How Many Foot Pounds of Energy to Kill a Human


The amount of energy required to kill a human varies depending on the circumstances. A head shot from a high-powered rifle can do it with as little as 20 foot pounds of energy, while a chest shot from a small caliber handgun might require 100 foot pounds or more. It all depends on how well the shot is placed and what organs are hit.

What is Bullet Energy? ~ It's Not a Measure of Killing Power!

How Many Foot Pounds of Energy to Kill a Human? The human body is an amazing thing. It can withstand a lot of abuse and still keep going.

However, there is a limit to what it can take. When it comes to blunt force trauma, that limit is around 2,500 foot pounds of energy. That’s the amount of force required to fracture the skull and cause brain damage.

In terms of firearms, that level of energy is generally only seen in high-powered rifles like the .50 caliber Barrett M82A1. Even then, it’s not guaranteed to kill outright. The chances go up significantly if the shot hits vital organs like the heart or lungs.

But even with a direct hit, there’s no guarantee that 2,500 foot pounds of energy will be enough to kill someone instantly. So how much force does it take to actually guarantee instant death? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer.

It depends on too many factors, from the type of weapon used to the exact location of the wound. That said, it’s safe to say that anything above 3,000 foot pounds is likely to be fatal if properly placed. Of course, all of this assumes that we’re talking about unarmored humans.

If someone is wearing body armor or has some other kind of protection, then it’s going to take even more force to kill them outright. In those cases, you might need 4,000 foot pounds or more depending on the level of protection involved. In short: There is no definitive answer when it comes to how much force is needed to kill a human being instantly.

It varies too much depending on too many factors.

How Many Foot Pounds of Energy to Kill a Human
How Many Foot Pounds of Energy to Kill a Human 4


How Many Foot Pounds is a Bullet?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including the type and caliber of bullet, the gun it is fired from, and the distance at which it is fired. However, we can give a general overview of how foot pounds work in relation to bullets. Foot pounds (ft-lbs) is a unit of measurement that represents the amount of energy required to move one pound a distance of one foot.

In terms of bullets, this generally refers to the amount of energy that is imparted on the target when hit by a bullet. The higher the ft-lbs rating, the more powerful the bullet will be. To calculate the ft-lbs rating of a particular bullet, you would need to know its weight in grains (1 grain = 0.065 grams), its velocity in feet per second (fps), and its ballistic coefficient (BC).

You can then use this formula: Bullet weight (in grains) x Velocity (in fps) x Ballistic Coefficient / 450240 = Foot Pounds delivered at impact For example, let’s say we have a 150 grain bullet with a velocity of 3000 fps and a BC of 0.5:

How Much Energy is a Foot Pound?

A foot pound is a unit of energy that is equivalent to the amount of energy required to raise a one pound object by a distance of one foot. In terms of SI units, a foot pound is equal to 1.3558179483314004 joules.

How Many Foot Pounds Does It Take to Kill a Deer?

In order to kill a deer, it generally takes between 15 and 30 foot pounds of energy. This can vary depending on the size of the deer, as well as where you hit it. A head shot will obviously require less energy than a body shot, for example.

Generally speaking, though, you’ll need around 25 foot pounds of energy in order to take down a good-sized deer with one shot.

How Much Kinetic Energy Can a Human Take?

When it comes to taking kinetic energy, humans are actually pretty tough. The human body can take a hit with up to 150 joules of kinetic energy without any serious injury occurring. This is the equivalent of a 150 pound person falling from a height of about 10 feet onto a hard surface.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule and some people have been known to survive hits with even more kinetic energy than this.


In order to kill a human, it would take approximately 12,000 foot pounds of energy. This amount of force is typically only seen in large animals, such as moose or bears. When an animal is hit with this much force, their internal organs are shattered and they bleed out quickly.

Humans are much smaller than these animals, so it would not take as much force to kill them.

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