POTD: Do Bullets Fly Flat Or Do They Nosedive At Distance?

Nicholas C
by Nicholas C

This started off with a Facebook post shared by my friends. A woman claims a .223 fired was from an “assault rifle” and the bullet penetrated her house. It went through some walls and the crib for her baby stopped the bullet. Well my friends and I were discussing the validity of this and bullet path was brought up. Do bullets fly flat or do they change pitch like a football?

So you know what we were debunking here is the post this woman made about the scary assault weapon bullet.

This past Saturday around 1:30pm a man in a neighborhood about a half mile west of us shot off 29 rounds from his assault rifle. One bullet hit my home. It went through the exterior wall of our living room then through another wall into my one-year-old son’s bedroom. The bullet then hit one of the rails of my son’s crib. He was in his crib napping at the time. Miraculously the crib stopped the bullet otherwise this story would have a far different ending. I heard the bullet hit but after searching my house and finding no cause of the noise, I brushed it off. Later, when I saw the damaged crib railing I had no clue that it was caused by a bullet. Why would I? I live in a suburban neighborhood in a good part of the city. I initially thought my son had chewed on his crib railing. I innocently took a picture of him in his crib to send to my husband who was away with the military at the time. Little did I know I was taking a picture of my son next to a bullet hole. Hours later I discovered the bullet underneath his crib. Words cannot describe the emotions I endured at that moment.

According to the Moore PD the man who shot off the rounds was intoxicated, suffered from PTSD, and had mental health issues. This man was taken to a mental health facility but the police told me it is likely that he has been released and is at home now. They tell me that it is very likely that this man will only be charged with Reckless Conduct with a Firearm which is a MISDEMEANOR.

We need reform. We need justice. When an assault rifle is fired in a suburban neighborhood within a mile of an elementary school and surrounded by many other residential subdivisions those bullets are going to hit something or someone. My innocent son nearly lost his life. I hope the man who shot off those rounds receives the mental health help he needs but I also want justice. I will forever remember the sound of that bullet hitting my house and my son’s crib. I will always remember the feelings that overcame me when I found that bullet. No mother should ever have to experience something like this. This man took away our safe place. The fact that he could only be charged with a misdemeanor and have the legal right to purchase another assault rifle is unbelievable.

Please help me share my story and maybe somehow we can achieve justice for my baby boy and my family.

The debate discussed the validity of the damage as well as the the fact that there is little to no deformation of the bullet. According to the woman who posted these photos, the shooter was half a mile away. That is 880 yards.

Could a .223 bullet survive going through a house to be stopped by wood? There are a lot of variables we do not know of. First of all what kind of exterior wall does this house have?

The bigger question then arose about the drop of the round. My friend Dave Clawson says there would only be a 13″ drop in the 20 feet between exterior wall and inner wall. However former TFB writer, Corey Wardrop, argued that the bullet would be entering the house at a downward angle at such distances and thus would not be able to make the impact that the woman claims.

Is that true? Look at the photo at the top. Do bullets fly flat or do they angle down? Analogies of football were mentioned. I could see at extreme angles like artillery where the round would travel angled up and then nose dive down. Similar to a quarterback throwing a long pass. But when he throws the football to someone close by the pitch of the ball is relatively parallel to the ground. If the angle of the bullet is at or near parallel to the ground then I imagine the bullet flies similar to an air plane. Think of how airplanes typically descend. They don’t nose dive to the ground unless something catastrophic happened or it is intentional. No, they maintain relative pitch and just their altitude changes.

So which is it? Could the bullet have penetrated this house and done the damage it did? Or is she making things up to build up fear and panic about “assault weapons”?

Nicholas C
Nicholas C

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  • Doug Dickey Doug Dickey on May 25, 2018

    I recently answered a call for service where a woman found a bullet lodged in her deck. I found that it was an undeformed .223 round, embedded point first into the wood floor of her deck at about a 35 degree down angle, perhaps a quarter inch deep. This surprised me, since I'd always thought that the spin of the bullet would keep it pointed in the direction it was fired. I now see that the boattail design keeps it pointing in the direction of flight. (The shot was determined to a stray round fired from a distant location.)

  • Andy S. Andy S. on Jun 02, 2018

    I had the opportunity of Shooting my Maxxed-Out .25 Hatsan AT-44W inside a "Waste-Transfer Station"(after Hours, of course), that was about 1/4 Mile long,,,an absolute Huge Facility,,,,I was shooting a 33 gr,. "Swaged" round that was highly Polished and very shiny!,,, w/ the Sun coming in behind me, I started shooting, and because the round was Illuminated by the Sun,,,I got to see the round's in flight,,,,and something happened that I've NEVER seen B4 in my life,,,,,The Round Dipped below my Line of Sight, a Good 20 ft B4 the Target, and came UP! just B4 hitting the Target, and the Round went straight into The Bull!,,,exactly where I was aiming!!!,,,,,In all my Yr's of Shooting,Military & Civilian,,, I have never encountered that Before,,,,or After, and even though it must of been a good 08-10 yr's Back, It's something I'll never forget!,,,,,,If anyone has had this happen to them, or knows what may have caused this,,,Please let me know, Cheer's, and Thank's, Andy.
    P.S.,,,,,Shooting was done Indoors w/ No wind, or anything that would affect the rounds flight.