Practical Ballistics for Hunters and Shooters
First, if you REALLY want to understand external ballistics (or just want to know what that means)you should buy a copy of New Exact Small Arms Ballistics by Arthur J. Pejsa.To accurately predict a bullet's trajectory, you only need to know two things:(1) its initial velocity, and(2) the rate at which air drag slows it down.
The rate at which air drag slows down—or retards—a bullet is proportional to a Retard Coefficient: F.
One percent (1%) of F is the distance in which a bullet loses 1% of it's speed to drag.
Bullet muzzle velocities are usually measured in feet per second, and the unit for F is feet.You can easily calculate F from the data found on your box of ammo or on the manufacturer's website.For example, looking at a box of Federal Fusion .30-'06 Springfield (product #: F3006FS3) ammuntionI found the following information:Muzzle100 yds200 yds300 yds400 ydsVelocity (fps) 27002520235021902030Energy (ft-lbs) 29152540220519051640Note: The sight height is listed
-4.0-14.3 as 1.5 inches above the bore.
From Manufacturer's Velocity Data
MuzzleVelocity(fps)100 YardVelocity(fps)FPejsa References: (pp.16, 63, 67-68,
R ≡ Range (yards)
≡ Muzzle Velocity (fps)
≡ Velocity @ 100 yds (fps)
≡ Retard Coefficient (feet)
We calculate F from a bullet's change in velocity (dV) at an average velocity (Va) over a given range (in feet).
To convert the manufacturer's range R to feet we multiply by 3. Average velocity (Va) is (2700+2520)÷2.Change in Velocity (dV) is 2700-2520. Therefore, (300 x 2610)÷180 = 4350 ft. (See above.)With this information, we can predict a bullet's trajectory. [Go one to Page 2.]
As paraphrased from Arthur J. Pejsa, New Exact Small Arms Ballistics (Saint Paul: Catalyst Graphics, 2008), p.
As paraphrased from Pejsa, p.65.
Pejsa, pp.16, 67-68.Copyright © 2010 by Converting Solutions USA, LLC. All rights reserved. Average RangeHeight of Bullet Trajectory in inches above or below line of sigthtif zeroed at
yards. Sights 1.5 inches above bore line.