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Discussion Starter #1
Curious if y'all have some sources to read up on internal ballistics? Ideally, online and easily accessible.
I have read Understanding Ballistics by Rinker, but I have more questions than answers. It seems most books are on external ballistics (I have read all the Litz books), and this is what most think of when you say ballistics.

Thanks in advance
 

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Modern Exterior Ballistics, by Robert McCoy is a good one.

Cheers
 

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Curious if y'all have some sources to read up on internal ballistics? Ideally, online and easily accessible.
I have read Understanding Ballistics by Rinker, but I have more questions than answers. It seems most books are on external ballistics (I have read all the Litz books), and this is what most think of when you say ballistics.

Thanks in advance
Unfortunately, there is no good internal ballistics primer to get the eager reader up and running on internal ballistics. Nobody takes a person with a high school understanding of maths and thermodynamics and takes them through to an internal ballistics model capable of a realistic rendering of what you can expect with a given powder with given loading conditions. And that is a pity. As matters stand, you have to pick through what there is, gaining a glimmer of understanding here and there, and eventually you get a proper understanding of the subject.

However, you say you have lots of questions, and that is good. So, pile in and ask some and we will see how we go...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Came across Ballistics - Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition by Carlucci.
Wow! Way over my head.

I’ll look at McCoy, but the title “Exterior” leads me to believe it will cover little, if any, internal ballistics.
 

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Yeah..... Misread you originally.....🥺
 

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Came across Ballistics - Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition by Carlucci.
Wow! Way over my head.
Don't be hard on yourself, that is not a good book for learning about internal ballistics. The authors scamper through internal ballistics in barely more than a hundred pages, and - as is often the case with books that cover the whole of everything - they write in an abbreviated shorthand. So you can follow along if you know the subject already, but it is very difficult if you do not. And, the set questions a the ends of the chapters are designed so that the student can fill in the details not covered in the text - which I hate.

For me, the best book on internal ballistics is "Interior Ballistics" edited by F. R. Hunt published by the Philosophical Library in 1951. It is available online for free if you Google it. It is still pitched at a level above what you are looking for, but it is a nice mixture of experiment and theory.

Steve Faber seems to have passed on and his website in which he did some nice derivations of the Resal equation and other internal ballistics stuff has been taken down. But if you enter


into the "Wayback machine" at archive.org you can recover the website and read through his stuff, which I am sure you will find interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, will look at those sources. See if there is something I can wrap my head around.
 

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Here is a list of what are probably the most often cited books on internal ballistics. Most of them are freely available online in a pdf version.

C. S. Robinson “The Thermodynamics of Firearms” McGraw Hill, 1943
This has the virtue of being the first book on internal ballistics printed in English. Up to this point, all of the open literature on internal ballistics was published in French, German or Russian. Research in English and American ballistics laboratories had been published as internal reports, not available to the public. The book goes into detail on the thermochemistry of burning powders, but has very little to say on the modelling of the internal ballistics of guns. Not available online that I can find.

J. Corner “The Theory of the Interior Ballistics of Guns” Wiley, 1950
This is the “classic” text on the theory of “classical” internal ballistics. Every serious student of internal ballistics should have this on their bookshelf. It is basically a statement of the state of the art in British research at the end of WWII, when the British had hugely stepped up their experimental and theoretical research efforts in internal ballistics, funded by the large budgets that suddenly became available for their work. This is available online.

F. R. W. Hunt “Internal Ballistics” The Philosophical Library, 1951
This is an edited collection of contributions by a number of British ballisticians. It goes into the basic theory of internal ballistics in some detail and there is a good description of the experimental work and methods that is missing from Corner’s book. This is available online

“Elements of Armaments Engineering - Part Two Ballistics” Engineering Design Handbook, AMCP 706-107, 1963
This book covers internal and external ballistics and does a good job of the basics. It does not go into any serious detail though. This is available online

“Interior Ballistics of Guns” Engineering Design Handbook Gun Series, AMCP 706-150, 1965
This is a more serious effort and is on a par with Hunt’s “Internal Ballistics” in its scope and depth. It is interesting, though, that the experimental methods described date from the war twenty years earlier, and this book is not an advance on Hunt. This is available online

L. E. Brownell “Elements of Internal Ballistics - Russo-German Methods” Appendix III, University of
Michigan Technical Reports in Internal Ballistics” 1966

This is mainly a translation of chapters 1 through 5 of a German text, “Innere Ballitick”, by Waldemor Wolff, 1961. This was written in some frustration by Brownell, who could not find any printed works in English. Brownell wrote, “When Michigan investigators looked for unclassified U.S. literature on ballistics they found it to be almost non-existent. The reasons for this seem to be that 1) the United States Army classifies nearly all of its ballistic research; and that 2) there is no journal in the United States which is suitable for printing technical articles on ballistic research. Therefore, the Appendices are an attempt to alleviate this problem in part by presenting technical articles from the University of Michigan
This work is notable in that - as far as I can see - it is the first description in English of how vivacity is related to the burning rates of powders. This is now commonly used by powder companies to quantify the burning rate of their powders.
Not available online that I can find, except in a simple text version, which makes the equations unintelligible.

SERABRYAKOV, M. E. “Interior Ballistics”, 1949. Available in English from Air Technical Intelligence Translation, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 1968
This was the text book for Soviet schools of military science and shows how ballistics evolved in a parallel but isolated way from ballistics in the West. It does not actually add very much to the body of knowledge than can be found in the main English texts of this period though. This is available online

H. Krier, M. Summerfield “Interior Ballistics of Guns” Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, Vol. 66, 1979
This book contains much of the material of the earlier 1965 work of the same name. But it brings the state of the art up to date and describes how the main topic of research was now the potentially destructive pressure waves that could occur in guns, and how to mitigate this by suitable ignition methods. Not available online that I can find.

“Handbook on Weaponry” Rheinmetall, 1982 (Translation of "Taschenbuch fur den Artilleristen” )
Rheinmetall in Germany had published a handbook since the 1930’s but it was in German and after repeated requests, they produced an English version in 1982. It covers the basics and is thorough in a Germanic sort of way. This is available online

C. L. Farrar, D. W. Leeming “Military Ballistics - A Basic Manual” Brassey’s Defense Publishers, 1983
This book was written for officers attending the Royal College of Military Science at Shrivenham in England. It is somewhat abbreviated, but all the basics are there. It has a surprisingly good section on closed bombs. Not available online.

D. E. Carlucci, S. S. Jacobson “Ballistics - Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition” CRS Press, 2013
This is a text book covering internal ballistics, transitional ballistics, external ballistics and terminal ballistics. It scampers through internal ballistics in just 100 pages and suffers in intelligibility as a result. It is also rather unbalanced, spending ten pages deriving the Lagrange pressure gradient equations which should only have taken two pages. Sidney Jacobson’s contribution to the “Interior Ballistics of Guns” in 1979 was far more thorough and readable. Surprisingly, this is available online - and in a version which has more detail in it than the book.
 

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Glad you did that, Mike!
 

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I came across this thesis - Computational Interior Ballistics Modeling and wanted to share.
Yes, I almost included that in my list, and it contains a lot of good stuff, but really at the end of the day it is a sloppy piece of work and misses out a lot of detail.

Take Table 10 for example, where a 308 Winchester has a bore diameter of 0.5"...! He is obviously describing a 50 Browning with a 72 inch barrel, but then the load is 34.4 grains of IMR 4350..... That would hardly get the bullet out of the case!

And then, having described Coppock's and Corner's analytic system, he only puts in the peak pressures on the pressure curves without giving us the details of how he derived them.

This piece is typical of its type unfortunately, where a lot of the "research" done these days is in the form of a Masters dissertation and unfortunately his (it is always a he) supervisors have not held his feet to the fire and insisted that the details are all there and correct. This is symptomatic of the fact that "classical" internal ballistics is now a mature science which was pretty much wrapped up by the middle of the last century.
 
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