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Old November 8, 2017, 10:30 PM   #1
TXAZ
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How high will the bullet go if fired upward?

Someone asked the question, "How high will the bullet go if shot straight up??
In a vacuum, it's an easy kinetic to potential energy calculation.
(1/2mv^2 = mgh)
But in reality I'm trying to get the Shooter app to tell me how high if shot vertically, but it doesn't like that.

Does anyone know how to get the Shooter or Ballistic AE app to calculate the maximum height of a 750 grain bullet fired at 2800 fps upwards?

Thanks!
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Last edited by TXAZ; November 9, 2017 at 07:53 AM.
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Old November 8, 2017, 10:37 PM   #2
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I member doing problems like that in physics class... the knowledge didn’t stick though. You could calculate for sure if you know all the variables.
I bounced a 50cal tracer off of a tank and it went into some low clouds. So at least that far.

I’m bored lol, sorry for not being any help.
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Old November 9, 2017, 03:21 AM   #3
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The bullet will decellerate due to the acceleration of the earths gravity which will vary depending on elevation. At sea level it will decellerate at 32 feet per second squared.

It will also decellerate due to air resistance and this will vary with the djameter and shape of the bullet plus the density of air.

There may also be a measurable deviation due to the Coriolis effect from the earths rotation. This may vary by latitude.

So you will need to know the muzzle velocity and then decellerate the bullet due to gravity and air resistance until the velocity equals zero.
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Old November 9, 2017, 04:19 AM   #4
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When I was in the Army we would no night qualifications with our m16's and use a lot of tracers. Often you would see some ricochet strait up to the sky high enough to bring a chopper or small plane flying before the tracer would burn out. Good question but I hated physics, loved geometry.
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Old November 9, 2017, 02:23 PM   #5
Robert.Greene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXAZ View Post
Someone asked the question, "How high will the bullet go if shot straight up??
In a vacuum, it's an easy kinetic to potential energy calculation.
(1/2mv^2 = mgh)
But in reality I'm trying to get the Shooter app to tell me how high if shot vertically, but it doesn't like that.

Does anyone know how to get the Shooter or Ballistic AE app to calculate the maximum height of a 750 grain bullet fired at 2800 fps upwards?

Thanks!
From your own equation, with muzzle speed of 2800 fps you get 37,123 m = 23.1 miles. Add in air friction, etc I'm guessing no more than 10-15mi? Still seems quite high.
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Old November 9, 2017, 02:24 PM   #6
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https://www.wired.com/2009/09/how-hi...s-a-bullet-go/
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Old November 9, 2017, 02:37 PM   #7
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Wow, that's impressive. More than 9,000 feet of altitude for 30-06 and more than 4,000 feet of altitude for a 9mm.
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Old November 9, 2017, 02:40 PM   #8
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750gr @ 2,800 fps sounds like .50 BMG... I bet you could find some vintage U.S. military manuals with trajectory charts, as this was one of the most common anti-aircraft rounds before the transition to SAMs.
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Old November 9, 2017, 04:04 PM   #9
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It would be hard to gauge a tracer distance, those little buggers like to zing off after a couple hundred rounds to go start a range fire on a berm in my experience.

But interesting topic!
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Old November 9, 2017, 04:44 PM   #10
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so the .50 would be substantially higher ?
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Old November 10, 2017, 02:47 AM   #11
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It is actually just over 10000 feet. (10170.6367 feet)
I don't have any model rockets that will go that high.
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Old November 10, 2017, 05:25 PM   #12
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Thanks to a fellow .50 shooter who has an app that does allow vertical shots, and takes BC, bullet weight, humidity and other factors into consideration, the answer is 3.27 miles. Straight up. 5262 meters, 17,266 feet.
That corroborates with Barrett’s 7 mile max horizontal range and another less precise calculator.
Thanks.
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Old November 10, 2017, 05:55 PM   #13
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Crazy, and interesting.
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Old November 12, 2017, 05:28 PM   #14
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As you may have guessed, the altitude achieved is directly related to the ballistic coefficient of the bullet, muzzle velocity, and climatic conditions.

I recall Hatcher's Notebook, by Major General Julian S. Hatcher (USA) having some information, but that was in the 1910s and 1920s. Not sure if .50 BMG was mentioned.

Based on experience with the Federal Government, I'll bet the information has been developed, measured, calculated or discovered on a Ouiji board by some agency or department. An Army manual more than likely lists it, but it would be titled something on the order of "Studies of Small Arms Ammunition Trajectories and Eccentricities for Range Designers" or similar. Good luck.
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Old November 13, 2017, 10:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archie
An Army manual more than likely lists it, but it would be titled something on the order of "Studies of Small Arms Ammunition Trajectories and Eccentricities for Range Designers" or similar.
Although I'm kinda reiterating what I wrote earlier, I would recommend looking for vintage anti-aircraft field manuals.

I did 5 minutes of Googling after my prior post, and I managed to find some WWII-era manuals for 3" light AA artillery, complete with complex mathematical formulas and very detailed trajectory charts—stuff that no grunt operating the equipment would probably understand, and that would have required unrealistically advanced technology to use anyway (i.e. ranging radar and digital computers), but I digress.

I didn't find anything about .50 BMG, but it must be out there, possibly in Navy manuals, given that "quad 50" AA emplacements were installed on virtually every USN surface combatant at the time. I strongly suspect that the Navy would have considered the need to fire virtually straight up to counter dive-bombers.
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Old November 14, 2017, 06:56 PM   #16
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Whenever anybody mentions Naval anti-aircraft guns I think of this picture of the line up on the Essex class aircraft carrier USS Hornet from 1945.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oerlik..._20mm_1945.jpg
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Old November 14, 2017, 08:56 PM   #17
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The question has been answered by the OP - see post #12.
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