What happens when you shoot a gun underwater? What happens when you shoot a gun straight up? What happens when you shoot a gun in space? Don’t let curiosity get the best of you. There are plenty of questions that pops in our mind, and not all of them are worth trying out.
Rely on the professionals to answer your question. This is what happens when you fire a gun underwater. The gun will still go off just as it does on land. However, the speed of the bullet will be very slow. It will even change direction midway.
So, why is that?
This is because water is 800 times denser than air.
Air: 0.08 LBS/FT3
Water: 62 LBS/FT3
The bullet will fire initially at the same speed as it would go on land, but once it hits the water, it will immediately begin slowing down. In the beginning, there is high pressure behind the bullet. This high pressure pushes the bullet out of the gun. However, there is extremely low pressure behind the bullet.
A partial vacuum is created in front of the bullet, which can boil the water. If you see it in slow motion, you will notice bubbles exploding in the path of the bullet. In the air, bullets can travel mils when fired.
Underwater, bullets will probably go several feet because of the resistance. And this is what happens when you shoot a gun underwater.
Debunking Some Myths
If you have watched the opening scene of the movie Saving Private Ryan, that looked highly realistic, right? For example, soldiers getting hit by bullets underwater. There are some other elements that are still open to question.
Allied soldiers are shown being shot in the sea, but could a bullet really retain its deadly power underwater? Do they have the same impact going through water? Well, this scene was a complete hoax because it is next to impossible.
At a ballistics and explosives testing center in Salisbury Plain, England, ordnance experts Trevor Lawrence did a test to find out if a bullet can still retain its velocity underwater.
When you fire a standard high-velocity 7.62 mm bullet at a dummy, it will go straight through. This is the sort of effect you will see when a bullet being fired on land. However, this same bullet will behave differently underwater.
Any rifle that is a modern equivalent of a standard-issue German weapon is capable of firing bullets that leave the gun at over 2700 feet per second. Any shoots made by these guns are lethal to any person.
But would any person be safer underwater? Let’s find out. Even at point-blank range, water can greatly reduce the speed of a bullet. You will be safe from a firing bullet underwater, even at a point-blank range.
The test showed a dramatic result. The bullet doesn’t even cross 3 feet. The test showed a very rapid deceleration in comparison to flying through free air.
A bullet can travel through the air at supersonic speed, creating a shockwave. When it hits the water, that shockwave vaporizes the liquid in front of it. This creates an area of low pressure behind the bullet, which drags it backward and makes it tumble.
Now, when the bullet tumbles, increasing the surface area of the bullet by about ten times will exert much more force on the bullet. That bullet itself will have a nice aerodynamic shape that flies through the air very stable. Once it starts to tumble, it is about as aerodynamic as a dustbin.
There you have it. The test proves that even at point-blank range, a bullet can be very ineffective underwater. Now, as for the scene in the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” well, it is Hollywood bending the laws of physics for dramatic effect. Now you know the truth.
This is what happens when you shoot a gun underwater. And as for the main question, yes, you can shoot a gun underwater. In fact, there are specially designed guns that are used to shoot underwater. But that’s a topic for another day.