But how and why? Bullet Stability Bullets are aerodynamically unstable. Left to their own devices, they will tumble through the air in an accuracy destroying, chaotic manner, hitting the target in a basically random orientation - straight, sideways, or even backwards.
Barrel length in general The barrel of the gun is generally the part which, more than any other, defines its length. In my young days, one advantage of a rifle chambered for the. This shortening paled to what a rifleman achieved if he simply ordered his Model 70 with a inch barrel instead of a inch barrel, in either caliber.
First, as a rule, the longer barrel allows the gunpowder to burn longer as the shot is fired, building up more pressure and therefore sending the projectile or, with shotguns, projectiles out of the muzzle at a higher rate of speed.
Some students of the gun would see the trajectory factor and the power factor as two separate elements, but since they come from the same source, they are treated as one here. Second, the optical sight came fairly late to the evolution of the firearm.
The rear sight was at the rear of the gun, and the front sight usually just above and behind the muzzle.
Hence the old rule of thumb that the longer the barrel, the more accurately the user could probably shoot. Longer things which, all other things equal, also tend to be heavier things are bulkier and altogether more cumbersome to wield when deploying in fast breaking emergencies, or when they must be carried constantly for long periods of time.
Each type has different and disproportionate issues related to their typical use which may or may not translate to the other types. Shotgun barrel length gauge pump shotguns.
When I was a little kid learning guns in the s, my dad explained why the family gun rack contained shotguns all gauge with different barrel lengths. The inch Winchester pump gun came standard from the factory with an improved cylinder choke built in, designed to spread the many little birdshot pellets wide on a fast moving partridge or similar bird.
But their paradigm is no longer locked in stone. Long before my old body saw daylight, folks in the gun world had figured out that muzzle attachments could allow a single shotgun to adjust the choke pattern.
Before my father died, an even more efficient system, screw-in interchangeable choke tubes, was developed. These allowed a shotgunner with a single gun and barrel to adjust the shot pellet pattern much more effectively to his needs on a particular day, stalking a particular quarry.
A shooter with a modern inch barrel Remington semiautomatic shotgun can adjust it to perfection for everything from dove to waterfowl, and from near to far. Thus, we still see long barrels as the choice on dedicated duck guns and turkey guns. The longer barrel will still let more powder burn, and send the projectiles out faster, and therefore hitting harder.
Rifles Target rifles, over the centuries, have often been made with barrels of 30 inches or more. When Winchester introduced their most popular lever action rifle in the yeara great many hunters bought it with a inch barrel. The reason for the differing barrel lengths was, quite simply, the differing needs of the people using them.
The longer barrel gave more velocity, flatter trajectory, and a bit more hitting power. However, the shorter barrel was easier to maneuver through the thickets and heavy brush when you were hunting deer in the Eastern forests, and faster to pull from a saddle scabbard if you needed to deploy your rifle out West.
Going back to the Civil War, the optical gunsight was the choice of the rifleman long, long before the shotgunner or the handgunner ever thought of applying it to their firearm of choice. With the telescopic sight doing the aiming, sight radius between front and rear iron sights became irrelevant.
Two Springfield Armory M1A rifles, both chambered for. An interesting example of that factor appeared in the yearwhen Winchester introduced their.
It was, in essence, a hot-rodded version of the. With a grain bullet, the. Shooters noticed that this more powerful rifle was also longer and more awkward to handle when hunting. If its barrel was shortened to the 24 inches of the original Model 54 Winchester.
Today, in the yearthe. The Vietnam conflict was a jungle environment, with conflicts at closer ranges than the average encounters across trench warfare scenarios in WWI or European hedgerows in WWII.
Sometimes, the high velocity 5. These were much handier coming out of a helicopter or crawling through the jungle, but their shorter barrels reduced the velocity of their bullets, and some experts came to believe that the shorter barrels rendered the 5.
This situation worsened in the War on Terror for two reasons: The US military, now deploying more from vehicles on a mechanized battlefield, went heavily to shorter-barrel M4 rifles. An American fighting man having to maneuver his or her rifle to fight, literally, from the front seat of a HumVee, now very much needed a shorter rifle.
The combination of the new ammo and the new demands of freedom of movement on the battlefield resulted in reports that the 5. For police officers in America, who in a contiguous timeframe were switching from shotguns to.
Police work is also likely to involve opponents ensconced in automobiles.Two very accurate hunting rifles from the shop of the David Miller Company in Tucson, Arizona.
At top is a Miller Classic rifle, to my knowledge the most precisely built bolt-action rifle made today. Like a spinning top, a spinning bullet resists forces (in this case variable air pressure) from any side, so it better maintains its original flight vector.
The rate of spin is important.
The longer the bullet, the faster it must be spun to remain stable in flight. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Rifle Twist A Basic Understanding which imparts spin onto the bullet. Without getting too in depth about bullet types, this should explain the basics of how rifle twist influences bullet flight and what a buyer should look for to fit their own needs. The shooter also needs to understand how spin drift affects a bullet.
Spin drift, also called gyroscopic drift, occurs when a force is applied to the spinning bullet. The force of gravity acting on the bullet sends it slightly to the right or left of the original trajectory. Erica teaches the basic skill of spin stops on rifle in color guard. Want to learn weapons for the first time, or brush up your technique with us?