Regardless of your opinion on the .50 BMG, we can all agree that the round has a monstrous reputation. How many times have you heard that this titanic round could take off a limb, hit clean through tank armor, or kill you without even directly hitting you? With all the talk around it, this rifle cartridge may as well be an artillery shell.
So, could a near miss actually maim or kill you? Some of the more seasoned shooters among you are probably rolling your eyes right about now, but Matt from Demolition Ranch set up a neat series of experiments to conclusively answer that question.
If you’re still holding your breath, we’d have to tell you the answer is no. The truth is, even a round like the .50 BMG has very little effect unless it actually makes impact on or near something. As Matt points out, bullets are made to be aerodynamic, not to cause huge collateral damage to everything it passes by. However, you may be surprised to find out just how little of a shockwave this round produces.