Abstract We use a simple hard-core gas model to study the dynamics of small exploding systems. The system is initially prepared in a thermalized state in a spherical container and then allowed to expand freely into the vacuum. We follow the expansion dynamics by recording the coordinates and velocities of all particles until their last collision points (freeze-out). We have found that the entropy per particle calculated for the ensemble of freeze-out points is very close to the initial value. This is in apparent contradiction with the Joule experiment in which the entropy grows when the gas expands irreversibly into a larger volume.