Would a bullet travel farther in a vacuum?


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ehanger
July 21, 2011, 12:21 AM
If you fired a rifle at a perfectly horizontal angle (zero degrees), would the bullet travel farther if there was a vacuum?

On one hand you have air resistance slowing the bullets horizontal velocity, which would serve to decrease the total distance traveled, but then at the same time the air beneath the bullet would act as a cushion slowing its vertical descent, which would increase the total distance traveled.

I'm guessing that the bullet would travel farther in a vacuum, because if you take an object moving at supersonic speeds in the X dir and only a small fraction of that speed in the Y dir (falling speed), the force of air resistance is doing much more to slow the bullet down horizontally than vertically. In other words air resistance is hindering the bullet more than it is helping.

Any physicists here care to explain?

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gathert
July 21, 2011, 12:26 AM
I'm going with a yes on this one. Gravity is constant, but air resistance would seem to be the difference maker.

ants
July 21, 2011, 12:30 AM
the air beneath the bullet would act as a cushion slowing its vertical descentNo, the air above the bullet pushes down on the bullet, speeding up its vertical descent.




Well, if everyone else can make up a dumb theory, so can I. :p

ants
July 21, 2011, 12:33 AM
Fired horizontally to the plane of the earth:

The only thing decelerating the bullet is air drag, until the bullet hits its target.

Gravity is actually accelerating the bullet downward, just as it accelerates all falling objects.

THplanes
July 21, 2011, 12:35 AM
If you fired a rifle at a perfectly horizontal angle (zero degrees), would the bullet travel farther if there was a vacuum?

On one hand you have air resistance slowing the bullets horizontal velocity, which would serve to decrease the total distance traveled, but then at the same time the air beneath the bullet would act as a cushion slowing its vertical descent, which would increase the total distance traveled.

I'm guessing that the bullet would travel farther in a vacuum, because if you take an object moving at supersonic speeds in the X dir and only a small fraction of that speed in the Y dir (falling speed), the force of air resistance is doing much more to slow the bullet down horizontally than vertically. In other words air resistance is hindering the bullet more than it is helping.

Any physicists here care to explain?

Fire two bullets, one in a vacuum and the other in air. Discounting the curvature of the earth, the bullets would hit the ground at the same time. The bullet fired into air will have lost a great deal of velocity due to friction with the air, while the bullet in the vacuum will have lost no velocity. The the bullet in a vacuum goes much further.

BeerSleeper
July 21, 2011, 12:35 AM
Farther. Assuming a bullet fired horizontally (at 90 degrees to your gravity vector), the effect of air resistance on the vertical component of the bullets velocity is insignificant in comparison to the effect of air resistance on the horizontal component of it's velocity.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 12:36 AM
Yes the bullet would travel farther, brace a gun in a vice on the salt flats, fire one shot, then suck all the air out of the atmosphere, fire another shot, the second will go farther. The reasoning is pretty simple, they both fall at the same speed, regardless of air, because the resistance due to air along the "down" axis is going to be small enough to ignor completely for a bullet. If we were talking feathers then there might be something to consider in that respect, but terminal velocity for a bullet is fairly high compared to that of a feather.

The reason the second would go farther is because it will not bleed off velocity due to friction with the air, known as drag. If it takes off at 3000 ft/s, it will still be going that fast when it hits the dirt.

I believe this is explained better by saying if you shoot a bullet horizontally and drop another next to the barrel, they both hit the ground (assuming it's flat) at the same time.

303tom
July 21, 2011, 12:38 AM
Sounds like a Myth Buster thing !

JohnBiltz
July 21, 2011, 12:39 AM
Look to the 6.5 Grendel for the answer. It flies so well because the shape is so efficient. With no air every bullet would be like that only better, a lot better.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 12:39 AM
hmm, does make me wonder though, if you fired them off the edge of a cliff horizontally, giving time for air friction to take it effect,,,, *scribble scribble* I'll get back to you.

Amb
July 21, 2011, 12:52 AM
Yes the bullet would travel farther, brace a gun in a vice on the salt flats, fire one shot, then suck all the air out of the atmosphere, fire another shot, the second will go farther.

if it's all the same to you, I'd rather you did the second shot on the Moon. I'm rather fond of breathing.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 12:54 AM
^--maybe you don't deserve air if can't see the need to sacrifice ourselves in the name of SCIENCE!!! hahaha j/k

ehanger
July 21, 2011, 01:14 AM
On earth, any object in free fall will be slowed by air resistance. If it falls for long enough it will stop accelerating due to the effect of terminal velocity. Bullets when fired from a gun are in free fall (accelerating downwards) despite the extremely high horizontal velocities. You could take two bullets held at the same height, drop one from your hand and fire the other from a gun at 1000's of ft/s and they would both hit the ground at the exact same time.

If you take those same two bullets and drop one in a vacuum and the other in an atmosphere, the bullet in a vacuum will hit the ground first (assuming the same force of gravity). When you drop something there is the acceleration due to gravity but also the deceleration due to air resistance. As an object accelerates downwards the force of gravity remains constant but the force of air resistance rises exponentially. Eventually, the force of air resistance cancels out the force of gravity. When this happens the object stops accelerating and falls at a fixed speed (terminal velocity). Any changes in the shape or density of the object as it falls will affect its terminal velocity.

What I'm saying is that air resistance doesn't only slow a bullet down horizontally, it also slows it down vertically. If there wasn't any air resistance, bullets would drop much faster than they currently do. But as most people know they would also retain their muzzle velocities even at long range.

Iramo94
July 21, 2011, 01:15 AM
We actually could do an experiment about this. Using very accurate clocks, drop a bullet in air, then drop the bullet from the same height in a vacuum chamber. That accounts for the Y-axis drag. I would assume that is so small that it is within the inaccuracy of the clock. Then, on a small scale, shoot a gun at sea level, and again on a plateau a few hundred feet up. There's nature's vacuum for you! Do a few different shots at different altitude, then graph them and expand the line until air pressure = zero. If the line is anything but vertical (or horizontal if you ride that bus), the vacuum wins. I would guess the vacuum does win, because I play mountain golf courses one club shorter than sea level courses.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 01:18 AM
wow, this is tricky, I'm getting old and my differential equations is a little rusty, I think I'm onto something here though with the cliff analogy. Assuming a ~230gr bullet with a mussle velocity of ~990fps (staying away from supersonic problems if you don't mind).

oerllikon
July 21, 2011, 01:21 AM
If you watch videos with a vacuum chamber, a feather and hammer dropped at the same time, hit the same time. I think the drop rate on anything is 32 ft per second per second. So theoretically, one bullet fired in a chamber, and one bullet fired in the atmosphere: The vacuum chamber one would hit the ground at the same velocity it started, and the one in atmosphere would hit the ground at a lower velocity.

Iramo94
July 21, 2011, 01:28 AM
with a feather, the answer is easy. The problem is that bullets are more like hammers than feathers. They are aerodynamic and have a good mass-to-surface area ratio. Has anyone ever done a vacuum to nonvacuum hammer drop comparison on video?

shiftyer1
July 21, 2011, 01:28 AM
nope an old kirby stopped a weak 38 round dead ;)

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 01:36 AM
the difference in bullet drop with or without air is negligable unless it drops far enough where friction will take an effect.

Sheepdog1968
July 21, 2011, 01:46 AM
in the ballpark for the Colorado Rockies, the air is thinner (mile high stadium). Basebals definately travel further and lots written about it. Read a book a decade ago called Physics of Baseball. Same stuff would apply to bullets.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 01:55 AM
guys, let's stay focused, your baseballs and atheletes are preforming better primarily do to a different gravitation force rather than the miniscule difference in air pressure. If you go high enough you get into what is called geosynchronous orbit, which is another matter entirely.. back to the regular programming.

I want to congradulate ehanger. Though the question seems benign in nature, when fired from normal benches, the vaccum will always carry the bullet further (and I thought this thread was going to be about space guns :D ) . You, ehanger, have however given me a mathematical puzzle that is going to keep me up this morning. All conventional means of solving this problem are trash, and I have to resort now to specific cases and whatnot to figure out which would go further if fired from atop a tall cliff or the top of a building. It seemed like such an innocent question, but the math to figure it out is chipping away at the physics part of my soul. I applaud your question, and if I do manage to scratch out an answer this morning I will be sure to post it. If I ever teach a physics class, I'm putting this question on the final. hehehe :D

Oathkeeper1775
July 21, 2011, 01:57 AM
Relatively speaking...there is no such occurrence where there isn't a vacuum of some level or degree in any environment, relative to the object(s) moving through or within them.

Zero pressure or negative vacuum? There are different degrees of vacuum. If a bullet is in an environment where there is enough vacuum; it could explode.

I can't back that up :D

gamestalker
July 21, 2011, 02:16 AM
Deffinitely not a myth buster thing, it is based on physical facts. If fired in a total vacume, in other words zero atmosphere, it will maintain the same velocity at the muzzle up until gravity has brought it to the ground. So trajectory is going to very different due to the absolute absence of drag. The bullet is going to get from point A being the muzzle, to point B in the same time frame. For the sake of all things being equal, the bullet is going to travel much farther without any atmosphere to drag on it, but that doesn't change the amount of time they take to contact the ground if both are released at the same time and from the same hight.
This kind of reminds me of an old bench rest shooter friend that engaged me in an argument about bullet rise. He was insistent that a bullet rises after leaving the muzzle and would hit the ground at a different time, than a bullet being dropped from the same exact hight from the ground. In all the years of loading and shooting with him I never was successful in educating him about trajectory, or the fact that the air pressures is equal on all sides of the spinning bullet because there is nothing about the shape of a bullet that provides any lift. To attain lift it requires higher air pressure on the under side of the bullet and lower air pressure on the top side of the bullet to create what is refered to as lift, which is accomplished by air foil. Very simple fact of the physics involved if one gives it just a minimal degree of thought.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 02:39 AM
okay, this is what I've got,, I can't do the math, but the time elapsed differentials are pointing to something clever. Over the first second, the bullets will both drop 4.9 meters, the one in air is a tad less but nothing to worry about without looking at a lot of decimal places. The one in air has slowed considerably, whilst the one in vaccume is still cruising at it's higher velocity. This first second gives the vaccum bullet enough of a lead that falling in a perfect parabola, the air bullet should never be able to catch it. In certain cases (oddly shapped bullets, something like a flying pin), the air bullet may catch it at some time after reaching terminal velocity, where it's curve will straighten a bit, but it will still be slowing down. In other words...

Look at time alone, at any time the one in vaccume will have a lead on the air bullet, but for enormous drops, the vaccum bullet will hit the ground sooner, but go out to infinity, and the air bullet hits a vertical asymtope, which means it has a maximum range, no matter how long you let it drop, and will at some point reach a vertical slope where it is just in free fall. The vaccum bullet doesn't have this threshold and will continue forward forever. So while the line comes closer around terminal velocity time, I don't think that the airborne bullet ever has a chance of outperforming the vaccum bullet. The equations are giving me a headache, but this is what I'm seeing. If you ever need a physicist, gimme a call ;)

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 02:41 AM
and there is no such thing as negative vaccum, oathkeeper, just fyi. Though creating a perfect vaccume poses a problem, even in space. Unless there is a hollow center filled with compressed air, I think the bullet is safe from explodies ;)

TenMillimaster
July 21, 2011, 02:48 AM
in components, the sum of forces in the x direction: Force friction from air due to motion in the x direcction. Thats it. (If it weren't for gravity and friction, the bullet would travel forever. ) IN the y direction (which determines range, which we're interested in.) you've got the force of gravity, negative, and technically, friction due to motion in air, positive.

Frictional forces resist the direction of movement. Because the bullet is traveling at a some initial velocity in the x direction, friction due to air resists this motion in the x direction. Because the bullet is accelerating downwards in the y direction, the friction due to air resists this movement by adding a slight force up.

I admit this isn't the best representation, because air is a fluid, not a solid surface.

Geckgo,maybe the drag equation here will solve your woes? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_(physics)#Drag_at_high_velocity here is much more suitable to find the forces at work.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 03:00 AM
already on top of it, but trying to put it together to solve this problem has pains of it's own. When you convert the drag equation (I got a velocity vs time equation from it) to find distance, it involves a horrible integral that I'm not doing out here. Even the velocity vs time equation is a mess, because using that simple drag equation for a changing velocity is a PITA. Thank you for the link, but I've got that part. You may have noticed all those arctangents, e exponents and such, those come out of the diffeq and integrations. The raw equations aren't enough for this problem I don't think.

Edit: If I had my big calculator, I could cheat and use the v(t) equation and fudge some bullet values into it, but my wimpy RadioShack calculator isn't really up to the task

10mmGlock
July 21, 2011, 07:57 AM
The simple answer is air friction is relevant to horizontal distance traveled. I did not take time to work the math, but as our planetary gravity accelerates objects equally at 32 feet per second2, the air friction on the vertical component is insignificant and can be ignored unless the bullet is falling several miles.

The first ballistic chart I Googled provides the solution.
A 50cal 750 gr A-Max fired at 2,800 feet per second slows to 1,565 FPS by 1,500 meters. It travels that distance in 2.35 seconds. Without air friction it would have traveled at the original 2,800 FPS for the same 2.35 seconds and covered 2,005 meters. Bullet drop remains the same -893 inches in either case.

1911Tuner
July 21, 2011, 08:00 AM
Simple Newtonian physics will provide the answer to this one.

It will travel farther in a vacuum.

An object in a constant state of motion will remain in a constant state of motion unless and until it encounters an outside force. Here, Newton is describing Conservation of Momentum. If no outside force is present, momentum will be conserved forever. Fired in outer space, away from the gravitational field of any massive object, and not influenced by atmosphere...the bullet will continue to travel at the speed it was moving at the instant it left the muzzle forever...unless it strikes something or falls under the gravitational influence of a stellar body.

Of course, that statement is purely theoretical, because even "empty" space has things in it, and sooner or later...the bullet will hit something. Even a speck of dust represents an outside force, and hitting that tiny spec of dust will change the bullet's speed and momentum. Over the course of a few million years, it could hit enough specks to destroy all the momentum that it had initially.

Fired in a vacuum, but in a gravity field...there is one outside force that still applies, but the other one...frictional resistance from the air...is missing. The bullet will travel farther.

Redlg155
July 21, 2011, 08:39 AM
Just curious, would there be enough oxygen in the cartridge casing to facilitate combustion? I would think so, since weapons can be fired underwater. However, if a weapon was fired in a vacuum, it would no longer be a vacuum since you have introduced outside factors into the atmospheric conditions...correct?- I am referring to man made conditions, and not space.

Husker_Fan
July 21, 2011, 08:42 AM
The question is one of lift and drag. Because the bullet is symmetrical, the air pressure on the top and bottom are the same. That means no lift in air, so a bullet in a vaccuum will go farther because there is no drag.

If the question was about a Frisbee being thrown in a vacuum, you'd get the opposite answer.

Loosedhorse
July 21, 2011, 09:41 AM
Well, is the vacuum made of metal, or a new-fangled plastic one? Either way, I think traveling through it will slow a bullet down.

;)

Back on topic, no air = no air-resistance.

Searcher4851
July 21, 2011, 10:04 AM
If you fired a rifle at a perfectly horizontal angle (zero degrees), would the bullet travel farther if there was a vacuum?

YES

kludge
July 21, 2011, 10:25 AM
Just curious, would there be enough oxygen in the cartridge casing to facilitate combustion?

Gunpowder doesn't need oxygen from the atmoshpere, it supplies it's own, usually using potassium nitrate (KNO3).

ants
July 21, 2011, 10:46 AM
Potassium Nitrate is a component in black gunpowder.

Modern smokeless gunpowder is Nitrocellusose (with Nitroglycerin if it is a double base powder).

ClickClickD'oh
July 21, 2011, 11:16 AM
guys, let's stay focused, your baseballs and atheletes are preforming better primarily do to a different gravitation force rather than the miniscule difference in air pressure. If you go high enough you get into what is called geosynchronous orbit, which is another matter entirely.. back to the regular programming.


Uh... yeah... That explains why alien rocket boosters are required to keep the moon in orbit around the planet.. since gravity clearly isn't doing it.

Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits have nothing to do with a lack of gravity and functions by matching the earths rotation period to the orbital velocity of the satellite. The higher altitude is required by simple principles which require an object at a fixed velocity to travel a longer circuit in order to return to the same position at the same time when compared to a slower object.

Now, that's not to say that the effect of gravitation doesn't decrease with distance, but not nearly at the rate you suggest. For example, Denver experiences 99.94% sea level gravity... while at the same time, only about 82% of the atmospheric density of sea level.

Air density is in fact the answer to why balls can be more readily hit further at higher altitude.

And to stay on topic, yes, a bullet fired in a vacuum will fly farther than one fired with atmo.


Slightly on topic, my favorite game quote ever:

""I dare to assume you ignorant jerkwads know that space is empty. Once you fire this hunk of metal, it keeps going until it hits something! That can be a ship, or the planet behind that ship. It might go off into deep space and hit somebody else in ten thousand years! If you pull the trigger on this you are ruining someone's day, somewhere and sometime!"

- Alliance Sergeant"

Tape
July 21, 2011, 01:51 PM
The bullet would go on forever at that speed until a larger object changes it's course if gravity is not present.

John_galt
July 21, 2011, 02:03 PM
Planning on moving to a vaccumm where they allow CCW?

Iramo94
July 21, 2011, 02:05 PM
The bullet would go on forever at that speed until a larger object changes it's course if gravity is not present.
For sake of arguement, no. Small objects can chip away at velocity too. Case and point, bullets slow down in air, which is millions (read: Trillions, Quadrillions, maybe more) of times smaller than the bullet.
Off topic: And for added fun, I am now officially announcing that it is in fact the bullet that stays stationary, and the planet that circles due to the explosion of the gun powder, moving the target towards the stationary bullet.

Hanshi
July 21, 2011, 02:31 PM
I would avoid vacuums if it were me.:D

roadchoad
July 21, 2011, 02:59 PM
YES.

Lock this thread before somone cramps a neuron!

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 07:32 PM
Air density is in fact the answer to why balls can be more readily hit further at higher altitude.

After researching, I stand corrected. Just goes to show that bad physics professors can plant seeds of misconception that last for years.

CapnMac
July 21, 2011, 08:07 PM
Well, if you really want to factor in air resistance, start with a perfectly cylindrical projectile.

Oh, and if you want to muddy this speculation up, recall that the time measurement used will be affected by whether the shot is spinward or anti-spinward with or without atmosphere.

Shienhausser
July 21, 2011, 09:37 PM
Why hasn't a space travel corporation ie. NASA fired guns in space. or have they?

Would love to see that. ".357 magnums in space.....with Buck Rogers..." The muzzle blast would be beautiful.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 09:49 PM
You can get "lift" out of a bullet trajectory if it is fired at a steep downward angle. Basically because of the same idea the op had. Might keep this in mind if plinking cans from the top of the grand canyon.

jerkface11
July 21, 2011, 09:52 PM
The best way to answer this is with another question. Does a bullet slow down along it's flight path? If so is air the reason why? The answer to both questions is yes so a bullet fired in a vacuum would go further.

HOOfan_1
July 21, 2011, 10:06 PM
Air density is in fact the answer to why balls can be more readily hit further at higher altitude.

After researching, I stand corrected. Just goes to show that bad physics professors can plant seeds of misconception that last for years.

Indeed, the difference in gravity between the highest point on the planet and the lowest point on the planet is basically negligible.

jmorris
July 21, 2011, 10:08 PM
I seem to remember a video from a moon landing show that a feather and something else (heavy) hit the ground at the same time when dropped.

In physics class they had a device (on earth) that would chunk a ball bearing out with a spring at the same time it dropped one out the bottom. They hit the floor at the same time but apart.

That being said if you fired a bullet in a vacuum, it would go further due to simple drag and pressure. I now wonder what powder burn rate charts would look like inside a vaccum.

PedalBiker
July 21, 2011, 10:10 PM
This kind of reminds me of an old bench rest shooter friend that engaged me in an argument about bullet rise. He was insistent that a bullet rises after leaving the muzzle and would hit the ground at a different time, than a bullet being dropped from the same exact hight from the ground. In all the years of loading and shooting with him I never was successful in educating him about trajectory, or the fact that the air pressures is equal on all sides of the spinning bullet because there is nothing about the shape of a bullet that provides any lift. To attain lift it requires higher air pressure on the under side of the bullet and lower air pressure on the top side of the bullet to create what is refered to as lift, which is accomplished by air foil. Very simple fact of the physics involved if one gives it just a minimal degree of thought.
gamestalker is offline

I had the same trouble with a guy at work. He just couldn't understand the fact that if you zero your scope for 200 yards and then shoot it "horizontally", you're not actually launching the bullet parallel to the line of sight represented by the scope axis, you're launching it "up" a tiny fraction.

There's also the matter of precession. The spin of the bullet changes the trajectory slightly. The bullet doesn't actually go "straight".

If a bullet doesn't go "up" beyond the close in zero how can it ever fall " back" for the second zero?

Most shooters use both sides of the parabola.

Geckgo
July 21, 2011, 10:11 PM
jmorris, interesting thought. The barrel would be in vacuum as well, you would probably see higher mussle velocities in a vacuum, also the ability to load "hotter." lol.

Taurus 66
July 21, 2011, 10:28 PM
Why there are so many who still cannot understand in their own minds "simple physics" about a "simplest most common-sensical understandings" in nature (a projectile's air resistance and gravity, etc) ... hasn't this topic already been discussed somewhere from long ago and is curently stored in archives?

Strykervet
July 21, 2011, 10:37 PM
Newton's Laws apply here.

1. In the vacuum of space, the bullet will travel indefinitely. As it accelerates due to the force of the charge, it will reach a velocity where it no longer accelerates (a short time after it exits the barrel). It will continue at this velocity forever, theoretically, or until it comes into contact with something that either stops it or slows it down, ie, another force. This could be from hitting dust for millions of years, or it could be from gravitational pull due to heavenly objects.

2. A vacuum on Earth. Here, gravity will pull the bullet down. The bullet, as long as there is no air resistance (its in a vacuum, right?) will continue at the x velocity indefinitely as the force in the negative y direction due to gravity pulls it down at 9.8m/s^2. So it would continue at that velocity until it hit the ground.

3. No vacuum on Earth. The same as in 2. except the air pressure acts as resistance against the bullet, further slowing it down in the x direction. They both drop in the y direction the same speed because the gravity force pulling them down is the same. The air resistance against a bullet in the y direction is negligble, but if you wanted to get REAL technical, I guess you could figure it in.

AKElroy
July 21, 2011, 10:38 PM
It will hit the ground at the exact instant it would have if it were dropped, fired in the atmosphere, or fired in a vaccuum. Without wind resistance, it will be traveling at a higher velocity forward when it strikies the ground, so it should cover more distance, but strike it it will in the same amount of time.

-v-
July 21, 2011, 11:13 PM
What everyone else said. It will continue on (assuming no gravity) indefinitely until it ruins someone's day. With no force acting to slow the bullet down, it will keep going and going and going, until some force slows it down, be it dust, gravity, or hitting something at high velocity. All per Newton's first law of motion. Which also means that Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest sonuva***** in the universe.

Geckgo
July 22, 2011, 12:09 AM
it becomes blatently obvious how many people have not read all our our fun posts and keep posting the same thing. I don't remember the OP saying anything about this bullet in space, but then perhaps my memory has gone bad.

SARDiver
July 22, 2011, 12:11 AM
Okay, I'm going to buck conventional wisdom here. I read through the responses and didn't see this mentioned. My apologies if I missed it.

I'm an aerospace engineer, but deal mostly with systems, avionics, other military stuff...I'm not an "aerodynamicist". I have actually had to design airplanes for projects, etc. That said:

The bullet fired in the vacuum will travel farther, but whether they hit the ground at the same time is due to the winds involved and the time they have to act on the projectile. I read the question and immediately thought of the "Magnus effect"; that is: A rotating cylinder will generate lift. I wondered if the rotation of the bullet would cause a slight lift to be generated. There would have to be a crosswind, and it would have to be in the proper orientation to the spin imparted to the projectile. I also wonder about gyroscopic precession being a factor, and perhaps causing a vertical cant to the round fired in the atmosphere.

Anyway, not gonna give it too much thought, but I'm chucking that out there.

Sam Cade
July 22, 2011, 12:47 AM
Why hasn't a space travel corporation ie. NASA fired guns in space. or have they?


Its been done. The Soviets even played around with a 23mm autocannon.

A bet you a dollar that some defense satellites are weaponized against seizure.

Ignition Override
July 22, 2011, 12:50 AM
Objects such as wings encounter three kinds of drag:
Form, parasitic and induced drag (angle of attack: this creates lift).

A bullet is slowed by form drag and if it wobbles, it is also slowed by induced drag.

Imagine how much further a 23 mm shell fired from a 'Shilka' at the top (about 29,000' msl) of Mt. Everest might go?

SARDiver
July 22, 2011, 01:14 AM
If it "wobbles"? That would imply lift, as induced drag is a direct byproduct of lift. Forgive me, but I'm not sure what your point is.

Chief_Cabioch
July 22, 2011, 01:40 AM
A Bullet fired in space (Vacuum)would tend to travel till it hit something.

shtr45acp
July 22, 2011, 04:37 AM
Machts nichts. A rifle cannot be fired in a vaccum, for obvious reasons.

cardinalfan
July 22, 2011, 07:02 AM
Would it fire at all? If fired in a 'vacuum' environment, there is no oxygen (needed for combustion) so how could 'fire' occur?

Buzzard II
July 22, 2011, 07:14 AM
I think you guys have way too much time on your hands! Go out and do something constructive. LOL

SARDiver
July 22, 2011, 07:41 AM
Machts nichts. A rifle cannot be fired in a vaccum, for obvious reasons.

You're right. There's no way you could stuff a rifle in a vacuum. I mean, maybe one of those Orecks or Dysons with a big bag, but it would really have to be a big vacuum.

Loosedhorse
July 22, 2011, 07:48 AM
Firing into a vacuum would damage the vacuum. If you now send it or drive it to a repair shop, that bullet will travel for miles in a vacuum.

the force of air resistance is doing much more to slow the bullet down horizontally than verticallyYep, air resistance is like other friction forces: the higher the speed, the more friction*. For most of its flight (if fired from "usual" distances above ground) the horizontal velocity from the propellant will be greater than vertical velocity from gravity.

*The air-resistance equation goes kinda funky in the perisonic range.

zfk55
July 22, 2011, 09:19 AM
Yes and no. Once ignited, the Potrzbie effect on the Frannis would propel the projectile into a non-static state of Fonebone. That would negate the up/down effect of monchitudinal effect of resistance.

Cluster Bomb
July 22, 2011, 09:49 AM
Would a bullet travel farther in a vacuum?

I dunno...take one out to the range and shoot it...see if the bullet travels further...

M-Cameron
July 22, 2011, 09:50 AM
Machts nichts. A rifle cannot be fired in a vaccum, for obvious reasons.

would it fire at all? If fired in a 'vacuum' environment, there is no oxygen (needed for combustion) so how could 'fire' occur?

it most certainty would....

smokeless powder contains 'oxidizers' .......which not surprisingly supply the oxygen needed for combustion.

modern firearms can be fired under water......and im pretty sure we all agree theres not a ton of usable oxygen down there.

zfk55
July 22, 2011, 09:54 AM
Machts nichts. A rifle cannot be fired in a vaccum, for obvious reasons.

If I might be so bold........ :D
Its a common mistake for an American to spell it that way, but actually it's Macht nichts.

:D

Mal H
July 22, 2011, 10:11 AM
Good grief! Enough already!

I'm not sure how many different ways the answer "Yes" can be expressed, but this thread is approaching a new record, I'm sure. I refuse to let it reach four pages.

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