Slow Mo Guys 1 Million FPS – 9mm vs Egg and Newton's Cradle

Nicholas C
by Nicholas C

I have been dabbling in slow motion with my entry-level slow-motion camera. But the Slow Mo Guys on YouTube have access to the good stuff, Phantom cameras. They can film as high as 1 million frames per second (FPS). They posted some videos recently where they shoot 9mm bullets at eggs at different frame rates and filmed a Newton’s Cradle being shot at with an air cannon and a 9mm bullet.

Slow Motion @TFB:

Slow MO Guys Newton’s Cradle

The Slow Mo Guys fired a steel ball bearing at a newton’s cradle and the results were pretty amazing. They filmed it up to 100,000 FPS. To give that some perspective, your iPhone’s slow-motion is only around 240 FPS and some Android phones can artificially film like 900 FPS. My Chronos 1.4 films at 1,000 FPS at full resolution but it can trade off the resolution to film higher frame rates up to 40,000 but the image is basically useless at 336×96 resolution. But the Chronos is only $4,000.

The Slow Mo Guys have a TMX 7510 which costs as much as $80,000. Quite a significant jump in price. But the footage they can record is amazing. Watch their newton’s cradle video below.

They start off shooting a ball bearing out of an air cannon to hit Newton’s cradle. The force was so great and transferred into the last ball bearing. To their surprise, the force was too great for the strings to impart any force on the ball bearings. The strings broke and the newton’s cradle balls flew straight.

The ball bearing the Slow Mo Guys fired cratered on impact and became a miniature Death Star.

Next, the Slow Mo Guys fired a 9mm bullet at the cradle. They missed a couple of times but when they did manage a hit, the results were completely unexpected.

The 9mm bullet completely shattered on impact with the first cradle ball.

You can see the metal jacket fragments that embedded themselves into the newton cradle stand.

Eggs Shot At 1M Frames Per Second

I found this more interesting because of the things you can observe from the high frame rates. Plus they only shot 9mm bullets. The Slow Mo Guys filmed eggs being shot with 9mm bullets and filmed each successive egg with higher frame rates.

They started at 50,000 frames per second and if you watch carefully, you can see a shadow from a pressure wave.

Look at the egg in the photo below. You can see a line shadow that curves vertically just past the 5 written on the side of the egg. That is a shadow from the pressure wave off the bullet.

I found the photo below on Nasa’s website.

A bullet traveling through air at about 1.5 times the speed of sound can be seen in this image. When a moving object breaks the sound barrier, a shock wave and often turbulence are created. In this image, the curved line at the nose of the bullet is a shock wave. Other shock waves can be seen alongside the bullet, and a turbulent wake trails behind it. This image was created using an instrument called a shadowgraph. Image courtesy of Andrew Davidhazy/Rochester Institute of Technology

Here is the Slow Mo Guy’s egg video.

As you watch the higher frame rates you can see more shockwaves captured by the Phantom TMX 7510. I saw 3-4 shockwaves in the 100k and 200k FPS videos.

At the end of the video, the Slow Mo Guys tried to shoot five eggs and I found it interesting how much the eggs deflected the bullet that it missed the last egg at the end.

For more Slow Mo Guys content, which might not be firearms-related, check out their YouTube channel.

Nicholas C
Nicholas C

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