High Speed Ballistic Photography, Both Art And Science

Kuulapaa

A reader recently sent a link to a site that is doing great work in not only the artistic side of ballistic photography, but is also using the photography for ballistic research such as learning how different rounds and pistols behave.  There are several sets of pictures on how certain muzzle AR devices work, and how different brands of ammunition behave differently when fired.  I urge you to head over to his site at http://kuulapaa.com/ and take a look.  While you’re there you can also buy high resolution copies of the photos and make your own wall art, or just take a look at what he has on his site.

There is one group of pictures that stands out to me as interesting, and that is just how unstable a handgun round really is when it leaves the barrel.  The picture here I measured as best I could, and actually came up with the bullet being a full 7 degrees off the bore axis.  While I have a good grasp on ballistics and bullet stability, actually being able to see the science at work is truly fascinating.

The photos are truly amazing to see both the gasses, bullet, powder and fireball all stopped in time perfectly enough to even be able to see the rifling striations on the bullet and just how damaged some bullets come out of the barrel.  Check out his site, there are a lot of pictures to be seen there, and even some stereoscopic pictures to help see the full blast in 3D.

Used with permission from Herra Kuulapaa (http://kuulapaa.com/)

Used with permission from Herra Kuulapaa (http://kuulapaa.com/)

Used with permission from Herra Kuulapaa (http://kuulapaa.com/)

Used with permission from Herra Kuulapaa (http://kuulapaa.com/)

Used with permission from Herra Kuulapaa (http://kuulapaa.com/)

Used with permission from Herra Kuulapaa (http://kuulapaa.com/)

Thanks to Matti for the tip!




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  • gunslinger

    so the bullet is flying downwards… humm… now we need them to do the “bullet throw” from the movie wanted! (yes i know mythbusters debunked it years ago, but still.)

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I want a nano-flash, they aren’t even that expensive, I just can think of no good use for it BESIDES this.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Reference, for anyone that thinks some handgun actions are naturally “more accurate” than others. The bullet is long gone by the time the action starts to move in any significant amount besides sucking up tolerance slack to the locking mechanism.

    In the R51 post the other day, someone did reference that maybe some actions might “come back” to the same location after the shot, allowing for a fast followup. Taken to extremes this is of course true (a shot over a nano second vs a shot of a full second) This is something that could have some merit, but action still doesn’t really have anything to do with it, that would be bore axis, grip, user, reciprocating slide mass, cyclic rate all more important.

  • hkryan

    I love looking at this stuff…

  • JC

    Thanks for sharing this, really fascinating stuff.