FACT OR FICTION: Can A ‘Near Miss’ From A .50 Caliber Still Kill You…Let’s Find Out

There seems to be some chatter out on the web regarding a .50 caliber round and what kind of damage it can do merely passing by a person. Some are convinced that a .50 cal round can possibly wound and even kill someone if the bullet passes too close by on it’s way to it’s intended target. There is a persistent myth, even among military members, that certain types of rounds can kill a human without actually impacting. Myths like “it can snap your neck as it passes by” or “it can tear your arm off if it passes near you”. The video below by Demolition Ranch takes-up the question and sets-up a series of targets to try and debunk the claim once and for all.

I have my own opinion regarding this and since I don’t want to spoil the ending of the video for you, I think you should just watch and see for yourselves exactly what does happen.

Wikipedia had this to say regarding the .50 Cal round: The .50 BMG round can produce between 10,000 and 15,000 foot pounds (between 14 and 18 kilojoules), depending on its powder and bullet type, as well as the weapon it was fired from. Due to the high ballistic coefficient of the bullet, the .50 BMG’s trajectory also suffers less “drift” from cross-winds than smaller and lighter calibers, making the .50 BMG a good choice for high-powered sniper rifles.”

Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
647 gr (42 g) Speer 3,044 ft/s (928 m/s) 13,310 ft·lbf (18,050 J)
655 gr (42 g) ADI 3,029 ft/s (923 m/s) 13,350 ft·lbf (18,100 J)
700 gr (45 g) Barnes 2,978 ft/s (908 m/s) 13,971 ft·lbf (18,942 J)
750 gr (49 g) Hornady 2,820 ft/s (860 m/s) 13,241 ft·lbf(17,952 J)[2]
800 gr (52 g) Barnes 2,895 ft/s (882 m/s) 14,895 ft·lbf (20,195 J)

Here watch and see for yourself and afterwards, you can inform some of your friends as to what REALLY happens.

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