History Main / BizarreAndImprobableBallistics

9th Jul '17 11:04:17 AM nombretomado
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** In ''Literature/MailedFist'', an autobiographical account of commanding tanks on WW2, Major John Foley of the Royal Tank Regiment recalls the day his Churchill received a direct hit in a CurbStompBattle with a German tank. He took a direct hit from a Tiger tank that killed Foley's co-driver and passed straight through the length of the tank from front to rear to explode in the engine compartment. Foley had been right in its path as it passed through the tank, and when he returned to the wreck to plot its trajectory between the entrance hole and the hole in the engine bulkhead, he realised it should have taken both his legs off. Yet he escaped with a slight scratch on one thigh. A ballistics expert assured him that shells do odd things in flight, especially when part of their impetus has been spent on first contact. Foley concluded it had somehow described a curved path on penetrating the forward armour, deflecting its path and somehow causing it to swerve around him.

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** In ''Literature/MailedFist'', an autobiographical account of commanding tanks on WW2, [=WW2=], Major John Foley of the Royal Tank Regiment recalls the day his Churchill received a direct hit in a CurbStompBattle with a German tank. He took a direct hit from a Tiger tank that killed Foley's co-driver and passed straight through the length of the tank from front to rear to explode in the engine compartment. Foley had been right in its path as it passed through the tank, and when he returned to the wreck to plot its trajectory between the entrance hole and the hole in the engine bulkhead, he realised it should have taken both his legs off. Yet he escaped with a slight scratch on one thigh. A ballistics expert assured him that shells do odd things in flight, especially when part of their impetus has been spent on first contact. Foley concluded it had somehow described a curved path on penetrating the forward armour, deflecting its path and somehow causing it to swerve around him.
13th May '17 5:41:02 PM nombretomado
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** Something quite similar happens in ''Franchise/StarCraft''. If a projectile fires, it will hit and do damage. This is usually OK with bullets and missiles; bullets hit instantly and missiles track their targets. Although, missiles will follow a fast target to hit it even if it's already out of its normal range. The Vulture's grenade attack, on the other hand, will go to where the target was at the time of firing. Given the movement speed of some units, this causes the rather slow grenade to miss quite often. The target still takes damage, of course.

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** Something quite similar happens in ''Franchise/StarCraft''.''VideoGame/StarCraft''. If a projectile fires, it will hit and do damage. This is usually OK with bullets and missiles; bullets hit instantly and missiles track their targets. Although, missiles will follow a fast target to hit it even if it's already out of its normal range. The Vulture's grenade attack, on the other hand, will go to where the target was at the time of firing. Given the movement speed of some units, this causes the rather slow grenade to miss quite often. The target still takes damage, of course.
18th Apr '17 6:21:59 PM PaltryCarton
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* In the 1936 ''Film/ReeferMadness'' one scene has Bill the main protagonist fighting Ralph while under the influence of marijuana. During the fight the main antagonist Jack comes out of the kitchen to stop them while brandishing a gun, when Jack runs over Bill tries to take the gun from Jack managing to get it to the floor accidentally firing it and the bullet somehow manages to hit Bill's love interest Mary Lane while she was lying on top of the couch. Granted it was in he same direction as Mary but other than that it makes no scence.

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* In the 1936 film ''Film/ReeferMadness'' one scene has Bill the main protagonist fighting Ralph while under the influence of marijuana. During the fight the main antagonist Jack comes out of the kitchen to stop them while brandishing a gun, when Jack runs over Bill tries to take the gun from Jack managing to get it to the floor accidentally firing it and the bullet somehow manages to hit Bill's love interest Mary Lane while she was lying on top of the couch. Granted it was in he same direction as Mary but other than that it makes no scence.
18th Apr '17 5:58:17 PM PaltryCarton
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* In the 1936 ''Film/ReeferMadness'' one scene has Bill the main protagonist fighting Ralph while under the influence of marijuana. During the fight the main antagonist Jack comes out of the kitchen to stop them while brandishing a gun, when Jack runs over Bill tries to take the gun from Jack managing to get it to the floor accidentally firing it and the bullet somehow manages to hit Bill's love interest Mary Lane while she was lying on top of the couch. Granted it was in he same direction as Mary but other than that it still makes no scence.

to:

* In the 1936 ''Film/ReeferMadness'' one scene has Bill the main protagonist fighting Ralph while under the influence of marijuana. During the fight the main antagonist Jack comes out of the kitchen to stop them while brandishing a gun, when Jack runs over Bill tries to take the gun from Jack managing to get it to the floor accidentally firing it and the bullet somehow manages to hit Bill's love interest Mary Lane while she was lying on top of the couch. Granted it was in he same direction as Mary but other than that it still makes no scence.
18th Apr '17 5:56:10 PM PaltryCarton
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*In the 1936 ''Film/ReeferMadness'' one scene has Bill the main protagonist fighting Ralph while under the influence of marijuana. During the fight the main antagonist Jack comes out of the kitchen to stop them while brandishing a gun, when Jack runs over Bill tries to take the gun from Jack managing to get it to the floor accidentally firing it and the bullet somehow manages to hit Bill's love interest Mary Lane while she was lying on top of the couch. Granted it was in he same direction as Mary but other than that it still makes no scence.
28th Feb '17 11:28:56 AM Miracle@StOlaf
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** More subtle, but the Patriot somehow fires bullets that tumble end-over-end in flight. Bullets [[RealityIsUnrealistic actually do that]], but only once they fly past their effective range. If the rifling in the barrel was totally wrong for the weapon the bullets would indeed tumble nearly immediately after being fired, but bullets actually doing this would be so inaccurate that it's not even funny. It's eventually revealed that the Boss personally had the Patriot customized from an M16 rifle by cutting its barrel short and other things, turning it into an inaccurate but powerful gun. This [[FridgeBrilliance shows]] just how badass the Boss is by being able to hit really accurately with a gun like that [[FiringOneHanded (one-handed, no less)]], but RuleOfCool is still ''heavily'' in effect, especially when it comes to the tumbling bullets not suffering a major drop in muzzle velocity.

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** More subtle, but the Patriot somehow fires bullets that tumble end-over-end in flight. Bullets [[RealityIsUnrealistic actually do that]], but only once they fly past their effective range. If the rifling in the barrel was totally wrong for the weapon the bullets would indeed tumble nearly immediately after being fired, but bullets actually doing this would be so inaccurate that it's not even funny. It's eventually revealed that the Boss personally had the Patriot customized from an M16 rifle by cutting its barrel short and other things, turning it into an inaccurate but powerful gun. This [[FridgeBrilliance shows]] just how badass the Boss is by being able to hit really accurately with a gun like that [[FiringOneHanded (one-handed, no less)]], but RuleOfCool is still ''heavily'' in effect, especially when it comes to the tumbling bullets out of the short barrel not suffering a major drop in loss of muzzle velocity.velocity and, by extension, power.
10th Feb '17 9:04:27 AM Game_Fan
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* It is an extremely common fallacy to assume that bullets travel in straight lines once they hit a target. In fact nothing could be farther from the truth. Wound ballistics are extremely chaotic, especially for rifles. Rifle bullets have a long pointed tip (for aerodynamics) and a wide base. This means that most of their mass is in the base and only the spin of the bullet keeps it with the point forward. When it hits a target the bullet will usually flip over so that the base is headed forward. The exact result varies enormously. One bullet might keep its orientation while another might tear itself to pieces. Studies in gelatin have shown some [[http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Misc_Images/DocGKR/40052-MilitaryAssaultRifleWPcopy.jpg truly bizarre behavior]].
** In the Discovery Channel's forensic documentary show ''New Detectives'', one episode involved a teenager who died in an indoor shooting range. The bullet someone else (who did not stand in the proper spot) fired hit the suspended ceiling. One would have expected the bullet to go through the foam tiles, but due to the aforementioned unstable configuration of bullets, hitting the softer medium caused the bullet to curve back down and hit its victim on the head, leaving only a long gash in the ceiling tile it had hit.
** Stephen King used the unpredictable ballistics of point-blank head shots as a metaphor in ''The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet'' and [[ShownTheirWork discusses his research]]. When the muzzle is close to the skull, such as in suicide attempts or execution-style shootings, the aim can always be enough off surface normal for the bullet to follow the curvature of the skull and exit out the other side with only minor flesh wounding and minimal to no fracturing. Of course there's still the danger of concussion, so your brain isn't completely [[IncrediblyLamePun dodging the bullet]].
** In ''Literature/MailedFist'', an autobiographical account of commanding tanks on WW2, Major John Foley of the Royal Tank Regiment recalls the day his Churchill received a direct hit in a CurbStompBattle with a German tank. He took a direct hit from a Tiger tank that killed Foley's co-driver and passed straight through the length of the tank from front to rear to explode in the engine compartment. Foley had been right in its path as it passed through the tank, and when he returned to the wreck to plot its trajectory between the entrance hole and the hole in the engine bulkhead, he realised it should have taken both his legs off. Yet he escaped with a slight scratch on one thigh. A ballistics expert assured him that shells do odd things in flight, especially when part of their impetus has been spent on first contact. Foley concluded it had somehow described a curved path on penetrating the forward armour, deflecting its path and somehow causing it to swerve around him.



*** Rifle bullets travel in an inherently unstable configuration; center of gravity behind the center of aerodynamic pressure. This is why they have to be spun with rifling, otherwise they would tumble wildly. Upon encountering denser media, such as flesh they can lose stabilization, and can do some [[http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Misc_Images/DocGKR/40052-MilitaryAssaultRifleWPcopy.jpg bona fide weird shit]]. Alas, this remarkable fact seems rarely to be brought up in fiction; perhaps a case of RealityIsUnrealistic.



* In the Discovery Channel's forensic documentary show ''New Detectives'', one episode involved a teenager who died in an indoor shooting range. The bullet someone else (who did not stand in the proper spot) fired hit the suspended ceiling. One would have expected the bullet to go through the foam tiles, but due to the aforementioned unstable configuration of bullets, hitting the softer medium caused the bullet to curve back down and hit its victim on the head, leaving only a long gash in the ceiling tile it had hit.
** The ballistics get even more bizarre when one considers that the fatal shot actually originated from the OUTSIDE shooting range and involved a stray bullet that was fired too high, then slipped through a tiny gap in one of the outdoor range's overhead safety barriers, penetrated through a storage room, and emerged into the indoor range only to ricochet off the previously mentioned foam ceiling tile.
** Other example from a forensic documentary shows -- An elderly man who was sitting in a lawn chair enjoying a family picnic, then suddenly keels over dead from a mysterious gunshot. The police investigation was complicated by the bizarre trajectory of the fatal bullet, which turned out to be fired by some drunken, careless individuals engaging in some sloppy target shooting far away.

to:

* In the Discovery Channel's forensic documentary show ''New Detectives'', one episode involved a teenager who died in an indoor shooting range. The bullet someone else (who did not stand in the proper spot) fired hit the suspended ceiling. One would have expected the bullet to go through the foam tiles, but due to the aforementioned unstable configuration of bullets, hitting the softer medium caused the bullet to curve back down and hit its victim on the head, leaving only a long gash in the ceiling tile it had hit.
** The ballistics get even more bizarre when one considers that the fatal shot actually originated from the OUTSIDE shooting range and involved a stray bullet that was fired too high, then slipped through a tiny gap in one of the outdoor range's overhead safety barriers, penetrated through a storage room, and emerged into the indoor range only to ricochet
Ricochets off the previously mentioned foam ceiling tile.
** Other example from a forensic documentary shows -- An elderly man who was sitting
hard surfaces can behave in a lawn chair enjoying a family picnic, then suddenly keels over dead from a mysterious gunshot. The police investigation was complicated by the bizarre trajectory of the fatal bullet, which turned out to be fired by some drunken, careless individuals engaging in some sloppy target shooting far away.really unbelievable ways:



** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc This video]] demonstrates a near-fatal example of this trope with a 50 caliber rifle and a target too distant for the camera to see. Luckily, it only hits the guy's earmuffs.



* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc This video]] demonstrates a near-fatal example of this trope. Luckily, it only hits the guy's earmuffs.



* Stephen King used the unpredictable ballistics of point-blank head shots as a metaphor in ''The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet'' and [[ShownTheirWork discusses his research]]. When the muzzle is close to the skull, such as in suicide attempts or execution-style shootings, the aim can always be enough off surface normal for the bullet to follow the curvature of the skull and exit out the other side with only minor flesh wounding and minimal to no fracturing. Of course there's still the danger of concussion, so your brain isn't completely [[IncrediblyLamePun dodging the bullet]].
* In ''Literature/MailedFist'', an autobiographical account of commanding tanks on WW2, Major John Foley of the Royal Tank Regiment recalls the day his Churchill received a direct hit in a CurbStompBattle with a German tank. He took a direct hit from a Tiger tank that killed Foley's co-driver and passed straight through the length of the tank from front to rear to explode in the engine compartment. Foley had been right in its path as it passed through the tank, and when he returned to the wreck to plot its trajectory between the entrance hole and the hole in the engine bulkhead, he realised it should have taken both his legs off. Yet he escaped with a slight scratch on one thigh. A ballistics expert assured him that shells do odd things in flight, especially when part of their impetus has been spent on first contact. Foley concluded it had somehow described a curved path on penetrating the forward armour, deflecting its path and somehow causing it to swerve around him.
16th Jan '17 8:34:04 AM Jake18
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* In ''Videogame/{{Xenosaga}}'', Junior's bullets do this, especially his trick shot where he throws a handful of coons in the air, shoots one, and has it ricochet off all of them.

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* In ''Videogame/{{Xenosaga}}'', ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', shooting a car in the gas cap apparently causes the bullet to travel a perfect path down the filler neck and into the gas tank.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'',
Junior's bullets do this, especially his trick shot where he throws a handful of coons in the air, shoots one, and has it ricochet off all of them.
7th Jan '17 9:46:29 AM nombretomado
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* Spoofed and then some in the ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' webcomic ''TheLastDaysOfFOXHOUND'' [[http://www.gigaville.com/comic.php?id=267 here]].

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* Spoofed and then some in the ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' webcomic ''TheLastDaysOfFOXHOUND'' ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFOXHOUND'' [[http://www.gigaville.com/comic.php?id=267 here]].
10th Dec '16 5:49:51 PM N.Harmonik
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* In the Discovery Channel's forensic documentary show ''New Detectives'', one episode involved teenage who died in an indoor shooting range. The bullet someone else (who did not stand in the proper spot) fired hit the suspended ceiling. One would have expected the bullet to go through the foam tiles, but due to the aforementioned unstable configuration of bullets, hitting the softer medium caused the bullet to curve back down and hit its victim on the head, leaving only a long gash in the ceiling tile it had hit.

to:

* In the Discovery Channel's forensic documentary show ''New Detectives'', one episode involved teenage a teenager who died in an indoor shooting range. The bullet someone else (who did not stand in the proper spot) fired hit the suspended ceiling. One would have expected the bullet to go through the foam tiles, but due to the aforementioned unstable configuration of bullets, hitting the softer medium caused the bullet to curve back down and hit its victim on the head, leaving only a long gash in the ceiling tile it had hit.
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