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Old February 20, 2002, 10:40 AM   #1
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Am I seeing things?

I loaded some 9mm with various powders,PP,#7,231 the other night and couldn't wait to shoot them, so since I live out in the country & my neighbors don't mind I stepped outside with a 1,000,000 power light and a friend of mine shot several rounds and a bottle while I held the light. In a distance of about 15yds I could see the bullet traveling and could easily tell where it hit. I thought I was seeing things so I fired a few and he held the light and he could see them too. Has anyone else tried this? I thought it was kind neat.
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Old February 20, 2002, 11:50 AM   #2
Navy joe
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Yep, you're seeing the bullet. pretty cool. See the current vapor trails post in the rifle forum.
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Old February 20, 2002, 11:53 AM   #3
Johnny Guest
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Yup, Fairly Common - - -

When the light is right. Most often seen when sun is low behind the shooter, and jacketed ammo is used, and the range is more than a few yards. It's REALLY fun shooting .44 or .45 at a hundred or 200 yards. This is most often seen by some observer other than the shooter, who, of course, is probably concentrating on the sights. Less commonly, I've even seen the same thing with rifle bullets.

Think I read somewhere that you can see almost every round if you can arrange to shoot through drifting smoke, in dim light, with car headlights to your rear. Never thought it was important enough to set up that situation, though.

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Old February 20, 2002, 11:56 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Years ago I was watching a friend shoot his .45 on a VERY bright day.

I was standing off to the side when all of a sudden I realized that I was seeing the bullets in flight. Pretty neat.

It's also very common to see the bullets actually hitting the targets at the NRA's Black Powder Rifle Silhouette championships. By the time the big slugs get out to 500 meters, were the rams are, they're moving pretty slowly and with a spotting scope it's pretty neat to watch.
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Old February 20, 2002, 12:38 PM   #5
Ben Shepherd
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It is tied to the angle of the light.

Out on the desert shooting my 44 mag at targets with a red sand hill for my backstop and the sun setting behind me, they were almost as bright as a tracer round.

Really cool to see.
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Old February 20, 2002, 11:43 PM   #6
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I have seen Blazer .45 rounds with a bright copper jacket in flight several times. It was always in the afteroon or early evening with the sun low and behind me. I would start to see the bullets about three feet out from the muzzle and then could follow them almost all the way to the target. I have also seen the keyholing bullets from some underloaded .38 Special rounds. Those semiwadcutters looked like round balls as they flew slowly down range. I found one of them sticking halfway through the fiberboard backer at the 50 foot range.
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