A Ballistics Bibliography

For those of you with an urged to delve deeper into the field of ballistics the following reading list may be of some interest to you.  This list was compiled from several sources including bibliographies in some of the books listed, NTIS listings, and recommendations from associates in the various fields.  These books and reports were written by various acknowledged experts in the field and not gun rag writers.  None are light reading and most are fairly heavy on the math or technical information, but these probably most of the truly important works on the subject.  

An incredible wealth of ballistics information from the old Frankfort Arsenal, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and other government sources is available through the National Technical Information Service (www.ntis.gov) .  The problem is that much of it, such as the ground breaking internal ballistics research done at Frankfort Arsenal in the 40s and 50s was stored when the the projects ended or the arsenals closed down and was never declassified.  While a researcher can request declassification the process is long and convoluted and you need a "paid subscription" to NTIS in order to make full use of their search facilities.

I have recently been informed that many of these documents may be available online at http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/ .  Change the dropdown menu to "Technical Reports" and do some searches for the titles. Most of the papers  are available in PDF form.  Unfortunately,  many of these papers were photocopied repeatedly, so the quality sometimes is poor, but at least the information is there.  (Thanks to Ben T. for this information.)

Online searches will reveal a plethora of books on the subject of ballistics but keep in mind that many of them may be out of date, especially those published before the 1950s.

Please note that I cannot help you locate any of these books or documents.  However you might try the inter-library loan program at your local library or the online version


Exterior Ballistics
Ackley, P. O., Handbook for Shooters & Reloaders, Volumes I and II, by Publishers Press, Salt Lake City, 1962.

Bray, Derek, PhD., Aeromechanical Systems Group, DAPS, RMCS, Cranfield University, Shrivenham, Swindon, Wiltshire,  UK,
     External Ballistics, January 6, 2004, http://www.dcmt.cranfield.ac.uk/aeroxtra/exballs.htm, May 15, 2006  
(Details several courses
       given at Cranfield University on the subject along with notes and PowerPoint presentations.)

Cummings, Charles S., 2nd, Everyday Ballistics, Stackpole & Heck, Inc., New York, 1950, ASIN: B0007IXU6Q

Hatcher, Julian S., Hatcher's Notebook, 3rd edition, June 1962, Stackpole, ISBN 0811707954

Litz, Bryan, Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, Applied Ballistics, LLC., 2009, ISBN 9780615276618
      This is primarily a  text on the external ballistics as related to long range shooting and the selection of a proper drag model.  It does however contain some erroneous assumption in its discussion of terminal ballistics.

Lowry, E. D., Exterior Ballistics of Small Arms Projectiles, Research Dept., Winchester-Western Division, Olin Mathieson
     Chemical Corporation, January 1965, ASIN B0007FPINM

Mann, F. W., The Bullet's Flight From Powder to Target-- Ballistics of Small Arms,  1980, Wolfe Pub Co; ISBN 0935632042 

McCoy, Robert L., Modern Exterior Ballistics The Launch and Flight Dynamics of Symmetric Projectiles, 1999, Schiffer Publishing,
     Ltd.; ISBN 0764307207  (
This is probably the most up to date and complete work on the subject  There were some typos in the text that were not
       corrected at printing.  The corrections are available in PDF format from www.dexadine.com/mccoy.html.   Very heavy mathematics.

McShane, Kelley and Reno, Exterior Ballistics, University of Denver Press, 1953, ASIN: B0007E0YN2

Moulton, Forest R., Methods in Exterior Ballistics, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1962, ISBN 1114518514

Rinker, Robert A., Understanding Ballistics, Mulberry House Publishing, Corydon, IN, ISBN 0964559803, 1995.

------,  Understanding Firearm Ballistics, Basic to Advanced Ballistics Simplified, Illustrated and Explained, 1999, Mulberry House Publishing,  Corydon, IN, ISBN 0964559846

The above pretty much cover the general subject.  However, the following may be of interest to advanced students.  Warning!  These are VERY HEAVY on the math and not for the faint hearted or math challenged..  Most of these works came from the Ballistics Research Lab at Aberdeen proving Ground and are probably not commercially available except through the National Technical Information Service.   Most of the ones below are listed as references in McCoy's book, which you really should have if you are a serious student of ballistics.  I have listed some of the more interesting titles that I have come across in that book.

Carlucci, Donald, Sidney Jacobson, Ballistics: Theory and Design of Guns and Ammunition, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2008, 
ISBN 13:978-1-4200-6618-0 and 10:1-4200-6618-0

Bliss, Gilbert A., Mathematics for Exterior Ballistics, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, New York, 1944

Bradley, James W., An Alternative Form of the Modified Point-Mass Equation of Motion, BRL  Memorandum Report #3875,
     Ballistic Research Laboratories,  Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, November 1990

Cloutier, M., Methods for Computing Drag Coefficients from Ballistic Range Data Using the APL System, , DRFV-TN-2027/72,
     Centre de Recherches Pour la Defense (Defense Research Establishment), Valcartier, September 1972

Dickinson, E.R., Aerodynamic Effects of Blunting a Projectile Nose, BRL Memorandum Report  #1956, Ballistic Research
     Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 1964 

------, The Effect of Boattailing on the Drag Coefficient of Conic-Cylindrical Projectiles, BRL Memorandum Report  #942,
     Ballistic Research Laboratories,  Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 1954 

------, Some Aerodynamic Effects of Headshape Variation at Mach Number 2.44, BRL Memorandum Report  #838, Ballistic
     Research Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland,  1954 

Duncan, Louis and Engebos, Bernard, A Six-Degree-of-Freedom Digital Computer Program for Trajectory Simulation,  AD664116,
     Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, October 1967

Hager, W. W., DeJarnette, F. R., and Moore, F. G., Optimal Projectile Shapes for Minimum Total Drag,  NSWC TR-79-18,
     Dalhgren, Virginia, 1977

Hitchcock, H. P., Aerodynamic Data for Spinning Projectiles, BRL Memorandum Report # 620, 1947, Ballistic Research
     Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, August 1976,

Krasnov, N. F. and Morris, Deane N., Aerodynamics of Bodies of Revolution, American Elsevier Publishing, New York, 1970,
     ISBN 0444000763

Lieske, R. F., and Danberg, J. E., Modified Point Mass Trajectory Simulation for Base-Burn Projectiles, , AD-A248 292, Ballistic
     Research Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, March 1992

------, and Reiter, M. L., Equations of Motion for a Modified Point Mass Trajectory, Report #1314, Ballistic Research Laboratories, 
     Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, March 1966    

Moore, Frank G., Body Alone Aerodynamics of Guided and Unguided Projectiles at Subsonic, Transonic and Supersonic Mach
, Naval Weapons Laboratory, AD-754 098, Dahlgren, Virginia, November 1972, 

McCoy, Robert L., The Effect of Wind on Flat-Fire Trajectories, BRL Report # 1900, Ballistic Research Laboratories,  Aberdeen
     Proving Ground, Maryland, August 1976,

------, Estimation of the Static Aerodynamic Characteristics of Ordnance Projectiles at Supersonic Speeds,  AD-771 148, Ballistic
     Research Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, November 1973,

------, Mc Drag - A Computer Program for Estimating the Drag Coefficients of Projectiles, Technical Report ARBRL-TR-02293,
     Ballistic Research Laboratories, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, February 1981

The Modified Point Mass Trajectory Model, NATO Army Armaments Group, STANAG 4355,  Document AC/225-D/1319

Whyte, Robert H., "Spinner" - A Computer Program for Predicting the Aerodynamic Coefficients of Spin Stabilized Projectiles,
      General Electric Company, August 1969

------, SPIN-73 An Updated Version of the Spinnner Computer Program, AD915628, Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, New Jersey,
     November 1973

Interior Ballistics
Baker, J. G., The Development of a New Cartridge, by , "The American Rifleman, Vol. 112 No. 7, July 1964, page 33, 
     Journal of the National Rifle Association 

Corner, J., Ph.D.,  Theory of the Interior Ballistics of Guns, John Wiley and Sons, 1950

Firearms Pressure Factors, Wolfe Publishing Company, Prescott, AZ, 1990, ISBN 0935632859

Hunt, Colonel F. R. (ed.) Internal Ballistics, Philosophical Library, Inc., New York, 1951

Lowry, E. D., Interior Ballistics: How A Gun Converts Chemical Energy Into Projectile Motion, Doubleday. Garden City, N.Y, 
     1968,  ASIN B000F6XNIK

Robinson, Clark S., The Thermodynamics of Firearms, McGraw-Hill, 1943

The following may be of interest to advanced students.  Warning!  Have your degrees in thermodynamics and math  handy.  Most of these works came from government organizations and the aerospace industry and are probably not generally available except through NTIS.  I have listed some of the more interesting titles that have been brought to my attention.

Goldstein, Sidney, Interior Ballistics Modeling Applied to Small Arms Systems, Technical Report ARSCD-TR-79001 (ADA076175),
     US Army Armament Research and Development Command, Dover, NJ, 1979)

Krier, Herman and Summerfield, Martin, (ed), Interior Ballistics of Guns, Volume 66, Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics,
     American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1979,
ISBN 0915928329

Stiefel, Ludwig, (ed.), Gun Propulsion Technology, Progress in Astronautics And Aeronautics Vol. #109

Terminal Ballistics
There is very little up to date information on the technical aspects of terminal ballistics, and almost all of the earlier works are full of misinformation and erroneous conclusions.  The following have been recommended to me.  They are heavy reading.

Coat, Colonel James B. and Beyers, Major James C., Wound Ballistics - Medical Department United States Army in World War II,
     Surgeon General Dept of the Army, 1962, ASIN B000CBG0T2

Dodd, Malcolm, Terminal Ballistics: A Text and Atlas of Gunshot Wounds, CRC, 2005, ISBN 0849335779

Flis, William J., (ed.), Ballistics 2005: Vol 1: Exterior Ballistics, Interior Ballistics and  Vol 2: Terminal Ballistics and Vulnerability,
     Lethality and Wound Ballistics, 
22nd International Symposium of Ballistics, Vancouver, Canada,  DESTech, 2005,
     ISBN 1932078525  
(Note: These two volumes present the full printed text, with searchable CD-ROM, of over 165 presentations from the
       symposium given by the National Defense Industrial Association along with the International Ballistics Committee,  November 14-18, 2005, Vancouver,
       BC, Canada) 

MacPherson, Duncan, Bullet Penetration - Modeling the Dynamics and the Incapacitation Resulting from Wound Trauma,  
     Ballistic Publications, El Segundo, CA, 1994, ISBN 0964357704.  Now available in a second printing from

Wound Ballistics Review: The Journal of the International Wound Ballistics Association, Vol 1-1 through Vol 5-2, El Segundo,
     California, ISSN 1005-0305

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