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A bullet is fired and you don't want it to reach its target, so what can you do? You could Take The Bullet yourself, of course, but if you are The Gunslinger, there's no better way to show off your Improbable Aiming Skills than to shoot that bullet instead. Sometimes, if the character is skilled enough, their bullets will completely destroy the opponent's projectiles whilst either continuing on their original course unscathed or deflecting in a very particular way. Either way, if the bullet survives, it will invariably find its mark. The Rule of Cool ensures it.

Examples of bullets fused by (accidental) head-on collision have been found on American Civil War battlefields, so the idea in general is not impossible, just so improbable it requires two armies' worth of ammunition fired in massed, synchronized volleys to result in a few collisions. The idea of destroying projectiles, however, is regularly used on a much bigger scale: anti-ballistic missiles and lasers have been put into service for the purpose of destroying incoming nuclear missiles before they could detonate, and smaller variants exist for shooting down smaller projectiles like tactical missiles and artillery shells. Naval vessels now commonly make use of gatling-type or other types of Close In Weapons Systems to defend themselves against low-flying aircraft and missiles (More Dakka, it turns out, significantly increases your odds of successfully shooting the bullet), and are definitely not Point Defenseless. Tank-based systems are also being developed, as a counter to RPGs and anti-tank missiles.

A related trope is Bullet Catch. Compare Destructible Projectiles, in which this is a normal gameplay mechanic instead of an extraordinary feat. The energy-weapon version is Beam-O-War.

Not to be confused with the Touhou Project game of the same name.note 


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kinji from Aria the Scarlet Ammo does this in the final episode to redirect an ally's bullet to hit a different target. Using it to parry bullets aimed for him becomes a virtual trademark of his in the light novels.
  • Train Heartnet from Black Cat does this a lot in his fights.
  • Done by Ryo Saeba in the anime of City Hunter: he was in a Duel to the Death with a hitman that, to Ryo's surprise, was a faster draw than him, the Fastest Gun in Tokyo, so Ryo reacted by shooting his opponent's bullet. The sheer improbability of the feat is lampshaded by the hitman's brief freak-out (long just enough for getting shot by Ryo while he was still surprised).
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex this is tried twice, but doesn't succeed in either case. However, at the end of Season 2 the Tachikomas manage to hit a submarine-launched nuclear missile with a satellite they've knocked out of orbit, thereby saving the day (and sacrificing their lives/existence, as their A.I.s were stored on that satellite.
  • Rushuna from Grenadier does this all the time. At one point, she even stops an entire machinegun salvo with a single revolver bullet (by making it ricochet). In the finale, she fights a gunslinger of equal skill, and several times they manage to shoot at each other on the exact same vectors at the exact same time, causing their bullets to impact square in the middle between them.
  • Gunslinger Girl
    • When a terrorist fires an anti-tank rocket at the car she's riding in, cyborg girl Petra fires a burst from her submachine gun at the oncoming warhead; one of the bullets hits a guiding fin and sends the rocket off course.
    • Triela is Fast-Roping up the side of the Venice belltower when a terrorist fires a rocket launcher at her, so she deflects the warhead with her foot.
    • During the shootout in the New Turin Nuclear Plant, Triela uses a shotgun blast from her Winchester Trench Gun to deflect a hand grenade thrown at her. This one is more justified than most as that model of shotgun was used for exactly that purpose by US soldiers during World War One.
  • Sho does this unconsciously in an early episode of the Guyver OVA, when one of the bad guys tries to shoot his friend. Justified because he is wearing a suit of biological armour that can shoot laserbeams from its forehead, and that is automatically responding to protect Sho and his friends.
  • Several vampires in Hellsing shoot projectiles out of the air. Alucard and Seras are impressive enough, but Tubalcain Alhanbra really takes the cake by shooting a 30mm depleted uranium shell out of the air with a playing card.
  • A bow and arrow example, but in Lord Marksman and Vanadis, Tigre fires an arrow from 300 meters away, just to shoot down another arrow.
  • In the Lupin III prequel OVA First Contact, one of Lupin and Jigen's first encounters happened to involve this.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Madlax does it to save Elenore.
  • Beam weapons in Gundam will sometimes collide in midair. The exact effects vary.
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam:
      • Kamille Bidan and Jerid Messa clash beams, during the AEUG's operation in Jaburo.
      • In the final battle, Kamille and Paptimus Scirocco fire beam rifle shots that hit each other dead on, causing a kind of backlash explosion
    • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam: Uso Evin defends himself by intercepting Katejina's beam rifle while he is fighting Chronocle Asher for the last time.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam École du Ciel, Asuna does this in a practice duel beam rifle.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED the Archangel's guns are used to take out incoming enemy missiles.
    • By the time of Gundam: Reconguista in G, using Beam Spam to deflect, disrupt, and destroy incoming attacks has become a very common tactic in battles fought at long range. Aida's 'Full Dress' upgrade for her G-Arcane is entirely designed for this, letting her defend allies better specialised for close-quarters combat while they advance.
    • Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE has Hiroto do countersnipe an enemy unit's beam attack and destroy it in midair with his own narrower, more accurate beam blast. Notably, he does this from an angle rather than having the beams collide straight-on as in a traditional Beam-O-War, implying he was able to Lead the Target against an energy weapon.
  • In My-HiME, Natsuki uses her Element to shoot down many of the projectiles Shiho's Child fires at Mai.
  • Lila stops a sniper's bullet with a shot from her own gun in an episode of Najica Blitz Tactics. Somewhat justfied: she's an android.
  • Naruto often has kunai or shuriken colliding in midair, the most notable occasion being part of the battle between Sasuke and Itachi in Shippuden. Since both are equipped with Sharingan, each deflects the other's dozens of shuriken, which pile on the floor between them.
  • Gandolfini, one of the mage teachers in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, intercepts Mana's time-displacement bullet in this way with his handgun. Unfortunately, he did it a tad too late as the displacement magic's area of effect was still large enough to swallow him up. Yuuna Akashi does this with Fate's petrification darts, with some help from Ako's artifact.
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Panty and Scanty can both do this. At one point, Panty does it with a sniper rifle.
  • Done in Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion as part of an epic gun fight between Mami and Homura. Justified due to Homura's Time Stands Still ability; the bullets impact each other when Homura restarts time, causing something like fireworks.
  • Rebuild World: This mostly just happens with missiles, such as enemy Spider Tank style monsters averting Point Defenseless. Akira ends up getting Homing Projectile bullets that are really good for this, that even let Kanae who Doesn't Like Guns help shoot down missiles when he lends a gun to her. At one point during a chase scene when Akira is being pursued by an attack aircraft, the sheer volume of its weapons fire and his own chain gun equivalent multi-weapons causes some of their bullets to impact one another mid-air and explode.
  • Episode 4 of Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³.
  • Vash the Stampede from Trigun can do this - but he also takes it a step further into insanity by deflecting bullets by flicking pebbles at them. He keeps his eyes closed/squinted, and blinks them open right when he throws. You can tell by the sound that he's flicking before the shot is fired. The deflected bullet always hits the intended target non-fatally. Since he's interfering with a duel, he might be doing this to both bullets with two rocks, or he might deflect one bullet into a path that will deflect both bullets into non-fatal or missing paths.
  • In Zipang, the crew of the Mirai use the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow point-defense system to shoot down 18 inch shells fired by the battleship Yamato. In one case, they even cause a chain-reaction that takes out an entire salvo with one missile.

    Comic Books 
  • Green Arrow did it with arrows against his robot doppelganger.
  • Hawkeye has been known to do this with arrows, such as one instance where he couldn't dodge an arrow with dynamite strapped to it without getting caught in the blast range, so he shot it in midair instead. Naturally, when he and Green Arrow meet up in Marvel/DC Crossovers, they do it to each other quite often.
  • Lucky Luke does this at least once, to protect someone. Since he's able to literally shoot faster than his shadow, it's not that surprising of him.
  • In Tomahawk #112, Tomahawk throws his tomahawk at Van Grote at the same instant that Van Grote throws a knife at him. The two throws are so accurate that the tomahawk and knife strike each other in the air.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bugger Anthology: Iron Dalek attempts to deflect a shell from a tank using one of its own missiles. Key word being attempts; the fired artillery ends up missing each other and the shell hits Iron Dalek anyway.
  • In The Cutting Edge, Dick Grayson is about to use a match to set off an explosion that will destroy the warehouse he's currently in (along with the arms shipments currently in it), but said match is stopped by a Batarang before it can strike its target.
  • A Darker Path: Atropos does this thrice when she pays a lethal visit to Paul King, a member of the committee meant to rebuild Brockton Bay, who has been trying to embezzle the money. The Path to Ending shard makes it feasible, with perfect timing and perfect aim, but she mostly did it to show off (which is also typical of her shard).
  • In Fate/Harem Antics, Francis Drake and Oda Nobunaga do this several times during their duel.
  • Taylor in Intrepid does this with a rock due to her Awesomeness by Analysis powers. The bullet actually bounces back to hit the sniper.
  • In Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, Dark tries to shoot Near from the top of the "Eyfal Tower", but Near shoots away his bullets and shoots off his scope with a Nerf gun that fires real bullets.
  • A Moon and World Apart: Variant in chapter 26, when a rope is coming their way to be wrapped around the neck of an ally, but Nightingale uses her rifle to shoot it before it can even hit its target.
  • Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K:
    • When Aquila Squad tries to take down Inquisitor Tahr Whyler in Episode 16 by shooting the underslung grenade launchers of their blasters at him, the Xanthite Inquisitor uses his psychic powers to reflect some of the grenades back at the clone commando squad. Captain Graves uses his blaster pistol to neatly shoot two of these redirected explosives out of the air before they could reach his squad.
    • During the Space Marines' assault on the planetary shield generators of Raxus Secundus in Episode 24, a bunch of B1 battle droids attempt to Grenade Spam a Veteran Marine, who uses his Bolter to shoot most of the tossed grenades, causing them to explode mid-air.
    • Later in that same episode, Dooku is shown using Force Lightning to counter the aforementioned Space Marine's Bolter by detonating its rocket-propelled grenade rounds in mid-flight with precisely aimed blasts of electricity.
    • In Episode 28, Clone Commando Sev is able to use his sniper rifle to shoot an incoming missile that was aimed at him and Sando. The missile explodes mid-air but was still close enough for the blast to send Sev flying and break one of his legs from the impact of hitting the ground so hard.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman does this in Batman: Gotham Knight, except since he doesn't use guns, he simply punches the bullet out of the air with the armored part of his gauntlet (because, you know, a batarang wouldn't be half as badass). A bullet fired from a high powered sniper rifle, from a train moving at full speed, towards a moving target.
  • In Gravestone of Daisuke Jigen, Jigen has two Quick Draw duels with the Big Bad Yael Okuzaki. The first time, Jigen loses as Yael's lighter bullets lets him aim faster, but the second time, Jigen wins handily by shooting Yael's bullet itself: his supposedly "too heavy" .357 round winds up deflecting Yael's out the way, and proceeds to blow a hole in the latter's arm.
  • In DC Showcase: Green Arrow, Green Arrow and Merlyn shoot simultaneous shots at each other. Green Arrow's arrow shatters Merlyn's, cuts his bowstring, slices his cheek and hits the wall behind him and releases a cloud of knockout gas.
  • Disney's Robin Hood adaptation has one with arrows. In the archery competition, the sheriff has just scored a bullseye (by cheating). To make sure Robin (in disguise) can't win, the sheriff taps Robin's bow as he releases. The arrow goes in a high arc. Undaunted, Robin nocks another arrow and fires at the first arrow. It hits, changing its direction such that it too hits a perfect bullseye, right through the sheriff's arrow.
  • An automobile version of this pops up in Cars 2, where the bullets in this case are missiles fired from two cars engaged in a firefight.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The final battle of Belly of the Beast has Jake Hopper and the main villain shooting at each other, Jack with his pistol and the villain with a bow and arrow. The bullet hits the shaft and neutralizes each other.
  • In The Dark Tower (2017), The Gunslinger shoots at the Man in Black, then fires another bullet that ricochets off the wall and strikes the first bullet, changing its angle right before the Man in Black can snatch it out of the air. It catches him in the chest instead and distracts him enough for Roland to gun him down.
  • Happens with the first shots fired in the climatic showdown between Guerrero and Red in Dead in Tombstone. However, this is because Satan is screwing with things for his own amusement.
  • In the Heroic Bloodshed movie Full Contact, Chow Yun-Fat shoots Simon Yam's bullet out of the air during the nightclub scene.
  • GI Joe The Rise Of Cobra: Destro launches three missiles targeted at Moscow, Beijing, and Washington. Snake Eyes was able to take one out with a missile before it could get higher. Ripcord was able to shoot one down, and intercept the last one before it could hit the ground.
  • Heroic Trio has more than one scene in which Anita Mui's character knocks bullets out of the air with a thrown blade.
  • Life Gamble has the protagonist and his nemesis, both of them knife users, dueling via flung knives, knocking each other's flung blades out of mid-air until the hero gains an upper hand.
  • In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tauriel saves Legolas from an arrow by firing her own arrow to intercept it.
  • The climatic shootout in Princess Madam has the two heroines battling triads and shooting flung grenades so they explode harmlessly in mid-air.
  • A character in Red (2010) shoots an RPG out of the air. Mythbusters also examined this scene, and found that it would have killed just the target, but only if it were a faulty warhead, for a couple of reasons. First, being a shaped charge it would have sprayed forward anyway. Second, a RPG round is only armed after 60 feet, when it's reached a certain velocity. It is possible to shoot it out of the air though.
  • Missile-to-missile version in The Return of Godzilla: a Japanese ground-launched missile is sent to intercept an incoming Russian space-launched thermonuclear missile. It succeeds, but the radiation cloud created revives an unconscious Godzilla.
  • This happened in the movie adaptation of The Shadow. Minor variation in that neither shooter is trying to hit the other's bullet; it happens by accident as a result of their Evil Counterpart nature.
  • Alluded to in Star Trek (2009): Teleporting from a ship moving at warp speed to another is compared to "trying to shoot a bullet with a smaller bullet, blindfolded, while riding a horse".
  • The Suicide Squad. When Bloodsport and Peacemaker shoot at each other, there's a Slow Motion shot of their bullets flying towards each other, making it look like this is going to happen, but Bloodsport's smaller bullet destroys Peacemarker's larger frangible bullet before hitting Peacemaker in the neck.
  • The wuxia movie, That Fiery Girl. being set centuries before the invention of bullets, has throwing darts being used to knock flung knives out of the air.
  • Happens during the final duel in Versus, when KSC2-303 and The Man pull guns on each other during the sword fight and empty their clips at each other, followed by a shot of the collided bullets falling to the ground.
  • WANTED! The movie is freaking full of bullets hitting each other. Curving bullets is the Signature Move of the assassins, and they also have the precision to shoot each other's bullets out of the air, even as they're curving.
  • At one point in the final battle of T-34, a shell from the titular tank and a German Panther collide and ricochet off each other, causing both shots to miss. This is portrayed as being a sheer fluke, as both crews were seriously trying to kill each other.

  • In The Alloy of Law Wax confronts a villain who's holding a human shield in front of him, preventing Wax from getting a clean shot. So Wax fires a bullet a little to one side of the villain, then fires a second bullet that collides with the first, changing its trajectory so that it hits the villain from an angle that doesn't go through the hostage. Granted, time was slowed down for Wax when this happened, and his particular magical abilities allowed him to "push" the second bullet faster than the first was going, but still!
  • The CIWS employed by the Multinational Fleet in the Axis of Time trilogy (consisting of MetalStorm and laser pods) are AI-guided and have a near-100% intercept ratio. While they're meant to intercept missiles and aircraft, they prove themselves just as capable of taking out naval artillery shells fired by World War II-era ships. Many times, the shots detonate almost as soon as they leave the barrel. Admiral Spruance thinks that it looks like Some Kind of Force Field is at work. The real problem is the fact that the CIWS can't sustain this level of defense for very long. MetalStorm turrets run out of ammo and laser pods burn out fairly quickly when in constant use. Eventually, they're forced to downgrade these systems to Vulcan cannons (still better than what was used in the 40s).
  • This happens often in Dale Brown books with missiles getting shot down, sometimes with other missiles, sometimes with Frickin' Laser Beams. Sometimes, though, it fails.
  • The difficulty of doing so is discussed in the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Salvation's Reach.
    He had ordered counterfire to try and track and detonate some of the incoming torpedoes, but even with the detection systems on their side, it was like trying to hit an individual grain of sand with a bow and arrow during a hurricane.
  • Justified in Logan's Run by virtue of both bullets being Homing Projectiles that are drawn to (and, apparently, generate) heat signatures.
  • A less-ridiculous-than-usual variant in Seven Deadly Wonders by Matthew Reilly; Stretch, the team sniper, covers allies against incoming RPG rounds by shooting them out of the air with a sniper rifle. RPG rounds, of course, are much bigger and slower than bullets. So it's less ridiculous than usual. Kind of.
  • A realistic version occurs in one of the Sharpe novels. Hagman, The Squad's Friendly Sniper, tries to take down a fleeing enemy spy. Unfortunately, at the same time, a cannon fires a load of grapeshot that intersects with his shot and knocks it awry.
  • In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Trading Futures, the Doctor manages to shoot bullets fired from a rifle out of thin air with only a standard handgun.
  • In the Star Trek novel Dreadnought, some Klingons are firing torpedoes at the Enterprise from long range and Kirk asks Sulu to try and hit the torpedoes and detonate them before they reach the ship. Sulu protests that that's never been done. Of course, having Improbable Aiming Skills, he does manage to hit at least one out of the three of the salvoes.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: A particular sect of the Jedi are specifically trained to do this. They want to prove a point about relying too much on one weapon, so instead of blocking plasma bolts with lightsabers, they learn to shoot them down with a blaster pistol.
  • The Eighth Doctor does this with a stolen gun in Trading Futures.
  • Ward: Contessa does this in one fight, casually tossing a rock into the air, which then gets hit by a bullet. The bullet is deflected from its intended target and the rock ricochets into an enemy, taking them out of the fight.
  • Happens in Water Margin when Featherless Arrow Zhang Qing (not to be confused with Zhang Qing the Gardener, husband of Sun Erniang) throws a stone to another stone thrown by his future wife Qiongying, who was taught by him in dreams.
  • In Worldwar the Race has missiles specifically dedicated to shoot down enemy missiles. They work well enough against the German V-1 and V-2 and the American rockets, but in their fist use they're deployed against two shells from the humongous Dora gun, and the projectiles, armoured enough to survive the immense force propelling them, aren't even deviated by multiple direct hits and near misses, to the Race soldiers' horror.
  • The Worst Shots in the West has Tim and Tom doing this a few times, by complete accident.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Alphas, Hicks' control over his Alpha powers grows to the point that he can do this with pistol rounds.
  • Arrow:
    • In "Crucible", a gangbanger is impressed with how Oliver Queen and the Black Canary are taking down men armed with automatic rifles with just a bow and staff but adds, "Can your weapons do this?" and fires a grenade launcher at them. Oliver then explodes the 40mm grenade with an arrow before it reaches them.
    • In Season 5, Prometheus is able to save himself from Oliver's arrow by splitting it in half with a shuriken. In the season finale, Oliver does the same, using a shuriken to split an arrow fired by Talia al Ghul at a third party.
  • Done in Babylon 5 several times, especially by humans:
    • In space, human ships and stations have Interceptors capable of swatting enemy weapon fire out of the sky (with the exception of lasers, that are just too fast, and some exotic weapons such as the ones used by the First Ones and the Minbari's neutron cannons) and annihilate fighter attacks (as proven when the titular station's interceptors, at the time substandard due budget cuts, did just that).
    • On the ground, they have the Uller, a point defence vehicle whose laser cannons are accurate enough to shoot enemy missiles and artillery shells out of the sky.
    • The Expanded Universe shows that most particle weapons and all pulse weapons can shoot down incoming fire, EarthAlliance simply prefers the dedicated Interceptors because they're more accurate and faster-firing than Earth Alliance technology has any right to be (as they were reverse-engineered from alien technology more advanced than even the Centauri's) and they free the heavy weapons to fire on the enemy. It is in fact faster to list the races that don't have this ability in full by the time or shortly after they acquire FTL capability, and it tends to be a conscious choice:
      • When the Dilgar first arrived in space, they were extremely proud of their pre-existing missile weapons and considered energy weapons a joke. They learned better when a group of raiders, inferior in everything else but having particle weapons, inflicted an embarrassing defeat to one of their task forces, and by the time of the Dilgar War they had some of the best point defense weaponry-enough that Earth Alliance saw fit to reverse-engineer it to complement the Interceptors.
      • The Hyach are fixated with laser weapons to the detriment of everything else, so their point defense cannot perform the task on energy weapons. Not being stupid, they developed a technology that does nothing but this.
      • The Orieni favor Gatling Railguns, so they can shoot down only solid projectiles. Bit them in the ass during the war against the Centauri, as while it was extremely efficient against enemy fighters it did nothing against the Centauri plasma cannons.
      • The Rogolon are a Proud Warrior Race that believes actively defending against enemy attacks is dishonorable, so their ships have tough armor to tank enemy fire but no interception abilities. When the Centauri invaded to bypass Orieni defenses during the Centauri-Orieni War, the Rogolon fleet was even less effective that it should have been due the technological disparity and facing hardened veterans.
  • In the Community episode "Modern Warfare", this gets Britta and Chang out when their paintballs collide in midair, spraying them both with paint.
  • In Crisis on Earth-X, Oliver's doppelgänger from Earth X fires an arrow at Harrison Wells; Oliver, who was about to shoot him, quickly fires and intercepts the arrow with his.
  • In an episode of Crossbow, the king is offering amnesty to all outlaws. In reality, the idea belongs to The Dragon who wishes to kill the king and blame William Tell. For this purpose, he had a weaponsmith build him a wrist-mounted crossbow that he can hide with loose clothing. Just as Tell kneels in front of the king to accept amnesty, The Dragon fires a bolt at the king. Somehow, Tell manages to intercept it with his own bolt (obviously, The Dragon didn't have the guards disarm him in order to frame him), which knocks the first bolt out of the air. Somehow, The Dragon manages to spin it to lay the blame for attempted regicide on Tell.
  • Doctor Who: In "Resolution", a tank fires a shell at a Dalek recon scout in makeshift "junkyard chic" armour. It responds by firing its own missile, which first knocks the shell off-course before going on to blow up the tank.
  • Get Smart has the anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-missile-missile, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The final scene of Iron Fist (2017) shows that Danny Rand can now channel his chi through his weapons, when he draws Guns Akimbo and fires two .45 bullets that smash apart a bullet being fired at him.
  • MythBusters tested a version of this. They found that it would be impossible to do deliberately, even with perfect aim and perfect timing, because the time lag between pulling the trigger and the bullet firing is unpredictable. They did find, however, that two Minié balls would fuse together if they did collide, and it might have happened by accident given the volley fire tactics of the period the Minié came from.
  • Done (and lampshadednote ) in the Red Dwarf episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", within an artificial reality environment where Cat is (music sting!) The Riviera Kid! The outtakes video features a montage of the many, many attempts to film the bullets falling out of the air. It takes several minutes...
  • In RoboCop: Prime Directives, a Guns Akimbo version of RoboCop is designed. When it's inevitably hijacked and sent against the real Murphy, he's obviously outgunned. As RoboCable tries to shoot two of Murphy's friends, how does he get out of it? By shooting Cable's first bullet and causing it to ricochet the second off course as well.
  • Smallville: In "Heat", when Desiree controls Jonathan into shooting Lex, Clark manages to save him by using his heat vision to destroy the bullet mid-flight.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • In "Thirty Days", Tom Paris goes Well-Intentioned Extremist and launches a missile at an Underwater City, only to see it destroyed by a photon torpedo fired from Voyager in orbit.
    • Done by the Doctor of all people in "Workforce". Of course, he's in his Emergency Command Hologram mode at the time and thus has access to the tactical and strategic database instead of his normal medical one. When being chased by two enemy ships, he fires a torpedo backwards and then shoots it with a phaser as it passes between them. The resulting shockwave disables the enemy ships. He notes that this was first done by a Romulan commander in such-and-such battle.
  • In Star Trek: Picard season 3, Picard repeats the Doctor's trick to drive off the Shrike, a much more powerful ship presently chasing them. It doesn't disable the ship, but it allows them to flee deeper into the nebula for some breathing room.
  • Super Sentai:
    • This is a standard part of DekaRed's fighting style.
    • Captain Marvelous / GokaiRed can do this too, and on at least one occasion (a duel in the Go-onger tribute) he wasn't even morphed. After shooting down the first bullet (the MOTW tried to land a cheap shot), the MOTW accused it of being dumb luck and shot as many as he could at him. Marvelous shot every single bullet and didn't even flinch.
    • During a fight in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, Kyoryu Pink kicks a laser in half while it's flying at her. The shot was kept for Power Rangers Dino Charge.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted, Dragon-Blooded archers have several techniques for shooting down projectiles with their own arrows. At higher levels of skill, they can use this to protect their allies, or hit the attacker with their counter-arrows. Lunars have a similar ability... except they can use their bare hands to make the deflection. This also explicitly allows them to use the ability on attacks of pure essence.
  • GURPS: Gun Fu has a perk (Area Deefnse, page 17) that allows the character to try doing this as a parry. Of course, GURPS is pretty unforgiving when it comes to actually hitting that bullet. Without this perk, you would need to take a Wait maneuver and spend an attack to shoot the bullet.
  • Relatively easily implemented in the Hero System by purchasing the Deflection power (which allows ranged attacks to be blocked at range, as opposed to only when they would otherwise hit the blocking character him- or herself, though the attempt itself then still has to succeed) through a suitably gun-shaped Focus, possibly with additional modifiers to fine-tune it as desired. Or at least that's "relatively easily" in a suitably superheroic or otherwise over-the-top campaign; that there are mechanics for it doesn't automatically mean the GM has to allow it.
  • If a Legend character has the Reign of Arrows track (usually a Ranger track, but as fits the nature of the game, available to anyone), the Ricochet ability does this: "Make an attack roll with a ranged weapon of your choice. Your attack roll replaces the target’s Armor Class, Fortitude, Reflex, or Will save, depending on the defense threatened by the particular attack." More plainly, if your shot beats their shot, it doesn't hit. This ability affects spells and supernatural abilities as well, so if you've always wanted to block a bolt of lightning with a longbow shot, here's your ridiculous-but-awesome chance.
  • Paranoia let you do this with blaster shots.
  • Pathfinder characters with the Redirected Shot feat can do this to help an ally hit with a ranged attack.

    Video Games 
  • The NES port of 1943: The Battle of Midway has a spread-shooting special weapon, which in its upgraded form can blunt enemy bullets.
  • It's one of the main game mechanics in Battle City series. Player and enemy bullets cancel each other out.
  • In Counter-Strike, throwing your sidearm at an enemy and hitting his bullet can mean the difference between life and death. Observe.
  • In Cyberpunk 2077, you can do this to a grenade. You even get an achievement for doing so with a revolver.
  • Dante from the Devil May Cry series is a pro at this. In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, he does it during the cutscene where he and Lady find the body of Arkham. Indeed, you can also do it in-game during her boss battle by firing when she does, which also gives you a nice Style boost. During his boss battles in Devil May Cry 4, he uses his handguns to cancel out Nero's revolver shots.
  • Disgaea
    • In Disgaea 3, Salvatore's "Duel!" attack has her do this to her target's bullet to misdirect it so that it ends up missing, while hers still connects.
    • The Bullet Kiss gun skill in Disgaea 4 has the user do this with their own bullet, which ends up creating an explosion when the two bullet collide head-on in the target's proximity, as well as with the Deadly Pierce gun skill, which has the user headshot multiple targets by shooting the initial bullet that gets lodged in the skull of the first victim so that it flies into the head of the next, and repeating until all of them have been hit.
  • DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu introduces a new mechanic to the DonPachi series: purple enemy lasers. You can shoot these with your laser to block them. When you go into Hyper Counter mode, you can use your shots to cancel bullets.
  • In theory, you can shoot down incoming missiles in Escape Velocity: Nova by hand. It's nigh-on impossible, though, unless you purchase one of the point-defense turrets (which works out shooting them down without any input from you).
  • In Fallout 3, it was possible to target missiles and grenades in midflight with VATS; a patch removed this. Its not like the feature was all that useful. Unless the timing was absolutely perfect, it just plain and simple wouldn't work. VATS has a slight aiming delay, which when combined with grenades being used only up close and missiles traveling very quickly meant that it simply wouldn't be able to hit them on time. Being very small targets with typically poor hit chances didn't help. Grenades can still be shot and detonated while the enemy is still holding them, but thats another trope altogether. It was brought back for Grenades and Dynamite in Fallout: New Vegas. Easier with a shot gun, though in the hand it would often kill the user.
  • Intercepting and shooting down anti-warship torpedoes is an essential skill in the FreeSpace series and is vital to successfully completing an Escort Mission. Fortunately torpedoes are fairly large and slower than most fighters.
  • Defense drones in FTL: Faster Than Light can shoot down incoming missiles and boarding drones; advanced models can also shoot incoming laser rounds. An interesting subversion in that the "advanced" defense drone is less desirable than the basic model because it will often fail to shoot down missiles (which can penetrate shields) because it's too busy shooting down lasers (which cannot and are mostly harmless in the late game). It's also possible for lasers and missiles to collide with each other before reaching their target, although this cannot be done intentionally.
  • In Halo, it is possible from Halo 2/Halo 3 onward to shoot out grenades and rockets with a powerful enough precision weapon, such as the Sniper Rifle.
  • Heavy Weapon has your tank able to shoot down incoming enemy missiles. Required against Atomic Bombers, because if their bomb manages to hit you or the ground, you're toast no matter how many shields you have!
  • In the original Homeworld the Taiidan have the Koshiir-Ra-class defense fighter, specifically dedicated to shoot down enemy projectiles with a laser. As it's a Super Prototype that nobody else came close to copy, missiles and energy weapons are not affected and the Taiidan Empire falls at the end of the game, neither the defense fighter nor other ships with the same ability show up in the following installments.
  • You can expect any Rail Shooter that doesn't let you dodge enemy fire to have this. Used a lot in House of the Dead since the zombies love throwing hatchets.
  • MASK de Smith from killer7 headbutts a bullet out of the air.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, arrows can be shot down by other arrows, ricocheting on each other. Once Link gets the silver arrows however, his arrows will knock other arrows out of the air without being affected themselves.
    • In Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, this can happen when firing at a Bulblin/Bokoblin archer; two arrows colliding head-on will knock each other out of the air. Unlike A Link to the Past, there's no way to give you arrows Super Armor.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Deadpool and Dante do this in the first opening. In gameplay, if two Dante players pull off Million Dollars at the same time, they get to shoot each others bullets averting Gameplay and Story Segregation.
  • In Maximum Force, this is the only way to dodge projectile-based attacks, from missiles to sea mines and torpedoes. It gets really terrible during the mall shootout - the terrorists dropped a number of grenades in front of you, and instead of leaping aside over an adjacent railing (with a low drop which probably wouldn't hurt you), you're actually supposed to shoot every grenade within two seconds or lose a life when it explodes on you. What.
  • Likewise in Max Payne 3, Max can shoot grenades and rockets out of the air, which is sometimes mandatory to avoid instant death.
  • It's possible in Mega Man Zero to slash bullets out of the air with a special skill equipped., but with enough precision you can even shoot them, though it's not really recommended.
  • A variation in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater; when Volgin fires his electricity at Ocelot, Ocelot manages to deflect the electricity by firing a bullet at it. The metal bullet conducts the electricity, sending it safely off course.
  • Quest for Glory I has what might be considered a low-tech variant on this. One of the puzzles involves somehow procuring a tiny seed that's being launched between several plants, and one of the solutions is to intercept it mid-flight... by throwing a rock and knocking it out of the air.
  • In Resident Evil 4 you can shoot crossbow bolts out of the air. And more reliably Molotov cocktails.
  • Flaming paper fans in Samurai Shodown 2 will knock away a summoned demon.
  • Happens in Space Invaders. Very annoying when you wanted your bullet to go on and into the enemy.
In Space Invaders Extreme, shooting a bullet or laser won't add to your combo, but it will reset the combo timer.
  • In Star Trek Online, players can shoot down Heavy Torpedoes (torpedoes that create a massive torpedo when the High Yield skill is used instead of shooting two torpedoes) and regular mines to prevent them from attacking you. Many players tend to do this while using the skill Beam: Fire At Will.
  • Not quite bullets, but in many fighting games projectiles will cancel each other out—your Hadouken can knock down your enemy's Sonic Boom in Street Fighter II.
  • In Super Aleste, the spinning oval bullets can be destroyed with any weapon, you can use the Laser to blunt certain bullets, and the Circle can block just about any bullet.
  • The Super Robot Wars series has the ability "Shoot Down", created as a gun-based counterpart to "Sword Cut"; however, it only works on missiles, grenades, and Attack Drones.
  • While there are plenty of point-defense weapons in Sword of the Stars, most weapons can be manually targeted at incoming missiles and torpedoes. It's more useful against planetary missiles and torpedoes than run-of-the-mill missiles, which don't do much damage in the mid-to-late game anyway. Of course, it's easiest to do while paused, since missile/torpedo targeting can only be done in the full view mode. In fact, the game doesn't even consider targeting a missile to be equivalent to targeting a full enemy, since your original lock remains.
  • It's possible but very difficult to shoot down missiles and rockets in Tachyon: The Fringe with your lasers. It doesn't help that lasers in this game don't travel at the speed of light. More important in multiplayer matches where the goal is to destroy the enemy Space Station, which can only be done with huge, slow rockets. Those rockets can be shot down by a quick and lucky pilot.
  • During a siege in Chapter 2 of Tales of Monkey Island, if you ever try to fire your cannon at your opponent, he will counter it with his own cannon.
  • Team Fortress 2:
  • " The Sniper's arrows can break if they hit another arrow. Or a rocket.
    • Mann vs. Machine mode allows the Heavy's minigun to shoot down enemy projectiles. On the other hand, some Heavy robots can also pull this against human players' projectiles.
  • In the final battle of Time Crisis 5, you shoot the bullets while delivering the finishing move on Robert Baxter in a quick-time effect.
  • In Vanquish, you can shoot down projectiles while in Bullet Time.
  • In Viewtiful Joe, the player can punch or kick bullets and missiles back at targets while using slow motion, and can shoot them while in the Six Machine. This is crucial for defeating several bosses, including the Helicopter, Harrier Jet and both tanks.
  • Virtua Cop 3 gives you Very High Velocity Rounds with which to do this.
  • Wild Guns allows you to do this. Keep doing it enough and you'll fill out that gauge at the bottom of the screen which gives you temporary invincibility and an awesome weapon.
  • Virtually every bullet in Zanac series is destroyable. The most common type not with main gun and non-fully upgraded default weapons though.

    Web Animation 
    • This goes to ridiculous extremes in the fight between Deadpool and Deathstroke. The two of them meet at a bulletin board where their respective "wanted" poster are displayed, Deadpool complaining that Deathstroke's bounty was higher, by a ridiculously minuscule amount. The moment they see each other, they whip out, and dual wield, sub-machine guns and start firing. Every single bullet from one collides with a bullet from the other, fusing and falling to the ground.
    • James Bond and John Wick fire a bullet at the same time and they collide in midair.
  • In Diabolical Delightment with the final duel between Gustave and Johnny. Gustave's and Johnny's bullet collide, both ricocheting off each other. Gustave's bullet lands in the snow, while Johnny's gets shot right back at him between the eyes.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Used in Peabody's Improbable History, in particular in that episode about a guy who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but his gun was crooked so that made him a great shooter. However the gun got fixed just before the big competition, so Peabody shot his own bullet to correct the trajectory in flight. Inverted the Unspoken Plan Guarantee and lampshaded the improbability of this trope while explaining the plan.
  • Slugterra: Eli shoots one of Blakk's slugs out of the air in "King of Sling" Of course, having a sentient projectile helps.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "The Deserter", an AT-TE turret gunner takes out a rocket fired at the tank this way, prompting the clone who warned the gunner to compliment him on his nice shot.

    Real Life 
  • Close-in Weapons Systems do this, the most well-known of which is the American Phalanx CIWS. CIWS guns that use a hit-to-kill system actually track both the incoming projectile and their own outbound projectiles on radar and "walk" the bullets towards the target. Many modern CIWS guns have started to use explosive proximity rounds, rather than hit-to-kill penetrators, in order to conserve ammunition so they may not qualify as "shooting the bullet" (or missile, in this case.) CIWS ('sea-whiz') are ubiquitous these days. Other examples include Kashtan, employed by Navy of Russia, the Dutch Goalkeeper CIWS (wielding the sheer power and badassery of none other than the GAU-8A Avenger autocannon) and Hong Qi, employed by Navy of China and Navy of Iran. They are unfortunately becoming useless due to the high speed of missiles. Sufficiently fast missiles would still hit the ship even if destroyed by gun hits due to their short range. This has actually happened in tests, questioning whether such systems would even do anything in actual combat.
    • For these reasons, they're slowly being replaced with point-defense missile systems, which use smaller and (relatively) cheaper missiles to shoot down the incoming missiles further away from the targeted ship.
  • Another full version of this trope is the use of such weapons to target artillery shells. Some use guns while others use missiles.
  • As capacitors and optics become more portable, it becomes increasingly feasible to create a laser-based air defense system. While the future of lasers as long-range weapons is still uncertain, they are increasingly capable of intercepting incoming missiles, drones and aircraft with superior precision - after all, no missile can outrun a beam moving at the speed of light.
  • On a larger scale, this is the basic idea behind PATRIOT systems that were deployed in Israel to protect it from Iraqi SCUD missiles that were launched by Saddam Hussein in the First Gulf War in an attempt to goad the IDF into attacking Iraq and causing the Coalition's Arab members to withdraw. The idea was that, when an Iraqi SCUD was detected, the PATRIOT would launch its own missile so that it would detonate when the two crossed paths and destroy the SCUD before it could reach its target. The US military touted it as a great success, but its effectiveness has been contested by outside experts. A software flaw in the targeting system caused the accuracy to decrease the longer the system was left running, and even if the target missile was hit, the Patriot warhead was designed to destroy aircraft, not missiles; they could certainly destroy the missile body, but the warhead itself would keep going along the same ballistic path toward the target. Later versions are much better optimized for shooting down missiles rather than airplanes, actually fulfilling this trope by going for a skin hit rather than proximity detonation. While untested in actual combat the US Navy's Standard missiles are probably better overall as they were designed from the beginning to shoot down anti-ship missiles. This is also backed up by the brilliant AEGIS system that allows multiple targets with a single search radar.
  • Also the YAL-1, Which was a 747 modified to contain a huge Laser that would be used to destroy missiles. Until the program was cancelled, it wielded one of the largest laser systems in the world! Some wanted to improve it to shoot down Fighter Jets and to destroy tanks! A smaller and less awesome version is the use of lasers to passively kill(without permanently damaging) incoming anti-aircraft missiles by blinding the seekers.
  • An Urban Legend posits that, in WWI, American soldiers excelled in shooting grenades out of the air with shotguns — since it was basically the same as skeet shooting. Mythbusters showed that this was indeed possible, and the most effective weapon to do so was indeed the shotgun due to its spread and its habit of harmlessly disintegrating the grenade rather than detonating it (which is what a high-powered rifle tended to do, assuming you could even hit the thing). They often test this sort of stuff.
  • This was the concept behind the Strategic Defense Initiative, better known by its Detractor Nickname of "Star Wars". Various attempts were made to develop a viable system to shoot down incoming Soviet nuclear missiles using X-ray lasers, kinetic kill weapons, and other attempts, but even after some thirty years of development, it shows little effectiveness.
  • A common Urban Legend of the cowboy type is of the "Third Gunman" or "Ghost Gunman" depending on who's telling the tale. The story goes that two gunmen went out to "slap leather" at high noon over a dispute over who was the faster gunman. Both men drew and fired, and to the confusion of all, both men missed, while a third gunshot rang out between them. As the story goes, the men discovered their bullets had hit each other in mid air. This led both men to drop their feud.
    • A similar story involves a pair of twins involved in a Gentleman's Duel - one was right-handed, the other left, so after taking the required ten paces, they turned and fired at the same time, rendering the same result.
  • While certainly not on purpose, a number of Civil War Minie balls have been found fused together from colliding in midair. The field at the Battle of Gettysburg is apparently littered to this day with pairs of musket balls that impacted each other and fused together. There was basically no chance of this happening deliberately, so that so many musket balls managed to inadvertently shoot each other out of the air gives you some indication just how extreme the hail of gunfire from both sides must have been.
  • This is the basic concept behind anti-ballistic missile technology. While we've gotten pretty good at intercepting short range missiles even with modern technology things like ICBMs still require deploying multiple interceptors if you don't want to roll the dice on if your city gets nuked. The impossibility of this task with Cold War technology is why most early to mid Cold War anti-ballistic missile designers opted to solve this problem by giving up on the concept of direct hits entirely and instead equipping their missiles with proximity fuses and nuclear warheads of their own so even near misses would result in a kill under the logic that a nuke going up high above a city was still preferable to a nuke going up not-so-high above a city.
  • Explosive Reactive Armor for tanks works on the principle of "blow up the bullet". It's essentially strapping a bunch of explosives to a vehicle. The most famous type, soviet Kontakt ERA, has been used copiously on both sides during the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, sometimes on vehicles with armor too thin to withstand the backblast.
  • A non-military example: One technique for stopping asteroids from impacting Earth is the kinetic impactor - run a spacecraft into the asteroid and change its speed just enough for it to miss the planet. As of 2022, we have the technology.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Shoots The Bullet


What the French Toast?!

In a climactic standoff between the Anarchy sisters and the Daemon sisters, Scanty ends up firing at the angels, only for Stocking to deflect her bullets towards the demons' weapons.

How well does it match the trope?

4.44 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / BlastingItOutOfTheirHands

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