I didn't know this about the 50 BMG


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GEM
October 21, 2012, 05:53 PM
So I am watching a show about the need for speed in combat. Probably on the Military Channel. It was all hype. They were all excited by a Coast Guard cutter that could do 28 knots.

But then they discussed land vehicles and the Stryker. The solider in it discussed the 50 BMG. He said that if the round even passed you by at 10 to 12 inches from your body, you will lose a limb.

I didn't know that. :eek:

I do recall a professor of mine from Germany who had relatives at Jutland. He did say that if an 11 inch shell went through your head, it would leave your headless body standing there for a bit, shooting blood about 10 feet up. Hmm?

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Rail Driver
October 21, 2012, 05:57 PM
“Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

It's TV. They want to make it more exciting while continuing to indoctrinate the public into believing that "guns are bad" and "guns are magic death rays that kill everyone in the area".

Halal Pork
October 21, 2012, 06:05 PM
A .50 round through the face can leave something resembling what was once a head; so I think blowing limbs off from the bullet passing a foot away is a bit hard to swallow. But it is amazing the M2 is so old and still in use every day. I guess if it's not broke, why fix it?

animator
October 21, 2012, 06:12 PM
If that were true, then I'd have a hell of a lot more kills in Call Of Duty...

lansdale
October 21, 2012, 06:14 PM
its a myth and has been confirmed to be BS.

the sonic boom created by the bullet is too little to do any damage at all simply because the bullet doesnt move enough air.
if the myth was true we would see more damage when people are striked by a bullet.

you can fire a 50 bmg past a wineglass really close and it wont break.

poolingmyignorance
October 21, 2012, 07:13 PM
You speak the truth! They covered it on mythbusters years ago.

Al Thompson
October 21, 2012, 07:27 PM
In 1977, ignorant young soldiers repeated this lie. Some things just never die.

:rolleyes:

DoubleTapDrew
October 21, 2012, 10:55 PM
Mythbusters attempted this myth with a 50 bmg shot through a corridor of wine glasses, thinking they'd be shattered by the shockwave. They never did. The only time they got them to break was when they got so close the bullet started nicking the glasses.

MilsurpShooter
October 21, 2012, 11:00 PM
I've been on the side of a 50 when it went off, not in front of the muzzle butprobably 6 or so inches from the break. Bad timing on my part, round rolled forward on my shooting bench, I leaned forward to grab it as the guy on the bench next to me fired. I will say even with plugs and ear pads I still got a nice ringing.

And while all my limbs are in tact it is not a scenario I'd like to re-create at any point in time.

Drail
October 21, 2012, 11:54 PM
I would bet that if one went right by your head it would most definitely get your attention.:scrutiny: I'd be getting my head down most ricky tick. You don't really "hear" the report if you're close to the barrel went it fires, you feel it in your diaphragm as a sudden pressure increase. It "body slams" you. Thank you Mr. Browning. That'll do.

mljdeckard
October 22, 2012, 12:01 AM
If that were true, we couldn't use paper targets with them, because the holes they make would be a lot bigger than .500".

Cesiumsponge
October 22, 2012, 12:10 AM
I have a friend that was in the 75th. He repeated a similar silly fable that if a 50BMG passed by your head, it'd suck your brains out through your ear. I'm sure these rumors have been around forever and get adopted by everyone when they're green when they hear it from someone that seems like an authority.

hso
October 22, 2012, 12:19 AM
The solider in it discussed the 50 BMG. He said that if the round even passed you by at 10 to 12 inches from your body, you will lose a limb.

http://blastr.com/assets_c/2010/05/TommyLeeJonesCaptainAmerica-thumb-550x406-39774.jpg

303tom
October 22, 2012, 12:35 AM
It`s BS The MythBusters got their hands on a Armalite AR-50 .50 caliber sniper rifle, one of the most powerful rifles available. They then lined up two rows of glass objects, such as windows, wine glasses, cups, and lightbulbs and fired the rifle so that the bullet would pass between both rows. However, the bullet's sonic boom failed to break any of the glass, no matter how close it passed by, so you think it will do anything if it passes by you by a foot ?

Tim the student
October 22, 2012, 01:38 AM
No.

Just no.

chris in va
October 22, 2012, 02:16 AM
Here's one that was proven. A 50BMG will disintigrate in 2' of water. Ironically a 9mm FMJ penetrated deeper.

rskent
October 22, 2012, 05:20 AM
Anyone happen to know when the Mythbusters episode aired?

303tom
October 22, 2012, 09:23 AM
Anyone happen to know when the Mythbusters episode aired?
curving bullets

1911 guy
October 22, 2012, 09:46 AM
Something we often forget is that we are knowlegable because we enjoy the hobby, the engineering or the challenge of shooting. Many who carry a firearm for a living consider it just another part of their job and maybe not an exceptionally important part. They take whatever they hear from "authority" as gospel and have no practical reason to question it.

I know my own Grandpa, a veteran of WWII who actually did see heavy fighting, continued to believe the old saw about .45ACP knocking someone down even if it hit them in the toe or finger. Admitted he never saw it happen, but also believed his "source" to be reliable. And this from an otherwise HIGHLY intelligent and educated (thank you, G.I. Bill) man.

Heck, I leanred far more from my Dad and on my own than I ever did from the military.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
October 22, 2012, 10:38 AM
I own a 50 BMG (Bushmaster BA50) and I can assure you it is BS. I line old bowling pins up about 6 inches apart and pick them off. Unless hit by shrapnel from the other pins, the un-hit pins will not even move..

SSN Vet
October 22, 2012, 12:23 PM
Bullets go supersonic about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way down the barrel, so any sonic boom is coincident with the rest of the muzzle blast....

As a projectile passes through the air, it can and will disturb the air pressure around it's flight path (like when you are passed by a large truck on the interstate).

Hard to see that kind of air pressure disturbance tearing off limbs.... I could see it popping your ears if it passed close by your head though.

medalguy
October 22, 2012, 01:09 PM
Firing a .50 BMG off a tripod will cause the ground in front of the barrel muzzle to actually rise and fall as the gun fires, caused by the exploding gasses leaving the barrel, and the vacuum formed when the bullet goes downrange.

With this kind of power, of course the bullet passing within a foot will rip off an arm. It's commonly taught in basic training (or was in 1965:rolleyes:) that an M16 round hitting a VC in the finger would also rip off the arm, and cause bones to shatter all through the body, just like a hit with the .45 ACP round. Common knowledge. [/sarcasm]

GEM
October 22, 2012, 01:10 PM
Two army vets told me that they shot a 45 and it darn near tore their arms off.

I look at my arm after shooting about 120 rounds from my 1911 in a match. Still there.

But on the NRA TV show that was going to the Tulsa Gun Show, IIRC, an expert gave us the hit on the thumb will kill you mantra. I think he was being silly.

I was being a touch sarcastic in my OP.

Hit_Factor
October 22, 2012, 01:58 PM
Firing a .50 BMG off a tripod will cause the ground in front of the barrel muzzle to actually rise and fall as the gun fires, caused by the exploding gasses leaving the barrel, and the vacuum formed when the bullet goes downrange.

Is 'exploding' the correct word in the above quote or would "rapidly expanding" be a better description of what is happening in the barrel behind the bullet?


Sent by someone using something.

Skribs
October 22, 2012, 02:03 PM
Mythbusters and the Blue Angels combined to see if you could break glass with the sonic boom of a very low-flying aircraft, and they couldn't even shatter wineglasses. It's hard to believe that the bullet would have a more powerful sonic boom.

It's kinda like the story that is reported in BTS for the movie shooter, that the ex-military "expert" they hired said that in reality the shot that took out the foreign prime minister would really have thrown body parts 200 feet...it might have thrown body parts (I've seen videos of people getting hit by the .50, and a direct hit can send limbs flying) but it wouldn't be anywhere near 200 feet.

Trent
October 22, 2012, 03:10 PM
I've stunned field mice with a 50BMG before (indirectly).

We were shooting using a 20lb propane can (empty) target at 450 yards on a hillside. Makes great targets, just enough wall thickness to get blue tips to flash on impact. When we went out to put the can back in place (it rolled down the hill), we found a number of stunned white field mice within 3 feet of the propane can. They looked dead - didn't move when we picked them up by he tail, but eventually they woke up and ran off.

Field mice are a lot more fragile than humans. :)

herkyguy
October 22, 2012, 04:59 PM
I called BS to BOTH claims. First, the .50 one that i heard for the first time a few years back from some younger marines. And SECOND, I call serious BS to any CG Cutter that can actually steam at 28 knots without some catastrophic engineering failure.

The CG is building new ships, but not soon enough.

Ehtereon11B
October 22, 2012, 05:02 PM
I have heard this one in the military time and again. I used to believe it myself until I fired well over 20K rounds overseas. Now I mostly see this rumor perpetuated by POGs who have never fired a .50

ny32182
October 22, 2012, 05:32 PM
I remember the Mythbusters episode where they overflew an entire table FULL of wine glasses, etc, repeatedly, supersonic at very low altitude with an F18. It was loud, but they didn't break a thing, much less knock off any limbs. A ~700 grain bullet is a wee bit smaller than an F18.

One other note, supersonic boom is not a part of the muzzle blast. It is a compression wave generated by the bullet's forward motion through the atmosphere, and forms an expanding cone behind the bullet. It moves in a perpendicular direction relative the path of the bullet (or plane, or whatever item is going fast).

Texan Scott
October 22, 2012, 05:50 PM
hso: Best use of a nonverbal this year, best use of Tommy Lee Jones on THR EVER. You won the Internet for the day.

GEM
October 22, 2012, 05:54 PM
Sonic booms. Went to an airshow and there was an overflight of a B-1B. The announcer said to look up as it will come over our heads at 200ft and MACH SEVEN. :eek:

Now that would have been a sonic boom. Silly announcer. Lost the decimal. :D

Dain Bramage
October 22, 2012, 06:42 PM
I do recall a professor of mine from Germany who had relatives at Jutland. He did say that if an 11 inch shell went through your head, it would leave your headless body standing there for a bit, shooting blood about 10 feet up. Hmm?

Actually, that's true for a German 12" shell. But the 11" would bounce right off.

Seriously, the Germans really did upgrade from 11" to 12", while the British were bounding all the way up to 15" (with volumetric progression, that meant the shell weight just about doubled). Both German guns were pretty good, but size-envy got the better of them and Germany eventually moved up to the 15" gun. That was the WWI predecessor to the WWII 15" guns in the Bismarck.

MTMilitiaman
October 23, 2012, 11:13 AM
That is utter and complete BS, and it's bad for you.

I shot at a ground squirrel on a berm about 100 yards away with my bro's AR-50, pushing a 750 gr Hornady Amax at about 2700 fps. The scope was new and had only been bore sighted, so I didn't really expect to hit the thing. Hit about four inches to the side. That big round threw alot of dirt around and made a heckuva 'SMACK,' which I am sure scared a few years off the varmint, but he made it safely back into his hole without losing a drop of blood or even a single hair.

I also shot a paper target on a board with another peice of paper hanging down on either side of it. Not only did shooting the target not damage the hanging peice of computer printer paper several inches from the bullet impact, but it only barely even moved the paper.

That myth is just that, a myth, a wives tail for the uneducated who don't know any better than to believe everything they hear.

Zoogster
October 23, 2012, 04:26 PM
Oh yeah. Not only that but .50 BMG is so powerful that every time you fire a round you change the rotational speed of the earth.
If you fire against rotation you slow it down slightly and make days longer. If you fire in the opposite direction days get shorter. That is why they have to insure bases practicing face different directions around the country to cancel out the effects of each one.



.50 BMG takes on all sorts of mythical powers simply because it is the largest common round legal for civilians, and the largest round available in many conflicts to the average infantry.
If the cutoff was 20mm instead then 20mm rounds would be the rounds with all the mystique and rumors.
The arbitrary cutoff at half an inch diameter by the GCA has insured that most development of small arms is in .50 cal or less. (Which also impacts military development even though they don't have such restrictions since the civilian market is the best place to try ideas and have innovation where small constant sales happen vs large contracts that either happen or don't. Many ideas adopted by the military were in the civilian market for years before they had been improved upon and proven reliable enough for consideration. So things that never enter the typical civilian market are far less likely to be around long enough to make it into the military before the developer ceases production, goes bankrupt, etc.)

MilsurpShooter
October 23, 2012, 04:56 PM
As far as sonic boom and glass... well...

*Caution, careful on the volume levels*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgSe4UlWrMk

doc2rn
October 23, 2012, 05:41 PM
Someone go over to the motor pool and get me the keys to the Humvee. Send someone else to Supply to get me 50' of gig-line, and make sure they fill out the ID-10-T form.
Just another practical joke on the uninformed POGs.

brickeyee
October 23, 2012, 06:09 PM
so any sonic boom is coincident with the rest of the muzzle blast....

It travels with the bullet as long as it is above Mach 1.

Never been in a target pit have you?

1KPerDay
October 23, 2012, 07:13 PM
http://blastr.com/assets_c/2010/05/TommyLeeJonesCaptainAmerica-thumb-550x406-39774.jpg
LOlol :D

zoom6zoom
October 23, 2012, 11:21 PM
You're not going to lose a limb if a .50 round passes a few inches from you.

Might lose control of a sphincter, though!

fatelk
October 23, 2012, 11:35 PM
hso: Best use of a nonverbal this year, best use of Tommy Lee Jones on THR EVER. You won the Internet for the day.
I was thinking the same thing. That was pretty good!

aarondhgraham
October 24, 2012, 12:24 PM
Mythbusters and the Blue Angels combined to see if you could break glass with the sonic boom of a very low-flying aircraft, and they couldn't even shatter wineglasses. It's hard to believe that the bullet would have a more powerful sonic boom.

One can not use Mythbusters as a definitive source,,,
They are wrong about their pseudo-science as often as they are correct..

Anyone who had to endure the late 60's sonic boom tests at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City can attest how damaging they can be to your home and possessions.

My Mom ran an antique shop during those 2 years of two-booms-per-day,,,
It turned out that the USAF was one of her best customers.

Aarond

.

Trent
October 24, 2012, 12:59 PM
I've seen the results of a low-altitude (100') supersonic pass over a John Deere dealership in Springfield, IL, three years running. They're directly in line with the runway and directly across the street from Capital airport. These high speed passes happened during airshows which were approved for high speed passes.

First year, the supersonic flyover blew out the 4x8' plate glass windows in the front of the dealership's showroom. The airport covered the expense of replacing them.

The second year they left the front door propped open in an effort to equalize the pressure. The plate glass windows blew OUTWARD the second year instead of inward!

The third year they left all of the bays in the shop open. Someone forgot to open the front doors. There is a heavy steel door between the large repair shop and the office/showroom that was blown inward, damaging it's hinges, about 50% of the ceiling tiles in the office were sucked through the drop ceiling, and one of the showroom 4x8 windows shattered.

So don't tell me supersonic passes of fighter aircraft can't cause lots of damage - I've seen it first hand!

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