View Full Version : bullets

Jesus Dapena
11-21-1994, 03:17 AM
Dear Biomch-L netters:

This is a question about mechanics, rather than BIOmechanics, but
since the answer may affect principles that also apply to biomechanics, I
feel that it is appropriate for this forum. A couple of days ago, in a
biomechanics class that I was teaching we were covering the topic of
"Mechanics of Fluids", and one of the students asked me the following

"Why is the rear end of a bullet flat instead of tapered? We should
expect a hypothetical bullet with a tapered rear end to receive a smaller
drag force, and therefore to maintain its velocity better and to reach a
longer range."

I was unable to give a good answer. I can see how the back of the
shell CASING may somehow need to be flat, to ensure a good impact that will
guarantee the ignition of the powder, but this does not explain why the back
of the bullet itself would have to be flat.

Does anyone out there know the answer to this one? Please send your
messages to me, and I'll post the collated answers.

Jesus Dapena
Department of Kinesiology
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
1-812-855-8407 (office phone)
dapena@valeri.hper.indiana.edu (email)