Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bullet sparks

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by RioShooter, Oct 17, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RioShooter

    RioShooter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Brownsville, TX
    Having just watched a movie trailer showing bullet strikes sparking on metal, I was wondering if it is possible for a bullet to create a spark when it strikes an object?

    I've seen ten of thousands of bullets fired, and have yet to see one spark.

    Is this just another example of Hollywood "creativity"?
     
  2. spyder1911

    spyder1911 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    204
    Well there are incendiary rounds which will light on fire upon impact but that bullets sparking is just hollywood.
     
  3. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3,024
    Location:
    West Michigan
    yes, the only sparks i have seen when shooting come out of the barrel, not from the bullets hitting something. now, if you were shooting steel jacketed (i know wolf ammo has some of these) bullets it could be possible. but most american ammo the bullets are either lead or copper jackets or are plated with copper. both lead, and copper are non sparking.
     
  4. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    I've heard of, but never witnessed, steel cored ammo striking sparks when they hit metal things.

    Personally, I'm a bit doubtful. Steel cored bullets usually use mild steel, which is darn near impossible to make throw a spark.
     
  5. sharkhunter2018

    sharkhunter2018 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    601
    Location:
    m-burg, va
    Bullets can spark on contact with an object.

    Saw sparks while I was shooting an old oven with a Mauser. Another time, one of my freinds tried to cut the chain on the gate behind my house with his AK. A full mag and sparks from several bullets later, the chain was cut.

    Both occasions were at dusk as well.
     
  6. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    5,435
    Location:
    Howard County, Merry Land
    I shoot at an indoor range, and I've seen plenty of rounds spark as they strike the bullet trap. Does it happen every time, like the movie? Nah. But it definitely does happen.
     
  7. Zipperhead

    Zipperhead member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    I am a fan of the historical aspects of the Air War during WWII.
    Written accounts from fighter pilots on both sides mention bright flashes from bullet strikes on enemy aircraft. It may have been from the tracer rounds, but from the descriptions, it may also have been due to heat of friction from the bullets impacting the metal skin, armor or other metal components, too.

    Maybe Hollywood might have a valid basis for their stuff after all? :scrutiny:

    Zip
     
  8. earplug

    earplug Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,730
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    My indoor range is 25 yard with steel bullet trap. I see bullets spark all the time. Its usually a center fire rifle bullet. Steel core bullets arn't allowed and the club is real strict keeping them away. I still can't figure out how lead and copper spark when hitting steel.
     
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,747
    Some steel core bullets will strike sparks, but the movie spark effect is because the special effects guys don't shoot real bullets. They use small charges (like small blasting caps) wired to a battery or generator. If the target is something like a car, the holes are punched, the charges inserted, and the whole thing puttied up and painted over. The hero/villain fires, the charges explode, with sparks, the holes are revealed and the audience admires the shooting ability of the hero/villain.

    Much of that kind of thing, though, has been made obsolete. Movies are now shot in digital format and the "back room boys" add muzzle flash, gunshot noise and bullet strikes to the digital master. In fact, even blank cartridges are rarely used any more; insurance costs go sky high when any operable gun is used on a set, so most of the Hollywood "hardware" is plastic.

    (WWII aircraft used incendiary rounds to set fire to enemy gas tanks and other flammable materiel; tracers were inserted in belts every five rounds only for determining where the bullet stream was going.)

    Jim
     
  10. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,643
    Location:
    Genesee, ID
    I have shot and made many many sparks in pieces of metal. They are easy to see in low light conditions and I have even seen them when shooting a rock in the dirt. You do not need steel cores to do it either. Last Saturday I was shooting my sks with some 7.62 wolf hollow points at about dusk and every shot I took at a 1/4" piece of steel was sparking. I will try to get video next time.
     
  11. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,524
    Lead bullets wil not spark. Copper and brass will not spark. Steel can. Some forign military surplus bullets use mild steel for jackets or steel cores that can ocaisonly spark if they hit steel but nothing like in the movies. To my knolege no American ammo maker uses steel jackets or cores. Much of the movie special effects are computer genarated now days. Any time you see pistol bullets spark when they hit a car its BS.
     
  12. HB

    HB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,436
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Lead rounds can spark. Supposedly if the bullet breaks into dusk, the friction created will cause enough heat to cause the particulate lead to flask. I have never seen this happen with a bullet but have seen it with a lead airgun pellet fired into a steel trap.

    HB
     
  13. Bartkowski

    Bartkowski Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,616
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I have seen a bb gun make sparks. Just shoot a drive way close to dark...I don't see why bullets wouldn't spark.
     
  14. chris in va

    chris in va Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Messages:
    6,097
    Location:
    Louisville KY
    I see it all the time when shooting Wolf out of my Saiga. Steel jacketed.

    Uh huh. Actually MORE than in the movies. I'm talking a big splash of sparks everywhere.
     
  15. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Messages:
    4,087
    Location:
    Mitchi-gun, the Sunrise Side
    I've witnessed a lot of sparks in the indoor range I used to frequent. The one I go to now uses a rubber bullet trap, so no sparks there.
     
  16. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,643
    Location:
    Genesee, ID
    I like how despite all the people saying that they see it happen you still say that it can't. Do you ever think that maybe the steel that you shoot is what is sparking and not the lead and copper of the bullet? I don't know physics but I know that I shoot steal at nite and it sparks.
     
  17. tomh1426

    tomh1426 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    Youngtown AZ
    I shot some steel core 7.62x54 at some big rocks and it made a buncha sparks.
    It helps if Its a little dark out.
     
  18. bthest86

    bthest86 Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Mexico
    I've seen sparks also. Mostly from 22s and 7.62s hitting metal at dusk. Usually I only see them when I watch the video footage later. They are really small but still sparks none the less.

    They are hard to notice at the time but easy to video tape in low light.
     
  19. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,524
    Before matches were invented people used steel and flint to start fires. It stands to reason that steel jacketed bullets could spark if they hit a rock. I don't see how copper, brass or lead could as they are too soft.
     
  20. Dr.Carbine

    Dr.Carbine Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Lorain, Ohio
    At the indoor range I frequent, I have rarely seen sparks. The one time I saw sparks from nearly every bullet hitting the trap was when a guy with a FiveseveN was shooting next to me. The fast .22s were sparking like crazy. It was fun to watch.
     
  21. Dutchman01

    Dutchman01 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    I've experienced it and can't fully explain it. I was shooting a skunk, at dusk. I was looking over the barrel and shooting as fast as I could. the skunk was actually raising it's tail at this point. I saw the bullets punching up dirt. Some of the bullets were hitting small stones in the pasture. I actually saw sparks flying.

    I don't understand this as the bullets were standard federal copper clad lead bullets. The stones in this part of the country were "chert" an extremely hard stone with obsidian properties, when broken they formed razor sharp edges. I know what I saw and still don't understand it even after all these years. So, no, this may be one of those situations where hollywood isn't all that far off.
     
  22. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    4,188
    Location:
    Rural, far beyond the beltway, Northern Virginia,
    FYI, "chert" = flint
     
  23. Eyesac

    Eyesac Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,393
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Every round I swear!

    I had also never seen a bullet spark until I went out shooting at dusk... WOW! Every single round sparked when it hit the gound (beyond the target). We were shooting .223, and seriously every round sparked!
     
  24. 44Magnum

    44Magnum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    I also shoot at a 25 yard indoor range. My .357 and .44 magnums spark all the time when they hit the trap. I'm shooting copper jacketed bullets.
     
  25. chris in va

    chris in va Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Messages:
    6,097
    Location:
    Louisville KY
    Is it just the lead and copper melting/glowing?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page