If you purchase an air rifle, one of the things that you look into is the ability of the air rifle to deliver its energy. It is important mainly because you want your target to be knocked down. When hunting rodents, for instance, you want enough muzzle energy to stop the rodent from running away. A lot of people do not understand what muzzle energy is. However, it is one of the most commonly used terms if you are going to read the websites of air rifle manufacturers. Why should you learn the meaning of muzzle energy? If you want to know the capability of your air rifle, then probably you will want to know these specific details.
What is muzzle energy?
Muzzle energy is the kinetic energy present in your pellet or BB. This is typically measured in FPE (Foot-Pounds Energy). Internationally, it is measured in joules. What most manufacturers of air rifles do is a bit different. Most manufacturers provide the velocity on their website measured in FPS (feet per second) instead of muzzle energy.
Why is velocity misleading for a lot of people? For one, a lot of air rifle manufacturers will do a lot of things in order to get the most in their air rifle’s FPE. If you heard of using lubricants to get the most in the velocity department, this is a common practice in the air rifle industry. It is common among air rifle manufacturers to make use of the lightest pellet in order to build up the hype.
But of course, let’s understand that fast isn’t always the best thing to have during hunting. A lot of people think that faster pellets translate to knocking power. If you are using a light alloy pellet, although it travels faster than the heavier pellets, it won’t have the same knockdown power as the heavier pellet. If you look at different countries, it is not the velocity that is controlled by government agencies; it is more common to see countries regular air rifles based on the muzzle energy. This goes to show how important muzzle power is.
How do you measure the muzzle energy?
The computation of FPE is simplified by taking the pellet weight in grains and by multiplying it to the velocity of the pellet’s velocity squared. The product of this number should be divided by the total number of grains in pounds multiplied by twice the acceleration of gravity. For those who have forgotten about the constant acceleration of gravity, it is 32.16fps due to free fall. As for the total grains, it is 7000, which is the number of grains in a pound.
Understanding the jargon goes a long way. It is imperative that you know these technical details in order to make the right choice of air rifle. An air rifle varies in power and in performance, thus every technical detail counts especially for someone who hunts regularly. Knowing the terms enables you to get the best bang for your buck. You don’t have to spend so much for a poor performing air rifle.