Friday, August 15, 2014

Top Secret! XACTO Shotgun Rounds

Many viewers have asked to see us shoot razor blades out of a shotgun. 

  One problem I have is relating just what will actually FIT into a 12ga shotgun shell AND through the barrel.  I have lost count how many people have suggested us shooting quarters,  CO2 canisters,  jacks,  and other things that are clearly too large to fit.   A U.S.  dime is the ideal maximum diameter.

The next consideration is weight.   An average 12ga birdshot shell holds 1 ounce of lead shot.  The hi-brass shells above hold 1.25 oz.  The shells are pre-loaded with powder to handle the weight of the load.   Basically,  the formula is  Powder x load = barrel pressure.
If we put something heavier than the original load,   the barrel pressure can spike to dangerous levels to the point where the gun explodes.   I keep things simple and just keep the weight at or below the original weight of the lead shot we removed.

But objects can be TOO light too.    This doesn't cause any dangers,   but may prevent the powder charge to even ignite.  The primer will fire,   but  that's it and the object ends up travelling at reduced speed.    We've found that loads of about 1/3 of an ounce or less just are too light.  

The Xacto blades are perhaps the most cringe-worthy rounds I can think of.   Each shell has 12 separate blades.  They are all new,  and very sharp.  The cut on my finger can attest to that.   12 of these blades weigh in at about 1 oz.  

The problem with these blades is they are flat.   Like the washers or dimes we've shot,  we know flat-objects flutter through the air and have a very wide pattern,   or spread.   In order to control that,   we've tied all the blades together with some strong thread.   The thread will allow the blades to fly together in a small group,  and effectively hit in an area about the size of your hand.