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Do Bullets Break the Sound Barrier? (or make sonic booms?)

The speed of sound is quick, but bullets move even faster.

So yes, bullets do move fast enough to break the sound barrier!

This may come as a surprise to some people, as the name “sound barrier” might make it seem like there’s an actual wall or barrier that prevents sound from traveling faster than a certain speed. But this is not the case!

The sound barrier is actually just the point at which sound travels faster than the speed of sound.

Do bullets make a sonic boom?

When a bullet breaks the sound barrier, it creates a miniature sonic boom.

To humans, it usually just sounds like a loud “crack.” But to animals or objects that are closer to the bullet when it breaks the sound barrier, it can be quite loud and jarring.

In fact, bullets can create sonic booms even when they’re not traveling faster than the speed of sound!

This happens because when a bullet moves through the air, it creates a shock wave as it goes. And when that shock wave hits something, it creates the loud sonic boom.

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