October 20th, 2017

Tough Brass for Big Ammo — Cheytac Brass from Peterson

Peterson .375 Cartridge Brass Cheytac K02M

Do you have a hankering to shoot Extreme Long Range (ELR)? Then you’ll want a large-caliber cartridge with plenty of boiler room. Some of the most successful ELR cartridges have been based on the CheyTac family, including the .375 CheyTac (9.5×77) and .408 CheyTac (10.36 x 77). Now brass for both these jumbo cartridges is offered by Peterson Catridge. This Peterson Cheytac brass has proven to be tough and long-lived. And it is capable of winning — Derek Rodgers won the 2017 King of 2 Miles (K02M) event shooting a .375 Cheytac with Peterson brass. Here’s a report on how Peterson developed and tested its tough CheyTac cartridge brass.

Developing and Testing CheyTac Brass

Report by Peterson Cartridge Co.
Recently, our president, Derek Peterson, was live-testing our most recent iteration of the .375 CheyTac (aka 9.5 X 77). He started with five casings, and did a full-body resizing after each firing. He got 17 firings out of each before he started to notice the early signs of case head separation. [Editor: Theses were with extremely high pressure loads.] He then took another set of casings and after each firing he just bumped the shoulder back, like a typical reloader would. He got 20 firings out of those casings.

Peterson .375 Cartridge Brass Cheytac K02M
Note: CheyTac® is a registered trademark of CheyTac USA, LLC. Peterson Cartridge has no affiliation.

Low MV Extreme Spread
On the first two shots the muzzle velocities were within 12 feet per second of each other. On the 3rd and 4th shots the muzzle velocities were within 6 feet per second of each other. By the 5th shot the muzzle velocities were within 1 foot per second of each other. Now that is how you can put two bullets in the same hole down range.

No SAAMI Spec for CheyTac Cartridges
As many of you probably already know there is no SAAMI spec on these calibers. So, without a SAAMI spec there is no stated maximum pressure for a service load. However, there IS an international spec on the .408 [promulgated by the] CIP (Commission International Permanente). And the CIP max pressure for this round is extremely high. Our partner in Europe tells us it is probably unnecessarily high. Our partner loads these rounds and they have a standard load for the .375s which is also quite high. So that is the pressure we did our testing at. To even achieve that pressure, we had to use a compressed load. We are explaining all this to say that you [should not use] a load that hot, and therefor you will most likely get more reloads than we did[.]

Peterson Brass Goes Through 11 Dimensional Tests
With all the casings we make in any caliber, we perform a battery of in-process, real-time dimensional checks. [We test] 11 different dimensions continuously throughout each shift. Some of these are tube cylindricity, mouth to body concentricity, primer pocket diameter, length to shoulder, overall length, and more. These measurements are automatically fed into Statistical Process Control software. If a dimension begins to drift from nominal we can catch it immediately and correct it.

Peterson is Fully Committed to CheyTac Brass Production
Peterson Cartridge purchased additional manufacturing equipment designed specifically to produce these large casings. Our capacity is 5-million casings a year. We are committed to there not being a shortage of these calibers ever again.

.375 CheyTac — K02M-Winning, World-Beating Cartridge

Derek Rodgers is the 2017 King of 2 Miles. He is also the only human to ever hit the maximum distance target target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles). His cartridge choice? The .375 CheyTac. Derek ran Cutting Edge Bullets in Peterson brass with Hodgdon H50BMG powder.

Q: Why did you choose the .375 CheyTac cartridge?

Derek: When I was asked to join the Applied Ballistics Team, I needed to get an ELR rifle built in a short period of time. I was under a very tight time schedule to get the project complete. In an effort to eliminate variables, I decided to keep things standard and as simple as possible. I chose the .375 CheyTac for the ease of getting components. The larger rifles are more difficult to get components quickly and I felt like the .375 CheyTac had enough attributes to be competitive at ELR distances.

.375 Cheytac Derek Rodgers KO2M King 2 miles

.375 Cheytac Derek Rodgers KO2M King 2 miles

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 5th, 2017

Big Boomer Load Dev — .375 Caliber 400 Grainers at 3290 FPS

.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics
Serious ammo — .375 Lethal Magnum rounds loaded with 400gr Cutting Edge Lazer bullets. One wag posted “They look like SCUD missiles.”

In the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game, great ballistics are paramount, but you also need excellent accuracy. The top ELR shooters campaign large-caliber rifles that boast truly remarkable accuracy, considering the massive cartridges they’re shooting (with 160+ grains of powder). These big boomers, such as the .375 Lethal Magnum shown above, can really hammer.

The winner of the 2016 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event was Mitchell Fitzpatrick, shooting a .375 Lethal Mag cartridge, as part of Team Applied Ballistics. Another member of that squad, Paul Phillips, is also campaigning a new rifle chambered for the .375 Lethal Magnum. Paul was recently doing load development for his new beast, which features a McMillan stock, Nightforce scope, and Phoenix Bipod. Among his barrels for this rig is a massive, 38″-long Bartlein.

.375 lethal magnum

“I had a great time today doing load development at Applied Ballistics LLC laboratory with Bryan Litz, Bill Litz, and Mitchell Fitzpatrick. I was testing loads for my .375 Lethal Mag built by Lethal Precision Arms LLC. The last several test groups were sub half-min at 300 yards. Next testing is at 1800 yards.” — Paul Phillips

For this test, Paul’s load featured 400gr Cutting Edge Lazer bullets launched at a blistering 3290 FPS with Hodgdon H50BMG powder. Looks like Paul got his load dialed in “good and proper”. He fired a 0.9″ group at 300 yards, and the Oehler System 88 chronograph showed a very low Extreme Spread (ES) of just 5 FPS. That’s impressive even for just three shots.

A little snow on the ground can’t stop the Applied Ballistics testing team…
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Look carefully and you’ll find the powder charge weight — a bit more than you’d load in a 6PPC…
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Bryan Litz inspects the .375-caliber barrel with bore-scope.
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 7 Comments »
October 12th, 2016

Paul Phillips’ Really Big Rifle for Really Long Range…

.375 Cheytac Bartlein KO2M ELR Extreme long range Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips Reports:

“Here is a sneak peak of my new barreled action for ELR. Compliments of Lethal Precision Arms. This Bartlein barrel is chambered in .375 Lethal Magnum. This massive cartridge will be launching the 405 grain Berger solids with a BC of 1.09 @ 3200+ FPS. The 38″ barrel is screwed on to a two-inch round .50 Cal Action from BAT Machine. This barreled action weighs 35 pounds and is approximately 48 inches long as shown in the photo. Yes that’s 35 pounds NOT counting stock, scope, muzzle brake, and bipod.

This barreled action is now being sent to McMillan Group International for custom in-letting and a custom Big Mac Stock optimized for Extreme Long Range. Stay tuned for more progress on this new ELR Beast for the next King of 2 Miles competition.”

Our buddy Paul Phillips is an outstanding shooter who has competed with the U.S. National Team and is currently a member of the U.S. Rifle Team F-TR. Paul has been interested in extreme long-range (ELR) shooting for quite some time, but the King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event this fall at Raton, NM really brought things into focus for Paul. A member of the K02M-winning Applied Ballistics squad, Paul now knows exactly what kind of hardware (and cartridge) it takes to win at two miles (and beyond). Now he’s ready for more, and he’s building a very special (and very big) rifle.

After his experience at the King of 2 Miles event, Paul decided he needed his own world-class rifle for the ultra-long-range game. For this rifle, Paul acquired a massive BAT action and a ginormous Bartlein barrel, finished at 38 inches. The .375 Lethal Magnum chambering is wildcat that starts with the 585 Hubel Express (HE) case, adapted for a Cheytac boltface. This jumbo cartridge can propel 405gr Berger solids at 3200+ FPS. The G1 BC of these prototype solids is a stunning 1.09. Note: Berger has no current plans to market this .375-caliber solid bullet — it is still in the prototype stage.

.375 Cheytac Bartlein KO2M ELR Extreme long range Paul Phillips

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing 9 Comments »
June 24th, 2016

At 2400 Yards, Litz Tests Berger’s New .375-Cal 400gr Bullet

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics King of Two Miles .375 caliber 400 grain Berger Bullet

Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz has been preparing for the King of Two Miles match next week. He’s been out testing a VERY high-BC bullet — Berger’s new prototype .375 caliber 400-grainer. In the photo above, you can see Applied Ballistics intern Mitch Fitzpatrick (flanked by twin LabRadar chronos) shooting at a target set at 2400 yards. Next week, at the King of Two Miles event, the challenge will be even greater — Bryan and his team will be shooting out to roughly 3600 yards.

Bryan reports: “We’ve been preparing for the King of Two Miles match next week. Last Friday we shot 2400 yards at Thunder Valley Precision in Ohio, measuring time of flight and refining the custom drag model for our bullet. We are logging flight times over three seconds and the bullet is still supersonic at 2400 yards! Tomorrow we’re shooting 1800 yards as a final verification before we load up and begin traveling out west.”

OPTICS for Extreme Long Range
Nightforce ATACR scope elevationBryan is running Nightforce ATACR scopes on his .375 rifles. These ATACRs offer 120 MOA (or 35 Mils) of elevation. That’s impressive, but you still need more “up” for these extreme distances.

Bryan notes: “No scope has enough elevation to dial direct to two miles even with these large-caliber, high-performance rifles. You need some kind of external adjustment, or use a steep rail (e.g. +80 MOA). This works but can sacrifice your ability to zero under 1000 yards.”

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics King of Two Miles .375 caliber 400 grain Berger Bullet

This video shows a hit at 2400 yards with the .375-caliber bullet. The target is 8’x8′ square. The targets Bryan will shoot at next week’s King of Two Miles competition will be up to 1200 yards further than this. (Two miles is 3520 yards).

If you’re interested in this kind of Extreme Long Range shooting, consider attending the Applied Ballistics Seminar. The next seminar will be held July 18-19 in Michigan. Bryan says: “We’ll be sharing our experiences and lessons learned in the Two Mile shooting match among many other things we’re working on.” CLICK HERE for Seminar INFO and Registration.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Optics 3 Comments »
June 1st, 2015

Buell’s Beast: Heavy Artillery for ELR and 2-Mile Match

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35
Click above image to view full-screen photo.

Our friend Darrell Buell has a new Beast — a monster 64-inch-long .375 CheyTac that weighs more than 70 pounds! Designed for ultra-long-range shooting (two miles and beyond), this beast represents the state-of-the-art in extreme long-range rifles.

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35

Darrell reports: “This rifle is pretty much purpose-built to shoot 2+ miles extremely accurately. It is a .375 CheyTac (lengthened) built on a BAT 2.5″ action. The custom 35″, 1:10″-twist Brux barrel is a fat, 2″-diameter ‘straight taper’ with fluting. A custom 5″-long muzzle brake is fitted at the end. All barreled action work was done by R.W. Snyder Custom Rifles. The stock was created to fit the build by PDC Custom, and the massive muzzle brake as well.” The “bridge” at the end may look like a barrel block, but it’s not — the barrel completely free-floats. (The Picatinny rail on top of the bridge allows use of an overhanging bipod as an alternative to the JoyPod).

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35
Darrell has lots of elevation on tap: “With 150 MOA in the Ivey rings, another 20 MOA in the scope rail, 55 MOA in the Nightforce Competition scope, and 10 MOA in the FCR-1 reticle, there’s an impressive +235 MOA available.”

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, News 10 Comments »
March 3rd, 2015

Texas Triumph: 3600-Yard Shot with .375 CheyTac

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

They say “things are bigger in Texas”. Well shots are longer too. In this video, a shooter successfully hits a 1-MOA target at 3600 yards with a .375 CheyTac rifle. That required plenty of elevation to compensate for the bullet’s drop over its 2.045 mile trajectory. The shooter, Jim Spinella of New Jersey, needed a whopping 60.2 Mils of elevation (26.8 in rail, 22.6 in turret, 10.8 hold-over). Jim had to wait a long time to confirm the hit — with the metal gong situated more than than 2 miles from the firing line, it took the bullet 7.2 seconds to hit the target.

Big 350gr Bullets with a Wicked BC
The 3600-yard hit was made with CheyTac factory ammo using 350gr CNC-turned bullets. Spinella was impressed: “The ammo chronographed out at 3080 fps with velocity differences at no more the 7 fps, which was outstanding. We found the true BC over 3600 yards to average 0.810 (G1)”.

NOTE: You see three shots in the video, but Spinella took many more before a hit was achieved: “We peppered the 2 MOA area around the target with a couple of dozen rounds. We hit the rack the target is hanging on twice. This was a fun experience, and we took a lot of data away from it. We put a lot of work and planning into this in order to be in position to be lucky. So many things are ridiculously magnified at that distance. Every 1 mph change in wind [moves the bullet] about 6 feet. As the barrel heats up the velocity changes with it [and] 10 fps velocity differences, shot to shot, are almost 5 feet.”

This ultra-long-range adventure took place last September at the FTW Ranch in Texas. Spinella worked with a team of experts from Hill Country Rifles, builders of the custom .375 CheyTac rifle, to achieve a 3600-yard shot on a 36” round steel target. Hitting a target at 2.045 miles is no mean feat. That 36″ gong represents slightly less than 1 MOA at that range. A lot can happen to send a bullet off target during a 7.2 second flight.

Rifle: Hill Country Rifles custom .375 Cheytac,
Stiller Precision action, 29″ Krieger barrel
Optics: Schmidt & Bender 5-25X56mm PM-2 scope
Actual Measured Distance: 3606.41 Yards
Target: 36″ circular steel plate

Altitude: 2000 feet
Temp: 70 degrees
Elevation: 60.2 mil
Windage: 3.5 mil left

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

CheyTac Caliber Comparison — .375 vs. .408
The shooter, Jim Spinella, prefers the .375 CheyTac to its .408-caliber Big Brother: “I shoot both the .408 and .375. Both are great ELR rounds and will get you out there a long way. In my experience, the .375 will get you out there a little bit further. My preference is the .375 Cheytac over the .408. This has nothing really to do with external ballistics. It has to do with fouling. My .408 will go from stellar accuracy to terrible between 40 and 45 rounds. It happens that quickly and accuracy returns after cleaning the barrel. I have never experienced this with the .375. After 100 rounds there is minimal copper fouling with the .375, but I clean around this round count. I don’t know why there is heavy cooper fouling in the .408, but it is common to this round and other shooters who shoot it regularly. That said, I lightly clean the .408 using Wipeout and go back to having fun with it after about 30 minutes.”

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
May 7th, 2013

Texas Shooter Nails Target at 3650 Yards with .375 CheyTac

Report based on story by Vanessa Oler
Could your rifle hit a vehicle-sized target located 2.07 miles away (i.e. 3650 yards)? Well Billy Carter’s .375 CheyTac can. Last month, shooting at the NRA’s Whittington Center, Billy Carter hit a 12’x12′ target at the confirmed range of 2.07 miles. Carter was participating in the Whittington U Extreme Long Range III Course. Carter’s 3650-yard hits set a new Whittington U program record for long-distance shooting with a sub-50-caliber rifle. At that distance, 1 MOA is 38.22 inches! Edge to edge, a maximum 3.77 MOA-diameter circle would fit inside the 12′ x 12′ square target.

2 mile 3650 yard rifle

About the Rifle and Load
Carter’s M200 Intervention is chambered in .375 CheyTac. The beast weighs 31 pounds and measures 53″ overall, as fitted with 29″ barrel and muzzle brake. The optic is a Vortex Razor HD 5-20x56mm (MOA-click version). This First Focal Plane fat boy features a 35mm main tube. To reach out to 3650 yards, Carter was running a whopping 136.5 grains of Retumbo powder in his .375 CheyTac USA brass. That was ignited by Federal GM215M primers. All that Retumbo was pushing the CheyTac USA 350gr “Balanced Flight Trajectory” bullet, a custom copper-nickel-alloy projectile.

Hits on 12’x12′ target at 3650 yards (2.07 miles)
Two-mile engagement at the Extreme Long Range III Course at the Whittington U on April 24, 2013.

How the 3650-yard Shot Was Made
2-mile 3650 yard rifleCarter enrolled in a series of Long-Range Marksmanship courses under the guidance of Jon Weiler, a former U.S. Army Sniper. In 2011, the NRA selected Weiler to help launch the Whittington U long-range training program. Progressing through the long-range courses at Whittington U, Carter began to realize his .50 BMG and 338 Lapua were insufficient for the upcoming Extreme Long Range III Course — with targets increasing in difficulty from 750 yards to 3650 yards. Carter heard industry insiders hinting that Australian sniper teams were using a .375 CheyTac to shoot at 3000+ yards. So Carter called CheyTac USA and ordered a M200 Intervention in the .375 CheyTac chambering.

2-mile 3650 yard rifleThe first day of the Long Range III course, rifles were sighted-in at 500 yards and students engaged targets at 1200 yards. On Day 2 a cold front and driven snow made shooting near impossible. So, on the third and last day, Carter and the other students decided to go out as far as possible.

This range had four targets: 1890 yards, 2970 yards, 3040 yards, and 3650 yards. Carter figured he could skip the first two, but Weiler said “You have to build up to it”. Carter recounted, “I took 15-20 rounds to work my way up to the 3040 target. At that point you have to take a break. I pulled out my kestrels and started doing the math. My scope had no more vertical space, so I was forced to use five MOA at 3040, then calculate a full value 3 o’clock wind. Basically speaking, I was shooting out of my scope at that point. And hoping.

The first three shots, I wasn’t there and I knew it wasn’t going to work. But then I got close. The adrenaline started rushing and I couldn’t stop. I’m almost there, I thought.” Weiler, at the spotting scope, kept an even tone: “Same hold.” Carter shot again. Weiler let the excitement rise in his voice: “I can now say you’ve hit that 3650 target twice.”

Interview with Billy Carter

Carter is V.P. of Carter’s Shooting Center (CSC) in Houston, Texas. CSC is one of the largest private firearms retailers in the country.

“This was unreal. To think just a month before, I didn’t even know the velocity of my load! To pull off a two-mile hit was such a rush… it was dream come true.” Carter gave credit to Weiler: “John was an excellent instructor, designing the course to help you stairstep your way up to incredible distances. It wasn’t like you were just going to spend all day blindly shooting at some impossible target. He teaches you how to succeed at shooting long distance by starting with the basics — correct prone stance, trigger control, and rifle positioning.”

CheyTac USA M200 Intervention

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 18 Comments »