Ballistics & Shooting - What are Ballistics and How Does it Affect Shooting?


What's up, my fellow gun people?! I'm stoked to dive into the exciting world of ballistics and show you how it affects shooting. Now, I know some of you might be intimidated by the technical jargon (and the math), but don't worry, we'll keep things simple and entertaining. So, let's get started.

What is Ballistics?

Heck, you might even be asking, “What are ballistics?” I promise this is not going to be a physics class. Ballistics is way more interesting than that. It is all about what happens when you shoot a gun. You know those action movies where the hero takes out the bad guy from a mile away with a single shot? That's ballistics in action. It's like magic, but with bullets instead of rabbits. Okay, maybe that's not the best comparison, but you get the idea.

Basically, ballistics is the study of what happens to a bullet when you fire it. It's like physics, but with way more explosions. When you pull the trigger, a whole bunch of things happens inside your gun that affect how the bullet travels through the air. Understanding these things can help you become a better shooter and make more accurate shots.

So, if you're into shooting, or just curious about how it all works, then you definitely need to know about ballistics. Plus, it's a great conversation starter at parties. Just don't be that guy who talks about nothing but guns all night. 

Nobody likes that guy.

Different Types of Ballistics

Illustration of Ballistics when a bullet is fired

There are three types of ballistics that come into play whenever a trigger is pulled. They are,

  1. Internal Ballistics
  2. External Ballistics
  3. Terminal Ballistics
  • Internal Ballistics

The first thing you need to understand about ballistics is that it's all about what happens when you pull the trigger. And that's where internal ballistics comes in. This field of study focuses on what's happening inside your firearm when you fire it. Essentially, a small explosion happens inside the gun, which ignites the powder and propels the bullet out of the barrel. Understanding internal ballistics is crucial for optimizing your firearm's performance. For example, the type of powder you use can affect the amount of recoil your gun has, which can influence your accuracy. 

  • External Ballistics

Now, let's talk about external ballistics. This is where things get really interesting. Once the bullet leaves the barrel, it enters a world of unpredictable factors like wind, gravity, and atmospheric conditions. These variables can significantly impact the trajectory of your shot and cause you to miss even if you aimed perfectly. But don't panic, with a little knowledge of external ballistics and practice with the right Shooting Training Targets, you can make the necessary adjustments and hit your target like a pro. For example, shooting on a windy day means that you might need to aim a little to the left or right to compensate for the wind. Knowing how to calculate bullet drop and how far a bullet will travel can also help you choose the right round for your situation.

  • Terminal Ballistics

Then comes terminal ballistics into play. This field of study focuses on what happens when your bullet hits its target. Different types of ammo and bullets can have a significant impact on how much damage they do, and understanding this can be a real game-changer when it comes to hunting or self-defense situations. For instance, hollow-point bullets are designed to expand upon impact, causing more damage to the target, while full-metal jacket bullets are designed to penetrate deeply, making them useful in certain scenarios. Knowing the round, weight and metals comp to use for each situation can be the difference between success and failure.

How Does Ballistics Affect Shooting?

So, why should you care about ballistics? Well, for starters, understanding ballistics can make you a better shooter. By knowing how your gun and ammo work together, you can make more accurate shots and impress your shooting buddies. It can also help you choose the right equipment for your shooting situation. For example, if you're hunting, you might choose a different type of ammo than if you're shooting at the range. The bottom line is that understanding ballistics can take your shooting skills to the next level and help you make informed decisions when it comes to firearms.

Training for Ballistics

Understanding the science behind ballistics is one thing, but being able to apply it in practice is an entirely different matter. While it's important to have a theoretical understanding of ballistics and its impact on shooting, it's equally essential to undergo training under various conditions to fully comprehend how ballistics works in real-world situations.

At Triumph Systems, we offer a wide range of targets including Reactive Targets for shooting, Steel targets for shooting, Bleeding targets, and more,  that can help you train for ballistics and receive instant feedback on your performance.

To effectively train for ballistics, there are several key aspects you should focus on to hone your reflexes and develop the necessary skills to account for the many variables that affect the ballistics. First and foremost, it's crucial to train both indoors and outdoors to experience the full impact of ballistics on your shooting. In long-range shooting, for example, you must take into account the effects of wind and distance and train accordingly.

Another important factor to consider is how ballistics can differ based on the terrain. Bullets behave differently on uphill and downhill slopes due to the effect of ballistics, and it's essential to train in these conditions to learn how to compensate and shoot accurately.

Additionally, it's important to understand how different guns and ammunition can impact ballistics, as this can play a crucial role in real-life scenarios. By training your reflexes to account for these effects, you can be better prepared to make accurate shots in high-pressure situations.

Failing to take ballistics into account can have severe consequences, and a misplaced shot can put everything at stake. That's why it's essential to undergo thorough training for ballistics and equip yourself with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in any shooting situation.


In conclusion, ballistics is a fascinating field that every shooter should have a basic understanding of. By mastering the basics of internal ballistics, external ballistics, and terminal ballistics, you can optimize your firearm's performance, make more accurate shots, and stay safe while handling firearms. And always remember to put safety first when handling firearms. If you're ever feeling overwhelmed, don't hesitate to reach out to a professional or experienced shooter for some advice. 

And with that, we've reached the end of another blog post. I'll leave you with a nugget of wisdom from my favorite philosopher, Ron Swanson: 'Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.' This is Jeffrey King, the "Triumph Marketing Dude", signing off.

P.S. If you read this whole blog to find out what Beyonce and Ballistics have in's nothing. Thanks again for reading!!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published