How fast does a bullet accelerate as it leaves a gun barrel?
'Muzzle velocity' is the speed of a bullet at the moment it leaves the barrel of a gun. This speed depends on both the type of gun and the type of bullet.
Asked by: Mark Ellis, Oxford
'Muzzle velocity' depends on the type of gun and bullet, with high-velocity rifles firing bullets at much higher speeds than small handguns. But the explosive charge that propels a bullet out of a gun will typically produce accelerations of over 100,000 times that due to gravity. That means a bullet goes from a standing start to the speed of sound after travelling less than 50mm.
Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.