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Bullet Fired From Gun

  1. Aug 24, 2011 #1
    Apologies if this is the wrong forum but it's certainly a physics question I've been wondering about:

    I've been watching all this Libya stuff unravel on the news and can't help but notice all these guys firing their AK47s vertically upwards. Surely that bullet should then return to Earth at the same speed as it left the gun at (minus air resistance effects obviously)? Obviously it owuld be difficult to fire it exactly 90 degrees to the surface of the Earth so that it came back down and hit you on the head but surely it must be possible that it could go up and come back down and land relatively close by?

    So my question is, why does this not happen? Why do people not die from these returning bullets? Do they break up in the atmosphere or something?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2011 #2


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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  4. Aug 24, 2011 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  5. Aug 24, 2011 #4
    They'd be going at terminal velocity before they hit someone - of course, bullets are specifically designed to have low air resistance and so would have a very high terminal velocity.
  6. Aug 24, 2011 #5


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