Gun Powder, A Lit Cigarette, & Vacuum Do Not Mix

    It may seem obvious, but just so that we are clear, do not vacuum up a lit cigarette butt when there is gun powder already inside your vacuum cleaner.


    Back in 2013 two Norwegian guys experiment with what happens when you vacuum up gun powder. I do not speak or understand Norwegian and YouTube’s auto translate did not help here. It looks like they think a vacuum cleaner will somehow ignite gun powder. When it doesn’t they add a lit cigarette. This experiment is cool to watch but does not really show us anything new that we don’t already know what will happen. We know a lit cigarette can set off gun powder. Adding a vacuum cleaner to that does not change the fact that a lit cigarette can set off gun powder. However perhaps the lit cigarette was to “replicate the results” just like the Mythbusters if their goal was to see if a vacuum cleaner could ignite gun powder.


    If you are a fan of the Mythbusters episode, they tried this with black powder back in 2014.



    The Norwegian guys did take some precautions but they don’t seem to be that safe. First they are using a thin door sized sheet of lexan or acrylic to shield them from the explosion. However when they try to run over the lit cigarette with the vacuum cleaner, one of them had to reach around the flimsy barricade to push the vacuum over the cigarette. At least the Mythbusters Tory, Grant and Kari are safe behind a bunker and are using a neon transformer to remotely set off the black powder.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]