The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 75: Myths Redux

Premier Date: March 21, 2007

REVISITED: A trombonist had put a firecracker into his mute, and at the final note of the 1812 Overture, launched the mute, striking the conductor and knocking him back into the audience. In addition, the bell of the trombone was blown wide open and the slide was launched. (From episode 11)


The re-test involved placing simulated lips against the trombone’s mouthpiece so as to seal that end. This still failed to cause the slide to fly off the instrument. They only achieved the feat by soldering a plug into the mouthpiece, completely sealing it shut.

REVISITED: A sniper can kill another sniper by shooting straight through the scope of his opponent’s rifle. (From episode 67)


Using a period-accurate scope (this myth originates from the Vietnam War) and a .30-06 armor piercing round, Jamie’s shot went completely through the sight and penetrated two inches into the target dummy – deep enough to be a possibly lethal hit.

REVISITED: A shotgun plugged by a human finger will backfire and explode injuring or killing the shooter instead of the intended victim. (From episode 43)


The re-test used a 19th-century double-barreled shotgun made through Damascus welding. The first barrel was damaged by a ballistic gelatin finger, though not as seen in cartoons. A steel finger welded to the end of the second barrel simply made the whole tip of the barrel shoot off.

SPINOFF: A .30-06 rifle fired while having a boresight still in the barrel will backfire and explode, creating a cartoon-like banana peel effect as shown in submitted photographs. (From episode 43)


The Build Team’s test used a brand new rifle. The barrel split several inches when fired with a laser boresight in the barrel. The Build Team surmises that the banana-peel effect could be achieved if this were to happen in an older rifle that has endured more wear and tear from firings.

REVISITED: If two hammers strike each other, at least one hammer will completely shatter with lethal force. (From episode 67)


First, the Build Team properly heated two modern hammers to the transition point and quenched them, making them as brittle as possible. The two hammers simply snapped at the necks when struck. Then they tested older steel hammers (predating World War II); the heads began to chip when struck, but one of them snapped at the neck before either hammer shattered.

SPINOFF: If a hammer strikes hard against an anvil, the hammer will completely shatter with lethal force. (From episode 67)


For this re-test, they used a genuine steel anvil and used a rig that would make the hammer strike against the top of the anvil. The pre-WW2 steel hammer suffered cracks and chips from first a human then a superhuman strike, but it did not shatter.