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Practical Ballistics for Hunters and Shooters

# Practical Ballistics for Hunters and Shooters

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Just what is says...see ICCF http://iccf.freeforums.org for assistance.
Just what is says...see ICCF http://iccf.freeforums.org for assistance.

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11/04/2013

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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.
1
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.
2
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
U
-4.0-14.3 as 1.5 inches above the bore.
Estimate F
0
From Manufacturer's Velocity Data
MuzzleVelocity(fps)100 YardVelocity(fps)FPejsa References: (pp.16, 63, 67-68,
Given:
27002520
4350
100yard
R ≡ Range (yards)
V
0
≡ Muzzle Velocity (fps)
V
100
Velocity @ 100 yds (fps)
F
≡ 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).
3
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.]
1
As paraphrased from Arthur J. Pejsa, New Exact Small Arms Ballistics (Saint Paul: Catalyst Graphics, 2008), p.
2
As paraphrased from Pejsa, p.65.
3
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
U
yards. Sights 1.5 inches above bore line.

and 124.)
Then:
1002700Manufacturer's chronograph data2520Manufacturer's chronograph data
4350
F=3*R*V
a
/dV (See footnote
3
)65.

Practical Ballistics for Hunters and Shooters
So, now we can start to calculate a bullet's trajectory using the formulasderived in: New Exact Small Arms Ballistics by Arthur J. Pejsa.On page one, we determined the following:(1) V
0
the initial velocity which was 2700 fps(2) F
0
the initial rate at which air drag slows down the bullet which was 4350 ft.F is the fractional loss in Velocity per foot of travel.
4
Research indicated that the value of F for different types of bullets had different loss rates.
Most hunting bullets—like the Fusion round on Page 1—are Spitzers.
5
Spitzers have a loss rate of N ft per foot of travel that is N = 0.50.
6
Pejsa calculated the average F by-bullet-type-by-range and called that value F
a
.Fa=F
0
-0.80*N*RRange R is in yards and N=0.5 for Spitzers.We now have all the information we need to start using the Pejsa drop formula (in its simplest form).The Pejsa drop formula is: D = (41.68 / V
0
/ ( (1/R) - (1/Fa) ) )
2
Again, if you REALLY want to understand the drop formula and its derivationyou should buy a copy of New Exact Small Arms Ballistics by Arthur J. Pejsa.In the book, the author explains Newton's formula for distance fallen D = ½gt
2
, then hederives time of flight (t) as a function of initial velocity and air drag. The resultant dropformula accurately predicts the combined effects of gravity, velocity, and air drag at a given range.The next step in calculating a bullet's trajectory is to calculate bullet drop at various ranges.We'll do that on the next page.
4
As paraphrased from Arthur J. Pejsa, New Exact Small Arms Ballistics (Saint Paul: Catalyst Graphics, 2008), p.
5
A Spitzer bullet is an aerodynamic, spire point bullet.
6
Pejsa. p. 17.