How fast can a bullet travel if falling from the sky?

The claim that ‘bullets fired upwards in the sky might prove to be fatal for someone when they fall back’ is not entirely wrong. Chances are, if the bullet is falling at a high speed, it can hit a person and leave them seriously injured.

Depending on what angle they were fired at, there may be times when they descend pretty close to where they were shot from. But how to find out the bullet’s travel Speed when it falls is the question? What factors are responsible for it, and to what extent may it be considered dangerous to the surroundings?

  1. Air resistance matters

If a bullet is fired up and no air resistance acts on it (unlikely), then it may still be able to reach a height of around 2.5 to 3 kilometers. However, the air resistance will prevent it from reaching its maximum velocity as it gets higher in the air.

The direction of the wind can deviate the bullet mid-air if it is very strong. This can cause the bullet to easily stray from its initial pathway, landing in a different area. 

  1. Angle of firing

The angle at which a bullet is fired is critical in determining where they might descend. Bullets fired straight up in the air may end up around two to three miles from where they were fired, while bullets fired at an angle may face less resistance, thus, they can travel at many miles per hour and prove to be much more deadly. 

  1. Lethal shots

In order to be classified as a lethal shot, the bullet must be able to penetrate through a person’s skin. This can vary from gun to gun, bullet to bullet, and person to person. For example, a thinner bullet can dodge air resistance as it has a smaller surface area, and penetrate the skin with much force, causing increased injuries.

Healthy and fit people have nourished and thick skin that makes it harder for the bullet to penetrate through. Older people and babies have thinner skin that makes them more susceptible to injuries if a bullet happens to hit them.

But, studies suggest that a bullet traveling at a speed of 200 miles per hour may be enough to break through the skin in all cases.  

How fast can a bullet travel if falling from the sky?
How fast can a bullet travel if falling from the sky?

Firing shots in the sky: no less than a disaster

It is a tradition in many areas to fire shots as a form of celebration on events such as New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and the 4th of July. This is considered as a form of entertainment, and most of them are harmless too, but you’d be shocked to hear how many injuries per year are caused because of this.

On average,  25 people are injured, and 2 individuals pass away annually in Puerto Rico. Police reports in Texas show that around 800 celebratory gunshots are observed yearly, on just New Year’s Eve. 

These gunshots don’t always hit a person, they also strike against buildings and homes, and, when this happens, it can cause roof damage that usually goes unnoticed until a much bigger issue arises.

The shooter is almost never identified, and they get away with it. But there is good news; since 2012 awareness is being raised in New York about this matter, and that has helped in reducing the gunshots and injuries in general. 

For the most part, almost no cases have been recorded of the shooter himself being struck by his own fired bullet, but rather it is others who have been harmed because of this negligence.

It is recommended to try and take cover for 2 minutes until after the shot has been fired to keep yourself safe, the bullet spends more or less 15-30 seconds in the air (excluding the fall time), so you have plenty of time to seek refuge till then. 

After observing the surge in deaths by celebratory gunshots, laws were created against it by the U.S government to ensure peaceful celebrations of major events, so no innocent lives are at stake due to someone else’s ignorance.  

To conclude, gunshots are fast, real fast. They are also dangerous if not dealt with properly and taken necessary precautions. Avoid shooting in the air at an angle as they can be a hazard to the people around you. Hence, it is important to be mindful when using guns so that it doesn’t cause harm to anyone. 

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