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Transitional Ballistics; Does Crowning a Barrel Have an Effect? How Flash Suppressors Work etc

The study of ballistics is broken down into various subcategories. These are:
Internal ballistics is concerned with what is happening inside the gun and the action. It concerns things like ‘lock time’, expansion ratio’s, burning rates and the components of the cartridge like primers, case length and shape including headspace, throating and rifling.
Transitional ballistics is the that area where the bullet leaves the barrel and is on its own. Mechanically it involves flash suppressors, sound suppressors and recoil compensators.
External ballistics is the free flight of the bullet. Bullet design, ballistic coefficient (drag), velocity, wind drift and gravity.
Transonic is the study of the transition of the bullet from supersonic to subsonic in the velocity range area of MACH 1.2 down to MACH 0.8 where some bullets due to the change center of pressure tend to destabilize.
Terminal ballistics is about what happens when the projectile interacts with the target. Wound ballistics, penetration and energy transfer.
All these studies cover ballistics. But what we will consider today is transitional ballistics. This has a lot to due with the muzzle and various attachments there to.

Does Crowning a Barrel Affect Ballistics

Crowning is the round area of the muzzle. It is designed to moderate the gases to be concentric with the bullet as it leaves the muzzle. Muzzle damage can change the even concentric flow and will affect accuracy. Cut down barrels need to be re-crowned to ensure accuracy. Even a shotgun can experience a bias in shot patterns if the muzzle is not properly crowned.

How Does a Flash Suppressor Work?

Flash suppressors are just that, flash suppressors and are designed to save the night vision of the shooter, not those being shot at but the shooter. Those being shot at in low light conditions will have no illusions as to where the shot is coming from.

Compensators & Muzzle Breaks

The recoil compensator mitigates the recoil by pulling the muzzle forward using the ‘action opposite reaction principle’ by directing gases away and directionally back from the muzzle. Everything from small caliber weapons to the mighty 50 BMG can have and some cases is mandatory for weapon control and taming the recoil of these firearms. Muzzle breaks are compensators for the big boys and were prominent on German tank guns during WWII. A well-designed compensator will also suppress muzzle flash from the operators stand point.

Supressor DB Reduction

Yes, supersonic rifle bullets can be heard, and can not be suppressed. Yet, many snipers firing their rifles use sound suppressors. When being fired at you are aware of the fact by the compression shockwave created by the supersonic passage of the bullet. What a sound suppressor does is muffle the muzzle blast. The advantage to the shooter? A muffled weapon is non-directional to those being shot at. You know you’re being shot at but have no clue the direction from which the gunfire is coming. Sound suppression helps at close range, even on a revolver, but it is not as efficient as a pistol. The whole idea is not to disturb the neighbors, it tames the muzzle blast to a lower level, dismissed by many as a firearm discharge. It doesn’t have to be totally silent, just so it is enough. To keep from disturbing those around us sound suppressors are becoming increasing popular in pest control and rural hunting. The sound suppressor is not strictly a military or paramilitary accessory.

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