Watching the bullet hit the target.


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Peter M. Eick
August 12, 2007, 02:14 PM
I know we have discussed this on and off over the years but I had to comment. Today was about perfect to see my 22lr's as they traveled to hit the target at 100 yards. I was shooting a varmint grade 22lr and had a 14 power scope set up. It was about 100 degrees and a good 3 to 7 mph gusty wind. The sun was mostly overhead and the rounds were federal 40 grn lead.

Basically you could pick up the bullet in the scope at about 25 yrds and watch it travel the whole way into the paper. I was using a 200 yard prone small bore target so the shine on the bottom of the bullet was very obvious against the black target. It was interesting that you could tell by 50 yrds if the round was going to land in the group or off to the side. It was also interesting that shooting without flags you could see the wind swirling the bullet during the trajectory prior to impact and before you could feel the gust back at the bench.

I was really impressed!

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CDignition
August 12, 2007, 02:16 PM
You can see bullet trace when spotting for other shooters... You need to be fairly close to them, and looking thru a scope or Binos. but you can see it(looks like a vapor trail/Mirage disruption). I use it to call shots for guys, shooting 500/1000 yards.

byf43
August 12, 2007, 02:37 PM
Spotting for a fellow shooter with his Winchester 94 in .44 magnum and seeing that big hunk of copper dropping onto the target for the first time will make you go. . . .:what:!

When you call a shot for a shooter, and the bullet hasn't even hit the target yet, will cause the shooter to doubt you.

Then, swap places with the shooter and let him see the projectiles from his rifle in flight.:D

Peter M. Eick
August 12, 2007, 02:48 PM
That is what I noticed. I could call the shot before it hit! I was watching them drop in thinking, shoot, there is a little gust between 75 and 100 that will push it 1/2" out. Or when you get a good gust and you could say that will be 2" out and low right. It was need to call them "in the air" so to speak!

MaterDei
August 12, 2007, 02:52 PM
I'm going to have to try this. I used to enjoy watching artillery shells travel down range when I was in the Army. Of course, I couldn't see the target. ;)

koja48
August 12, 2007, 03:11 PM
I can consistently pick-up subsonic .22s in the scope, but haven't seen faster rounds . . . 'course, the old eyes aren't what they used to be, either. that would be awesome to watch, however.

alucard0822
August 12, 2007, 03:13 PM
22s are hard for me to see, but 12ga slugs and 45-70 look like a rock thrown really really fast. They are so easy too see, that if someone back in the heyday of 45-70 shot at you and missed, at long distances over open ground, you could probably sucessfully dodge any other shots the guy tried, as long as you paid close attention.

GRIZ22
August 12, 2007, 03:36 PM
The larger and slower the round is the easier it is to see.

ctdonath
August 12, 2007, 03:50 PM
Only twice have I seen the bullet trail - impressive, a linear mirage. Wouldn't consider it reliable for prediction yet.

I _have_ seen bullets hit targets. They splatter wonderfully on non-reactive steel, giving no question as to the actual impact point.

koja48
August 12, 2007, 04:01 PM
If I could chamber something to fire a 60's vintage VW Bug, I may have a chance to see this yet . . .

oneshooter
August 12, 2007, 04:27 PM
If you want to see projectiles in flight then visit a BPCR match! Nothing like seeing 20-30 large lead bullets in the air at one time!!:D

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

hank327
August 12, 2007, 04:45 PM
It's pretty easy to see .22 rimfire rounds in flight if the conditions are right and you are shooting at long (for a .22) range. Kinda like watching an arrow in flight. :)

While in the service, I have watched 8" and 155 mm artillery rounds go down range. It's an impressive sight. As FDC chief for my mortar platoon, I got to see 81 mm mortar rounds in flight all the time. Since the FDC was set up to the rear of the gun line, I was in the perfect position to pick up the rounds in flight about 100 meters out of the gun tubes. I could watch them fly all the way up to what seemed like the apogee of their flight. I would lose sight of them once they tipped over and started back down towards the target.

U.S.SFC_RET
August 12, 2007, 05:01 PM
A Streak of 22 CB Short lead. Its amazing and You don't really need a scope.

Jim Watson
August 12, 2007, 06:32 PM
Sitting almost straight behind a Long Range Highpower shooter with a spotting scope, you can usually see the "trace" of the bullet. That is a "wake" of distortion from the air shockwave of the supersonic bullet's passage. If the light is right you can sometimes see a glint off the base of the bullet.

Or if you overdrive a fragile bullet, the fragments are sometimes visible.

taliv
August 12, 2007, 07:45 PM
i have always been able to see that in my scope, but most of the experienced coaches can tell which ring the shot went into and obviously which direction. i can't seem to figure that part out. i lose the shot as it's heading in, and they all look like they're hitting the top of the board.

GunTech
August 12, 2007, 07:46 PM
take the spotting scope slightly out of focus and it helps see the vortex.

Peter M. Eick
August 12, 2007, 08:49 PM
I have to say that I am glad you all have seen these things also.

I have been trying to figure out how to get a movie of it, and all I could come up with is set the video camera up on a tripod at high magnification over my shoulder and see what I get.

Any suggestions?

byf43
August 12, 2007, 08:58 PM
A Streak of 22 CB Short lead. Its amazing and You don't really need a scope.



I bought some CCI Mini-Mags once that were so erratic (from shot to shot), that when shooting at 25 yds, it seemed like I could outrun those bullets.

JohnKSa
August 12, 2007, 09:02 PM
Video is problematic because it's not really continuous but is rather composed of several frames in a second. On its way to a 50 yard target, a .22LR bullet would have the chance to be visible in 3 or 4 frames.

I'd say: "Give it a try!", what have you got to lose?

Point it at the target & focus it about halfway downrange.

tasco 74
August 12, 2007, 09:14 PM
i've been to lots of ihmsa matches to spot for my friend when he was shooting steel animals. it is fun to watch a big bore bullet fall into a black steel ram at 200 yards. i got so i could see almost every bullet before it hit the target. then watch it fall over an a couple secs later hear the clang. great fun!

Howard Roark
August 12, 2007, 09:18 PM
The History channel did a piece on the "Magnum". They filmed at Ft. Benning for a portion of it. A friend of mine was gun plumber for the AMU and was present for most of the filming. They were shown the bullet trace and got it on tape. They said it was the first time trace has ever been filmed.

Regolith
August 12, 2007, 09:33 PM
In order to get a bullet on video, you'd either need to have 1) lots of luck, or 2) a highspeed camera. By high speed, I mean several hundred frames per second or faster.

sacp81170a
August 12, 2007, 10:13 PM
If I could chamber something to fire a 60's vintage VW Bug, I may have a chance to see this yet . . .

It was called the New Jersey and sported 16 inch guns... :neener:

(Well, maybe the shell wasn't the same size as a VW, but it weighed about the same...) :D

Exposure
August 12, 2007, 11:04 PM
GunTech nailed it.

Take your spotting scope just enough out of focus so things are starting to look blurry.

The wake of the bullet will be clearly visible. Not as the bullet itself, but as a disturbance in the slightly blurred view through your spotting scope. You will need probably 300 yards to see this on a regular basis when you first start. But a little bit of practice and you will pick it out every time. The best ones are at 500 yards plus where you can watch this little shimmer in the air sail all the way down to the point of impact.

I have found humid weather really aids in watching the rounds on their way to the target although I am not sure why. No matter though as it is very cool!

GRIZ22
August 13, 2007, 01:37 AM
If I could chamber something to fire a 60's vintage VW Bug, I may have a chance to see this yet . . .

I had an opportunity to see many artillery rounds fired in Vietnam both at the gun and near the impact. An 8" howitzer round is pretty easy to see. A 16'" round from the New Jersey weighs more than the VW but is easier to see than the 8".

MisterPX
August 13, 2007, 02:35 AM
Something easy to see is 9mm.
Shoot at night with a taclight, or a spotlight in line with teh shooter, and watch teh bumblebees. Use a MG, and it's almost like a laser light show.

jacobhh
August 13, 2007, 03:14 AM
The 5" RAP rounds were easy to see in Vietnam too.
At Max Ord the projectile's rocket motor would ignite
and it would actually accelerate leaving a vapor trail.

You lost half your explosive to the rocket, but the enemy
was surprised when they had to run an extra 9 miles just
when they thought they were out of range.

Swampy
August 13, 2007, 07:20 AM
Guys,

Watching bullet trace is something done as a matter of course in an Across the Course Highpower match. When spotting and scoring for a shooter at the 600 line you can watch trace on every shot. After a while you get good enough to predict where the spotter will be even before the target comes back up with the proof.

Watching the trace arc way up high into the target image then come back down toward the middle where it ends gives you a good appreciation of the real trajectory our rifle bullets have.

In a Highpower Team Match, where coaching is allowed in the 200 and 300 yard rapid fire events, the coach sets his scope up directly behind and over the shooters position. By watching trace he can yell out feedback on the location of each rapid fire shot to the shooter as he's firing.

Best regards,
Swampy

Garands forever

cracked butt
August 13, 2007, 10:12 AM
You can actually easily see the bullet from a 22 or shotgun slug through a scope, with higher velocity stuf you can see the vapor trail.


For a .22, its easist to see if the sun is at your back and you are shoting longer ranges 150+yards as the bullet really slows down at that point.

30Cal
August 13, 2007, 12:16 PM
The History channel did a piece on the "Magnum". They filmed at Ft. Benning for a portion of it. A friend of mine was gun plumber for the AMU and was present for most of the filming. They were shown the bullet trace and got it on tape. They said it was the first time trace has ever been filmed.

Seriously? They must not have ever tried before. I've done it by holding my miniDV camcorder in front of a Kowa spotting scope. Set the focus for the scope about 2/3rds of the way to the target.

High humidity (rain) is the best condition.

Ty

BigG
August 13, 2007, 12:51 PM
You can see 38 Specials shooting at 50 ft range if the sun is behind you.

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