There is a quite famous scene in the original movie where Robocop comes up to a guy, grabs barrel of his automatic gun and bends it downwards, while the guy continues holding the gun in shock. Isn't that completely impossible and the gun would've got torn out of his hands with the force needed to bend a steel barrel?


Depends on the state of barrel, it's temperature, the thickness, any defects. The barrel of the Sterling Mark 6 Submachine Gun seems fairly small, with thin walls. The crimp shows it was compromised right past his hand. It's obviously an aluminum movie prop.

Physics requires the the strength exerted on one end of the barrel or tube to be equally exerted on the other end for it to bend. Since it bent past his hand and not in it, the other end of the barrel (aka the rest of the gun) has to match the force. Realistically, no, he would not be able to hold on without at least some sort of show of force. He's basically passive. Myth Busted.

  • Holy cow, so much alcohol product placement in that scene!
    – Shiz Z.
    Oct 7 '15 at 20:01
  • 8
    @ShizZ. well, it is a liquor store after all.
    – cde
    Oct 7 '15 at 20:50
  • Some mitigating points: the rifle had been fired repeatedly, and a hot barrel will be more malleable. Robocop also applied a rotational force, not a downward one (and is well strong and coordinated enough to hold it in place without pulling downwards), which means the only counterforce required would be for the crimilal to no let the other end go up. You can see that the stock is under the criminal's arm, so his torso is already holding it back. Not saying that proves it's easily done but there are reasonable arguments for its plausibility.
    – Flater
    May 21 '20 at 20:11
  • @flat I did mention the state and temperature of the barrel in the first sentence.
    – cde
    May 22 '20 at 3:29

He could bend the barrel. But even so, if he grabbed the barrel and tried to hunch it down, the weapon would pivot barrel down unless the assailant had a grip like a vice. Robocop had no leverage what so ever to bend the barrel. steel used in a simple 9mm barrel has a elastic modulus of 190-200 gigapascals, You could bend it but you need leverage.

  • You may want to elaborate a little more what this adds to the 5 year old existing answer.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 21 '20 at 11:00

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