The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 234: Unfinished Business

Premier Date: August 22, 2015

In this episode, Adam and Jamie revisit past episodes to address viewers’ suggestions and complaints with additional testing.

A video game that simulates a skill can improve a player’s real-world performance of that skill. (Related to the Video Game Special.)


Adam and Jamie chose golf as the skill to be tested, since neither had ever played the game before. At the Pebble Beach Golf Links, they practiced their swings and played four holes without any training as a control test. Adam scored 43 and Jamie 47, after which they underwent separate training programs for one day. While Adam took lessons at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy, Jamie played a golf arcade game at the workshop and tried to incorporate the on-screen information into his playing.

When they re-played the same four holes as in the control test, Adam scored 33 (a 10-stroke improvement), but Jamie’s score fell only two strokes to 45. Analysis of their swings before and after training revealed that Adam had learned much more than Jamie about the technical aspects of the swing. These results led them to classify the myth as busted.

Hollow road spikes are more effective at stopping a pursuing car than solid ones, due to their ability to let air escape from the tires after puncturing them. (Related to Spy Car Escape.)


Adam assembled a set of road spikes from hollow steel tubing, and he and Jamie set up a driving course on an airfield runway. Jamie, riding in the back of a pickup truck, dumped the spikes onto the path as Adam tried to keep pace behind him. Within 15 seconds of hitting the spikes, all four of Adam’s tires deflated and came loose from the wheel rims, bringing him to a stop. Jamie noted that the hollow spikes could incapacitate a car either by letting air escape through them, or by ripping a hole in the tire if they came loose. He and Adam called this myth confirmed.

It is difficult for a person to hold hand grenade with the pin removed for long periods of time. (Related to Fire in the Hole.)


Adam built a small room with transparent walls for observation, and Jamie rigged a dummy grenade with a mechanism that would trigger a secret “consequence” if Adam let go of it. Locked in the room, Adam pulled the pin and held the grenade to keep the spring-loaded safety lever from popping off. After two hours, he had developed a mild cramp in his forearm but was having no trouble maintaining his grip. He then used pantyhose to tie the lever down and demonstrate that the grenade could be kept from exploding indefinitely with no exertion on his part. In the end, Adam deliberately released the lever and Jamie’s mechanism blasted him with paint.

It is possible to fire and reload a pistol as quickly as depicted in Hollywood action movies. (Related to Hollywood Gunslingers.)


At a target range, Adam and Jamie started by firing three 20-round magazines of blanks through a semiautomatic pistol as quickly as possible. Their times were 28 seconds and 38 seconds, respectively. They switched to live ammunition and repeated the test, keeping track of both their time and accuracy in hitting a target. Both made 57 hits out of 60, with Adam taking 25 seconds and Jamie 33. When a professional competition shooter attempted the feat, he took 17 seconds and hit the target with all 60 shots, successfully replicating the quick magazine change seen in films. Based on his performance, Adam and Jamie judged the myth as confirmed.