Very-low-drag bullets (VLD) were primarily a small arms ballistics development of the 1980sâ€“1990s, driven by shooters’ desire for bullets that will give a higher degree of accuracy and kinetic efficiency, especially at extended ranges. To achieve this, the projectile must minimize air resistance in flight. Demand has been greatest from Long Range Target shooters, including benchrest competitors, but hunters have also benefited. Most VLD bullets used today are in rifles.
By increasing the bullet’s ballistic coefficiency, the bullet decelerates less rapidly or stays super sonic longer. This in turn flattens the projectile’s trajectory some what, markedly decreases the lateral drift caused by crosswinds. and the higher resultant velocity at impact thus delivers more kinetic energy. This is called more “Smack Down”…LOL
The development of VLD bullets has focused on the following main factors:
1: The production of bullets with concentric and coincident centers of form and centres of mass.
2: Bullet design incorporating a secant ogive, tangent ogive, Von KÃ¡rmÃ¡n ogive or Sears-Haack profile in the bullet’s nose area.
3: The use of carefully tapered bullet heels, or boat-tails.
4: A cavity or hollow in the bullet nose (hollow point) to shift the projectile’s centre of gravity rearwards.
The resulting projectile is very “slippery” (well streamlined) for easier passage through the air. Consistency in bullet production, allied to consistency in the assembly of cartridges (quality control) should give excellent shot-to-shot consistency and repeatable accuracy.
The principles of bullet design and bullet flight are classically set out in Mann, F.W.: The Bullet’s Flight from Powder to Target: Ballistics of Small Arms (1942 and other reprints).
Producing consistantly accurate bullets this way is not easy. To guarantee consistency and thus accuracy, professional quality control during and after production is mandatory.