Second Chance soft body armor. Richard Davis, the inventor of Kevlar based soft body armor, spectacularly demonstrated the effectiveness of his company's product by shooting himself with a .44 magnum handgun while wearing his Kevlar vest. To pad his sales pitch documentary, he demonstrated what all sorts of rounds could and could not do. If I recall correctly, he never shot a padlock. This inspired me, as I realized it would be fairly simple to test. I rented a bulky camcorder, from of all places, 7-11 on Stone way here in Seattle. Tim Cridland, aka Zamora, was scheduled to be my cameraman, but when the morning came, he had some sort of health issue and could not make it. I got a female friend of mind, Sunny, to step in.

What I found was more or less what the Mythbusters found; that a handgun round will not blow a laminated padlock off a hasp, but a slug from a shotgun would. But I also tested Master brand's cheap combination lock that is commonly found on lockers. The combination lock was particularly easy to blow off, even with .38 special rounds. BTW, I suspect that Mythbuster Kari was using .38 rounds rather than .357 rounds, based on lack of recoil and muzzle blast. Perhaps the producers were concerned that a magnum round might break a fingernail or scuff her nail polish... Nice knockers though.

For those old enough to remember, Master lock used to have a TV ad in which a bullet from a high powered rifle perforated one of their laminated padlocks without the shackle coming loose. This aired, I think, in the early 1970's. As far as I can figure, they must have used an armor piercing round, as CLEARLY an ordinary 30.06 round will destroy their laminated padlock. Too bad the Mythbusters were not more specific about what rounds they were using. Obviously you can't expect too much from TV.

I don't have "High-Def" TV, but it appeared to me as if the word or logo on the upper black plastic band had been "fuzzed out", like they do with license plates on TV these days. The word "Master" on the lower black plastic band was not fuzzed out. Why?

I no longer have the video I shot, as I became sort of embarrassed by it. Back then, before the World Wide Web, there was no easy way to commercially distribute such a thing, or even give it away. I remember using a high quality VHS tape to record my documentary. Instead of simply discarding the tape, I recorded over it.

Yup, you guessed it, the tape became porn...

But thankfully life marches on, and I see other people besides the Mythbusters and me have actually tried this. The following is a good website, and I'd credit the man by name, but I can't find it: My only criticism is that he does not use a hasp, but rather lets the padlocks swing freely. I suspect that may affect the "energy dump" from bullet to padlock. Too bad he didn't test the cheap combination locks; it would be interesting to see what the minimum round would be to blow one of those apart. Would a .32 auto from a handgun do it?


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