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Watching the bullet hit the target.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Peter M. Eick, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member

    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!
  2. CDignition

    CDignition Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. byf43

    byf43 Well-Known Member

    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
  4. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member

    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!
  5. MaterDei

    MaterDei Well-Known Member

    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. ;)
  6. koja48

    koja48 member

    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.
  7. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    The larger and slower the round is the easier it is to see.
  9. ctdonath

    ctdonath Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. koja48

    koja48 member

    The larger and slower the round is the easier it is to see.

    If I could chamber something to fire a 60's vintage VW Bug, I may have a chance to see this yet . . .
  11. oneshooter

    oneshooter Well-Known Member

    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

    Livin in Texas
  12. hank327

    hank327 Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Well-Known Member

    A Streak of 22 CB Short lead. Its amazing and You don't really need a scope.
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    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.
  16. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    take the spotting scope slightly out of focus and it helps see the vortex.
  17. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member

    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?
  18. byf43

    byf43 Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. tasco 74

    tasco 74 Well-Known Member

    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!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007

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