Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What to do with the 3 remaining BOW-MAGS?

Since the Bow-Mags proved to be so pathetic,  not coming remotely close to the manufacturer's claims,   we decided to have some fun with the 3 units we did not use.

We got rid of the bow,  the arrow,   the .357 mag  round and just turned the Bow-Mags into giant shotgun slugs.

The little plastic fins were removed,   lead birdshot was added to increase the overall weight to 1 oz.    and  a little yellow ball was put on the end.

We'll probably shoot these at some of the same things we shot before,  like the book,  the locker door and the giant gummy bear.   Whether or not they will fly accurately,  is to be seen.   

Bow-Mag Results

Friday, June 27, 2014

.357 Cartridge Arrow Tip Testing

This weekend we will be testing out some plastic arrow tips called  "Bow Mags".   These
things can be loaded with either a .38 or a .357 magnum round and when the arrow strikes something, it is supposed to shoot the round off.  

I've seen a few videos of it in action and I am pretty skeptical of the damaging-effects of these things.   The companies video shows some being used against some boars and they are dropping like they got hit by a bolt of lightning.    Other videos I saw,   watermelons were used and the results were dismal.  

A broad-tip arrow is pretty devastating on its own.   These things have more than enough energy to slice their way through a full-grown elk.  

We will be using some harder targets than water jugs or watermelons.   The target has to be dense enough to set off the round.    We'll probably use some thick books,  lumber,  some sheetmetal,  and of course the famous 5lb gummy bear.   Yes,   I still have that thing and it is good for a few more hits. 

Are these things just gimmicks?     I paid good money for these things,  $40 for 6 of them and they are only good for ONE shot.    Since they were not given to me by the company,  believe me,   I will  be totally objective about the outcome.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Test Tube Torcher Test - Update

I wasn't sure if the "TTTT's"  would be somethig unique and watchable for many viewers.   But  when I don't post a new TT video,   viewers definitely let me know they want to see more of them.    It  does seem some viewers simple do not like "scary" gun videos and are more into the science-y  type stuff.   Usually the gun videos are just experiments in kinetic energy.   At least that is how I look at guns.   They just hurl things. 

I have done close to 20 TT videos  so far and I've gotten many great suggestions.   I wanted to do this series with the idea I could use viewer suggestions and I think people like that.   Just like many channels NEVER seem to reply to any comments,   which is a major buzz-kill for ME.   Very few channels ever take ideas from viewers.   Maybe it is pride,   or  they are  "too busy"  or  they think they just know better...  I don't know. 

Not only do I listen to suggestions for the stuff inside the TT's,   but  I also keep an open mind for things like camera angles,   and how the test tubes are held,  etc.   Quite a few people have wanted the TT's  fixed  or held down better so they do not go flying off.   "You need to clamp it with a "real"  test tube clamp..."    I really don't think they make clamps strong enough to grip the TT's  slippery glass surface.   If you got it tight enough,  the thin glass would break  or break while it expanded from the heat.  

I had to come up with something simple and sturdy enough to hold the tubes.   I came up with a simple steel  L-shaped base/backboard with two tabs with holes him them to hold the TT's while the base of the TT simply sits on the bottom of the stand.   Since these TT's build up NO LESS than 100 psi before the plugs blow,     we're talking about a LOT of thrust from these things.   It's a very SHORT burst,   but still a LOT of explosive energy blowing out the end of these vials.   They are not like model rocket engines that might have 5lbs of thrust.  They probably have 50 to 100 lbs.  of thrust.    

The new fixture should resolve a few minor problems.    The loud "booms",  which are usually as loud as a shotgun,    may be less with this thing.   I'm hoping for a loud  "whoosh" at best.   I'm also hoping for less glass breakage,  which I have to clean up each time.   If the vials don't break,   I can reuse them.    And finally,   the biggest thing is safety.   I never know where the TT's might shoot off to.   It might hit a camera or go through a window. 
Note:  I am always far enough away to observe the experiments,  usually in my garage looking out the window.   

The plumes of steam or smoke shooting upward should look very dramatic.  I'll have to set at least one camera back far enough to show this.    The liquid flashing off with my zoomed-in,  1200 FPS camera should look pretty cool.  

I need to find an old mechanical bathroom scale.   I can set the fixture on the scale and we can see how much thrust the TT's have.   There are many new things I can do with this new fixture....   

I just hope the TT's  function in the fixture as I predict.    I am usually 100% with my predictions though!

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Billy and I are planning to head to N.W. Arizona once again to film the Big Sandy Machine Gun Shoot.   This is the "biggest shoot"  in USA.   

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


The word "Torcher"  was an accidental discovery.   I had been trying to come up with a catchy name for these demonstrations.   A viewer had misspelled  "torture"  in the comments and bang!  that was it.   "Torture by a Torch"    

I have to admit that the inspiration behind these tests were  "RHNB"  (red hot nickel ball)  where a guy heats up a metal ball with a homemade oxy/hydrogen torch and sets the ball on various objects.   It seems silly but it is fascinating.  I wanted to come up with something the viewers of those video enjoy but not copy his basic idea.  There are too many people on Youtube who have no problem copying the ideas of others.  The TTTT's  compliment RHNB.  Everyone wins.  
I have always enjoyed  "potential energy"  and the TTTT are a good demonstration of that,   along with thermodynamics.   Just like compressing a spring,   applying  heat energy to a liquid inside a sealed test tube is storing a LOT of energy.    Water expands 1600 times when it transitions from a liquid to a vapor.   One would think something like gasoline would be more energetic than water but it only has an expansion ration of 160:1  (1/10th of water!)

My tests are simple,  cheap and easy to film.   I am able to use suggestions that viewers post and that makes it fun.   Not everything is possible though.   For example,   I don't have nitroglycerin and I am not going to put stuff in there that is too weird and creepy.   I'm trying to use simple,  household materials and avoiding compound tests where I put two or more different materials in a test tube.  (at this time)    Also,  the substance has to melt to a liquid 
AND have a boiling point below the melting point of glass in order for these to work,    so using wood or metal  (gallium) isn't going to built up any pressure.  
Sometimes a viewer will suggest something SO cool I skip ahead and will do that test first.

Even though I have posted numerous TTTT videos,   I'm still in the test-phase to see if there is long-term interest in these.   The response from viewers has been good.   A few viewers have said they were boring,   but you can't please everyone.    There's no shortage of bitter people on YT who seem to think only their opinions matter.   

Upcoming videos: (in no particular order)
Cascade      Tapatio hot sauce       DOT3 brake fluid      10% Nitromethane model fuel 
Chocolate Chips        ammonia       mustard      Frog Lube     Cornstarch/Water 
Crayons   Gasoline   Alcohol