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The science of bullet flight

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by RandomPerson, Dec 1, 2010.

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  1. RandomPerson

    RandomPerson Member

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    I used the site search tool before posting and found nothing, but I'm sure at least someone on here has talked about this...

    There is a video floating around the internet of a guy shooting his pistol into a frozen lake and then discovering the bullet spinning in the ice a minute later.

    Does this seem plausible? If so, what happened to the bullet? Did it fly straight out of the pistol, get stopped by the ice in place and spin? Did it fly up in the air and land face down in the ice?

    I'm trying to wrap my brain around how this might happen assuming the video is real, but I have little understanding of the science behind how this could possibly happen.

    Thanks for your insight.
     
  2. Imon

    Imon Member

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    Well .... here's my hypothesis!

    The reason why ice is slippery is because the pressure you exert onto the ice causes the top layer of ice to melt and forms a thin film of water above the ice which acts kind of like a lubricant. The same thing may be happening with the bullet.

    I actually find this hard to believe too.
     
  3. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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  4. Imon

    Imon Member

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  5. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

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    neat!
     
  6. heron

    heron Member

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    Incredible . . . I'm just amazed the bullets didn't deform at all. Quite a surprise.

    Live long enough, and you'll get to see all kinds of strange wonders.
     
  7. Centaur 1

    Centaur 1 Member

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    Considering that a .40 S&W leaves the barrel spinning at almost 50,000 rpm's, I declare this myth as plausable. :D
     
  8. Zanad

    Zanad Member

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    Here's what I think is happening. the bullet is fired and leaves the barrel spinning. as the bullet hits the ground at a more or less specific angle, the bullet drives into the ice as it continues to spin to create a diviot so the bullet can correct itself upward and the force bounces the bullet into another "clean" spot so it can continue to spin and create a mind boggling effect.

    think if a pirouette dancer.

    this theory is worth exaclty what you paid for it.....
     
  9. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    I'll go with B.S.

    Just me.

    Mark
     
  10. Tony50ae

    Tony50ae Member

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    I find it odd that at the speed the bullet hit the ice the nose does not look deformed at all. Also could be me but where are the rifling marks on the bullet?
     
  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Somehow, I think not...
     
  12. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong Member

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    On the first one they focus on you can see a line running off to the right of the bullet. It looks like it hit the ice, bounced out, and skipped like a top a little ways along the ice.

    Seems kind of like a bad idea.
     
  13. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    Gonna have to call this one BS...
     
  14. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    It's real. Dangerous to demonstrate (due to chance of ricochet), but real.


    Think about how many bullets you can find in a dirt berm that are completely undeformed. Ice isn't exactly steel or concrete. And yes, the bullet is spinning really fast coming out of the barrel. So if you stop the bullet's forward motion while allowing it to maintain its spin (via hitting a relatively slippery but solid surface such as ice), it's perfectly plausible that a bullet could be found spinning on the ice like that.

    And furthermore, if you shoot at the ice at an angle nearly perpendicular to the ground, the gyroscopic effect of the spinning will maintain the bullet's upright (base-up, nose-down) orientation, hence finding it spinning in place like a top.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  15. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Or... you could just spin a slug from a string (like a Dreidel) while another guy shoots, and then pretend the spinning slug came out of the gun.
     
  16. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Or fake the whole thing with a computer and skillz.
     
  17. BeerSleeper

    BeerSleeper Member

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    Shouldn't a common .40 round penetrate the ice about 6 inches or so?
     
  18. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Good luck getting a .40 caliber slug to spin that fast for that long with a string.
     
  19. DuncanSA

    DuncanSA Member

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    Conservation of angular momentum in a very low friction environment? Maybe someone with a scientific/physics background could comment.
     
  20. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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  21. glock36

    glock36 Member

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    I shot at a block of ice that came from frozen water bucket with a P226 .45 cal. The block crumbled when hit, I found the slug in the pile of ice chipps and it was not deformed one little bit. I think what the video shows is quite possibel.
     
  22. kragluver

    kragluver Member

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    A while back, a poster that stated he was a crime scene investigator stated that they regularly used blocks of ice to shoot bullets into so that the bullets would not be deformed. He stated that they had been doing this for some years and it worked very well - so far as not deforming the bullets. I think the video is certainly plausible. Once the ice stops the bullet, it won't necessarily stop the spin - which is very high speed as stated above. Friction coefficient on ice is low enough and after the bullet has come to a stop, it will act like a spinning top. The motion seems reasonable.
     
  23. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong Member

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    If you watch the video with the sound up, while he's watching the first bullet slow down it begins to tip over and you can hear the rifling grooves humming on the ice, which slows it down faster and stops it.
     
  24. S. Hill

    S. Hill Member

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    I think that Gen. Jeff ;) has it right. I think it is real, and that the bullet they fired is spinning on top of the ice. I also think that it is CRAZY STUPID to do what they are showing in the video. Not sure about the energy of the ricochet coming back to bite you…. But I certainly don’t want to be hit with one!

    You are able hear the high RPM of the bullet as it sits in the little ice pocket. That thing is spinning at a very high speed. There it sits, spinning away….

    I think that shooting a bucket of ice isn’t the same as shooting into a HUGE block of ice (like the surface of a lake). There is a lot more support with the lake ice that doesn’t allow it to shatter and let the bullet pass. It bounces out, and occasionally lands on top of the ice near where the shooter is standing. AGAIN, stupid, but plausible. There it sits, spinning at (what did you figure….) 50,000 RPM? I don’t know how else you would get it to “sing” like that.
     
  25. therewolf

    therewolf member

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    I'm just impressed they didn't" put their eye out" with their

    pistol while making the video...:D
     
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