View Full Version : rifle question

11-06-2009, 05:25 AM
If a .308 caliber bullet is fired from about two hundred yards, give or take, into the center of mass (human) would that bullet go right on through? I'm thinking hollow point, boat tailed, match round, 168 grains. I'd prefer that it stay in the body, for purposes of the story, but I want to be realistic. Thanks in advance!

11-06-2009, 05:44 AM
A hollow point round probably would not go through.

11-06-2009, 06:05 AM
I disagree, the round would still have 1998 ft-lbs of energy and be traveling 2314 ft/sec. By comparison, a .357 magnum round has 583 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle and is traveling 1450 ft-sec. The rifle round would cause a large exit wound.

11-06-2009, 06:26 AM
Hmmmm. Large exit wound? I might be able to work with that. Would it be pretty clear that the shot came from a rifle as opposed to a closer shot from a handgun? Based strictly on the wounds?

11-06-2009, 08:24 AM
Most likely they could tell right away.

Another thing, even from 200 yards the sound of the rifle shot would sound very distinct. Even if the sound were surpressed, I'm not convinced it would fool anyone (surpressed only knocks about 40 decibles off and changes the tone somewhat).

I think you might have to go with the carbine firing handgun rounds. These aren't known to the general public, but are actually quite popular. Are also popular with certain security forces and police forces (for instance, the UZI is one such weapon, albiet with a shorter barrel than most). They hit a little harder due to the additional barrel length, but from a distance should have slowed down enough to act exactly like the handgun fired round.

11-06-2009, 04:21 PM
It doesn't have to look like a handgun, and the noise doesn't matter. My guy is going to shoot a couple of scummy drug dealers who have taken a kid hostage. He happens to be a trained sniper, and happens to have a Remington 700 in .308 with a variable scope lying around. :) He shoots these guys, drags them into their house and sets the house on fire. (This is in the middle of the woods, no issues with anyone happening to come across him while it's going down.) I was going to have it come back to bite him, in that when the fire is finally put out and the investigators find the bodies, they find the rifle bullets in the bodies. I was kind of thinking the fire might have gone out, or might not have burned the bodies completely, just charred them. I'm also assuming that even if they can tell they were rifle bullets, they can't really get any ballistics information. He throws the rifle away anyway, so that doesn't matter.

He's using hollow points to avoid blow-through. How far back does he need to be for that? He's a pretty good shot, but this is all happening in a hurry, no time to wait for the target.

11-06-2009, 05:38 PM
Just to qualify the whole exit wound thing: You can have it either way. Hollow point rounds are designed to expand upon impact and reduce penetration, but .308 is still a beast of a round. From hunting experience I can tell you that it varies quite a bit. Shooting at the same spot on a deer each time I have had .308 stop a few inches in and make no exit wound, I have had them make an exit wound about the size of a half-dollar (this was the most common result for me) and I have had a couple that made pretty big, ragged holes. The same can basically be said for hunting wild boar, so I would say that generally shooting at a human being from only 200 yards would make a relatively small exit wound, but if it works better for your story not to have one at all it would be far from unbelievable.

11-06-2009, 06:06 PM
If he's a trained sniper he probably has an AR-15 laying around. The .223 round I think would give you want you want in terms of ballistics. Hitting someone from 200 yards would be no problem. The .308 was designed to be an 800 yard gun, and in fact can reach out even further than that.

11-06-2009, 06:35 PM
Thanks guys. I wasn't at all specific about the distance. I think I'm going to fudge and say the bullets were still in the bodies. If it gets rejected by the press I just sent it to, I could rewrite the scenes with the rifle, using a different rifle, although that would complicate things just a bit. A lot of this is more background than actual plot anyway. Thanks again, you guys are great!

11-06-2009, 07:27 PM
I've got a solution. It's a simple matter of physics, that given the gun and the distance the bullets would not be in the bodies unless by some freak chance. However, since they are hollow points, and better yet, match ammo (i.e. not designed for hunting), there would definately be fragments of the bullets. Possibly even large or complete sections of the bullet jackets. In match bullets the jackets usually aren't bonded to the lead so they are more likely to fragment in this manner. That would be enough for the police to trace it back to his rifle. I guess you only need one such piece of evidence, so either way, you're good.

11-06-2009, 07:52 PM
The cops only have to find one bullet fragment. That's not all that hard to believe after reading the above.

11-06-2009, 08:43 PM
Thanks guys! Perfect.