How long does it take for a 50cal bullet to fall back down?

I’ll be totally honest, when I was a youngster plinking cans and (not) shooting birds ...

I’ll be totally honest, when I was a youngster plinking cans and (not) shooting birds with my first BB gun, I spent a LOT of time firing it straight up in the air and thinking if I was really careful with my trajectory and watched closely, I could see the BB coming back down. Obviously, even with a small CO2 powered rifle, this is almost impossible and I was never able to track down any of my ammunition, so when I saw this video, I immediately flashed back to my little experiment and hoped that YouTuber Edwin Sarkissian would have better luck than I did. He also answers the question of how long it takes the bullet to return to earth, but you have to watch the video for that little tidbit of information!

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He did have better luck. Much better, in fact, despite the fact that he’s firing off rounds that are infinitely larger and more powerful than my BB gun.

Using a 50 caliber rifle and aiming it directly into the desert sky, Edwin fires and ducks for cover, joining his friend under his car in case the bullet comes hurtling back to earth directly at one of them. When you think about the variables involved here, even the most accurate rifle is likely to spread rounds all over the desert thanks to the wind and minute variances in the angle of the gun, as well as the actual trajectory of the bullet varying. However, the very first shot – or at least that’s how it’s edited to appear – returns to earth within earshot, although they aren’t quite able to pinpoint the exact location. Since the first shot was an incendiary round, it exploded upon impact, which you can clearly hear in the video, but it fell too far from Edwin’s location for him to be able to track it down.

The next couple of tries prove fruitless, although you can hear the tale-tell buzzing of one of the rounds returning to earth. Then finally, the last three-round attempt actually has solid results as one of the rounds lands just yards away, although once again attempts to find the round itself prove to be in vain. However, you can clearly hear the bullet buzzing at it falls and then “thud” as it strikes the sandy soil.

As Edwin stresses at the beginning of his video, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Falling rounds can reach high enough speeds to seriously injure or possibly even kill somebody standing below them.

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