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July 27th, 2021

TECH REVIEW: Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics Software

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

The 2021 NRA F-Class National Championships are underway right now at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The Mid-Range Nationals concluded yesterday with the Team Match, and the Long-Range F-Class Nationals commence today, July 27, 2021 and run through Friday, July 30th. For F-Class competitors, making the right wind call is a vital skill. Many shooters and team wind coaches will be using Kestrel Wind Meters, widely regarded as the best on the market.

Camp Atterbury F-Class Championships

This article reviews the advanced Kestrel 5700 Elite Wind Meter with sophisticated ballistics capabilities. Our review features three videos by F-Class John that show how the Kestrel 5700 Elite works with Applied Ballistics APP software and LiNK connection.

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

This Part I Video starts with a basic Kestrel Anemometer (blue case, 00:00-00:40) wind meter. Then reviewer F-Class John looks at the “smart” Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics functionality and LiNK Bluetooth connectivity. John explains the many features of the Kestrel 5700 and how it holds a powerful ballistics calculator in the convenient, easy-to-tote Kestrel package. With the Kestrel 5700 Elite, once you enter data about your bullets, velocity, zero, and rifle, the Kestrel can calculate come-ups and wind corrections. If you don’t yet own a Kestrel, we highly recommend you watch this series of videos that explains advanced Kestrel features in detail.

This Part II Video shows the key features of the advanced software APP used by the Kestrel 5700 Elite unit with Applied Ballistics. The Kestrel 5700 can “talk” to a mobile device that runs the Applied Ballistics software APP that contains bullet databases and allows you to enter key information such as muzzle velocity, bullet BC, zero distance, velocity, wind, and environmental factors (altitude, temperature etc.). There are also gun-specific factors such as scope height over bore and barrel twist rate. The video also explains how “range cards” are created and how to view them with your Elite Ballistics-enabled Kestrel. John notes: “The APP is great because you don’t have to fiddle with the Kestrel’s buttons. It’s much easier to enter data and change settings with the APP.”

This Part III video shows how to determine true wind direction by aligning the SIDE of the unit into the wind. You essentially want to set the unit 90 degrees to the wind direction so the impeller runs as slowly as possible. Then, after you set your target distance (See 3:03), the unit can give you precise come-ups for your intended target (10.28 MOA for 559 yards here). The Kestrel then calculates the cross-wind correction as well (See 3:12).

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, the video author may receive a small commission. This helps support F-Class John’s YouTube channel and allows him to continue to make videos like this.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gear Review, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 27th, 2021

Reloading Manuals — Good Choices for Handloaders

reloading hand-loading reload data manual sierra berger hornady lyman

It’s great to be able to access online load data for your cartridges. You can quickly get load data for a particular powder and bullet weight. However, there are times when we prefer to consult old-fashioned printed/bound load manuals. The primary reason is that manuals produced by bullet- and tool-makers will, for a particular cartridge, include data for powders from multiple manufacturers. Having a single source can save you time and trouble. For example, if you want to find 6.5 Creedmoor loads using H4350 (Hodgdon), Reloder 16 (Alliant), and N150 (Vihtavuori) you would have to visit three different powder-maker websites, one after another. OR you can pick up a modern load manual and find everything in one place.

There are many excellent printed load manuals on the market. We have used the Berger Manual, Sierra Manual, Speer Manual, Lyman Manual, and Hornady Manual. We like the Berger and Sierra manuals for match rifle cartridges, and the Lyman and Hornady manuals for hunting loads and pistol cartridges. Unfortunately, the popular binder-format Sierra Manual is currently back-ordered. Get one if you can.

The Lyman Reloading Manuals have earn praise over the years:
“Every other reloading book I’ve used favors their own bullets over every other manufacturers. With Lyman you get an honest representation of a wide variety of different… manufacturers. [Lyman has] a ton of reloading data on just about any bullet style you can imagine. I’ve tried a wide range of their recipes and everyone I’ve tried has been spot on. The overall breadth of information this book covers is impressive.” Review by RangetoReal.com.

reloading hand-loading reload data manual Nosler 9 guide sierra berger hornady lymanNosler #9 Manual Features New Cartridges
If you are looking for up-to-date cartridge/bullet/powder information, in late 2020 Nosler released the Nosler Reloading Guide #9, the latest in a respected series of Nosler load manuals.

This 800-page guide covers 101 cartridge types. New in this edition you’ll find the popular 6mm Creedmoor, 6mm XC, 6.5 PRC, and 7.62×39, along with 20 Nosler, 22 Nosler, 24 Nosler, 27 Nosler and 33 Nosler. This manual is a good resource for PRS shooters and hunters. The Nosler #9 book draws from thousands of hours in the Nosler Ballistic Lab, along with the experience of many respected experts.

The book is available for $24.99 at Midsouth or $24.95 on Amazon. Keep in mind that much of the book’s latest load data is available for free on the Nosler.com online LOAD DATA Center. But to get ALL the data, PLUS all the technical articles, you’ll need to buy the book.

Along with the new Nosler #9 Manual, here are four other recommended Reloading Manuals:

Here Are Four General Instructional Books That Cover Reloading Procedures:

POWDER BURN RATE TABLE

Here is the most recent powder burn rate chart from Hodgdon/IMR that we could find. Click links below to access printable PDF. Note, some readers have suggested a couple powder ranking issues in the table. However, this is the latest official version from the IMR website, released in November 2019.


POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from HODGDON.COM

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File »

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
July 27th, 2021

Polish Inside of Seating Stems to Avoid Ring Marks on Bullets

Seating Stem Reloading Tip Sierra Bullet .223 Remington compressed loads

Here’s a helpful hint for hand-loaders from Sierra Bullets. While this article focuses on Sierra’s new Tipped Match-King bullets, the recommended solutions apply to other bullet types as well. The article explains how sharp edges on a seating stem can cause a ring to be pressed into the bullet jacket — especially with compressed loads that resist downward bullet movement. Here Sierra technician Rich Machholz diagnoses the problem and provides a solution.

Seating Stem Reloading Tip Sierra Bullet .223 Remington compressed loads

Solutions for Ring Marks Caused by Seating Stems

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz
Now that the new Tipped MatchKing® (TMK) bullets are being shipped and shooters are putting them to use I have received several calls regarding marking on the bullet ogive from the seating stem.

The cause can be traced to one of several things. In the .223 and especially with the long, 77 grain TMK seated at 2.250” or even 2.260” most loads of Varget® and Reloder® 15 are compressed loads, sometimes heavily compressed. This puts a great deal of pressure on the bullet through the seating stem. The result of all this pressure is a mark of varying depth and appearance on the ogive of the bullet. [Editor: We have seen this issue with a variety of other bullet types/shapes as well, including non-tipped VLDs. The solution is profiling the internal cone of the seating stem to match your bullet shape.]

Some older seating stems might even bear against the tip of the bullet which can make a slight bulge in the jacket just below the junction of the resin tip and the copper jacket in a compressed load. If this is the case there is not a ready fix other than calling the die manufacturer and requesting a new deeper seating stem.

Polish Your Seating Stem to Remove Sharp Internal Edges
If the seating stem is of proper depth the culprit most generally is a thin sharp edge on the inside taper of the seating stem. This is an easy fix that can be accomplished by chucking a spare 77 grain bullet in your drill, coating it with valve grinding compound or even rubbing compound or in a pinch even tooth paste.* Remove the seating stem assembly from the seating die. Turn the drill on and put the seating stem recess over the spinning bullet with the polishing compound to break or smooth the sharp edge that is making the offending mark. This might take more than one application to get the proper polish depending upon what you use, but the more you polish the better the blend of angles which will [ensure the stem matches the bullet contours, not leaving a sharp ring].

If the above is a little more than you care to tackle you might try very fine emery cloth twisted to a point that can be inserted into the mouth to the seating stem and rotated to polish the inside to eliminate any sharp edges that might be present.

Load Advice for 77gr TMKs in the .223 Rem
And last but certainly not least. Actually, even though we don’t say you need additional data for the TMKs, remember you are dealing with heavily-compressed loads in some cases because of the additional bullet length. Due to the additional length of these new bullets and in the interest of gaining some room in the case you might consider trying a slightly faster extruded powder like BenchMark or the 4895s or an even more dense powder like the spherical H335®, CFE223 or TAC. The extra room will allow for trouble free bullet seating also.

Good luck and remember we are no further away than your telephone: 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Match-King Reloading Bullet Seating

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 7 Comments »