Ballistics: Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition, Second Edition

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ISBN 9781466564374
Cat# K16037



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  • Covers interior, exterior, and terminal ballistics
  • Presents a science and engineering level study of the field
  • Provides examples and problems that are integrated to aid professionals and students in learning
  • Includes a solutions manual and MathCad computer programs (available on the CRC website)


Providing new chapters, homework problems, case studies, figures, and examples, Ballistics: Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition, Second Edition encourages superior design and innovative applications in the field of ballistics. It examines 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.

What’s New in the Second Edition:

  • Includes computer examples in Mathcad (available on the CRC website)
  • Adds a section of color plates, to better help readers visualize the physical concepts of ballistics
  • Contains sections on modern explosives equations of state for detonation physics modeling and on probability of hit
  • Provides a solutions manual for those teaching college and training courses

This book covers exterior ballistics, exploring the physics behind trajectories, including linear and nonlinear aeroballistics, and focuses on the effects of projective impact, including details on shock physics, shaped charges, penetration, fragmentation, and wound ballistics.

  • Reviews and integrates the fundamental science and engineering concepts involved in guns and ammunition
  • 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) and International Ballistics Society

The field of ballistics comprises three main areas of specialization: interior, exterior, and terminal ballistics. This book explains all three areas, offering a seamless presentation of the complex phenomena that occur during the launch, flight, and impact of a projectile.

Table of Contents

Part I Interior Ballistics
Introductory Concepts
Ballistic Disciplines
Units and Symbols

Physical Foundation of Interior Ballistics
Ideal Gas Law
Other Gas Laws
Thermophysics and Thermochemistry
Solid Propellant Combustion
Fluid Mechanics

Analytic and Computational Ballistics
Computational Goal
Lagrange Gradient
Chambrage Gradient
Numerical Methods in Interior Ballistics
Sensitivities and Efficiencies

Ammunition Design Practice
Stress and Strain
Failure Criteria
Ammunition Types
Propellant Ignition
The Gun Chamber
Propellant Charge Construction
Propellant Geometry
Cartridge Case Design
Projectile Design
Shell Structural Analysis
Buttress Thread Design
Sabot Design
Further Readings
Weapon Design Practice

Fatigue and Endurance
Tube Design
Gun Dynamics
Muzzle Devices and Associated Phenomena
Gun Dynamics Nomenclature
Further Readings

Part II Exterior Ballistics
Introductory Concepts
Further Reading

Dynamics Review
Further Readings

Vacuum Trajectory
Simple Air Trajectory (Flat Fire)
Wind Effects on a Simple Air Trajectory
Generalized Point Mass Trajectory
Six Degree-of-Freedom (DOF) Trajectory
Modified Point Mass Trajectory
Probability of First Round Hit
Further Readings

Linearized Aeroballistics
Linearized Pitching and Yawing Motions
Gyroscopic and Dynamic Stabilities
Yaw of Repose
Roll Resonance

Mass Asymmetries

Lateral Throwoff
Static Imbalance
Dynamic Imbalance

Swerve Motion
Aerodynamic Jump
Epicyclic Swerve

Nonlinear Aeroballistics
Nonlinear Forces and Moments
Bilinear and Trilinear Moments

Part III Terminal Ballistics
Introductory Concepts
Penetration Theories
Penetration and Perforation of Metals
Penetration and Perforation of Concrete
Penetration and Perforation of Soils
Penetration and Perforation of Ceramics
Penetration and Perforation of Composites

Shock Physics
Shock Hugoniots
Rarefaction Waves
Stress Waves in Solids
Detonation Physics
Explosives Equations of State
Further Readings

Introduction to Explosive Effects
Gurney Method
Taylor Angles
Mott Formula
Further Reading

Shaped Charges
Shaped Charge Jet Formation
Shaped Charge Jet Penetration
Further Reading

Wound Ballistics
Further Reading


Author Bio(s)

Editorial Reviews

"This book represents a complete self-contained reference for ballistics experts and gun designers. The material is written to allow the reader instant access to the fundamentals in the field, and shows practical examples across the entire spectrum of ballistics and guns. This is the only book that brings decades of research and engineering into one source that is readily accessible to both laymen and experts alike."
––Kirk Vanden, Air Force Research Laboratory

"This expanded second edition of Ballistics: Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition fills a critical need in the conventional weapons design arena by providing a balanced, technically detailed treatment of the field of ballistics. This text clearly presents the development of the physical theories and their application to the solution of real problems. The authors have created a valuable introduction to the technical world of ballistics."
––Dr. Thomas A. Mason, Weapons Physics Directorate, Los Alamos National Laboratory

"This is a very good book on a complex technical subject that provides enough detail to understate the real fundamentals that are involved. It is well presented and organized. This book is a good reference as well as an outstanding book for teaching. There are a significant number of problems at the end of the chapters and this is always very helpful for teaching purposes."
––Dr. Carl T. Dyka, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren,Virginia, USA

Downloads / Updates

Resource OS Platform Updated Description Instructions Cross Platform November 19, 2013