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Determining the Range of a 9mm Bullet – What Factors Affect It?

How Far Can a 9mm Bullet Travel

How fast do bullets travel? How far can they go? Our inner Curious George got us thinking. However, it’s more than just feeding your curiosity.  Knowing the distance that bullets can reach is actually vital, especially in safe gun handling. 

We started with the 9mm.  

So, how far can a 9mm bullet travel? Let’s all find out.

Different firearms and rounds have different ranges with a lot of variables to consider.

For example, the trajectory, weather, and wind speed are some of the things that contribute to the effective range of the firearm. 

The National Rifle Association says that 9mm is the most popular handgun. When you shoot a 9mm, the round will travel fast and far until it hits something.

At 45 degrees, the round of a 9mm handgun gives a maximum effective range of about 2,300 meters [1].

What Affects It?

What Affects It

Range

The range of the round does not just depend on the type of the gun but includes muzzle velocity. It is the speed of the projectile at the time a round leaves the barrel. Because of the very good ballistic coefficient of a 9mm handgun, the air resistance of an inflight round affects the parameter of the rounds.

The temperature of air also affects the span where the round could travel. Due to cold air, the handgun round may strike lower while hot loads let the round strike higher. In addition, consider the amount of gunpowder inside the rounds as fast powders can give a maximum range.

Barrel Length

The length of the barrel in a typical handgun ranges from 4-5 inches. The size plays a vital role as it affects the effective range of 9mm. So what’s the best barrel length for a 9mm carbine? A longer barrel gives a lengthy time for the round to exit. It is far more effective because it buys you time to complete the powder burn before leaving the barrel. 

With this, you can maximize the powder power and give faster rounds maximum distance. If guns fire bullets in longer barrels, the space they can also reach increases. Though a longer barrel improves accuracy, it somehow may decrease the velocity of the round.

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Action

The effective range is also dependent on the gun that fires out the rounds. Since a 9mm is a semi-automatic pistol, it recycles the energy released by the combustion to move the bolt. Instead, it uses propellant gas to reload, and that gas came from the hole at the end of the barrel. 

Since there will be a lot of propelling gas, tha shot power may be compromised.

How Far Will the 9mm Round Travel?

A 9mm can travel up to 2,300 meters compared to at least 20 football fields. Some factors can define how far will a 9mm round will travel.

It can be the round type, the bullet weight, and the bullet shapes. 

There are rounds with target load powder that may help with the speed and reachable span.

The bullet weight and the form have something to do with its aerodynamics and barometric pressure, affecting the inflight round’s range.

9mm

Factors To Watch Out For

factors

Drag

When bullets are released, it passes through thin air and creates friction with the case called drag. Because of this, the rounds slow down when in flight. Drag varies with the ballistic coefficients of the round. It can be checked using the size and shape of the rounds. If the shape of your handgun bullet is a spire nose, it creates less drag making the round of the gun faster.

Velocity

The muzzle velocity of the rounds is at the box of the ammunition and ballistic stat sheets. The velocity is the measure of the speed of the projectile once it leaves the barrel. You can also notice that it will reach higher initial velocities when the explosion occurs, making the rounds faster. Bigger rounds with the same amount of powder may give below-average velocity.

Read: Hollow Point vs FMJ – What’s the Difference?

Guns are not at a perfectly level angle released but a small upward angle. Remember that when the round with higher pressure is traveling fast, it will not drop quickly. But, at the same time, faster rounds penetrate deeper.

So, What Distance Can a 9mm Bullet Travel?

With a velocity of 370 m/s and without any obstruction, a 9mm can travel at about 2,300 meters. Since this handgun is not a weapon capable of shooting at long range, the bullet will travel a distance enough for self-defense in the real world.  

The delivery system of this handgun made us realize that this round can travel far more than we can expect. Without actually trying and wasting rounds, we hope we were able to feed your curiosity.

References:

  1. https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/how-far-can-a-bullet-fired-from-a-handgun-travel

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