Dragon’s Breath: Twelve Gauges of Zirconium Fury (Lots of Videos)

05/11/11 2:31 PM | by

Dragon’s Breath, or zirconium pyrotechnic shotgun ammunition, isn’t new.  But YouTube is.  And with the growing collection of jaw-dropping light shows on the Internet, it’s time to highlight one of the shotgun’s coolest kinds of ammo.

In a nutshell, this is Dragon’s Breath:

It’s pyrotechnic ammunition, so it’s mostly for show.  We don’t recommend you stand in front of it just the same.  It’s even banned in many states, particularly those prone to wildfires.  You can see how it can easily start a terrifyingly out-of-control blaze here:

We could think of some other ways to spend five dollars a shot, but none that are anywhere near this outstandingly impressive.  For a better exposition of this fantastical ammunition, check this out:

In theory, it can be used for signalling.  This would make more sense if the militaries of the world still used semaphore.  And as far as your lost in the woods, get some attention-type scenario, there already exist better-suited shotgun ammo types.  No, this is cool for cool’s sake.

But if you want to know how it works, you have to watch what the fellows behind Smarter Every Day have to say about it.  They really delve into the science behind it, and go on to explain what the role zirconium played in the Fukushima disaster.  Sure, it’s a lesson, but it does come with explosions:

There, see, you’re not wasting your time at work watching people start fires with shotguns, you’re studying chemistry.  You’re improving yourself, damn it.

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