The Speed of a Bullet
From your school physics you have learned that a body will fall about 16 feet the first second, 48 feet the next second, and so on until it strikes the earth. But if you will throw a stone straight out and so give it velocity—that is, speed—it will fall at the same rate as if you dropped it, but its speed will make it travel farther before it strikes the ground.
Now, since a bullet follows the same laws of gravitation and velocity as any other body, it must be clear that if it has a low velocity it will strike the earth a very short distance from where it left the muzzle of the barrel, but, on the other hand, if it has a high velocity a longer distance will be covered between its discharge from the barrel and its contact with the earth.
From this you will readily see that the velocity of a bullet has a great deal to do with its trajectory, or the path of its flight, as well as gravity and air resistance; in fact, the velocity of the bullet, the resistance of the air and the pull of gravity all determine the distance to which a bullet will go and the shape of its path.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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