Friday, December 14, 2007

CSI:Miami's DX4 "vaporizer" isn't entirely vaporware

The latest episode of CSI: Miami featured a plot that revolved around a weapon they called the DX4 or the "vaporizer." In the opening scene, three gun smugglers are blown into tiny pieces my a mystery weapon later revealed to be an electronically fired multi-barrel gun. Though lots of folks may have thought it a flight of Hollywood writer fancy, there is a grain of truth to be found.

The technology behind the DX4 is, in fact, been in development by an Australian company called Metal Storm for some time now. The animated technology demo given on the show to illustrate how the gun worked was wrong. They had a single shot per barrel, making the DX4 the biggest single-shot blunderbuss I've ever seen. The real Metal Storm system uses stacks of ammunition in each barrel.

But after getting the technology wrong, which is de rigueur for Hollywood, you have to look at more basic plausibility issues. And if you do, you won't like what you see. For one, it's unclear why the perpetrators of the three opening scene murders resorted to such ridiculous over-kill when a double-tap would have been just as effective (and given the victims' line of work would have raised far fewer eyebrows). Then there's the problem with assassins moving swiftly and silently through the shadows lugging a giant sedan-chair sized weapon around - never mind aiming it properly at 3 armed stooges who presumably are trying not to be shot. Lastly, if you were to set off all the barrels in such a gun at once, with the purpose being to vaporize a human target, the recoil would be, well, memorable. Do we even need to mention the ever present exploding gas tank myth?

But despite all that, the episode was rescued at the last minute by Horatio Caine shooting the perp in the forehead in mid sentence. In that one instant, I was transported back to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," and Tuco's memorable advice to all would-be villains who find themselves with the upper hand on their nemesis: "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I agree that toting the gun around so quickly and easily would be impossible, there are many valid reasons for recoil not being a factor. Recoil is necessary to maintain the forward momentum of the bullet. Since the gun had no moving parts to slow the bullets down, there is nothing impeding the forward momentum. There is also the lack of gunpowder. The explosion of the gunpowder in the chamber is also a factor in recoil.

Nick said...

Your comments about recoil don't make sense. Recoil is what happens to a gun when it is fired because of Newton's first law. Some repeating guns use recoil to power mechanisms that reload the chamber, but that has nothing at all to do with whether recoil exists or not.

As to the lack of gunpowder, that's simply not true. Both the real Metal Storm system and the DX4 used traditional powder propellants. The only difference with traditional cartridges is the method of ignition. In the DX4 and Metal Storm systems, ignition is induced with high current electricity. In traditional systems, mechanical percussion ignites a primer instead.

CSI-Freak said...

Am i the only one who finds This Csi Horatio Cain Extremly irritating. EVERY EPISODE, AT THE BEGINING JUST BEFORE THE INTRO CREDITS COME, HE HAS 2 PUT ON HIS GLASSES AN SAY SOMETHING '' SUPER BAD'' THAT MAKES HIM WANNA LOOK COOL!? THAT GUY ACTS LIKE HE IS ABOVE THE LAW. HE IS JUST A CSI!(EVEN IF HE DOESN'T REALLY INVESTIGATE A CRIME SCENE. HE NEVER DOES A PINCH OF FORENSIC WORK)

Anonymous said...

i agree dude
i hate horatio
fucking old guy
tryin tu fuck young girls
i hate him
fuck off
and peace

Anonymous said...

I LOVE HORATIO! Imagine the program without his character.......

Anonymous said...

I,m from Poland. I just seen this episode. You answer for my ask: what the hell is that weapon?!!!
Thanks
Kris

Anonymous said...

Yup i just saw this episode today as well and yeah the way they moved at the begining i was expectinga much smaler weapon... ok i wasn't expecting a weapon i was expecting someone with super powers or an alien XD but since it's CSI i guess it had to be a badass gun.

Yup i'm an Horatio hater as well for the exact same reasons mentioned above. He really gets on my nerves with his self righteous speaches and always trying to look so cool. I really wish someone would take those glasses and shove them somewhere the Miami sun don't shine!

Nothing against David Caruso though he is a great actor.

JanrDoh said...

Horatio sucks what ever happened to innocent untill proven guilty?
When it comes to Horatio everyone is guilty untill proven innocent.
I realy hate that hunchback posture of his and the sunglasses thing to.
He is such a cowboy,CSI's investigate they don't run around with guns blazing like they were in the wild west.
Phht pick up a magnifying glass and holster that gun Horatio.

av8or said...

Recoil, for anonymous's sake is the term given to reciprocating reaction of firing a bullet... Because there is no moving parts means nothing, there is still some from of barrel resistance, therefore there has to be some form of force exerted on the weapon by the bullet as it moves out.

In order the propel the bullet out with a force there must be an equal yet opposite force exerted on the gun.

So by firing all the barrels in one go would create an enormous amount of force exerted upon the user...

A side-by-side shot gun has no moving parts besides the hammer, pull both triggers at the same time and feel the recoil!!

Sig. Galvani said...

CSI miami is just a poor television serie, with such a bad cast and argument... the only CSI serie which have any interesting episodes is the Vegas version, the very best one.

Anonymous said...

http://www.kahsoon.com/2006/10/13/gun-that-shoots-1-million-rounds-a-minute/

Anonymous said...

it's a program!!! the opening scene got me watching for the next hour,thats what tv is all about and if the progam or the characters bother you don't watch it!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you guys are wasting your time hating Horatio. Eric is total CRAP, wish he had died the fuckwit.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Eric sucks balls.

Psychotol said...

When I saw the episode myself, metal storm was top of my list of suspected weapons (I also figured some kind of sonic weapon, but that seems implausible in sci-fi too), I figured the gun was mounted on a robot.

I was disappointed that they never explained the apparent ease by which the weapon was maneuvered around the warehouse, and by the fact they had one shot per barrel as opposed to the stack of rounds in the barrel the real metal storm uses.

As for the recoil, there are ways to dampen recoil, although the initial shots probably would not be felt in the real metal storm because of the mass of ammunition and propellant behind them. The last rounds are likely to be felt a lot more acutely. Without a visible muzzle brake, you'd need a series of springs and weights.

Having said that, you'd probably need to bolt the tripod down (as if the airport management would be okay with you fucking up their apron with a bolt gun) or mount the weapon on a robot with a fairly wide wheelbase to fire off large portions of the magazine in one go without the weapon mount toppling over.

For some reason I don't find Horatio's one liners irritating.

Meh.

Anonymous said...

Horatio = sexy ginger = !

Anonymous said...

I love Horatio. He is real man. CSI miami is thebest tv show!!!

Anonymous said...

Google Metal Storm tards like the OP posted..theres a lot of videos you can watch on the gun and YES if you fired all of it at once it would have a ton of recoil...dont they teach physics in school anymore?

The guns primary use is designed for defense....lay out a "field' of metal projectile into the path of an oncoming missile/rpg/ projectile..thus "Vaporizing" the target.

Anonymous said...

Another thing..I can tell by skippy's comment on with Horatio you guilty until proven innocent, get a clue SKIPPY!

All courts in North America you must prove your innocence when charged...the whole innocent until proven guilty is a theory that courts of LAW dont really practice..they pay it lip service and thats about it.

Guns without recoil due to no moving parts and innocent until proven guilty..pull your head out of yer arse

Anonymous said...

Dude,
eric is fucking awesome.
you are insane.

Mako1969 said...

Don't blame the actors for the writing, or the direction. And if you want to get really technical, in the opening scene, Horatio always REMOVES his sunglasses first. It's a trademark of the show: deal with it or don't watch.

As for the science, it's Newton's third law: for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Even if fired from an open tube, like the AT4 rocket launcher that we used in the Army, the back blast is HUGE, and would incinerate anyone behind it. Whatever the force that propels the bullets forward, an equally strong force is discharged in the opposite direction.

Anonymous said...

Horatio can suck a fat one.. Old geezer!!! What the fuck is on the floor?! Everytime the camera turns his direction, he's studying the fuckin' floor then puts his glasses on and says some stupid ass shit!!! I feel like bitch slappin' his retarded ass.. Him and his girlfriend Eric!!

Anonymous said...

yea i wouuld hit horatio

Anonymous said...

i saw a gun on futureweapons ( the tv show) that was kinda like it with 200 barrels or whatever, is that what this is

Anonymous said...

NCIS is much more fun to watch.

Alacron Lone said...

In reality to create such a weapon that would follow the "physics of the movie" it would have to incorporate some kind of electromagnetic propulsion system, like Guass technology. This would eliminate a good portion of recoil, but still.
You all are right about the weight factor, but then again would it have looked right in the show to see the three guys blown away by some guy dragging a huge freaken weapon around?
And lastely... what are the odds that that prop would ever hit EBay? I want it!

Alacron Lone said...

Can anyone here remember the episode were Cain had to drive that bomb rigged car to the beach to "let" it explode? Dude WTF! If that were me I'd Be doing the sensible thing and running like #@!! hell!

Sanjoy Alexander said...

Horatio is stylish and csi miami is one well packaged show. Awesome visual effects,stunning cinematography,terrific background score - this one has it all. Except for some quality acting. There are times when we really wish the actors stepped beyond all that style and delivered. So much for wishful thinking. I am fan anyway.

Polarbear said...

One of the sad things about America is the fact that even though 80+ million Americans own firearms and there are more than 5 firearms for every man, woman, child, and reportedly, every pet cat and dog; your average American doesn't know jack about firearms. I love to listen to nitwits talking about firearms. I had one dork explain to me that the French MAS rifle I was holding was an SKS and that it was originally designed for night fighting by the Russians. That was a classic. I have to double-tap the previous comments about the first comment-you don't know what you're talking about.
Enjoy-Polarbear

Anonymous said...

i agree with that guy ^^

rednecks :P

Sonia said...

CSI: Miami is one of my favorite show and guys you can also Download CSI: Miami tv show with all episodes from here. So enjoy this show on your pc at any time...

Anonymous said...

no se bien que pasa por la mente de algunos y bien lo que pasa en csi, la dx4 es un arma muy poderosa y pesada por eso no creo que pueda matar tantas personas a la ves.
tal vez esto influya en alguien para crear algo asi espero que no por la vida....leito...

Nick said...

No se preocupe. Is tanto dificil hacer una arma normalmente. No creo que alguen puede hacer un DX4.

For those who don't speak Spanish, the previous commenter, in part, worried that the episode might bring out copycats, but it's difficult enough to properly manufacture a normal gun. Making a multi-barrel stacked weapon, I believe, is absolutely beyond the means of all but the most dedicated gun maker. And anyone that dedicated to the craft of gun making likely isn't going to be a homicidal maniac. There just isn't a lot of crossover between people who manufacture firearms and people who hurt other human beings with them.

Anonymous said...

wht aree yu tlkn about?
eric is the best!

Rat said...

I agree with CSI-Freak, Horatio is such an irritant.
Anyone seen Jim Carrey doing a Horatio Caine?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJSqkwyL1Zo

My preference is CSI Vegas, New York and NCIS (at least it doesn't pretend to be science)

diego said...

wassup horatio haters? yall r jst givin him a reason to do it.that episode where eric died i cudnt watch any other episode until someone told me he wasnt dead.eric is a gud actor.csi requires an education level, naa' mean.......jst 4 the record csi vegas is uncomparable.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone I run into this website cuz I saw the episode about the dx 4 n I google it to c if the gun was even real but ain't from what I googoo

Anonymous said...

FUCK HORATIO, GO GIL GRISSOM!

Anonymous said...

love the blonde babe - calleigh

everything else is fake or not worth watching on this flick

mubariz said...

The gun Is based on a real 36 barrel gun made by metal storm
it can fire 180 bullets in a fraction of a second
so fast in fact that if you could stuff 1 million bullets into the gun it would shoot them all out in less than a minute if you wanted it to
it is on youtube watch th video

Nick said...

Wow. It's as if you didn't read anything that I wrote above.

bullock1 said...

Actually u don't have to prove ur innocence. It is up to the prosecuter to prove ur GUILT. That's why people get off for things, because they don't have the evidence, even though they may ne guilty.

gadget gizmo said...

For those who don't like Horatio Cain,
Don't watch the bloody program, and as for the comment,"tryin tu fuck young girls" is nasty at best
this just shows you up as a moron.
and yes to the "Recoil" debate. This type of weapon is remotely fired some way off, as the forces involved would injure the opreator.

Dina alsaigh said...

Today i watched CSI miami episode .. Not all of it only the begining "couldnt watch it" and i got amazed with that "sucking" weapon so i google it .. It was awesome and freaked me out :) .. Peace

sk-kittie said...

Y should he and he have his team for that , EVen tho as you said he donnt do investigations he every thing his teams nos and more ... He is the man ....