Coriolis effect. Barrel harmonics. Ballistic compensator. These may sound like terms only used by physicists, engineers, and mathematicians. But if you want to master the art of long distance shooting, you’re going to have to get nerdy about the science behind it… Real nerdy. Here are three of some of the most fascinating and nerdy things you should know about long distance shooting.
Watch the video below or read on…
Once the bullet leaves the barrel of your gun, it’s no longer attached to good old earth. Essentially, the Corolis effect means that your bullet isn’t rotating with the earth, but rather that the earth is spinning out from under it. Since the earth rotates in a West to East rotation, if you’re shooting West, the earth is moving up and towards you and causes your bullet to hit low. Conversely, if you’re shooting east, it’s moving down and away, causing you to hit high.
Ballistic Compensators or Bullet drop compensators (BDC) are the nerdy solution to the Coriolis effect and more. What are they? BDCs are target style elevation turrets on a rifle scope, which are calibrated in yards to account for the Coriolis effect, altitude, drag, temperature etc. Or in other words, a hell of a lot more data than a traditional scope. BDCs, combined with a chronograph and a good data sheet, can dial you right out to those 1000+ yard shots.
If you ever thought you could hear your barrel sing, you weren’t wrong. After you pull the trigger, a little explosion happens in your gun causing vibrations to echo down your barrel. What does this mean to your long-distance shooting? Well, it means you’re not actually as stationary as you thought. As the harmonics ripple down your barrel, they cause it to wobble back and forth like a wave. The singing effect is at its greatest, when your barrel is completely stationary.
These three concepts are really just the tip of the barrel. Once you start reaching for those extra long shots, the more factors you should know to hit the target. Indeed, the longer and more accurate you want your shooting to get, the nerdier you will have to become.
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