The external hunting ballistics is a precise science, which studies the trend of the swarm of shot exploded from the barrel of the gun. Knowing the dynamics will help the hunter to make hunting more fun and profitable.
In the previous article we talked about the branch of the so-called internal ballistics, but the speech to be made in the case of external hunting ballistics must be different. This will be mainly concerned with the movement followed by the bullet that comes out of the muzzle and is thrown into the air.
Immediately after the shot explodes and the pellets come out of the muzzle of the gun, once the gunpowder task has been completed, it is precisely the external ballistics that takes care of the performance, reliability and performance of the pellets.
Specifically, it is good for each hunter to know that once the ammunition has exploded, the swarm of pellets will follow a trajectory influenced by at least 2 elements.
Of primary importance is the density of the air dictated above all by the altitude at which the hunt takes place. Another element not to be underestimated is the wind, which can slow down the shot if it attacks the hunter from the front, or twist it left and right. There are obviously many other factors that can influence the progress of the pellets which we will now see in more detail.
Generally speaking, it can be said that when the pellets leave the muzzle they travel for about 12 meters in a sufficiently compact and uniform swarm; it is only after having exceeded 12 meters up to 35-40 (to be understood as the conventional maximum limit beyond which the pellets lose their damaging power) the swarm of pellets begins its dispersion. This motto will obviously be proportional to the distance traveled from the same pellets. Dispersion is a phenomenon mainly dictated by the air that the pellets encounter during their stroke, which opposes an obvious friction, but it is also caused by the spiral motion that the pellets naturally assume immediately after the explosion from the barrel.
The phenomenon of dispersion is much greater in the smallest pellets as they are more subject to friction with the air. These will inaugurate the dispersive phenomenon at a much lower distance from the barrel than the larger and heavier shot, and obviously they will experience a much wider deformation for all the reasons already mentioned.
To influence these phenomena in some cases there is also the constriction of the barrel of the weapon that the hunter uses during the strike. Generally speaking, it can be said that the more the barrel is choked, the less the dispersion phenomenon the shot is subjected to, but the deformation phenomenon will increase exponentially. The deformation implicitly limits the potential of the shot which will immediately become less efficient.
It will surprise you to discover that the trail of pellets that have moved away from the barrel 35 - 40 meters takes on a particular shape, characterized by another concentration of bullets in the front and central part. The rear, on the other hand, is much less dense and efficient. The length of a swarm of pellets at this distance from the barrel can be as much as 3 meters.
For the sake of precision it should be emphasized that the pellets that have preserved their spherical integrity, and which have therefore not been subject to the phenomenon of deformation, will be found for their greater aerodynamics in the front and central part of the wake, differently from those that have been deformed by the barrel, perhaps too narrow, which will prove slower and less effective.
Obviously being in possession of this information will help the hunter to determine the shooting technique, to be changed according to the case, perhaps anticipating the prey by a few seconds so that it is the object of the most abundant part of the pellets.
If the topic interests you and you intend to check the shot density of the cartridges you use, you can build a round target with a diameter of 75 cm with a second circle inside it with a diameter of 37,5 cm. By aiming at the center of the target you will notice the density of the shot pattern and therefore you will be able to modify the shooting technique according to the prey you are dealing with.
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