Spike TV’s Not So Deadliest Warrior

I’ve only got a little time here, but I wanted to debunk a portion of this show. I’ve never watched an episode on TV, but was shown a link to this episode as “proof” that the AK-47 is more reliable than the AR-15. The important stuff starts at around 27:45 or so.

Well, there are a few glaring problems that a lot of people have probably already figured out.

Here, we see both rifles with mud on their sides. Note the mud on the top cover of the AK and near the rear sight. Click on the images for a bigger picture.

And here is the AK as we hear shots being fired. The safety is clearly in the “up” position – the weapon cannot be fired that way. If the safety was off, there’d be a void where the mud hadn’t stuck to the rifle, as we can see from the video, the safety was on when it was slapped with mud. No spent cases are ejected. The bolt does not move. He is not wearing ear protection.

Here is the weapon actually being fired – note the complete lack of mud on the top cover and rear sight. The weapon is never shown from the right side with cases being ejected.

As the “muj” comes off the firing line, we see that his shirt and face are perfectly clean – as anyone who’s fired a muddy weapon with an open reciprocating bolt like an AK-47 or a Garand knows, that mud will come right back at you.

And finally, here we see him wearing orange earplugs, supposedly just as he’s finished firing.

Here is the AR as we hear shots ring out. No cases are ejected, the ejection port cover does not swing open, and we don’t see any steam from the muzzle, as one would expect if the barrel was wet.

More shots being fired. Ejection port cover still closed. In case you don’t know, that means the weapon still hasn’t been fired.

And finally, we see the AR-15 after it “jams” – except that the ejection port cover is STILL closed, and the only way to verify a malfunction is to look through that open ejection port cover.

In conclusion, this test was a complete farce, as is, I assume, the rest of the show. I assume that the impacts we see are just squibs being controlled by the guy on the computer.

33 thoughts on “Spike TV’s Not So Deadliest Warrior”

  1. Hang on a second- you can’t judge a whole show based on one segment, as you did with this quote:

    “In conclusion, this test was a complete farce, as is, I assume, the rest of the show.”

    That’s ridiculous. Most of the show involves bladed weapons being used on ballistic torsos and pig carcasses, something which is clearly not faked.

    Also, a lot of the legitimate tests appear to be cut out of the final episode and then shown in filler montages. I suspect they did a real test, but for some reason it didn’t look or sound good so they edited together a fake-looking montage with stock footage because it worked better on TV. Shows do things like that all the time, but it doesn’t actually prove that a REAL test wasn’t conducted for the purpose of data collection.

    Finally, why would they even fake a test like this? So they could rig it so the Taliban didn’t win on an American show? That might make sense, except in an earlier episode they tested Green Berets vs Spetznaz in a whole range of gun-related tests and the Spetznaz won. No way they’d let the Russians beat the Americans if it was all fixed.

    In conclusion, don’t judge a whole show based on one segment. You make a very convincing argument as to why this segment was bogus, but unless you can prove that all of their tests with ballistics gel and real meat and real bones with bladed/blunt melee weapons were also fake, your sweeping comments regarding the whole series are completely redundant.

    1. Mark

      The key word in that sentence is “assume”.

      I have no interest in watching the show after seeing that “test”, so I’m just going to assume that the rest of the show is as contrived. And, for that matter, lazily contrived, for they didn’t even bother to make it look real. I don’t even think they used different sounds for the weapons they fired. Obviously, their intended audience should have zero knowledge of the subject matter at hand.

      It might not be entirely contrived. But my assumption has a fairly solid basis in fact.

      As for a “real” test being conducted, there is no way that applying mud to the outside of the weapon as depicted in the show would cause a malfunction. With the ejection port cover closed, all the important parts of the weapon are kept free of debris. Check out this link if you’re unfamiliar with the weapon.

      I get it, you like the show. However, they did this to themselves – I’m just pointing out what’s obvious to me.

      1. No interest in seeing the show after one test? Wow, that’s not a narrow minded at all.

        The AR-15 still got the edge over AK-47 in that test, so it’s irrelevant if this part was staged.

        1. It was not a “test”. It was insight into how their minds work. They’re totally cool with lying to their viewers. I don’t waste my time with shows made by people like that.

    2. there were many ,many parts of the show that was even just plain stuped at some times in the show they showed the pirate vs the knight but on the tests they said the flintlock pistol cannot pierce the knights armor the grenade only bangs him a little but dont kill him and they didnt show the cutlass and the axe but it was obvious that they cannot harm the knight and all whats left is the blunderbuss with 50-50 chance to shot than shouldnt it be knight wins with at list 500 kills?
      the show contradict itself.

    3. Barring a chromosome deletion, anyone who has seen a single episode of that show knows it is akin to claiming Sesame Street is a realistic portrayal of everyday life. Some might require seeing an entire episode to figure this out, but a lot of people are intelligent enough to discern the difference.

      If you have any respectable knowledge of warfare, weaponry, military units, or are not completely retarded it precludes your ability to think any part of that show is not hogwash (as if comparing military special operations units from different countries with completely different roles, a la Spetsnaz and Green Berets, is not completely preposterous).

      Some of you people could benefit from getting away from Call of Duty and learning some real life information.

  2. Much as you may like this show Mark v it is utter fantasy trash and it’s no different than saying Man vs Wild really is a man against the wild as oppose to man staying in a hotel near the wild with the paramedics on hand.

    The very idea of pitting each of the groups or individuals against each other and coming up with a clear winner is crazy. This is a show purely for teenage and college kids who like nothing better than playing Facebooks Pirates vs Ninjas.

  3. Scoti, Mark V is right. The test was a sham, but in reality, the AK-47 is less accurate and has poorer stopping power than the AR-15 and its Colt Commando successors, the M16, M733 and M4. Anyone who saw the Green Beret vs. Spetsnaz episode could have deduced that.

    And BTW, Deadliest Warrior is NOT pure fantasy trash! I should know, I’m a weapons historian.

    1. the fact that they bring real weapons doesnt say that they know what they are doing i found so many errors on this show that it just made me laugh it looks good and sounds good but instead a reallity show it should called fantasy show.
      by the way i have tryed to look if the pepole they call champions or experts are really what they claim they are and i never found any real result for who this guys are and if they are really champions they shoul be really easy to find!

  4. I like the show, it’s fun. But I can’t see taking it too seriously. It is very much like playing Pirates versus Ninjas. I can laugh at some of the things they say and do and I enjoy the fight scenes, as staged as they are.
    One can actually occasionally learn something from the show, but it is mostly a pure entertainment show designed solely for the “Dude, a Viking would totally kick a Samurai’s ass” discussions over pizza and beer.
    I do appreciate those that can point out the discrepancies in the show. I know nothing about guns and appreciate the comments from those that do. But I still like the show:)

  5. I want to point out that these kinds of test havebeen done to AK-47’s so the data’s out there if your right and they faked it. (which I’m not convinced of)

    1. How much more convincing do you need? The safety of the AK-47 was on when a gunshot was heard. The rifle cannot fire on safe. Nor can an AR-15 fire, eject a case, and load a new round without the ejection port cover opening.

  6. This show is fun for sh!ts and giggles, but anyone with common sense (and a little firearms knowledge) knows their firearm comparisons (and probably the “experts” they have doing the firing, like their Taliban “expert” who had no qualms about aiming a supposedly loaded RPG at the camera crew) are total crocks.

    In the long run, I think this show might fare better if they stick to comparisons like Spartans vs Samurai, in which case their tests do seem to be SOMEWHAT legit.

    Either you’re blind or just dumb as a rock, because… No, wait, on second thought even a rock is smart enough to see from these pics how fake this “test” was.

  7. That’s not my problem with the show. Desmoulins has admitted that they cut through a lot of the science for the sake of TV.

    It’s the silliness of a lot of the assumptions. See the recent episode between Capone and James. They compared a Winchester to a pineapple grenade. They assumed that the Winchester, firing from a good distance, was better than the grenade because the grenade takes five seconds. They also seriously argued that a quickdrawing revolver is better than a tommygun.

    Both of these arguments are, well, insane. They would imply that 20th century technology should be abandoned, that automatic weapons and thrown explosives are worthless.

    The point is that the James guys won’t get to draw. They will be being cut down by automatic fire. And the grenade will take down, SIMULTANEOUSLY, around corners, with no ability to escape or move or get around cover, many people, in a way that a rifle can’t match. It’s insane.

    1. No, they said the Winchester was better because it killed all four targets in the same amount of time it took the grenade to go off. And the grenade only killed three of the targets.

      Only one of the commentators felt the revolver was better than the Tommy gun. It didn’t matter, the Tommy gun still got the edge, and it got the most kills of the all the weapons in that episode.

      Put simply, the James gang were better marksmen. And Capone himself wasn’t a good fighter.

    2. i agree completly with the fact this show is kind of fake and matching a grenade to a rifle is comparing a bow to a sword thay got a completly diffrent uses on the battlefield.
      and maybe the idea that the one that will draw first will kill first really makes sense but as far as they say they tested a “world champion” gunslinger agianst that wierd old guy…….

  8. No, I was wrong. The show has lost any and all credibility it *might* (keyword) have had when they compared a hand axe, a melee weapon, to a ballista, a SIEGE ENGINE, in the Atilla the Hun/Alexander the Great episode.

    1. Did you happen to notice the weapon category? SPECIAL WEAPONS. Two completely different weapons are usually compared against each other in the Special Weapons category.

      1. They were a bit too different in this case. They compared a weapon for hand to hand combat against another man to a siege machine designed to attack structures and large formations. That’s like comparing an M9 bayonet to the main gun on an Abrams tank. Both are designed for completely different, unrelated uses.

  9. The mistakes and completely dishonest demonstrations on this show make Mythbusters and Wikipedia look entirely credible, but I can’t deny loving the gore with bladed weapons. Not a show I’d pay to watch, but it’s more entertaining and interesting than most other shows.

  10. I like the part when they compare an Early Middle-Age Viking to a 16th century Samurai, despite several centuries separating them. Also, when they make an Apache hunter-gatherer beat a Gladiator, a dedicated, hardened, professional fighter.

    This show is a joke.

  11. I know it’s been a while since this was posted – but the pictures aren’t available any more. Any chance of them coming back up, or is it down for good?

  12. This show is such complete bullshit. I just finished watching the US Rangers Vs. the North Korean version of the blackops. I mean, that in and of itself should tell you who would win. The Rangers are good, but they’re no specops troops. And the tests they did seemed completely messed up. Apparently martial arts are at a standoff with barfights. I swear it seemed like they decided to make the Rangers win because they didn’t want to offend anybody by making the commies vicotrious.
    But the episode that really failed–and i mean hard–was the Waffen SS Vs. the Vietcong. Now, I don’t know as much about the Vietcong, but I know they screwed up with the Germans. first, they decided to make the standard weapon for the Germans the MP-28, which was developed in 1928, and whose production was discontinued in 1936. The weapon never even saw action in WWII(likewise the Mauser C96 was developed in 1896, and by WWII the Germans were using Walther P38’s as standard issue sidearms). a more realistic choice of primary weapon would have been the MP40, or most probably for the SS, the StG44.
    But it get worse. As any REAL WWII historian knows, the standard German infantry weapon was and only was, the Mauser KAR98K rifle. No SMG’s, no Pistols. It was generally only Officers and NCO’s who used Sub-machine guns and Pistols in the German army, contrary to popular belief which is formed by the countless amounts of unauthentic WWII movies and Video ganes in which all German soldiers are running around with MP40’s and Lugers (which though was not standard issue, would still have been more realistic than the Mauser).
    The other weapons that the cast decided to grant the Waffen S.S. made me cry inside. First of all, the FlammenWerfer 41 (though the standard German flamethrower was the 42), was not very realistic. Yes, though a flamethrower would have been useful in a jungle, combat squads were rarely given flamethrowers. I thought that I was going to be seeing the Vietnamese getting cut to ribbons by something like an MG42. I was wrong. Second, was the fact that both squads were using AP Mines. I mean, of course, neither squads were supplied grenades, but they had AP mines to use all over the place.

  13. you all need a life, seriously your going to complain about a show, then just don;t watch it jesus, god us made us to have an opinion not to be an ass about a show maybe some of us actually like, fucking douche bags

    1. Unknown, whether you like the show or not, this segment was faked, and I have provided incontrovertible proof to this effect.

  14. For those of you saying we’re taking the show too seriously, I would point out that the show tries very hard to convince it’s viewers that it is legitimate and even scientifically rigorous, and that many of them believe it. That’s reason enough to hate it for all the bullshit it pulls.

    I knew there was something fishy with a lot of the firearms, but I’m no expert there. They really screwed up the non-firearm tests as well. They used what was basically fake chain mail in the William Wallace and Centurion episodes. Butted Mail is just rings bent together, it doesn’t have rivets holding them in place or anything like real mail did. Consequently, it will fly to pieces if you so much as hit it with a stick.

    In the Samurai Viking episode, they also attempted to convince the audience that you can break the arm of a man by hitting the shield they’re holding with a large club. I invite anyone to test that on me. Then in the Spartan episode, they apparently changed their mind… even though the Greek hoplon was strapped directly to the arm, making the arm absorb shock, if anything, *MORE* directly. I’ve been a history buff for years, and I expected so much from this show, but it couldn’t even offer me the illusion of credibility.

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