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Schlieren image of a bullet travelling in free-flight demonstrating the air pressure dynamics surrounding the bullet. The projectile may be powered or un-powered, guided or unguided, spin or fin stabilized, flying through an atmosphere or in the vacuum of space, but most certainly flying under the influence of a gravitational field. Wind makes the projectile deviate from its trajectory. During flight, gravity, drag, and wind have a major impact on the path of the projectile, and must be accounted for when predicting how the projectile will travel.
Meso variables can become significant for firearms users that have to deal with angled shot scenarios or extended ranges, but are seldom relevant at common hunting and target shooting distances. The CP behind the CM condition yields stable projectile flight, meaning the projectile will not overturn during flight through the atmosphere due to aerodynamic forces. Projectiles like small arms bullets and artillery shells must deal with their CP being in front of their CM, which destabilizes these projectiles during flight. The spinning mass creates gyroscopic forces that keep the bullet’s length axis resistant to the destabilizing overturning torque of the CP being in front of the CM. Though both trajectories have an identical 25 m near zero, the difference in muzzle velocity of the projectiles gradually causes a significant difference in trajectory and far zero.