Ballistics: Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition

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eBook (VitalSource)
ISBN 9781420066197
Cat# E66188



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  • Reviews and integrates the fundamental science and engineering concepts involved in guns and ammunition
  • Covers all the main areas of ballistics in a single volume: interior, exterior, and terminal ballistics
  • Uses straightforward, easy-to-read style, and careful development of complex topics
  • Shares insights rooted in the experience of renowned experts, many associated with the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA)
  • Emphasizes practical design techniques to encourage better design and new engineering applications in the field
  • Employs numerous examples and meaningful problems to illustrate and apply the theories in each chapter; a solutions manual is available with qualifying course adoptions


Even the earliest weapon developers faced the need to understand how and why guns and ammunition work in order to improve their effectiveness. As weapons became more sophisticated, the field of ballistics naturally divided into three main areas of specialization: interior, exterior, and terminal ballistics. Providing unique coverage of all three areas, Ballistics: Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition offers a seamless presentation of the complex phenomena that occur during the launch, flight, and impact of a projectile.

Reader-friendly in style and format, the book explains the fundamental physics, terminology, theory, engineering aspects, and design techniques for each area in gradually increasing detail and complexity. Starting with interior ballistics, the authors examine the analytical and computational tools used to predict a weapon’s behavior in terms of pressure, stress and velocity, demonstrating their applications in ammunition and weapons design. The book continues with coverage of exterior ballistics, exploring the physics behind trajectories, including linear and nonlinear aeroballistics. The final section focuses on the effects of projectile impact, including details on shock physics, shaped charges, penetration, fragmentation, and wound ballistics.

Enhanced with insights drawn from the authors’ extensive experience in government laboratories, industry, and academia, Ballistics provides an ideal vehicle for encouraging superior design and innovative applications in the field.

Table of Contents

Interior Ballistics
Introductory Concepts
Physical Foundation of Interior Ballistics
Analytic and Computational Ballistics
Ammunition Design Practice
Weapon Design Practice

Exterior Ballistics
Introductory Concepts
Dynamics Review
Linearized Aeroballistics
Mass Asymmetries
Lateral Throwoff
Swerve Motion
Non-Linear Aeroballistics

Terminal Ballistics
Introductory Concepts
Penetration Theories
Shock Physics
Introduction to Explosive Effects
Shaped Charges
Wound Ballistics

Gas Tables

Downloads / Updates

Resource OS Platform Updated Description Instructions
Errata 2_17_09.doc Cross Platform August 07, 2012
Errata 12_08.doc Cross Platform April 28, 2009
Errata 7_30_09.doc Cross Platform August 04, 2009