Gunpowder

I was wondering about a Mythbuster episode I just watched. It was about some Star Trek dude who made a hand cannon and killed an alien.

The Myth turned out to be busted. But I don't think it's true.

Mainly because they said that Gunpowder needed to be refined, when people during the Middle Ages didn't(I think). What do you think
From which Star Trek was this from? From these two sources I do not see a Star Trek Series clashing with the middle ages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Star_Trek#Series_and_movie_settings
http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/middle-ages-timeline.htm

Also if anything I think the hand cannon part is the least plausible aspect.
Mainly because they said that Gunpowder needed to be refined, when people during the Middle Ages didn't(I think). What do you think


Probably busted because even the middle-ages refining process wouldn't be possible whilst fleeing from a pissed off Gorn. Also, the hand cannon's collateral damage would have killed Kirk.

It's probably sad that I remember this (Trek) episode so clearly. I'm a guilty trekkie.
What was the myth? Give us some context, at least.
Well, I'm not good with Star Trek, but the myth was, this guy gets stranded on some planet, so he makes a hand cannon to kill an alien who was chasing him.
And we needed the Mythbusters to tell us that Star Trek isn't real?
No, but I just was wondering, I was watching a documentary and they mixed gunpowder right infront of the screen, and when packed, it was able to explode. And there was no refining done.
I don't think its the gunpowder that needs refining but the chemicals used to make it.
Leave it up to mythbusters to stress busting an event in a fictional series. They do that a lot, like the episode where they busted the Jaws ending by proving a O2 tank wouldn't explode if shot.
The thing is, their experiments are anything but scientific. The only hypothesis they could disprove by shooting an oxygen tank and it not exploding is "all oxygen tanks explode when shot". No matter how many non-exploding oxygen tanks you shoot, you can never conclude that no oxygen tank explodes when shot.
I used to mess around with stolen chemicals post 911, now its totally un-PC.
pretty popular in countries where its allowed still, Columbia has a new year tradition where they make bombs and put them in mannekins, im told its like basra 2005.

EDIT: what do they mean by refined? its not wise to talk about online but refining technique? could be something really really basic for example warming it up gently.
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The thing is, their experiments are anything but scientific. The only hypothesis they could disprove by shooting an oxygen tank and it not exploding is "all oxygen tanks explode when shot". No matter how many non-exploding oxygen tanks you shoot, you can never conclude that no oxygen tank explodes when shot.
Although, assuming you had enough information, you could conceivably prove that the scene is impossible, or at least implausible. Say, if you knew the type of gun/ammo that was fired and the type of tank that was used. There's no reason to think that the tank used in the scene should be anything other than an ordinary tank that would be used in that application domain, if it wasn't introduced as a Chekhov's gun ("check it out. We got one of those new nitroglycerine-coated O2 tanks!").
The question is not whether there exists an oxygen tank that explodes when shot in certain circumstances, but whether a random oxygen tank is likely to explode in normal circumstances for no reason other than it was shot.
Sure, but one tank, one gun and one bullet isn't enough, unless they're the exact tank, gun and bullet that were actually supposed to have been used in the movie. It seems very faulty to me to say "Hey, we shot a tank and it didn't explode, so that means it wouldn't/couldn't/shouldn't have happened in the movie".
I'm curious to see how much damage an acetylene tank would do if shot. I've seen a building leveled by one that leaked overnight.

I really wish that I had a shop like the Mythbusters...not to mention their budget.
I remember breathing apparatus training from when i was in the fire brigade, all gas cylinders had to be removed and placed in a pool of water to cool down, if it was an acetylene bottle, the area was simply closed off.
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