Many fans of the immensely popular television series “Breaking Bad” have the final action sequence of the final episode engraved in their memories, maybe because they watched it 50 times. And, at some point, they’ve probably wondered if Walter White’s trunk-based, remote-activated, automated M60 machine-gun mechanism could actually work.
Luckily for us, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman over at MythBusters are fans and they wondered the very same thing. And, doing what they do, the guys put the scenario to the test on the most recent season of their show.
They constructed a machine-gun mount with an actual M60, using materials similar to what Walt used on the show: box-end wrenches pivoting off a garage-door opener, and the base of an office chair as a base for the gun. Jamie added a 10-speed bicycle cassette and bike chain to the contraption, but it’s still a plausible home-spun addition.
They even had show creator Vince Gilligan on hand for the test to make sure everything was set up correctly.
But could the mechanism hold up to the punishment of the sustained automatic firing of an M60 machine gun chambered in 7.62 NATO? Even if it did, could it fire accurately enough to take out a group of bad guys through a car body and a wall?
The better question is: would Walter White build something that didn’t work?
Despite several instances of bullet tumbling and some wild shots, plenty of rounds penetrated the windows and wall, along with wooden target cutouts inside. It was dangerous, with some rounds hitting as high as 7 feet off the ground, but it did what it was supposed to do, taking out all the bad guys and leaving Walt, lying on the floor, unharmed. To be screen-accurate, it would actually have to leave Walt, Jesse, and the evil-b&$#%@d Todd unharmed, but that’s pretty close. They do lose a couple points for not activating it with a bright orange vehicle-alarm remote, but this is one of the cooler firearm tests the show has done. Watch the whole experiment above and check out the clip from the episode below.
If you want to know a bit more about the gun that generates all this firepower, here’s a great history of the gun soldiers in Vietnam called “The Pig.”
In this clip, the MythBuster guys reveal where they got the M60 they used for the test (that info comes at about the 2:00 mark): from the same place the movie folks do. It’s an older M60, before the E3 (1986) and subsequent E4 models shortened and lightened the gun and moved the bi-pod rearward to the front of the forend, to which a vertical foregrip was added.