What Happens in the Barrel
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What Happens in the Barrel

What Happens in the Barrel




      

What Happens in the Barrel


What Happens in the Barrel

As the bullet is shot out of the cartridge by the expanding gases, it starts down the barrel of the rifle at a high speed, or velocity as it is called, and the rifling makes it spin as it goes. In order to overcome the inertia of a body a force must be applied to it for a length of time that is in proportion to the weight of the body; for this reason, as you will plainly see, time is an important factor in the moving force of powder and the ballistic value of a powder, which means the value of a powder to give a bullet of a given weight a certain energy and hence its velocity, depends on the length of time needed for its complete combustion.

In an absolutely perfect cartridge—though it is not possible to make one—the bullet would be given an evenly increased velocity by the pressure exerted on its flat end, or base, until it left the muzzle of the gun and the last grain of powder would be changed into gas just as the bullet left the muzzle of the gun.

In this purely imaginary perfect cartridge every bit of the stored-up energy of the powder, or potential energy as it is called in physics, would be changed into energy of motion, or kinetic energy, and this would be imparted to the bullet.

Of course such complete change is not possible, for a large part of the stored-up, or potential energy is spent in heat and part of the energy of motion, or kinetic energy, is also converted into heat by the friction set up between the barrel of the rifle and the bullet.

Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.

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