TRAJECTORY, ACCURACY, AND POWER OF HUNTING CARTRIDGES
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TRAJECTORY, ACCURACY, AND POWER OF HUNTING CARTRIDGES

TRAJECTORY, ACCURACY, AND POWER OF HUNTING CARTRIDGES




      

TRAJECTORY, ACCURACY, AND POWER OF HUNTING CARTRIDGES


TRAJECTORY, ACCURACY, AND POWER OF HUNTING CARTRIDGES

Here is the Winchester definition of trajectory which I quote because it seems as good as any: "The trajectory of a bullet is the path it follows from the time it leaves the muzzle until it strikes the target. This path is a continuous curve. In its flight a bullet loses forward, or horizontal speed, and gains downward or vertical speed."

When a bullet leaves the gun muzzle it begins to drop just the same as though it had been released from the hand. In one second of time during flight the projectile will drop the same distance that it would in the same length of time if allowed to fall from an elevation. Moreover the falling movement is progressive, as pointed out above. It follows then that if the bullet drops a certain distance in say a quarter of a second, it will fall twice that distance in the next quarter, being governed by the laws of gravity exactly as would a falling body without horizontal speed.

Keeping in mind the progressive rate of drop, it will be seen that it would not do to conclude that a rifle with a muzzle velocity of a thousand feet would have a trajectory but twice as high as one with two thousand feet velocity. While the trajectory would of course be governed by the time of the projectile over the course rather than by the initial velocity, yet I can illustrate this point with two well-known cartridges.

The .22 long-rifle has a muzzle velocity of 1,103 feet, two hundred yard trajectory, 22 inches. The .30 U. S. A. Krag has a muzzle velocity of 2,000 feet, 200 yard trajectory, 5.41 inches; increase the Krag initial speed to 2,700 and we have a trajectory of 2.85 inches. Hence we can see the importance of gaining every additional hundred feet in muzzle velocity possible if the rifle is to do good work at long, unknown distances.

Askins, Charles. Rifles and Rifle Shooting. New York: Outing, 1912. Print.

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