The Effects Of Air Temperature On Bullet Flight

The Daily Caller | 1/3/2018 | Staff
sally140353 (Posted by) Level 3
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In the long-distance ring, temperature plays a much bigger role than simply how comfortable you are while shooting.

How does air temperature affect bullet trajectory?

Ambient - Air - Temperature - Effect - Air

Ambient air temperature has an inverse effect on air density.

This can create a balancing effect in elevation change.

Change - Air - Temperature - Bullet - Drop

The change in air temperature can affect bullet drop measured in inches at some ranges.

Air temperature also effects powders, making them burn hotter and faster.

Refresher - Columns - Reason - Bullet - Time

As a refresher from the last few columns, the reason your bullet falls more by the time it reaches a 900-yard target than it does for a 100-yard target is because it was exposed to gravity longer. Therefore, the longer it takes to reach the target, the more gravity and wind will move the bullet off of its original path.

There are three variables that determine a bullet’s speed on its way to the target:

Bullet - Speed - Speed - Bullet - Efficiency

In discussing a bullet’s speed, we’ve already covered the initial speed of the bullet, the aerodynamic efficiency of the bullet and the first of the external/environmental variables — air pressure. Now it’s time to explore temperature’s effect.

Each of the three listed variables can change the density of the air. Simply, a bullet doesn’t travel as well through dense, thick air. We know that air pressure is directly related to air density — when one goes up, so does the other.

Time - Role - Temperature - Bullet - Speed

Now it’s time to move on to temperature’s role. Temperature affects a bullet’s speed in two ways: The ambient air temperature plays a role in the air’s pressure, and the temperature of your cartridge — more accurately, the temperature of the powder in your cartridge — will cause varying velocities.

Ambient air temperature has an inverse effect on air’s density. As the air’s temperature increases, its density decreases.

Effect - Altitudes - Altitude - Air

This can create a balancing effect of changing altitudes. Typically, when you go higher in altitude, the air...
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