Bullets don’t rise coming out of the barrel of a gun!

This post is for all you gun enthusiasts that think you know all there is to know about guns. It is especially for those of you who think that a bullet rises as it comes out of the barrel. It doesn’t! I dont care how long you’ve been hunting or shooting or what. The freakin bullet doesn’t rise as it comes out of the barrel.  As soon as it exits the barrel the bullet begins to fall due to gravity. It never rises past the axis of the barrel. It does however rise through the line of sight because your scope is mounted in such a way (pointing slightly down) that your line of sight crosses the axis of the barrel. You can see from the illustration that the gun is pointed slightly upward and the line of sight crosses the bullets path. This is why people think the bullet rises. If the barrel was parellel to the ground the bullet would not rise past that paralell line. It just drops from that point plain and simple.

17 comments to Bullets don’t rise coming out of the barrel of a gun!

  • Hay Danny, Dr Bobs question is mostly for you.
    Care to answer?

  • Does the bullet immediately start to drop upon leaving the barrel
    or does gases from the powder cause the bullet to resist gravity
    and not drop, at all, for a few feet. Providing the scope sight line
    and barrel line are parallel to the ground.

  • Rick

    Wolfgang, you bring up a point, show diagrams, post some video but the real question is ….
    Have you ever actually fired a gun?
    Some one can write about baseball, auto repair, or building a deck, but until you actually DO IT you can only speculate on the actual nuances involved in the process.

    • Wolfgang Riggins

      Yes, I have fired a gun AND I have done the research. Have you? This is not speculation, I have given references. Its not if you’ve fired a gun or not because you cant tell if it rises above the axis of the barrel with a tracer round. Do the reserarch. It is possible to find the answer to something without actually experiencing it, for instance its not necessary to eat a crap sandwich to find out if it tastes like shit.

  • Wolfgang Riggins

    Wayne, the idea here is that the bullet does not rise above the horizontal from which it was released despite what some of the above naysayers have written. See the video, see the marksmanship book I referenced, and explore physics. If the baseball is released where there is no wind, gravity will act on it immediately which is to say it will begin to drop immediately. There is no force which will make it rise. If you disagree, respond with proof as I did above.

  • Wayne

    Do any of you know anything about baseball? Some pitchers (using a new ball)can make a fastball “hop”. So why not a bullet that moves much faster than a thrown ball.

  • Danny


  • Danny

    We shoot out to 1000m and most people dont understand that forces other than and in some cases stronger than gravity act on a bullet. At 1000m a 68grn 5.56 ruond has to be calculated to the velocity rise and fall along with gravity, curviture of the earth, wind, humidity and several other factors. @ 1000m these rounds will not only fall due to gravity but the 9to1 twist will cause the round to compinsate for some of the gravity pull and travel heavy right. I realize the rise at exit is a hot topic but it also depends on how hot you load based on twist and the actual makeup and shape of the round but by all means I am not calling anyone a liar in that a factory loaded round WILL fall at the point off exit but custom handloads for long range targets are rotating at such a higher rate of speed it results in “bullet jump” which causes a slight rise upon exit of a barrel without a flash hider.

  • MrSmartyPants

    This is silly. If you point the gun up, of course the bullet will rise, with respect to ground, but the bullet will accelerate towards the ground due to gravitational pull, and eventually the bullet will stop rising, and start falling back towards the ground.

    When people say the bullet rises, they mean with respect to them and the ground. You changed the point of reference to be a straight line coming out of the barrel of the gun, instead of the ground. If it makes you feel smarter than everyone else to change it around, then fine, but it means you will be lousy at communicating with the average person if you can’t even keep the point of reference the same.

  • Alice N Wonderland

    This is a silly discussion. The bullet is simply responding to the forces it is subjected to. First the explosive force of the gunpowder. Then the barrel to guide the bullet in a direction and then gravity environmental conditions. All the events that take place after firing a weapon are subject to and can be explained by the laws of physics. Anyone who claims bullets rise upon exiting a gun barrel would have a difficult time proving this.

  • Wolfgang Riggins

    Maybe I am not making myself clear. The bullet does not rise above the axis of the barrel. It comes straight out and then drops as gravity immediately acts on it. Relative to the line of sight it does rise because of the angle the scope is mounted on the gun. If the barrel was fired parallel to the ground, the bullet does not rise above that parralel line. Incidentally (danny) i have seen a high speed camera demonstration that does exactly what I have described as well as being documented in a rather in a great book THE MARKSMANSHIP PRIMER by Casada. All that said, dont take my word for it. Check out Myth Busters, and listen for Adams quote when he states “a bullet has no lift”. Here is part 1 of the demo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUEIwPf9BpA

  • military weapons in particular will be “aimed upward” when the sight is horizontal, so that the distance that the round is somewhere close to the point of aim is extended; on well thought out weapon, the bullet will rise before it drops, in rifles the bullet will drop back even with the point of aim at about 250 yards DLB

  • Supreme Galooti

    Without resorting to actual experimentation I will acknowledge the slim possibility of aeronautical effects on a (presumably) symmetrical bullet causing a slight lifting. Otherwise, gravity begins acting on the bullet as soon as it is fired and before it emerges from the barrel. There are only a limited number of things that could cause it to not only resist gravity but to actually overcome gravity and begin to rise. One would be superheated gases escaping ABOVE the bullet, thereby creating lift. Another, as mentioned above, would be some transient aerodynamic forces not attributable to escaping gases; and finally a physical ramping effect of the barrel itself caused by recoil and re-recoil. In any case, I don’t see any controversy here. It either is and does, or it isn’t and doesn’t. If so, I would be curious to know why or why not.

  • Danny

    Sorry dude I have been shooting CMP for over 15 years and a Master Gunsmith for the last 40 and a propewrley loaded .30 round will creap up between 1.347mm – 1.903mm within the 1st 15ft +/-. this has been documented for years in slow mo video and can even be done with a rifle in a mounted gun vice a dumpy level chalk line and thick rat pater for velocity testing. go get the gear you need and try it for yourself, I did, 3 times, before I posted this.

  • Wolfgang Riggins

    I would be no less condescending responding to 2+2=5

  • Nunya

    Well, since you said it with much condescension, it must be true.

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