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Tasty crow.

First, let me say I do not like each and every page in Handgunner. However, I learned long ago the technique of turning the page if something didn't interest me. Having said that, I just renewed my subscription for another five years. I guess I'll have to risk carpal tunnel syndrome to escape the Whinery section!

Now, to the point. I promise I am not a crank or quack. My father taught handguns to officer in WWII and when I was five years old, he taught me to use a handgun (a High Standard HD Military Model, which I still have). I was also allowed, at age six, to ask for a box of cartridges and the "HD" and I would hunt ground squirrels in the forest around our home. I've been reloading since I was 10, graduated first in my police academy class and also have an IQ of 160 and change. Yeah, I know, some of that is just bragging, but it builds my case, bear with me.

Recently, a very well known writer put into print the awesome power of some handgun bullets, some reaching over 100,000 RPM ... screech! I'm not going to embarrass anyone with names, so please no flamers. I waited for someone else to cry foul before I wrote this but alas, I am alone. I've done the math attempting to find a result anywhere near 100,000 RPMs and it's just not possible. If you take a bullet and push it down a barrel of 1:16" your bullet is going to leave the barrel traveling one revolution for every 16" of travel, eliminating gravity, drag and associated effects. I have tried this with the fastest twist currently used by us, which is 1:7".

I will gladly eat my crow with Tabasco sauce if someone can show me the error of my ways.

Philip Sturgill

Via e-mail

Thanks for your nice comments about Handgunner, Phil, but I hope you like your crow medium-rare! Get out the salsa because I'm afraid that "famous" gun-'riter was correct. Many bullets (even the lowly .45 ACP) go tens of thousands of RPMs and some rifle rounds can hit 250,000 RPM or Jaster! The very simple .formula of MV (muzzle velocity) x (12 + twist rate) x 60 = RPM. So, a bullet traveling 2,800 fps from a 1:8 twist rate barrel looks like this: 2,800 x (12/8) x 60 = 252, 000 RPM. So, let's say a lowly .45 ACP is going 850 fps from a 1:16" barrel, the RPM is: 850 x (12/16) x 60 = 38,250 RPM. Damndest thing, ain't it? So Phil, let me know how that crow tastes, eh? Thanks for being a good sport.

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Author:Sturgill, Philip
Publication:American Handgunner
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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