Detonation vs Deflagration – Smarter Every Day 1

April 24, 2011 by 36 Comments



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The Saiga 12 is basically an 12 guage in an AK-47 form factor.
Usually when people see a fireball they are quick to call it an explosion or a detonation. In actuality, what they’ve witnessed is a type of explosion called a “Deflagration”. Many things are deflagrations. Logs burning in a fireplace are Deflagrating. The primer inside the shotgun is actually detonating. Lead Styphenate or Mercury Fulmanide are used in cartridge primers to start the pyrotechnic train in a bullet/shell. The primer itself is detonating, which kicks off the gunpowder which burns in the shell. Any powder detonations occur in the chamber. As the powder burns and begins to push the projectile out (gas seals with the barrel with something called an “obteration seal”). The powder in the barrel is also deflagrating.

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36 Replies to “Detonation vs Deflagration – Smarter Every Day 1”

  1. Watching his stuff during the quarantine.

  2. Just found your channel for the first time! My name is Destin too.. you’re only the second person I’ve found with the same name as me! 😂

  3. Onio Saiyan says:

    Hey it's me Destin, and welcome to Demolition Ranch.

  4. not true. there’s no detonation in the gun barrel. a bullet is pushed out by deflagration. If detonation occured in the gun you would be killed by shrapnels because the barrel would desintegrate.

  5. Reddy23 says:

    Woah this is still cool, even after 9 years

  6. David Pérez says:

    Someone watching in 2020?

  7. DylanGamer says:

    Who is watching in 2020

  8. SumriseHD says:

    I actually need this for a school presentation xD

  9. I think that you could have say more on this topic. But still, it's funny that after few years of watching SmarterEveryDay, when I'm looking for some light reading on subsonic ammunition I stumble on a very first video on this channel. Nice to see how it started.

  10. Louis Weisz says:

    Great work destin, can’t wait for more

  11. ika jakonia says:

    as I understood, "detonation" is caused by piston and the gunpowder "deflagrates", am I correct?

  12. Funny. And somewhat informative. Actual scientific explanation was a bit off..

  13. eschdaddy says:

    Since gun powder deflagrates, is the gun really a detonation?

  14. Thank you that was fun and informative

  15. Love your stuff, and we started up our own channel for debunking claims. Love for you to check it out!

  16. Are you sure of your terminology ? I have been an explosive Engineer for the last fourty years and I am certain that the propellent in any small arms cartridge does not deflagrate, it burns. The speed of the burn is controlled by the mix of the propellant the quality of the percussion cap and the degree of confinement. If you burn Small Arms Ammunition unconfined you will have the same rate of combustion until the case splits, after that the remaining propellent will burn much more slowly. Burning cartridges will typically send the projectile no more than a few meters. I burnt 1.2 million small arms cartridges from .22inch to .50 calibre in a steel skip. None of the projectiles went more than ten metres I investigated several bore deflagrations where the projectile containing a High Explosives has functioned in the bore of an Artillery Piece. Generally HE Projectiles are a mix of RDX and TNT (Comp B). When they function prematurely in the bore it is generally due to cracks in the fill or a micro deflagration caused by loose explosive dust in the fuze well. On set Back (the first dynamic force acting on the projectile) the fuze can apply sufficient force on the dust to detonate it. However, the detonation cannot be sustained sufficiently to propagate a full detonation and the projectile deflagrates in the bore. There are many examples of this effect on the internet. As an aside, when the projectile is manufactured the grain of the steel runs along the long axis. This was not a problem in early days as the propellant burnt less violently with a subsequently lower pressure. Modern propellants are faster burning and higher pressure. In early trials this led to the propellant progressing into the projectile cavity causing a deflagration. The solution was to weld a flat disk of steel with its steel grain at 90deg to the long axis. This is known as a "Slatter Base Plate". So burning, faster burning= Explosion. Deflagration ( where a detonating compound does not reach a full detonation) Detonating= a full detonation where the High Explosive reaches is full velocity of detonation (V of D). In layman terms.

  17. Kemal Parla says:

    Sorry please help haha, doesn’t black powder deflagrate rather than detonate so as not to damage the gun? Or is it the fact that it then propels the bullet faster than the speed of sound that makes the whole process a detonation?

  18. waptek says:

    ammonium nitrate is stable ,, at room temperature in normal atmospheric conditions
    but it is flammable & if it burns it will become molten & go through decomposition, &
    oxidation & then it is 4 times as sensitive & if also "contaminated" with anything ,,
    it will transition from Deflagration combustion to detonation combustion
    it then is an "explosive" just like gun powder

  19. If the bullet detonates it will blow up the gun, both of them are deflagration.

  20. Four Kings says:

    I like this kind of Smarter Everyday

  21. Joe H. says:

    This man went from shooting targets in his backyard to getting an exclusive tour of a US nuclear submarine. 🤘 You're awesome Destin…

  22. YodaWhat says:

    If your powder detonates in your gun, you die, or get maimed. No gun you would want to carry can withstand the pressures developed in detonation.

  23. 7 S says:

    Dude, in a freekin' forest…

  24. Random Essie says:

    So this is how he started.

  25. Sum Chap says:

    Had to watch the first video. I love this guy! I have actually learned so much! I lifted the engine out of my car using ropes and pulleys myself, because of him!

  26. Sherwin says:

    you were so young back then

  27. Yankees and their guns 😁

  28. Don't lie you didn't come because of the algo, you were just curious what was Smarter everyday 1

  29. Sahib singh says:

    Ok this is where all started
    ……

  30. GRD PROJEKT says:

    If I counted correctly, this is unofficially SED #6, there have been 5 videos down the line with SED in the title without numbers. The first one being obviously the chicken head stabilization.

  31. David Medina says:

    This guy is going to be huge in a few years.

  32. Suhaimi Amir says:

    just visiting from the future..