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The Ballistic Coeficient Explai.

The Ballistic Coeficient Explai.

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Published by: Jorge Rodriguez Fernandez on Dec 02, 2010
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05/04/2013

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ROFESSORIKEINVESTIGATES...
THEBALLISTICCOEFFICIENTEXPLAINED
ProfessorikeWr,ightrovidesechnicalxplanationfballisticoefficient
andhow taffects urpellets
fomostshootershe idea of a|'ballisticcoefficient'(BC)sbothamiliar nd baffingatthesameime,Manyof us regularlyuse softwarepackageshichusethe ballisticoefficientf ourchosenpelletocalculatetrajectory,nergyetentionandothervariables tvarious anges,buthow manyof usreallyunderstandhat he BC of apelletactuallys? n essence,heballisticoefficient fapelletsameasure fhowwell it resists irdragand retainselocity s ittravelsdownrange:he largerhecoefficient,helower he velocityloss.Thebasicscience f how airdragaffectspelletvelocity squitestraightforward,ut it has beenobscuredbythelong historyofbulletballistics,or which heconceptof the ballistic oeffcient
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wasoriginallyevised.Inthe 1860's,a Britishclergyman,hewonderfully amedFrancisBashforth,asconductingvelocity ossexperimentsn artilleryprojectilessingballisticpendulum.wing o the difficultyof measuringown-rangeelocitiesforawhole angeof bullets,heconceivedheidea'ofa'standardbullet'romwhichheballisticperformancef all otherbulletscouldbe calculated,y scaling por down,withoutecourseo furthertests,Consequently,eproposedthat theballistic oefficientor,morespecifically,ts reciprocalhe'dragfactor')be basednastandardylndricalprojectilehichwasonenchndiameterndweighed nepound.he BCof thisstandardulletwasdefined s1.0.This sa very ongway romtheairgunellet,whichhasmuchsmallerimensionsndweighs nat aroundone500th or"soof theweightof the standard ullet. t isnot surprisinghereforehattheBCsofthepelletswe use are very,verymuch lowerhan 1.0. ThevalueofBCormostavailablepelletsallswithina spanofvaluesrangingromabout0.01 to 0.04,dependingn the calibre, eightand shapeof thepelletconcerned.Inpractice,heactualBC of thepelletn flightalsodependsn theriflingpatternof thegun'sbarreland he mechanismf oowerdelivery; pringor PCP.In manyways t is unfortunatethat the ballisticoefficientdea,which hassubsequentlyeenrefined nd redefinedy avarietyfresearchers,asevercarriedoverintoheairgunield;twouldbemuch simpleroworkwith
Figure2:VelocityLossdue oAir Drag
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straightforwardragactorsikeeverytherbranchf engineeringscience.ut henotion f heballisticoefficients nowirmlyembeddedn heiteraturendsoftwaref airgunallisticsndweneedo understandhatt reallymeans.hebestway ogetahandleonwhatheBC s all abouts otakealook thewayn which irdrag ffectspelletn flight.&ilpfiraRFigureillustrateshelight f apellethichas eeniredromahorizontallylignedarrel.indeffectpart,hepellets subjectedto twoexternalorces:constantverticalorce ueogravitYndavaryingorce ueoairdrag.hecombinationfheseorcesoroducesheamiliarownward-curvingrajectoryfhepellethowninheigure.ln ordero understandow hegravitynddragorcesombineoproducepafticularrajectory,eneed oknowhowairdragvariesduringhepellets'light.Thedragorcencreasesithvelocityn away hatdependsnhefiFigure: AirDrag
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natureof the airflowoverhepelletsurface.Forhe subsonicegime,withairlowvelocitiesubstantiallybelowMach 1(i.e,orvelocitiespto about950 fVsecond)hat appliesto virtuallyll airgunellets,hedragforce ncreasesiththesquaref thevelocityf thepellet.Sincehedecelerationf thepellet,r heairdrag', sproportionalothis force,the ollowingimple ormulapplies:
Air DragChangen Velocity_VetocityzTineBallisticRatngeof Pellet
Theconstantnthis or:mula,he'BallisticRangef the Pellet',sveryclosely elatedothe ballisticcoefficient,BC,as weshallsee.Inpracticalhootingeare,ofcourse,more nterestednthewavthatpelletelocityarieswithdistance atherhanime andheair drag ormulas betterecastnthose erms:Changen Vetocity_DistanceVelocityBallisticanqe
0ro/o.Reductionin Velocityof PelletlA0x DistanceBallisticRanoeof Pellet'
Notehat, oragivenistance,thepercentageeductionnvelocitydue o airdrag s constant.hisstheessentialointograspboutvelocityetentionndt ishekeyfact hatdeterminesheshapefthevelocity/istanceurve.oillustratehispoint,et'sooktanexampleora verypoorpellet.Considerpelletwitha muzzlevelocityf 600 Vsec,hichsslowedownbyair dragto492ft/sect10yardsange.e.hepelletasost18%of tsvelocityin10yards.verhe next10yards
itwillloseanother8%,arrivingtthe 20yardmarkwith403ftlsec,At30yards,he velocitywillbe afurther18%lessat 337ft/secandsoon, nsimilarashion,shepelletmovesdownrange.Figure2showshowairdrag obshepelletofvelocityas itmovesdownrange.
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Thispatternof constantpercentagelossoveragivenntervalgovernsmanyphenomenantheworldaroundus.Forexample,tis thewayhatradioactivityecaysnd sthe basisofthe carbonatingmethodor'ancientartefacts.t isalsohepatternforringseparationna treerunkandshowshowhe valueof moneydeclinesuringaperiodf constantinflation.t iscallednexponentialdecayurveandheformulaor italwaysontainshesamenumber
number.1416, hichs abelledspi()becauset comesp sofrequently.sing'e',,theelocityformulas:
MuzzleVelocityVelocitYt Range'd'=-¡------,
elBail¡stlc?ilge'
This s all verywell,but weneedoknowwhatheBallisticRange f aparticularelletsbeforewe can doanycalculations.yputtinghevelocityormula ntoogarithmicorm,we findthat the following ormulaemergesortheBallisticRange:
dBallistic Range=,-
tn(ffi¡,)
Whereln'denoteshe naturallogarithmf the velocity atioYoucanindheex'andln'buttonsnallscientificalculators,includinghe one hat Ipurchasedlastweek or apoundrom awell-
Wecannowuse hisvalueoestimatehevelocity tanotherrange, ay35yards:vetocityt3srardsfrl=29}ntThiselocityalue smarkedpFigure , wheret canbeseenhalinesppreciselyithhe35yarrange. heBallisticangeormulprovidesswitha simplemethodconvertingwomeasuredelociti takenat twodifferentangesntoameasurementf hevaluef heBallisticange.,Butowoeshisconstant,heBallisticangeieuwith hecommonlysed''allistiCoeffcient'?Tttm fimHtistüefioeffisfrmmtrldffimtlistücfiangmIn order o understandhe orturdefinitionf hepresent:day
**wmmffiffiewffiwffiffiKvxffiffiffituffiffiffiffiffiffiffiq"ffffiff
tr&ffiffiffiWffi fi.Yfiffifuffiffiffifu'&fuTffiffifitrWffi&hfuffififfiWffiffiMHWffiffifiWey-ffiffiffiffiKwpgffiAwwffiruTffiwffiffiffiffiKMPfuHffiYfiXEYffiWffiKK-ffififfiMffifuWffi'-
(2.7I83to fourdecimalplaces)irrespectivef the fieldofapplication.Theequationorthevelocityeclineofourpelletwithdistances:
Velocityt Range'd'#ffiBecausehenumber.7783'
occursverandoveragainn allformsof dynamicanalysis,t isagivenheshorthand'labele',where'e'isshorthandor'exoonentialconstant'.hissustikeheknowniscount hain.Thesefunctionsrealsobuilt ntoa variety ofcomputerspreadsheetpackages.Let'sake alookathowheseformulaepplyo our example.Wewill irst indthevaluef the BallisticRange.We knowhat the muzzlevelocityf 600 fVsechasallen o403 fVsecat20yards,sotheBallisticRange ill begivenby:Battisticanleffi=Slyar¿s
Ballistic oefficient,th:inkt'shelpfulo r,ace littlebitof hehistory ehindt.Althoughhenotionfa balliscoefficientn itspresentorm,asmeasuref bullet lightfficienoriginatedithhe ReverendBashforth,t wasProfessoreterGuthrie ait,workingnCambriandEdinburgh,hopublishedhfirstaccuraterajectoryormulaithe1860s,ncludinghe deafBallisticange. ome0yearslater,he Krupp ompanynGermany, ade he irstaccuratmeasurementsn heeffect faidragnbulletrajectorynthe1881.Thiswasone yest rinlargelat-based,lunt-nosedbulletsmanufacturedo a standdesign.ollowinghe Kruppexperiments,ilitaryngineersnRussiaMayevski)nd talySiacworkedo derive mathematicmodel opredictulletrajectorapparentlynawarehat ProfessTateadalready rokenhe backof theproblemthereasnoGooglenthose aysl). heMayevski odell asubsequentaken p byColonelamesngallof the United tates rmy,ho
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