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 8 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 23rd, 2018

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 »
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.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
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.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
April 25th, 2018

Lone Star ELR — World’s Longest Shot Challenge in Texas

World's longest Shot Challenge Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Texas Valdina Ranch ELR Extreme Long Range

Story based on report by Paul Phillips of Global Precision Group
Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting continues to evolve, with new forms of competition “pushing the envelope” of marksmanship (and ballistics) at distances out to 4900 yards (2.8 miles) and beyond. The latest big-time ELR shooting match was the World’s Longest Shot Challenge (WLSC) in Texas. This match was held at the Valdina Ranch, 1700+ acres of gorgeous hill country property, located about 1.5 hours west of San Antonio, Texas. The event attracted 28 shooters competing in four classes. Each competitor could be supported by a spotter and a wind coach, shooting as a three-person team.

World's longest Shot Challenge Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Texas Valdina Ranch ELR Extreme Long Range

Key “Take-Aways” from the 2018 WLSC Match:

1. Prototype Berger .375 Caliber Bullet is a Winner
The new .375 caliber monolithic Berger bullet designed by Bryan Litz was used by the first and second place finisher in the above .338 Caliber class. It performed great and the ultra-high BC was confirmed.

2. Team Applied Ballistics Dominated
The combined Applied Ballistics Team made first-round impacts at 1760, 2000, 2200, and 2400 yards. Also, 11 out of the 12 impacts total at 2200 yards belonged to Team AB. And Team AB’s Chris Palka had the top score overall, in his first-ever major ELR competition. That demonstrates how well the AB ballistics solutions work. By yardage, Chris recorded 68280 points total, as follows: 1760×6, 2000×10, 2200×9, 2400×3, 2680×4.

World's longest Shot Challenge Bryan Litz Chris Palka Applied Ballistics Texas Valdina Ranch ELR Extreme Long Range
Christopher Palka (Team AB), shooting his first-ever ELR match, finished First Overall. Tactiholics Photo.

3. Got Doppler? Advanced Radar Technology for ELR
To shoot at these extreme ranges, you need rock-solid BC information on your projectiles. Luckily Applied Ballistics brought a Doppler Radar and allowed competitors to shoot their ammo to give them personalized ballistic information.

World's longest Shot Challenge Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Texas Valdina Ranch ELR Extreme Long Range

Top Shots By Class
Above .338 Non-Factory
(mostly .375 CheyTac)
.338 and under Factory
(mostly .338 Lapua Mag)
.338 and under Non-Factory
(mostly .338 Edge)
Chris Palka 68280 HIGH SCORE
Paul Phillips 57360
Chase Stroud 47520
Pete Contacos 44360
Paul Phillips 20080
Chris Wiencke 14160
Tim Seller 25760
Eddie 14560
Calvin 11200

NOTE: There was also a fourth class at the WLSC, the “Above .338 Factory Class” (.50 BMG) with Jay Divorsky scoring 14560.

WLSC Match Procedures and Scoring:
Competitors shot with time limits at each distance: 5 minutes to make 5 shots at each plate. Hits on steel scored points, with a big premium on first-round hits. The point values (for hits) were based upon standard ELR practice: 5 times the distance on the first shot, 4 times the distance on the second shot, and so on. In this ELR match each team may have three members: Shooter, Wind Coach, and Spotter.

Paul Phillips reported: “After drawing names randomly for shooting order, on Day One we shot 36″ metal plates at 1760, 2000, 2200, and 2400 yards. The second day was elimination day — you had to make impact on each target at least once to advance to the next distance. These targets started at 2680 ranging out to 4900 yards. We had winds from 4-8 mph on the first day and 6-15 mph on the second day which made it very challenging.”

World's longest Shot Challenge Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Texas Valdina Ranch ELR Extreme Long Range

Proof in the Shooting — AB Solvers and Berger Bullets
Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics stated: “This event was a successful test of several new things. Berger’s prototype .375 caliber solid bullets worked well in numerous guns and tracked perfectly to the most distant targets. Radar measurements of these new bullets indicate extraordinary performance as well. The AB Team also had a couple new staff members shooting their first ELR competition (Chris Palka and Chris Wiencke) who both did well with Chris Palka actually winning the event. This match was a successful demonstration of the science of accuracy being used to put rounds on target. The thing about science, is that it works the same for everyone. The ballistic software and Custom Drag Model (CDM) data that we used to put first-round hits on targets out to 2400 yards is the same software that’s available to everyone in the AB devices (Kestrel, Sig Kilo, Garmin Fortrex) and Mobile Apps.”

The AB ELR Team dominated the Podium in the above .338 Non-Factory Class. Chris Palka was high scorer followed by Paul Phillips (Second) and Chase Stroud (Third). The top two finishers were using Applied Ballistic Weapon Division Rifles sending the new Berger .375-Cal solid bullets designed by Bryan Litz. The third place finisher shot a .375 CheyTac with 400 grain Cutting Edge Laser bullets.

World's longest Shot Challenge Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Texas Valdina Ranch ELR Extreme Long Range

In the .338 and under Factory Class there were mostly .338 Lapua Magnums. These .338s did very well and two out of the three shooters made it to the two-mile plate. The final standings in the 338 and under Factory Class: Peter Contacos (first), Paul Phillips (second), Chris Wiencke (Third). Both Paul and Chris were shooting 300 grain Berger bullets.

Title Sponsor ELRHQ, a McMillan company, brought tables full of gear. Everything was on display: scopes, bipods, mats, bags, triggers, actions, brakes, stocks, LabRadars, TargetVision target cams, and more. ELRHQ.com is a great one-stop online vendor with the latest and greatest gear for those interested in the ELR discipline and precision shooting.

World's longest Shot Challenge Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Texas Valdina Ranch ELR Extreme Long Range

The match was organized by Travis Walla who did a great job. The event ran smoothly and shooters say the Texas BBQ was great. Travis posted: “We had an awesome event, thanks to all of our sponsors that helped make this event a huge success. We also had a awesome opportunity for those that shot this match — they were able to shoot across the Oehler Research 88 and Applied Ballistics LLC radar at the same time out to 2400 yards on Saturday afternoon. Thanks again…”

World's longest Shot Challenge Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Texas Valdina Ranch ELR Extreme Long Range

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News, Tactical 4 Comments »
April 9th, 2018

Applied Ballistics Secures $1.3 Million U.S. Defense Contract

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

We want to congratulate Bryan Litz and his talented team at Applied Ballistics LLC. We have followed Bryan’s career as a bullet designer, ballistician, author, software product developer, and ELR pioneer. His team leads the world in advancing the science of long range shooting. And it looks like all the hard work has paid off — Applied Ballistics has secured a major contract to develop extreme long-range sniper capability for the U.S. Military.

Applied Ballistics LLC, a Michigan-based tech company, has been awarded a $1,300,000 contract by the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) to execute Phase 1 of the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) project.

Phase 1 of the ESSO project is focused on advancing the predictive capabilities of modern ballistic solvers by performing Doppler radar measurement and modeling of current service rounds at Extreme Long Range (ELR) as a function of gyroscopic stability, and refining the models of secondary ballistic effects such as spin rate decay and spin drift at ELR. Phase 1 will conclude with the ballistic modeling enhancements being integrated into the existing Applied Ballistics ecosystem of electronic devices which are currently deployed by numerous U.S. and allied armed forces around the world. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in late 2018.

Phase 2 of the ESSO project is a potential follow on (2019) that focuses on the development and fielding of an advanced ELR sniper rifle system designed to drastically increase first-round hit probability at ELR on man-sized targets. The Applied Ballistics Weapons Division is currently conducting research and development on weapons platforms, as well as new cartridge and bullet options, that will maximize ELR ballistic performance from lightweight, practical, magazine-fed systems.

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

Bryan Litz, owner of Applied Ballistics LLC, said: “Our team of Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Science Engineers, and Technicians will apply our combined experience including years of testing and competing in ELR Shooting to the successful completion of the ESSO program objectives. This means extending the maximum effective range of U.S. and allied snipers, achieving decisive overmatch on the battlefield. I can’t imagine a better application of Applied Ballistics’ collective efforts.”

Applied Ballistics has developed ballistics software for mobile Apps. AB’s software has been integrated into numerous products including Kestrels, Laser Rangefinders, and “Smart” optics.

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

Applied Ballistics Seminar in Utah, June 2-3, 2018

Applied Ballistics will offer a Ballistics Seminar June 2 and 3, 2018 at the Snowbird Cliff Lodge, Salt Lake City, Utah. This will include two full days of instruction with lectures plus Q&A sessions. The $625 cost of the seminar includes all 5 AB books, both AB DVD sets, AB Analytics, and Swag Bag.

CLICK HERE to Register. NOTE: Through April 17th, get $100 Off with discount code ABSEM100.

About Applied Ballistics, LLC:
Applied Ballistics’ mission is to be a complete and unbiased source of external ballistics information for long range shooters. We believe in the scientific method and promote mastery through understanding of the fundamentals. The results of our work are passed on to the government and shooting communities through clear and helpful instructional materials, as well as easy-to-use ballistic software running on many products.

Permalink News, Tactical 2 Comments »
March 31st, 2018

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 Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 12th, 2018

FREE Bushnell Ballistics App with Applied Ballistics Software

Bushnell Applied Ballistics App iOS Android Google Play

Bushnell has released a FREE new Ballistics App powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite Engine. The new Bushnell Ballistics App easily calculates ballistic solutions for any popular cartridge type once you input velocity, BC, and atmospherics. The App features trusty Applied Ballistics bullet data, and it can even pull in atmospheric data from web weather sources. This allows you to calculate hold-overs and make precise wind corrections. The App is offered in both iOS and Android OS versions.

“The new Bushnell Ballistics App is powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite engine, the most trusted ballistics data-cruncher in the industry,” said Bushnell Marketing Manager Matt Rice. “This App allows users to easily build and modify gun profiles and build range cards to calculate firing solutions based on their specific scope and ammunition choices. All of our Bushnell scopes and reticles have been pre-loaded [in the App].”

Bushnell Applied Ballistics App iOS Android Google Play

The Bushnell App features AB Connect, a live library of G1/G7 data, plus the Applied Ballistics Bullet Library with 740+ pre-loaded bullet profiles. The Bushnell scope library features 150+ scopes and 30 reticle options. Atmospheric data can be updated manually or directly from the internet (when connected). Angle range compensation is also calculated. Gun profile management provides up to five saved profiles with reticle-based firing solutions. A multiple target feature saves up to five targets. Range cards can be shared or printed using the Email Range Card Function.

The FREE App works on both Android and iOS operating systems, and is available on Google Play and the App Store. It is optimized for Bushnell riflescopes and reticles, but is compatible with all optics. Once downloaded, the App functions off the grid — no cell service required.

“The new Bushnell Ballistic App puts the power of long-range, first-shot accuracy into the hands of any shooter,” Rice said. “it was designed to perform in any condition and to offer our consumers true value, with features that far exceed the price — which, in this case, is free!”

Permalink New Product, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 13th, 2018

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 »
January 22nd, 2018

First ELR Central Long Range Record Match in Nevada

ELR Long Range Record Match Pahrump Nevada Front Sight

On 1/21/18, new World Records were set under ELR Central rules for verified, consecutive three-shot string without sighters. Competitors started from cold bore, no sighters or ranging shots allowed. That’s a tough standard. In fact the first 12 shooters failed to put three shots on target at 1500 yards before Paul Phillips took his turn. Paul, Lucky number 13, placed all three of his shots on the 36″ x 36″ plate, claiming a first-ever record. Later that afternoon, John Armstrong duplicated that feat, also putting three shots on target at 1500 with no sighters.

Nate .375 CheyTac Tubb Rifle Stallter ELR record

But the best performances of all came later. Nate Stallter, shooting a .375 CheyTac, nailed his three shots at over one mile — 1768 yards. But it gets better — Nate broke his own record later in the afternoon, going 3 for 3 at 2011 yards.

David Tubb posted: “Congratulations to my son-in-law, Nate. Today he won the ELR Central World Record competition. This competition allows two separate attempts (spaced four hours apart) and consists of three cold bore shots each time. He took 3 shots and had 3 hits at 1768 yards in the morning and then beat his own record in the afternoon with 3 shots and 3 hits at 2011 yards after the wind had become trickier.”

Stallter used the new Tubb Adaptive Target Rifle (Tubb Gun) with a Dynamic Targeting Reticle and Tubb T7T two-stage trigger. He was shooting the .375 Cheytac with a 364gr Warner flatline bullet that has a patent pending Nose Ring modification in a Schneider 1:7″ twist barrel. Three of the Tubb Rifles are shown below. Note the long barrels.

ELR World Record Nate Statler 2011 yards 1768 yards one mile Tubb Gun Warner Bullet .375 CheyTac

As we explained, this was a tough challenge. Competitors started with a cold bore, with no sighters alowed — that makes it especially tough.

Watch this video to hear the record-setting shooters describe their equipment — chambering, action, stock, barrel, bipod, and optics. No the video is not sideways! Nearly all this video is correct, horizontal orientation. Click triangle to start correct format.

None of the competitors had shot these kind of distances at this facility, the Front Sight Firearms Training Center in Pahrump, Nevada. And the “no sighters” rule really added to the difficulty — witness the fact that the first 12 shooters failed to put three consecutive hits on a square yard of steel at 1500. Here are the three record-setting shooters:

1. Paul Phillips, 1500 yards (first record) | 2. John Armstrong, 1500 yards (tied record)

3. Nate Stallter, 1768 yards (new record) | 4. Nate Stallter, 2011 Yards (World Record)

Those who understand the challenge were impressed …

Andy McNeill observed: “I’ve shot targets further too, but I didn’t go 3 for 3 with no sighters. These hit cold bore and then two consecutive follow-up shots at specific target sizes. This is what a record should be. Not I hit a target at X distance once after slinging lead at it all day.”

Jacob Scobell liked the match format: “Love that this is intentional, consecutive impacts with a fixed size target and not just a statistical probability of hitting the broad side of a barn with unlimited shots. Excellent to see a standard being set.

Now will all of these other supposed ‘world record holders’ step up and enter this competition? Sure some guy who can impact upon demand beyond 4000 yards would cake walk this right? A registered event with multiple shooters means put up or shut up.”

Permalink Competition, News 12 Comments »
December 10th, 2017

December Feature Articles in Shooting Sports USA

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel Windmeter
The latest issue of Shooting USA magazine has a detailed EIGHT-page feature on the Kestrel wind meter. This story covers the development of the Kestrel and explains the advanced technologies now offered with the hand-held Kestrel systems.

The eZine version of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) is available for free online. In the latest December 2017 issue you’ll find two excellent articles of interest to all serious rifle shooters. One covers the development of the Kestrel weather meter, which has evolved to serious levels of sophistication. Now premium Kestrels include built-in ballistic calculators and they can “talk” with mobile devices, sharing command functions and data. The second article covers shooting skills. In the first of a three-part series, Glen Zediker talks about NRA High Power rifle competition. Glen spotlights the skills you must master to move from the beginning level, Marksman, to higher levels.

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel WindmeterKestrel Technology Today
The December SSUSA issue features the origin of ballistics-enabled Kestrel weather meters. SSUSA’s Editor John Parker covers the history of the Kestrel, and explains how more and more features were packed into the handheld device as it evolved. Today’s Kestrel is so much more than an impeller with wind speed/direction read-outs.

The impressive Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics software is the latest model of a product that revolutionized long-range shooting by combining ballistic computer and weather meter in one portable device. Shooters can select either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients, or to be even more specific they can select bullets from the Applied Ballistics custom curves library. With the Kestrel and its software, shooters can plot very precise trajectories, even to extreme long ranges.

READ Full Kestrel Technology Article in Shooting Sports USA »

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel Windmeter


Shooting Sports USA Glen Zediker High PowerMarksman to High Master
High Power Rifle competition originally evolved from the U.S. military course of fire. Climbing the classification ranks in NRA High Power Rifle can be daunting — it requires focus, practice and commitment to move up the ladder from Marksman all the way to High Master.

In Glen Zediker’s three-part series, “Climbing the High Power Ladder”, Glen shares his tips for competitors that are looking to improve their skills beyond the intermediate level. The first installment focuses on stepping past Marksman classification to Sharpshooter. Read PART ONE HERE. In the months ahead, look for parts Two and Three in future SSUSA issues. These will cover the next stages in the climb: Expert, Master, High Master.

READ Full High Power Ladder Article in Shooting Sports USA »


Shooting Sports USA Kestrel WindmeterDVD Resource for High Power Training
If you’re serious about improving your High Power skill set, we suggest you view a DVD by David Tubb, 11-time National High Power Champion. David’s instructional DVD, “The Art & Technique of the Modern Match Rifle”, is a great resource for any High Power or position shooter. This 2-disc DVD provides over 4.5 hours of instruction and shooting demonstrations. We can confirm that this video is packed with great information — novice High Power and prone shooters who apply David’s methods should definitely improve their scores.

David has included highlights from that DVD in a shorter promo video. While the shorter video is a sales tool, it’s very informative in its own right. Watch the video and you’ll learn a great deal just by watching how David shoulders his rifle, and how he adjusts and maintains his shooting position. David shows examples of prone, sitting, and standing positions. In the short “trailer”, David also provides helpful tips on adjusting sights, and placing the spotting scope.

If you shoot Service Rifle, High Power, or prone, you can benefit from watching this short sampler video. The full 2-disc DVD is available for $49.95 from Creedmoor Sports. With over 4.5 hours of content, the DVD covers all the across-the-course positions, the set-up and use of aperture sights and diopters, High Power and long range targets, the approach method in offhand, proper placement and use of spotting scopes. The DVD includes bonus footage of David shooting strings in all of the across-the-course positions.

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November 7th, 2017

Beyond Software: Applied Ballistics Gets into the Gun Business

Applied Ballistics Weapon Division ELR Rifle System Doppler Radar Long Range

First there were books, then Videos/DVDs, then Ballistic Apps, then Seminars, and now Applied Ballistics is moving into the gun-building business. Founded by Ballistics guru Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics LLC has been a world leader in the science of ballistics for the shooting sports. Now Applied Ballistics is using its expertise to produce complete rifle systems capable of world-beating Extreme Long Range performance.

Applied Ballistics Weapons Division Will Offer Complete Tactical ELR System
Applied Ballistics Weapons Division (ABWD) states: “We have the capability to build you a custom rifle, with ammo matched for that system. We can test the ammo and rifle combination over Radar in the lab. ABWD [will be] offering a complete system, with a CDM specific to that rifle. The first rifles are purpose built for 2500+ yard engagements.”

CLICK HERE: AppliedBallisticsWeaponsDivision.com

Based on the “teaser” video above, ABWD will offer a complete rifle system featuring Nightforce riflescope, ELR optical prism, laser rangefinder, Kestrel wind meter, and ammo that has been tuned for the rifle and trajectory-verified with Doppler Radar. This promises a “turn-key” system with sub-MOA 1000-yard accuracy plus hit capability at ranges out to 2500+ yards.

Applied Ballistics Weapon Division ELR Rifle System Doppler Radar Long Range

One Facebook reader asked: “Will you focus your rifle builds to just Extreme Long Range or will you be doing PRS-style type rifles as well?

AB states: “We are starting out with this ELR system, but will be offering more systems in the near future, as well as custom rifle builds. Stay tuned as the ABWD website should be up soon!”

Website: http://appliedballisticsweaponsdivision.com

Many Questions about ABWD’s New Products:
Of course, like our readers, we have many questions about this new project:

1. What cartridge types will be available in ABWD Rifles?
2. What companies will supply the rifle actions and chassis systems?
3. Who will supply the barrels and what are length/chambering options?
4. Will ABWD rifle systems be offered to the general public (vs. military/LEO)?
5. When will the first ABWD rifle systems be available?

And last but not least…

6. What will these ABWD ELR Rifles cost, both by themselves and as a complete package (with solvers, LRFs, optics etc.)?

News Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
September 25th, 2017

Access FREE Tech Articles from Applied Ballistics

Want to improve your understanding of Ballistics, Bullet Design, 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, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 5th, 2017

Extreme Long Range — New ELR DVD from Applied Ballistics

Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

Team Applied Ballistics will soon release a new DVD on the science, skills, and strategy required for successful Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting. The new DVD features a reality-style documentary following Team Applied Ballistics in the 2017 King Of 2 Mile (KO2M) competition. Team AB has now won this prestigious event two years in a row. Team shooter Mitchell Fitzpatrick won the KO2M title in 2016, followed by team-mate Derek Rodgers in 2017.

Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

Bryan Litz tells us: “Applied Ballistics is proud to announce the release of our latest DVD: ELR Shooting With Applied Ballistics. With lessons learned from our successful 2016 KO2M campaign, you can see how the AB ELR team developed our equipment and approach through practice and careful analysis. Learn the essential elements of ELR competition from the top team in the sport.”

This documentary, filmed over the course of a year, shows Team Applied Ballistics preparing for, and competing in, the 2017 KO2M match. This presentation includes interviews from all Team AB members, along with tips on ELR shooting. Pre-Order the ELR DVD and Save $5.00 (Pre-Order Price $19.95)

2017 K02M Match-Winning Performance on Video
The video below shows Team Applied Ballistics shooter Derek Rodgers winning the 2017 King of 2 Miles event. This excellent video combines firing line and target-cam views. You can see the strings-of-fire at 2667 and 3028 yards. Then Watch Derek, after four misses, hit the last target with his fifth (and final) round! That plate was set at a mind-numbing 3368 yards (1.91 miles). Derek had Paul Phillips as a spotter and Emil Praslick as a wind coach — a very powerful team and it showed.

ELR K02M 2017 derek rodgers

» READ ELR Story on Shooting Sports USA

If you want to learn more about ELR shooting and how team Applied Ballistics achieves great results in ELR competition, we recommend an excellent article just released byShooting Sports USA. SSUSA’s Editor John Parker interviewed Team Applied Ballistics members Bryan Litz and Paul Phillips. Both men said that successful Extreme Long Range shooting requires solid team-work.

Bryan Litz (center) conferring with Team AB members Emil Praslick (L) and Doc Beech (R).
Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

Paul Phillips explained: “ELR is very difficult. It requires a great shooter with 1/2-MOA accuracy, a really good wind coach and spotter to see impacts, trace and the ability to quickly negotiate and engage the targets. It’s one fluid team working together.”

Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics founder, concurred: “Of all the various precision rifle disciplines, ELR shooting is particularly suited to a team approach. All aspects of ELR shooting are both highly challenging as well as critical to success. One individual is typically not able to stay on top of all the variables effectively enough to hit targets at extreme ranges all by themselves.”

Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

Litz says superior wind-reading skills are vital in the ELR game: “One of the important challenges of hitting targets at long range is reading the wind. All the shooters on our team can read wind, but when we’re shooting a match, we put our strongest wind-reader in this position for all shooters. Emil Praslick is arguably the best in the world at putting a number on the wind. He’s got a well-rehearsed process that works in all scenarios. When Emil isn’t available, someone else on our team will apply his process and focus specifically on the wind.”

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 1 Comment »
August 16th, 2017

Match Shooting Strategies — How To Use a Wind Plot

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship
CLICK HERE to see full-screen version of Wind Plot.

The Battle of Nations begins. Today is Day 1 of international team competition at the 2017 F-Class World Championships (FCWC) in Ottawa, ON, Canada. Talented teams, in their nation’s colors, will be competing for glory and national pride.

Team shooting is very different than individual competition. Typically a team coach makes the wind calls for the shooters. In some cases (where the rules allow), the wind coach even dials elevation and windage changes for the active shooter. For the wind coach to do his job effectively, he must follow the changes in the wind and determine what the correct wind call should have been for each shot. (In other words — what was the “right call”)

Past F-TR USA Nat’l Champ Bryan Litz was wind coach for the winning 4-man LUM F-TR Team at the 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships, which preceded the FCWC Worlds. Here Bryan explains how he uses a Wind Plot to make better wind calls, helping his team-mates maximize their scores.

wind calling plot log technique

Wind Plot Methodology by Bryan Litz

The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information. This kind of plot IS NOT showing where the bullet hit, and is NOT showing what you held. It’s showing what you should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot. Here are some key points:

1. I always look for blocks of stable conditions to shoot in and wait out the rest.

2. If the wind plot shows drastic changes, either I’m not picking the right time to shoot or it’s just a really unstable wind condition.

3. When you see many shots using the same hold (e.g. Robby’s 700m and 900m strings on plot), it can indicate very fast shooting and fast pit service.

Q. What are the numbers and Markings on this Wind Plot?
Litz: The wind plot represents the rings on the target. Left 2 for example, is the 5 line on the international target, while Left 2 is the 10 line on the USA target. F-Class shooters and coaches talk about wind holds in relation to these rings. A Left 2 hold isn’t left 2 MOA or 2 MILS, it’s the second ring from center. The vertical lines on the plot represent the rings going out from center, 4 or 5 in each direction. A left or right 5 hold is edge of black on the int’l target.

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship

Q: What Does this Specific Plot Reveal?
Litz: Looking at the plot, from left to right is 700m, 800m, and 900m that we shot progressively through the day. Top to bottom shows each shooter in sequence (shooters names are shown by their blocks). To the right I note what was on the gun for that shooter, and note when it changes. Often times we run the same wind on the gun for several shooters but if it changes, I note what the new windage is and continue on. For example if we’re settled into a condition where we’re shooting Vs with a right 3 hold, I might adjust the scope 1 MOA right because a right 3 hold is equal to 1 MOA. So we can move the scope and start shooting with a center hold.

Q. Are you Plotting Where the Bullet Hits?
Litz: Not exactly. This kind of plot IS NOT specifically showing where the bullet hit, and IS NOT showing what the shooter held. It’s showing what the shooter should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot.

On each shot, the shooter or coach takes a guess about where to hold, and fires the shot. If the bullet hits the center, you plot the point right where you held because it was the correct hold. However, if you miss the call, you plot what hold was required to put that shot in the center. For example if you shoot a right 3 and hit where you held, the correct call would have been “center”. In this way, you’re building a history of what you should have done, which may or may not be what you actually did. This shows you the trends, and brackets which can be used to make future decisions.

Q: Is this Type of Wind Plot Something New?
Litz: I didn’t invent this method, it’s been around a long time. Vertical can be plotted the same way. In team matches, we have a plotter who is advising on elevation trends and suggesting corrections. But, as wind coach, my job is the horizontal so I only keep the wind plot. I have learned lots of strategies from my coaches Emil Praslick and Steve Hardin.

There are many ways to plot and many standard work sheets for this. They’re all tools and the key is to find something that works for you in different situations. I don’t keep a plot when I am personally behind the trigger string firing because I lose more points when I take the time to do it vs. just shooting fast. When pair firing or coaching, I can keep the wind plot without compromising the shooting.

2013 F-Class World Championships
Team Australia used plots and comms linking coaches to help win the 2013 F-Open Team World Championship. We expect other teams will follow suit in Canada in 2017.

Know Your Goal — Keep It Simple
Know your goal of plotting. The simplest plot is where you write the shot number where it hit on a target face. This kind of plotting is useful for evaluating shooter performance because it shows how big the group is (in particular the vertical dispersion). However keeping a plot like this does little to help you figure out the wind. It just shows you what shots you messed up on. It does nothing to help you find the center. [Editor: That’s a whole different matter with many variables.] The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
July 23rd, 2017

First-Ever NRA Extreme Long Range One-Mile Match

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell
Photos by Sheri Judd. See more on Sheri’s Facebook Page.

The first-ever NRA Extreme Long Range (ELR) Match took place this past week at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. Also labeled the “One-Mile Match”, this inaugural event ran as a side-match between the NRA’s Mid Range and Long Range Championships at Atterbury. The event drew many of the nation’s top marksmen, including multi-time National High Power and LR Champion David Tubb, recent F-TR National Champion Bryan Litz, and 2016 KO2M winner Mitchell Fitzpatrick.

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

It was a tightly-fought match. Showing exceptional skills (along with great rifles and ultra-accurate ammo), both Corbin Shell and Team Applied Ballistics’ Mitchell Fitzpatrick were perfect for 15 shots — making every shot at 1400, then 1575, and finally 1788 yards (1.016 miles). With the score tied, a 1000-yard target center (bullseye) was set on a target backer at 1988 yards (1.13 miles). Mitchell hit the target, but sadly Corbin had his first miss of the match. With that 1988-yard hit, Mitchell went down in the history books as the first-ever NRA ELR Champion. Winning at Extreme Long Range is nothing new for Mitchell, who was the winner of last year’s King of 2 Miles match in Raton, NM.

Mitchel posted: “We pulled off the win by shooting clean, never missing a shot! It was a great event and I look forward to competing in the coming years. They are trying to extend the facility to make it a 2400-yard match. With the NRA having such a rich competitive shooting history… I am beyond honored to have won the inaugural NRA ELR match. As ELR grows … it will be awesome to look back and know we were in at the ground level. Also, it should be noted that my extractor broke on the second shot at 1788 yards, and I ended up having to fire the last thre shots while extracting my cases with a cleaning rod from the muzzle end…”

Overall Standings NRA ELR One-Mile Match
1. Mitchell Fitzpatrick
2. Corbin Shell
3. Randy Pike
4. Paul Phillips
5. Dan Pohlabel
6. M. White
7. Rusty Phillips
8. Kent Reeve
9. Bryan Litz
10. David Tubb

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Corbin’s Big Rig Built for Extreme Long Range
Runner-Up Corbin Shell was shooting his impressive .338 Lapua Magnum Improved barrel-block rifle, originally built for the KO2M event. It performed superbly in Indiana. This rifle was showcased here on AccurateShooter last month. READ Corbin Shell .338 LM Story.

Corbin Shell .338 Lapua Magnum LM improved

Corbin Shell .338 Lapua Magnum LM improved

ELR TECH — Confirming Hits at a Mile (and Beyond)
Confirming hits at extreme yardages is a challenge. With a conventional spotting scope you can see a target swinging but it is very difficult to see actual impact at extreme ranges. For this match, wireless remote TV cameras were placed near each of the targets down range. These fed video signals to monitors and tablet computers, allowing scorers to confirm hits on steel. In addition to the Targetvision target cam systems, GSL Technology had a drone to get aerial footage and augment streaming video coverage on Facebook. Sheri Judd, NRA ELR Match Manager, also captured some great still images of the event, including the images you see in this article.

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Like Father, Like Son — Rusty and Paul Phillips

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

The NRA ELR match was a family affair for the Phillips clan. Paul Phillips shot with his father Rusty. The elder Phillips, at the ripe young age of 80, had multiple hits at one mile, earning his official “One Mile Club Certificate”. You can see Rusty shooting in the video below. Paul says: “I had a great day shooting with my dad at the inaugural NRA ELR match. My dad went four for five at 1 mile (1788 yards) on a 36″ plate and earned his One Mile Club membership. This was his first competitive match ever shot at 80 years old and he finished 7th overall! Bryan Litz and myself help keep him centered up.” Paul and his father Rusty used GSL .375 Lethal Mag Copperhead Suppressor and the .338 Lapua Copperhead.

Rusty Phillips, at 80 years, shot 4 for 5 at 1788 yards (1.016 miles) to earn his One Mile Club Certificate. Congratulations Rusty!

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 8 Comments »
July 7th, 2017

King of 2 Miles ELR Match — Derek Rodgers Takes the Crown

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics
Photos by Stephen Fiorenzo, courtesy Applied Ballistics.

The 2017 King of 2 Miles match has concluded, and we have a new monarch. F-Class Ace Derek Rodgers is the new King of 2 Miles. Shooting with Team Applied Ballistics, Derek delivered a dominant performance, scoring nearly twice as many points as his nearest rival, Ronnie Wright. And Derek was the first KO2M marksman in history to hit the target at the maximum 3368-yard (1.91 mile) distance.

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics
King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

With his McMillan-stocked .375 CheyTac rifle, Derek shot brilliantly from the start. He was perfect — without a miss — at the first three yardages: 1543, 1722, and 1888. He had some misses at 1953 and 2667 yards, but then he out-shot all competitors at 3028 yards, going two for five. No other shooter managed a single hit at 3028 yards. Then it all came down to the big one — the last (and greatest) challenge, the target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles).

This would require superior shooting skills, a masterful wind call (by Emil Praslick), and nerves of steel. Derek tried four shots without success. It looked like the two-mile hit would continue to be an impossible goal. But then, on his fifth and very last shot, Derek did it — he hit the 3368-yard target.

After Derek made the (nearly) two-mile shot, cheers erupted on the firing line — what an achievement! Derek is the first (and only) shooter to make the 3368-yard shot at K02M. Watch him do it in this video:

Derek Rodgers Hits Target at 3368 Yards on his Final Shot:

Derek Rodgers K02M-Winning Hardware and Ammunition

RIFLE COMPONENTS
Stock: McMillan ELR Beast
Action: Barnard Model P-Chey
Trigger: Barnard Two-Stage
Barrel: Bartlein, 36″ length
Brake: Piercision 5-Port Muscle Brake
Optic: Nightforce 7-35x56mm ATACR F1
Bipod: Phoenix Precision
Level: Holland’s Shooting

CARTRIDGE and LOAD
Cartridge: 375 CheyTac (standard chamber)
Brass: Peterson Brass Co.
Powder: Hodgdon H50BMG
Bullet: Cutting Edge 400gr Lazer-Tip MAX
Primer: FED 215

Factory Rifle Finishes in Second Place
With so many full-custom rifles on the firing line, many were surprised to see a factory rifle finishing second overall. Ronnie Wright shot superbly with his stock Barrett M99 chambered in .416 Barrett. Ronnie’s impressive second-place performance proved the effectiveness of the .416 Barrett cartridge (and the build quality of the M99). For ammo, Ronnie used Cutting Edge 472gr MTAC projectiles loaded in Barrett-stamped .416 cases. The powder was Alliant Reloder 50 ignited by CCI #35 50 BMG primers. The rifle had a Barrett factory 32″ barrel fitted with an Accuracy 1st level.

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

INTERVIEW with DEREK RODGERS:

Q: What do you believe contributed to your success at this match?

Derek: This match was truly a team effort from the entire Applied Ballistics Team. Emil Praslick and Paul Phillips are world class wind-readers and spotters. They have the ability to make decisive decisions and trust that I (as the shooter) will put a bullet on target every time a command is given. We posses a dynamic team background with a lot of history and experience under our belt. Our positive team synergy is hard to find. The addition of vital tools played a huge role in our success. A few of the tools we used were the AB Kestrel and Garmin Foretrex 701 AB Elite to give absolutely crucial and accurate ballistic solutions. The new McMillan ELR Beast stock was stable and the NF ATACR scope is robust and clear. The Bartlein barrel used was top notch! However, one of the most important pieces of the ELR puzzle and the only thing that separates the target is — the bullet. We chose Cutting Edge (CE) bullets due to their high level of precision. These bullets proved to be invaluable in connecting every piece of steel at the KO2M competition. The CE 400gr Lazer Max bullet was selected and was tremendously accurate. This bullet transitioned into a sub-sonic velocity without any loss of precision at ELR distances. Our success would not be possible if the projectile did not fly correctly for 7+ seconds of flight time. CE has outstanding designs and several quality choices to choose from.

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Q: How many hours would you say you practiced for this match?

Derek: It is hard to calculate practice time in hours. ELR is a program that we work on every chance we get — day and night for months prior to the event. We have an extremely strong background of team shooting and long range shooting. A lot of time has been invested on and off the range, but does not stop there. The combined range time from other disciplines really helped me to be successful in transitioning from long range to ELR. It really is a compilation of 10 years of trials and tribulations. Some would say, “the Devil is in the details”. Our team tries very hard to not overlook any small detail. Practice and training is always scrutinized for improvements. Our Applied Ballistics team has a love and passion that goes beyond measurable amounts of time. We were fortunate to get together for two days a month prior to the Ko2M event to review our program and practice as a team. Bryan Litz had a plan, and we discovered as a team we had flaws in our program. Each one of us contributed from years of experience on improving our technique until we had a winning solution.

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

Derek: When I was asked to join the AB 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.

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics
The Cutting Edge 400gr bullets are milled from solid copper bar stock on a CNC Swiss-style lathe.

New ELR Hardware and Software on Display at K02M
This marks the second straight year that Team Applied Ballistics has won the K02M event. Last year, Team AB shooter Mitchell Fitzpatrick won the coveted “King of 2 Miles” title (Fitzpatrick finished fourth this year, just off the podium). In the past year, there has been considerable evolution in Extreme Long Range hardware and software, and projectiles are constantly being improved.

Bryan Litz (center) conferring with Team AB members Emil Praslick (L) and Doc Beech (R).
King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

We asked Bryan Litz, founder of Applied Ballistics, to summarize developments in the ELR game. Here are Bryan’s observations:

“Each year the KO2M sees advancements and shooters converging on those tools and processes that have proven effective in prior years. It’s rather apparent, for example, that spotting impacts is a crucial part of success in this match. This was improved by the match directors/organizers placing the targets in very good locations for spotting impacts. We’re seeing less set-ups with adjustable bases, and more with solid/fixed scope mounts. One of the exciting new pieces of equipment is the periscope device made by TACOMHQ (John Baker). This device provides an optical shift to the image which allows you to get more elevation for those long shots. Also, the refinement of fire control (ballistic) solutions has really played a role in getting shooters centered up for their first shots.”

“This tournament highly favors first-round impacts with the scoring system, so the approach of ‘walking the shots on’, isn’t a winning strategy. Those who employed accurate ballistics solvers were able to score more first round hits, and pile up the points. First and second place (at least) were using Applied Ballistics solvers to center their shots. We’re looking forward to even more advancements and making these ELR shots even out to two miles more commonplace in the future thru systematically applying the Science of Accuracy.”

The winning Applied Ballistics Team:
King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Bonus Video — Interview with David Tubb at KO2M

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

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July 6th, 2017

Training for Long Range Shooting

Bryan Litz Video Long Range Training

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics focuses on training. Bryan says that training is key for success in Long Range shooting: “Training in the sense that you want to want to refine your fundamentals of marksmanship — your sight alignment, your trigger control. You should practice those things enough that they become second nature and you don’t have to think about them. Keep in mind, it’s not just good enough to train, you have to learn how to train. You need to learn how to practice effectively, to get the most out of everything you do.”

Bryan says that success in Long Range shooting is not just about the hardware. It’s what’s between your ears that really counts: “The most important element in Long Range shooting is your knowledge — your understanding and practice of fundamentals of marksmanship, as well as your understanding of ballistics. You have to be able to fire the rifle, execute good shots that will put your rounds on target, but you also need to make intelligent sight corrections that will accurately account for the effects of gravity drop, and wind deflection, to center your group on those targets”.

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

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

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

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

Bryan Litz Tips

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June 20th, 2017

Tangent vs. Secant vs. Hybrid — Bullet Ogive Geometry Explained

Secant and Tangent Ogive Bryan LitzWe know many of our readers aren’t 100% clear on the difference between a secant ogive bullet and a tangent ogive bullet. Add the “blended” or “hybrid” ogive into the design equation and you add to the confusion. In this article, Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz, explains the characteristics of the three popular ogive types: tangent, secant, and hybrid.

In discussions of ballistics, you’ll see references to “tangent” and “secant” bullet shapes. For many readers, these terms can be confusing. To add to the confusion, bullet makers don’t always identify their projectiles as secant or tangent designs. This article provides a basic explanation of tangent and secant designs, to help you understand the characteristics of both bullet shapes.

Tangent vs. Secant vs. Hybrid
Most match bullets produced today use a tangent ogive profile, but the modern VLD-style bullets employ a secant profile. To further complicate matters, the latest generation of “Hybrid” projectiles from Berger Bullets feature a blended secant + tangent profile to combine the best qualities of both nose shapes. The secant section provides reduced drag, while the tangent section makes the bullet easier to tune, i.e. less sensitive to bullet seating depth position.

Berger Bullets ballistician Bryan Litz explains tangent and secant bullet ogive designs in a glossary section of his Applied Ballistics website, which we reprint below. Bryan then explains how tangent and secant profiles can be combined in a “hybrid” design.

How Bullet Ogive Curves are Defined
While the term “ogive” is often used to describe the particular point on the bullet where the curve reaches full bullet diameter, in fact the “ogive” properly refers to the entire curve of the bullet from the tip to the full-diameter straight section — the shank. Understanding then, that the ogive is a curve, how is that curve described?

LITZ: The ogive of a bullet is usually characterized by the length of its radius. This radius is often given in calibers instead of inches. For example, an 8 ogive 6mm bullet has an ogive that is a segment of a circular arc with a radius of 8*.243 = 1.952”. A .30-caliber bullet with an 8 ogive will be proportionally the same as the 8 ogive 6mm bullet, but the actual radius will be 2.464” for the .30 caliber bullet.

For a given nose length, if an ogive is perfectly tangent, it will have a very specific radius. Any radius longer than that will cause the ogive to be secant. Secant ogives can range from very mild (short radius) to very aggressive (long radius). The drag of a secant ogive is minimized when its radius is twice as long as a tangent ogive radius. In other words, if a tangent ogive has an 8 caliber radius, then the longest practical secant ogive radius is 16 calibers long for a given nose length.”

hybrid bullet

Ogive Metrics and Rt/R Ratio
LITZ: There is a number that’s used to quantify how secant an ogive is. The metric is known as the Rt/R ratio and it’s the ratio of the tangent ogive radius to the actual ogive radius for a given bullet. In the above example, the 16 caliber ogive would have an Rt/R ratio of 0.5. The number 0.5 is therefore the lowest practical value for the Rt/R ratio, and represents the minimum drag ogive for a given length. An ogive that’s perfectly tangent will have an Rt/R ratio of 1.0. Most ogives are in between an Rt/R of 1.0 and 0.5. The dimensioned drawings at the end of my Applied Ballistics book provide the bullets ogive radius in calibers, as well as the Rt/R ratio. In short, the Rt/R ratio is simply a measure of how secant an ogive is. 1.0 is not secant at all, 0.5 is as secant as it gets.

Berger Hybrid bullet, .308 30 CaliberHybrid Bullet Design — Best of Both Worlds?
Bryan Litz has developed a number of modern “Hybrid” design bullets for Berger. The objective of Bryan’s design work has been to achieve a very low drag design that is also “not finicky”. Normal (non-hybrid) secant designs, such as the Berger 105gr VLD, deliver very impressive BC values, but the bullets can be sensitive to seating depth. Montana’s Tom Mousel has set world records with the Berger 105gr VLD in his 6mm Dasher, but he tells us “seating depth is critical to the best accuracy”. Tom says a mere .003″ seating depth change “makes a difference”. In an effort to produce more forgiving high-BC bullets, Bryan Litz developed the hybrid tangent/secant bullet shape.

Bryan Litz Explains Hybrid Design and Optimal Hybrid Seating Depths

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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