Would guns be a practical weapon in a battle between two or more humans with superspeed and enhanced reflexes? I'm not thinking Flash-style catching bullets, but people who can move at around 200 mph (320 km/h).

While they would be able to track each other, would the sheer speed make it impossible to aim? (Assume a basic physiological enhancement that will keep the speed from injuring themselves)

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, user80536, it's a nifty question. However, WB SE goes around the world, so accepting an answer forty minutes after posting your question is a bit hair trigger. better if you had waited, at least, 24 hours so other WBers could have a chance to answer. This means you have better chance to get more good answers. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Mar 31, 2017 at 6:16
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    $\begingroup$ To those who voted to close this as too broad, did you read beyond the title before VTCing? While I agree that the title seemed broad, the question itself appears sufficiently narrow to be answerable. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Mar 31, 2017 at 7:20
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    $\begingroup$ How long would accelerating from stopped to 200mph take?? If they are otherwise human, you could probably just aim at their 6-foot-wide thighs... $\endgroup$
    – Hugh Nolan
    Mar 31, 2017 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ Your "basic physiological enhancement" will determine if bullets would be effective or not. If your superhumans can move 10x faster than normal humans, does this mean their skin and bones are 10x stronger? If yes, than regular handguns would be much less lethal, their bullets would just leave painful bruises while bouncing off of forehead. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Mar 31, 2017 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


200mph/300kmh is not that much. Bullet speed can be 10x faster not including instant acceleration.

If they are faster with legs, they are also faster in aiming, unless you specify some limitation. For example normal human with maximum speed 20mph/30kmh can't "dodge" arrow that is approximately 10x faster than he is. Or even throwing knives/shurikens works and those are really hard to aim slow projectiles. Maybe using something like "sawed-off shotgun" or "Škorpion vz. 61" would work, since you don't have to aim that much.

And after all - at least he will have to dodge it, which makes advantage for you.

Source: Arrow speed , Muzzle velocity , Skorpion

  • $\begingroup$ A trained human can dodge arrows when he sees them coming. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Mar 31, 2017 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander Yes, but arrows are not as small as bullets, and when such people demonstrate their ability to dodge a bullet, they usually are fully concentrated, well-prepared, know the direction where it's coming from and are able to dodge only a single arrow at a time. Bows and arrows were a very efficient weapon for ages. Arrows kill people, even if someone who's trained can dodge it, he can still get killed in a combat situation. $\endgroup$
    – Alex Weitz
    Apr 2, 2017 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, but not quite sure what kind of combat we have in here - massive shootout or one-on-one confrontation. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Apr 3, 2017 at 17:36

TLDR; Yes.

The easiest way to answer this, I think, is to ask yourself whether or not there's any point in guns on fighter jets. Certainly every airforce that has fighter jets opts for guns.

Aiming depends upon relative speeds, not absolute speeds - so if you are chasing your opponent, and your opponent is foolish enough to run in a straight line, only air resistance and wake will make a difference. In a vacuum, it doesn't matter what your velocity is.

Likewise the average speed of a bullet is 1,700 mph, so the difference between 1,500mph and 1,700 mph is not that great. As far as bullets go there isn't much difference between running at 200mph and standing still.

So even if you lose the ability to have tight turns (acceleration would be dangerous) at high speed, there's still a lot of purpose in using guns.

However, if you are in an atmosphere and you can run at the same speed as a bullet (1,700 mph) and you can deal with the sound barrier somehow, then there are all sorts of difficulties with a gun, especially if you are shooting at the same direction that you are running - the huge air pressure would cause the bullet to lose speed rapidly and it would become an obstacle to you rather than a problem for your opponent.

For guns to work at that velocity your bullets would need to have their own propulsion - e.g. propelled transonic flechettes - ie, missiles...


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