The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 14, 2012, 12:02 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 15, 2011
Posts: 1,405
Can you recognize incoming fire?

I remembered something from my old Army days and just wanted to throw it out there to you guys.

Do you know what being shot at sounds like?

It is usually different for handguns then it is for rifles but perhaps not for the reasons you think. But if you have ever taken live fire you probably know what I am talking about.

If you ever do get shot at, keep in mind, it's not the "bang bang" that you need to worry about. It's the "zip zing" that does the hurtin'.

This is just more pronounced with rifles then with handguns. The only time I ever took fire was almost by accident. I was in korea and my unit was participating in an exercise. We were setting up our collection system when I noticed these funny zip and zing noises. It took me a few moments listening to connect these odd noises with the extremely common noise of life fire coming from a korean Army rifle range about 800 meters up on a hill. It would seem that some of the Korean marksmen were shooting over the berm and these stray rounds were traveling much closer then what anyone would be comfortable with. I called my team into cover behind our tracked vehicle once I realized what was happening but it does underscore the point.

It's not the bang that does the damage, and being shot doesn't always happen the way you imagin it might.
Colt M1911, AR-15 | S&W Model 19, Model 27| SIG P238 | Berreta 85B Cheetah | Ruger Blackhawk .357MAG, Bearcat "Shopkeeper" .22LR| Remington Marine Magnum SP 12GA., Model 700 SPS .223
lcpiper is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 12:29 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 25, 2010
Location: Coyote Creak, SW Texas
Posts: 597
If a bullet hits near you that came from a distance (say a rifle at several hundred yards) you will hear a slap or pop as the bullet hits (hopefully a tree and not you). If it goes past you, sometimes the zing is heard. The boom follows a noticeable few moments later, thus the saying "you won't hear the round that kills you". I guess this could be a true saying if you got hit in the brain and died instantly.

30+ years ago, deer hunting, I experienced the loud, hard pop as a nearby tree caught a bullet from several hundred yards away that came from across the property line and hit near me. Then the boom. Scares the snot out of you! I don't know who shot, or even if they knew I was there. I was wearing lots of orange, so I doubt someone thought I was a deer. After all the yelling I made, I'm sure they knew I was there then!
Strive to live up to the opinion that your dog has of you.
twobit is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 01:30 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: December 1, 2009
Location: Stillwater, OKlahoma
Posts: 8,213



Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
aarondhgraham is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 01:42 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 10,843
Go to a High power, F-Class, CMP-GSm, etc, match where they use pits and you can hear the bullets cracking overhead, even though in many cases you can hear the shot.

Pistol/Revolvers are often sub sonic but you are normally close enough you can hear the gun.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 01:43 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: September 4, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,552
I'll never forget deer hunting when I was about 19 years old, on our farm in northern Vermont.

Walking along, I heard a "zzzzip" that was quite loud and near. Hit the dirt in case another round was coming, but none did.

I heard the shot a few seconds later, the shooter must have been on the ridge at least a half-mile away to the west, and definitely couldn't see me.

Needless to say, it was a little unnerving. It definitely took my awareness of where I was shooting to another level as a result.
Sparks1957 is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 01:52 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: November 1, 2011
Location: Near St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 844
When I was 20, I was quail/rabbit hunting with my buddy. We were on public land. As we came up over the top of a gentle hill, we were about 20 feet apart, he was in front. We both heard a "wzzzzz" sound, followed quickly by boom. I shouted and my buddy shot his 20 gage straight up into the air.

Turns out some clown was sighting in his 30-06 by shooting soda cans and jelly jars, and he was not very careful about his backstop... He was only about 150 yards away.

The wzzzz sound was sort of like a horse fly buzzing past my head, but louder. It moved VERY fast from left to right.
btmj is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 03:38 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: November 19, 2005
Location: southwestern va
Posts: 768
yep, hear a smack zip boom when its coming at you......outgoing is boom zip smack.
"i got the most powerful gun in the .88 magnum. It shoots thru schools......"
scottycoyote is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 04:01 PM   #8
Strafer Gott
Senior Member
Join Date: May 12, 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,315
Rocket fire goes kapow, thumpa,thumpa thumpa 157 times., Ak's go snap snap! Mortars go bam bam bam. I much prefer the sound of arc lights, but they are outgoing.
Strafer Gott is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 04:07 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 1,970
Go to a High power, F-Class, CMP-GSm, etc, match where they use pits and you can hear the bullets cracking overhead, even though in many cases you can hear the shot.
In my experience in the pits, you would hear a "Tick" as a 5.56 bullets zipped through the target overhead of your pit position followed by a "Pop!" of the AR's report. If you were distracted, you could easily miss the sound and as a result would be slow on pulling the target down. (A late pull can throw a shooter off, so it behooved you to pay attention because that shooter is likely going to pull your targets.)

Next was a "Tack" sound when a 7.62 zaps through and a "POW!" of the M1A's report.

But I pulled for Garand shooter once: the first time you hear that, it really gets you attention...the paper makes a distinct "TOCK" sound when the shooter sends one through the target, followed by the "BOOM!!" of the M1's report.

Once you hear them together, you never forget the difference.
NRA Life Member
USN Retired
Skadoosh is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 10:55 PM   #10
Mr. James
Senior Member
Join Date: April 10, 2001
Location: The Old Dominion
Posts: 1,521
Skadoosh, that is really fascinating to a short-range, hand-gun-oriented pogue that I am. You've just convinced me to put an M1 on top of my list!

More importantly, thank all of you for your service.
"...A humble and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Ps. li

"When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law." —Frederic Bastiat
Mr. James is offline  
Old June 14, 2012, 11:37 PM   #11
Join Date: June 12, 2012
Posts: 62
With five bullet hole, steel plate in head, and shrapnel still in the body, I know all about incoming fire. You don't ever want to be caught in the middle of a cross fire.
Skimp is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 01:04 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: September 29, 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,153
Two situations. As a kid playing one day on a beach in Puget Sound (WA) i kept hearing ziiiip, ziiiip followed by light smack against the rocky bank behind me. Looking out over the water I could see no one within a quarter mile or more. Finally figured it must be real bullets nonetheless and dived behind a driftwood log. They sounded kind of slow and spent so they may have come from the other side of the bay about 3/4 mile away.

Second experience just as kraig mentioned in the pits at a CMP match pulling targets. Distinct difference in sonic crack and thwack on paper between .223 and .30-06. Safest way for sure to hear incoming!!
NWPilgrim is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 02:27 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: August 9, 2011
Posts: 1,293
It's not the shots you hear that you need to worry about. Its the one that you don't hear.
TMD is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 03:24 AM   #14
Navy joe
Senior Member
Join Date: January 28, 2001
Location: VA, USA
Posts: 1,804
Never heard much except for in highpower. The interesting thing is that after a bit I can tell where to look on the target by the sound location. Also easy to tell when the 7.62 guy cross fires onto the 5.56 target and vice versa.
Navy joe is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 05:34 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: March 31, 2011
Location: Southeast, USA
Posts: 350
Do you know what being shot at sounds like?
Heard it several times

Felt it one time

Hope I never hear or feel it again
Good character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking.
GM2 is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 05:47 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: September 12, 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 827
Luckily, I've never been shot at before (besides a self-induced graze... stupidity and alcohol, never again) but I looked this up and thought it was interesting.

The speed of sound is the distance travelled during a unit of time by a sound wave propagating through an elastic medium. In dry air at 20 °C (68 °F), the speed of sound is 343.2 metres per second (1,126 ft/s). This is 1,236 kilometres per hour (768 mph), or about one kilometer in three seconds or approximately one mile in five seconds.
"Shut up, crime!"
shaunpain is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 06:06 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: December 21, 2005
Location: Sarasota (sort of) Florida
Posts: 1,254
A sound I'll never forget.
As for not hearing the bullet that hits do

'Qui tacet consentit': To remain silent is to consent.
AirForceShooter is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 06:22 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: October 10, 2010
Location: MI
Posts: 315
When I was an active duty Marine, we would have to qualify yearly with our M16 A1's. The targets were on a frame, operated by rope and pulley, and you sit and stand in the "butts" below grade at the target line and "pull" the target down and record the score, and mark the target, and run it back up for the shooter to see where his shots were hitting. If he missed the target completely, you waved a red flag back and forth across the target, commonly referred to as "Maggie's Drawers", it was great fun to do that when someone missed.

Anyway's, the sound of 5.56X45mm's cracking through the paper targets just four feet above your head was quite impressive.
10Ringmagic is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 07:36 AM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 2011
Posts: 654
First time, zipped right by my head, it didn't quite register, thought it was a bee, a big fat bee trying to sting me.
For 20 years the sea was my home, always recall the sun going down, and my trusty friend, a 1911 pistol, strapped to my side.
Seaman is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 09:07 AM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: December 30, 2008
Location: Oklahoma, America
Posts: 286
Ive spent my fair share of time in the "butts" and like others have said, its definitely something I wont soon forget.

You also occasionally hear a round fall short and hit the dirt if the shooter forgot to adjust his elevation settings when changing yard lines.

I did have an experience where another marine was shooting from about 20 yards behind me. We were on a fire and movement exercise and the team member in the lead was the only one that was supposed to shoot. Apparently Castillo couldn't wait his turn, that or just forgot and sent half a magazine over my head. I thanked him later for at least remembering not to shoot me.
"Be kind, be courteous, and have a plan to kill everybody you meet."
dcobler is offline  
Old June 15, 2012, 10:48 AM   #21
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,814
Don't see that this has all the much to do with Training and Tactics for the armed private citizen, so let's move on.

If someone could convince me, by PM, that it is a worthwhile subject for discussion here, I'll consider re-opening the thread.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
Frank Ettin is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:55 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12171 seconds with 9 queries