Heads up! MYTHBUSTERS season premiere tonight at 9 Eastern!

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Christopher, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I understand there were virtually no classic "fast draw" contests in the old west, it being popularized in the Penny Dreadfuls more than in reality. One of the few known actual fast draws involved Wild Bill Hickock, who later explained that the way to win was to draw fast, but then aim really carefully before firing. While the other guy is blazing away in a panic, you take your time and hit him square.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I figure it was just roleplaying, trying to make it authentic.

    As Jamie said, "It had to happen eventually."

    Yeah, his foot came down wrong and he stumbled on it.


    Which is why you should take the Mythbusters' advice and always have your knife/gunfights in a large empty warehouse or hangar.


    :guffaw:
     
  3. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Indeed. Putting on my martial artist's hat...

    Filippino SWAT cops are actually trained to do that as well, if they find themselves in that situation. The optimal range to hold a person at (pistol) gunpoint is not less than 8 feet, and not more than 12. Closer than 8, the knifeman will (if he knows it, or is hopped-up enough) be able to get in first, an unarmed man can disarm the gunman, etc. He'll probably take a hit, but the odds are it won't be fatal, as the gunman can't aim in time, and a knifeman can certainly kill him before bleeding out. More than 12 feet away, there's more chance the knifeman will run away and gunman will miss.

    Don't try this at home though, it's still a good way to end up in the ER. Life isn't an action movie unless you're specially trained for it by being in a SWAT unit or Special Forces or something... What I'm talking about there is a result of academic studies of how combat situations have turned out over the world since WW1

    As for the "in kendo the first person to move will lose" thing. Speaking from experience in a variety of sword arts, this is definitely at least semi-true - it depends, however, on the two combatants being equally matched. Obviously an experienced combatant will beat a newbie even if he moves first. But I can certainly attest to the fact that if two equally matched kenjutsu-ka (or similar) duel, the one who moves first almost always loses. Partly because he's more likely to leave himself open in some way during the attack, and also because those arts, being arts, are taught in a way that emphasises reaction and countering, so it's second nature for the participants to respond a stimulus rather than as a first-strike.

    If you put a good practitioner of Iai-do against him, OTOH, you're more likely to see the odds even out, or actually go the other way, as that's all about making a first-strike draw, rather than responding to a combat stimulus.

    As for wild west duels, yeah, there's plenty of memoirs that show that fast draws counted for nothing - aiming properly and shooting straight were what counted.

    I wonder when the UK will be getting these episodes?
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Good point about being wounded but surviving. One mistake the Mythbusters made was in assuming that being shot or stabbed would inevitably be fatal unless it was in a peripheral area. The vast majority of shooting or stabbing wounds are survivable if medical care is received in time. True, in the Old West, infection would've been a problem, but if you're talking about a fight in progress, someone who's been shot or stabbed is often able to keep fighting. So the first person to be injured isn't necessarily going to be the loser.

    And good input about the kendo myth. It underlines a problem with Mythbusters these days. They used to put more effort into researching the origins of a myth, figuring out why people claimed this thing and where it came from historically or culturally. Now they're just taking a phrase, making an oversimplified assumption about what it means, and testing according to that assumption, rather than questioning whether it's really the right assumption to make in the first place.
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I've read innumerable accounts of people getting shot and not acting like it in various degrees - in the Miami FBI shootings many moons ago, the one of the bad guys' aorta was severed by an agent's 9mm. In the time it took him to bleed to death, he walked up to and executed one of the wounded agents. One of the most amazing incidents was an off-duty policewoman who pulled into her driveway after work to be greeted by a group of punks out to rob her. The lead punk simply shot her, point-blank, with a .357 magnum. The round completely exploded one chamber of her heart. Yet she still managed to draw her sidearm and put 5 shots perfectly into his chest just before she dropped. I don't recall, but I think she survived.

    Kendo: In my casual reading on the art and techniques after I bought my cheap Highlander katana (:D), it was said that a samurai trains to draw the blade, strike fatally, and resheath, in one smooth, artful motion. Which makes me assume that a) the samurai is blindingly fast, b) the other guy is just standing there waiting for it like a schmuck, or c) the samurai has snuck up behind said schmuck.
     
  6. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    That art's Iai-do. first-strike tactic.

    Of course, the situation if both combatants have blades drawn, and are in a guard stance, is totally different, and that's where the "first mover loses" thing is from
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Meh episode, nothing really motivated me to point something out where I saw a "flaw" in their logic or testing. I'm really waiting for an episode that tests something really interesting as neither of the other night's myths knocked me out. I did find it interesting that Adam claimed a leather holster for the gun wasn't available prompting him to make his own. Which kudos to him for making a good leather gun holster but I find it odd that there was no where around where one could be easily purchased.
     
  8. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    The test was complete nonsense. True, Jamie was impressive with his knife throwing, but there's no way he threw the knife with enough force to cause more than a bruise through Adam's clothes. A hunting knife is not a fucking light sabre.
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    But but but in the movies when people throw knives they bury up to the hilt and throw the victim 5 feet backwards! :)
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I assume he did. That was the whole point of training with the expert knife-thrower -- so he could learn the correct motion and force with which to throw a knife to achieve the desired impact, and then replicate that motion with a safe analogue of identical mass to the knife. If the mass of the projectile was the same and the motion and force with which he threw it was the same, then the kinetic energy and the force of impact would've been the same (allowing for the balloon's slight loss of velocity due to its greater air resistance). The difference is that a knife concentrates all that force on a tiny surface area and thus can do far more damage with the same amount of force that would be harmless when spread over a larger area (and largely absorbed by the deformation of the balloon).
     
  11. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Obviously I'm no knife-throwing expert, but I would think you could get a LOT more speed and penetrating power with an overhand throw versus the underhand throws Jaimi and the expert were using.

    It seemed like they were both concentrating more on hitting the little bullseye instead of really doing damage to someone with a knife.

    Obviously with a faster throw you still wouldn't be faster than a speeding bullet, but you'd still be inflicting serious damage on your opponent (because, as has been said, it's not like you're going to drop dead the second you get shot). And even with a gun you're likely to be shot anyway, so it's not like you're avoiding much with that option.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, that depends. As I said, given the low accuracy of actual Old West-era firearms, your chances of getting shot would be low unless the shooter took the time to aim carefully.
     
  13. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Might be an interesting test in and of itself. Instead of drawing on each other, have them stand side by side, and quick draw on human-sized targets at the same distance. One goes for the classic quick draw/shoot, other takes more care in aiming. See if the quick draw/shoot was close enough to kill/maim before the guy aiming could score a real damaging shot.

    Know they've had a quick draw expert with old guns on before, trying to mimic a Billy the Kid myth maybe?

    With inaccurate guns, would definitely be interesting to see if the aiming was worth the risk of being slower...
     
  14. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Hang on, does this mean the specific myth they were testing was James Coburn in The Magnificent Seven?

    But FWIW, yeah, you get a lot more speed (and accuracy) as well as energy into the target with an overhand throw, but it needs the right flick of the wrist as well. Though I say this as someone who's crap at knife-throwing...
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They did mention The Magnificent Seven's underhand knife throw as the specific thing they were emulating, though they didn't mention Coburn by name as far as I recall.
     
  16. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Oh, I could have told 'em *that* would be busted - quicker, could be as accurate, but not powerful enough.

    A horizontal swing of the arm (left to right or vice-versa) with the right flick of the wrist might well do it - you'd get about as much leverage as from overhand - but not underhand...
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, they mentioned they were inspired by the scene in the Magnificent 7.

    Modern quick-draw artists: These guys are professional performers with dead-accurate custom guns who practice daily. It's not gonna be the same as two drunk idiots with well-used surplus civil war pistols that rattle when you shake 'em, trying to hit each other from 50 feet away while pissing themselves. :).
     
  18. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    NM, DP
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hollywood gun myths: Nice to see a divergence from the usual two-myths-per-episode format, and to see more mini-myths. Although this had so many mini-myths that the result was kind of scattershot, pardon the expression. And guns aren't my favorite subject by a long, err, shot, though.

    Shootout duration: Pretty straightforward -- it'd be over in seconds, and even reloading adds little time. Not much to say. Except that the slow motion shot of Kari firing that automatic weapon, and certain undulations resulting from the recoil, was rather captivating.

    True Lies automatic weapon on stairs: Not surprising this didn't work. Nothing about that horrible movie made any sense anyway. And it stands to reason that weapons would be designed not to go off if bumped.

    Nailgun: Interesting how accurate it was at range, given it's designed to work right up close, but how little penetration it had. I wonder, though, if they shouldn't have used a ballistics-gel target instead of wood.


    Quick draw reaction time: This is so much like the kendo myth from last week. And they're making the same misinterpretation, assuming it means that reacting is faster than initiating. In this case, the movie situation where the bad guy draws first and the good guy gets the shot first, the idea isn't that reaction time is always faster; the idea is that the good guy is more skilled, has faster reflexes, and is a bigger badass than the villain. It's always cooler to win when you're at a disadvantage.

    The other thing that bugs me is that I don't think the result that Kari had faster reaction time was valid, because she fired too early, while the gun was still pointing down at an angle. So that doesn't really count.

    It's interesting to see K, G, & T do one part of a myth and Adam & Jamie do the other part (the face-to-face paintball shootout), but I'm unsure of what that does to the results, since it's not the same people doing the different parts of the test, so how do we know the difference wasn't between the people rather than the situations? Basic science: you change only the variable you're testing and keep everything else the same.


    Weird bullets: It's surprising how inaccurate silver bullets are. That really dismantles the whole Lone Ranger scenario, where he shoots so accurately that he can always shoot guns out of people's hands without killing them. As for the engraving, I'm not sure if I'm surprised that it didn't throw off the accuracy, but I do find it surprising that the whole "bullet with your name on it" thing has been literally depicted in the movies. I always took it for a metaphor.


    Shooting a moving target: Again, no real surprises here -- running from a hail of bullets isn't as effective as the movies say. At least, all else being equal. There's a factor that doesn't really come into play in a paintball test, and that's the psychological element. I've read that soldiers in combat often shoot to miss, that they can't really bring themselves to shoot to kill and either deliberately or unconsciously avert their aim. Who's to say henchmen wouldn't have similar reluctance? (Although that wouldn't explain how the hero is able to mow them down easily. It would require the hero to be more of a sociopath than the villains.)

    I think that's all of it, aside from the recaps of stuff from old episodes. (I don't think that "shooting at zombies" clip they showed ever made it into a US episode.)
     
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    These people have WAY too much fun at work! :lol:

    Just a comment on the "is the reaction faster than drawing first" bit - Kari fired her reaction shot into the ground about 20 feet in front of her, and Tori's gun went off about 5-10 degrees into the air.
     

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