What is trajectory? -What is meant by the trajectory of a cartridge?
The trajectory of a bullet is the curved path that it travels when in flight. No bullet flies straight but it commences to fall as soon as it leaves the muzzle of the rifle, and the farther it goes the faster it falls. It falls just as fast as if it were not being driven forward at all, but as it is moving forward and falling at the same time, its line of flight from the muzzle fo the gun to the target is a continuous curve. To correct this, in shooting, we elevate the rear sight to such a degree that when aiming through the sights at the target, the barrel of the rifle really points above the mark. When we fire the arm the bullet starts upward, but the curve or tis trajectory brings it down to the spot aimed at by the time it has traveled that far. It is the height of this curved line of flight above the line of aim at a given distance, usually midway of the range, that is given as the height of its trajectory. For instance, in a certain catalog I find the ballistics of the 30-30 Winchester. Under trajectory I find this; 200 yds, height at 100 yards. Now, this means that the gun is correctly sighted to shoot to the spot aimed at 200 years, and is fired at that distance, at a target. Since the path of the bullet is curved the entire path from the muzzle of the rifle to the target is above the line of sight; in other words the bullet rises from the line of sight at the muzzle of the gun; travels in a curved line and strikes the target at the line of sight. The height of the bullet’s path above the line of sight or line of aim at 100 yards is 5.79 inches, which means that when shooting 200 yards the bullet rises about 5 ¾ inches above the line of aim at 100 yards from the muzzle of the rifle. Of course, the lower the trajectory of a bullet, the better for hunting purposes, providing that some more desirable quality is not sacrificed for the sake of a low trajectory.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913
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