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 December 4, 2013, 06:37 PM #1 RX-79G Junior member   Join Date: October 27, 2013 Posts: 1,139 Major Power Factor: No gun required Reading mentions of IPSC Power Factor recently got me interested in the math behind this calculation. A ball of lead a little over an inch in diameter thrown at 60 mph (12 year old Little League pitcher) makes Major, like .45 ACP. Would it be fair to say that if I threw a lead ball lighter than a baseball it would do all the damage of a .45, and more than 9mm, according to the IPSC system?
 December 4, 2013, 08:24 PM #2 Budda Senior Member   Join Date: November 7, 2011 Location: Earth Posts: 446 Major Power Factor: No gun required My cabbage and melons are lethal then!!
 December 4, 2013, 09:25 PM #3 saleen322 Senior Member   Join Date: March 8, 2010 Posts: 544 Good points. People have to remember that these numbers are guidelines for games and not based on actual energy. More over, think how many times someone will say that heavier bullets at the same power factor are less snappy. Well since energy rises at the square of velocity while power factor is just a product of mass times velocity, the heavier round at the same power factor has less kinetic energy so that is why it kicks less.
 December 5, 2013, 09:11 AM #4 Destructo6 Senior Member   Join Date: March 18, 1999 Location: Nogales, AZ USA Posts: 3,876 The power factor is a system designed to favor the 45acp. __________________ God gave you a soul. Your parents, a body. Your country, a rifle. Keep all of them clean.
December 5, 2013, 09:32 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
Moderator Emeritus

Join Date: June 25, 2008
Posts: 19,100
Quote:
 Originally Posted by saleen322 Good points. People have to remember that these numbers are guidelines for games and not based on actual energy. More over, think how many times someone will say that heavier bullets at the same power factor are less snappy. Well since energy rises at the square of velocity while power factor is just a product of mass times velocity, the heavier round at the same power factor has less kinetic energy so that is why it kicks less.
Except that recoil is based on momentum, not kinetic energy.

To the original point, Power Factor is for a game. It has no real life implication/application.

December 5, 2013, 09:37 AM   #6
MrBorland
Senior Member

Join Date: May 31, 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 2,373
Quote:
 I threw a lead ball lighter than a baseball it would do all the damage of a .45, and more than 9mm, according to the IPSC system?
Despite it's name, "Power" Factor (mass x velocity) is a measure of momentum, not power or energy, and these latter elements are what do damage: Momentum's good for moving things but not damaging them.

The 1" lead ball thrown at 60 mpg may have the same PF & momentum as a .45acp round, but it's only got about a tenth of the energy. Combined with it's abysmal sectional density, it'll do little damage, relative to a .45acp round.

 December 5, 2013, 10:35 AM #7 g.willikers Senior Member   Join Date: September 28, 2008 Posts: 9,648 Just a guess, but The power factors might exist to level the playing field as regard to recoil, and how fast one can shoot the targets. Especially since the scoring systems are so connected to timed speed and rate of fire. __________________ Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez: “Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
 December 5, 2013, 11:25 AM #8 Jim Watson Senior Member   Join Date: October 25, 2001 Location: Alabama Posts: 13,328 Why guess? That was the purpose of power factoring. It came about when cheap chronographs became available and building and operating the ballistic pendulum was unnecessary. There were other measures. I recall one that had a complicated formula covering both momentum and energy. You would be well rewarded for shooting a Magnum if that system was used in scoring. This thread shows the problems that can arise from extrapolating a value beyond the range it was defined for. Kind of like using Taylor Knock Out for pistols and varmint rifles.

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