Barnes Pneumatic Arms


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Now we've reached a subject which the manufactures love to talk about. It's the "buzz word" that makes the phones ring. So you don't get burned by "velocity", let me explain a few relative points.

First, velocity, is meaningless without knowing what exactly has been accelerated.

It's the weight of the projectile which tells you the rest of the story. Muzzle energy is a factor of the weight of the projectile at a given velocity. When you discuss velocity with others, always first clarify which pellet you are driving. Cite for example, a given gun which drives the popular crossman premier 7.9 grain pellet at say - 900 fps, will probably drive the crossman 10.5 pellet at around 800 fps. What I try to dispel is this notion that we should judge the relative merit of a rifle solely from the discussion of velocity. It's not the "first pellet in the general area wins", rather, "the one which hits the mark" wins.

I can tell you that I've heard hundreds of conversations where velocity was King. A particular example stands out. The fellow with the gun in question was told that it would drive a lighter pellet faster. He immediately got a big smile and said, "Then I could say it is a 900 fps gun!"

Do you see the lesson? The gun is the same gun. People delude themselves into raising their opinion of a gun through these tricks they play on themselves.

Realizing that humans have always been fascinated by speed, manufactures find little light weight pellets to shoot during velocity tests. These little test pellets might be far too unstable to group accurately, but, they deliver velocity figures suitable for publish. It would be a type of conspiracy if it were not for the fact that the public wants to participate. Most often, when a group is standing around exchanging velocity figures, the actual spirit of the group is to determine the relative power of one rifle over another. To do this, only the factor of muzzle energy tells the story by completing the formula.

Velocity - it's true effect is to establish trajectory.

The faster the projectile, the flatter the trajectory. If the projectile remains accurate at high velocity, you are alright. The problem for we air gun enthusiast, is the fact that pellets loose accuracy potential above 900 fps. It's a factor of aerodynamics. The blunt nosed - flared skirt objects seem most accurate between 400 and 900 fps. There are expections, but, this seems to be the norm.


Answers to quiz on Magnum Rifles page (muzzle energy discussion)

1. produces 31.76 foot pounds of muzzle energy

2. produces 36.98 foot pounds of muzzle energy