Watch: What is Ballistic Coefficient?


Watch: What is Ballistic Coefficient?

Reloaders and shooters–especially rifle shooters–will often see the term “ballistic coefficient” in reference to the bullets they select. And for the record, a bullet is merely the projectile, NOT the entire hunk of ammo, which is called a cartridge.

Anyhow, this video by Gun Digest’s Phil Massaro explains BC and what it means. Basically, the rule of thumb is: The higher the BC, the more aerodynamic the bullet.

Now, let’s be real for a minute. Most of us don’t need to care about BC. Hunters who keep their shots below 250-300 yards do not need to get crazy technical about their projos. If you are using a bottleneck cartridge with enough oomph and a traditional bullet for that cartridge, it’s going to do the job. I’m talking about 308 Win, 30-06 Sprg, and the like.

But if you are shooting at long range at targets or game, you might need to think about your bullet’s BC.

In the first 20 years of my deer hunting “career,” I never used any bullet that had a good BC — most of my deer were taken with a 44 magnum carbine and the range never exceeded 115 yards. Just adding this to say that many successful hunters need never care about BC at all, because a big, slow bullet can do one heck of a good job on a deer.

Anyhow, here’s the video; hope you enjoy it.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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