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.

Image is a screenshot from DemolitionRanch on YouTube

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5 thoughts on “Video: Can a Near Miss from a .50 BMG Still Hurt You?

  1. any bullet could kill you with out hitting you first. certainly not the shock wave but a ricochet or pieces of a round that fragmented, or kicked up a rock. being close could pay off and I will not volunteer to be the test subject, especially with the 50 or anything else.

  2. I read a comment on the aerodynamics of the .50 BMG projectile in a history of the development of the V-2 ballistic missile . It mentioned in the text ( Von Braun or Willi Ley ?) , that the shape of the V-2 was based on the same ratios as the .50 BMG projectile due to its excellent ballistic characteristics .

    1. Umm… he’s got a berm at least 15 or 20 foot high behind the target. Just how big a hillside would he need before you deem it safe?

  3. I wonder just where this gun expert thinks the AR15 gets the 15 from? Dam sure not from the year it was created.

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