Katana vs. M2 .50 BMG Machine Gun

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

This video is great! It shows a Japanese katana sword being shot at by an M2. See what .50 caliber FMJ bullets do to a steel sword!

I am very surprised it lasted even one .50 BMG round!!!

Hat Tip: Danger Room

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Nanban Jim Nanban Jim on Oct 19, 2010

    Old, I know, but not everybody has been reading this blog from day 1. My first thought was whether this was a properly made sword or just a shin gunto or other machined sword, but while my Japanese is beyond rusty, it does appear in context that it is a modern, traditionally produced sword.

    It comes as no surprise that a round designed to penetrate to 3/4-7/8 inches (19-22mm) of "modern" (1930s) hardened steel plate (and ends up spalling thicker plate) will crack the hard edge and bend the soft rear of around 1 inch (25mm) of steel to the breaking point. There's a reason you aren't supposed to parry edge-on, especially with hardened swords, which the direct and glancing hits show very nicely: It isn't just a loss of edge, but the hardened cutting edge will crack and break. Hard=brittle.

    It's almost surprising that they got any hits at all, I'd love to see how many rounds it took in total. Very difficult to peg such a narrow target edge-on, isn't it? (The camera was at 3/4 angle, but the gun doesn't seem to be, especially considering how that would have biased the test against the sword.)

    Very nice find. :D

  • HerbG HerbG on Oct 20, 2010

    And the significance of this little test is..........?