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 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)
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Can You See a Bullet Fired From A Gun?

Can you see a bullet as it travels from the muzzle of a gun to its target? Sounds ridiculous, but the short answer is YES, under the right conditions.  

9mm Luger Bullet 
 Can You See A Bullet
When Fired From A Gun?

At The Shooting Range

I was at the range yesterday shooting my .22 caliber handgun. My friend next to me was shooting a 9mm handgun. We were talking, and he mentioned that a buddy of his said that he actually saw bullets coming out of a gun as they traveled down range to their target. My friend thought that the guy was crazy and gave it no further thought. Out of curiosity, I watched as my friend shot his 9mm Glock 26.

To my amazement, I actually saw brief glimpses of bullets flying from the muzzle of his gun to the target. I couldn't believe it and I talked to my friend about it thinking that it was just the power of suggestion. I watched as a shot some more rounds down range and I swear that I actually could see the bullets as they traveled to their target. I still couldn't believe what I was seeing was true. My friend had doubts as well.

I decided to ask an "expert" and walked over to the range master's desk. I told the range master that I had a stupid question and asked if was possible to actually see a bullet as it traveled down range to the target. She indicated that it was and she sees them all the time when people are shooting 9mm re-loaded ammunition. She said that when 9mm ammunition is loaded with "soft loads", in other words the casing does not contain as much power as a store bought ammunition, it does not travel as fast and therefore many times you able to see the bullet flying through the air to its target. This made a lot of sense to me considering that I had seen it for myself.

My friend was shooting 9mm ammunition that he had a reloaded himself, though he indicated that he did not re-load with soft loads, but that he added the appropriate amount of powder as per the manufacturers instruction.  He fired off a few more rounds and again I could see about three out of five bullets as they flew down range. I shot my 22 caliber handgun while he watched me but he could see none of my bullets. He then asked me to shoot his 9mm handgun while he watched. He said that he could see two out of five rounds as they flew through the air.

For me the trick of seeing bullets flying through the air is to adjust and focus my vision approximately 15ft. from the muzzle of the gun to the target. With proper lighting and concentration you can see the bullet streaking to its target for a distance of about 25 ft.


Authored By Mike Coviello (Tanner)


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Can You See A Bullet? - Comments & Questions


Sent: December 22, 2010
Subject: Seeing Bullets

I'm a firearms instructor and the other day as I was conducting a class I noticed I could see the rounds from a 9mm SIG SAUER shooting 115 gr. WWB JHP as they exited the muzzle and struck the target. I watched at least 10 or 12 of these and could see everyone. It was an indoor range and the target was 7 yards or 21 feet away.