Newton's law of equal/opposite reaction, and bullet impact..

  • #1
When fired, a slug's acceleration down a barrel produces an equal backward force. I get that.
What I DON'T get, is why there is no rebounding force counter to a slug's impact by the material being struck? The material/molecules simply get impacted and pushed via the force generated. Why is there no equal reaction going in the opposite direction of the bullet? By all observation, the forces exerted by a slug impact do NOT have equal opposing force against the bullet.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Bandersnatch
Science Advisor
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By all observation, the forces exerted by a slug impact do NOT have equal opposing force against the bullet.
They do. That's what stops the bullet once it hits the target. Without a reaction force supplied by the material being struck, the bullet would just continue ahead with constant velocity.
 
  • #3
anorlunda
Staff Emeritus
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When fired, a slug's acceleration down a barrel produces an equal backward force. I get that.
What I DON'T get, is why there is no rebounding force counter to a slug's impact by the material being struck? The material/molecules simply get impacted and pushed via the force generated. Why is there no equal reaction going in the opposite direction of the bullet? By all observation, the forces exerted by a slug impact do NOT have equal opposing force against the bullet.

What makes you say that? The bullet is stopped or slowed by the target by reaction forces.

If you mean a paper target, both action and reaction are slight.
 
  • #4
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that indeed a reaction is taking place, though I was thinking double the reaction (i.e. reversing the bullet direction)
Am looking for a way to either absorb kinetic energy entirely without broad transmission, or some other way to negate to 0 impact forces.
 
  • #5
anorlunda
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Am looking for a way to either absorb kinetic energy entirely without broad transmission, or some other way to negate to 0 impact forces.

I don't understand what that means. Please state your question more clearly.
 

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