Can You Dodge A Bullet? (2023)

Table of Contents (click to expand)
  • Reaction Time
  • Dodging ‘Normal’ Things
  • Dodging A Bullet
  • Seeing The Bullet Emerge From The Gun
  • The ‘Crack’ Of A Fired Bullet
  • Is It CompletelyImpossible?

In theory, when a host of conditions and variables are in your favor, there might be an infinitesimally small chance that one could dodge a bullet. But with practical conditions of real life, it’s next to impossible to dodge a bullet.

Popular culture, especially action movies, are in love with some pretty crazy ideas, and dodging bullets seems to be their favorite. Typically, the not-so-good-guy fires at the good guy and the latter, being the protagonist of the movie, effortlessly dodges the bullet. Perhaps you can picture the smug look on the hero’s face.

It seems rather unrealistic, but sometimes, we have to question “impossible” after we’ve seen it enough times. It would certainly be cool, but is undoubtedly a dangerous thing to practice.

Let’s figure this out in more detail.

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Reaction Time

If you’re into sports, then you must have heard the term ‘reaction time‘ at least once or twice. Reaction time is a physiological response to an external stimulus; it is essentially a measure of how quickly you ‘react’ to a given visual or physical stimulus. You have likely heard a lot about reaction time in the game of cricket, especially when it comes to fielding; a fielder is considered formidable if they have good reaction times.

This is not only applicable in sports; quick reaction time (or reflexes) is quite a useful trait in many different areas of life.

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A ‘good’ reaction time generally implies that a person has a very short or low reaction time; the time elapsed between the moment a ball is hit by the batsmen until it is caught by the fielder, is quite small (running into hundredths of a second!). To react in that short of a span of time with precision is, without a doubt, a rare and impressive skill!

Dodging ‘Normal’ Things

‘Normal’…huh? Now what things would you put in the category of ‘normal’? It is quite difficult to lay the boundaries of normalcy, but since we’re talking about dodging things, let’s formulate some minimum requirements that things have to meet before they grab a coveted spot in the list of things that fall under normalcy.

First off, we want stuff that is big; at least something big enough toclearly see from a distance of a few dozen meters. Then, it shouldn’t be moving apace where you can’t even see it, much less prepare yourself to dodge it. Even if it’s moving towards you rapidly, there should be some way that you can get the hint to move. There are many other requirements too, but since we’re talking about bullets, those are the only objects that we are interested in.

According to the above guidelines, there are plenty of things that you can safely dodge, and some can be avoided quite easily. Big stuff like chairs, gallons of milk, and someone else’s pet coming to attack you (it happens!) can be easily dodged; similarly, small things like a basketball, a tennis ball, and even a small marble, when thrown by a human being, can be dodged.

But what about dodging a bullet?

Dodging A Bullet

To start with, it’s a very, very dangerous practice. The reason is… well, isn’t it obvious?

A bullet fails at both the criteria of ‘normal’ things that we discussed above; it is extraordinarily small and it moves….well, too damn fast! Still, just for the sake of argument, can you dodge a bullet?

Also Read: Can Gunshots Really Knock People Off Their Feet?

Well, yes. But that’s not a ‘yes’ that applies to every case; rather, it is a ‘yes’ thatcomes with a long list of caveats.

Different Guns, Different Bullets, And Different Speeds

There are hundredsof gun varietiesout there, and there are just as many types of bullets that are used in each. So, quite naturally, the size, speed and momentum of all those bullets vary significantly.

(Video) Can You Dodge a Bullet? - Mythbusters

The speed with which a bullet leaves a gun is known as the muzzle velocity. As I said, different types of guns have varying muzzle velocities that can range from 120 meters/second to 1200 meters/second. However, for the sake of the question, let’s talk about an average speed of a bullet that lies somewhere in the middle, roughly750 meters/second (2740 km/h).

Seeing The Bullet Emerge From The Gun

Dodging something that is moving that fast through the air is really a challenge, and a crazy one at that! There are a host of dangerous variablesstacked up against you here. For example, you must have seen bullets leaving the muzzle of a gun in a flashy burst of light in the movies.

Movies use unrealistically bright blank rounds for effect, but in reality, it doesn’t actually happen that way. Therefore, you won’t get much help from your visual faculties when it comes to dodging a gunshot.

So, what is the other aspect of a fired bullet that can be, and actually is, registered by our human senses?

The ‘Crack’ Of A Fired Bullet

You may not see a bullet emerging from the gun, but you can definitely hear the crack as it is fired (provided. they are not using a silencer). However, don’t get any ideas; this doesn’t mean that you can simply stepaside gracefully as a bullet races towards you (you have to be Neo from The Matrix to accomplishthat). For that to even be a possibility of salvation, you have to consider the speed of sound itself.

The speed of sound through air is 343 meters per second, and the average speed of the bullet (that weareconsidering) is 750 meters/second.

Therefore, the speed of the bullet is greater than the speed of sound itself, which means that the bullet will reach you before you even hear the crack of it being fired from the gun! Chew on that for a while…

Is It CompletelyImpossible?

Well, no. With the ideal conditions in place (which is very unlikely to happen in real life), it is not completely impossible to dodge a bullet. In fact, this was demonstrated on a TV show named Mythbusters. Here is the video:

They showed that even with the quickest reaction time of 490 milliseconds, one cannot dodge a bullet standing at a distance of 500 yards (approx. 450 meters) just based on the ‘crack’ sound, because the bullet hits the person before they hear the crack. However, at 500 yards, one can see the flash, and given the same reaction time, can dodge the bullet.

Also Read: What Would Happen If You Shot A Bullet In Space?

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That being said, the conditions in this demonstration are highly controlled; they fired a special blank round that produced a bright flash from a carefully measured distance and the person was totally aware that he was going to be shot at. In real life, however, this is far from practical.

Therefore, it’s perfectly fair to say that you cannot dodge a real bullet in real life. There… I said it!

References (click to expand)
  1. Ballistics of Modern Firearms. The University of Southern California
  2. Wade, A. (2013, May). Going Ballistic: Bullet Trajectories. Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two. University of South Florida Libraries.
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(Video) What's The Biggest Bullet You've Dodged In Your Life ?


Can u skip a bullet? ›

Bullet “skip” or ricochet is something you need to consider when you're in an environment with heavy, solid structures or using such as cover from a bad guy in a public space. In general, the harder and flatter a surface is, the more parallel to that surface a bullet will ricochet off.

Can you dodge point blank? ›

You cannot. Human reflexes will require a minimum of 2/10 ths of a second to react to the danger, add another 5/10 ths of a second to react and move. The bullet fired from point-blank say 3 feet at a moderate 900 ft per second, will impact your head in 1/300th of a second.

What can go faster than a bullet? ›

Speed of light—faster than a speeding bullet.

What if a bullet goes through you? ›

Besides all the other very good answers to this question… a bullet which passes entirely through your body carries a significant amount of wasted energy out with it - energy that was carefully maximized before firing the bullet in the first place. It's just thrown away.

Is it worse if a bullet goes through you? ›

Gunshot wounds that pass through the body without hitting major organs, blood vessels, or bone tend to cause less damage.

Can a blank bullet hurt someone? ›

While blanks are less dangerous than live ammunition, they are dangerous and can still cause fatal injuries.

Can a cat dodge a bullet? ›

Can Cats dodge bullets? No, not if properly aimed.

How fast must you be to dodge a bullet? ›

If it's aimed center of mass, you then have to move 20 cm in 0.0666s, which is 3 m/s, or about 6mph. Which is a humanly acheive able speed.

Can Blade dodge bullets? ›

Can a blade block a bullet? It is possible for a sharp blade to cut a bullet in half, if both the gun and the blade are at the right angle. If a sword in battle blocks a bullet on the edge by pure chance, the wielder will now have two bullet wounds instead.

What is the slowest bullet? ›

2mm Kolibri
Bullet mass/typeVelocityEnergy
0.2 g (3 gr) FMJ200 m/s (660 ft/s)4 J (3.0 ft⋅lbf)

Can a jet outrun a bullet? ›

The Air Force has 187 F-22 fighter jets and 20 B-2 bombers in its arsenal. Yes, that's right – the F-22 Raptor can literally fly faster than a speeding bullet!

Is electricity faster than a bullet? ›

Lightning travels at 5920 km per second. That is faster than a bullet fired from an assault rifle- 1000 metres per second.

How many bullets can a human survive? ›

One Bullet Can Kill, but Sometimes 20 Don't, Survivors Show - The New York Times.

Can a human survive a bullet? ›

Gunshot wounds to the head are fatal about 90% of the time, with many victims dying before arriving to the hospital. For victims who survive the initial trauma, about 50% die in the emergency room.

Can a bullet stay in your body? ›

Every bullet is different. Some, like a 9 mm, may remain fully intact inside the body. Others, like a . 223 caliber fired from a semiautomatic weapon, explode on impact, leaving pieces throughout.

Can a bullet break a bone? ›

When bullets enter a human body, they don't just pierce tissue, they shatter bones and dislocate limbs. When bullets enter a human body, they don't just pierce tissue, they shatter bones and dislocate limbs. A injury to the intestines can mean a colostomy bag for life.

Do doctors remove bullets? ›

Fragments leading to impingement on a nerve or a nerve root, and bullets lying within the lumen of a vessel, resulting in a risk of ischemia or embolization, should be removed. Rare indications are lead poisoning caused by a fragment, and removal that is required for a medico-legal examination.

What does a dummy bullet look like? ›

Blank ammunition has a distinctive look: a crimped or wadded tip instead of a bullet. But dummy rounds are supposed to be stand-ins for real bullets, inert but identical or nearly identical.

What is an empty bullet called? ›

A cartridge without a projectile is called a blank; one that is completely inert (contains no active primer and no propellant) is called a dummy; one that failed to ignite and shoot off the projectile is called a dud; and one that ignited but failed to sufficiently push the projectile out of the barrel is called a ...

Can a bullet destroy a engine? ›

Given all the moving parts in an engine, though, all it would take is a bit of shrapnel in the wrong place and a severed oil line to trigger a catastrophic failure. One well-placed shot could be all you need.

Which animal can dodge bullet? ›

Armadillo 'armour' – composed of bony plates known as osteoderms – has been seen to deflect bullets. In one incident, a Texan man was hit in the face when his own bullet bounced back from an armadillo that he tried to shoot. In another, a bullet ricocheting off an armadillo penetrated a house, injuring an elderly lady.

Can a car protect you from bullets? ›

The engine of a car would stop all handgun bullets and many rifle bullets. The windshield would likely deflect many handgun rounds, but not as many rifle rounds. Doors will stop some handguns, but not any rifles, aside form something like a . 22.

Are walls bulletproof? ›

In fact, it's incorrect to call any type of material “bulletproof,” because even the most resistant materials can eventually be penetrated by bullets. That being said, there are different types of bullet-resistant wall panels out there that you can use to reinforce walls and potentially stop several bullets.

Can humans dodge lightning? ›

Even if it doesn't kill you, lightning can leave you with permanent physical injuries, including brain impairment. You can't dodge lightning.

Can a bullet be fired underwater? ›

If you're wondering how it's even possible to shoot a gun underwater, gunpowder contains oxygen — a key element in the firing process — the gun still goes off exactly as it would on land.

Can a bullet shatter a skull? ›

Firearm bullets like 158 grain 0.38-inch special plain lead bullets can penetrate human skulls, but only on a single side. If a gun were equipped with 0.357-inch magnum semi-jacketed bullets or 158 grain 0.38-inch Special + P lead bullets, then the bullet can penetrate both sides of the skull.

Can you parry a bullet? ›

Yes, you can parry projectiles. A comment in the thread here explains how: You [parry] projectiles the same way you parry regular attacks: Just hit the parry button right before it hits you. It seems that parrying will reflect/deflect bullets, based on this short Q&A.

How do soldiers dodge bullets? ›

You don't. There simply isn't much more to say. Soldiers simply don't “dodge” bullets.

What gun has the fastest bullet? ›

The . 220 Swift remains the fastest commercial cartridge in the world, with a published velocity of 1,422 m/s (4,665 ft/s) using a 1.9 grams (29 gr) bullet and 2.7 grams (42 gr) of 3031 powder.

What is the world smallest gun? ›

The world's smallest production pistol is the Kolibri (German for “hummingbird”), designed by an Austrian watchmaker by the name of Franz Pfannl.

What is the oldest type of bullet? ›

Early bullets were round lead balls that were loaded down the muzzle of smoothbore weapons and propelled by the ignition of a physically separate charge of black powder. Modern bullets developed in the 19th century for use in small arms that had rifled barrels.

Has a plane ever shot itself? ›

Carrier trials started on 4 April 1956 when an F11F-1 Tiger landed on and launched from USS Forrestal. The F-11 Tiger is noted for being the first jet aircraft to shoot itself down.

Can wind push a bullet? ›

For 400m and closer, a 1 m/s wind will deflect the bullet less than 0.1m (4 in);аmoving to 600m roughly doubles to 0.25m (9.8in). At around 800m, that same wind will blow the bullet 0.47m (18.5 in), or approximately the width of a standard IPSC target. At 1000m, the bullet moves roughly 0.83m, or over 32 inches.

What car can outrun a bullet? ›

The current world record is held by this car, the Thrust SSC, which obtained it in 1997. Andy Green, who broke the sound barrier while driving the SS Thrust in 1997, is hoping to set a new record, reaching a speed of 1,000mph.

Is a car faster than a bullet? ›

In 1997, British Royal Air Force fighter pilot Andy Green broke the world land-speed record at 763 miles per hour (1228 kilometers per hour)—literally faster than some bullets. Now he's gunning for a new record in 2012—driving 1000 mph (1609 km/h) in the new Bloodhound supersonic car.

Can bullets reach the speed of light? ›

According to Einstein's theory of special relativity, published in 1905, nothing can exceed the speed of light.

Why is a bullet so strong? ›

Answer and Explanation: The term "inertia" is a property of mass while the linear momentum is directly proportional to the mass and the velocity of the moving body. Since the velocity of the fired bullet is greater, therefore its momentum is also greater. Thus, the bullet impacts strongly when it hits a target.

Can a person cut a bullet in half? ›

Watch Isao Machii, who holds several Guinness World Records, accurately use his samurai sword with lightning speed to cut a bullet in half. Cutting a speeding bullet in half may be a trick shown in Rajnikanth movies but it can actually be done in real life by a real ninja.

Can you shoot a gun without bullets? ›

Most modern centerfire guns are perfectly fine to dry fire if you want to clear the weapon, drop the hammer or striker, or just try out the trigger.

What will stop a bullet? ›

Common bulletproof materials include:
  • Steel. Steel bulletproof materials are heavy duty, yet at just a few millimeters thick, extremely effective in stopping modern firearm rounds. ...
  • Ceramic. ...
  • Fiberglass. ...
  • Wood. ...
  • Kevlar. ...
  • Polyethylene. ...
  • Polycarbonate.

Can paper stop a bullet? ›

A 2015 story in Popular Mechanics reported on a Demolition Ranch experiment to see how much paper it would take to stop a bullet by firing . 50-caliber rounds into stacks of paper. Surprisingly enough, two sets of five reams of paper — that's 5,000 sheets in total — weren't enough to stop the a .

How fat do you have to be to stop a bullet? ›

14 inches of fat only slows bullet

The 14 inches of gelatine only managed to halve the speed of the ball bearing, but not stop it. The Naked Scientists hypothesised that it would take at least twice as much fat to stop a bullet. “That is 72 centimetres [28.3 inches] of fat and is somewhat unfeasible,” they concluded.

Can a bullet go through a human bone? ›

Tissue in every one of these organs was damaged. Blood was leaking into his chest. When bullets enter a human body, they don't just pierce tissue, they shatter bones and dislocate limbs.

Can your muscles stop a bullet? ›

No. The Mythbusters tested this. Even a very thick layer of adipose tissue won't slow down a bullet enough to be protective of your internal organs.

How much ammo does a cop carry? ›

Police service revolvers hold 6 rounds; semi-automatic pistols can hold more than 12 rounds of ammunition. This argument, however, is countered by a Department regulation that allows officers to carry a back-up revolver with 5 additional rounds of ammunition.

Does dry firing hurt a gun? ›

Dry fire does not pose any real risk of damage to most modern centerfire firearms; however, it can for rimfire weapons, where the firing pin in most designs will impact the breech face if the weapon is dry-fired.

Does it hurt to dry fire a Glock? ›

It's ok to dry fire your GLOCK pistol, but we recommend using a snap cap or dummy round if you will be dry firing for a long period of time.

Can an I phone stop a bullet? ›

The company showcased the test phase of the new iPhones with different pistol shots.It, however, strongly advised people not to try the test themselves.In the video, it can be seen that the iPhone body was able to absorb the full impact of the bullet and received a bullet-shaped deep scratch upon being hit.

What material is bullet proof? ›

They may be complex, such as Kevlar, UHMWPE, Lexan, or carbon fiber composite materials, or basic and simple, such as steel or titanium. Bullet resistant materials are often used in law enforcement and military applications to protect personnel from death or serious injury.

What metal is bullet proof? ›

In the end, titanium is bulletproof for the most part against bullets fired from guns that one would likely find on the shooting range, on the street or on the hunt in the mountains. Most guns legally bought and owned by individuals will likely not penetrate titanium.

Can aluminum foil stop a bullet? ›

Aluminum armor can deflect all the same rounds from small-caliber weapons as traditional bulletproof glass. But while traditional bulletproof glass warps, fogs, or spiderwebs when shot, transparent aluminum remains largely clear. It also stops larger bullets with a significantly thinner piece of material.

Can a coin stop a bullet? ›

And it is likely that, in the days of the Wild West that the ammunition being fired was weak enough that loose change, boiler plates and dozens of other things would have deflected or stopped it. But modern bullets striking coins dead center, particularly powerful rounds like the . 357 or .

What liquid can stop a bullet? ›

Created by the Moratex Institute of Security Technologies, the liquid is what's known as a non-Newtonian fluid. Unlike regular Newtonian fluids like water, which only change their structure according to temperature or pressure fluctuations, non-Newtonian fluids change their viscosity under stress.


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