Mythbusters: Is Apple Laptop Bulletproof?

Friday, December 24, 2010
By OP Editor

Is a Mac bulletproof? Mythbusters test out the myth by shooting an Apple laptop at close range, with a 12 gauge shotgun.

Mac in Leather Bag Bullet Proof, Mythbusters tests Myth

Mac Laptop As Bullet Proof Armor?

“Man saved from a shot gun blast by his laptop.” The myth describes.

Mythbusters Keri Kari Byron shotgun

In a recent episode [itunes link] (#6), Mythbusters tests the myth that a laptop in a leather bag can act as bulletproof armor. The story is that it protected its lucky owner against a 12 gauge shotgun fired from 3-4 feet. Supposedly the story of Kris Parkinson, who got lucky during a held up.

The story is from 4 or 5 years ago, so Mythbusters got a PowerBook G4 for the test. A 12 gauge shotgun in real life is quite powerful, so the Mac is toast. Isn’t it?

Mythbusters performed 2 tests, first one, no go. But they think, what if the heaviest component in a laptop? They did the second test and was surprised at the experiment outcome: “The results from this is extremely surprising. We are at really close range, with a 12 gauge shotgun.” Kari Byron describes.

Mac, Apple Laptop, battery bullet proof

“If you hit the battery, your [Mac] is bulletproof.” Tory Belleci reports.

Mythbusters found that the myth is plausible. Works on that a specific Apple laptop model, with a certain leather bag, from a specific point of impact, with a specific shot gun ammunition. Your mileage may vary, so don’t try it at home. But, if someone is about to shoot a bullet in my direction, I’ll give the MacBook Pro bullet proof shield a shot try.

Mac vs. PC

Apple laptop has been using metal throughout its construction for a decade now (first PowerBook G4 “titanium” was introduced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2001). Before the unibody MacBook Pro, the older titanium and aluminum MacBook Pro and PowerBook G4 even has a metal sheet on the battery. From this Mythbusters test, it looks like the Mac’s overall package, including the metal battery cover helped absorb the shotgun bullet. The same is unlikely to work for a PC laptop, as most of them are made with flimsy plastic (sometimes coated with fake metal-looking paint).

Do you think Steve Jobs is right to integrate a much larger battery in the new unibody aluminum MacBook Pro? Do you think that protects Ninja Steve against killer robots?

Download Mythbusters

You can download the Mythbusters Mini Myth Madness [itunes link] (episode 6) for $1.99. The great episode also tests these mini-myths:

  • “It’s like taking candy from a baby” (reminds us of the hit iPhone iPad game Cut the Rope)
  • Can James Bond swim to a black-tie event, wearing his spiffy tuxedo under scuba-gear, without ruining his tux?
  • Can a fridge door stop a 9mm bullet?
  • Can a braid can stop a bullet?
  • Is it possible to make instant frozen beer?
  • Car tire pressure fuel efficiency myth
  • Techniques to reduce spreading germs through sneezing

Looks like even Grant Imahara has switched to a Mac! If you can’t get enough, there is “President’s challenge” Myth from President Obama [itunes link] (episode 10) featuring the POTUS for $1.99.


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Tags: Apple, Mac, MacBook Pro

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