External Ballistics Part III – Understanding Trajectory

trajectory, howard hall, firearms instructor, aegis academy, firearms shootingExternal Ballistics Part III – Understanding Trajectory

Thank you for returning to our third and final discussion on External Ballistics. In this article, I will discuss the elements that affect projectile trajectory, such as sonic vs. sub-sonic velocities, ballistic curve and “zeroing” the firearm. This last article on external ballistics ties other articles in this series together in order to provide you with an understanding on how to leverage trajectory and consistently place your shots where you want them. This also establishes a solid baseline for the following articles on terminal ballistics, which describe projectile effects on impact.


Trajectory is simply defined as the curved path a projectile travels from point of initial velocity to impact. As we discussed in previous articles, upon exiting the firearm bore, the projectile’s initial velocity, momentum, and direction are affected by the external forces of gravity, air resistance, yaw, precession, and nutation. These … Read more »

How to Build a Firearms Training Course

A training program is different than training…

Aegis Academy-pistol training-firearms training course“To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.” – Confucius

As a firearms instructor I consider myself a mentor or guide and I believe a great amount of thought should go into creating and implementing a firearms training course. If you are an experienced shooter or an instructor, the ability to shoot is not often the problem. Sharing your experience or knowledge often is. It is not just the physical action of shooting, but the organization, logistics, safety and small details required to successfully run a course. Setting up drills is easy. My intent is to provide you some guidance on how to begin and what subjects you need to consider.  If you look online for how to build a firearms training course, you will see a plethora of “courses of fire”, drills or target schemes … Read more »

External Ballistics Part I – Physics, Projectiles and Transitional Ballistics

external ballistics, howard hall, firearms training, firearms instructor, aegis academy, pistol shootingExternal Ballistics Part I – Physics, Projectiles and Transitional Ballistics

Welcome back to our study of ballistics.  Now that we’ve covered the many aspects of internal ballistics and how ammunition interacts with the inner workings of firearm components to produce mechanical accuracy, we will discuss external ballistics.  Since there are so many forces that affect a projectile’s flight from the muzzle to the target, I’ve broken the subject material down into a two part series.  In this article, I will introduce some basic physics principles, discuss projectile characteristics and focus on transitional ballistics.

“Painless” Physics

In order to fully explain some concepts related to external ballistics, I need to briefly review the principles on which all ballistics rest: Newtonian Physics.  external ballistics, howard hall, firearms training, firearms instructor, aegis academy, pistol shootingWhile many of us learned our first physics lessons from Wylie E. Coyote, nearly everything depicted was incorrect.  Even though we cannot observe the forces acting on a projectile the … Read more »

Shotgun Breaching 101

Aegis Academy - Shotgun Breaching - Gun Safety ClassMembers and readers, if you have noticed a trend toward more tactical shotgun articles lately, you are correct. We have discussed at length the ability to use the Shotgun as a weapon and the ability to add accessories such as lights and extra ammunition quite easily. For a relatively inexpensive weapon, it has great versatility and firepower. For close quarter type engagements, the sheer kinetic energy it delivers without most of the over-penetration problems found with many other weapons, makes it THE weapon of choice for home defense. As we move to the use of the shotgun as a ballistic tool, it becomes even more apparent that having a properly equipped shotgun at your home makes you and your family safer and more prepared for any and all eventualities. Now, we will discuss the importance of knowing how to use shotgun breaching techniques that can be useful in emergency situations.… Read more »

Gun Safety Rules and a Few Tips!

gun safety and rules, Aegis Academy, firearms instructor, pistol shootingFirearms are excellent tools for both personal defense and recreation. Having a good working knowledge of gun safety  rules is an part of being proficient. Unfortunately, many web sites and Internet forums default to “humorous” safety tips and rules or worse, things that are simply unsafe.  Here are a few gun safety rules and tips to think about as a responsible gun owner. Before we talk about tips you need to know and understand the Four Universal Safety Rules. There are variations on the theme, but Jeff Cooper is generally credited with distilling these down to the key elements to creating a safe gun owner. These apply to any firearm.

Gun Safety Rules

1. Treat every gun as if it was loaded.

Do not ever do anything with an unloaded gun you would not do with a loaded one.

2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing Read more »