Why not? Unlike humans (or cats, who have an exceptionally low terminal velocity due to the fur) bullets are designed to minimise drag, so their terminal velocity is quite high, possibly higher than the muzzle velocity (although it would only fall faster if it were fired upwards from the top of a cliff or something so it came down again over the edge).
Anyone done the experiment? You don't need to fire the thing, just drop it from a high enough building, and film it with a highspeed camera. Who wants to call Mythbusters?
"For further insight, we turn to Hatcher's Notebook (1962) by Major General Julian S. Hatcher, a U.S. Army ordnance expert. Hatcher described military tests with, among other things, a .30 caliber bullet weighing .021 pounds. Using a special rig, the testers shot the bullet straight into the air. It came down bottom (not point) first at what was later computed to be about 300 feet per second. "With the [.021 pound] bullet, this corresponds to an energy of 30 foot pounds," Hatcher wrote. "Previously, the army had decided that on the average an energy of 60 foot pounds is required to produce a disabling wound. Thus, service bullets returning from extreme heights cannot be considered lethal by this standard."
I think you might have some trouble finding a 1500++ foot building to test that from...
POSTED: 10:11 pm EST January 1, 2006
UPDATED: 6:41 am EST January 3, 2006
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 26-year-old woman watching New Year's Eve fireworks in Orlando was seriously injured when she was struck in the face by a stray bullet fired into the air during the celebration, according to a Local 6 News report.
Investigators said Ruby Cintron was standing on the north shoreline of Crooked Lake in the Highlands Lake subdivision off Hiawassee Road after midnight Sunday when she was hit near the eye by the .45-caliber bullet.
Cintron was holding her 7-month-old baby when she was hit, her husband, Domingo said.
"She put the baby down and my brother and I took her to the house," Cintron said. "She was saying the whole time, "Take care of the kids.'"
Detectives said the bullet came from someone who fired into the sky to ring in the New Year from a nearby location.
Cintron was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center but doctors were unable to remove the bullet from her head, Local 6 News learned.
Cintron will need an artificial eye because of the damage caused by the bullet, according to the report.
"She does not know what is ahead of her right now," Cintron said.
Neighbors heard several gun shots fired in the area after midnight.
"A lot of loudness and a lot of shooting, repeatedly, like semi automatics," neighbor Ray Beecham said.
Last New Year's Eve, a stray bullet fired more than 2,200 yards away struck and killed a 75-year-old man.
Police hope the person who fired the shot will turn themselves into authorities.
If you have any information concerning this shooting, you are urged to call Crimeline at (800) 423-TIPS.
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
Copyright 2005 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and Local6.com.