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# Question: Further a bullet can travel = more amour penatration?

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posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 11:42 PM
As of above:
This question pops into my head.

You see if a bullet can travel further, does that mean it have more kinetic energy, to penetrate amour more easily?

posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 02:28 AM
the armour penetration of a projectile is based on potential energy , and the further a protectile travels the less potential energy it carries - factors such as gravity and air resistance all work to slow the projectile; so the highest armour penetration is at the moment it is fired and from then on the amount is reduced.

also the material of the projectile plays a significant role - but range is the limiting factor.

posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by Harlequin

It's only air resistance that slows the bullet down. Gravity makes it faster, in the direction of the ground

posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 07:17 AM

Originally posted by Humster
As of above:
This question pops into my head.

You see if a bullet can travel further, does that mean it have more kinetic energy, to penetrate amour more easily?

Range isn't necessarily tied to armor penetration.
Range is usually related to muzzle velocity (higher mv = longer range). That's simple physics. Once the bullet exits the barrel, it starts to drop toward the center of the earth at ~ 9.8 m/sec/sec. The higher the mv, the more horizontal distance it can cover before that 1g acceleration downward brings it to the ground.

Muzzle Velocity is also tied to kinetic energy. The kinetic energy of an object is (mass x velocity squared)/2. Thus, higher velocity means much higher kinetic energy.

Kinetic Energy is a big part of armor penetration. This may seem to be at odds with my initial comment, but it isn't. Another big part of armor penetration is the density and hardness of the penetrator. Concentrating as much of that kinetic energy into the smallest possible impact point is a huge part of armor penetration, which is why metals like tungsten and depleted uranium are popular in the role.

posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:53 AM
well put stormhammer.
Definitely agree that kinetic energy plays a role, but the density of the projectile is also important. Say a steel shell was shot a steel tank (assuming that the density of the steel is the same). The energy of the shell is in the form of kinetic energy. As the steel shell impacts the steel tank, the shell will deform and/or fragment. This deformation and fragmentation lowers the amount of energy that the shell has available to impart onto the tank armor. Now say a shell made of depleted uranium and it is fire at a steel tank. As the shell impacts the tank, it retains is shape b/c uranium is more dense than steel. More energy is transfered into the armor of the tank increasing penetration, and not on the deformation of the shell.

Potential energy has nothing to do with the penetration capabilities of a projectile. There are different types of potential energy: gravity, chemical, electrical, thermal, and elastic. The only potential energy that a projectile would have would come from its distance from the ground or any explosive warhead that it might have.

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