Joe Biden Talks Ballistics Again, Reiterates Jumbled Claim About Speed of AR-15 Bullets

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Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

During a Friday speech to the National Education Association (NEA), President Joe Biden reiterated his jumbled claim about the speed at which AR-15 bullets move compared to bullets fired from other guns.

On August 30 Breitbart News reported Biden’s original claim that “the bullet out of an AR-15 travels five times as rapidly as a bullet shot out of any other gun.”

We pointed to a June 30 Field & Stream column on the “Five Fastest Rifle Cartridges” to show the falseness of the claim.

The Field & Stream column listed the feet per second (fps) the five fastest rifle cartridges travel when fired:

  1. .220 Swift — A 40-Grain .220 Swift round moves approximately 4,300 fps.
  2. .257 Weatherby Magnum — An 87-Grain .257 Weatherby Magnum round moves approximately 3,700+ fps.
  3. .30/378 Weatherby — An 165-Grain .30/378 Weatherby round moves approximately 3,400+ fps.
  4. .224 Clark — An 80-Grain .224 Clark round moves approximately 3,500+ fps.
  5. .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer — A 50-Grain .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer round moves approximately 4,600 fps.

By contrast, AR-15 rounds move at approximately 2,700 – 3,100 fps.

In Friday’s NEA speech Biden reiterated his claim that the AR-15 bullet moves faster than bullets from other guns.

He described the AR-15 as “a weapon of war” and said, “The speed of the bullet is five times that that comes out of the muzzle of most weapons.”

The Washington Post noted that Biden had been vacillating between two claims: 1. The AR-15 shoots a bullet that moves fives times as fast as a bullet from any other firearm, period. 2. “The most common rounds fired from an AR-15 move almost twice as fast as that from a handgun.”

The Post also noted that velocity is normally measured right at the point where the bullet leaves the barrel. But “at 100 yards, the AR-15’s velocity is only slightly faster than most hunting rifles.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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