Communion Of Dreams

Another little hint . . .
March 6, 2008, 9:10 am
Filed under: 2nd Amendment, Ballistics, Civil Rights, Guns, RKBA, Science, TDG, tech, Wired

In email discussion with a friend the other day, I realized that I had left something dangling which I had meant to address here some time back. Here’s the relevant email exchange:

I am really glad to hear that you are getting well enuff to get out and blow off some cordite.

Ayup. That was one of the things that helped keep some shred of sanity for me the last couple of years. And I am enjoying it even more now that I have a buddy here who shares that interest (and knows more about guns than even I do!)

You may remember that I mentioned a ballistics test that we were planning – here.   Well, everything is now proceeding, and in about ten days we’ll do the first batch of tests. Three days of actual shooting time – see how far into it we get, and then schedule however many additional sessions we need in the coming weeks. With over 7,000 rounds of ammo, it’ll take a while to do it all right. By summer we should have all the data and the website set up – it will be a major source of information for the gun world . . .

In looking back at that post, I see that I had intended to discuss more about the project. But of course the fall didn’t go the way I planned, mostly because of the increasing demands of caring for Martha Sr. Oh well.

But now things are in full swing in preparing for the first session of actual testing. We’ll be doing the shooting on private land, and are deeply into preparing all the logistics necessary (everything from testing equipment to work tables to the chop saw to food & drink) and ironing out our protocols so the data is most valuable. We’ll start setting everything up next Wednesday, then test for three days, and take everything down on Sunday. I am expecting that it will take two more such sessions to complete the tests, but I could be wrong – we’ll just have to see how far we get this first time. It should be an awful lot of fun, as well as a lot of concentrated work – don’t expect me to do a lot of blogging during that time.

Oh, and on the subject of ballistics . . .

Via TDG, this Wired magazine article from last month, about the military’s Barrett M107 long range sniper rifle. It’s somewhat interesting, but misleading in places. This bit:

But the gun’s real selling point is physics. Its big kaboom largely obviates the need for DOPE, data on personal equipment. Putting a bullet into a target takes more than lining up crosshairs — complex equations combine muzzle velocity, ammunition weight, and ballistic coefficient with environmental factors like wind speed and air temperature. But the M107 is so powerful, all I have to worry about is gravity and not flinching when I pull the trigger.

And even the title: “A Goliath Sniper Rifle May Take Some of the Physics Out of War” is just plain wrong. None of the physics are negated. And while the M107 is indeed a powerful weapon (shooting a .50 caliber bullet with over 11,000 foot-pounds of muzzle energy), effects of windage and air temperature are still noticeable at sufficient distances. Even in the article, the author has to have a correction made to the scope alignment to allow for wind. Surprise surprise – physics still works.

Well, anyway, I’m looking forward to doing the testing next week. Almost a vacation of sorts.

Jim Downey


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[…] and various and sundry items. Because today we’re starting the ballistics testing I have mentioned before. The last several days have been very busy with running around and getting some of the […]

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