I tried this before, but the camera/recorder I used then was equipped with AGC circuitry, and the extremely wide dynamic range of gunfire made for an unsatisfactory result. This time I used a dedicated, stereo sound recorder with no compression.
Because the sound of live fire, even from the 400 yard distance in this example, has such a wide dynamic range, you need to crank up your speaker volume very high. You’ll need a high quality sound system, or some good headphones with good frequency response, from low bass to the upper highs. You should be able to clearly hear the sound of the rushing creek in the distance between shots, and the high-frequency bullet crack should almost hurt your ears. Warning; Make absolutely sure your computer or other device isn’t going to make any other sounds (chimes, alarms, etc.) or it will blow your head off. Be sure to turn the volume down when you’re done. When I play these files on the Altec speaker system with sub woofer, it sounds like it did when I was standing there making the recording.
We fired an AR-15 (.223) from 400 yards at plastic water jugs. You can hear the sound of impact, but it’s not as loud as the bullet’s sonic “crack” or the low frequency muzzle blast that follows. I was holding the recorder at a position behind a hill from the shooter, about 20 yards off to the side of the bullet path, and about 20 yards up-range from the targets. This is the same recording in both WMA and MP3 formats;
Note that you’ve probably never heard this sound in movies or television, with the possible exception of Quigley Down Under, but in that case Quigley’s bullets were sub sonic well before impact at long range and we can forgive the “whoosh-boom” as being probably accurate enough.