Books on Ballistics

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by webs, May 23, 2011.

  1. webs

    webs Well-Known Member

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    What books have you read? I am interested in purchasing a few to gain a better understanding of the dynamics involved in a projectile. The few I am looking at right now are:
    Understanding Firearms Ballistics by Robert Rinker
    Ballistics: Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition by Donald E. Carlucci
    Modern Exterior Ballistics: The Launch and Flight Dynamics of Symmetric Projectiles by Robert L. McCoy
    Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting Second Edition by Bryan Lit

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Applied Ballistics by Bryan Litz is the only one on your list I have read. It is a great resource. Be sure to get the second edition..... more info!
     

  3. Gunner5607

    Gunner5607 Member

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    +1 on Litz!
     
  4. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Rinker's book doesn't belong on the same list with the other three you've got listed here. Bryan's is the least expensive and probably the most relatable in terms of the average shooter, where McCoy's and Carlucci's are more in the vein of true textbooks. They're also both right around the $100+ mark, making Bryan's a real bargain. The stuff done by Ted Almgren and Bill McDonald in either the Sierra of Lyman manuals is also quite good, and something you may already have on your shelves. Depending on your background and what specifically you're looking for, I think "Hatcher's Notebook" by General Julian Hatcher is a grossly overlooked pearl that should be on every shooters bookshelf. Tons of info in there, including a great deal on exterior ballistics, as well as some fascinating historical insights. There's also a complete set of Ingall's tables in there so you can derive your own BCs the old-fashoned way; by pencil and paper. Personally, I think this is essential to understanding just how these figures are established, rather than just seeing what a computer pukes out with a given set of inputs. The Ingall's tables, incidentally, can be used virtually interchangeably with the G1, so they're still perfectly relavent to modern discussions.

    Both Hatcher and Bob McCoy have since left us, and I don't know Carlucci. Bill McDonald and Ted Almgren are both close personal friends, but they rarely get to spend time on sites like this. But Bryan posts here fairly often and is very helpful in answering questions. Seems like that might be worth considering when choosing.
     
  5. webs

    webs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I guess I am looking for something with a more technical aspect. I want to see the engineering behind it. Litz's book might be a good place to start then move on to one of the text books.
     
  6. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    In any practical sense, Litz's book is all you need for hunting or target shooting. It conveys in very understandable terms everything one needs to know to hit things as far away as is practical with a hunting rifle, or target rifle. There is no magic.

    McCoy's book is excellent, his knowledge of the subject is amazing, but you need to get the errata off the web. He was in very bad health when he wrote it, made a super human effort just to get it out while he could, and the proofing was not what it should have been had he been able to do it like he wanted to.

    Rinker's book is not worth buying.

    Fitch