As we reported a few weeks ago, Bryan Litz has written a new book, Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting. We know many readers have pre-ordered Bryan’s latest book. Here’s the good news. Bryan reports that most pre-orders for the new book shipped yesterday, and the rest will go out today.
We asked Bryan to explain the differences between his original Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting resource book and the new Accuracy and Precision book. Here is Bryan’s explanation…
The first book, Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting, covers the elements of long range shooting and explains how all the various mechanisms of external ballistics affect trajectories. It’s also the book that contains detailed drawings, BC and stability data for hundreds of bullets.
The new book, Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting explains the impact of external ballistic effects in terms of “hit percentage”. For example, if you choose to ignore Coriolis Effect in your ballistic solution, how much will your hit percentage be reduced on a 10″ target at 1000 yards? How about a 5″ target at 500 yards? How much would your hit percentage be improved on a 15″ target at 1200 yards if you reduce wind uncertainty from +/-3 mph to +/-2 mph?
There are also numerous performance comparisons between different classes of cartridges. For example: how much higher is hit percentage for a .338 Lapua Magnum than a .308 Winchester for common environments and targets?
The new book identifies accuracy and precision effects and defines their effects separately. Did you ever wonder why it’s so easy to shoot a 10 inch GROUP at 1000 yards, but how difficult it is to HIT A 10″ TARGET at 1000 yards on the first shot? Shooting a 10 inch group is precision, but centering the group is a challenge of accuracy.
It’s quite common for long range shooters to focus 90% of their effort on the precision aspect, and only 10% on accuracy. To actually hit targets, you need a balance of accuracy and precision, with accuracy becoming increasingly more important as range is extended. — Bryan Litz
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Sebastian (Seb) Lambang of SEB Coaxial, a brilliant designer and fabricator, has created an ingenious joystick bipod. The first coaxial bipod we’ve ever seen, Seb’s new bipod is a superb example of creative design and smart engineering. This unit gives F-TR and other bipod shooters precise, one-handed control of both windage and elevation. Seb’s innovative joystick bipod is yet one more example of the innovative, advanced engineering we’ve come to expect from his company. We think this guy could be building Formula 1 cars if he set his mind to it. We are fortunate that Seb loves shooting, so he applies his talent to designing and building great new products for the shooting sports.
Seb tells us: “I just finished a prototype joystick bipod, i.e. a bipod with joystick (coaxial) elevation and windage control. This patent-pending bipod is my newest project/invention. As far as I know, there is no one that makes this type of bipod… so it’s probably the only one in the world.” We already know some shooters who want to order Seb’s joystick bipod, but Seb cautions: “It’s not for sale yet. It’s still in prototype step. There is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.”
Seb will test and refine the design in the next couple of months before production starts. But Seb is quite satisfied with the design so far: “The rigidity, ease and comfort of use, and compactness, are already OK in my opinion.” Folks in Europe will be able to see the design very soon. The first real-world test of Seb’s new joystick bipod will be at the European F-Class Championship, slated for November 2-3 in the UK. Seb notes: “I won’t be shooting F-TR in the match, but I will ask some fellow F-TR shooters at the Bisley range to test it, and provide feedback.” Seb invites Daily Bulletin readers to look at the photos and provide comments or suggestions on design enhancements.
At the lowest setting with the adjustable legs, the SEB bipod is approximately 6″ tall. At the highest setting, the unit is about 9″ tall. To smooth upward movement of the rifle, Seb designed the coaxial head with “built-in uplift”. The joystick itself is about 10″ long, with a collet-type head. When folded, the new SEB Bipod is relatively compact, about 9″ long x 5″ wide x 2″ thick. Most parts are made from aircraft grade 7000 series aluminum. The current weight of the prototype is 26 ounces (740 grams). Seb is working on reducing weight for the production models.
Joystick Function and Adjustment Range
As with SEB Coaxial front rests, the joystick function is user-selectable. The joystick handle can operate either ‘up for up’ or ‘up for down’, simply by reversing the unit and the joystick. The bipod’s effective windage and elevation range* is approximately 38 MOA horizontal (windage) and 16 MOA vertical (elevation). Seb explains: “That’s not as much as my other rests, but for F-Class use it should be adequate. The finer the adjustment, the better on the target and the smoother the joystick operation. It’s like using a scope with 1/8 MOA adjustment rather than 1/4 MOA.”
*True vertical travel is about 32 MOA but in the field the rifle stock will limit how far you can lift the joysticK. Note also that the adjustment range varies with your set-up geometry. The shorter the distance between the rear bag and the bipod, the greater the travel in MOA. This means that if you extend the distance between rear bag and bipod, you will lose some MOA travel.
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Story based on report by Kyle Jillson in NRAblog
Earlier this month, junior air rifle shooters from Georgia faced off against counterparts in Germany during an “internet match” that allowed both teams to keep track of their opponents scores in real-time. The two teams were 4,000 miles apart, but they competed simultaneously, with scores from both countries posted instantly (in both venues) via internet connections.
Each shooter was ranked and paired against the corresponding member of the opposing team – like golf’s Ryder Cup. Instead of a team aggregate determining the outcome, countries earned points for beating their opponents.
The US team was set up at the Ole Mill Range in Griffin, Georgia, while their German opponents were shooting from from Untergrombach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, in southern Germany. American and German teams, separated by 4,000 miles and a six hour time difference, came together on a fall day to shoot a fun match between one another – simultaneously. Instead of waiting for results from one another and shooting on different days, it was great to see the two groups work out schedules that allowed competition as if they were all at the same range.
Instead of a normal 60-shot standing match, the two ranges agreed to tweak the rules to the head-to-head format for a little international fun. All shooters still shot in the same relay with scores reported as they came in and “wins” were counted after each pair had finished.
How did the US team fare? I’m sure they’ve seen better days. Outshot in all but one match, the United States lost to Germany 3-1. Despite the defeat, this match was a great example of the shooting sport’s international strength. This “internet match” opened all kinds of doors for future matches between not only different countries, but different states within the USA. The ease of communication through computers can really help the shooting sports expand with a web of competitions the world over.
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Serious reloaders know that PMA Tool makes some of the best specialty reloading tools you can buy. To help folks get the most out of their 21st century products, the company has created a new informational website. PMA’s Pat Reagin explains: “We have created a side-site, linked off of our main website, that is just for information. We will adding new product tips regularly. On this page we will post in-depth information about our tools, videos, customer-submitted information and photos, as well as a calendar of shooting events.” You can access PMA’s “At the Bench” info site at: atthebench.pmatool.com.
One highlight of the new PMA info site is a section dedicated to PMA’s new Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer. Pat tells us: “We’ve had quite of bit of interest in the new case trimmer, but a lot of guys want to see it in action. So we’ve created a couple of videos featuring the new trimmer. The first intro video, linked below, shows how to adjust and use the trimmer in various modes. We also produced a longer, 14-minute Instructional Video with more detail on trimmer adjustment and set-up.”
Watch Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer Video
The PMA Micro-Adjust Case trimmer indexes off the shoulder but it also provides precise control over neck length. You aren’t limited to a built-in, neck-length setting like some other shoulder-indexed trimmers. The PMA Micro-Adjust Trimming tool currently sells for $119.95 including one cartridge insert. The inserts, which can be purchased for $13.95 separately, can often work for a multiple cartridge types within the same family. For example, you can use the same insert for both .243 Win and .260 Rem. There is another insert that works with both 7mm-08 and .308 Win.
PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer Features:
Indexes off shoulder for easy, consistent trim length.
Cases captured in no-scratch, Delrin™ inserts.
Fully rotating head with bearing for smooth operation and clean, square cuts.
Sharp carbide cutter for quick, smooth cuts with minimal burr.
Spring loaded head allows complete control of rate of feed.
How to use the PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer
The trimmer indexes case off the case shoulder through the use of interchangeable Delrin™ inserts which capture the shoulder and neck of the case. This insert is contained in a spring-loaded tool head that rides on a linear bearing. The Micro-Adjust Trimmer can be used in three ways.
First, you can secure the case in a PMA caseholder chucked in a power drill, drill press, or lathe. You hold the trimming tool with your hand and feed in the spinning case. (This method is handy because if you leave the case in the holder, after you have trimmed to length, you can switch tools and chamfer the case-mouth using the same power source).
In the second method, the trimmer’s adjustment knob is removed (after locking the setting) and the cutting shaft is chucked in a drill, drill press. or lathe. Using this method, the case itself is held by hand and fed into the cutter. Lastly, the trimmer can be used manually, holding the case in one hand and the trimmer in the other. That’s the slowest method, but it works if you do not have power tools handy.
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Product Preview by Jim Bennington
Rifle accuracy and precision have come a long way in the past 15 years. The most recent tool to significantly improve precision is the barrel tuning system. The Rifle Accuracy System (RAS) developed by Precision Rifle Systems, LLC of Myakka City, Florida, brings a fresh approach to tuning. The RAS incorporates a precision muzzle brake with the tuner.
This system provides significant precision improvements and was the subject of a June 2012 Precision Shooting (PS) magazine article, titled “Improved Rifle Accuracy” and will also be featured in an article in the November 2012 issue of PS titled “Tuning with Confidence”.
READ MORE about RAS Tuner Tests on .260 AI, .223 Rem, and 22LR rimfire rifles.
Copies of both articles and detailed instructions on RAS installation and tuning can be downloaded from www.bostromgunsmithing.com. Eric Bostrom is the distributor for the RAS.
Accuracy is the ability of a firearm to hit what it is aimed at within the limits of the precision of that firearm. Precision is the ability of a firearm to place successive shots in or near the first shot. A firearm that delivers one minute of angle (1 MOA) precision should, at 100 yards, place the bullet within roughly one inch of where it is aimed (actually 1.047″), or a sight adjustment should correct the problem. All the improvements in optics, manufacturing and components have allowed precision expectations to go from 1 MOA to 1/2 MOA or even sub-quarter-MOA.
What is the next frontier for the precision rifle? While all the other advancements were being made, advancements in the understanding and methods of managing the barrel vibrations were also being made. Once the rifle has been built and the loads developed, it is the management of the barrel vibrations that has the final influence on the bullet as it is leaving the barrel and the final influence on precision. The RAS has demonstrated with many different rifles and calibers that significant improvements can be made with a properly tuned barrel tuner system. What does this mean? Typically, there is a noteworthy improvement. In fact group size improvements between 30% and 60% have been observed with a properly-tuned barrel tuner system. This has been demonstrated on both custom rifles and loads and factory rifles.
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Jerry Schmidt, an avid shooter and hunter from Montana, has created a tool designed to help install single-dovetail or double-dovetail rings on hunting rifles. Jerry’s invention, the Scope-Tru Alignment Bar (patent pending), is unique. Unlike most other alignment systems, this is a single, long precision machined rod with a pointed forward end. You work on one ring at a time, first setting the front ring in the dovetail and then setting the rear ring. The process is shown by Jerry in the video below.
Jerry explains: “The Scope-Tru Alignment Bar is a tool designed to install both standard ring/mount systems, and dual dovetail ring/mount systems. The tool provides significant leverage to turn the dovetail rings into their bases. By observing the pointer on the end of the bar, it is easy to align the ring with the center of the barrel, thereby assuring that the ring is installed at 90 degrees to the axis of the bore. Because the bar is a one-piece tool, it is possible to get the rings into nearly perfect alignment with each other, and near perfect alignment with the bore axis.”
The photos above show how the tool is used to install and align a set of standard hunting rings (with rear windage adjustment). You start with the front ring, rotating it 90 degrees in the dovetail, and then align with the center of the barrel. Next, slide the tool rearwards and loosely set the rear ring in place. With both rings adjusted correctly, the alignment tool will be perfectly centered and both rings with be subsequently squared at 90° to the bore axis. Schmidt says he can install conventional rings with this tool, tighten them to spec on a rifle scope, and there will be virtually no marks on the scope tube. (Of course this would require that the rings are extremely well made with no burrs or highspots on the trailing and leading edges.)
The Scope-Tru Alignment Bar is CNC-machined from TGP bar stock, and will be offered in both 1 inch, and 30mm diameters. The durable bar is designed for regular, long-term use by the professional gunsmith, the home gunsmith or “gun crank”, and retail or wholesale sporting goods store staff. The 1″-diameter, all-steel Scope-Tru is can be purchased for $135.00 plus shipping and handling. The version for 30mm rings AND a new combo 1″/30mm Scope-Tru tool are both in final development, and could be available in the near future. To place an order for a 1″-diameter Scope-Tru, CLICK this LINK.
For more info, visit Parabola-LLC.com, phone (406) 586-1687, or email info [at] parabola-llc.com. CLICK HERE for a shorter video that shows the entire mounting process in a compressed time format.
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SIG P22X series handguns are justifiably respected for their accuracy, reliability, and build quality.* SIG Sauer has combined the features of its P228 9mm and P229 40sw pistols in a new high-capacity 9mm originally designed for Navy Aviators. SIG’s new M11-A1 is essentially a stainless slide P228 mated to a P229 anodized alloy frame. The wider P229 frame bumps capacity to 15-rounds of 9mm parabellum. The SIG M11 is issued to U.S. Naval Aviation and key units in other branches of the Armed Services. The new M11-A1 variant for civilians has been upgraded with a stainless steel slide, short-reset trigger, and 15-round flush-fit magazines. The M11-A1 features the same phosphate-coated internals, night sights, and MIL-STD UID label of the standard-issue M11. The M11-A1 should be available in gun stores this month. MSRP is $1125.00 while “street price” should settle under $900.00.
*This is not just hype. This Editor owns a German-made P226. It is very accurate and extraordinarily reliable. I’ve also owned some polymer-framed pistols over the years. They are gone now, and not missed. I will never part with my P226. I could tell you the round-count over the years without a single misfeed, FTE or stove-pipe, but you wouldn’t believe it. More reliable than a Glock? My personal P226 has proven to be just that….
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If you’re looking for the newest, hot tubegun set-up, check out BAT Machine’s new 3-Lug tubegun action. This new action, created with design input from Gary Eliseo of Competition Shooting Stuff (CSS), is designed to work perfectly in Eliseo’s modular tubegun chassis systems. The new BAT “tubegun special” action features a smooth, short-throw 3-lug bolt along with an integral, large-diameter recoil lug precision-machined as part of the action. The new BAT tubegun action will mate perfectly with an all-new tubegun chassis kit Gary Eliseo has “designed around the action”.
Gary Eliseo is excited about the BAT 3-Lug and he will be offering a new chassis for this “tubegun special” action. The new BAT 3-Lug action is shorter than Remington-style actions and Barnard actions, so it will NOT fit in existing Eliseo tubeguns. Accordingly, to use the new BAT 3-Lug action you will need a new chassis kit. Gary may, at some point in the future, offer a retrofit kit, but for now, you’ll need Gary’s new chassis if you want to run the BAT 3-Lug. Gary hopes to deliver BAT 3-Lug-capable chassis kits in about six (6) months time. That sounds like a long time, but remember that it will take you about six months to get your BAT 3-Lug action once you place an order with BAT Machine. The action is currently SINGLE SHOT only, and fits short-action-length cartridges (e.g. 6BR, .243, .308 Win). Price for the new action is roughly $1200.00. Both right-hand and left-hand versions will be offered in both stainless and chrome-moly. Extra-cost options will include fluted bolts and dual ports (as shown in photos). The new chassis kit will initially be available for standard RB/RP or LB/LP configurations.
Gary believes the new BAT 3-Lug action, when fitted to his new chassis, will be ideal for Palma, Long-Range Prone, and F-TR Shooters. Gary says: “This new action is stiff and smooth, with a fast 60° bolt lift. It offers many of the best features of a Barnard action, in a more compact, American-made design, available in stainless steel as well as chrome-moly.” (Barnards are chrome-moly only.) BAT Machine is currently accepting orders for the 3-Lug Tubegun action and you can order the new Eliseo Chassis designed around this action from CompetitionShootingStuff.com.
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Meopta USA now offers additional versions of its award-winning MeoPix® iScoping Adapter to fit Swarovski, Leica and Zeiss spotting scopes and binoculars, as well as most popular mid-level optics brands. With this iScoping Adapter, you can use your iPhone to record still images or video of the view through your spotting scope. This is great for capturing views of your target, or to record mirage conditions and flag positions for later study.
Available in several eyecup diameters, the MeoPix® iScoping adapter correctly positions an iPhone® 4/4S to a spotting scope or binocular eyepiece. Proprietary technology provides a secure fit to the iPhone and precise alignment to the spotting scope or binocular eyepiece. Priced at $59.99, the iScoping Adapter is sold by Cabelas.com and major optics dealers. “The overwhelming responses and feedback about the MeoPix iScoping Adapter convinced us to make versions to fit most popular brands of optics” said Meopta USA GM Reinhard Seipp.
Gear Review by Boyd Allen
Just about everyone knows that Wilson and Redding make neck-sizing bushings. But few shooters seem to be aware that RCBS produces bushings. In fact, RCBS does make quality neck-sizing bushings, including very nice Tungsten Disulfide-coated bushings.
As a companion product for their Gold Medal bushing-style dies, RCBS produces its own line of sizing bushings, that have a couple of notable features. First, along with plain steel bushings, RCBS offers bushings with a distinctive, dark gray Tungsten Disulfide (WS2) anti-friction coating. Redding offers bushings in bare “white” steel or with a gold-colored Titanium-Nitride anti-friction coating. Wilson bushings are plain steel with a shiny silver finish. Though the Redding and Wilson plain steel bushings may look like stainless, remember that these un-coated bushings need to be kept oiled or they WILL rust. In normal use, you shouldn’t have to worry about rust on the Tungsten Disulfide-coated RCBS bushings.
Comparing coated bushings, Redding’s gold TiN-coated bushings look pretty, but the WS2 anti-friction coating on RCBS bushings seems to work as well. Tungsten Disulfide (WS2) has an extremely low coefficient of friction — 0.03 compared to 0.6 for Titanium Nitride. Accordingly, the RCBS WS2-coated bushings can work with minimal neck lubrication. When I actually sized necks with the RCBS WS2-coated bushings, the “smoothness” of the neck-sizing operation seemed on a par with other quality, coated bushings.
Another notable difference with the RCBS bushings (compared to other brands) is that RCBS stamps the bushing size onto the outside of the bushing, rather than on the top. RCBS puts the bushing diameter on a reduced-diameter band that runs around the circumference of each RCBS bushing. I think that this is a good idea because it eliminates the possibility that raised edges from the stamping itself might interfere with proper bushing alignment*. (Remember that the top of the bushing — where size marks are stamped by other bushing-makers — contacts the retaining cap in the die during sizing.) Putting the size marks on the outside also makes it easy to distinguish RCBS bushings from other bushing brands.
The other feature that I like is the shape of the entry chamfer on the bottom of the RCBS bushing. This chamfer is large and angular, rather than curved. This is only a guess, but I think that it may do a better job of letting the bushing align itself with the case as it is inserted into the die, and do a better job on brass from chambers that allow more neck expansion. (The picture shows the smaller chamfer at the top of the bushing.)
That about wraps it up, with the exception of one small point. While MidwayUSA has a wide selection of RCBS bushings, other retailers need to do a better job of stocking these bushings. I got mine from RCBS, but you may have trouble finding them in many online catalogs, or on dealers’ shelves. Hopefully this small review will help to increase awareness of RCBS bushings, and more retailers will carry them.
*As you probably know, stamping displaces metal, some of which is raised above the level of the surface that was stamped. Although it can be argued that shooters have gotten some pretty spectacular results in spite of any cocking of neck bushings caused by their being stamped on top, I am sure that a lot of us would prefer to have things as straight as they can be, and moving the stamping to a recessed band that runs around the outside of the bushing helps accomplish this.
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Hornady just unveiled its “new and improved” online Ballistics Calculator. It’s free, fast, and easy to use. New enhancements include selectable G1 or G7 BCs, drop and windage in MOA and MILS, metric value option, and the ability to enter shooting angle, wind angle, and more. To access all these features (such as G7 BCs), you’ll need to select the “advanced” display from Hornady’s Ballistic Calculator Entry Page. That will open up more entry fields. Default values are entered in the temperature and pressure fields, but you can override these with your actual field data. You can select a zero range from 0 to 2000 yards, with intervals from 25 to 400 yards. Once you’ve entered all the values, simply click “Calculate” and the program provides your drop numbers in a handy chart.
Printable ‘Cheat Sheet’ for your Rifle
One very cool feature of Hornady’s online calculator is the “Cheat Sheet” — a handy, printable come-up table. Once you’ve entered your variables and run the calculator, the results appear in a handy table that you can print-out and affix to your rifle stock. Here’s a sample Cheat Sheet prepared for Berger’s 105gr VLD and a 6mm Dasher*.
Although it can employ G7 BCs now, the Hornady Ballistic Calculator, unlike the JBM online solver, does NOT include a built-in database of G7 values, based on field-testing by Bryan Litz. For that reason, the JBM Ballistics Calculator is still our first choice for an online ballistics solver. We really do like Hornady’s handy “Cheat Sheet” option though. You can, of course, get a Litz-derived G7 value from JBM and then plug that number into the Hornady Calculator to produce a printable drop table.
*NOTE: Note: Even if you have a Dasher and use the Berger 105gr VLDs, you should run your own solution with your specific sight height, elevation, temp, pressure, humidity, and zero distance.
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While Bryan’s first book covers the science of ballistics and trajectory calculation, his new book examines practical issues involved in long-range accuracy. Bryan explains: “In a nutshell, this book focuses on the uncertainties of practical shooting which affect hit percentage on various size targets. In other words, classic ballistics teaches you how to calculate windage and elevation corrections. This book will help you understand what your chances are of hitting a target under certain conditions, and how to improve those chances through training and design.
Does a low ES/SD really make a difference at long range? Absolutely. In Chapter 6, you can see that reducing muzzle velocity variation from 20 fps Standard Deviation (SD) to 10 fps SD improves hit percentage on a 5″ circle at 500 yards from 83% to 93%.
Ever wonder how much spin drift, Coriolis affect, or using G1 vs. G7 BC’s affect your chances of hitting a target? In Chapter 10 for example, you’ll learn that ignoring spin drift in ballistic calculations reduces hit percentage on a 10″ target from 21% to 15% at 900 yards for a specified environment and cartridge.
The new book is divided into three main sections.
Part 1 focuses on Precision, which explores how hit percentage is related group size. Litz explains the variable that affect group size: muzzle velocity variation, range estimation error, wind estimation error, and inherent rifle precision
Part 2 focuses on Accuracy, which is how well the group is centered around the aim-point. Topics include: leveling your sights, trajectory modeling and secondary effects, calibrating ballistic solutions, and live fire verification.
Part 3 focuses on Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) analysis. WEZ evaluates firearm effectiveness in terms of hit percentage. The author applies WEZ in the contexts of score shooting, varmint and big game hunting, and tactical shooting. WEZ is also used to compare hit percentage for the 300 Win Mag vs. .338 Lapua Mag.
Book is 300-page, Hard-Cover Format
Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting is a 6″x9″ hardcover book with 300 pages, and retails for $34.95. The book is currently at the printers, and should begin shipping by October 15, 2012. In the mean time, you can pre-order and save $5 off the regular $34.95 retail price.