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How Fast Does A Bullet Travel - Know The Facts About Bullet Speed.

Factors That Affect The Speed Of A Bullet - Average Bullet Speeds For Different Types Of Calibers.

Do you know how fast does a bullet travel? Wondering, how fast does your favorite bullet travels.

You probably already know that different calibers travel at different speeds.

A rifle bullet's speed is the fastest in between (1200 - 4000 feet per second). Shotgun calibers come with the approximate speed of (1200 - 1600 feet per second) & the slowest calibers are handguns with a speed(of 950 - 1500 feet per second).

How Fast Does A Bullet Travel

Understanding bullet speed is crucial in firearms; you can better protect yourself and your loved ones.

This blog post will give detailed information about bullet speed, exploring its physics, common speeds, record-breaking velocities, and real-world effects.

This will help you choose the right caliber as per your requirement.

Understanding Bullet Speed

Understanding bullet speed is really very essential to get good shooting results.

Lets know about the basics of bullet speed.

Definition of bullet speed and its measurement units.

Definition of bullet speed and its measurement units

Bullet speed is a bullet's velocity as it leaves a firearm's muzzle. A bullet caliber determines its speed.

FPS (feet per second) and MPH (miles per hour) are the most common American measurements for bullets.

Several factors, including the type of firearm, the cartridge, and the barrel length, determine the bullet's muzzle velocity.

In general, higher muzzle velocity means the bullet will travel farther and hit with more energy.

However, other factors can also affect a bullet's performance, such as its weight and shape.

Main Factors That Impact Bullet Speed

Different types of bullets have different speeds. A bullet speed is impacted by various factors like; type of firearm, type of cartridge, length of the barrel & many more.

Let's discuss them in detail.

The type of firearm

The muzzle velocity of a bullet will vary depending on the type of firearm. For instance, the muzzle velocity of a rifle will normally be higher than that of a handgun. This is because rifles have longer barrels, which gives the bullet more time to accelerate.

The cartridge being used

The cartridge that is used will also have an impact on a bullet's muzzle velocity. For instance, a heavier bullet in a cartridge will normally have a lower muzzle velocity than a lighter bullet in the same cartridge. This is because it takes more energy to speed up a heavier projectile.

The length of the barrel

Barrel length also impacts a round performance. The muzzle velocity of a bullet will also be impacted by the barrel's length. The bullet will often have more time to speed up with a longer barrel, increasing the muzzle velocity.

Increasing velocity is one of the most important things you can do for bullet performance, so make sure you have a longer barrel that is adequate for the round you’re shooting.

The Bullet's Weight

Bullet weight is one of the most important factors in measuring bullet speed. The bullet's weight will also have an impact on muzzle velocity.

A heavier bullet will have a lower muzzle velocity because it needs more energy to gain speed. Lighter bullets will be fastest when fired from the same caliber.

The Bullet's Shape

The shape is also a factor that will affect bullet muzzle velocity. A more streamlined bullet will have a lower drag coefficient, which will allow it to travel faster.

The air resistance

The muzzle velocity of a bullet will also be impacted by air resistance. As the bullet travels through the air, it will encounter air resistance, which will slow it down. The density of the air, which is influenced by elements like temperature and humidity, will determine how much air resistance there is.

The wind speed

The muzzle velocity of a bullet will also be impacted by the wind speed. The bullet will move more quickly and have a higher muzzle velocity if the wind is blowing in the same direction as the bullet. The bullet will slow down and have a lower muzzle velocity if the wind is blowing in the other direction.

It is important to note that all of these factors can interact with each other, and the exact muzzle velocity of a bullet will depend on the specific combination of factors involved.

Important Factors To Measure Bullet Performance.

There are a number of factors that can be used to measure bullet performance. Some of the most important factors include:

Muzzle velocity

The muzzle velocity of a bullet is the speed at which it leaves the muzzle of the firearm. This is a significant factor since it affects the bullet's trajectory and energy level when it impacts the target.

Trajectory

The route a bullet takes as it travels through the air is known as its trajectory. This is significant since it establishes the height, distance, and amount of drop the bullet will experience over a specific distance.

Energy

The energy of a bullet is the amount of force that it can deliver when it hits the target. This is important because it determines how much damage the bullet can cause.

Penetration

The penetration of a bullet is the depth that it can travel into a target. This is important because it determines how effective the bullet will be at stopping an attacker or killing game.

Expansion

The expansion of a bullet is the way that it changes shape when it hits a target. This is important because it can increase the bullet's energy and penetration.

Accuracy

The accuracy of a bullet is the ability to hit a target consistently. This is important for both hunting and self-defense.

Recoil

The recoil of a firearm is the force that is transferred to the shooter's shoulder when the gun is fired. This is important because it can affect the shooter's ability to control the gun and make accurate shots.

Depending on the particular application, each of these criteria will have a different level of importance.

For big game hunting, muzzle velocity and energy are more crucial, whereas precision is more crucial for self-defense.

It is also essential to keep in mind that a variety of other factors, like the kind of firearm, the cartridge, the barrel length, and the weather, may impact the way a bullet performs.

When selecting a bullet for a certain purpose, several aspects should be taken into mind.

Comparison of bullet speeds for handguns, rifles, and shotgun Calibers

Popular Rifle Calibers Bullet’s Speed

223 Ammo

223 Ammo (Bullet- 55 gr. GMX)

Muzzle Velocity
3,250 ft/s
100 Yards
2,849 ft/s
200 Yards
2,482 ft/s
300 Yards
2,144 ft/s
400 Yards
1,834 ft/s
500 Yards
1,557 ft/s
5.56 Ammo

5.56 Ammo (Bullet- 55 gr. GMX® (20” Bbl)

Muzzle Velocity
3,130 ft/s
100 Yards
2,740 ft/s
200 Yards
2,382 ft/s
300 Yards
2,051 ft/s
400 Yards
1,750 ft/s
500 Yards
1,484 ft/s
6.5 Creedmoor

6.5 Creedmoor (Bullet 140 gr. BTHP)

Muzzle Velocity
2690 feet per second
100 Yards
2536 feet per second
200 Yards
2388 feet per second
300 Yards
2245 feet per second
400 Yards
2106 feet per second
500 Yards
1972 feet per second
6.5 Grendel

6.5 Grendel (Bullet 123 gr. ELD® Match)

Muzzle Velocity
2580 feet per second
100 Yards
2409 feet per second
200 Yards
2244 feet per second
300 Yards
2086 feet per second
400 Yards
1935 feet per second
500 Yards
1791 feet per second
300 Blackout Ammo

300 Blackout Ammo (Bullet 125 gr. HP (16” Bbl)

Muzzle Velocity
2175 feet per second
100 Yards
1932 feet per second
200 Yards
1708 feet per second
300 Yards
1505 feet per second
400 Yards
NA
500 Yards
NA
762x39mm Ammo

762x39mm Ammo (Bullet 123 gr. SST®

Muzzle Velocity
2350 feet per second
100 Yards
2040 feet per second
200 Yards
1756 feet per second
300 Yards
1503 feet per second
400 Yards
1290 feet per second
500 Yards
1129 feet per second
308 Winchester Ammo

308 Winchester Ammo (50 gr. SST®)

Muzzle Velocity
3000 feet per second
100 Yards
2772 feet per second
200 Yards
2556 feet per second
300 Yards
2350 feet per second
400 Yards
2153 feet per second
500 Yards
1966 feet per second
45-70 Ammo

45-70 Ammo (Bullet 250 gr. MonoFlex)

Muzzle Velocity
2025
100 Yards
1616
200 Yards
1285
300 Yards
1068
400 Yards
NA
500 Yards
NA
300 Win Mag Ammo

300 Win Mag Ammo (150 gr. InterLock® SP)

Muzzle Velocity
3275
100 Yards
2988
200 Yards
2719
300 Yards
2466
400 Yards
2227
500 Yards
2001
450 Bushmaster Ammo

450 Bushmaster Ammo ( 250 gr. FTX® (20” Bbl)

Muzzle Velocity
2200
100 Yards
1835
200 Yards
1515
300 Yards
1255
400 Yards
NA
500 Yards
NA

Popular Pistol Calibers Bullet’s Speed

9mm Ammo

9mm Ammo (Bullet 115 gr. XTP)

Muzzle Velocity
1155
50 Yards
1038
100 Yards
958
.45 ACP

.45 ACP (Bullet: 185 gr. XTP)

Muzzle Velocity
970
50 Yards
911
100 Yards
862
10mm Ammo

10mm Ammo (Bullet: 155 gr. XTP)

Muzzle Velocity
1410
50 Yards
1224
100 Yards
1090
38 Special Ammo

38 Special Ammo (Bullet: 110 gr. FTX)

Muzzle Velocity
1010
50 Yards
939
100 Yards
882
.380 Auto Ammo

.380 Auto Ammo ( Bullet: 90 gr. XTP)

Muzzle Velocity
1000
50 Yards
912
100 Yards
912
357 Magnum Ammo

357 Magnum Ammo (Bullet: 125 gr. FTX)

Muzzle Velocity
1500
50 Yards
1312
100 Yards
1163
45 Colt Ammo

45 Colt Ammo (Bullet:185 gr. FTX)

Muzzle Velocity
920
50 Yards
870
100 Yards
826
454 Casull Ammo

454 Casull Ammo (Bullet: 240 gr. XTP® Mag)

Muzzle Velocity
1900
50 Yards
1678
100 Yards
1478
32 Auto Ammo

32 Auto Ammo (Bullet:60 gr. XTP)

Muzzle Velocity
1000
50 Yards
905
100 Yards
833
40 S&W Ammo

40 S&W Ammo (Bullet:180 gr. XTP)

Muzzle Velocity
950
50 Yards
903
100 Yards
862

Popular Shotgun Calibers Bullet’s Speed

12 Gauge Ammo

12 Gauge Ammo (Bullet: 300 gr. FTX)

Muzzle Velocity
2000
50 Yards
1814
100 Yards
1641
150 Yards
1483
200 Yards
1342
20 Gauge Ammo

20 Gauge Ammo (Bullet: 250 gr. FTX)

Muzzle Velocity
1800
50 Yards
1628
100 Yards
1471
150 Yards
1331
200 Yards
1212
28 Gauge Ammo

28 Gauge Ammo

Muzzle Velocity
1200-1300 feet per second feet per second
50 Yards
1300 feet per second
100 Yards
1150 feet per second
150 Yards
1000 feet per second
200 Yards
850 feet per second
410 Bore Ammo

410 Bore Ammo

Muzzle Velocity
1775 feet per second
50 Yards
1625
100 Yards
1475
150 Yards
1325
200 Yards
1175

These are muzzle velocity for popular handguns, rifles, and shotgun calibers.

 

Pros And Cons Of A Fast Bullet Speed?

Here are some of the pros and cons of a fast bullet speed:

Pros

  • Image Increased range: A faster bullet will travel farther than a slower bullet. This is because it has more energy, which allows it to overcome air resistance and gravity for a longer period of time.
  • Image Increased energy: When a bullet reaches its target, a faster bullet will have more energy than a slower bullet. It might also cause more harm, making it more useful for hunting or self-defense.
  • Image Reduced wind drift: A faster bullet is less affected by wind than a slower bullet. This is because it has less time to be affected by the wind as it travels through the air.
  • Image Reduced bullet drop: A faster bullet will drop less over a given distance than a slower bullet. This is because it has more energy, which allows it to travel farther before it starts to drop due to gravity.

Cons

  • Image Increased recoil: A faster bullet will produce more recoil than a slower bullet. This is because it has more energy, which is transferred to the shooter's shoulder when the gun is fired.
  • Image Increased noise: A faster bullet will produce more noise than a slower bullet. This is because it is moving faster, which creates more sonic booms as it travels through the air.
  • Image Increased difficulty of accuracy: Shooting accurately with a faster bullet is more challenging than with a slower one. This is due to the fact that it moves more quickly and has less opportunity to settle in the air before hitting the target.
  • Image Increased ammunition cost: Fast-velocity bullets are typically more expensive than slower-velocity bullets. This is because they require more gunpowder to propel them to their higher speeds.

Ultimately, the decision of using a faster bullet will depend on the specific application.

A fast bullet speed will be necessary for hunting large games. It will not be so essential for self defense.

FAQs

Q:What is the average speed of a bullet?

Ans: The average speed of a bullet can vary depending on factors such as the type of firearm and ammunition used. Generally, a rifle bullet speed is the fastest in between (1200 - 4000 feet per second). Shotgun calibers come with the approximate speed of (1200 - 1600 feet per second) & the slowest calibers are handguns with a speed(of 950 - 1500 feet per second)

Q: How fast does a 9mm bullet travel?

Ans: On average, standard 9mm ammo fired from a handgun can have muzzle velocity from approximately 1,000 to 1,200 feet per second (feet per second). However, depending on the ammo being used, the bullet speed will change. As subsonic rounds will move more slowly than supersonic rounds.

Q: how fast does a 22 bullet travel?

Ans: The muzzle velocity of a .22 caliber varies between specific ammunition. In General, a 22 bullet travels between 1,100 to 1,300 feet per second.

Q: How fast does a bullet travel in mph?

Ans: An average bullet travels 1700 mph. It will be different for different bullet types.

Q: Feet per second to mph?

Ans: 1 mph = 1.46667 feet per second. So, to calculate the speed of a bullet in mph, you can multiply its velocity in feet per second by 1.46667.

Q: How fast does a 223 bullet travel?

Ans: An average muzzle velocity of a .223 bullet is approximately 3,200 feet per second. Again, the exact velocity will vary depending on the type of ammunition being used.

Q: How fast does a 50 caliber bullet travel?

Ans: A 50 caliber bullet travels at a muzzle velocity of 3,000 feet per second (2,050 mph). Despite being heavy, its caliber allows for a massive cartridge with many propellants.

Q: How fast do bullets travel in water?

Ans: Bullets travel slower in water as compared to air. As the depth of the water, The muzzle velocity will be different for specific caliber.

Q: How fast do bullets travel in space?

Ans: Bullets shot in space wouldn't really travel any faster than they would on Earth. The bullet would continue to travel at the speed it had at the moment it left the barrel of the firearm.

Q: Muzzle velocity of 5.56?

Ans: The muzzle velocity of a 5.56mm NATO round is typically around 3,130 feet per second (feet per second). However, this can vary depending on the specific cartridge and barrel length.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the caliber and type of gun being used can have a big impact on how fast does a bullet travel?.

Comparing handguns to rifles and shotguns, the bullet speed of a handgun is often lower.

Muzzle velocities for common handgun calibers including 9mm, .40 S&W, and.45 ACP typically range from 900 to 1,200 feet per second (feet per second).

Faster bullet speeds are possible with rifles, which are renowned for their higher velocities and longer effective range. Muzzle velocities for cartridges like the.223 Remington and.308 Winchester typically range from 2,500 to 3,000 feet per second.

High-velocity rifle cartridges like the.300 Winchester Magnum and the.338 Lapua Magnum may reach speeds of more than 3,000 feet per second and occasionally nearly 4,000 feet per second.

Depending on the kind of ammunition, shotguns can fire a single massive bullet (slug) or many smaller projectiles (shot).

Birdshot for small game normally travels at 1,000 to 1,400 feet per second, whereas slug rounds made for larger animals or self-defense can travel at 1,200 to 1,600 feet per second.

It's essential to keep in mind that these values are estimates and may vary depending on the specific firearm, barrel length, and ammunition.

Author:
Lisa Earnest

Lisa Earnest

Jul, 01, 2023

Lisa Earnest has been a part of the Bulk Cheap Ammo team since 2018 and serves as the editor of Bulk Cheap Ammo content.

With a flair for language and an unwavering dedication to shooting sports, Lisa's diverse expertise combines to create an unforgettable experience for our audience.

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