The Virtual Proving Ground

Ballistics information and software for the amateur naval historian interested in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


The purpose of this site is to provide ballistics information and software focussed on the naval history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. My ultimate goal is to develop a complete toolkit of internal, external and terminal ballistics software and to provide the supporting information needed to make effective use of it.

Because it has a naval history emphasis, the site will focus predominantly on contemporary (late 19th/early 20th century) methods in order to highlight the state of knowledge available at the time. More modern methods will be covered only insofar as (a) enough information is publicly available to model them and (b) they throw some additional light on contemporary methods (e.g. they highlight their limits or clarify how they must have been used or adapted).

At present I know it's going to be feasible to deliver the following (I've already got working prototypes):

Internal ballistics

External ballistics

This represents just about total planned coverage of external ballistics. I have no plans to attempt to develop Modified Point-Mass models, and I don't believe sufficient data is available on early projectiles - or ever will be - to justify contemplating 6-Degrees-Of-Freedom models.

Terminal ballistics

In addition, I think it will probably be feasible to deliver armour penetration solutions using the Tressider, de Marre and related late 19th century formulae. If possible I'd also like to include the following, but I haven't done any detailed investigation yet to see how practical it might be:

Internal ballistics

Terminal ballistics

I'll be following an iterative development process and will release versions of the program whenever I complete a distinct step. The first few versions will simply be building infrastructure (for example, the first step will be to build a unit conversion system).


(c) Mike Dean 2003.

If you have any feedback, comments, questions, etc., please contact me at the address below.