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Old 10-30-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
Pierre Kewcharoen
Pierre Kewcharoen's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido at NJIT
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 100
Japanese sword vs machine gun

Sword took 7 shots before breaking. If you watch closely, the bullets actually get sliced. Enjoy!

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Old 10-30-2007, 04:14 PM   #2
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 660
Re: Japanese sword vs machine gun

There also was a story that went around about the Japanese high-command exhorting the troops with a demonstration of "superiority" by cutting the barrel off of an american mchine gun that was captured by using one stroke.(See the power of the traditional versus the evil western....yadda, yadda)
I have heard this several times over the years, and it always made me want to see it on video.
Don't know if it is true though. (I doubt that it is)

Similar thought, *sword and machine-gun* and another interesting tidbit for thought.

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:41 AM   #3
Tony Hudspith
Dojo: Hartlepool/Peterlee
Location: Hartlepool
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 38
United Kingdom
Re: Japanese sword vs machine gun

Wow! Awesome!
I've told all my students and friends to look at this clip. I have been around firearms for most of my life and know the damage they can cause but for the sword to withstand such force it truly is an amazing spectacle to see.
Thanks for posting this clip it made a boring tedious day that bit more interesting.

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Old 11-17-2007, 07:33 PM   #4
Josh Reyer
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Re: Japanese sword vs machine gun

Bullets = soft lead.

Sword = hard steel.

Of course the sword will win. You could do the same thing with a medieval broadsword.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:58 AM   #5
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Japanese sword vs machine gun

Yeah, this is somewhat a parlor trick. Old guys in the smithing community talk about doing similar things with knives, swords and axes. The key is alignment. But in the end a soft bullet vs hardened steel -- the steel will tend to cut the bullet. But after enough impacts the edge starts to go and then it will take damage.

Kinda cool, but in the end not entirely surprising.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:19 AM   #6
Location: Miami, FL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 453
Re: Japanese sword vs machine gun

Were the bullets full metal jacket or soft/hollow points? And how did they arrange to get a .50 caliber machine gun? Maybe they explain it in Japanese, but the only words I understood were "nihonto" and "machine gun."

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Old 11-19-2007, 11:19 AM   #7
CitoMaramba's Avatar
Dojo: Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui Group Philippines
Location: Plymouth, UK
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 492
Re: Japanese sword vs machine gun

Since the .50 cal M2 Browning shown in the video most probably used military cartridges, they would be full metal jacketed bullets. The M2 was the standard machinegun for US aircraft and armored vehicles in World War II. It's still in use today.
The .50 BMG cartridge comes in several versions, including an armor piercing round. If that was what was used and the katana managed to split seven of them, that would be pretty remarkable.
Here is a photo showing relative sizes of various firearms cartridges. the .50 BMG (which was the one used against the katana) is the leftmost (and largest)

From L-R: .50 BMG, 300 Win Mag, .308 Winchester, 7.62 x 39 mm, 5.56 NATO, .22LR

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:30 AM   #8
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Japanese sword vs machine gun

You need to consider the fact that the edge of a katana is usually around 60 on the RC scale. Fully hardened steel in the .55-.75% range of carbon (which is most sword steels) is *extremely* hard. Hence the construction of a japanese sword with a soft body to prevent the things from shattering on impact. It is also why they tend to hold edges forever -- they put your kitchen knives and pocket knives to shame in the hardness department. It is also why it is so hard to cleanly touch up an edge of a japanese sword... Also, Japanese edge design is very precise and well supported for forces directly aligned with the edge. I've seen (and also done) tests of swords against copper pipes and even against the back of other swords. The edge is a tough thing.

But most any well made sword with a well made steel and a well heat treated edge from any culture would likely perform just as well on this test. Heck, a $10 axe from Harbour Freight Tools (world's cheapest Chinese-made tools -- the disposable lighters of the tool world) would do it too.

If you want to see a blade get destroyed, just rotate it a few degrees out of alignment. Get behind a bullet-proof barrier and try again. You'll see a vastly different result.

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Old 12-06-2007, 02:46 AM   #9
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
Re: Japanese sword vs machine gun

'course, the poor guy standing behind the sword would still be pretty sol, even if he was only hit by fragments of bullets going near the speed of sound rather than whole bullets going slightly faster.
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