Bullet Ricochet

why does a bullet make that great noise when it ricochets off a wall or something? im a keen shooter and always love hearing the noise, i was just wondering what the physics were behind it.

I think it is because some of the energy is expended after striking the wall, etc., that the velocity is slowed. Also the streamlined flow is interrupted and the bullet tumbles causing much more air turbulence, thus a different noise.

There would also be a change in the frequency of the sound because the velocity of the bullet relative to the listener changes, giving a doppler effect frequency shift.

What sound is it? If it’s the one I’m remembering from TV, it would likely be caused by the bullet rapidly tumbling. Does the frequency of the sound go down as the tumbling slows down?

High angle ricochets can make the classing humming “fwingggg” sound if they tumble. I heard a good one at an SMG match last month. Steel targets are designed to avoid that but a rare hit will return a lot of energy to the bullet instead of making is splatter against a steel plate as it should.