The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 50: Bullets Fired Up

Premier Date: April 19, 2006

Bullets fired into the air maintain their lethal capability when they eventually fall back down.

busted / plausible / confirmed

In the case of a bullet fired at a precisely vertical angle (something extremely difficult for a human being to duplicate), the bullet would tumble, lose its spin, and fall at a much slower speed due to terminal velocity and is therefore rendered less than lethal on impact. However, if a bullet is fired upward at a non-vertical angle (a far more probable possibility), it will maintain its spin and will reach a high enough speed to be lethal on impact. Because of this potentiality, firing a gun into the air is illegal in most states, and even in the states that it is legal, it is not recommended by the police. Also the MythBusters were able to identify two people who had been injured by falling bullets, one of them fatally injured.

(This is the only myth to receive all three ratings at the same time.)

Vodka can remove poison oak.


For some reason, although most of the MythBusters were allergic to poison oak when they were young (especially Kari, who was exempted from the test because she had once had a dangerous reaction), it didn’t affect anyone but John, a researcher for the show. The vodka still gave no results.

Vodka can painlessly remove plastic bandages.


Both a control and vodka-soaked bandage were quickly removed from hair-covered legs and, while not painless, the vodka-soaked bandage came off less painfully and removed less hair than the control.

Vodka can be turned into high-quality vodka through charcoal filtration.


Through a double-blind taste test, the cheap vodka seemed to taste better with every subsequent filtration, although the top-shelf vodka beat them all. However, a chemical analysis showed no actual difference between the filtered and unfiltered cheap vodka.