Here in Lansing, Michigan on the evening of 4 July, a women sitting awaiting the fireworks to start suddenly started to convulse. It was assumed initially by the EMT responders that she was suffering an epileptic seizure. When she got to the hospital it was found that a bullet had entered top of her head. She died the next day.
We as students of guns and ammunition all know that what goes up must come down. However, there seems to be a large number of idiots that must believe that when they fire a celebratory bullet up into the air that it somehow vaporizes or somehow never comes down.
My question is what are the mathematics of the ballistics behind all of this. Let us use an average 9mm Luger, 115gr. FMJ round fired with a muzzle velocity of 1155 fps. and muzzle energy of 341 ft-lbs (Figures from a 1981 Winchester catalog), fired at an angle of 80 degrees (I doubt if most people actually fire straight up at 90 degrees). To simplify the calculations, let us assume a standard temperature, humidity, no wind, air pressure, etc.). Given these facts, I wonder about the following:
How high would the bullet go?
How far horizontally would it travel. In other words how far away would it land?
What would the impact velocity and energy be.