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Old April 14, 2024, 09:05 PM   #1
timlab55
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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.
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Old April 14, 2024, 11:21 PM   #2
georgehwbush
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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 ???
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Old April 15, 2024, 04:54 AM   #3
jetinteriorguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timlab55 View Post
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.
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Old April 15, 2024, 09:32 AM   #4
JohnKSa
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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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Old April 15, 2024, 10:43 AM   #5
Jack Ryan
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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?
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Old April 15, 2024, 06:31 PM   #6
The Verminator
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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.
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Old April 16, 2024, 02:38 PM   #7
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(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.
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Old April 16, 2024, 02:43 PM   #8
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( 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.
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Last edited by georgehwbush; April 16, 2024 at 02:45 PM. Reason: unfinished.
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Old April 16, 2024, 07:21 PM   #9
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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.
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Old April 17, 2024, 04:59 PM   #10
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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.
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Old April 20, 2024, 10:35 PM   #11
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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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Old April 20, 2024, 11:04 PM   #12
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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.
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Old April 21, 2024, 10:44 PM   #13
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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.
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Old April 22, 2024, 07:27 PM   #14
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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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