October 5th, 2009

IMR 8208 XBR Load Data Available Online

We interviewed Chris Hodgdon of Hodgdon Powder Co. and learned some important information about the IMR’s new 8208 XBR powder. First Chris confirmed that ADI (Australian Defense Industries Ltd.) is the manufacturer. The powder is a very small extruded powder, similar to H322 in kernel size. That means it packs densely in a case and meters well in manual powder measures. As to burn rate, Chris stated that IMR 8208 XBR is “a tad slower than H4895.” Chris confirmed that the powder’s distinctive qualities are temp stability in an ultra-wide temperature range and a very broad accuracy window. Chris said: “Jim Carmichael found he could go up and down [significantly] in his charge weight and the group size didn’t vary.”

Hodgdon has already begun shipping IMR 8208 XBR to “OEM manufacturers” according to Chris, who said a major manufacturer will be loading the powder into .308 Win ammo and possibly other cartridges. Chris hopes to send AccurateShooter.com some of the new 8208 XBR powder for testing within two weeks. When will the powder be available to the general public? Chris couldn’t give a firm answer, but he stated “we hope to start shipping in January, 2010, prior to SHOT Show.”

IMR 8208 XBR Load Data Now Online
The Hodgdon Reloading Center site has been updated to include IMR 8208 XBR load data for 41 cartridges. Go to www.data.hodgdon.com and select “Cartridge Loads”. Then you’ll need to input the rifle cartridge of your choice. We quickly found IMR 8208 XBR loads for the .223 Rem, 22 PPC, 22-250, 6 PPC, 6mm BR, 6.5 Grendel, and .308 Win, and many other cartridges. NOTE: For most of these cartridges, the stated “max load” velocities were NOT particularly impressive. So, be aware, that this initial load data is pretty conservative.

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October 5th, 2009

Coming Soon… Ballistics Software Package for Cell Phones

One of our readers, Rafal Walczowski, revealed that programmers from Poland have developed ballistics software for cell phones. The new program, KABAL, should be able to operate in over 90% of programmable mobile phones. Rafal tells us: “Our idea was to develop software which could be used on the most common devices people carry all the time — mobile phones.” Current mobile ballistics programs require a separate device (such as a Windows PDA), or are limited to a single type of phone (e.g. the KAC program for the I-Phone). The Polish developers came up with a handier, more universal application: “We made software that should work on every device with JAVA MIDP.2.0. That should work for about 90-95% of the phones on the market. And, later, we will make a KABAL version that runs with older versions of JAVA.”

Kabal Ballistics software cell phone

Rafal reports the KABAL Ballistics program for mobile phones has worked well in field tests: “The algorithm for our calculator was field-tested for 18 months at ranges up to 1076 meters. Many different calibers, rifles, and bullets were employed during testing. We are pleased with the results, even when compared to QuickTarget and Exbal programs. Our KABAL program often proved more accurate, especially for long-range calculations, whereas QuickTarget and Exbal could be too optimistic.”

English Version Coming Soon — and Free BETA Version Online
Rafal reports: “Several weeks ago we finished the Polish version of KABAL and we are selling it for mobile phones. We are now are working on an English-language version, which is currently in beta testing.” There is a free English test version that works in a PC browser. This includes a BC database, a bullet stability calculator, plus tooltips describing each field. You can try out the free online beta version by clicking the link below. Rabal adds: “We would highly appreciate any opinions/feedback about our software”.

CLICK HERE for Beta Version of English KABAL Ballistics Software (Web use only)

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