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 April 14, 2024, 09:05 PM #1 timlab55 Member   Join Date: April 5, 2024 Location: Someplace in the South Posts: 25 How Far Will It Travel If I shoot a 5.56 from 100 yards how far will that round go before it stops? I guess what I"m asking is if a 5.56 hits something, and goes through it, would it lose any speed? We all know that the 5.56 can travel close to 3 miles with nothing in it's way. But what if that round hit something before the 3miles? I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense in advance.
 April 14, 2024, 11:21 PM #2 georgehwbush Senior Member   Join Date: July 14, 2023 Location: down town USA Posts: 244 3 miles ? sounds long, even with 30 degree elevation. (which afords max distance with most rifle 'boolitz') anyway, the short answer is yes everything that contacts a projectile will have an affect. now, if it is fmj then the deceleration will be small compared to say a match grade hollow point, but; the density of the target is the big question, shooting single leaf paper ? cardboard backed paper ? wood backed paper ? iron maiden ??? __________________ "if you have a good shooting stance, you are not using cover correctly" father frog
April 15, 2024, 04:54 AM   #3
jetinteriorguy
Senior Member

Join Date: April 28, 2013
Posts: 3,207
Quote:
 Originally Posted by timlab55 If I shoot a 5.56 from 100 yards how far will that round go before it stops? I guess what I"m asking is if a 5.56 hits something, and goes through it, would it lose any speed? We all know that the 5.56 can travel close to 3 miles with nothing in it's way. But what if that round hit something before the 3miles? I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense in advance.
There’s so many variables involved it’s impossible to predict. The safest way to think of it is don’t go slinging bullets all over the country side when you can’t be sure where they’ll end up going, especially with a high powered rifle.

April 15, 2024, 09:32 AM   #4
JohnKSa
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Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 25,053
Quote:
 I guess what I"m asking is if a 5.56 hits something, and goes through it, would it lose any speed? We all know that the 5.56 can travel close to 3 miles with nothing in it's way. But what if that round hit something before the 3miles?
I couldn't find a definitive source for the maximum distance of travel for a 5.56 round, but did find several credible claims that it probably won't travel farther than 2.5 miles. Still, I wouldn't take that as carte blanche to shoot towards a populated area that was 2.51 miles away without a backstop.

How far it will go after hitting something depends on what it hits and on the target. If it goes through a paper target and then ricochets off the surface of water, it might travel close to maximum distance. If it goes through a coyote and then hits a rock, it will likely lose a lot of velocity and probably be deformed, both of which will limit how far it can travel after impact. It might not travel any additional distance at all.

The safe thing to do if you don't have access to all the downrange land and know that it's clear of anything that could be damaged or anyone who could be injured or killed is to make sure that all bullets fired are stopped more or less at the target.
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 April 15, 2024, 10:43 AM #5 Jack Ryan Member   Join Date: November 9, 2009 Posts: 63 If we all know it can travel 3 miles, I have to ask if "we all" have ever shot one or shot SOMETHING with it? If we all have shot SOMETHING with it, then wouldn't we all know if it will make a difference? __________________ It is amazing how a person's opinion of a back stop can change, depending on if they are shooting toward their own house or someone else's.
 April 15, 2024, 06:31 PM #6 The Verminator Senior Member   Join Date: April 19, 2013 Location: Minnesota Posts: 410 If a .223 hits anything that offers substantial resistance it will deform (if not disintegrate) and will go off course and will not travel much farther being essentially nullified.
 April 16, 2024, 02:38 PM #7 georgehwbush Senior Member   Join Date: July 14, 2023 Location: down town USA Posts: 244 (If a .223 hits anything that offers substantial resistance...) yeah if it hits anything it will offer resistance, even a drop of water will affect it. (contrarry to popular belief) and the short answer to "how far will it travel" is until it hits something which stops(catches) it. __________________ "if you have a good shooting stance, you are not using cover correctly" father frog
 April 16, 2024, 02:43 PM #8 georgehwbush Senior Member   Join Date: July 14, 2023 Location: down town USA Posts: 244 ( If it goes through a paper target and then ricochets off the surface of water, ...) reminds me of testing to see if a 22LR would shoot through a 5gal. bucket full of water vertically, and yes you will get wet trying this; i first tried with winchester 36gr hp which to my surprise expanded to about twice the size and landed gently on the bottom of the bucket. only mentioned that to say something like an SMK bullet might expand or deform on impact with paper target. because the op did not specify 55gr FMJ... just saying. __________________ "if you have a good shooting stance, you are not using cover correctly" father frog Last edited by georgehwbush; April 16, 2024 at 02:45 PM. Reason: unfinished.
 April 16, 2024, 07:21 PM #9 jmr40 Senior Member   Join Date: June 15, 2008 Location: Georgia Posts: 10,826 Too many unknown variables. If the barrel is parallel to the earth when fired gravity will start pulling the bullet down towards the ground as soon as it leaves the barrel. Then you'd have to know how far above the ground. If fired from the standing position it would have to fall about 4'. From prone only about 1'. In either of those scenarios, it would only travel a few hundred yards. If the barrel is elevated at just the right angle 3 miles or somewhere near it is plausible. Anytime a bullet hits something it will lose speed and most likely be deflected into a different direction. How much speed and how much it is deflected depends on what it hits. A blade of grass is a lot different than a brick wall. It doesn't take much to stop a 223 round, they aren't known for deep penetration against barriers. __________________ "If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong" Winston Churchill
 April 17, 2024, 04:59 PM #10 Adventurer 2 Senior Member   Join Date: September 5, 2006 Posts: 666 Get a hold of 5.56 tracer rounds -- i was always amazed at the light show provided from tracer rounds. 308 and 5.56 is plunging fire at 1000 meters.
April 20, 2024, 10:35 PM   #11
5whiskey
Senior Member

Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 3,676
Quote:
 Get a hold of 5.56 tracer rounds -- i was always amazed at the light show provided from tracer rounds. 308 and 5.56 is plunging fire at 1000 meters.
Tracers do offer an education for sure. Even when rounds impact a berm, many of them ricochet up and travel behind the berm. To be fair, they lose the overwhelming vast majority of their velocity nor can they travel far at all due to resistance (projectile is tumpling at this point) and velocity loss, but it would probably do more than sting a bit if one did happen to come down on you.

3 miles is on the bit much side. 2 miles, not enough stand off. In between are a lot of variables.
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 April 20, 2024, 11:04 PM #12 mehavey Senior Member   Join Date: June 17, 2010 Location: Virginia Posts: 6,937 Standard 223/55gr/FMJ @ 3,000fps at most efficient elevation angle: 2¼ miles . . . or so says QuickTarget. Elevation at zero.... into random forested environment/barring head-on tree... roll the dice.
 April 21, 2024, 10:44 PM #13 Ignition Override Senior Member   Join Date: February 18, 2008 Location: About 20 nm from the Big Muddy Posts: 2,893 A house recently got hit by some Dufuss at our rural club. The bullet was a .223/5/56 and the distance from the tables at the very long rifle gully are 1,200 or 1,300 yards from the house. The impact through the house indicated that the rifle had been pointed upwards at something like a 35-45 or so angle. The bullet's holes and imbedded downward angle indicated that the rifle was aimed upwards at a similar angle. As a result members soon will need a very quick special qual., not so much about accuracy but probably involving actual gun handling consistency, ie finger control. One of the staff told me about it yesterday.
April 22, 2024, 07:27 PM   #14
mehavey
Senior Member

Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6,937
Quote:
 members soon will need a very quick special qual.,
You can never prevent a negligent -- nee accidental -- discharge of the nature described above.
The only thing that actually stops it, is baffles.

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