The Truth About AK47 Firepower

In 1989 Larry Pratt of GOA and Neal Knox tried an experiment using an exciting new technology that had just become available:  VHS video tape.  They hauled an AK47 and a bunch of other guns ranging from a pair of 9 mm pistols to a 12 gauge shotgun for a demonstration of comparative ballistics.  The target?  a bunch of watermelons.  The watermelon is a good target for this demonstration because it's something everyone is familiar with (as compared with ballistic gelatin which many people have seen on TV, but few have handled), and reacts pretty spectacularly. 

The size of the watermelon splash is a fair indicator of comparative power based on comparisons of ballistic tables.  The AK's 7.62×39 round yields a splash comparable to the .30-30 and the .30-'06 provides a pretty spectacular show.  But the 12 gauge loaded with No. 4 shot steals the show as it transfers virtually all of its energy to the watermellon yielding the tag line of the video: "There was no grenade in that watermelon!"  My kids have gotten a kick out of watching their grandad say that line since they were in pre-school.