I'm looking for the greatest muzzle velocity of a gun on any fighter aircraft.

I looked up the GAU-8 Avenger from the A10 Warthog first. Its muzzle velocity is 1,070 m/s, which is pretty darn high (almost 3 times the speed of sound). Are there any faster bullets out there from an aircraft gun?

Note: Don't really care about the firing rate (rounds per minute), or bullet caliber. All I'm looking for is highest muzzle velocity.

  • $\begingroup$ BK 37 apparently had 1170 m/s muzzle velocity with APCR ammunition. Hans Ulrich Rudel who was a consultant for A10 used fly a Stuka equipped with one. So it seems a legit case of "weapon with similar power to GAU-8". Although rate of fire was much lower. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2015 at 2:11

1 Answer 1


The muzzle velocity of guns is based on multiple factors and generally sees a wide range. Most importantly how the bullet is loaded (gun powder wise) and what mass the bullet is. For example the P-51 mustang carried 6 50 caliber BMG's (M-2). Which (although not available at the time) is capable of accepting the Caliber .50, Saboted Light Armor Penetrator, M903 round which has a quoted muzzle velocity of 4,000 ft/s (1,219 m/s). It should also be noted that the base muzzle velocity of an M2 is 2,910 ft/s (890 m/s) for M33 ball round. So it really depends what round you are loading in.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has the GAU-22 Gatling Gun which with the TP HEI ammunition has a quoted muzzle velocity of 3,560 feet (1,085m) per second (15 m/s faster than the GAU-8 on the warthog). enter image description here

(Not sure about you guys but I often test my gatling guns with my multi-meter...) image source

  • $\begingroup$ Technically the P-51 carried 4 or 6 M2 .50s, not 2 :) $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Jun 26, 2015 at 5:18
  • $\begingroup$ Dave, can you provide a source for the image? (Image Attribution) $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2015 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ Edits made, thanks guys. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Jun 26, 2015 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Fine answer ... except the image, which seems to be decorative at best. $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Jun 26, 2015 at 13:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ that is an image of the GAU-22 the gun (and F-35) in question, granted a bit humorous it is still on topic. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Jun 26, 2015 at 13:31

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