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<   No. 1648   2007-08-01   >

Comic #1648

1 Jamie: Today's myth is that AK-47s are so reliable that you can submerge one in a bog for a year, and it will still fire perfectly.
2 Jamie: A year ago we dumped this Kalashnikov in a peat bog in northern England. Now we're going to see if it will still work. We just need a target...
3 Adam: How likely do you think it is that this thing will actually shoot?
3 Jamie: I'd estimate... less than 50%.
4 Adam: Good enough for me! Fire away!
4 Jamie: I may be wrong...
4 Adam: Well then I win!

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The inspiration for this comic came from some comments on the Irregular Webcomic! forums about implausibility in various time travel stories:

At the Twin Pines mall the Libyan terrorist who does all the shooting appears to be wielding an AK-47 assault rifle. He successfully guns down Doc Brown, but then his weapon supposedly jams, saving Marty's life and giving him a chance to hop into the DeLorean, with well known consequences.

What the...?

It's a bloody AK-47 for heaven's sake. It's one of the most reliable firearms in the world, ever. You could sink one into a bog, haul it up a year later and it would probably still fire as if it were fresh out of the shop. And they're telling me it just jams in the middle of a suburban parking lot for no apparent reason?

Which prompted the response from another poster:
A new myth... needs to be busted.
I know the perfect pair to throw... er... to take care of this: Adam and Jamie
And so here we are.

The gun, by the way, is a Lego-compatible accessory donated to me by a reader. As first I thought it was a product of BrickArms, which appears to be operated by a guy with a passion for both Lego and military hardware. It is not, however, actually one of the AK-47 models produced by BrickArms, nor in fact any of the guns in current production. I am in no way a gun expert, so I don't really know what it is meant to be. (What I'm trying to say here is that I know it doesn't actually look like an AK-47, so there's no need to point that out to me.) As far as I'm concerned though, it's close enough. Really.


Thanks to the no-less-than-eight separate readers who wrote to say that the gun is almost certainly meant to represent a Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun, and most likely the SD3 model with retractable stock and integrated suppressor.
2017-11-25 Rerun commentary: I recently rewatched the Back to the Future trilogy, and I was struck once again by how detailed and clever the time travel elements are. I've seen the films many times, but I'm still noticing tiny little details that show just how much care the writers and set designers put into them.

The disconnect between BTTF's 2015 and our own aside, the series has aged really well.

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