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Gun Glossary - Letter R
Index of Firearm & Gun Terminology

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Letter - R Page Updated: 06 March 2003

RAIL INTERFACE SYSTEM (RIS): Attachment system used to accommodate the use of various devices on a firearm.  The RIS is comprised of a series of rigid grooved rails, integrated into a hand guard that replace the stock hand guards on a rifle, carbine or sub-machine gun.  The grooved rails are of the Picatinny type or Mil Spec 1913.  These rails are created with tremendous rigidity to improve zeroing capabilities.  All SOPMOD accessories, except for the sound suppressor, are designed to fit the RIS.  The Rail Interface System (RIS) is designed and manufactured by KAC (Knights Armament Company).  The term RIS is a trademark of KAC. The generic term and military noun nomenclature for this family of attachment systems is type classified as Modular Weapons System or MWS.

RAIL INTERFACE SYSTEMô (RIS)

See also Modular Weapons System or MWS.

Information Courtesy of:

Knight's Armament Company
7750 9th Street South West
Vero Beach, Florida 32968

Phone: (561) 778-3700
Fax: (561) 569-2955
 
http://www.KnightsArmament.com


RAM:
The main shaft of a metallic cartridge reloading tool.  

RAM ROD: Wooden or synthetic shaft used to ram or load a ball, mini-ball or other projectile type into a muzzle loading firearm.  The term is also used to refer to the boss or person in charge.

RANCH RIFLE: A carbine length saddle or field rifle that is easy to handle and operate on horse back or in confined spaces.  Also know as a saddle gun.  Several companies make a Ranch Rifle or Carbine including Ruger, Savage and Winchester as well as many AR15 variants in carbine length.  They are typically center fire autoloaders or center fire lever action models.  Ranchers and outdoorsmen have long recognized the advantages of these small, reliable autoloaders.  Ideal for carrying in a saddle scabbard, pickup truck, camper, or afoot.  The Winchester Model 94 is a lever action saddle or ranch rifle that has been used by farmers and ranchers for over 100 years.

Ruger Ranch Rifle
Ruger Ranch Rifle

RANGE: The distance measured from the firing point of the firearm to the target.  Also a place where rifle and pistol shooting is conducted.

RANGE OFFICER(S):  A person or the persons who are in charge of the safe operation of a range or a shooting competition.  Also know as Range Safety Officer(s)  Abbreviated RO.

RANGE SAFETY OFFICER(S):  A person or the persons who are in charge of the safe operation of a range or a shooting competition.   Also know as Range Officer(s).  Abbreviated RSO.

RANGER: A member of a group of U.S. soldiers specially trained for making raids either on foot, in ground vehicles, or by airlift. For more information on U.S. Army Rangers - Click Here -

RANGER SPECIAL OPERATIONS VEHICLE (RSOV):  The Ranger Special Operations Vehicle is a Land Rover Defender design that was introduced after the Persian Gulf War. Produced by Land Rover's SVO (Special Vehicle Operations), the SOV was designed as a rapid defensive fighting platform. The RSOV is used not as an assault vehicle, but as a method for rapidly applying forces to key locations in the Ranger's fast-paced battlefield. These modified Land Rover Defender vehicles are used by U.S. Army Rangers for enhanced mobility, especially during airfield seizures and emergency medical evacuations. Medical variants of the RSOV Defender known as Medical Special Operations Vehicles MEDSOV have fold-down racks capable of carrying six litter patients.

The Ranger Special Operations Vehicle (RSOV)
By Scott R. Gourley - July 2001

One of the lesser-known mobility platforms for U.S. Army special operations missions is the Ranger Special Operations Vehicle (RSOV).

Originally fielded in 1992 as a replacement for the M151-series "gun jeeps," the RSOV design is based on the Land Rover Defender Model 110. Currently fielded in multiple configurations, the vehicles provide each of the three battalions in the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment with a versatile tactical transportation platform capable of moving Rangers and their equipment in a variety of operational environments.

In citing the advantages of the RSOV systems over the old M151s, Rangers identify improvements in a number of areas. For example, while the RSOV meets the same mission parameters and requirements as the M151 -- it fits on all aircraft that might be used in Ranger operations -- the vehicles are more dependable, have superior suspensions, carry larger numbers of Rangers "to the fight" and provide a superior firing platform for accommodating the Rangers' larger gun systems.

As summarized by one RSOV operator, "The most important asset that the RSOV provides us is the capability to move combat power [Rangers and heavier weapons] around the battlefield quickly."

The RSOV chassis measures 173.8 inches long, 70.5 inches wide, 76 inches high (without gun mount) and possesses a ground clearance of 10 inches. When fully loaded, the vehicle weighs 7,734 pounds. A four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine provides the RSOV with a fully loaded range of 200 miles, extended by 50 miles per extra five-gallon fuel can.

Stowage and configuration features include a Mk19 or .50-caliber main weapon, M60/M240G mount, Stinger missile stowage rack, multiple storage compartments and straps, concertina mounts, vehicle lashing points and a 7,000-pound-capacity winch.

In addition to being transportable by all U.S. Air Force tactical cargo aircraft, the RSOVs are internally transportable in both MH-47 and MH-53 helicopters.

The basic RSOV crew configuration includes a driver/team leader, a truck commander (TC) and a top gunner. However, capacity can range up to seven Rangers depending on mission requirements. Additional positions might include an antitank operator, radiotelephone operator or a dismount team typically consisting of an M249 squad automatic weapon gunner, M203 gunner and rifleman.

Ant armor capabilities can come from the M3 84 mm Carl Gustav rifle, Javelin, AT-4 or light antitank weapons.

In addition to the advantages cited above, in the RSOV's seating configuration Rangers face out in all directions, providing greater security than any other platform currently in the Army's inventory.

In terms of tactical signature, operators note that the RSOV's four-cylinder turbo diesel engine runs more quietly than other similarly sized platforms. "Force-on-force engagements have proven that the enemy normally does not hear the RSOV coming until it's too late to set up an ambush," adds one operator. "As a result, most of our engagements using RSOVs could be considered 'chance contacts' with an unprepared enemy force."

There are 12 RSOVs in the "Alpha Company" of each of the three ranger battalions. The vehicles are fielded in three platoons, each platoon encompassing two sections of two RSOVs and two Kawasaki KLR 250 motorcycles.

For a typical operation, both vehicles in an RSOV section would be equipped with M240-series machine guns at the forward TC station with one vehicle carrying a .50-caliber machine gun and the other sporting a Mk19 grenade launcher at the top gunner position. In the words of one RSOV TC, "It certainly is a lot of firepower rolling up on the enemy."

Yet in spite of the firepower capabilities, Ranger tactical planners are quick to clarify the vehicle's combat limitations:

"The RSOV is not a fighting platform," explains 1st Lt. Chris Ayers, an RSOV platoon leader in Company A, 1st Ranger Battalion. "It's a means of transportation. It's a means of moving people around quickly with crew-served weapons. The whole idea is to move out quickly and put the equipment in position to defend somewhere with those heavy weapons."

In addition to the RSOVs with their crew-served weapons, each Ranger battalion has two medical variants of the Defender known as medical special operations vehicles (MEDSOVs). Instead of the weapon mounts found on standard RSOVs, the MEDSOV variant has fold-down racks capable of carrying six litter patients. Along with its transported casualties, a typical MEDSOV crew would include a driver, a TC and two or three medics to treat the wounded.

A third variant of the RSOV is used by the Ranger battalion mortar platoon. Known as MORTSOVs, the platoon's two Defenders -- they also have three Hummers -- replace the top-gun configuration with storage boxes and guy wires that allow the vehicle to carry thirty 120 mm mortar rounds along with the extra equipment required by the platoon. In addition to its onboard carrying capacity, the MORTSOVw can be used to tow the platoon's 120 mm mortars.

Ranger fleet planners indicate that RSOVs have a projected 20-year life cycle. Battalions plan to keep the vehicles in their inventories throughout this period. To ensure their continued tactical viability, the systems will likely undergo a near-term upgrade to improve the suspension, to equip them with a wider tire for a more stable ride and to reposition the spare tire on the front of the vehicle.

Longer-term consideration for a future replacement vehicle has already started, but planning remains in its early stages. No specific designs have been released at this time.


Copyright © 2002 by The Association of the U.S. Army - Used with Permission.


RAPID FIRE:
is a type of pistol match or a stage of the National Match Course of fire where a string of five shots are fired consecutively during a period of ten seconds. A Rapid Fire Match is a series of four such strings and the National Match Course includes two strings.

RAPID FIRE PISTOL: is a special design of competitive 22 caliber short weapon for firing in international rapid fire competition. It's outstanding characteristics are minimum recoil, dependability and fast semi-automatic operation.

RECEIVER: The housing for a firearm's breech (portion of the barrel with chamber into which a cartridge or projectile is loaded) and firing mechanism.   Receiver 2.  The portion of a firearm that contains the operating parts and into which the barrel is fitted.  Also know as the FRAME and sometimes referred to as the firearm's "action."

RECOIL: The rearward motion or "kick" of a gun upon firing.  Recoil in shooting, is the practical effect of Newton's Third Law of Motion: for every action there is and opposite and equal reaction. Recoil is typically explained in 3 separate terms: Generated Recoil; Physical Recoil; and Anticipated Recoil.  For more information on recoil see the information block below.

Generated Recoil: The amount of force exerted on the firearms action, stock or grip.  The factors affecting this force are the charge or amount and type of powder in the cartridge and the weight of the projectile. The internal pressure is created by the rapidly expanding gasses that are created when the solid propellant or gun powder ignites and turns into a gas. The only way to modify the amount of force is to reduce the charge or the bullet weight. Generated recoil is a constant if all variable are left unchanged. 

Physical Recoil: The amount of force exerted through the firearms action and stock or grip to the shooter. This force is also referred to as Felt Recoil or Perceived Recoil. Though the amount of Generated Recoil is constant, there are several factors that effect the forces on the shooter, if the variables of the chambered load are left unchanged. Additional information on the factors that can be used to reduce felt recoil are listed below.

Anticipated Recoil: Probably the most dangerous form of recoil, is anticipated recoil.  In firearms as with most things in life, 90 percent of the battle is fought and won in the mind. If you are psyched out and nervous about or fear the recoil, you are going to have a bad experience. If you use  the proper shooting stance and apply the steady hold factors, the shooting experience will be fun and you will normally ask for more. Nervous and fearful shooters often do not employ a proper shooting stance and may be brutalized by the recoil of a Big Bore Rifle or Large Caliber handgun as they are not mentally and physically prepared to take a shot.

Recoil Reduction: Physical, Felt or Perceived Recoil can be moderated by the shooters: Grip, Stance, Mindset and Reduction or Absorption systems installed in the stock or in the action. Muzzle Breaks and Compensators are often used on Rifles and for Sporting handguns. Breaks and Compensators vent some of the gasses using a cut or vent added to or cut into the end of the barrel. Other muzzle breaks screw onto the end of a threaded barrel and feature vents, cuts or holes that allow the gas to expand and therefore not have as much time in the barrel to push back against the action and the shooter. 

Butt Pads placed on the butt stock of a rifle are the cheapest and probably the most effective means of reducing the force exerted on the shooter. Modern Recoil Reduction Systems in rifles are typically installed in the stock and use a dampening system with mercury or another heavy metal that moves inside a tube to dampen and reduce recoil. In addition to the reducer tubes, adding weight to the stock can help but are generally less effective that the dampers. In handguns, a dual spring guide rod and stiffer weight recoil springs are often used to reduce the amount of energy transmitted to the shooter. The Harts Recoil Reduction System uses a mercury insert in the guide rod similar to those found in rifles, while the Sprinco Recoil Reducer uses a dual spring guide rod.

Synthetic or rubberized grips on a handgun can reduce the amount of Physical / Felt / Perceived Recoil. Other factors that can effect Physical / Felt / Perceived Recoil are the style and composition of the stock, with a straight line stock, absorbing more energy. The total weight of the firearm is also an important factor in the amount of force transmitted to the shooter. Many large caliber handguns have heavy weight frames to absorb some of the transmitted energy. 

Big Bore Rifles are typically 10 to 12 pounds and adding additional weight to the stock can further reduce the amount of force. Many people feel that composite laminate wood or synthetic stocks absorb more of the Physical / Felt / Perceived Recoil than do traditional wooden stocks. My personal experience does not prove this to be true if the wooden stock is of solid material and the proper weight for the chambered load. Most custom and expensive Big Bore Rifles still use a solid wooden stocks with the traditional dampening tube installed in the stock.


416 Rigby, Brevex Magnum Mauser, 20" Stainless Steel Barrel - Ryan Breeding - Rifle maker

A Word About Recoil
Written by Dave Estergaard - Father of the .470 Mbogo
Web URL: http://www.470mbogo.com

Everyone has his or her own tolerance to recoil both generated and anticipated. I've found that most people are worried more about the anticipated recoil but once they have tried to shoot a large bore rifle, they are surprised and would like another try. This is of course with a firearm that is designed properly with a straight-line stock, good balance, a decent recoil pad area and a good weight. 

The Pachmayer Triple X Recoil Pad is a wonderful addition to any large bore rifle. It slows down recoil velocity and absorbs foot pounds of recoil like a sponge in water. Most guns that generate recoil in the 85 to 90 ft. pound range should weigh in the ten and a half to eleven and a half-pound range. I've put together a short video to show the impact of the 470 Mbogo and also to show that the cartridge is very shootable. 

It starts with three rapid fire shots from the shoulder to show the real muzzle jump and recoil of the 470 Mbogo. The next two shots are 500 grain Barnes Solids at 2480 feet per second, the third is a Barnes 500 grain X bullet at 2485 feet per second. The balance of the clip shows that the cartridge is very manageable and it's all a matter working up to or loading down to your own comfort zone. I hope you find this both interesting and helpful. Reading articles by people that judge big bore rifles as unmanageable above a 375 H&H Magnum are misleading to a lot of people that could be better served with a larger caliber firearm whether for a trip to Africa or just for fun. 

Magazine article descriptions and pictures of shooters with their firearms pointing to the sky in recoil put out a pretty scary image. Now you can see for yourself that it's very manageable with practice.

Off Net Link to .470 Mbogo Recoil Videos. Click on the thumbnail images to see or download the video. The video files linked below are in MPG format.


3 Shots - Rapid Fire


Big Bore Cartridges

Shooting Barrel
3 Barrel Shots

Shooting Barrel
Barrel Shot 1

Shooting Barrel
Barrel Shot 2

Shooting Barrel
Barrel Shot 3


RECOIL OPERATED: 
A firearm that uses Recoil Operation to cycle the action.

RECOIL OPERATION: Method of operating an automatic of semi-automatic firearm by making use of the force of recoil due to firing a bullet from the barrel.  The barrel recoils under this force, and this rearward movement can be used to cycle the action, ejecting the spent cartridge and reloading the firearm.

RECOIL PAD: A butt plate, usually made of rubber, to reduce the recoil or "kick" of shoulder firearms.

RECONNAISSANCE: A military mission undertaken to obtain information by visual observation, or other detection methods, about the activities and resources of an enemy or potential enemy, or about the terrain characteristics of a particular area.

REFLEX SIGHT:  Type of Compact Advanced Combat Optical Gun sight or ACOG.  The Reflex is a day and night optical sight designed for Close Quarters Battle.   Trijiconís Reflex projects an amber aiming dot for clear and precise target acquisition in any light, even total darkness, on to an optically correct 24 millimeter lens.   The Reflex aiming dot is powered by a combination advanced fiber-optic and Tritium lamp power supply that works continuously with out an external power source or battery.  Combat is not the time for battery failure.

ACOG Reflex

Reflex Mounted
Reflex and Reflex II Compact ACOG's Mounted

The tactical advantage of Trijiconís Reflex is realized by maintaining the human sense of balance for two-eye-open target acquisition, critical for focusing and acquiring moving targets.  The Reflex sight is housed in lightweight aluminum and weighs only 4.2 ounces.  Various mounts and attachment systems are available for most weapons platforms and rifles.

Reflex ACOG information and images courtesy of Trijicon, Inc.

Trijicon

Trijicon Incorporated
49385 Shafer Avenue
P.O. Box 930059
Wixom, Michigan 48393-0059

Tel 248-960-7700    Fax 248-960-7725

Web Site: http://www.Trijicon-Inc.com

Customer Service 1-800-338-0563

E-mail [email protected]

RELEASE TRIGGER: A trap shooting trigger that fires the gun when the trigger is released.

RELOAD:  A cartridge that has been prepared using brass or metal cases that has been previously fired. 

Hand Loading & Reloading Terminology

BELL
To flare a case mouth to receive a bullet easily.

BULLET
A piece of metal formed into a projectile. Available in a variety of shapes and weights.

BULLET SWAGING
The forming of a bullet using pressure in a die instead of casting molten lead in a mould.

CALIBER
The approximate diameter of a bullet or gun bore.

CARTRIDGE
A completely loaded, ready-to-fire round of ammunition.

CASE
A metal cylindrical container which holds the primer, powder and bullet. Also called brass.

CASE FORMING
To form cases of one caliber into a different caliber.

CHAMFER
To bevel the inside of a case mouth. The bevel allows bullets to start into the case mouth without crushing the case.

CHRONOGRAPH
An instrument used to measure the velocity of a bullet.

COMPONENTS
The parts that make up a cartridge. The case, primer, powder and bullet.

CRIMP
To bend inward the mouth of a case to grip the bullet. Used only with bullets having a cannelure or crimping groove.

DEBURR
To remove the small metal burrs from inside and outside of a case mouth.

DECAPPING
Removal of the spent primer from a fired case.

DECAPPING PIN
The slim needle-like rod in the sizer die which pushes out the spent primer.

EXPANDER
The part of a die that expands the case mouth to receive the bullet.

FLASH HOLE
The hole through which the primer ignites the powder charge in a case.

HAND LOADING
Another term for reloading.

HANG FIRE
Slang term for any detectable delay in cartridge ignition.

IGNITION
The action of setting a powder charge on fire.

JACKET
The cover or "skin" of a bullet.

MISFIRE
The failure of a cartridge to fire after the firing pin strikes the primer.

NECK
That portion of a case which grips the bullet. In a bottlenecked case, that portion of the case in front of the shoulder.

NECK SIZER DIE
A die used to resize only the neck portion of the fired case back to approximately its original dimensions.

POWDER
The substance that ignites in the cartridge and propels the bullet.

POWDER CHARGE
The amount of powder loaded into a case.

PRIMER
The small cap containing a detonating mixture used to ignite the powder charge in the case.

PRIMER POCKET
The cavity in the bottom of a case into which the primer is seated.

PRIMER POCKET SWAGING
The "smoothing out" of the crimped primer pocket found in military cases.

PRIMING
Installing a new primer into a case.

RAM
The steel rod running through the center of the press that holds the shell holder and drives the case into the die.

RELOADING PRESS
The tool which performs the major tasks of reloading.

RESIZE
To restore a fired case to approximately its original size.

ROUND
A military term for one complete cartridge.

SEATER DIE
The die that seats the bullet into the mouth of the powder charged and primed case.

SEATING DEPTH
The depth to which a bullet is seated in the case mouth.

SHELL HOLDER
The part that holds the case in proper alignment while the case is being run into the die.

SIZER DIE
A die used to resize a fired case back to approximately its original dimensions.

SPENT PRIMER
A primer that has been fired.

I recommend the Speer Reloading Manual for additional hand load & reloading information. On the Web at URL: http://www.rcbs.com/guide.html.


RELOADING PRESS:
The tool which performs the major tasks of reloading.

RELOADER:  Term used to describe the press used to load or reload ammunition cartridges.  2. Someone who load or reloads ammunition cartridges.  There are several types of reloading presses, they include the turret press, the progressive type and the single stage reloader.

Dillon Reloader RL 550B
Dillon RL 550B
Progressive Reloader

Dillon RL 550B Reloader

Accommodates Over 120 Calibers
Interchangeable Tool Head Assembly
Auto Powder/Priming Systems
Loading Rate: 500-600 Rounds per hour

More RL 550s have been sold than any other progressive machine in the world. And for good reason. The RL550B's versatility is almost unlimited.  It will load over 120 different rifle and pistol calibers. Its quick change tool head allows the user to change calibers without having to readjust dies.  More competition ammunition is loaded on Dillon progressives than on all other loading machines combined.

Dillon Precision Products, Inc.
8009 East Dillon's Way
Scottsdale, AZ  85260  U.S.A.

Web Site: http://www.dillonprecision.com

Call Toll Free  1-800-762-3845


RELOADING:
  The act of hand loading or creating ammunition from components to include new and used brass or cartridges.  Brass cases can be reloaded (within safety limits) shooters frequently look to reloading as a way to save money.  Many shooters load their own ammunition to get custom or peak performance and competition loads.  However, professional loaders (and even ammunition factories) also sell ammunition prepared with used brass.  Some professional reloaders will provide a discount to shooters who provide their own used brass. Some firearm warranties may be voided or made invalid by the use of reloaded ammunition.

REMAINING ENERGY: A projectile's energy typically measured in foot pounds at a given range.

REMF:  Military slang for Rear Echelon Mother Fugger.  A "REMF". pronounced Rem ph` is a non-combatant or administrative / logistic & other command & staff weenie type who is not engaged in direct combat with the enemy or positioned on the front lines.  The term originated in World War 2 (WW II).

REPEATING RIFLE:  A rifle that may be discharged repeatedly without recharging by means of deliberate, successive mechanical actions of the user.  Antiquated term for a semi-automatic rifle.

RESIZING DIE: The reloading die that resizes fired cartridge cases and removes spent primers by means of a decapping pin.

RETICULE:  A form of Graticule (see above) which incorporates markers which are a specified distance apart and can thus be used in range finding.  The word is often wrongly used interchangeably with "graticule".

REVOLVER: A gun, usually a handgun, with a multi-chambered cylinder that rotates to successively align each chamber with a single barrel and firing pin.  Revolver is a term used to describe one type of handgun. A revolver has a central cylinder that typically will hold five or six cartridges. One pull of the trigger will rotate the cylinder, bringing a cartridge into the firing position and immediately firing it. Your finger supplies all of the energy needed to operate the mechanism. A revolver will only fire one cartridge for each pull of the trigger. A revolver cannot fire faster than the user can pull the trigger.

Basic Anatomy of a Revolver

Revolver
  1. Cartridges
  2. Chamber
  3. Cylinder
  4. Trigger
  5. Hammer
  6. Hammer Cocked
  7. Firing Pin
  8. Barrel
  9. Grip
  10. Cylinder Release

 

Revolvers are handguns which store extra cartridges (1) in multiple chambers (2) within a rotating cylinder (3). When the trigger (4) is pulled, the hammer (5-uncocked position) falls from its cocked position (6-phantom), striking the firing pin (7) which impacts the cartridge (contains primer, powder, and bullet) causing the bullet to discharge out through the barrel (8). Other features include the grip (9), and the cylinder release lever (10). Revolvers can be designed with many intrinsic safety features including:

A. Grip Safety - B. Drop Safety (transfer bar) - C. Built-in Lock.


RIB:
A raised sighting plane affixed to the top of a barrel.  As in Vent Rib Barrel.

RIDER ACTION:  Single shot rifle action, designed in the U.S. and widely used in early Remington arms.  More commonly called the ROLLING-BLOCK action, the breechblock. actuated by a lever, rotates down and back from the chamber.   The firing pin is contained in block and is activated by the hammer fall.  Also know as Remington Rider Action.

RIFLE: 1. A shoulder fired gun with rifled bore.   2.  To form the rifling in a gun barrel.

RIFLE ACTION: The working mechanism of the rifle. This determines the process by which the rifle is cocked, fired, and reloaded. Common types are; bolt action, lever action, slide or pump action.  For more details see the definitions on specific types of Long Gun Actions.  

RIFLE ACTION LENGTH: There is also a defined length to rifle each action, specified as long or short action, in standard and magnum chambering.  The chart below shows rifle actions by length by caliber.  Note: There are certain exceptions and a few caliber that are available in both long and short action.


Rifle Action Length by Caliber

Short Action Short Action Mag. Long Action Long Action Mag.
.17 Rem. .350 Rem. Mag. .25-06 Rem. .264 Win. Mag.
.22 Hornet   6.5x55 Swedish 7mm Rem. Mag.
.220 Swift   7x64mm Brenn. 7mm STW
.222 Rem.   7mm Mauser 7mm Wby. Mag.
.223 Rem.    .270 Win. .300 H&H Mag.
.22-250 Rem.   .280 Rem. .300 Win. Mag.
.243 Win.    .30-06 Sprg. .300 Wby. Mag.
6mm Rem.   8mm Mauser .300 Ultra Mag.
.25-20 Win.   .35 Whelen .338 Win Mag.
.250 Savage      .338 Ultra Mag.
.257 Roberts      .375 H&H Mag.
.260 Rem.      .416 Rem. Mag.
7mm-08 Rem.      .458 Win. Mag.
.30 Carbine       
.30-30 Win.       
.300 Savage      
.308 Win.       
.303 British       
7.62x39mm      
.32 Win. Special       
.35 Rem.       
.44-40 Win.        

H&H = Holland & Holland   -   Mag. = Magnum   -   Sprg. = Springfield

STW = Shooting Times Western   -   Rem. = Remington

Wby. = Weatherby   -   Win. = Winchester


RIFLE AMMUNITION
:  For Rifle's ammunition is generally referred to as a "cartridge" or a "round" as in a  round of ammunition. The commonly used term "bullet" actually refers to the projectile itself, and not the complete cartridge that is loaded into the rifle or firearm. A complete rifle cartridge consists of four parts : the bullet, the case, the powder and the primer.  

Rifle Ammunition 2:  Generally refers to the assembled components of complete cartridges or rounds i.e., a case or shell holding a primer, a charge of propellant (gunpowder) and a projectile (bullets in the case of handguns and rifles multiple pellets or single slugs in shotguns. Sometimes called "fixed ammunition" to differentiate from components inserted separately in muzzleloaders.  For specific Rifle Ammunition Specifications, see the detail block below.

Factory Rifle Ammunition Specifications

Bullet Weights in Grains - Muzzle Velocity indicated in Feet Per Second (fps)

Rifle Cartridge
SAAMI Spec.
Bullet Weight   Bullet Type   Bullet
Manufacturer  
Muzzle
Velocity  
Barrel Length
.17 Rem. 25 HP Rem. 4040 24
.22 Hornet 45 PSP Rem., Win. 2690 24
.22 Hornet 46 HP Win. 2960 24
.222 Rem. 50 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 3140 24
.222 Rem. 55 HP Rem. 3140 24
.222 Rem 55 FMJ Win., Fed. 3020 24
.223 Rem 53 HP Win. 3330 24
.223 Rem 55 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 3240 24
.223 Rem 55 HP Rem., Fed. 3240 24
.22-250 55 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 3680 24
.220 Swift 50 PSP Rem. 3780 24
.224 WBY Mag. 55 PSP WBY 3650 24
.243 Win. 80 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 3350 24
.243 Win. 85 BTHP Fed. 3320 24
.243 Win. 100 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2960 24
6mm Rem. 80 PSP Rem., Win. 3470 24
6mm Rem. 100 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 3100 24
6mm BR Rem. 100 PSP Rem. 2550 15
.25-20 Win. 86 SP Rem., Win. 1460 24
.250 Savage 100 ST, PSP Rem., Win. 2820 24
.257 Roberts 117 PSP Rem. 2650 24
.25-06 Rem. 100 PSP Rem. 3230 24
.25-06 Rem. 117 PSP Fed. 2990 24
.25-06 Rem. 120 PSP Rem., Win. 2990 24
.257 WBY Mag. 117 PSP WBY 3300 26
.270 Win. 100 PSP Win. 3340 24
.270 Win. 130 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 3060 24
.270 Win. 150 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2850 24
.270 WBY Mag. 130 PSP WBY 3375 26
7mm BR Rem. 140 PSP Rem. 2215 15
7-30 Waters 120 BTSP Fed. 2700 24
7mm Mauser 140 PSP Rem., Fed. 2660 24
7mm-08 Rem. 140 PSP Rem. 2860 24
.280 Rem. 140 PSP Rem. 3000 24
.280 Rem. 150 PSP Rem., Fed. 2890 24
7mm Rem. Mag. 150 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 3110 24
7mm Rem. Mag. 160 BTSP Fed. 2950 24
7mm Rem. Mag. 175 PSP Rem., Win. 2860 24
7mm WBY Mag. 175 PSP Rem. 2910 24
30 Carbine 110 SP Rem., Fed. 1990 20
.30-30 Win. 150 SP Rem., Win., Fed. 2390 24
.30-30 Win. 170 SP Rem., Win., Fed. 2200 24
.300 Savage 150 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2630 24
.308 Win. 150 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2820 24
.308 Win. 165 BTSP Fed. 2700 24
.308 Win. 180 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2620 24
.30-40 Krag 180 PSP Rem., Win. 2430 24
.30-06 Sprg. 125 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 3140 24
.30-06 Sprg. 150 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2910 24
.30-06 Sprg. 180 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2700 24
.30-06 Sprg. 220 SP Rem., Win., Fed. 2410 24
.300 H&H Mag 180 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2880 24
.300 Win. Mag. 150 PSP Rem., Win. 3290 24
.300 Win. Mag. 180 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2960 24
.300 WBY Mag. 180 PSP Rem. 3120 24
7.62x39mm 123 SP Win. 2365 20
.303 Brit. 180 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2460 24
.32-20 Win. 100 Lead Rem., Win. 1210 24
.32 Win. Sp. 170 SP Rem., Win., Fed. 2250 24
8mm Mauser 170 PSP Rem., Win., Fed. 2360 24
8mm Rem. Mag. 180 PSP Rem. 3080 24
.338 Win. Mag. 250 PSP Rem., Fed. 2780 24
.340 WBY Mag. 250 PSP WBY 2850 26
.348 Win. 200 ST Win. 2520 24
.35 Rem. 200 SP Win., Fed. 2080 24
.350 Rem. Mag. 200 PSP Rem. 2710 20
.358 Win. 200 ST Win. 2490 24
.35 Whelen 200 PSP Rem. 2675 24
.35 Whelen 250 PSP Rem. 2400 24
.375 Win. 250 PSP Win. 1900 24
.375 H&H Mag. 270 SP Rem., Win., Fed. 2690 24
.38-55 Win 255 SP Win. 1320 24
.38-40 Win. 180 SP Win. 1160 24
.416 Rem. Mag. 400 SP Rem. 2400 24
.416 Rigby 410 SP Fed. 2370 24
.44-40 Win. 200 SP Rem., Win. 1190 24
.444 Marlin 240 SP Rem. 2350 24
.45-70 Gov. 300 HP Win., Fed. 1880 24
.458 Win Mag. 500 FMJ Rem., Win., Fed. 2040 24
.460 WBY Mag. 500 FMJ WBY 2700 26

Ammunition Abbreviation Key

Brit.  British Mag Magnum
BTHP Boat Tail Hollow Point mm millimeter
BTSP Boat Tail Soft Point PSP Pointed Soft Point
Fed. Federal SP Soft Point
FMJ Full Metal Jacket Sprg. Springfield
H&H Holland & Holland SWC Semi Wad Cutter
HP Hollow Point Rem. Remington
JHP Jacketed Hollow Point WBY Weatherby
LWC Lead  Wad Cutter Win. Winchester


RIFLE TRAJECTORY CONVERSION

Converting Rifle Trajectory Tables
 
Think of how many times you've examined a cartridge manufacturer's tables and found the trajectories calculated only for, say, a 100-yard zero, but because you intend to hunt out West, all this data is irrelevant - your hunting needs demand trajectory information for a 200-yard zero. What can you do?

The beauty of this technique is that it at last gives all my fellow rifle shooters the means to calculate trajectory changes without the need for a computer or special software programs - and certainly this data will help them be more precise shooters and better hunters.

The key is understanding MOA. If you can grasp what a Minute of Angle is, you will master this technique before the end of this article.

We describe shot groups in Minutes of Angle because this thin angular width almost exactly equals one inch at 100 yards, then widens so nicely that it becomes two inches at 200 yards, three inches at 300, and so on, resulting in a ten-inch width at 1000 yards. When you say your rifle is shooting a one-inch group at I 00 yards, you could just as well say it's a one Minute of Angle (MOA) rifle, and by expressing it this way you would see instantly that this same group would be two inches at 200 yards, four inches at 400, etc.

And what about when your rifle generates a two-inch group at 100 yards? Simple, the ratios are all the same. You are just starting with a wider group. This two-inch rifle would, therefore, yield a four-inch group at 200 yards (twice as wide, get it?); then a ten-inch group at 500 yards since that is five times the distance as your 100-yard, two-inch group.

By expressing your groups in Minutes of Angle, you'll enable yourself to understand how your rifle will perform at any distance. And with study, it will allow very precise adjustments of sights or scope.

So that this relationship between distance and MOAs is clear, I am plotting it on Table One. If later you get confused, come back and check it. And now we are ready for the simple technique for converting trajectories.

How to convert a trajectory without a computer. The difficulty with converting a bullet's trajectory is that when you switch from one zero distance to another - say, from 100 yards up to 200 yards - the trajectory changes are a little different at each distance. Because a bullet starts flat and straight, then it slows and plunges, your trajectory will shift modestly at short-range but dramatically at long-range whenever you change your scope or sight setting. You cannot conclude, "I am now going to shift four inches high, so there will be a four-inch change at all other ranges." - No way. This raising of sights will cause little changes at close ranges, and great big changes at longer distances; at each 100-yard increment, the effect will be different.

The key is predicting HOW MUCH it will change and - get ready to shout "Eureka!" - how much it changes is pure and simple, an IDENTICAL AMOUNT AT EACH DISTANCE, when expressed as a Minute of Angle.

My technique uses a simple, two-step process. STEP ONE: Learn how much change is needed for the new zero, and restate it as Minutes of Angle for that distance; then, STEP TWO: Apply these same Minutes of Angle changes at each distance, for a completely new trajectory table. That's all.

We'll demonstrate this for the Federal Supreme 30.06, 165 grain, Boat Tail Soft Point, using "book" data from Art Blatt's Extended Ballistics for the Advanced Rifleman. (Of course, you can use manufacturer's ballistic tables, too.)

Look at the chart we've labeled, "STEP ONE." Just to make sure that you keep the MOA measurements correct at each distance, I suggest that you "write this" above the respective yard ranges.

TABLE ONE - Relationship Between One (1) MOA and Distance

table1.jpg
 
 

 

Step One: Learn how much MOA to convert by noting you will have to raise sights 5.4 inches to zero at 200 yards. Since one MOA equals 2" at 200 yards, that 5.4 inches at 200 yards equals 2.7 MOA - which is exactly what we will apply in Step Two to all other distances.

Now, since we're converting from a 100 -yard zero trajectory to a 200-yard zero trajectory, we begin by looking at how much we must adjust to re-zero to the new distance. In this case, our "book" data says this round impacts 5.4 inches low at 200 yards when a rifle's zeroed for 100 yards, so to hit dead-on (and be zeroed at 200 yards), just raise your sight 5.4 inches. That should be simple and obvious. And here's where the MOA comes into plan. Since one MOA equals two inches at 200 yards, this 5.4 inches equates to 2.7 MOA, a figure we'll use in STEP TWO.

Ready? This is really very, very easy. Use that same 2.7 MOA in STEP TWO to compute the necessary changes at all the other distances, too. For example, at 100 yards, where one MOA equals one inch, its exactly 2.7 inches; since that was the old zero distance, the trajectory will now be 2.7 inches high.

STEP ONE:

Converting Federal Premium 30.06, 165 Grain BTSP from 100 yards to 200 yards

step1.jpg

 

 

 

Step Two: Apply this 2.7 MOA at all distances, then add or subtract to yield the new trajectory data.

And at 400 yards, 2.7 MOA equates to 10.8 inches of change - 2.7 MOA x 4 = 10.8, right? We subtract this from the old figure to yield the new trajectory, which is 23.2 inches. And so on.

To test how accurate our computations are, took at Table Two, which compares "book" data to our results: Right on the mark, with only a minor deviation at 400 yards, but it's still within 1/4 MOA. But is there a danger this technique could generate enough deviation from "book" that cumulative error may cause problems when shifting the zero to longer ranges?

STEP TWO:

step2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only notable variance is at 400 yards - but even there we are within 1/4 MOA.

To test this, look at Tables Three and Four, where we again use Blatt's data for this same Federal Supreme round, this time converting the trajectory from a 100-yard zero to a 500-yard zero.

TABLE TWO

Comparing the Results of Our Calculations to 200 Yards "Book" Data

table2a.jpg

 

 

 

 

TABLE THREE

Converting Trajectory of Federal Premium 30.06, 165-Grain BTSP to 500 Yards

 

table3a.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Eureka! The only variance whatsoever from "book" data is 1/10th of one inch at 300 yards and 4/10ths at 200 yards, proving accuracy and reliability of technique. Despite this extreme leap in elevation 61.4 inches or 12.28 MOA - the resulting are amazingly on-the-mark, with only the tiniest of variations from "book" data. If there's any danger of cumulative error, this should have shown it.

The only caution I would pass along is to ensure the initial "book" data you convert from was calculated for a sight the same height above the bore as your own. Most ammunition manufacturers now assume you will be using a scope, so they calculate trajectories for a sight 1.5 inches above the bore, although some sources may still use the old 0.9 inches to reflect the height of an open metallic sight.

After reading this article, sit down with the manufacturer's data for your favorite load and calculate all the trajectories for 100- through 500-yard zeroes, then keep the resulting table in your rifle case so you will always have it with you.

And don't disparage the computer, but neither underestimate the power of a stubby pencil when matched with common sense.

TABLE FOUR

Applying 12.28 MOA Changes to Convert Trajectory for 500-Yard Zero
table4.jpg


RIFLING:
The spiral grooves in the bore of a rifled firearm. The rotation they impart to a projectile stabilizes in a flight and imparts accuracy. Rifling is present in all true rifles, in most handguns and in some shotgun barrels designed for increasing the accuracy potential of slugs (a slug is a single projectile rather than the more common "shot"). A rotating projectile has a gyroscopic stability which causes it to resist any force tending to deflect it from the direction it takes as it departs from the muzzle of the rifle. The longer the bullet and the lower the velocity, the faster the twist must be to cause the bullet to travel with point to the front.  Rifling may be cut, swaged, or forged into the barrel.  Also the process of forming the rifling in the bore.

RIM FIRE: A rimmed or flanged cartridge with the priming mixture located inside the rim of the case. The most famous example is the .22 rim fire. It has been estimated that between 3-4 billion .22 cartridges are loaded in the U.S. each year.  This type of cartridge in which the primer is located along the outer rim of the casing's base. To fire this type of cartridge, the firing pin must impact on this outer rim.   Abbreviated RF. Also written as "RIMFIRE"

RIOT GUN: A popular term for a short barreled repeating or slide action shotgun as frequently used in law enforcement and personal protection.

RKBA:  Abbreviation for Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  The inalienable right of the people, stated in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, to possess and use personally owned firearms for sport, recreation, personal protection, and the defense of the nation.  Contrary to many claims by uneducated individuals it has been proven from historical documents that this is an individual right and not restricted to any organized body of citizens.

RMEF:  Abbreviation for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  Remington makes a "Special Edition" Model 700 BDLô SS RMEF rifle.  See Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation below.

RO:  Abbreviation for Range Officer.

ROCKET:  A projectile weapon carrying a warhead that is powered or propelled by a rocket or rockets. A vehicle or device propelled by one or more rocket engines, especially such a vehicle designed to travel through space, as in the case of the Ballistic Missile. All Ballistic Missiles are powered by rocket motors. 

ROCKET GUNNERY: On the modern battlefield, the Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) are employed as tactical artillery. Smaller Anti-Tank rockets like the Swedish designed AT-4 is employed by American, NATO and other military forces, as a light weight, man portable, shoulder fired Anti-Tank Rocket.  The AT-4 replaced the LAW (Light Anti-Armor Weapon) a 73mm disposable rocket with a shaped charge warhead that was shoulder fired from a light weight disposable, collapsible, fiberglass tube. Russian federation and former Warsaw Pact Armies employ the infamous RPG - Rocket Propelled Grenade. The RPG has been used in dozens of conflicts all over the world. It is a very cheap and very effective easy to employ weapon and was used by Afghan Harakat ul-Mujahedin or Mujahedin forces to shoot down Soviet Mi-24 Hind helicopters to great effect. This type of rocket (the RPG) was later used in Mogadishu Somalia to shoot down MH-60 "Black Hawk" helicopters as depicted in "Black Hawk Down".  See Rocket Propelled Grenade - below.

Rockets: History & Theory

Sometime during the 11th century the Chinese discovered how to make a simple rocket using gunpowder for fuel. It didn't take the military leaders long to realize that the rocket could be used in defense of the great China wall. They strapped the rockets to their arrows and greatly extended the range of the bow and arrow.

Centuries later at White Sands Missile Range rockets are used to push guided missiles to their targets. Rocket engines are also used to propel test instruments and experiments into the upper atmosphere over Southern New Mexico. These rocket engines used today work on the same principles that made the Chinese fire arrows so effective.

In the 20th century the term "rocket" has become a household word. Huge rockets carried man to the moon and back. Because of rockets, Americans enjoy instantaneous world-wide communication via satellite. We even get a daily cloud-cover picture of our area taken from a satellite which was launched into space by a rocket. Soon people may be riding in rockets on a regular basis to get to work in a space station. In short, the rocket is the key to the exploration of the other worlds in the universe.

Early Rocket Development

According to historians, the Chinese built the first working rockets. They were also the first to use them for military purposes. In A.D. 1232, some ingenious military leader used arrows powered by small gunpowder rockets to successfully defend the city of K'ai-Fung-Foo against the invading Mongols.

From that time until the 20th century, the rocket had its ups and downs. It was quickly introduced in Europe in the 13th century as a firework and as a weapon. During the Renaissance every army had a rocket corps. But artillery improvements eventually made the cannon more effective because of increased range and accuracy. Occasional improvements in the rocket would bring it back into popularity, but usually not for long.

During this time one Chinese official hit on the idea of using rockets to propel a man through the air. It was around 1500 that Wan Hu rigged a pair of kites together with a chair attached in between. He then tied a series of military rockets to the kites and drafted a group of coolies to light the rockets. Not wanting to miss out on the chance for fame, Wan Hu decided to be his own test pilot. According to reports, he sat in the chair and gave the order to light the rockets. There was a lot of noise and a great burst of flame and smoke which blocked everyone's vision. When the smoke cleared, Wan Hu was gone. The story ends there and the reader is left to his own conclusions.

Used as a barrage weapon the rocket often proved effective for military purposes. In the late 1700's, Haider Ali, Prince of Mysore, India, used iron rockets to defeat a top British unit in battle. The British, in turn, used the rocket against the United States.

"O Say, Can You See...."

In the War of 1812, the British used rockets developed by William Congreve, one of the few men who worked to improve early rocket design. In "The Star Spangled Banner" the reference to the "rockets' red glare" is a description of the British bombardment of Fort McHenry with Congreve rockets.

Congreve and an American, William Hale, did a lot during the l9th century to force armies to reactivate their rocket corps. Congreve's success came in his ability to extend the range of his military rockets to as much as 3,000 yards. Hale attempted to solve the problem of low accuracy by spin stabilization, a technique still used today. As the century progressed, artillery technology again by-passed the rocket and in the beginning of the 20th century, rockets were more a matter of speculation than reality.

Authors Jules Verne and H. G. Wells wrote about the use of rockets and space travel and serious scientists soon turned their attention to rocket theory. Knostantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian, worked on rocket design and theory in the early 20th century. In his numerous writings he proposed space exploration by rocket, liquid propellants, the multistage rocket and space stations.

Hermann Oberth, a German scientist, also contributed to the theory and design of rockets. In 1923 he published a work in which he proved flight beyond the atmosphere is possible. In a 1929 book called "The Road to Space Travel" Oberth proposed liquid-propelled rockets, multistage rockets, space navigation, and guided and re-entry systems. He also advanced the idea of a transatlantic postal rocket for quick mail delivery. It was taken seriously at the time but never attempted.

From 1939 to 1945 he worked on German war rocket programs with such notables as Wernher von Braun. After the war he came to the United States where he again worked with von Braun. During the war one of the weapons the scientists were designing was reminiscent of Oberth's postal rocket. The German's wanted to build a rocket which would carry a bomb from Europe to strike New York City.

Most historians call Oberth and Tsiolkovsky the fathers of modern rocket theory. If that is so, an American, Dr. Robert H. Goddard, can be called the father of the practical rocket. His designs and working models eventually led to the German big rockets such as the V-2 used against the Allies in World War II. All three men are enshrined in the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo, N.M.

Goddard started working with rockets in 1915 when he tested solid fueled models. In 1917 when the U.S. entered World War I, he worked on perfecting rockets as weapons. One of his designs turned out to be the forerunner of the bazooka, a tube launched, recoilless missile, 18 inches long and one inch in diameter. It was actually tested in 1918 but the war ended before it could be used against German tanks.

Space Flight Possible

In 1919 he published a paper entitled "Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes." In it he concluded that a rocket would work better in a total vacuum than in our atmosphere. This was against the popular belief of the day that a rocket needed air to push against. He also suggested that a multistage rocket could reach very high altitudes and even reach the escape velocity of the earth.

The press scoffed at his ideas and public reaction was poor. Goddard went on experimenting and on March 16, 1926 he flew the first liquid fueled rocket. After the initial success, he flew other rockets in rural Massachusetts until they started crashing in his neighbor's pastures. The local fire marshal declared his rockets were a fire hazard and ended his tests. Charles Lindbergh came to Goddard's rescue by helping him get a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation. With it Goddard moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where he could experiment without endangering anyone. There he developed the first gyro-controlled rocket guidance system and was eventually flying rockets faster than the speed of sound and at altitudes up to 7,500 feet. It was a huge improvement over the first liquid-fueled rocket which went 220 feet and was in the air only 2.5 seconds.

View photo of Dr. Goddard in his workshop

During World War II, the U.S. military saw little use for rockets. The Army did use bazookas but it was the Germans who took Goddard's ideas and turned them into real weapons. Goddard died in 1945 just as he started to receive some recognition for his work. One of his biographers said, "It is virtually impossible to design, construct or launch a rocket today without utilizing same idea or device originated by Goddard."

Under von Braun, the Germans perfected the large liquid-fueled rocket which culminated in the V-2 long range ballistic missile. It was the largest rocket vehicle at the time, being 46 feet long, 5.5 feet in diameter and developing 56,000 pounds of thrust or push. At the close of the war the allies captured V-2 components and the German development team surrendered to the Americans. The team and components were sent to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

A V-2, assembled and launched on the range, was America's first rocket to carry a heavy payload to high altitude. A V-2 set the first high altitude and velocity record for a single stage missile, and a V-2 was the first large missile to be controlled in flight.

Jointly, the American and German scientists at White Sands worked to develop missile and rocket systems. From their work came such missiles as the Corporal, Redstone, Nike, Aerobee and Atlas.

Rockets have been around for centuries but no one has really understood how they worked until just recently. It was only 70 years ago when Goddard proposed that a rocket does not need air to push against. This is now obvious with the manned flights to the moon. But how do they work then?

How Rockets Work

Rockets obey Issac Newton's Third law of motion which says for every action there is an equal and oppositely directed action. When a hunter pulls the trigger on his rifle, a small gunpowder explosion occurs in the shell. One reaction to this explosion is the bullet and smoke being pushed out the end of the barrel. At the same time there is an equal reaction or push in the opposite direction which is the recoil into his shoulder. He doesn't feel much because the force or action is trying to push the whole rifle as opposed to the small bullet on the other action.

If the hunter was on roller skates when he pulled the trigger, the recoil might be enough to push him backwards. And if he kept up a rapid rate of firing, he might pick up speed and continue to move backwards.

The same thing happens in a rocket. The rocket is the same as the rifle and instead of firing bullets, the rocket shoots out a stream of hot gases at supersonic speeds. The gases are pushed out as a result of the burning of a fuel in the combustion chamber.

Another way to look at this is to think of a long tank, shaped like a short pencil. If the tank is filled with compressed air and sealed, nothing happens. The gas is inside pushing against the walls, but the pressure is equally distributed. If one end of the tank is opened, the air pushes through the opening very quickly. According to Newton there should be an equal action in the opposite direction. There is. The air pushes on the front inside of the tank and if it is great enough the tank will move forward.

In a rocket engine the combustion chamber is very much like a rifle barrel or an air tank with one end open. In the rocket, a fuel, which can be a liquid like kerosene or a solid like gunpowder, is burned. The burning releases gases and heat which build up pressures in the chamber. The pressure pushes the gases out the exhaust nozzle. The reaction or push in the opposite direction drives the rocket forward.

The nozzle or exit hole for the pressurized gases is not just any opening. It is specially designed to open outward like an ice cream cone. This makes the gases exit even faster, which in turn, gives more push at the other end of the combustion chamber.

Rockets do best in outer space where the gravitational forces are less and there is no air resistance to overcome. But, there is also no air to keep the rocket fuel burning. Rockets work in space because they are completely self-contained. The rocket carries a fuel and an oxidizing agent like oxygen so it needs no outside air.

This explains why Polaris missiles can be fired from submarines while they are underwater. The fuel and oxidizer can be in solid or liquid form.

The huge rockets which hurl the astronauts and satellites into space use liquid fuels like kerosene or super-cold, liquid hydrogen and oxidizers like liquid oxygen. When the two liquids are sprayed into the combustion chamber, they ignite and burn with explosive force.

Use of Rockets at White Sands

At White Sands Missile Range, most of the missile systems under test use solid fuels and oxidizers. In a solid propellant, the fuel and oxidizer are mixed together and placed right in the combustion chamber. This makes the missile smaller than one using liquid fuel because there are no storage tanks for the fuel. Some solid propellants like nitroglycerine don't even need an oxidizer mixed in with it.

The solid-fueled rocket engine has many advantages for the military. It is smaller which makes it very portable. The solid fuels are much easier to handle than the caustic and sometimes super-cold liquids. Also, solid fueled rockets are always ready to fire. They do not require the preparation which a liquid fueled rocket would need.

Today's missile systems are much more than a rocket engine with a supply of fuel and oxidizer. There is usually some sort of payload. This can be a test package or a bomb. The missile will have some sort of guidance system to get it to its target and it has an airframe to hold all the parts together.

The Missile Park at White Sands Missile Range has a wide range of missile airframes on public display. They include a V-2 along with missiles used by the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

For the future scientists are looking for other types of rocket engines to replace the chemical ones now used. Any self-contained system which can push matter out an opening will produce push or thrust. Therefore, even a balloon could be considered a rocket.

One idea researchers are looking at is using a nuclear reactor to heat a gas so it expands and becomes pressurized. The gas can then be forced through a nozzle which would create the necessary opposite action to drive a vehicle forward.

Scientists also have contemplated using an ion beam to push a spacecraft. This system calls for accelerating charged molecular particles in magnetic fields and then beaming them out the nozzle end of the engine. Another plan calls for thrust to be provided by ejecting photons or light from the engine.

These devices are theoretically possible but they lack the powerful thrust necessary to escape earth's gravity pull. Since the turn of the century, the rocket motor has gone from being a firework and little used weapon to being the key to man's dreams. The rocket has made space exploration possible. Men have already walked on the moon and exploratory spacecraft have flown past the planets in the solar system, sending back valuable information. The rocket is the key to open up new worlds for Man to explore.

ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE (RPG)

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION:  The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a non-profit The Elk Foundation is an international, mission based, nonprofit wildlife habitat conservation organization.  With more than 116,000 members, the Elk Foundation has conserved and enhanced more than 3 million acres of wildlife habitat throughout North America. Founded in 1984, the Elk Foundation is headquartered in Missoula, Montana with Canadian headquarters in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.


Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is represented in all 50 states, plus an international membership in Canada and 26 foreign countries. The Elk Foundation's notable success stems largely from it's dedicated and enthusiastic membership, particularly the Foundation's local volunteer committee members who organize annual fundraising Big Game Banquets in their communities.  Other forms of fundraising include the Habitat Partnership Program; Supporting, Sponsor and Life memberships; the annual convention; and merchandise and royalty programs.  The commitment to wildlife conservation and love of America's rich wildlife legacy are at the heart of what the founders of the Elk Foundation glimpsed when they established this organization.

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife & their habitat.  In support of this mission the Elk Foundation is committed to:

  • Conserving, restoring and enhancing natural habitats;
  • Promoting the sound management of wild, free-ranging elk, which may be hunted or otherwise enjoyed;
  • Fostering cooperation among federal, state and private organizations and individuals in wildlife management and habitat conservation; and
  • Educating members and the public about habitat conservation, the value of hunting, hunting ethics and wildlife management.

The Elk Foundation meets it's mission by funding the following types of efforts:

  • Habitat enhancement projects such as prescribed burns and water developments;

  • Wildlife management projects such as elk transplants and cooperative initiatives among elk and livestock interests;

  • Research on elk and their habitat to provide wildlife managers with information needed to manage elk;

  • Conservation education programs to increase the awareness of the importance of wildlife and their habitat with people of all ages;

  • Land conservation projects such as acquisitions and conservation easements; and

  • Hunting heritage projects to promote ethical hunting and ensure future hunting opportunities.


RMEF Online 
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is on the web at URL: http://www.rmef.org


ROLLING BLOCK ACTION
:
Single shot rifle action, designed in the U.S. and widely used in early Remington arms.  Also known as the REMINGTON-RIDER action, the breechblock. actuated by a lever, rotates down and back from the chamber.   The firing pin is contained in block and is activated by the hammer fall.

ROTTWEIL:  Name of a former Dynamit Nobel-RWS production plant in the city of the same name in the German Black Forest.  The term is today synonymous with quality world wide.  Rottweil is also the city where the breed of famous Rottweiler dogs were bred back from near extinction. 

ROUND: Synonym for a cartridge. A military term meaning one single cartridge.  As in a round of ammunition.

ROUND NOSE (RN): A bullet design which features a rounded nose.

RSO:  Abbreviation for Range Safety Officer (s).

RWS: Abbreviation of Rheinisch Westaflische Spregstoff-Fabriken which joined Dynamit Nobel in 1931. Typically used as Dynamit Nobel - RWS or RWS ammo & reloading components.

 

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