Can Explosives Be Detonated by Shooting Them?

Both movies and video games have created this idea that you can detonate explosives simply by shooting them. Let’s face it, this does make for a pretty cool scene, and there is a certain sense of satisfaction when you manage to blow stuff up and run onto the next level.

The problem is that this is all absolute make-believe. It is a figment of the imagination of both the video game developer and the movie director because it just does not work that way in real life.

Explosives are actually quite stable, as they need to be in order to reduce the chances of them exploding by accident, resulting in people being hurt or killed. If you think of the movie Rush Hour where Tucker is shooting at a car that contains C4 that ends up blowing up as a good example of how Hollywood portrays it. But let’s look at what really happens.

C4 may sound deadly, but it is one of the more stable explosive compounds around. You can shoot it, and it will do absolutely nothing as it requires a complex chain of events to occur, and a bullet being fired at it just doesn’t do the trick.

But it goes further than that because you can also set fire to C4 and it will still not explode, although this is not something that we recommend trying out at home. The only way that you can shoot at explosives and detonate them is if you were able to hit a very specific and small part of the detonator, but the chances of that happening are so slim that it would need to be an absolute fluke shot for it to happen.