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Author Topic: The Ricochet Sound
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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Lotta places this could have gone, such as Entertainment, Amusement Bark, etc....

Is the familiar "zinggggg" sound of a ricochet due to the spinning of a bullet from a rifled barrel? Do you get the same sound from a smooth-bore weapon?

Seems to me that a smooth-bore gun, firing either round shot or even cylindro-conical rounds (Minie balls) would smack off hard surfaces without the resonant, almost musical buzz of the stereotypical ricochet.

When young, I used to go out and shoot at a very large, smooth, gently inclined sheet of granite. Damned dangerous, and mighty stupid...but, wow, I could get some really great ricochet sounds!

This question occurred to me after listening to a recording of the gunfight at the end of Disneyland's "Pirates of the Caribbean," where smoothbore flintlock pistols make the ricochet sound when the rounds (round rounds!) hit metal.

Silas

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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Heck, in the "Man Trap" episode of Star Trek (the first episode of that franchise ever aired), a phaser shot produced that familiar richochet sound.

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Dr. Van Thorp
Deck the Malls


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This is assuming that familiar sound is the result of spinning. Possibly the noise is made by the dent in the slug, caused by the impact, which then makes a high-pitched warble is air is rapidly forced across the spinning dent.

Is there a scientific source that describes this mechanism?

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Pokeska
The Red and the Green Stamps


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When I was a kid, I noticed that rocks shot from a sling shot do the same thing. I guessed that the rock started spininging because of the collision, and that's what made the noise.
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