When Bugs Bunny sticks a carrot in the muzzle of Elmer Fudd’s barrel, the gun always blows up in Fudd’s face. Would that happen in real life?

Barrel obstructions are know to cause catastrophic failures. However those failures are usually the result of squibs stuck in the barrel. YouTuber Demolition Ranch decided to test out the classic Looney Toons scenario himself and record the results.

After stuffing a carrot in and pulling the trigger, he found that the damage was not quite spectacular as in the cartoons. Check out the entire video below.

Image from DemolitionRanch on YouTube

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7 thoughts on “What Really Happens When You Plug a Shotgun with a Carrot

  1. “Bugs Bunny would have died” IF Elmer had stalked Bugs up to the distance shown in the video – three feet or so.

    Of course, film and television producers do all manner of ‘odd’ things with real items for the sake of the plot.

    Shotguns are fair low pressure firearms, 10,000 to 15,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). (Older handgun cartridges about the same, ‘Magnum’ and some modern designed handgun rounds about 25,000 to 30,000 PSI. Modern rifles between 40,000 and 60,000 PSI. Also, shotgun barrels are not as strong as handgun and rifle barrels, so they tend to fail (erupt from excess pressure) at lower pressures than the other arms.

    Therefore, the damage from a blocked shotgun barrel is not as great as a blocked ‘modern’ rifle barrel.

    Still, every year hunters in the field blow up shotgun barrels by somehow getting mud, dirt or snow in the muzzle and plugging the barrel. But usually only the barrel; typically the damage doesn’t extend to the action or such.

    Also to note is the location of the damage. Note the last several inches of the barrel was damaged in the experiment. This happened because the muzzle was blocked. Another fairly common shotgun mishap is to load a smaller loaded cartridge (‘shell’) into the shotgun and attempt to fire (like a 16 or 20 gauge shell in a 12 gauge shotgun. The firing pin will not fire the smaller round because the smaller shell has slid down the barrel and stopped in the beginning of the barrel. Then the shooter – in haste to get the bunny – operates the action, putting a proper sized shell into the chamber and pulls the trigger.

    In this case, the shell fires and the pressure is confined to the chamber area. So the chamber area blows up and typically erupts or breaks the barrel in that location. Normally, the barrel must be replaced (as in the carrot incident), and possibly the action or locking mechanism is over stressed as well. More repair is not guaranteed, but much more likely.

    This is also the case when a shotgun, rifle or handgun fires an over-pressure round (due to improper powder charge or improper components). The chamber suffers the damage, not the muzzle end of the barrel.

    Come to think of it, the “blocked chamber” scenario might be an interesting experiment for your series. However, the damage will probably be more extensive. A comparison would be interesting.

  2. Thanks. I’ve “always” wondered what would actually happen. This confirms it – I had no ready made conceptions, so the video was a fun ride. Good onya, bro. And, Merry Christmas right back atcha. 🙂

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