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Friday, 30 November 2012


I think your point is valid, but the computations are off: 990m/s is the muzzle velocity; the propellant in the shell contains more energy than the muzzle kinetic energy, since the bullet loses some (a significant portion, I’d bet) in the rifling. You'd need to add the rotational energy of the bullet and the thermal change in the barrel and the surrounding air. :-)

But to your main point, in these new times apparently the laws of man can trump the laws of physics, so if a government mandates 250MPG average fleet consumption by 2020, it. shall. be. done.


Regarding muzzle energy vs. total latent energy of the propellant: that's true, but the figures I used for the alkaline cell are also, roughly speaking, useful output (at a gentle discharge rate, not integrating E*I over the life of the cell as E gradually declines, at other possibly optimistic assumptions).

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