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Old 09-03-2017, 09:33 AM
JoseB JoseB is offline
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Potato as a silencer...?

I was reading a piece of news about a sordid affair (a mother lured and killed a man who apparently had raped her 6-year old daughter) and one particular aspect of the whole thing caught my attention. Copy-pasting the relevant section of the article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Herald
Joined by her brother John Vargas, 29, who was intellectually disabled Serbu left her house to pick up Sierra with two guns, two stun guns, a potato to use as a silencer, an ice pick, plastic gloves and paper towels.
(The article can be read here)

So... My question is... How on Earth can a potato be used as a silencer? O.o Is this some kind of bizarre urban legend I am not aware of? If not, again... How?

Color me baffled...
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2017, 09:45 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Youtube video on the very subject.

I would also imagine a hollowpoint would expand and not be good for more than a minor laceration.

Last edited by running coach; 09-03-2017 at 09:46 AM.
  #3  
Old 09-03-2017, 09:52 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is online now
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In a related video, the guy says he tried onions as well.
  #4  
Old 09-03-2017, 09:59 AM
JoseB JoseB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Youtube video on the very subject.

I would also imagine a hollowpoint would expand and not be good for more than a minor laceration.
Interesting... in the video, though, it doesn't sound as if it made any meaningful difference. Some comments in the video say that you are supposed to firmly tape the potato to the muzzle.

I am really surprised because I had never heard of this particular technique to silence a gun...! Well, every day you learn something new...
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:28 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Pillows and potatoes have both been used as silencers. Actually, anything that starts with the letter "p" can be used to silence gunfire.

/munitions talk
  #6  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:30 AM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Pennsylvanian?

  #7  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:39 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
Pennsylvanian?

'round these parts, we prefer using a Parisian.
  #8  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:48 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
Pennsylvanian?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
'round these parts, we prefer using a Parisian.
You have t obe careful what part you use. Screaming will negate any silencing effect.
  #9  
Old 09-03-2017, 11:08 AM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Didn't Mythbusters use an empty Pop Bottle?

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 09-03-2017 at 11:08 AM.
  #10  
Old 09-03-2017, 11:13 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
Didn't Mythbusters use an empty Pop Bottle?
The only episode I remember them doing with suppressors was debunking the Hollywood "thwip".
It's on now if you get The science Channel.

ETA: The did do "shooting through a carton of milk" but that involved the muzzle flash and a room full of methane.

Last edited by running coach; 09-03-2017 at 11:14 AM.
  #11  
Old 09-03-2017, 11:40 AM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Sometimes, there's a very fine line between Mythbusters and those Jackass movies.

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 09-03-2017 at 11:41 AM.
  #12  
Old 09-03-2017, 11:43 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
Sometimes, there's a very fine line between Mythbusters and those Jackass movies.
To quote Adam:"The difference between science and screwing around *displays clipboard* is writing it down."
  #13  
Old 09-03-2017, 11:46 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Tried it. Makes a frightful mess because the potato gets blown to smithereens by high pressure gases. Does nothing to reduce noise. Taping the potato reduces the mess slightly but there is still no noise reduction.
  #14  
Old 09-03-2017, 12:57 PM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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Wouldn't taping the potato firmly to the barrel greatly increase the chance of the barrel exploding?
  #15  
Old 09-03-2017, 01:01 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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You want fries with that?
  #16  
Old 09-03-2017, 01:57 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
You want fries with that?
Based on the video, more like hash browns. For mashed potatoes, bring a rifle.
  #17  
Old 09-03-2017, 04:05 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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Back in the olden days, I once watched an episode of the TV crime drama Shaft. I recall virtually nothing of the episode, except that at one point, Richard Roundtree opened his apartment window, aimed a high-powered rifle out, and shot out the tire on the car of some baddies. He had first "silenced" the rifle by jamming its muzzle a couple of inches deep into the end of a large potato.

Worked a treat.
  #18  
Old 09-03-2017, 04:36 PM
thirdname thirdname is offline
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As far is improvised silencers go, apparently the ones that actually work are oil filters. There's actually a company that makes an adapter to screw an oil filter onto a gun barrel.

Here's a video on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t_pcWPdSDs

Note, however, that such an adapter, or an oil filter used thusly, is legally regulated the same as an actual silencer, years in federal prison if you don't get the right paperwork. It's the same principle that causes a shoelace to be legally considered a machine gun if it's used to make a gun fire automatically.

Last edited by thirdname; 09-03-2017 at 04:39 PM.
  #19  
Old 09-03-2017, 04:43 PM
ZonexandScout ZonexandScout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Tried it. Makes a frightful mess because the potato gets blown to smithereens by high pressure gases. Does nothing to reduce noise. Taping the potato reduces the mess slightly but there is still no noise reduction.
Several years ago, I tried using a small watermelon as a silencer. The result was predictably messy. I did not try the tape. It is pretty amazing what sort of blast you get from the muzzle of a handgun. You might as well stick an M-80 in the melon (or potato).
  #20  
Old 09-03-2017, 05:01 PM
smithsb smithsb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZonexandScout View Post
Several years ago, I tried using a small watermelon as a silencer. The result was predictably messy. I did not try the tape. It is pretty amazing what sort of blast you get from the muzzle of a handgun. You might as well stick an M-80 in the melon (or potato).
Can confirm, M-80 + melon = fragments like Gallagher with a hammer.

http://tinyurl.com/ybsc7g5w
  #21  
Old 09-03-2017, 07:45 PM
Projammer Projammer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas Jackson View Post
Wouldn't taping the potato firmly to the barrel greatly increase the chance of the barrel exploding?
Only if a substantial amount of potato were stuffed into the barrel. The burst strength of the barrel is so much greater than the potato that the potato will always splash.
  #22  
Old 09-04-2017, 04:11 AM
SOJA SOJA is offline
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Silencers mainly trap the expansion of gas exiting outside the barrel end. A silencer cut in half has a lot of small baffles to divert gas away from the main exit stream. You could make a silencer with a water bottle stuffed with wet tissues.
  #23  
Old 09-04-2017, 05:03 AM
Annoying Buzz Annoying Buzz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithsb View Post
Can confirm, M-80 + melon = fragments like Gallagher with a hammer.
Except funny.
  #24  
Old 09-04-2017, 06:29 AM
Mr. Duality Mr. Duality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Tried it. Makes a frightful mess because the potato gets blown to smithereens by high pressure gases. Does nothing to reduce noise. Taping the potato reduces the mess slightly but there is still no noise reduction.
Preparing the potato by making a hole all the way through it might forestall fragmentation of said potato.
  #25  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:23 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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How about that stupid old rumor, from Dick Tracey's Crimestoppers, that a rubber baby bottle nipple can be used as a silencer?
T/F?
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  #26  
Old 09-04-2017, 08:37 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Duality View Post
Preparing the potato by making a hole all the way through it might forestall fragmentation of said potato.
No, it won't. The powder gases alone will shred the potato. Even if you used a blank the results would be the same. Suppressors work by slowing the expansion of said gases and cooling them. They work exactly the same way as an automotive muffler. A potato does not do that.
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