Ballistic Coefficient Tables

I am constantly asked where to get ballistic coefficient tables for various bullets.   There is a built in BC table in RSI's Shooting Lab software which I compiled for RSI and have been given permission to publish the table here.  In addition I generated a table of G7/G8 BCs for military caliber bullets from data provided by Aberdeen Proving Grounds as well as conversions via Shooting Lab, and form Brian Litz's book "Applied ballistics for Long Range Shooting." and.  Both are in MS Excel format.

Every attempt has been made to insure that these tables are accurate and up to date but no warranty is expressed or implied as to their accuracy or usefulness.   In addition, no attempt was made to remove discontinued bullets from the tables.  For the most current information you should always contact the manufacturer's directly, and most companies have the data on their websites.  If you discover any errors please let me know by clicking here.

For those who wonder why I don't keep the tables update, the work involved is tremendous and I simply don't have the time.  If you'd like to volunteer for the job click here.

I strongly suggest that you read the information on ballistic coefficients on the external ballistics page so you will know and understand the pit-falls and fallacies of BCs, by clicking here.


Note that there are two "standard" sets of meteorological conditions in common use.  conditions" refer to an assumed  used to standardize computations.  The older one, is known as "Standard Metro" or "Army Standard" and the more modern "standard" is called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard. The characteristics of these two "standards" are listed below.

  Standard Metro ICAO
Altitude Sea level (0') Sea level (0')
Temperature 59° F 59° F
Barometric pressure 29.5275" Hg 29.9213" Hg
Humidity 78% 0%

While they are similar, the different parameters do have a slight affect on calculations and in effect change the standard atmospheric density by about 1.8 percent.  Under ICAO conditions the speed of sound 1116.5 f/s and under Standard Metro conditions it is 1120.27 f/s.

Since a quoted ballistic coefficient depends on atmospheric density, the same bullet has two different BCs depending on the conditions used. If a quoted BC based upon the "Standard Metro" conditions is used in a ballistics program based upon the ICAO standard the BC needs to be modified by multiplying it by .982.  Conversely, ICAO based BCs need to be multiplied by 1.018.  While this is a very small change and has little effect at short (under 600 yards) range it does have an effect at long ranges.  The table below gives what various manufacturers use.

Mfgs BC Basis

Berger   ICAO
Barnes   Std Metro
Hornady   Std Metro
Nosler   ICAO
Lapua ICAO
Speer  They don't know.  They use "local conditions" 
Sierra   Std Metro
Woodleigh   No Info received
Winchester   Std Metro
GI APG ICAO

A word to the wise. Many commercial manufacturer give rather generous BCs for their bullets because: a) they want to look good--high BCs sell bullets; b) they were derived by visual shape comparison rather than actual firing data; or c) they were derived from short range firings rather than long range firings (which are more difficult to do). You should confirm your calculations by actual firing if you require exact data. Several manufactures have recently "readjusted" some of their BCs to more closely conform to actual firing data. For a more in-depth discussion of ballistic coefficients see the section below.


Commercial G1 BC Table

This is a list of the manufacturer’s published "G1" ballistic coefficients (BCs) for commercial rifle bullets currently manufactured by Barnes, Berger, Breneke, Hornady, Lapua, Nosler, Sierra, Speer, Swift, and Woodleigh from data provided by the manufacturers as of March, 2009.  Handgun bullets are not included in the compilation.  Bullets listed as "Govt" are various US military bullets converted to the G1 multiple BC Sierra format to closely match published government trajectory data.

"G1" BCs means they were calculated using the original blunt-nosed, flat-based standard projectile drag model designed in the 1870's by Krupp of Germany.  Ballistic coefficients were originally defined by Ingals as a number indicating velocity erosion due to air drag for a given bullet compared to a standard projectile of the same shape- 1 inch in diameter and weighing 1 pound. By sticking with this 120-year-old non-aerodynamic standard, bullet companies ensure their BCs will be as large as possible.  This explains why some 30 caliber VLD bullets claim a BC of over 1.0 (obviously a wrong drag model).  As long as there are shooters who believe their rifle can be made to shoot like a laser with the proper bullet selection, there will be a marketing value to inflated BC's; and the industry will be hesitant to publish properly calculated BCs.

The G1 model is not really a suitable standard projectile shape for modern bullets, it is still the most commonly published basis for BCs.  However, owners of Shooting Lab can convert these G1 BCs to other more appropriate drag models.

The velocity "Limit' columns given for some bullets provide additional information that is used by Sierra's ballistic software.  Rather then calculating a proper BC from a standard projectile of the same shape as the bullet, Sierra employs multiple G1 based BCs within specified velocity ranges to adjust the G1 drag model.  This attempt to make G1 work with modern bullets is not the preferred or best way to model trajectories for modern aerodynamic bullets as it create velocity discontinuities  in the data.  Apparently Sierra now includes a "smoothing algorithm" in their Infinity software to minimize the discontinuities but they are still there.

To download the current (2009-12-01) Excel spreadsheet of commercial BCs click here. 


Military Caliber G7 BC Table

This table provides the G7 or G8 BCs for some current US Military caliber bullets and several foreign and commercial bullets as determined by Aberdeen Proving Grounds, conversion via ShootingLab, and the work of Brian Litz.  This data is only usable if you have software capable of handling the G7 and G8 drag models.

To download the current (2012-04-18) Excel spreadsheet of  confirmed G7/G8 BCs for various bullets click here


Please email comments or questions to Fr. Frog by clicking here.


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Disclaimer

Every attempt has been made to insure that these tables are accurate and up to date but no warranty is expressed or implied as to their accuracy or usefulness.
  For the most current information you should contact the manufacturers directly

Updated 2012-04-18