A Bullet Fired Underwater Doesn't Shoot That Far

Video Shows How a Bullet Fired Underwater Doesn't Shoot That Far

Video: No one should ever have to face the other end of a gun barrel. But if you find yourself in such a situation, let's all hope that it's underwater. Here's our favourite physicist Andreas Wahl proving how the velocity of a bullet slows down like crazy when it's fired underwater with a lovely visual experiment. The bullet nosedives after getting shot and only travels about a metre. If you're more than like 2m away from the rifle, you'd be fine. I'd still want to be at least 10km away from the end of a gun, though.


    I think the bullets travel further if they are fired from the air first, as the bullet enters the water with much higher velocity. Firing the gun underwater prevents the bullet from attaining any meaningful velocity.

      Nope. Its a Hollywood myth. Bullet will disintegrate.
      Check this video

      What one needs is a specially designed underwater rifle. Like this


      It still doesn't go very far no matter what because water doesn't compress and bullets aren't hydrodynamic enough to push through it. You have to use long thin projectiles like spears or flechettes.
      -Just a note: the bullet reaches maximum velocity when it exits the muzzel and then begins to slow down straight after, it doesn't matter if it's fired in air or water, that pattern is the same.

      Last edited 28/01/16 4:15 am

        was going to say the same, water is 784 times more dense than air at sea level, hitting it from the air would cause the projectile to deform and the slow down would be exponential from first impact.

      And low power subsonic bullets travel much further than supersonic high caliber, high caliber disintegrate on impact with the water, slow velocity hand gun rounds penetrate 1-2m.

    I suppose you might do better with a casing around the gun that projects the sound of the gunshot forward from three off-centre holes that create a destructive convergence in line with the bullet.

    Demonstrated back in 2013 by a "Rocket Surgeon" (jk)


    as well as already linked by others eg. mythbusters ~2010..

    The russian dart shooters look more acceptable, stable and structurally tough enough to cope with the forces water exerts on the projectile. Seems about 30 metres is the longest effective range underwater (up to 5m depth).

    The "Slo mo guys" have some footage of "supersonic" (air speeds) underwater shots ca. 2013.

    What if the bullet was shaped like a fish?

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