THE FLIGHT OF A BULLET
Knowing now how your gun is built and how it works, and having learned how a cartridge is made, the next thing you should find out is what happens when there is a cartridge in the firing chamber and you pull the trigger.
Of course you will say that the powder shoots the bullet out of the cartridge, on through the barrel and thence through the air until it hits the mark, or is stopped by hitting something else. And while all of this is true it is only a very small part of the truth, for there are a lot of things that take place between the first impulse of the bullet and its impact against the target.
The flight of a bullet from the powder to the target is called the ballistics of shooting, and this scientific word means simply that all of the forces inside of a gun and outside of it which act in any way on a bullet have been worked out by some gun crank and it is my idea to explain them here.
Now, the ballistics of shooting may be divided into two parts, and these are (a) internal ballistics, that is, the forces which act on the bullet inside of the gun when it is fired up to and including the instant the bullet has left the muzzle of the gun, and (b) external ballistics, that is, the forces which act on the bullet from the moment it has left the muzzle until it has struck the target, and all of which I shall try to explain in simple language so that you can understand it.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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