March 24th, 2014

Six Shooting Tips from Bryan Litz

If you only know Bryan Litz from his Applied Ballistics Books and DVDs, you may not realize that this guy is a great marksman (along with being an actual rocket scientist). This guy can shoot. At the recent Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN), Bryan took top honors among all sling shooters — and he managed to do that while performing many other important match duties. The pay-off for Bryan was getting his name on a really cool “ghost dancer” perpetual trophy. Litz joked: “With what the wind gods can do at shooting matches, it makes sense to have a trophy that puts you in touch with the spirit world.”

Bryan Litz Tips

This is actually the second time Litz has finished first in Sling class at the Southwest Nationals. After his impressive win, we asked Bryan if he had any advice for other long-range competitors. First Bryan provided three tips concerning Ballistics, his special area of expertise. Next Bryan offered three more general tips about long-range competition — how to analyze your shooting, how to choose your ‘wind strategy’, and how to avoid the most costly mistakes, i.e. how to avoid the “train-wrecks”.

Bryan Litz Tips

Litz Ballistics Tips

Ballistics TIP ONE. If you’re having trouble getting your ballistic software to match actual drops, you need to look at a number of possible reasons. Here are some common issues that can cause problems.

Click Values Are Not Exact. Scopes and iron sights don’t always produce accurate adjustments. In other words, if your ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop, and you dial 30 MOA but hit low, it might be that your sight actually only moved 28 MOA (for example). To see if your sight is adjusting accurately, shoot a tall target at 100 yards and measure group separation when dialing your sight.

Barometric vs. Station Pressure. This is a commonly misunderstood input to ballistics programs. You can avoid this pitfall by remembering the following: station pressure is the actual measured pressure at your location, and you don’t need to tell the program your altitude when using station pressure. Barometric pressure is corrected for sea level. If you’re using barometric pressure, you also have to input your altitude.

Muzzle Velocity. Chronographs are not always as accurate as shooters think they are — your true MV may be off by 10-20 fps (or more). If your drop is different than predicted at long range, it might be because your muzzle velocity input is wrong.

Mixing Up BC (G1 vs. G7). Knowledgeable long range shooters know that the G7 standard is a more representative standard for modern LR bullets. However, using G7 BCs isn’t just a matter of clicking the ‘G7′ option in the program. The numeric value of the BC is different for G1 and G7. For example, the G1 BC of the Berger 155.5 grain Fullbore bullet is .464 but the G7 BC is .237. If you were to enter .464 but click on G7, the results would be way off.

Ballistics TIP TWO. A properly installed level is absolutely essential for long range shooting. Without a good level reference, your long range wind zero will be off due to minor canting of the rifle from side to side. You can verify that your level is installed correctly on a 100-yard ‘tall target’. Draw a plumb line straight up the target and verify that your groups track straight up this line as you go up in elevation.

Ballistics TIP THREE. If your long range ballistic predictions aren’t tracking, always come back and verify your 100-yard zero. Sometimes a simple zero shift can be misconstrued as errors in long range ballistics predictions.

Bryan Litz Tips

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

Bryan Litz Tips

Photos by Steve Fiorenzo

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March 24th, 2014

Brownells 8th Annual Gunsmith Career Fair Runs April 1-2, 2014

Brownells’ 8th Annual Gunsmith Career Fair will be held at the Des Moines Marriot Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa, April 1-2, 2014. The Brownells Gunsmith Conference & Career Fair is expected to draw hundreds of attendees along with representatives from three dozen potential employers. As in past years, the Career Fair will include gunsmithing seminars along with opportunities for individuals to interview for jobs with arms-makers and government agencies.

Brownells job far.Gunsmith CareerFair.com.

In addition to industry and government representatives, many trade schools and colleges offering gunsmithing programs will be exhibiting at the 2014 Gunsmith fair. Past exhibitors have included:

Colorado School of Trades
1575 Hoyt Street
Lakewood, CO 80215
www.SchoolofTrades.com

Montgomery Community College
1011 Page Street
Troy, NC 27371
www.Montgomery.edu

Murray State College
One Murray Campus
Tishomingo, OK 73460
www.MSCok.edu

Pine Technical College
900 Fourth St. SE
Pine City, MN 55063
www.Pinetech.edu

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School
812 Ohio River Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15202
www.PaGunsmith.edu

Trinidad State Junior College
600 Prospect Street
Trinidad, CO 81082
www.trinidadstate.edu

Wabash Valley College
2200 College Drive
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863
www.iecc.edu

Story tip by EdLongrange. Reader Submissions are welcome.
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March 24th, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait — ATF Taking More Time to Process Forms

ATF BATFE Form 4 Processing Delay TimeThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (ATF) Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS) Division has posted a new chart for its form-processing times, and the latest information is not good. NFA Forms 1 and 4 are now taking 10 months to process.

The ATF’s NFA Form 4, is one of the forms required to legally purchase a suppressor (sound moderator). The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is working to get additional resources committed to EPS through the Congressional appropriations process. NSSF Senior VP and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane stated: “The delays and lack of timely customer service, which grows worse every month, is significantly interfering with the ability of members of our industry to engage in the lawful commerce and grow their businesses[.] It also infringes on the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights in a timely manner, and a right delayed is a right denied.”

Related Resources:

ATF BATFE Form Processing Delay Time

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