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Bullet Path

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by CCF, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. CCF


    Jan 13, 2006
    Broken Arrow, OK
    I was watching a video where the guy said he wanted to be a little low @ 5 yards so it would be dead-on at more typical ranges. Without regards to the typical self-defense shooting range, does a bullet "rise" after 5 yards (out of a handgun...or even a rifle)?

    I assumed it came straight out & did a slow drop, but I'm no physics major, or better yet, an ammo guru. Please give me the low-down.

  2. I doubt the 5 yard 'low' is noticable.

    Running the numbers on a 9mm/147gr XTP/1000fps, zero range at 25 yards; it'll shoot low about 0.2" to 0.3" at 5 yards in order to have 0.0" drop at 25 yards. The 'low' number is directly related to sight/optics height.

    As an example, if the height of the sight is 0.5", the bullet starts 0.5" low at muzzle and rises to ~0.2" low at 5 yards. At 20 yards the bullet is almost <0.1" high, at 50 yards the XTP will drop to ~1.8".

    Bob :cowboy:

  3. CCF


    Jan 13, 2006
    Broken Arrow, OK
    So, if I'm understanding you, a bullet truly does, indeed, rise out of the muzzle (at least a little bit, depending on caliber/bullet, etc.), correct?
  4. English


    Dec 24, 2005
    It only rises relative to the sight line. The barrel has to be angled up relative to the sights so the bullet comes from below the sight line, crosses it at some distance then falls back below it at some other distance. You can adjust the bullets track relative to the sight line by adjusting the sights but the bullet is allways falling from the moment it leaves the barrel just as a ball thrown into the air is always falling from the moment it leaves the hand. The confusion is between its acceleration and its direction.

  5. Randy from Kansas

    Randy from Kansas

    Mar 3, 2009