Shotshell Ballistic Program v2.0
This Shotshell Ballistic Program was developed to compare lethality and penetration for factory and custom shotshell loads for all materials including steel, lead, and tungsten based pellets. The user inputs the factors of shot size, material, initial velocity, and temperature and elevation to calculate down range performance along with pellet count. User can select velocity, distance, time, energy, energy density, or gel penetration to find the effective energy of a pellet. This is excellent to compare factory loads of different materials to find the best load for your hunting trip or sporting event. It can also be used by reloaders to calculate the effect of higher and lower velocities, shotsize, and load changes.
After calculation, the user can then name and save the load in a catalog. Several loads can be added for comparison and then saved to a local hard drive and recalled whenever you need to reference the data.
Here are some screenshots from the ballistics program:
Velocity measurements can be published from the load of interest or if you have your own chronograph, you can use your own chrono readings at the distance set to back calculate the muzzle velocity.
Drop down menu for 14 different materials common in shotshell manufacturing. There is also a custom option to set the density of the material not listed. Not a big deal for trap shooters, but for the non-toxic market, there is considerable confusion on high density loads, this will sort it all out.
User can select a different temperatures and elevations. These are critical components in determined down range energy. They can be selected in increments of 1000′ up to 10,000′ for elevation.
User can calculate using several different methods. The calculator will calculate based on velocity, distance, time, energy, energy density and penetration. Select one parameter and the rest of the parameters are instantly populated.
User can also set a distance of interest and the calculator will calculate the rest of the parameters. This is very useful for waterfowling over decoys where the majority of your shots are at a given distance. This parameter will also help decide on loads for certain stations at Sporting clays events.
User can use Energy Density, or the energy/cross sectional area. Studies have been done which identify an energy of 235 to cleanly kill mallard ducks with 95% confidence. You can compare the lethal distance for various loads using this factor. Breaking clay targets also required a minimum amount of energy.
Others shooters prefer ballistics gel penetration as the measure of lethality. Many suggest 1.5″ of penetration for ducks and 2.25″ for geese, 2.0 for pheasant, and so on. You can enter these numbers in for your load and find the effective range for your load allowing a better choice for your upcoming trip to South Dakota.
After completion of load information, use can add the load to a catalog along with other loads for comparison.
You can then save your catalog to the local hard drive to open in Excel or Notepad. I compared loads based on a velocity of 650 ft/s and named the results the same thing.
For simple pellet count information a pellet count chart is included. You just select the material and the whole chart is instantly populated for all shot sizes and load sizes:.
KPY also calculates drop from vertical for your shot and wind drift for a cross wind. You can custom enter the wind of interest and see how much it will affect the shot in your pattern.
As you can see, there is also a recoil calculator. Recoil is also calculated based on your load and weight of shotgun. Typical standard values are set that are based off of common loads, but you can custom set gun weight, powder, and wad weight to go along with your load weight and velocity.
Everything can be custom. You can set custom shot size, density, load size. There are several pellets that are not exactly standard shot sizes, there are also metric shot sizes. Now you can enter in custom shot size of to .001″. With the import of several sizes of tungsten based shot, now the user can calculate the exact number of pellets in a load or the density of a known volume. This also aids in giving exact down range ballistics. Here is an example of an entirely custom tungsten load I’ve been shooting.
I am a Mechanical Engineer and avid bird hunter. This represents several years and countless hours of work and I did it out of necessity as I was not able to obtain this information from any other source. Data has been validated multiple times against other ballistic experts data and it compares within a couple of percent across all materials, sizes, and velocities. I reload all of my own shells that I use for hunting from doves to ducks to chuckars to turkeys. This will aid in making you a better hunter along with practice and patterning your shotshell loads.
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