Can a bullet blow up a car?

This is a discussion on Can a bullet blow up a car? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I just finished watching a Vietnamese martial arts movie. Ya. Go figure. It took place in 1950s Vietnam. The hero and heroine were escaping. They ...

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Thread: Can a bullet blow up a car?

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Can a bullet blow up a car?

    I just finished watching a Vietnamese martial arts movie. Ya. Go figure.

    It took place in 1950s Vietnam. The hero and heroine were escaping. They shoot a military truck in the gas tank and it explodes thereby facilitating their escape.

    OK, OK, I know. It is Hollywood, or at least the Vietnamese equivalent. But if a bullet were to strike a gas tank, especially a vintage 1950s truck, would it explode? Or does it only explode if you are an escaping hero?
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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    The Mythbusters have tried this and their conclusion was that a shot gas tank cannot explode. They tried different amounts of gas in the tank and even tracer rounds. The tank did not explode no matter what they did.

    Not absolute proof, but it's something.
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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    You can also watch this. Maybe not as "current" as MythBusters, but I think its a pretty straightforward demo. They do blow it up at the end though on purpose, just for the hell of it, heh.

    YouTube - Deadly Weapons - Gas tank Myth (petrol Tank)

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    New Member Array TriggerFingr's Avatar
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    I agree, I don't think you can blow up a gas tank with a bullet, even tracers unless there is more to it. Like a damaged electrical system, extreme impact by the vehicle or some other unlikely circumstance!

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    Well, there are always incendiary bullets, I don't believe mythbusters tried those.

    Would you count a 40mm He grenade as a bullet, it kinda looks like one?
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    Mythbusters did use incendiary bullets and they caught the gas tank on fire after shooting it multiple times but the tank did not blow up
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    .50 cal with HE, then it will blow up.

    Hydrogen cell or propane car, and 30 rounds of steel core ammo, you might get a bang.
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    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Maybe if the car has a gaseous fuel tank such as propane or hydrogen, otherwise there is no air fuel mixture. The time and energy required to convert liquid fuels to gaseous would retard the reaction and prevent an explosion. Liquid will not burn, just the vapors that come off of it.
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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Well, waaaaayyy back-in-the-day, my office was an M60 tank. Those "bullets" would pretty much do the job!
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    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    I get a chuckle whenever I watch old movies and a car explodes after leaving the road and heading down a cliff.
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    Member Array spooter66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    Well, waaaaayyy back-in-the-day, my office was an M60 tank. Those "bullets" would pretty much do the job!
    Do they make a holster for one of those?
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    Well, there are always incendiary bullets, I don't believe mythbusters tried those.

    Would you count a 40mm He grenade as a bullet, it kinda looks like one?
    Two or three 25mm HEI-T rounds will do it no problem.


    You don't get the movie "car flying in the air" effect, but the car will definitely blow up.

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    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Mythbusters also attempted to blow up a 30lb propane tank by shooting it with various types of ammo to no avail. If I recall correctly they eventually shot it while there was a source of ignition close by. That seemed to be the only thing that worked. (I like that show...)

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spooter66 View Post
    Do they make a holster for one of those?
    We don't need no schtinkin' holster........!
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

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    Member Array ldp4570's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    Well, waaaaayyy back-in-the-day, my office was an M60 tank. Those "bullets" would pretty much do the job!

    I remember those days! Spend much time at Grafenwohr, Wildfleken, Baunholder, and Hoenfelds?????? 1977 to 1997 US Army 11C30/ 55X40.

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