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#### DURBANS

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Hey guys!

Ever since I was a kid, I had this "fantasy" that a bullet fired from a gun (that being either a pistol or a rifle) had sort of suuuuuuuuuper long reach, like, you could shoot a bullet and hit a target 10 miles away.

Of course, I know this isn't true now lol, but, still, I was wondering...

Say I want to shoot a target, with a Glock (let's focus on the medium Glocks, eg. G19), how far will it have to be for my shot to be "deadly"?

Also, I've always had this question... what happens if you shoot a round with the gun completely perpendicular to the ground (shooting a bullet "up" to the sky)? Will it "fly" out to space? Will it "come back down" at twice the speed and kill someone a few yards away from where the gun was shot?

#### Steve in Az

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a 9mm bullet, traveling at 1500fps (muzzle velocity) would travel about 2500yds before falling to the ground.(1.42 miles).

80% of the earths atmosphere is 10 miles up, so the bullet would never make it to "space"; and yes, a bullet falling to the earth could potentially kill someone.

How slow can a 9mm be going (fps) and still penetrate enough to be seriously dangerous? I don't know..300-400fps?

Terminal velocity (max speed reached when an object falls due to gravity/mass, etc): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_velocity

#### .38 super

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a 9mm bullet, traveling at 1500fps (muzzle velocity) would travel about 2500yds before falling to the ground.(1.42 miles).

80% of the earths atmosphere is 10 miles up, so the bullet would never make it to "space"; and yes, a bullet falling to the earth could potentially kill someone.

How slow can a 9mm be going (fps) and still penetrate enough to be seriously dangerous? I don't know..300-400fps?

Terminal velocity (max speed reached when an object falls due to gravity/mass, etc): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_velocity
Interesting thread...Just a question: how you position the barrel in this case - horizontal to the ground ( assuming a infinite flat line) and how far from it ?
As far as I know if you want to reach the further point from the muzzle, in long guns you have to position the barrel about 32-35 degrees to the ground...I'm assuming it is similar for a short barreled guns as pistols and so on...I am not completely sure if a 115gr bullet, shot straight up in the air will penetrate a bone...To punch trough skin it needs to travel with around 160-165fps, to brake a bone (skull) it should be around 215fps... I'm not very good with physics but will 115gr bullet accelerate on the way down to earth to 215fps, enough speed to brake a bone ? General question, you know...I perfectly understand that different bullets carry different kinetic energy...

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If the bullet is fired straight up, it will eventually stop. That will make it lose its spin and velocity. Coming back down it will reach a maximum terminal velocity which wouldn't be much. A bullet will never fall fast enough to kill someone from just the weight of it falling and reaching the terminal velocity.

I think mythbusters actually tested it.

#### .38 super

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If the bullet is fired straight up, it will eventually stop. That will make it lose its spin and velocity. Coming back down it will reach a maximum terminal velocity which wouldn't be much. A bullet will never fall fast enough to kill someone from just the weight of it falling and reaching the terminal velocity.

I think mythbusters actually tested it.
I think you're right, I remember Mythbusters but I was hoping someone will actually give us the approximate numbers of how fast the bullet will fly back... It is completely different story if you angle the barrel because after the highest point of the trajectory the bullet will still cary some ke, will accelerate in the fall down

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If the bullet is fired straight up, it will eventually stop. That will make it lose its spin and velocity. Coming back down it will reach a maximum terminal velocity which wouldn't be much. A bullet will never fall fast enough to kill someone from just the weight of it falling and reaching the terminal velocity.

I think mythbusters actually tested it.

Now here is something interesting??? If fired straight up what is going to happen first. The bullet will reach its apex and start falling back down or the bullet will stop spinning. It would be kinda neat to think the bullet looses all forward momentum and start to fall while still spinning.

#### 125K9

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Durbans, my friend, you'd best back down on those cocoa leaves a bit and maybe forgo that purple haze for awhile.:dunno:

Hey guys!

Ever since I was a kid, I had this "fantasy" that a bullet fired from a gun (that being either a pistol or a rifle) had sort of suuuuuuuuuper long reach, like, you could shoot a bullet and hit a target 10 miles away.

Of course, I know this isn't true now lol, but, still, I was wondering...

Say I want to shoot a target, with a Glock (let's focus on the medium Glocks, eg. G19), how far will it have to be for my shot to be "deadly"?

Also, I've always had this question... what happens if you shoot a round with the gun completely perpendicular to the ground (shooting a bullet "up" to the sky)? Will it "fly" out to space? Will it "come back down" at twice the speed and kill someone a few yards away from where the gun was shot?

#### kalifornia

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what altitude could a 19 bullets reach?

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#### nastytrigger

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I need to get out my "Understanding Firearm Ballistics" book. There's so many figures and math in that book relating to the given topic. Great book!

#### Dexters

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If the bullet is fired straight up, it will eventually stop. That will make it lose its spin and velocity. Coming back down it will reach a maximum terminal velocity which wouldn't be much. A bullet will never fall fast enough to kill someone from just the weight of it falling and reaching the terminal velocity.

I think mythbusters actually tested it.

Did they test for head or body impact?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire
A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet, and shoulders.[6] In the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, about two people die and about 25 more are injured each year from celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve, the CDC says.[3] Between the years 1985 and 1992, doctors at the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, treated some 118 people for random falling-bullet injuries. Thirty-eight of them died.[7] Kuwaitis celebrating in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War by firing weapons into the air caused 20 deaths from falling bullets.[7

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode50

#### jimjc

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All the info google "bullet trajectory and ballistics" How deadly it wiil be depends on where you hit a person, hit him through his eye the bullet doesn`t have to be traveling that fast to be deadly hit him in his toe you will not have much luck no matter how fast it`s going :>)

#### Sonnytoo

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Did they test for head or body impact?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire
A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet, and shoulders.[6] In the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, about two people die and about 25 more are injured each year from celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve, the CDC says.[3] Between the years 1985 and 1992, doctors at the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, treated some 118 people for random falling-bullet injuries. Thirty-eight of them died.[7] Kuwaitis celebrating in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War by firing weapons into the air caused 20 deaths from falling bullets.[7

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode50
Yes, this kind of accidental death happens...also in the U.S., every New Year's Eve. A falling object can achieve a terminal velocity of approx 140 mph, whether a skydiver or a rock, and that is plenty fast enough to give you a very bad day when it hits you.
S2

#### G26S239

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I need to get out my "Understanding Firearm Ballistics" book. There's so many figures and math in that book relating to the given topic. Great book!
:thumbsup: I have a copy of that book. Rinker put a lot into it.

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I learned back in 8 th grade physics that an object dropped from a height would accelerate at 32 feet per second every second. Air friction would slow it down until it reaches a maximum velocity.

Would a bullet fired directly down from, say, 30,000 feet, accelerate due to gravity or slow down due to air friction. Then you have air density to take into account, as air density and air friction would decrease with altitude.

#### Tom P

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Freefalling Bullets
Here is something which Dropzone.com readers may find interesting. This
write-up comes from something I did several years ago, which I discussed on
an aviation forum at the time. I'm posting it here for skydivers to read,
enjoy and comment upon.

Every July 4th and New Year's Eve, the subject of people shooting guns into
the air comes up for debate. On such holiday occassions, there is sometimes
a news story of someone being killed by "falling bullets", and policemen
parking their patrol cars under bridges to avoid the deluge. The discussion
surrounding this practice centers around the danger to people who may be hit
by descending bullets.

There is a great deal of disagreement over the speed of a freefalling bullet
and its ability to kill someone. Opinions on freefall speed vary from
anywhere between 100 to 400 mph! Some guesses are just "gut instincts" and
some were from sophisticated computer ballistics programs. There were also
some descriptions from "Hatcher's Notebooks" - Hatcher was an Army officer
that did numerous experiments with guns and ammunition. Well, I conducted a
personal experiment once, which may shed some direct light on this subject!

I am a skydiver with over 4,000 jumps experience, and I'm also an
experienced shooter. I combined these two interests in an, admittedly very
unscientific, experiment. I wanted to estimate the freefall speeds of
various bullets by taking them out of an airplane with me on a skydive,
releasing them in freefall, and seeing which direction they went, up or
down, relative to my own 120 mph terminal velocity.

The four bullets in the experiment, and their weights, were:

#1 .22 rimfire, 25 grains
#2 .223, 55 grains
#3 9mm, 115 grains
#4 .45, 230 grains

Note: a grain is a unit of weight with 437.5 grains to an ounce.

This provided a wide range of weights, sizes and shapes for comparison. As I
prepared to exit the plane, I pinched the .22 bullet between the index
finger and thumb of my left hand, the .223 likewise in my right hand, the
9mm cupped in the palm of my left hand by the outside three fingers, and
finally, the .45 cupped likewise in my right hand. The plan was to release
the bullets one at a time, from lightest to heaviest, and observe their
freefall velocity. Freefall from 13,500 feet provides 70 seconds of working
time, with the first 12 seconds used to accelerate to 120 mph, at which time
my freefall acceleration tops-out at 120 mph and increases no further. This
would allow a good 10 seconds to observe each bullet in turn as it was
released.

I spotted myself over the middle of a very large, wide open, uninhabited
field, exited the plane and assumed a face-to-earth body position. I waited
12 seconds to reach my terminal velocity of 120 mph, held out my left hand
in front of me, and opened up my index finger and thumb and released the .22
25-grain bullet. The bullet rose "up" rapidly relative to my own 120 mph
speed. It took only about two seconds for it to disappear out of sight above
me.

Next I stuck out my right hand into the solid air in front of me (avoiding
the low pressure over my back) and released the .223, 55-grain bullet. It
too rose "up", but not quite as fast as the .22.

Third, I released the 9mm, 115-grain bullet. Likewise, it too rose up and
vanished out of sight above me, but took much longer than the first two
bullets. It's rise was fairly slow.

Finally (I'm really having fun now!) I released the .45, 230-grain bullet.
This one stayed with me in perfect synchronization with my 120 mph fall. I
actually flew in formation with it for about 20 seconds! It was tumbling
end-over-end wildly and the nose and tail were just a blur, while the center
appeared solid to my vision.

At this point, I tracked horizontally to get out from under these four
falling bullets, opened my parachute, and floated back down to the landing
area with a big smile on my face, thinking about the interesting results.

My conclusion, based upon actual freefall with these projectiles, is:

Speed of .22, 25-grain - about 60-80 mph
Speed of .223, 55-grain - about 80-100 mph
Speed of 9mm, 115-grain - about 100-110 mph
Speed of .45, 230-grain - 120 mph

There you have it: direct observation evidence. The folks with the ballistic
programs had me believing 300 mph, until now. Hatcher concluded a speed of
200 mph for .30 caliber 150 grain bullets, but this was computed based upon
math using the initial muzzel velocity and the time it took bullets to
return to earth. My experiment is not very scientific, but I believe what I
see with my own eyes.

One flaw in my test is that I was unable to spin-stabilize the bullets, in
the manner in which they would be oriented if fired from a gun. So the
terminal velocity of a bullet tumbling end-over-end may be different from
that of a bullet which is spin-stabilized in freefall, falling nose or tail
first.

The Army considers 60-foot-pounds of energy the amount necessary to produce
a disabling injury with a bullet. Even using Hatcher's speed of 200 mph,
that freefall speed would produce only 30 ft-lbs.

So, my conclusion is, contrary to popular myth, that if you are hit by a
falling bullet, it will not kill you. More likely, it's just going to sting
like hell. This does not apply to shots fired at an angle to produce an arc
trajectory, whereby much of the horizontal velocity is retained by the time
the bullet reaches the ground again.

Despite these conclusions, I am not encouraging anyone to go out and shoot
their guns straight up into the air!

#### G26S239

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Interesting post Tom P. Thanks.

#### Tom P

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I should really cite my source.

Your gonna have to register to get to the post. If interested, register on dropzone.com and search "freefalling bullets" in the forums. Post is by "JohnRich"

Tom

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Did they test for head or body impact?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire
A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet, and shoulders.[6] In the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, about two people die and about 25 more are injured each year from celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve, the CDC says.[3] Between the years 1985 and 1992, doctors at the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, treated some 118 people for random falling-bullet injuries. Thirty-eight of them died.[7] Kuwaitis celebrating in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War by firing weapons into the air caused 20 deaths from falling bullets.[7

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode50
I have a feeling the bullets that are killing people are still stabilized, therefore able to reach s higher terminal velocity. This could happen if the gun was shot out at an angle and not straight up.

Cool test with the freefall! That must have been fun. And also the data seems to show that a bullet falling end over end would not have sufficient velocity to kill a human. Possibly injure.

#### kaifs

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I think you're right, I remember Mythbusters but I was hoping someone will actually give us the approximate numbers of how fast the bullet will fly back... It is completely different story if you angle the barrel because after the highest point of the trajectory the bullet will still cary some ke, will accelerate in the fall down
I bet Mexican government will prove you otherwise . traditionally shooting up in to the air and at times bullets will fall out of the skies and actually injure AND kill people. Accidents at the Weddings...

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