vacuum of space

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by estrack2, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. estrack2

    estrack2 New Member

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    could a firearm fire in the vacuum of space? i am wondering, because there is no gas for the fire to burn.
     
  2. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    Shotgun shells fire underwater in bang sticks, as far as I know.
     

  3. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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  4. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    I think if there is enought oxygen withing the cartrige to ignite the primer/powder, it would fire at least somewhat. I guess it really depends on the caliber and the how much space is within the cartrige. Once it does fire though, since an object in motions, remains in motion unless acted upon by a force, it should never lose speed in the vacume of space unless it impacts an object. That would be really cool.
     
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Firearms work.just fine in space. All the oxygen need to combust is inside the powder itself. Modern smokeless powder is an oxidizing reaction it doesnt use edternal air to burn.
     
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    As the folks have said- any air inside a cartridge case is not relevant to powder burning.

    BLACK powder is fuel (charcoal) and oxidizer (nitrates)
    SMOKELESS powder is a mix of nitrogylerin and nitrocellulose. It chemically contains it's own oxidizer.

    When I load explosives into a hole drilled 100 ft into solid rock, and plug the top of the hole, the explosives shoot just fine with no air. Most of what went into that hole is chemically combined oxygen. ANFO is 5.72% diesel fuel, 94.28% ammonium nitrate (oxidizer)
     
  7. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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  8. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    As others have pointed out the powder supplier all the oxygen needed to fire...now the big question; with no air molecules to disturb will it make a sound?
     
  9. cddbrowns

    cddbrowns New Member

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    Absolute vac sucks the O out of everything, including the powder. Please trust me on this, no way would it actually fire. The spark would happen from the strike, but without fuel to cause the combustion, there is no way to fire. I have worked with fac on many many occasions, down to e-07 in some cases.
     
  10. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    CD- if it were in the form of a free GAS, yes, vac would pull that out. However, it is in the form of a solid chemically combined with something else. At the NIOSH research station South of Pittsburgh, we explode different explosives in a BIG steel chamber completely filled with Argon- in order to test the gasses produced in a detonation. There is ZERO oxygen in there- other than the nitrates in the powder. My point- vacuum cannot break a chemical bond. Blasting caps are an explosive contained in a sealed metal shell, NO gaseous oxygen- and they go bang very well.

    As far as sound- no sound in a hard vacuum, HOWEVER- when the gun fires, you no longer HAVE a perfect vacuum- you have a rapidly expanding gas. Your vacuum is no longer a vacuum, and close enuff, you could hear or feel it.
     
  11. cddbrowns

    cddbrowns New Member

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    You have a good point with that. I just remember having alcohol soak into graphite and it taking FOREVER to outgas, but it did after a while, and no amount of anything BUT graphite was there. But it is was chemically combined, you sir, are a smart man. ;)

    As far as sound, you would have to be VERY close t hear that. Without a way for the sound waves to actually travel, the gas would dissipate very quickly and it would sound like you had a silencer attached IF you heard anything outside of putting your ear up to it.
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    about 3 weeks ago there was a show on history channel they used a vacuum box with a pistol and remote control trigger. no sound when fired just the sound of the bullet breaking the wall of the box. was pretty cool. it was a stupid show about people living on mars and bigfoot was some how involved.