Firearm lesson for today... What is ballistic coefficient and why is it important for (mainly) rifle shooting?

Ok shooters, if you don't know what it is/does, google it, answer the question and learn something today. Be honest and say if you knew what it is/does or if you had to google it. Also, do you take guys/girls out to shoot for a date?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Higher BC="flatter shot", all I know. Need to research that one I guess. And I'd be down for that

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Pretty much a bullets coefficient of friction through the air I. e. its ability to overcome air resistance.

    I had a pretty good idea but I googled it just to be sure.

    As fair as rifle shooting, rifles are meant for long distance shots, so the better the coefficient, the easier the bullet flies

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    • Exactly. The term aerodynamic is a good term to use and you are correct about why it's important mainly in rifle shooting. The more aerodynamic (or the higher ballistic coefficient, b. c.) the better it flies through the air therefore the bullet does not drop (due to gravity) as fast. Things that effect it are caliber, weight, shape, what the nose is made out of i. e. lead, polymer, copper etc. A pointed tip as a rule will have a higher b. c. that a round trip etc. It's common sense really.

What Girls Said 2

  • How aerodynamic a bullet is through the air. I have a friend that shoots.

    I do not, and probably never will. I don't like loud noises and I'm terribly clumsy

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    • Then get a silencer! Lol.

    • It doesn't silence it enough for me

    • Yeah true. Rifles are still loud because they're supersonic so along with the noise of the gun, the bullet has a mini sonic boom that is loud too. Some pistols using subsonic ammo are as quiet as an air rifle. I sold a lot of silencers when I owned my gun shop. They're fun and usually improve accuracy in rifles and reduce recoil substantially.

  • I don't remember exactly, but is has to do with the ability of an object to overcome air resistance in flight. Weight, size, and shape are considered in the formula to calculate it.

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    • Yes, basically correct. I explained it fully on PT1911.

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    • Yes, although the Russian term would be Spetsnaz.

What Guys Said 6

  • It is a made-up number to make it easier to scale bullets of different sizes. If I remember correction, it is proportional to the mass and inversely proportional to the drag coefficient. It is a collection of terms in the equation of motion.

    For long distance shooting, the drop due to gravity matters. The bullet has a muzzle velocity, but also is slowing down due to drag. The more drag, the faster it slows down and the bigger the drop over a given distance for a given muzzle velocity. Since the Ballistic Coefficient contains both the mass and the drag coefficient for the bullet shape, you can calculate that drop or merely look it up on a chart.

    Yes, I take girls out to shoot for a date. We have a long talk about safety first and I have them start with a.22LR, either handgun or rifle until the get the hang of it. I would never start them with a.45, 12ga pump, or.30-30. That would not be prudent.

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    • You are correct. Couldn't say it better myself. I answered it wholly on cosytoasty's post in my words. You do the same as I do with dates although, you always have to make a quick judgement call if you would dare to let that particular person handle a firearm under any circumstances lol. Some are just not mature or intelligent enough for it then it's dinner and a movie and take her home and disappear lol.

    • If a girl I am on a date with isn't mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to handle a firearm, I wouldn't have asked her out to begin with.

  • I did not know, i read the definition, and understood, i presume it's based on cross section, aerodynamic drag and mass.

    I've shot a 22 rifle a long time ago. Some of my wife's family hunt, my daughter has gone to a range with my wife's cousin. Hunting/shooting rifles is not a big thing here in big cities.

    And the whole guns for self defense thing, we really don't have. At what point one of my extended family was living in my basement, had a bunch of guns but they literally all are unloaded and in lockers. People have guns here to hunt, and that's it really.

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    • Yep, correct. A high bc means a bullet will shoot flatter which means it will not drop from gravity as fast. It makes shooting long range a little easier.

    • Yup, makes sense. I seem to recall snipers use some pretty long bullets, i'm assuming that's to get a flatter shot from the high mass combined with low cross section means relatively low drag relative to weight?

    • Yes exactly. The longer a bullet is for a given caliber (provided they're made from the same material) the heavier they will be. The heavier they are and the smaller they are in diameter the more aerodynamic they are. Think of it like getting two pieces an 8.5x11 of paper. Taking one, crumbling it up and throwing it. Take the other, fold it over a couple times and throw it. Which will go farther? Common sense.

  • I just know that I should keep my finger off the trigger until ready to fire and that bad guy does bye-bye.

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  • How slippery a bullet is through the air - layman terms i know.

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  • Don't know; does it have something to do with drag/air resistance? But then I haven't fired a gun for at least 5 years.

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  • Doesn't it have to do with a bullet's aerodynamics while it's moving? Shooting is a very fun date by the way.

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