September 24th, 2019

Wind Wizardry — How to Use a Kestrel Correctly

Kestrel Wind Meter Direction Vane Applied Ballistics

A lot of folks use a Kestrel Wind Meter every time at the range. That’s a good thing. However, many Kestrel owners may not be employing the Kestrel properly when seeking wind direction.

A Kestrel Wind Meter will record wind speed with its impeller wheel. However, to get the most accurate wind velocity reading, you need to have your Kestrel properly aligned with the wind direction. To find wind direction, first orient the Kestrel so that the impeller runs at minimal speed (or stops), and only then turn the BACK of the Kestrel into the wind direction. Do NOT simply rotate the Kestrel’s back panel looking for the highest wind speed reading — that’s not the correct method for finding wind direction. Rotate the side of the Kestrel into the wind first, aiming for minimal impeller movement. The correct procedure is explained below by the experts at Applied Ballistics.

How to Find the Wind Direction with a Kestrel Wind Meter

Here is the correct way to determine wind direction with a Kestrel wind meter when you have no environmental aids — no other tools than a Kestrel. (NOTE: To determine wind direction, a mounted Wind Vane is the most effective tool, but you can also look at flags, blowing grass, or even the lanyard on your Kestrel).

Step 1: Find the wind’s general direction.

Step 2: Rotate the Wind Meter 90 degrees, so that the wind is impacting the side (and not the back) of the wind meter, while still being able to see the impeller.

Step 3: Fine-tune the direction until the impeller drastically slows, or comes to a complete stop (a complete stop is preferred). If the impeller won’t come to a complete stop, find the direction which has the lowest impact on the impeller.

Step 4: Turn the BACK of the Kestrel towards the direction from which the wind is blowing. Then press the capture button, and record your wind speed.

Do NOT simply point the Kestrel’s back into the wind until you get the highest wind speed — that’s not the correct method.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 5th, 2019

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Maiden Voyage to Texas

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR

The folks at Applied Ballistics have a new toy — a large trailer filled with all the latest and greatest tech gear for testing long-range ballistics. Bryan Litz reported: “The maiden voyage for the AB Mobile Lab in Texas this week was a huge success! We look forward to supporting more long range shooting events.” Mitchell Fitzpatrick was there in the Lone Star state with fellow Applied Ballistics staffer Christopher Palka. The Applied Ballistics team will be trailering the Mobile Lab to Indiana where it will be on hand for the NRA National Championships at Camp Atterbury this month.

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR
Ten rifles, heaps of cables, huge Doppler Radar unit, military-grade Laser RFs on tripods, spare barrels, safety gear — all ready for action in Texas.

About the Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab

Q: What is the basic purpose of the Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab?

Mitchell Fitzpatrick: The Mobile Lab allows us to effectively carry out ballistics testing in the field and at events. It has most of the capabilities of our normal lab, but on wheels.

Q: What hardware and electronics are carried in the Mobile Lab? What are its capabilities?

Bryan Litz: The Mobile Lab will transport most everything that’s in the main lab including the Doppler radar. This rig is new and we haven’t fully outfitted it yet. The load-outs will be somewhat flexible depending on the venue we are supporting.

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR
The three rifles on the left are Barrett MRADS, $6000-$6154 MSRP, before optics.

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR

NOTE to Readers — Check back at the end of the day. We will have more technical information from Bryan Litz and the Applied Ballistics team…

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
July 28th, 2019

Jumbo $275.00 Magazine for .375 EnABELR Cartridge

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defenseThe .375 EnABELR cartridge was developed to offer magazine feeding capabilities with the highest-BC solid bullets available. Applied Ballistics observes: “The best magazine is one that retains the cartridge shoulder and doesn’t allow the tip of the bullet to impact the front of the magazine during recoil.” Cadex Defense has designed magazines that fit Cadex’s bottom metal and chassis for the EnABELR line of cartridges which allows for maximum magazine fed performance. These mags are beautifully made, but they will be very EXPENSIVE. Expect to pay about $275 per magazine — what the Cadex 375/408 CheyTac magazine currently costs (Product Code: MAG4300, USD $273.95).

Q: Is this different than Cadex’s regular CheyTac magazine?

A: Mitchell Fitzpatrick of Applied Ballistics Weapons Division replied: “Yes, the ribs that retain the shoulder are moved back to hold the case back and prevent the bullet tip from hitting the front of the magazine. We had been playing with inserts welded into place, which worked great, but dedicated mags directly from Cadex was the ultimate goal.”

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense
Here is Mitchell Fitzpatrick, shooting the 375 EnABELR in an ELR Competition.

“CADEX and Applied Ballistics. Two companies taking ELR seriously and trying to get that last 1-2% of performance out of the system. Keep up the good work!” — Mark N.

The .375 EnABELR Cartridge — Big and Fast

The .375 EnABELR cartridge is slightly shorter than a .375 CheyTac so it allows the round to mag-feed. Applied Ballistics is currently using brass made by Peterson. The .375 EnABELR has achieved impressive velocities — 2990 FPS — with prototype Berger 379-grain solid bullets fired from a 1:7″-twist 30″ barrel. Applied Ballistics may also test 1:8″-twist and 1:9″-twist barrels. READ Bullet Testing Report.

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

The .375 EnABELR cartridge was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package: “The problem with the .375 CheyTac is that, when loaded with the highest performance .375 caliber bullets (379-407 gr Berger Solids, and the 400-425 grain Cutting Edge Lazers) the round is not magazine feed-able in any action that’s sized for CheyTac cartridges.

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

“Knowing the .375 CheyTac produced substantial performance, and that it was just too long for magazine feeding, made it easy to converge on a design for the .375 EnABELR. We just had to make the case short enough to achieve magazine length with the desired bullets, while adding a little more diameter to keep the case capacity similar to the .375 CheyTac. The resulting basic shape is quite similar in proportions to the successful .338 Norma Magnum Cartridge which, interestingly, was selected as the cartridge for General Dynamics Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG).”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, New Product No Comments »
July 12th, 2019

Shooting Brain Trust — Wind Wisdom of Emil Praslick III

Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Wind Reading Zero direction speed windy

Emil Praslick III is widely recognized as one of the greatest wind wizards on the planet — a master at identifying wind value and direction, and predicting wind cycles. As coach of the USAMU and top civilian teams, Emil has helped win many high-level championships. In the three videos we feature today, Emil, who works with Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori) and Team Applied Ballistics, explains how to determine wind direction and velocity using a variety of indicators. Praslick, now retired from the U.S. Army, was an 18-time National and 2-time World Champion coach with the USAMU.

Video ONE: Wind Theory Basics — Understanding “Wind Values”

In this video from UltimateReloader.com, Emil explains the basics of modern wind theory. To properly understand the effect of the wind you need to know both the velocity of the wind and its angle. The combination of those variables translates to the wind value. Emil also explains that the wind value may not be constant — it can cycle both in speed and velocity. Emil also explains some of the environmental conditions such as mirage that can reveal wind conditions.

Emil Praslick III Berger SWN Wind calling reading

Video TWO: Determining the Direction of the Wind

Key Point in Video — Find the Boil
Emil explains how to determine wind direction using optic. The method is to use spotting scope, riflescope, or binoculars to look for the “Boil” — the condition in mirage when the light waves rising straight up. The wind will generate that straight-up, vertical boil in your optics when it is blowing directly at you, or directly from your rear. To identify this, traverse your scope or optics until you see the boil running straight up. When you see that vertical boil, the direction your optic is pointing is aligned with the wind flow (either blowing towards you or from directly behind you).

Video THREE: The No Wind Zero Setting

In this second video, Emil defines the “No-Wind Zero”, and explains why competitive shooters must understand the no-wind zero and have their sights or optics set for a no-wind zero starting point before heading to a match. In order to hit your target, after determining wind speed and direction, says Emil, “you have to have your scope setting dialed to ‘no wind zero’ first.”

Emil Praslick III KO2M

Coach of Champions — Emil Praslick III
SFC Emil Praslick III, (U.S. Army, retired) works with Berger Bullets and Applied Ballistics. Emil served as the Head Coach of the U.S. National Long Range Rifle Team and Head Coach of the USAMU for several years. Teams coached by Emil have won 33 Inter-Service Rifle Championships. On top of that, teams he coached set 18 National records and 2 World Records. Overall, in the role of coach, Praslick can be credited with the most team wins of any coach in U.S. Military history.

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July 11th, 2019

Get Smart — Read FREE Applied Ballistics TECH Articles

Want to improve your understanding of Ballistics, Bullet Design, Bullet Pointing, and other shooting-related tech topics? Well here’s a treasure trove of gun expertise. Applied Ballistics offers three dozen FREE tech articles on its website. Curious about Coriolis? — You’ll find answers. Want to understand the difference between G1 and G7 BC? — There’s an article about that.

“Doc” Beech, technical support specialist at Applied Ballistics says these articles can help shooters working with ballistics programs: “One of the biggest issues I have seen is the misunderstanding… about a bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) and what it really means. Several papers on ballistic coefficient are available for shooters to review on the website.”

Credit Shooting Sports USA Editor John Parker for finding this great resource. John writes: “Our friends at Applied Ballistics have a real gold mine of articles on the science of accurate shooting on their website. This is a fantastic source for precision shooting information[.] Topics presented are wide-ranging — from ballistic coefficients to bullet analysis.”

READ All Applied Ballistics Articles HERE »

Here are six (6) of our favorite Applied Ballistics articles, available for FREE as PDF files. There are 31 more, all available on the Applied Ballistics Articles Webpage.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
July 2nd, 2019

Paul Phillips Crowned 2019 King of 2 Miles in New Mexico

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Hail the King — Paul Phillips wears crown as the new 2019 King of Two Miles.

Paul Phillips, Captain of Team Global Precision Group (GPG), is the 2019 King of 2 Miles. Hail the new King! Paul won the event with a score of 48350, beating runner-up Robert Brantley who scored 46306. Fellow GPG shooter and 2017 K02M winner Derek Rodgers finished third with 38747. Phillips secured his K02M crown with good shooting in Raton, NM on both Day 1 and Day 2. On the final day, Paul had two hits at 2728 yards and one at 3166 yards. No competitor scored more than one hit at 3166 yards (1.799 miles), and no competitor scored even a single hit at the farthest target, placed at 3525 yards (2.0028 miles). So the actual 2-Mile target was never hit during the event.

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Here are the target locations and yardages for K02M Day 2 Finals.

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Team GPG members Derek Rodgers, Paul Phillips (center), and Mark Lonsdale with KO2M-winning rifle, K02M Trophy, $5000 Winner’s Prize from McMillan, and Nightforce Certificate.

Team Global Precision Dominates with Three of Top Four Places
Team Global Precision Group was top team overall with Paul Phillips in First Place, Derek Rodgers in Third, and Mark Lonsdale in Fourth. Team GPG, in its first world-level match together, dominated the field of 80 of the best ELR shooters in the world. First, Third, and Fourth — that’s mighty impressive gentlemen!

2019 KO2M Top 20 Results. Click on the table to see full-screen version:
Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

Paul Phillips, who recently competed in the European K02M match in France, gave credit to his sponsors and team-mates: “Team GPG is honored to be … King of 2 Mile Champions. I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be carried around on the King chair. I am humbled to be added to the list of great shooters that have been crowned before me.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

Paul added: “Big shout-out to all our sponsors, the match organizers, Eduardo, FCSA, and the volunteers who work so hard to make these ELR matches a major success. We’ll definitely be back in 2020!”

“Paul Phillips your win in this match is yet another example of the value of hard work paying off. I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone who works harder at ELR competition and promotion than you do. You deserve this win!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics

Equipment List for .416 Barrett 2019 KO2M-Winning Rifle

Paul’s massive KO2M rig features a BAT EX .50-Cal action with a 38″ Bartlein 1:9″-twist 5R barrel chambered for the standard .416 Barrett cartridge. The stock is a McMillan Beast One model. To tame recoil, Paul runs a T5 Terminator muzzle brake. The scope is a Nightforce 7-35x56mm ATACR F1 with MOAR Reticle. Up front is a Phoenix Precision Bipod, with an Edgewood Mini-Gator Bag in the rear. Paul is running a Bix’N Andy Comp Trigger with a 4-ounce, single-stage pull.

The complete rifle weighs 40 pounds. Bartlein did the .416 Barrett chambering using a Dave Manson reamer. Alex Sitman bedded the action in the McMillan stock as he did for the other GPG rifles. In fact, all three Team GPG rifles are essentially identical.

Load Details: Standard .416 Barrett cartridge, running .416 Caliber 550gr solid Cutting Edge Bullets at 3000 fps. The powder is Vihtavuori 20N29 ignited by RWS .50 Caliber primers. The cartridge brass is Barrett brand, produced by RUAG.

Support Gear: Ballistics are calculated with Applied Ballistics Software using velocity data from a LabRadar chronograph. Swarovski provided Team GPG with two big BTX 95 binocular spotting scopes. Phillips says “these BTX 95s really help us follow trace, spot impacts, and get on target quickly.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Here are Team Applied Ballistics competitors at the 2019 KO2M event in Raton, NM. Applied Ballistics’ Mitchell Fitzpatrick posted: “[There were] some unique challenges this year, but I managed to finish in 5th place running a sub-25 pound rifle. That’s the result of a lot of our ESSO research.”

$5000 KO2M Winner’s Prize from McMillan Fiberglass Stocks

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is a strong supporter of the shooting sports. Here Kelly McMillan presents Paul Phillips with a $5,000 check from McMillan Fiberglass Stocks for winning the 2019 King of 2 Mile while shooting a McMillan stock. Teammates Derek Rodgers and Mark Lonsdale also used McMillan stocks in the 2019 K02M Finals. Along with the McMillan check, Paul Phillips received $5000 from Nightforce Optics, and $1200 from Cutting Edge Bullets. Paul told us he will divide all the winnings with his team-mates because: “I won with my team — we won together.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips Derek Love Team Manners Litz ELR
Derek Love competed with Team Manners Composite Stocks and took many photos. You’ll find some great 2019 K02M images on Derek’s Facebook Page.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical 5 Comments »
June 15th, 2019

Get FREE Bryan Litz Book with $100 Bullets Order at Graf’s

Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free book
This is just one example. This deal works with ANY Lapua bullets purchased from Grafs.com. You can mix and match, as long as you buy at least $100 worth of Lapua bullets.

Lapua makes great bullets. Bryan Litz writes great books. And now you can get both with this special promotion from Graf & Sons. Here’s the deal — if you buy at least $100.00 worth of Lapua bullets at Grafs.com, you’ll get a free Applied Ballistics book authored by Bryan Litz.

You can mix and match any types of Lapua bullets — as long as the bullet order totals $100.00 or more. The book may be one of various Litz titles, such as Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting or Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets. NOTE: You do NOT get to pick the book title — you get what’s available. You want to move quickly on this deal — books are limited to supply on hand.

If you order now, you can get the bullets to shoot, and give the book to Dad for a late Father’s Day gift.

Lapua Bullets — Accuracy & Consistency
Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free bookIf you haven’t tried Lapua bullets yet you should. The Scenar-L bullets we have tested have proven extremely consistent in weight and base-to-ogive measurement.

And they shoot. We have a couple rifles that prefer Scenars over all other match bullets we have tried. We have won club matches with the 6mm Scenar-L 105s in a 6mmBR, while the 6.5mm 123gr Scenar and 136gr Scenar-L work superbly in our 6.5 Creedmoors.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
June 6th, 2019

Bryan Litz Wins Prestigious NDIA Hathcock Award

Bryan Litz Carlos hathcock NDIA National Defense Industrial Association award winner 2019

Applied Ballistics, LLC is proud to announce that its founder and owner Bryan Litz, has received the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) 2019 Carlos N. Hathcock II Award. Bryan was given this honor on June 4, 2019 at the NDIA Forum in Virginia.

The Hathcock Award honors an individual who, in the opinion of the Small Arms Committee Executive Board, has made significant contributions in operational employment and tactics of small arms weapons systems which have impacted the readiness and capabilities of the U.S. military or law enforcement.

Bryan Litz Carlos hathcock NDIA National Defense Industrial Association award winner 2019
Not just a brilliant ballistics expert, Bryan Litz is also a Championship-winning marksman.

Litz’s contributions to the U.S. Military include his numerous publications to help snipers understand complex external ballistic problems, promoting the advanced G7 ballistics model vs. the older G1 drag model, and developing Applied Ballistics solvers for Kestrel weather meters and other devices in widespread use by snipers for the U.S. Military and NATO allies. Bryan is also a frequent speaker at DoD forums and conducts ballistic seminars across the country.

Bryan Litz Carlos hathcock NDIA National Defense Industrial Association award winner 2019

Bryan stated: “It is truly humbling and deeply gratifying that my work has value to our nation’s Armed Forces. Being selected for the Hathcock award is the highest honor I’ve received in my career.”

Bryan received the award on June 4, at the NDIA 2019 Armament Systems Forum in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Past winners of the Hathcock Award include Todd Hodnett, Buford Boone, and SGM Pete Gould (U.S. Army Retired).

Bryan Litz Carlos hathcock NDIA National Defense Industrial Association award winner 2019

Bryan Litz helped develop global-leading ballistics solutions for civilian and military marksmen. Now Applied Ballistics solvers are integrated into Kestrel Weather Meters as well as advanced electro-optical devices. Bryan also helped create the successful Applied Ballistics APPs for iOS and Android smartphones.

Permalink News, Tactical 2 Comments »
April 16th, 2019

Applied Ballistics Spring Seminar — Register Now and Save

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

The Applied Ballistics 2019 Spring Seminar will be held at Snowbird Resort in Utah on June 1-2, 2019. The Seminar Fee is $625.00. However, now through April 21st you can use Code ABWIRE for $75 off registration. Note — Seminar fees do NOT include lodging! However, through May 4, 2019, attendees can reserve rooms at the Center-Cliff Lodge at the special seminar rate of $145.00 per night plus tax.

CLICK HERE to Register for $550 with Code ABWIRE

Primary speaker Bryan Litz will present material from his books, the Applied Ballistics Lab, and his experience shooting in various disciplines. Additional speakers addressing ballistics and long-range shooting topics will include Nick Vitalbo, Doc Beech, Alan Barnhart, Mitchell Fitzpatrick and other industry experts.

Seminar attendees will receive multiple Applied Ballistics products, all included in the registration fee:
1) Full library of Applied Ballistics Books and DVD set, valued at $275.
2) Applied Ballistics Analytics software, valued at $200.
3) Binder including hand-outs, articles, and worksheets.

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

Seminar Topics Will Include:

1. Trajectory Buildup – Baseline Trajectory, Gravity Drop, Vacuum Trajectory, and Aerodynamic Drag

2. Trajectory Features – Zeroing, Point Blank Range, Danger Space, and Uphill/Downhill Effects.

3. Sights – Tall Target Test (Sight Scale Factor and Cant), Aperture Sights, Turrets vs. Holding Reticles, and Extreme Adjustment for ELR.

4. Drag Modeling – What is a drag model, how is drag measured, how is a drag model used, and standard drag models.

5. Ballistic Coefficients – What is a BC, G1 and G7, Curve Fitting Challenges (averaged BCs, segmented BCs), and Estimating BCs.

6. Wind – Nature of wind, Mechanism of wind deflection (velocity scaling, lag time, wind deflection), near vs. far wind, wind measurement, terrain and vertical wind, competition Wind strategies, Wind coaching.

7. Basic Stability – Gyroscopic Stability Factor, Twist Rate Effects (muzzle velocity, precision, and BC).

8. Advanced Stability – Gyroscopic vs Dynamic Stability, Limit Cycle Yaw, Twist rate and Stability Effects in Transonic Flight, and Spin Decay.

9. Secondary Effects – Spin Drift, Coriolis, Aerodynamic Jump, Secondary Effects in Ballistic Solvers.

10. ELR Shooting – Transonic effects, Secondary Effects, Critical Nature of (Ranging, MV Measurement, Drag Modeling, Wind), Equipment Currently Being Used and Bullet Selection.

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

11. WEZ Analysis – What is WEZ, Confidence Environments, Precision (Wind, Range, MV), Accuracy (Sights, Trajectory Modeling, Secondary Effects, Calibration (Trueing)).

12. Ballistic Solvers – Components (Interface, Solver/Simulation, Model), Potential Accuracy, and walk-through of use with technical explanation of inputs.

13. Other Topics – Technology, Laser RangeFinders, Non-Linear Divergence, and Much More.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 3rd, 2019

After Action Report — Gem State Stand Off Practical Rifle Match

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
Vu Pham takes a shot at the Snake River Sportsman Range in Oregon. Click image for full-screen version.

Vu Pham recently attended a great practical/tactical match, the Gem State Stand Off. This NRL-sanctioned match drew 113 shooters, including many of the best PRS/NRL competitors in the country. Vu says this was a great event: “The 220-round, 22-stage course of fire was fun, yet challenging. Every stage had a two-minute par time requiring 10 rounds fired at multiple targets. 113 competitors fired about 24,000 rounds without a single target failure.”

2019 Idaho Gem State Stand Off AAR
Target Distances: 300 to 1200 yards
22 stages/220 round Course of Fire
113 Competitors

Match Directors: Nate Lauerman & Seth Howard
Range Officers: 21 Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho
Event Date: March 23rd & 24th, 2019
Location: Snake River Sportsman Range in Vale, Oregon

“With technological advances in equipment, training, and ballistics, plus increased opportunities for competitors to fine-tune their skills, Practical Precision Rifle competition has become a perfectionist sport. The constant evolution of this discipline never ceases to amaze me. With competitors and manufacturers constantly pushing to gain an edge… there is no shortage of innovation.” — Vu Pham

Gem State Stand Off — After Action Report

Report by Vu Pham, NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club
I was fortunate enough to snag a last-minute slot for the 2019 Gem State Stand Off hosted by the Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho Club (PRSID). This is one of 17 National Rifle League events where competitors will battle for points hoping to secure a slot for the 2019 NRL Championship. The Snake River Sportsman Range is a beautiful venue in Vale, Oregon, near the Idaho border.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
The digital display carries ballistics info and elevation/windage tables from Vu Pham’s Kestrel. He says the unit really helps his performance.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
From the hills looking down-range. Click image for full-screen version.

Hardware Report — Top PRS/NRL Gear for 2019

Modern Precision Rifle Comp Gear — Stocks and Chassis Systems
The traditional rifle stock we know has now moved to more modular and customizable designs. One product that caught my eye is the new XLR Industries Envy JV Heavy Fill Chassis system. After seeing a lot of competitors use them with good results, I think I will be giving one a try soon. Not being able to borrow a piece of gear because the entire squad is running ARCA can be a drag. Picatinny forearm rails have gone the way of the dinosaur with ARCA Swiss becoming the standard for attaching accessories.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Those like myself who may not want to give up their traditional-style stocks do have the option of modifying their existing stock with a universal ARCA rail from Henderson Precision. That company makes a variety of rails that fit a number of stock platforms.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Rifle Support Options — Bags and Tripods
Tripods are also used a lot as front and rear support by the majority of the field as well. Support bags now come in every shape, size, weight, and material imaginable. Even the fundamentals of driving your rifle is being challenged by the evolution of “free recoil”. Instead of counting the number of hits for the day, the top echelon shooters count the number of shots they dropped.

Calibers of Choice — Small is Big — the 6mms Dominate
6mmBR Improved cartridges (6mm Dasher, 6BR Ackley) and mid-sized 6mms (such as 6mm Creedmoor) dominate the field. In addition we are seeing some guys running the 22 BR and 22 BRA, which work surprisingly well. [Editor: Run the ballistics with a .22 Cal 80-grainer and you’ll see why.]

Wind Monitoring and Ballistics
Kestrel Environmental Meters with Applied Ballistics are “must haves”. I have found my Really Right Stuff tripod and Vortex 12×50 Razor binoculars extremely useful for locating targets and going through the target shooting order before it was my turn to shoot. Watching what the wind and competitor’s rounds are doing before you are on the gun is a huge benefit.

Great Match with Great Shooters

Tough Competition with a Field of Ace Practical Marksmen
The field of competitors at this match was stacked. I heard there were 20 competitors in attendance who have won national-level PRS or NRL events. 20 top-echelon competitors mixed in with a solid field of shooters made it a tough for anyone looking to finish at the top.

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical 1 Comment »
March 10th, 2019

Tall Target Test — How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition (or on a long-range hunt). While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation.

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact. If, for example, your point of impact is 33 inches, then you are getting more than the stated MOA with each click (assuming the target is positioned at exactly 100 yards).

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

How to Perform the Tall Target Test
The objective of the tall target test is to insure that your scope is giving you the proper amount of adjustment. For example, when you dial 30 MOA, are you really getting 30 MOA, or are you getting 28.5 or 31.2 MOA? The only way to be sure is to verify, don’t take it for granted! Knowing your scopes true click values insures that you can accurately apply a ballistic solution. In fact, many perceived inaccuracies of long range ballistics solutions are actually caused by the scopes not applying the intended adjustment. In order to verify your scope’s true movement and calculate a correction factor, follow the steps in the Tall Target Worksheet. This worksheet takes you thru the ‘calibration process’ including measuring true range to target and actual POI shift for a given scope adjustment. The goal is to calculate a correction factor that you can apply to a ballistic solution which accounts for the tracking error of your scope. For example, if you find your scope moves 7% more than it should, then you have to apply 7% less than the ballistic solution calls for to hit your target.


CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Tall Target Worksheet (PDF) »

NOTE: When doing this test, don’t go for the maximum possible elevation. You don’t want to max out the elevation knob, running it to the top stop. Bryan Litz explains: “It’s good to avoid the extremes of adjustment when doing the tall target test.I don’t know how much different the clicks would be at the edges, but they’re not the same.”

Should You Perform a WIDE Target Test Too?
What about testing your windage clicks the same way, with a WIDE target test? Bryan Litz says that’s not really necessary: “The wide target test isn’t as important for a couple reasons. First, you typically don’t dial nearly as much wind as you do elevation. Second, your dialed windage is a guess to begin with; a moving average that’s different for every shot. Whereas you stand to gain a lot by nailing vertical down to the click, the same is not true of windage. If there’s a 5% error in your scope’s windage tracking, you’d never know it.”

Scope Tall Test level calibrationVerifying Scope Level With Tall Target Test
Bryan says: “While setting up your Tall Target Test, you should also verify that your scope level is mounted and aligned properly. This is critical to insuring that you’ll have a long range horizontal zero when you dial on a bunch of elevation for long range shots. This is a requirement for all kinds of long range shooting. Without a properly-mounted scope level (verified on a Tall Target), you really can’t guarantee your horizontal zero at long range.”

NOTE: For ‘known-distance’ competition, this is the only mandatory part of the tall target test, since slight variations in elevation click-values are not that important once you’re centered “on target” at a known distance.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 22nd, 2019

MV on the Box? Why You Still Need to Chron Factory Ammo

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

Why You CANNOT Rely on the MV Printed on the Ammo Box!
When figuring out your come-ups with a ballistics solver or drop chart it’s “mission critical” to have an accurate muzzle velocity (MV). When shooting factory ammo, it’s tempting to use the manufacturer-provided MV which may be printed on the package. That’s not such a great idea says Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Don’t rely on the MV on the box, Bryan advises — you should take out your chrono and run your own velocity tests. There are a number of reasons why the MV values on ammo packaging may be inaccurate. Below is a discussion of factory ammo MV from the Applied Ballistics Facebook Page.

Five Reasons You Cannot Trust the Velocity on a Box of Ammo:

1. You have no idea about the rifle used for the MV test.

2. You have no idea what atmospheric conditions were during testing, and yes it matters a lot.

3. You have no idea of the SD for the factory ammo, and how the manufacturer derived the MV from that SD. (Marketing plays a role here).

4. You have no idea of the precision and quality of chronograph(s) used for velocity testing.

5. You have no idea if the manufacturer used the raw velocity, or back-calculated the MV. The BC used to back track that data is also unknown.

1. The factory test rifle and your rifle are not the same. Aside from having a different chamber, and possibly barrel length some other things are important too like the barrel twist rate, and how much wear was in the barrel. Was it just recently cleaned, has it ever been cleaned? You simply don’t know anything about the rifle used in testing.

2. Temperature and Humidity conditions may be quite different (than during testing). Temperature has a physical effect on powder, which changes how it burns. Couple this with the fact that different powders can vary in temp-stability quite a bit. You just don’t know what the conditions at the time of testing were. Also a lot of factory ammunition is loaded with powder that is meter friendly. Meter friendly can often times be ball powder, which is less temperature stable than stick powder often times.

3. The ammo’s Standard Deviation (SD) is unknown. You will often notice that while MV is often listed on ammo packages, Standard Deviation (normally) is not. It is not uncommon for factory ammunition to have an SD of 18 or higher. Sometimes as high as 40+. As such is the nature of metering powder. With marketing in mind, did they pick the high, low, or average end of the SD? We really don’t know. You won’t either until you test it for yourself. For hand-loaded ammo, to be considered around 10 fps or less. Having a high SD is often the nature of metered powder and factory loads. The image below is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting: Volume II.

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

4. You don’t know how MV was measured. What chronograph system did the manufacturer use, and how did they back track to a muzzle velocity? A chronograph does not measure true velocity at the muzzle; it simply measures velocity at the location it is sitting. So you need to back-calculate the distance from the chrono to the end of the barrel. This calculation requires a semi-accurate BC. So whose BC was used to back track to the muzzle or did the manufacturer even do that? Did they simply print the numbers displayed by the chronograph? What kind of chronograph setup did they use? We know from our Lab Testing that not all chronographs are created equal. Without knowing what chronograph was used, you have no idea the quality of the measurement. See: Applied Ballistics Chronograph Chapter Excerpt.

5. The MV data may not be current. Does the manufacturer update that data for every lot? Or is it the same data from years ago? Some manufacturers rarely if ever re-test and update information. Some update it every lot (ABM Ammo is actually tested every single lot for 1% consistency). Without knowing this information, you could be using data for years ago.

CONCLUSION: Never use the printed MV off a box of ammo as anything more than a starting point, there are too many factors to account for. You must always either test for the MV with a chronograph, or use carefully obtained, live fire data. When you are using a Ballistic Solver such as the AB Apps or Devices integrated with AB, you need to know the MV to an accuracy down to 5 fps. The more reliable the MV number, the better your ballistics solutions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 2nd, 2019

Accuracy Vs. Precision — They Are Not the Same Thing

Applied Ballistics Accuracy Precision
This image is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2.

The next time a shooter comes up to you at the range, and says: “My rifle shoots one-third MOA all day long”, challenge him to put a first-round hit on a 1/2 MOA plate at 1000 yards. There’s a difference between shooting small groups at close range (Precision) and “on-target” Accuracy at long range.

Article by Applied Ballistics, LLC
Just how much better is a 0.5 MOA rifle vs. a 1 MOA rifle? Is it worth chasing quarter-MOA if you have half-MOA rifle? This is an important question. If you look across Facebook you will find scores of shooters posting 1/3-MOA or 1/4-MOA shot groups [usually at 100 yards]. Some of those guys are spending countless hours trying to chase that golden quarter-MOA group.

Don’t take this statement the wrong way, having a good, consistent rifle is a key to success. But accuracy is extremely important to long range shooting. Having a precision (0.5 MOA) rifle, but not having put the time in to practice accuracy (hitting a 0.5 MOA plate first shot at 1000 yards) is counter-productive. [Editor: By this, we mean that you can have a rifle capable of shooting small groups at 100 yards, but you won’t see that gun’s full potential unless you can practice and perfect the skills of long-range shooting. Successful long range shooting demands more than precision alone.]

What if, your goal was to produce 5-shot, sub-half-MOA groups at 1000 yards instead of 100 yards? Think about how much more you would be including in the learning process, especially that all-important factor: managing the wind! Here is a good article that talks about Precision vs. Accuracy: Hitting Targets at Long Range.

This is not intended to say that precision is not important; rather it is intended to show that balance is important. You can use WEZ to do your own studies on this very subject, and it might be surprising to the shooter just how much you don’t gain by chasing precision over accuracy. Two books which cover this subject really well are Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting and Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Vol 2.

Here’s a stunning combination of Precision (small group) WITH accuracy (centered on target). Yep that’s ten shots at 1000 yards, all in the middle of the target:
Scott Nix Dasher Record

Video Demonstrates Amazing 1000-Yard Accuracy AND Precision

Watch the video. You can see the group form up, shot by shot. It’s pretty amazing. Scott’s first shot (at the 45-second mark of the video) was right in the X-Ring, and four of Scott’s first five shots were Xs. That’s drilling them!

Comments

“Accuracy with precision is the route for me. It is not an either/or game. If I have a precision rifle (0.25 MOA or less) and I practice to be accurate, then high scores will be the result — Jim Borden

“I would agree for PRS, hunting, and to a certain extent F-Class. However, for 1000-yard IBS benchrest competition, 0.5 MOA groups in good conditions will almost always loose the relay.” — James B

“Another thought is that [at 1000 yards] a 1 MOA gun with single-digit standard deviations [may] out shoot a 0.5 MOA rifle with standard deviations of 20+ fps.” — Beard Owens

“Both… you need both: Accuracy AND Precision. I competed in varmint matches — we shot small silhouettes at 600 yards. I started with a factory .260 Rem rifle that was 0.8 MOA on a good day. I typically hit 8-9 of 20 targets, but rarely nailed the small chickens — which had a hit zone just 4″ in diameter. I then started using a semi-custom 6mmBR rifle that could reliably deliver 1/4 MOA at 100 yards (honest). My hit count on the silhouettes zoomed to 15-18, and suddenly the chickens were going down. In that game — small targets at 600 yards — there was no substitute for precision.” — Paul McM

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
October 23rd, 2018

Great Book: Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Vol. 2

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

If you buy one book about Long Range Shooting, this should be it. Based on sophisticated testing and research, this 356-page hardcover from Applied Ballistics offers important insights you won’t find anywhere else. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting – Volume II, the latest treatise from Bryan Litz, is chock full of information, much of it derived through sophisticated field testing. As Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets (and a trained rocket scientist), author Bryan Litz is uniquely qualified. Bryan is also an ace sling shooter and a past F-TR National Champion. Moreover, Bryan’s company, Applied Ballistics, has been a leader in the Extreme Long Range (ELR) discipline.

AUDIO FILE: Bryan Litz Talks about Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2. (Sound file loads when you click button).

Volume II of Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting ($39.95) contains all-new content derived from research by Applied Ballistics. Author Bryan Litz along with contributing authors Nick Vitalbo and Cal Zant use the scientific method and careful testing to answer important questions faced by long range shooters. In particular, this volume explores the subject of bullet dispersion including group convergence. Advanced hand-loading subjects are covered such as: bullet pointing and trimming, powder measurement, flash hole deburring, neck tension, and fill ratio. Each topic is explored with extensive live fire testing, and the resulting information helps to guide hand loaders in a deliberate path to success. The current bullet library of measured G1 and G7 ballistic coefficients is included as an appendix. This library currently has data on 533 bullets in common use by long range shooters.

Bryan tells us that one purpose of this book is to dispel myths and correct commonly-held misconceptions: “Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting aims to end the misinformation which is so prevalent in long range shooting. By applying the scientific method and taking a Myth Buster approach, the state of the art is advanced….”

Bullet Dispersion and Group Convergence
Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

Part 1 of this Volume is focused on the details of rifle bullet dispersion. Chapter 1 builds a discussion of dispersion and precision that every shooter will benefit from in terms of understanding how it impacts their particular shooting application. How many shots should you shoot in a group? What kind of 5-shot 100 yard groups correlate to average or winning precision levels in 1000 yard F-Class shooting?

Chapter 2 presents a very detailed investigation of the mysterious concept of group convergence, which is the common idea that some guns can shoot smaller (MOA) groups at longer ranges. This concept is thoroughly tested with extensive live fire, and the results answer a very important question that has baffled shooters for many generations.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-orderPart 2 of this Volume is focused on various aspects of advanced hand-loading. Modern Advancements (Vol. II) employs live fire testing to answer the important questions that precision hand loaders are asking. What are the best ways to achieve MVs with low ES and SD? Do flash hole deburring, neck tension, primer selection, and fill ratio and powder scales sensitivity make a difference and how much? All of these questions are explored in detail with a clear explanation of test results.

One of the important chapters of Part 2 examines bullet pointing and trimming. Applied Ballistics tested 39 different bullet types from .224 through .338 caliber. Ten samples of each bullet were tested for BC in each of the following configurations: original out of the box, pointed, trimmed, pointed and trimmed. The effect on the average BC as well as the uniformity in BC was measured and tabulated, revealing what works best.

Part 3 covers a variety of general research topics. Contributing author Nick Vitalbo, a laser technology expert, tested 22 different laser rangefinders. Nick’s material on rangefinder performance is a landmark piece of work. Nick shows how shooters can determine the performance of a rangefinder under various lighting conditions, target sizes, and reflectivities.

Chapter 9 is a thorough analysis of rimfire ammunition. Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets, 2nd Edition presented live fire data on 95 different types of .22 rimfire ammunition, each tested in five different barrels having various lengths and twist rates. Where that book just presented the data, Chapter 9 of this book offers detailed analysis of all the test results and shows what properties of rimfire ammunition are favorable, and how the BCs, muzzle velocities and consistency of the ammo are affected by the different barrels.

Chapter 10 is a discussion of aerodynamic drag as it relates to ballistic trajectory modeling. You will learn from the ground up: what an aerodynamic drag model is, how it’s measure and used to predict trajectories. Analysis is presented which shows how the best trajectory models compare to actual measured drop in the real world.

Finally, contributing author Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog presents a study of modern carbon fiber-wrapped barrels in Chapter 11. The science and technology of these modern rifle barrels is discussed, and then everything from point of impact shift to group sizes are compared for several samples of each type of barrel including standard steel barrels.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 8th, 2018

Reading the Wind — Expert Advice from Emil Praslick III

Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Wind Reading Zero direction speed windy

In today’s feature, Emil Praslick III of Team Applied Ballistics explains how to determine wind direction down range. Praslick, now retired from the U.S. Army, was an 18-time National and 2-time World Champion coach with the USAMU. Emil is consider by many to be one of America’s greatest wind readers — a master when is comes to identifying wind value and direction, and predicting wind cycles.

Video ONE: Determining the Direction of the Wind

Key Point in Video — Find the Boil
Emil explains how to determine wind direction using optic. The method is to use spotting scope, riflescope, or binoculars to look for the “Boil” — the condition in mirage when the light waves rising straight up. The wind will generate that straight-up, vertical boil in your optics when it is blowing directly at you, or directly from your rear. To identify this, traverse your scope or optics until you see the boil running straight up. When you see that vertical boil, the direction your optic is pointing is aligned with the wind flow (either blowing towards you or from directly behind you).

Video TWO: The No Wind Zero Setting

In this second video, Emil defines the “No-Wind Zero”, and explains why competitive shooters must understand the no-wind zero and have their sights or optics set for a no-wind zero starting point before heading to a match. In order to hit your target, after determining wind speed and direction, says Emil, “you have to have your scope setting dialed to ‘no wind zero’ first.”

Emil Praslick III KO2M

Coach of Champions — Emil Praslick III
SFC Emil Praslick III, (U.S. Army, retired) works with Berger Bullets and Applied Ballistics. Emil served as the Head Coach of the U.S. National Long Range Rifle Team and Head Coach of the USAMU for several years. Teams coached by Emil have won 33 Inter-Service Rifle Championships. On top of that, teams he coached set 18 National records and 2 World Records. Overall, in the role of coach, Praslick can be credited with the most team wins of any coach in U.S. Military history.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 3rd, 2018

Paul Phillips Wins NRA Extreme Long Range Championship

NRA Extreme Long Range Championship Camp Atterbury Indiana .416 Barrett Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Competing at Camp Atterbury in mid-July, Paul Phillips of Team Applied Ballistics won the 2018 NRA Extreme Long Range (ELR) Championship. Shooting a McMillan-stocked .416 Barrett rifle with 550-grain Cutting Edge Bullets, Phillips won convincingly, finishing with 62627 points. Runner-up, shooting a .375, was Chase Stroud (56744 points).

NRA Extreme Long Range Championship Camp Atterbury Indiana .416 Barrett Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics
Paul Phillips (holding rifle) with wind coach/spotter John Droelle. Rifle components included: McMillan ELR Beast Stock, BAT Action, Bartlein Barrel, Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 mm scope, Phoenix Precision Bipod. Cartridges shown are similar .416 Barrett rounds used by Derek Rodgers in 2018 K02M event.

Caliber and Cartridge Choice:
Paul Phillips, shooting the .416 Barrett, was the only shooter in the Top Ten running a .416-caliber rifle. There were eight .375-caliber rifles (mostly .375 CheyTacs) and one .338-caliber in the Top Ten. Overall, there were 36 competitors registered for the Match, 30 of whom scored points. Fourteen of the 30 scoring competitors, nearly half, shot a .375-caliber cartridge. The .338 (mostly .338 LM) was the next most popular caliber choice.

Course of Fire — Three Extreme Yardages:
The 2018 NRA ELR Event included three stages, at progressively longer yardages: 1500, 1760 (mile), and 1961 yards. At each distance, starting at 1500, the competitors fired five (5) shots at a 36″x36″ steel plate. There were no sighters, practice shots, or ranging shots allowed. This meant the competition put a premium on precise ballistic solutions, and very consistent ammo.

NRA Extreme Long Range Championship Camp Atterbury Indiana .416 Barrett Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Notable Competitors: There were 36 competitors registered for the match including some big names — David Tubb and Brian Litz. The field included F-Class aces Dan Pohlabel and Jeff Rorer. Capstone Precision President (and former Sinclair Int’l President) Bill Gravatt helped spot for Paul Phillips. Notably, both David Tubb AND his son-in-law Nate Stallter finished in the Top Ten shooting the new .37XC.

Successful Event with Many Sponsors: Shooting Sports USA noted: “Though only the second of these events, the match has experienced a real surge in popularity, well attended… and sponsored by some of the best in the business. Cutting Edge Bullets, Nightforce, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Holland’s Shooters Supply, Applied Ballistics, Vihtavouri Powder, and Crosstac, all of whom played a role in Paul’s big win, were also major sponsors of the event. Below is a banner listing all of the match’s sponsors.”

NRA Extreme Long Range Championship Camp Atterbury Indiana .416 Barrett Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Images courtesy Tactiholics (Facebook).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 3 Comments »
July 6th, 2018

2018 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) Highlights Report

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The 2018 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event took place July 2-4 in Raton, New Mexico. Conditions were very challenging this year, yet three shooters managed to hit the most distant 3,525-yard plate at least once in five shots, a remarkable accomplishment. At that range the bullet was in flight about six seconds.

Robert Brantley of Team Manners Composite Stocks is the new King of 2 Miles. Congrats to Robert and his team-mates. Robert amassed 85178 points, finishing over 20,000 points ahead of runner-up John Buhay. Paul Phillips of Team Applied Ballistics finished third. FULL K02M 2018 RESULTS HERE.

King 2 miles 2018 raton new mexico

King 2 miles 2018 raton new mexico
Here’s Robert Brantley after his superb qualifying performance, which set a new 2018 King of 2 Miles qualifying round record. Going perfect on targets 1, 2, and 3, Robert missed just one shot on Target 4 of the qualifying phase, amassing 51355 points, a new K02M record.

King 2 miles 2018 raton new mexico

CLICK HERE for a very complete and thorough KO2M report created by The Precision Rifle Blog (PRB). This excellent PRB Report contains complete load and rig specifications for the top five shooters. In addition, the PRB Report includes a full run-down on this year’s event.

K02m 2018 Raton New mexico Cheytac barrett
Though the trigger pullers get the glory, this is really a three-man game. One guy shoots, a second team member spots for hits and calls corrections, and a third watches mirage and makes wind calls.

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Multi-Day, Multi-Distance Competition with Farthest Target at 3525 Yards
The K02M Competition runs in stages, with the distances getting farther with each round. After five shots on target 1 at 1547 yards, there are then three shots per target for the remaining three parts of the Qualifying round. Then, in the three-target Finals phase, there are with five shots per target. You get more points for earlier hits in each string, and there are no sighters during the match. The event started with a tough Cold Bore Challenge — a single-shot at 1689 yards, just shy of one mile. Only three out of 62 competitors made that cold-bore mile shot on a 16″ plate, about 1 MOA at that distance. After that there are two rounds with the targets arrayed as follows.

KO2M Qualification Round
1,547 yards: 5 shots, 24” x 37” rectangle
1,719 yards: 3 shots, 24” x 37” rectangle
1,890 yards: 3 shots, 30” x 37” rectangle
2,095 yards: 3 shots, 30” x 37” rectangle
KO2M Finals Round — July 4
2,727 yards: 5 shots, 33” x 41” rectangle
3,166 yards: 5 shots, 42” x 54” rectangle
3,525 yards: 5 shots, 48” x 60” rectangle

Big Bore Rifles with High-BC Bullets
This year saw the continued evolution of equipment. Top shooter Brantley shot a .416 Barrett with 500gr Cutting Edge bullets. Robert’s massive 44-lb rifle featured a 39″ K&P barrel, McMillan action, and a Manners LRT (Long Range Tactical) stock designed expressly for this KO2M competition.

Second Place John Buhay shot an improved version of the .375 CheyTac, with 353gr Lehigh Defense Match Solid bullets. Buhay’s 37.6-lb rig bosted a BAT action and 36″ Krieger barrel along with a fairly conventional McMillan MBR 1K benchrest stock. Mark King built the rifle.

Third Place Paul Phillips campaigned a .416 Barrett with 550gr Cutting Edge Lazer bullets. Paul’s 42-lb rig featured a BAT action and McMillan Beast 1 stock. Shown below is the latest rifle of 2017 K02M champ Derek Rodgers, a .416 Barrett also in a McMillan Beast. Derek spotted for Phillips in the match.

derek rodgers ko2m beast

Optics Options
There was quite a variety of scopes used by Top K02M competitors, evidence that a number of manufacturers now offer optics with abundant elevation and the ability to stand up to heavy recoil. Here are the optics choices for the Top Five Shooters:

1. Bushnell XRS II 4.5-30x50mm with G3 reticle in Badger UniMount
2. Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56mm with MOAR reticle, with ERA-TAC Inclined Mount
3. Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56mm, with Charlie TARAC external Prism System for Elevation
4. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56mm, in Spuhr mount with Charlie TARAC
5. Burris XTR II 5-25x50mm in Barrett rings

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Notably, two of the top five used the Charlie TARAC prism system. This provides a ton of extra elevation by essentially shifting the view seen through the scope. The unit fits to the scope’s front objective.

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 11 Comments »
June 5th, 2018

Kestrel 5700 Elite Offers Ballistic Solutions for Multiple Targets

Kestrel 5700 elite link mobile app applied ballistics

GunsAmerica just released a detailed review of the recently-upgraded Kestrel 5700 Elite with LiNK, a software-enabled weather meter. If you compete in practical/tactical events (with targets at multiple distances), or campaign a wide selection of rifles, or shoot at Extreme Long Range, you may want to get this device. It offers unrivaled capabilities in a small package. This impressive handheld device combines weather-monitoring capabilities with a full-featured, very sophisticated ballistics solver that now calculates out to 5,500 yards. Using Bluetooth and LiNK technology it communicates with your mobile device as well as LiNK-enabled laser rangefinders.

Why You May Want to Buy the Kestrel 5700 Elite with LiNK:

— The Device can hold up to 30 different rifle/cartridge profiles, each with its own BC and muzzle velocity for ballistic calculations.

— The Device registers current windspeed, wind direction, air temp and pressure, and other variables, and then sends that info via Bluetooth to your smart-phone, updating the ballistic solution. It essentially updates your drop chart in real time.

— The Device “talks” to your smart-phone, providing a large, convenient display that can show both elevation clicks and wind corrections. The display essentially replaces your data card. The Smartphone integration also makes it easy to modify your different rifle/ammo profiles.

— The Device gives you come-ups and wind corrections for multiple targets (at various ranges). These can be displayed in a list, ordered by distance. This is a great feature, check it out:

Kestrel 5700 elite link mobile app applied ballistics

Quick and Accurate Solutions for all Cartridge Types — Big and Small
The Kestrel 5700 Elite can work for everything from a .22 LR to a .50 BMG. In fact, GunsAmerica’s tester used the Kestrel 5700 for a 6.5 Creedmoor shooting out to 1070 yards, and then used the solver for a .22 LR match out to 300 yards. The data for the 6.5 CM was spot on, but even more remarkably, the holdover for the .22 LR was precise to 0.2 mils at 300 yards. The GunsAmerica Reviewer, Ian Kenney, was impressed:

“I think the best testament to the capabilities of the Kestrel 5700 Elite were on display at a recent range trip where I was getting my modified Ruger 10/22 ready for an upcoming precision rimfire match. I started out with a sort of hodgepodge of information, using an unconfirmed BC [for Eley Force ammo] that I’d heard from a friend along with a muzzle velocity that another friend had gotten with the same ammo. I created a new profile using this assortment of data and entered in target distances for 200 and 300 yards. Imagine the smile on my face then when I got hits at both distances with the elevation setting only being 0.2 mils off at the farthest target.

It’s impressive that the technology allowed me to only be 0.2 mils off with .22 LR ammunition at 300 yards, which is only about two inches, all the while starting out with imperfect data. If that’s not an exquisite demonstration of the versatility of this technology, to be able to toggle between such diverse calibers and get accurate data to long distances, I don’t know what is.”

Kestrel 5700 Elite Special Capabilities
The LiNK Ballistics App lets you set up multiple targets for single-screen viewing. The Kestrel 5700 Elite can also be wirelessly paired with LiNK-compatible laser rangefinders. Being able to instantly accees exact target range data allows a more rapid and and more precise ballistic solution.

In addition to the ballistics solver capabilities, the Kestrel 5700 Elite is a comprehensive weather meter that monitors all key variables including: wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, heat index, pressure, and altitude. Your data log can be transferred to a iOS/Android device wirelessly with the LiNK wireless communication option and Kestrel LiNK app. The 5700 Elite now uses a single AA Battery housed separately from the circuit board.

More Features of the Kestrel 5700 Elite
The Kestrel 5700 elite has almost too many features to list. One notable capability allows you to quickly “tune” a profile by entering field-confirmed data. Kenney explains: “You can go into the gun profile and calibrate the muzzle velocity by telling it how much elevation you used to get a hit, effectively truing your dope in short order. This is ten times faster than logging it in your data book, going back to an online solver, and making adjustments[.]”

Ian Kenney’s Kestrel 5700 Elite Review is very thorough, and contains many more details and insights than we can cover here. For anyone considering purchase of a high-end Kestrel, we strongly recommend you read Kenney’s review. Ian concludes: “I’m not going to lie… with an MSRP of $699, I recognize [the Kestrel 5700 Elite] may not be for everyone. Considering how often I shoot long range and the number of rifles that I have, it makes sense for me[.] The Applied Ballistics solver also gives me the confidence that my dope is going to be accurate no matter what conditions I might find myself in. So for me… this Kestrel delivers the goods.”

Kestrel 5700 Elite Advanced Features (Partial List)

Kestrel LiNK Apps for iOS and Android
Wireless Bluetooth for Mobile Devices
Connects with LiNK Compatible Range Finders
Temperature Sensor (Patented External Isolated)
Integrated Applied Ballistics Calculator
Applied Ballistics G1/G7 Drag Model Profiles
Applied Ballistics Custom Drag Models
Average and Peak Wind Correction
Muzzle Velocity Calibration
Supports Mil, MOA Click Values
Create and store up to 30 Gun/Bullet Profiles
Create and store up to 10 Targets
Moving Target Lead Correction
Aerodynamic Jump Correction
High Angle Shot Correction
Target Range Estimator
Spin Drift Correction
MV-Temp Table
Digital Compass
Range Card

Kestrel 5700 elite link mobile app applied ballistics

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Tactical 2 Comments »
May 9th, 2018

Elements of Long Range Shooting Video Series

Bryan Litz Elements Long Range Shooting NSSF Ballistics Coeffecient Atmospherics

Want to learn more about Long Range Shooting? Check out the “Elements of Long Range Shooting” videos from the National Shooting Sport Foundation (NSSF). In this multi-part series, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics covers a variety of topics of interest to precision shooters. Today we feature three of these videos. There are five other videos in this series. Watch the entire 8-video “Elements of Long Range Shooting” series on the NSSF YouTube Channel.

Litz NSSF Video Elements long range shooting Raton NM ELR

Atmospherics and Density Altitude

Bryan Litz explains: “An important element in calculating an accurate firing solution for long-range shooting is understanding the effects of atmospherics on a projectile.” Atmospherics include air pressure, air temperature, and humidity. Bryan notes: “Temperature, pressure, and humidity all affect the air density… that the bullet is flying through. You can combine all those factors into one variable called ‘Density Altitude’.” Density Altitude is used by the ballistic solver to account for air density variables that affect bullet flight.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficients

A bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) basically expresses how well the bullet flies through the air. Higher BC bullets have less aerodynamic drag than lower BC projectiles. You will see BCs listed as either G1 and G7 numbers. These correspond to different bullet shape models. Generally speaking, the G7 model works better for the long, boat-tail bullets used for long-range shooting. Notably, a bullet’s drag is NOT constant in flight. The true BC can vary over the course of the trajectory as the bullet velocity degrades. In other words, “BC is dynamic”. That said, you can make very accurate drop charts using the BCs provided by major bullet-makers, as plugged into solvers. However, long-range competitors may want to record “real world” drop numbers at various distances. For example, we’ve seen trajectories be higher than predicted at 500 yards, yet lower than predicted at 1000.

Ballistics Solvers — Many Options

Bryan Litz observes: “When we talk about the elements of long range shooting, obviously a very important element is a getting a fire solution, using a ballistic solver. There are a lot of ballistic solvers out there… Applied Ballistics has smartphone Apps. Applied Ballistics has integrated the ballistic solver directly into a Kestral, and the same solver runs (manually) on the Accuracy Solutions Wiz-Wheel. The point is, if it is an Applied Ballistics device it is running the same solutions across the board.”

About Bryan Litz
Bryan began his career as a rocket scientist, quite literally. He then started Applied Ballistics, the leading company focusing on ballistics science for rifle shooting. A past F-TR Long-Range National Champion and Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets, knows his stuff. His Applied Ballistics squad was the winning team at the 2017 King of 2 Miles event, and Applied Ballistics recently received a major U.S. defense contract to to execute Phase 1 of the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) project.

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May 7th, 2018

New BDX Electro-Optical System Shows Hold-overs in Scope

SIG Sauer BDX ballistics Data exchange Bryan Litz Doc Beech Laser Rangefinder hold-over

SIG Sauer and Applied Ballistics showed off impressive new electro-optical technology at the NRA Show in Dallas. Bryan Litz says “SIG Sauer’s Ballistics Data Exchange (BDX) is game changer. Imagine lazing a long range target, and having your exact fire solution (hold-over) automatically projected into your scope based on your ballistic profile.”

BDX takes target range info from a SIG Sauer Laser Rangefinder, calculates a ballistic solution using Applied Ballistics software, then displays the hold-over info directly in the optic (via a wireless BlueTooth connection). Just dial and shoot. Put the calculated BDX dot on the target and shoot. This ground-breaking BDX technology enables key ballistic hold-over information to be exchanged wirelessly among BDX-enabled Electro-Optics products.

You can buy this as a package with scope and LRF, starting at just $700.00 for scope and rangefinder. To our surprise, these scopes have a normal form factor. They look completely “normal”, with no clunky receiver boxes or extra turrets. BDX riflescopes aren’t bulky or heavy even though they include built-in electronics, level, and inclination detection.

“Rangefinding riflescopes of the past have had two major shortcomings: they are either big, boxy and heavy, or extremely expensive. The … BDX system packs advanced ballistics technology into a simple platform that looks just like the rangefinder and riflescope [hunters use] today. It is extremely simple to use. Range a target, put the digital ballistic holdover dot on target, pull the trigger — just connect the dot.” — Andy York, President, SIG Sauer Electro-Optics.

SIG Sauer’s Ballistics Data Exchange (BDX) is an integrated system of devices that talk seamlessly to each other, sharing data. Applied Ballistics says this system be expanded in the months ahead. “This system will be comprised of scopes, rangefinders, binoculars, and more. BDX will even be able to ‘talk’ to Kestrels and Garmins as well as SIG Sauer smart-scopes. This is only the start, over the next year you will see increasing levels of tech becoming available.”

How BDX (Ballistics Data Exchange) Functions — Software and Hardware
How does BDX work? First download the SIG BDX App for Android or iOS. Then pair the KILO BDX rangefinder and SIERRA3BDX riflescope, and set up a basic ballistic profile. Once you are in the field, range your target as you normally would, and the KILO BDX rangefinder will utilize onboard Applied Ballistics Ultralight™ to instantly send your dope to the scope via Bluetooth. Using your basic ballistic profile, the ballistic solution is calculated for your target and will instantly illuminate on the BDX-R1 Digital Ballistic Reticle with windage and elevation holds in the SIERRA3BDX riflescope. A blue LED on the riflescope power selector indicates that the BDX system is paired, and when the reticle has received new ballistic holdover and windage data from the rangefinder.

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