Category Archives: Cartridge

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THE CARTRIDGE CLOSING: ROUND OR STAR?

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hunting womanIn the rifled guns, the cartridge case of the cartridge is closed at the apex by the bullet, which engages the neck and is stopped in the seat by means of crimping. The case of shot cartridges causes the fractionation of the charge in a column of small independent projectiles, it requires instead of being clogged at the apex by a sealing disc and a rim of stationary, or by a folding towards the center, of the same tube of cartridge case.

crimping star cartidges

The first shutter system is called “round crimp“, instead the second, the most modern, is called “star crimp.” The two systems make cartridge autonomous and transportable because they maintain firmly the structure of the internal components, protecting them from moisture of the environment. The crimp is practiced through a coil, placed in rapid rotation by a manual operation hemmer machine or by an electric motor with a low number of revolutions.

The profile of the coil varies according to the shape of the rim, the speed of rotation and the type of material that forms the tube of used casings (cardboard or plastic). The edging round with section with two folding edges rounded suits lively powders because, of equal height, has a lower resistance than the other types, while the hemming square section, where there are the corners, was abandoned because generates pressures too high and is more difficult to perform.

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In casings cardboard is practiced on a round edge on 5-7 mm of the tube, adjusting this height with respect to the resistance of the cardboard, to the weight of the shot charge, the type of wad and the liveliness of the powder. In the cartridge plastic cases the rim height ranges 6-8 mm because this material has a lower resistance at the performance being more malleable at high temperatures of firing. Too low crimps are not recommended because, offering little resistance, cause a slow and incomplete combustion of the powder with the formation of dangerous “fires long.” Regarding the star crimp, is decidedly more modern compared round crimp.

I was produced by practicing at the top of the tube 6-8 longitudinal folds, using a special coil called “engraver” (6 folds is the traditional European close, 8 folds is typically American). Following a second coil crushes these folds towards the center, in contact with the column of the shot, practicing by rotating a circular outer edge, similar to the round crimp. The height of the outer circular edge adjusts the resistance to the carrying out of the closure on the carton and on the plastic, even if the two materials require a different form of engraver and of coil crimp. A regular star crimp closure must occupy approximately 11-12 mm in free cartridge case; this measure varies according to the thickness and type of material of the tube, the height of the outer circular edge, the shape and the width of the edge section. A lightweight closure can be used to reduce the maximum pressure of the cartridge, while a very tall and narrow closure may partially compensate for a lack of clogging.

The round crimp gives an increased resistance in the phase of initial sbossolamento, but an effort of extracting total minor in comparison of star crimp. With the edge round the charge at the beginning of his movement should exert more pressure to curl the tube, then finds a minimum sliding friction within the cartridge case. With the star crimp, the charge exerts less pressure in the conduct of external light edging, while meets a higher resistance and more continuous stretching the folds of the ripple of the tube, during the passage of the shot column and of the wad.

round and star crimping ammunition

For this reason the star crimp requires a lower dose of powder. The advantage of the star crimp in hunting cartridges is the abolition of the sealing disc, which has eliminated, in part, the famous “empty pattern”; it tends to reduce the dispersion of 5%, because it gets, in the swarm of patter, the “melted “ disposition, facilitating the penetration of the air and thus improving the remaining speed of the lead. In the past, the star crimp gave certain loading problems, employing cartridge cases of poor length, voluminous powder and heavy charges, while today the problem is solved with the use of a cup obturator that allow to reduce to the minimum the height of the column of the wad.

Teresa Renda

16 ga shotgun huntin shooting

16 GA: GAUGE MEDIUM. THE FUTURE IS YOUR!

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Riccardo Ceccarelli, hunter

There are now a few years that I follow closely the events of 16 gauge, first as a neutral observer and then as President of the Italian Club that represents it. This gauge wasn’t ever produced in the world in important quantity, but that production is anyway very significant. And it is always in the limelight because its continuity and the talking about it. And this is a big factor of merit because, as said the lawyer Gianni Agnelli, founder of FIAT, “About Juventus, good or bad, it is important that we speak.”

Has been said a lot and always about this gauge, with the balance that has been, at least in the past, to criticism. But those days have passed and the minimum level of popularity has been reached, unable to delete it permanently, as it happened to the 14 gauge. Critics were not in the industry of arms, but in the public opinion, which passively go along with those who were the choices of the industries that had created expensive machineries for specific products.

The modern industry, in fact, decided to remove from the huge production the middle gauges as 16, but also 24 ga, 32 ga, leaving anyway a sufficient “diversity” of gauges for the hunters. This is a an historical fact, also if leaves a lot of things to think. But the world is changing and the industry in other sectors teaches, always in search of new or revision of the old if not yet fully exploited or if the society is again interested. On this second point, the gauge 16 may be best weapon of industry in the years to come.

remington 1100 16 gauge

For cars and motorcycles an happy customary

There are a lot of examples of review and success. In the automotive sector, the historical review of the Mini Minor had amazing success with audience; today it is one of the cars of most commercial liking. Equivalent satisfaction for the industry is giving from the new Fiat 500, which is reviving the glories of the old Fiat car. Both entered into a new business created by the industry and defined as “utilitarian chic car”. Even they are penetrating the USA market where this kind of car was never conceived.

16 gauge shotgun hunting shootingThe same applies to the motorcycle sector. After spending decades in testing fairings in the wind tunnel in search of performance, today many bikes back to the past. The legendary Vespa has allowed its modern reinterpretation with the modern scooter. For both recent achievements, the consensus is very high.

The industry of weapons is not behind compared to these concepts.

This is demonstrated by the investments of Browning with the production of the A5 where, although it isn’t necessary from a technical point of view, it was desired to revive the “hump” that has made the company famous with the immense “Auto 5″, and the large number of round body side by side shotgun (with the rounded receiver as in the nineteenth century), also produced by leading companies, as the Beretta 486 Parallelo. These products have a very modern technical level, but with a vintage look. So there’s an high level of attention by the companies.

The 16 gauge in the future

We start from the assumption that the 16 gauge, in its standard configuration, is designed to shoot an ounce of lead. But this has to be considered only the first data. Its range of loading is between 26 and 30. But today the hunting powders, already tried to strengthen the charges of 12ga and 20 ga, have a level of progressivity and containment of pressures such as to allow for the 16 charges of 32.34 gr. That is, in other terms, a modern shotgun in 16 gauge (not those of the grandparents of course, which moreover does not provide any advantage to the economy industry) is able to overlap the 12 almost completely. From here the step towards the codification of a magnum might be a short step.

But we mustn’t exaggerate in the optimism; on the other hand, even the current success of 28 gauge is related to its standard configuration, enhanced in the charge compared with the past, thanks to the increased efficiency of the current materials for the metal-working.

This binds to practical considerations: a range of loading from 26 to 32 gr is able to meet all the needs of modern hunting for which is delegated the smooth bore barrel. The only exception is the duck hunting, where we Europeans continue to insist with big cartridge, while in the United States the hunters are showing us that a good gauge 16 of adequate weight (I mean for example the 16 gauge mod. Remington 1100), is able to accommodate ammunition particularly suitable also for the ducks.

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But more than to satisfy this aspect of actual practical use, there is another aspect to which the 16 gauge is oh for a modern hunting. The reality is that the current and future international hunting will be an ever more connected to the leisure and the pursuit of personal satisfaction to those who practice it.

We’ll not hunt for hunger and this is also a wish for all of us, but we’ll do it for a good food. In the research of satisfaction, the industry will be particularly attentive to all those segments that promise potential and, it will try to stimulate where it believes to have possibility. The medium gauges 12 and 20 already amply fill the racks of hunters in the world, while the 16 gauge is a production potential of which the hunter is poorly equipped.

So there are good chances of selling that are what the gun making industry rightly pursues. So is possible to push on this gauge to revive markets and related productions. We have to do this not only producing weapons but also reviving the culture of the caliber, alongside a Club as our that perform a work of sheer passion. In the USA there is the “GA Society 16″ (www.16ga.com) that is very active.

16 ga society association

Also there is another factor of positivity. As was the case in all areas of the world, there is an increasing growth of women becoming more prominent and effective role in business and politics summit. And so it is in the hunt. This factor, in itself positive, it is also related to the caliber 16, which makes them equal to mans for its effectiveness and for its reduced weight.

We believe that the 16, the in-between gauge, put aside too soon, will may represent the top weapon in which to invest in the years to come.

The Club Calibro 16, with its fiercest supporters, is ready for the challenge.

Riccardo Ceccarelli

President of Italian Club 16 Gauge

www.calibro16.it

 

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THE VARIETY OF GAUGES IN A HUNTING SHOTGUN

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The origin of the definition of the gauges for smooth-bore weapons is attributed to the British who called them in relation to the number of spherical balls of the same diameter can be obtained from a pound of lead. For this reason, the smaller the gauge, the greater the number that identifies it. In the age of front loader firearms, there was no real definition of the gauge because black powder and lead were paid into the barrel and taking shape and volume dates from the tube.

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Turning to the creation of the cartridges, it was necessary to define standards so that all the ammunition produced for a shotgun had the same section. But there were many states with different measure units so in Liege, in 1911, were defined dimensions and related tolerances. This is true for the chamber of the cartridge that can take inside equal size cartridges, but the gauge of the barrel may vary so it can shoot balls also very different from each other. Let’s take an example. The Convention C.I.P. states that the chamber of cartridge can vary between 18.2 mm and 18.6 mm in gauge 16, and the chamber between 20.3 mm and 20.4 mm in gauge 12.

The work of the hunting shotgun

The shotgun has the purpose to perform a job using the energy produced by the combustion of gunpowder. Part of this energy is absorbed by the passive resistance of the barrel, another part is converted into heat and another part generates the thrust of the hunting shots. This last part is defined as “useful work” of shotgun. The energy called “kinetic energy” that animates the shots will be greater as much as greater will be the “useful work”.

The useful work of the shotgun is made up of three components: average pressure in the barrel, section of the barrel, length of the barrel. If we consider a length of fixed barrel, if the section is reduced, and therefore the gauge, increases the operating pressure. But this pressure can not increase without limit both for safety reasons, but also because it would distort the hunting shots that should lose their spherical shape. For this reason the weight of the charge that a rifle can launch remains linked to the diameter of the barrel, and then to the gauge. In the final analysis it is therefore possible to say that the smooth-bore hunting shot can shoot heavier loads if the caliber is large or, and this is very important, shotguns at the same weight charge develops lower pressures.

The gauges

Traditionally gauges of shotguns are divided into 4 categories:

1) BIG GAUGES – (4 – 8 – 10) – In practice no longer used (except the 10 in some countries) because are impractical to use and designed to shoot too heavy loads.

 2) AVERAGE GAUGES – (12 – 16-20) – Used a lot around the world. They are to be considered the best compromise for all the small game. The gauge 12 is the most used, but the use of gauge 20 is also good. The gauge 16 was not used and was almost disappeared until it is resumed in some countries. In Italy there is a very active Club (www.calibro16.it) bringing it back to its former splendor.

 3) SMALL GAUGES – (24-28 – 32-36) – Used in Europe for small birds, they have seen a rapid reduction in their use almost unti to disappear (24-32). Others gauges, instead, in recent years, have had a second life (28-36) also to be used on the fields of skeet shooting. In particular, the gauge 36, in its magnum version (ie. 410) has always had a wide use in the United States and is having an interesting use even in some European countries.

 4) MINIMUM GAUGES – (9 mm, 8 mm, 6 mm) – Not used to hunt for their low ability to break down the game.

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The prohibition in the USA and in most countries of Europe of the big guns allowed to develop in the 12-gauge and 20-gauge the Magnum concept. These have the ability to shoot effectively both standard charges of shooting shots that oversize that arrive at the bigger gauge. This development was made possible thanks to modern steel manufacturing industry and to hunting powder production.

Teresa Renda

Beretta, products, accessories, hunting, shooting, outdoor

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EFFECTIVENESS OF SHOTS HUNTING

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Teresa Renda woman hunterThe damaging power of the shot is not only determined by its mass and velocity, but also it is a consequence of the relationship between the characteristics of the projectile and those of the game. The number of wounds inflicted determinants for the killing of the game, in turn, depends on other additional variables such as the distance of the shot, the size of the animal and its strenght, all those characteristics of the weapon that shoots and that interact on the dispersion of the shot pattern, and, then, on the string of the same (choke of the barrel, the number of shot of the charge, presence of the container in the cartridge, etc …).

In physics the energy is defined as the ability possessed by a body to produce work, and in the case of the shot the work is to be understood as to download the energy on the game, via the impact on its body. Indeed, the powder burning in the barrel of the gun, producing a large quantity of gaseous mass, produces a work which in part is dispersed as heat, and in part is exploited to launch a projectile.

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In physics the energy that a shot has in his direction is defined “kinetic”, and it is amechanical energy of a body in motion (the shot), that is, the work done by the shot crossing the body of the game; in other terms it’s equivalent to the difference between impact energy and residual energy after the crossing.

Therefore, to calculate the kinetic energy of a bullet, at the various shooting distances, it is sufficient to know its mass (weight) and the residual velocity. In any case, the kinetic energy of the shot depends on several factors, such as speed and size of the shot, the physical size of the game and its natural defenses, such as thickness and strength of the skin, plumage, muscles, adipose or connective tissues …

The kinetic energy required for the killing increases, then, in relation to the mass, and the defenses of the animal. This amount of energy can be brought on the game both by a large shot at a low speed, either by a small and fast shot, but with different damaging capacity.

The first will have a lesion type trauma, the second will cause a deep wound. The kinetic energy that it is downloaded on the game is the sum of the energies of the individual shot that come on the target, the same amount of energy can therefore be carried by a few big shot, as many small shot.

To have success in shooting, we have to inflict more wounds, choosing the numbering of lead that ensures a sufficient residual energy and an appropriate density of shot pattern.

The general Journée, historical and scientist of ballistic, stated that the clean killing of game could be achieved with only 5 shot of adequate size. These have to be able both to harm the vital organs that to break the long bones. And to do that, they had to be equipped with adequate speed able to ensure the correct amount of energy.

Teresa Renda

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RIFLED BARREL AND HUNTING: CHOOSE THE GAUGE

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With the emergence of the rifled barrel it is increasingly important to have clear concepts that should guide the hunter to the choice of gauge. This is necessary also to avoid taking simply the weapon identified by the seller; we have to instead make an informed choice with his advice.

The choice of gauge, at the same energy transported, should tend towards the smaller gauge, not so “bad” for the shoulder, but that preserves at the same time the good qualities of precision and is chambered from a large number of manufacturers to find the right weapon and a wide availability of ammunition.

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But even with these concepts it is necessary to make careful assessments: shot too light, although very fast, may find difficulty in killing stubborn game, exploding at the first contact with the tissues and causing only superficial wounds. This in alternative to shot with hard point that, if not meeting bones, pierces the soft tissues being unable to bring to bear on the game the right amount of useful energy to kill, a basic criterion for the hunt.

The hunting literature lists with certain gauges of historical reliability if used in their range of rational use in terms of shooting distances. The list is extensive but we can recal the 7×57 Mauser, the 7×64, the 5,6×57, the 30-30 W, the 30.06, the W 270, the W 308, the 22-250 and the powerful 300 H & H and 357 H & H.

But obviously the choice of gauge is also in function of the type of weapon that you are going to use. The logic of modern hunting with rifled barrel goes toward the specialization of the weapon and as for our game the maximum limit to be taken into consideration is the 30.06, being good for a big lone male wild boar. For other game, such as fallow deer and roe deer, we can consider it more than enough. But the concept is still controversial and hotly-debated among hunters and there are two well-defined schools of thought: one that wants to privilege the powerful gauge to avoid loss of the animal, and the other that focuses on the need to hit the game on the vital point though it’s small so favors small and fast gauges.

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Passing by hunters to experts in ballistics applied to hunting, their advice is to choose the gauge as small as possible in relation to the game, able to carry enough energy on the game for a clean kill in a range that can reach 270-330 yd. This assessment has a security exception if you hunt dangerous animals (if you really want to go to Africa) for which an excess of energy is useful to the security of the hunter.

There are also some logical criteria that you should consider in choosing the gauge relating the habitual environment of hunting:

a) mountain hunting or in open spaces: in this case the logic is to opt for a fast gauge with light shot;

b) hunting in woodland: here quick, light gauges are not to be considered suitable and the best choice for gauges with heavy shot;

c) hunting in different grounds; the case is not specialized and the advice is to opt for an intermediate gauge but it should be able to take in shot with a good range of weights to cover all needs.

An assessment that leads to the small or fast gauge in the mountains there is the result of a factor, the angle of the site. Using in those places fast shot in straight trajectory will help us enormously in the calculation of the angle at which to set the final aim.

A final element of assessment, which makes someone happy and others unhappy, is the combination gun-ammunition. Not all the ammunition have the same in compliance with different weapons; tolerances in camerature set by the manufacturer, the choice of materials for the barrels and their elasticity (there are many types of steel with very different elasticity) may give different results at the shooting. In this case for a hunter the best way to evaluate is test his rifle with ammunition up to define the most suitable ammunition to interface with it.

Alessio Ceccarelli

Beretta, products, accessories, hunting, shooting, outdoor

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WHEN THE CARTRIDGE DOESN’T SATISFY US

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Sometimes we hear from some hunters that their rifle is excellent with a type of powder or cartridge, but not with others, that it shoots well with big lead and not with small shots, with strong charges and not with light charges, or other way around. These hunters, getting excited with speeches barroom, talk about wonder weapons that produce shot patterns of the same extent in the short and long-distance shooting, or shot patterns with peripheral shots that are equal in ability to penetrate than the central ones.

Those statements hide many inaccuracies and erroneous assessments, with unlikely attempt to explain the phenomenon of variability of the performance of weapons and shot cartridges, a phenomenon observable by everyone engages the hunt or the skeet shooting. Someone, instead, blames the gun or the ammunition for all the misfires, or enhance the quality at every success, not caring so to deepen that the effectiveness of the shot not only depends on the characteristics of these instruments, but of many other variables.

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It is known that the outcome of the shot depends not only on the characteristics of the gun or the cartridge, but also on the environmental and climatic conditions existing at the place of hunting. We can now speak of “temperament” of shotguns, because each weapon has its own temperament, manifested by the degree of compatibility with specific cartridges producing a high or a low value of velocity and pressure, or by the ability to produce pronounced or contained dispersions of shot. The weapons that have barrels of good length and small diameter can give acceptable ballistic results also firing cartridges with speed and pressure rather low, contrary to the weapons with barrels shorter and wider, which improves performance with powerful ammunition.

In the ammunition, on the pressure, on the speed and on the dispersion do not affect only the meteorological factors, but also the diameter of the cartridge chamber and of the bore, the extent of the choke and the angle of the barrel throat, the length and thickness of the tubes, and, minimally, the elasticity of the steel with which the barrels have been built. Therefore, the compatibility of weapons and ammunition is very important, although it can not compensate for an excessive sensitivity of the powder to the intense cold or to the environmental damp.

In fact, the ballistic performance of weapon and cartridge can not have “related” value respect to different “external” parameters to the system, because it also depends a lot on the atmospheric conditions existing in the place. Many hunters like to divide the cartridges in winter cartridges and summer cartridges.

A difference of atmospheric humidity of 10% can produce a variation of the initial velocity of lead of about 5 m/s with a single base powders, 3 m/s with a double base powders containing nitroglycerin. A difference of 1° C in the outside temperature, can cause a change in pressure in the barrel of about 3 bar. If this phenomenon occurs in a very short time, making unserviceable a cartridge that a few hours before killed a game, almost always the cause is found in the cartridge itself, and not in the atmospheric influence in so little time. In some areas of Italy, when there is an  atmospheric change, the cartridges may lose all or part of their efficacy, without the powder has had time to warn the external atmospheric mutation and to change its temperature inside of the cartridge case, or to absorb moisture through the plastic tube.

So when a good cartridge loses its effectiveness, it does it in a period of time long enough; if the phenomenon is realized in a short time, we can not speak of a good cartridge but of a munition that has some defect.

Teresa Renda

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HUNTING CARTRIDGES: ORIGINAL OR HOME-MADE?

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hunting womanThe cartridge is an important tool in hunting, because its operation depends on the outcome of the shot. Depending on the size, characteristics of the shotgun, kind of wild, firing range, environment and climate of the place of hunting, the hunter prefers a personal taste for a certain kind of ammunition.

This attitude is not followed by everyone, but, although in varying degrees, all of these conditions are important and determinant in the shooting.

The personal preference for the particular cartridges is, sometimes, not too rational; however, if the hunter does not have confidence in the cartridge that shoots, feels a lot of insecurity that inevitably increases the number of missed shots. Psychology and ballistics are mixed together in fact limiting the results of a day’s hunting.

Therefore, the hunter must be convinced to seek specific cartridges, and have the utmost account of an ammunition for its proven and effective performance, not for the color of the case and the box, not for the famous  name of the  powder.

It is unjustified the behavior of certain hunters who shoot regardless of any cartridge, or who uses only one type of ammunition for hunting, as otherwise it is not logical the attitude of those who are always looking a cartridge better then the previous, only to end up to blaming the cartridge in the case of “missed targets”. A little ‘balance” never hurts!

A good cartridge, if you decide to make a home loading, however, is the result of a rational loading, which claims experience on the behavior of various materials, theoretical knowledge of the basic physical laws that govern the entire phenomenon in arming explosive fire, as well that the motion of the pellets and their harmful effect on the game.

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You can then decide to load their own cartridges at home, or alternatively buy in the armory.

To have so excellent ammo, just buy the original brand cartridges. In the wide range of commercial products are excellent cartridges, where performance is effective in most of the operating conditions, only by changing the number of dots in relation to the size of the wild.

But if you need cartridges suitable for atmospheric temperatures too high or low, to a very humid climate, a reed with unusual drilling, or to particular shooting situations, only the loading personnel can solve the problem. Of course sometimes it will take a while to adjust a dose for the specific hunting requirements but modern powders much more stable than those of the past, give us a hand to move quickly toward a gratifying result. And then savor the taste of retro that has accompanied our grandparents in their passion. A world to be a bit ‘with them.

Teresa Renda

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THE RECOIL OF SHOTGUN: LET‘S KNOW IT

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The shot with a firearm gives at the same a violent backward movement which, in the case of long gun resting on the shoulder of the shooter, submit him to a violent blow, surely annoying but that can also be harmful if it isn’t within certain limits . But what happens in reality?

The explosion of gunpowder tends to separate the projectile from the weapon; in other words, it latter pushes the shot on the one hand and the gun in the opposite direction.

Speaking of a purely physical phenomenon is also possible to say that both elements will move in the their direction for an area that is inversely proportional to their mass. So ironically, if the rifle had not stopped, in his retrograde movement, from the shoulder of the shooter it would have a movement of 100 times less than that of the projectile (evaluation performed on a standard data, which provides that the gun weights 100 times more than the charge that launches. Example: rifle weight 3,200 gr and weight launched shot 32 gr).

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The recoil shotgun 

The sensation that produces the recoil on the shooter is obviously a function of the amount of kinetic energy produced in the explosion but also of the weight of the shotgun. It’s a well-known fact that firing the same ammunition by two shotguns different for weight the recoil felt is different and clearly lower for the gun that weights less.

The living force of the recoil is influenced by many factors: the weight of the shotgun, the weight of the shot charge (or projectile) including the material of wad and the burning rate of the powder. It is, however, independent of the value of the maximum pressure.

Shooters with a medium build resent a recoil of 4 kgm, factor that will make them lose their concentration worsening the quality of the shot.

Recoils with power about 4.5 kgm can be supported well by important build shooters as long as they engage hunts where they shoot rarely.

During hunts where the hunters tend to shoot with good frequency, such as those in bars, in the English hunts or to the small migratory, the recoil becomes an important factor that can affect the hunting results.

The speed of the recoil, a direct function of the burning rate of the gunpowder, is measured with a special instrument called “velocimeter”; in this the gun is placed on a horizontal axis capable of measuring, on a graduated rod, the weapon retrograde displacement during the shot. This instrument was used in the past, particularly in British plants for the production of ammunition.

Alessio Ceccarelli

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