In 2005, Smith & Wesson filed a patent application for a “high velocity ammunition system and firearm.” Â The abstract stated the bullets fired from this handgun would achieve muzzle velocities in excess of 25,000 fps!
Let’s put 25,000 fps into context…
- 25,000 fps is more than 17,000 miles per hour.
- This is more than 22 times the speed of sound.
- The .221 Fireball shot from a single shot pistol is the fastest SAAMI-spec handgun cartridge at about 2700 fps.
- Federal’s 220 Swift load only manages 4250 fps at the muzzle from a rifle.
When I started reading the patent application, I expected that the 25,000 fps was a typo. Â It just seemed so far outside the realm of possibility to achieve those speeds from any conventional firearm, much less a handgun.