distance straight up

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by deadeye dick, Jul 4, 2016.

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  1. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    Sitting around doing nothing listening to the radio when the commentator mentioned fire works and safety. He said some people shoot guns in the air on the fourth. So, I was wondering how high a handgun bullet will fly? Say a .45ACP 200 gr. lead and a 9MM etc. Is there a table on this type of ballistic.
    Just scratchin and wonderin.:confused:
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I don't know of anything like that for pistol bullets.

    However Hatchers Notebook has a chapter on vertically fired rifle bullets.

    A 150 grain 30-06 bullet at 2,700 FPS reaches a height of 9,000 feet.
    18 seconds going up.
    31 seconds coming down.

    Maximum range is well covered though.
    .38 Special 158 grain at 855 FPS = 1,800 yards.
    .357 Magnum 158 grain at 1.430 FPS = 2,350 yards.
    9mm Luger 124 grain at 1,140 FPS = 1,900 yards.
    .44 Mag 240 at 1,570 FPS = 2,500 yards.
    45 ACP 234 grain at 820 FPS = 1,640 yards.

    The thing is, I suspect those 4rh. of July shooters don't fire the guns straight up, but rather at 45 degrees or so.

    Which is about the optimum angle to attain the max ranges listed above.

    It goes without saying, It's a very dangerous and stupid thing to do!!!

    rc
     
  3. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I believe the bullet shot straight up carrys less velocity at impact than those fired at an angle.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Most definitely.

    The bullet fired straight up is unstable and tumbling when it falls back to earth.

    A bullet fired at an angle remains stable and point first all the way to whatever it hits.
    It will also retain a higher velocity.

    rc
     
  5. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    Thanks for all the replies and info. I also agree that discharging any weapon without knowing where the round will land is stupid and irresponsible.
    Happy Independence day, Howie
     
  6. Fast Frank

    Fast Frank Member

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    Yes. there's been a lot of discussion about this.

    A bullet fired into the air isn't going to knock you out of your shoes, throw you to the ground, and rip limbs from your body like we see in all those Hollywood stunts.

    But I bet it will hurt and it might kill. I certainly don't want to catch one.

    I have seen a case where a leak in a roof suddenly appeared. Climbing up there to investigate found a dent in the composition shingles that had a small tear in the bottom.

    Laying nearby was a 9mm Silvertip.

    The damage was a lot like what you might see from large hail, except it was just one spot.

    I don't know how high it went, or where it came from.
     
  7. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Impossible to fire a bullet completely vertically.

    Coriolis effect.
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I would think physics will apply here. A bullet fired straight up will keep climbing until it succumbs to gravity and friction but then fall back to Earth with a final bullet speed and energy similar to when fired. Energy is not lost.
     
  9. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Nope it ain't, you forgot friction/drag, so it's going to be a might different.
     
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I did say similar, not exact.

    Energy us not lost but can change. The velocity list is converted into hear caused by friction.

    It was just a general statement letting people know if they shoot a bullet into the air @1200 fps when it comes back down and if it hits someone in the head it will have more than enough velocity and energy to easily kill you.
     
  11. Acera

    Acera Member

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    Nope, wrong again trying to explain yourself.

    It reaches terminal velocity, same as if you had just dropped it from a tall building.

    Lots of threads on here about that, usually revolving around a mythbusters episode.

    It could be fatal, but definitely not for certain, and not easily.




    ,
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Once the bullet reaches maximum height and coasts to a stop, there is no energy left.

    The only energy it has on the way back down is due to the acceleration of gravity, until it reaches terminal velocity. (Point at which air drag overcome acceleration of gravity.)

    On a typical bullet, that is about 300 FPS.

    If the bullet is fired at less then straight up, it won't coast to a stop, it will remain stable, and will come down much faster.

    rc
     
  13. redbone

    redbone Member

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    A woman in my unit in Baghdad was hit by a 7.62 x 39 bullet from celebratory fire after a soccer game. Came thru the roof of her trailer, hIt her shoulder, penetrated about 1". She was back to work the next day. Happy ending, but would have been different if it hit an eye.
     
  14. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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  15. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    Nope. There is lots of energy left. As it slows down while climbing, it's kinetic energy is converted into potential energy. If it is stopped, it has no kinetic energy. But when it is at maximum height, the bullet has attained its' maximum potential energy.

    Potential Energy = Mass x Gravitational Acceleration x Height

    You can learn about it here:

    http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/energy/u5l1b.cfm

     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  16. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    So at its apex when it comes to a complete stop your saying it accelerates to somewhere near its muzzle velocity?
    Which falls faster a pound of rock or a pound of feathers?
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    But, it had a lot more energy being fired up, then it can regain Falling back down.

    Once it reaches terminal velocity coming down, and air friction balances out gravity, that's all the energy it's ever going to have.
    Which is nowhere near as much as it had when it was fired upward.

    PS: Let's say a 124 9mm @ 1,100 going up has 333 ft/lb energy at the muzzle.
    When it reaches the apex of its flight, it has 0 energy.

    When it reaches terminal velocity falling back down, it well level off and stop accelerating at approx 300 FPS, and have an energy of 24 Ft/Lb.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Well then, if you are so intelligent why are you hanging around forums instead of teaching ignorant people like me? You might not want to be so condescending in the classroom. It must be hard for you to read posts from stupid people like me. :cool:
     
  19. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    You obviously are not familiar with kinetic vs potential energy.

    If your 9mm bullet reaches 1000 ft and comes to a dead stop, it has about 18 ft-lb of energy. If it reaches 2,000 ft and comes to a dead stop, it has 35 ft-lb of energy.

    If you hold it in your hand above your head so it is 7 feet above the ground, it has about .12 ft-lb of energy.

    You can use the website below to calculate potential energy:

    http://www.ajdesigner.com/phppotentialenergy/potential_energy_equation.php#ajscroll
     
  20. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    For me that has zero education value............ Keep on scratchin.
     
  21. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    Don't forget the spinning from rifling which will still mostly be there even once the bullet stops at the apogee. This can be QUITE fast in rifles and might keep it stable enough to come back down base first...which in the case of a military boat-tail can let it get going pretty rapidly vs one that is fluttering and unstable.

    The OP example of .45 is nearly a ball so I'd think it's going to be pretty consistent coming back down...and fast enough to hurt if it hit in the right place. Rifle bullets are weird and even high angle fire sometimes will be over-stabilized and won't 'turn over' so the point leads the way back to the ground on the way down. When they strike they'll be nose-high and flying almost sideways which will be slow...but a 50 BMG even going sideways slowly is going to leave a mark.:)
     
  22. judgedelta

    judgedelta Member

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  23. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    I'm not surprised, relatively few people have any useful concept of the various forms of energy and how they are applied.

    No point in trying to educate anyone on an internet forum. The information is freely available, I provided several references in earlier posts above. Feel free to take advantage of the opportunity to educate yourself (or not) as you see fit.
     
  24. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    In a VACCUM, you can easily calculate how high it will go, using the Newtonian formula V = G*T. V is the muzzle velocity (let's say a 45 ACP at 830 fps.) G is the gravitational constant of 32.2 ft/sec/sec.

    So 830fps = 32.2 fps/s * T. T = 830/32.2 = 25.8 sec.

    Now the bullet goes exactly as high is it would fall in that 25.8 sec. So we apply the formula D=1/2 G T^2.

    D = 16.1 * 25.8 * 25.8 = 10,717 feet.

    That's how high a .45 ACP bullet would go IN A VACCUM.
     
  25. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    I think Hatcher is off in the weeds on this one. I don't believe a 30-06 rifle bullet will continue upwards for 18 seconds.

    Then assuming for a moment that the 9,000 ft. height is approximately correct, the free-fall rate is wrong too -- a maximum free-fall velocity of about 175 fps would take substantially longer for the bullet to make the 9000 foot return trip to earth.
     
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