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Ar-15 Barrel Motion as a Function of Weapon Mount Configuration



In the field of experimental small arms ballistics there has always been a large amount of energy put into how a test weapon is secured. Various philosophies exist; however, this is largely left to experience and is more of an artistic approach rather than a scientific approach. Many experimentalists leverage physical understanding of the firing event to reduce motion or vibration. However, in most cases, there is no direct measurement of the performance of the mounting technique. Often the dispersion performance of a weapon system when fired from a specific mount is used as a gauge, ignoring the fact that dispersion is comprised of many sources. Through complex jump testing, the US Army Research Laboratory has shown the ability to dissect the relative contribution of individual dispersion sources. This work showed that it is possible to mount a weapon system in a way that barrel motion does not affect the dispersion or jump behavior. This effort employs an easy-to-use modern measurement technique to characterize barrel motion of a commercial AR-15 weapon during dispersion testing. High speed digital micrometers were used to measure barrel motion before, during, and after firing in order to establish the pointing angle and crossing velocity variability as a function of mounting configuration. Ten mounting configurations were examined for a single weapon type firing match grade ammunition with the intention of isolating the barrel motion effects.

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