I once asked a Royal Marine Colour Sergeant who was seconded to us where I worked on milit...

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    Leo Kelly , Auckland
    Firing handguns into the air is commonplace
 in some parts of the world and causes injuries with a disproportionate number
 of fatalities. For a typical modern 7.62 millimetre calibre bullet fired
 vertically from a rifle, the bullet will have a velocity of about 840 metres
 per second as it leaves the muzzle and will reach a height of about 2400
 metres in some 17 seconds. It will then take another 40 seconds or so to
 return to the ground, usually at a relatively low speed which approximates
 to the terminal velocity. This part of the bullet's trajectory will normally
 be flown base first since the bullet is actually more stable in rearward
 than in forward flight.
    Even with a truly vertical launch, the bullet
 can move some distance sideways. It will spend about 8 seconds at between
 2300 and 2400 metres and at a vertical velocity of less than 40 metres per
 second. In this time it is particularly susceptible to lateral movement by
 the wind. It will return to the ground at a speed of some 70 metres per second.
 This sounds quite low but, because of the predominance of cranial injuries,
 the proportion of deaths and serious injury as a proportion of the number
 of gunshot wounds is surprisingly high. It is typically some five times more
 than is observed in normal firing.
    As might be expected, measurements
 are rather difficult and the above values come from a computer model of the
    Sam Ellis And Gerry Moss , Royal Military College of Science
 Swindon Wiltshire
    Different bullet types behave in different ways.
 A .22LR bullet reaches a maximum altitude of 1179 metres and a terminal velocity
 of either 60 metres per second or 43 metres per second depending upon whether
 the bullet falls base first or tumbles. A .44 magnum bullet will reach an
 altitude of 1377 metres and a terminal velocity of 76 metres per second falling
 base first. A .30-06 bullet will reach an altitude of 3080 metres with a
 terminal velocity of 99 metres per second. The total flight time for the
 .22LR is between 30 and 36 seconds, while for the .30-06, it is about 58
 seconds. The velocities of the bullets as they leave the rifle muzzle are
 much higher than their falling velocities. A .22LR has a muzzle velocity
 of 383 metres per second and the .30-06 has a muzzle velocity of 823 metres
 per second.
    According to tests undertaken by Browning at the beginning
 of the century and recently by L .C. Haag, the bullet velocity required for
 skin penetration is between 45 and 60 metres per second which is within the
 velocity range of falling bullets. Of course, skin penetration is not required
 in order to cause serious or fatal injury and any responsible person will
 never fire bullets into the air in this manner.
    The questioner may like
 to read "Falling bullets: terminal velocities and penetration studies", by
 L. C. Haag, Wound Ballistics Conference, April 1994, Sacramento, California.

    David Maddison , Melbourne Australia
    John W. Hicks in his book
 The Theory of the Rifle and Rifle Shooting describes experiments made in
 1909 by a Major Hardcastle who fired .303 rifle rounds vertically into the
 air on the River Stour at Manningtree. His boatman, probably a theorist unaware
 of the winds aloft, insisted on wearing a copy of Kelly's Directory on his
 head. However, no bullets landed within 100 yards, some up to a quarter of
 a mile away and others were lost altogether.
    Julian S. Hatcher records
 a similar experiment in Florida immediately after the First World War. A
 0.30 calibre machine gun was set up on a 10 feet square stage in a sea inlet
 where the water was very calm so that the returning bullets could be seen
 to splash down. A sheet of armour above the stage protected the experimenters.
 The gun was then adjusted to centre the groups of returning bullets onto
 the stage.
    Of over 500 bullets fired into the air, only 4 hit the stage
 at the end of their return journey. The bullets fired in each burst fell
 in groups of about 25 yards across.
    The bullets rose to approximately
 9000 feet before falling back. With a total flight time of about a minute,
 the wind has a noticeable effect on the return point.
    Dick Fillery ,
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Does anyone have some of these to sell.

The US webs sites that shows them says there are 7 week lead times !!

I am in Colorado.



Re: I once......
Sorry about this, I don't understand how it happened !!??

Re: I once......

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It was an interesting read regardless of it's OT-ness.


Re: I once......
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I thought it was one of the troll posts with Followup-To set for
news.admin.net-abuse.email that've splattered across Usenet recently.
Then I noticed the lack of Followup, which puzzled me.  :^)

Google on "space bullets" for more of the "must come down" side of things.

Ron Sharp.
An unfortunately "embedded" application.

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Well, it IS the "embedded" group :-(

Re: I once......

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Weird! The original posting was mine in response to a query on another NG.


Re: I once......

    I copied and pasted your original message to an external editor.

    But when I pasted to a new message here,
    along came your entire message.

    I am not sure how that happened. Oh well.

Leon Heller wrote:
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Re: I once......
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And some of us never saw the referenced posting and
have no idea what you're "talking" about.

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