23.07.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2016
Influence of pellet seating on the external ballistic parameters of spring-piston air guns
International Journal of Legal Medicine
- Ronald Werner, Benno Schultz, Matthias Frank
In firearm examiners’ and forensic specialists’ casework as well as in air gun proof testing, reliable measurement of the weapon’s muzzle velocity is indispensable. While there are standardized and generally accepted procedures for testing the performance of air guns, the method of seating the diabolo pellets deeper into the breech of break barrel spring-piston air guns has not found its way into standardized test procedures. The influence of pellet seating on the external ballistic parameters was investigated using ten different break barrel spring-piston air guns. Test shots were performed with the diabolo pellets seated 2 mm deeper into the breech using a pellet seater. The results were then compared to reference shots with conventionally loaded diabolo pellets. Projectile velocity was measured with a high-precision redundant ballistic speed measurement system. In eight out of ten weapons, the muzzle energy increased significantly when the pellet seater was used. The average increase in kinetic energy was 31 % (range 9–96 %). To conclude, seating the pellet even slightly deeper into the breech of spring-piston air guns might significantly alter the muzzle energy. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that this effect is taken into account when accurate and reliable measurements of air gun muzzle velocity are necessary.