Watch: What Happens if You Fire a Gun in Space?

   03.14.18

Watch: What Happens if You Fire a Gun in Space?

“Let’s pretend you’re in space, and you brought a gun.” So says this video’s narrator; and of course, why wouldn’t you bring a gun? There’s ETs and stuff!

In this post on Live Science, it’s explained that although there’s no oxygen in outer space, gunpowder has its own oxidizer, and will certainly burn rapidly (she says “explode,” but that’s technically incorrect).

But will you be flung backward at a rapid pace? Not so much; a human body has a lot more mass than a bullet, so it won’t move you rapidly.

If the bullet leaves the gun barrel at 1,000 meters per second, you — because you’re much more massive than it is — will head the other way at only a few centimeters per second.

They further claim that the bullet would never stop moving, “because the universe is expanding faster than the bullet.” This seems to me like a silly assumption; what if the bullet hits another object, like, say, a planet? But scientists and common sense are not always married…

There would be no trail or plume of smoke, but instead a round cloud of smoke.

You would also keep moving until/unless you encountered something to change that.

The article also notes that while orbiting a planet, you could actually shoot yourself in the back if the bullet were fired juuuust right. Or, I guess, “just wrong.”

Again, you can read about it here after you check out the video below.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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