PSA: Celabratory Gunfire is Stupid

Browsing through my Facebook feed for the day, I came across this nugget from my local group “Gun Enthusiasts of Cincinnati.” which shows a local member’s windshield smashed from a bullet falling back to the ground from celebratory gunfire.

By the damage to the windshield, if that hit a person it would likely maim or kill them.

So, please do not be that idiot and shoot your gun up in the air.


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I remember years ago in my neighborhood northeast of downtown Houston the Hispanic folks would un-freaking-load every NYE. I remember many times hearing rounds land on my tin roof patio while I was outside smoking. It sounded like Beirut in the 80’s.

    • I apologize for my peoples behavior on my behalf.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        No need, Hispanics don’t have a patent on stupidity.
        It was a fun neighborhood and I was usually three sheets to the wind anyway so I wasn’t overly concerned.

    • hipster gear-do

      Ah, Houston, the Mexicans, and New Years Eve. Good times indeed.

  • M.M.D.C.

    Looks like a rifle bullet, perhaps .30 cal.

  • Will

    Not only is it stupid it’s a waste of ammo.
    But it’s really stupid. These morons act as though they don’t know that what goes up must come down and they just don’t give a damn where the projectiles land.
    Yep, my opinion.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I’m assuming this is actually IN Cincinnati. I figured this still goes on in some rural areas of the US still, but in a major city? I mean, it’s dumb no matter where you are, but in a major city is really stupid.

    • Grindstone50k

      Well, it it IS Cincinnati.

    • Zebra Dun

      My Father-in-Law was from Cincinnati, he stated “You can always tell were a cat’s from by looking under their tail, there will be a O for Ohio” He was a crazy guy LOL never did understand this observation.

    • john huscio

      Celebratory gunfire is common in the ghetto

  • Swarf

    At least it was a member’s car.

  • Question Authority

    I certainly agree that shooting in the air “Arab style” to celebrate is a poor idea so my comments are not related to that.

    The window damage does not look correct. The large “crater” area and with the bullet, clearly deformed and lying in the “crater” does not look natural. Could it have been some other cause of damage with the bullet placed on the “crater” to give the impression that that was what happened? The bullet appears, though honestly it is hard to tell definitively, to be deformed lengthwise. With that much deformation on such a surface it seem more likely it would have rebounded off the and not stayed on the glass.

    Having only seen windshield glass that was penetrated there is typically a hole with fracture.

    • Wetcoaster

      There’s a lot of variables involved – depends on what angle that bullet went up at and what angle it impacted the windshield at. It looks like a pistol bullet to me, and something like a .45 ACP hollow point could shed a lot of velocity over the course of its flight.

      Someone call the Mythbusters!

      • Zebra Dun

        Mythbusters did one on this, a weapon fired at high angle causes the bullet to come down base first, tip the angle over and it goes into a ballistic arc and land nose first.
        The angle has to be less than about 90 degrees to get a lethal arc.

      • Zebra Dun

        I recall during the M-1911A1 .45 acp class on warning shots and the instructor stated the n.45 acp has a maximum range of 1600 yards and is lethal every bit of the way.

        • Iksnilol

          Yep, I know on the .22 LR I use it saus on the box “lethal range: 1600 meters”. That means simply it can kill at tvat distance. So be careful, y’know?

    • HSR47

      In a perfect system, the bullet would steadily decelerate going up turning kinetic energy into potential energy, and then trade the potential energy back to kinetic energy after reaching it’s zenith.

      Still, we don’t live in that kind of perfect system. Not only is there air resistance to factor in for the whole arc of flight, but you also need to factor in the behavior of the bullet itself during that arc: It will be spinning with ideal aerodynamics for the majority of it’s ascent, and tumbling in a wide variety of directions on it’s decent.

      Thus, bullets fired up in the air typically have far less velocity just before impact than they did just after leaving the muzzle.

  • Budogunner

    I have a saying, usually used to lecture local rednecks who go into the woods and just shoot into the trees in general: “The unknown is not a backstop “

    • M.M.D.C.

      You’re liable to get a hide full of bird shot lecturing rednecks in the woods.

      • Budogunner

        Not if Darwin gets them first.

        • Ethan

          Speaking as yankee who has recently transplanted himself into the deep south, I daresay that Northerners are (on average) closer to writing a Darwinian conclusion to thier life’s story than a southerner.

          “A Country boy can survive” isn’t just a song. 😉

          This is, of course, a broad generalization.

    • Zebra Dun

      Like yankees don’t do it too?

      • Budogunner

        “We don’t get many Yankees round these parts. No, Sir. Folks don’t take kindly to them types…”

        Sadly, I’m only half joking. Apparently, my English is too clean and people keep asking me where I’m from, even though I AM from here.

        • Zebra Dun

          Dang! I’m from here too!
          Well I reckon they do have rednecks in Ohio though I never heard an Ohioan say that.
          I do know Pennsylvania has more rednecks per mile than anywhere south of there LOL.
          Darwin is a killer, I had a friend who served with me in the Marines, came home and went deer hunting one day, dropped his rifle out of his stand and it hit butt first and shot him in the head as he look down at it falling.
          Damndest thing I ever heard of!

          • SCW

            I had a friend in high school who’s step dad accidentally killed himself the same way except he never made it out the door with his gun. She had already gone to school and he was leaving to go shooting. He propped his gun next to the door, forgot it was there, opened the door and it hit something hard enough to cause it to fire. The bullet hit him in the head and he dropped in front of the door.

            The sad part is, when my friend got home from school she saw the door was open a little and when she tried to go inside, his body was blocking the door. She had to push inside and step over his body to call the police. Every time I would go over to her house you could still see the bullet hole in the ceiling.

          • KestrelBike

            That sucks. You’d think someone would take the time to patch that hole : (

          • Grindstone50k

            When I was enlisted, one of the guys in my unit had a really thick drawl, barely inteligable. They called him “Pitch”, short for pitchfork, he was the epitome of “country”. When they asked him where he was from, he would reply “Ohiyah”. “But, Grind, aren’t you from Ohio, too?” As I have the typical flat Midwestern accent. “We’re from completely different parts of Ohio.” Me, Southwest. Him, Southeast.

      • skusmc

        One of the biggest Rednecks I’ve ever met (also one of my closest friends) is from the Catskills in New York. He out rednecks me and I’m from rural Arkansas. Redneck does not preclude Yankee, apparently.

        • floppyscience

          I live in Michigan. Half this state is rednecks.

  • Anonymoose

    (you know exactly what he’s shouting)

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      “USA! USA!”

    • Wetcoaster

      Nice vZ.58 though

      • David Sharpe

        That’s not a VZ, that’s an AK. Look closer.

        • Grindstone50k

          Wrong. It’s a Rooty-tooty-point-and-shooty.

    • Giolli Joker

      Trigger discipline indeed.

    • nadnerbus

      Judging by his girth, he may really be yelling “snakbar.”

  • 277Volt

    Interesting photo. I’d have thought with most of the weight rearward the bullet would fall base first although it looks like maybe the bullet wasn’t fired straight up.

    • HSR47

      That’s the thing: The weight distribution is such that non-aerodynamic faces are nearly continually placed where they will catch the most air, thus causing the bullet to tumble unpredictably.

      This effect greatly reduces the terminal velocity that the bullet can achieve, which in turn tends to result in the impact velocity being significantly lower than the muzzle velocity.

  • Lance

    As the song goes “What come up, must come down”! Never go the ISIS way and waste your ammo by shooting it up in the air.

  • Giolli Joker

    There was an interesting episode of Mithbusters on the topic.
    They concluded that a bullet simply free falling wouldn’t be able to seriously hurt anybody, however, if shot with an elevation lower than 90° it would fly way farther and it would preserve more energy, potentially becoming lethal.

    • Zebra Dun

      I saw that, it was illuminating they fired rounds up in the air and then walked around looking for them by eyeball.
      I’d have used a metal detector myself.

      • Giolli Joker

        You still would have needed to scout the all area and you could have ended up stopping on quite a few false indications. It would have not been much faster, imho.

    • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

      Season 04 Episode 7: Bullets fired up

  • Zebra Dun

    Around here they ran out of fireworks about midnight and switched to rifles, shotguns and handguns.
    I just stayed in the house and listen to the AK”s bang.
    What a bunch of idiots!

  • Sulaco

    I still have a section of composite roofing material that I was handed by a roofer who found what looks like a .38 wadcutter imbedded in the roof while doing some repairs. Idiots!

  • Nate

    “Think of the birds”

  • SCW

    I was a roofer for around 7 years. I have a little jar full of bullets that I have pulled out of roofs. Most of them were found on top of Memorial hospital in Savannah, Ga. I found a 7.62×39 steel core round, .38sp, and a few 9mm’s there. I pulled two .45acp’s out of a ladies slate roof. One hit the upper roof and one hit the lower.

  • mosinman

    celebratory gun fire with blank cartridges isn’t stupid though

    • Ethan

      They should sell blanks for common rifles at fireworks stores. Still a terrible idea, but now a profitable, terrible idea. 😛

  • If I were of a mind to I have at least twenty miles of nothing but trees north of my house, the nearest three belonging to me. But every expended round should be fired at something for an actual purpose.

  • jess

    My BIL pulled a 9mm from their roof back in Jan, penetrated 2 asphalt shingles and slightly dented the plywood underneath. New years idiots.

  • Blake

    If you *must* do this, use blanks or birdbombs, mmmkay?

  • Robert A Roe

    I hope and pray that the shooter was not a responsible gun owner. Thankfully it didn’t hit anyone especially a child. Just a stupid and irresponsible act.

  • DIR911911 .

    celebratory gun fire is just what a good black powder pistol is for , just leave out the ball and BOOOOOM!!