Velocity Airgun Calculator
* The speed of sound is an estimate based on air at sea level and 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity will also affect the speed of sound.
Airgun Velocity – DID YOU KNOW…
- Chuck Yeager was the first person to break the speed of sound and it was a bumpy ride getting there.
- Some modern airguns can shoot a projectile FASTER than the speed of sound. This high speed can come with a price if the projectile moves to a slower speed (below Mach 1) and the pellet starts to tumble.
- The speed of sound (Mach = 1) is where an object moves at the speed of sound waves.
- When a gun shoots a projectile at or above the speed of sound, there is an audible cracking sound or mini sonic boom.
- The speed of sound in different units (assumes “standard” air):
- 340.3 m/s
- 1225 km/h
- 761 MPH
- 1116 FPS
- There are multiple descriptions for Mach measured speeds:
- Subsonic: Under 0.8 mach, 609 mph, or 893 FPS.
- Transonic: Between mach .08 to 1.2 mach, 609 to 914 mph, or 893 to 1340 FPS.
- Supersonic: Mach 1.2 to 5.0, 915 to 3,806 mph, or 1,341 to 5,582 FPS.
- Hypersonic: Mach 5.0 to 10.0, 3806 to 7612 mph, or 5,582 to 11,164 FPS.
- Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_number
- The .22-250 Remington and 220 Swift are two of the fastest production firearm bullets. The bullet leaves the barrel at more than 4200 FPS.
Muzzle Energy Airgun Calculator
Airgun Muzzle Energy – DID YOU KNOW…
- One way to describe muzzle energy is the work required to move a mass over a distance. An energy of 1.0 foot-pounds equivalent (FPE) is the work to move a 1 pound mass 1 foot from its original location.
- Some energies compared*:
- 1.4 foot-pounds – Steel BB with an old school airgun (5 gns, 350 FPS)
- 32 foot-pounds equivalent – .22 RWS Superdome Pellet with an Umarex Octane (14.5 gns, 1000 FPS)
- 203 foot-pounds equivalent – .357 “pellet” and Sam Yang Recluse big bore airgun for Coyotes? (95 gns, 983 FPS)
- 309 foot-pounds equivalent – 9mm bullet with a Walther PPQ M2 (115 gns, 1100 FPS)
- 4,900 foot-pounds equivalent – .338 Lapua Magnum bullet with a McCmillan TAC-338
- 11,000 foot-pounds equivalent – .50 BMG bullet with an Accuracy International AX50
- 7,600,000 foot-pounds equivalent – Naval Gun: Mark 45 Mod 4 5-inch/54-caliber lightweight gun and shell (490,000 gns, 2650 FPS). NOTE: Assumes NOT using full-auto feature. Muzzle control for safety is **HIGHLY** recommended.
- Muzzle energy is increased if you increase mass or velocity. Triple the mass triples the energy. BUT, if you triple the velocity you get 9 times the energy due to the V being squared in the energy formula!
- To calculate muzzle energy, or Foot-Pounds Equivalent (FPE), you need to know the mass of the item being moved and the velocity it will be moving. This is the formula for kinetic (moving) energy and is calculated as K.E. = 1/2*M*V2 where M is mass and V is velocity.
- Muzzle energy is the energy calculated right when the projectile just leaves the gun barrel at the muzzle. After the pellet leaves the barrel, wind resistance starts to slow its speed.
* Weights and muzzle velocities for example energy calculations were approximate for general comparison only.
Learn more about muzzle energy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzzle_energy