The velocity of a shotgun pellet on impact can be predicted from a number of physical factors.



(1) muzzle velocity of the pellet in feet per second

(2) distance between muzzle and target in feet

(3) ballistic coefficient of the pellet


LOG10 ((muzzle velocity) / (impact velocity)) =

= (distance in feet) / (40748 * (ballistic coefficient)) = X


muzzle velocity =

= (impact velocity) * 10^(X)


impact velocity in feet per second =

= (muzzle velocity) * 10^((-1) * X)



• The threshold velocity for skin penetration by a steel sphere is 125-170 feet per second (Office of Surgeon General, Department of the Army. Wound Ballistics. 1962).

• A missile can cause serious injury even without skin penetration.


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