MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: At what angle will a bullet ricochet off water?

Date: Sun Apr 3 21:11:58 2005
Posted by Andrew
Grade level: 10-12 School: Hammond High School
City: Hammond State/Province: Louisiana Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1112580718.Ph

I hunt turtles with a rifle.  If a fire a bullet at the turtle at a 
shallow angle and miss, the bullet will bounce off the water, creating a 
dangerous condition for any bystanders.  Experience tells me that at a steeper 
angle, the bullet will penetrate the water.
I want to know the smallest angle that the bullet will penetrate the water.  I 
am using a .22 magnum rifle bullet with a muzzle velocity of about 2500 feet 
per second.  I am shooting into a body of still, fresh water.  Is there an 
equation where I can simply plug in different velocities or other variables to 
compensate for changes I may make in my hunting?  How will variables I cannot 
control like wind and temperature affect the angle?  

Re: At what angle will a bullet ricochet off water?

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