January 15th, 2014

Rise of the Machines — Berger Doubles Bullet-Making Capacity

Berger Bullets New Machines Production Increase Bryan LItz

Berger’s customers said “Make more bullets!”, and the company listened. Over the next few months Berger will more than double its capacity, by adding SIX new bullet-making machines, up from five at the beginning of 2013. You can do the math: 5 + 6 = 11. That means that Berger will have more than twice as many machines turning out bullets for the yellow and orange boxes. Bringing six new machines online represents a major commitment by Berger to increased production. This has been the “number one priority” for the company according to Berger ballistician Bryan Litz.

Bryan explained that Berger has already increased its output in recent months. In 2013 Berger produced 45% more bullets than in 2012. That’s a big boost. But, Bryan added, even with that 45% greater output, demand was out-stripping supply. So Berger determined the best long-term solution was to increase production capacity… and that meant acquiring new bullet-making machines. So 2014 will mark the “Rise of the Machines” at Berger, and that’s good news for fans of Berger Bullets. Within a few months you should see much greater availability of Berger bullets at gun stores and online vendors.

Bryan Litz Explains That Berger is Doubling Production Capacity This Year (SHOT Show Report)

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January 13th, 2014

Digital Edition of Litz Accuracy and Precision Book Is Now Available

digital edition accuracy and precision for long range shooting bryan litzMore and more people are reading books on tablet computers and eReader devices such as the Kindle and Nook. Recognizing the demand for digital resource works, Applied Ballistics has just releases of its first eBook — a digital version of Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting. This work (which has sold 5000 hard copy versions), is now available in electronic format for both Kindle and Nook eReaders. iPad users can use the Kindle app to access the eBook.

This book discusses how to evaluate multiple variables to improve your hit percentage. It explains how to correct the trajectories for drop, wind deflection, etc. through the use of Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) analysis. WEZ is applied throughout the book, showing readers how to get more rounds on targets, more reliably. Case studies (with live fire verification for many scenarios) show what things affect your hit probability at long range.

All formats of the eBook are sold for $27.99 (hardcopy is $34.99). The Kindle book is available directly from Amazon.com, while the Nook version can be purchased from BarnesandNoble.com.

Free eReader Content on Applied Ballistics Website
If you have a Kindle, Nook, or iPad, you should visit the Ballistics website. You’ll find many free technical articles you can download as PDF files or in Kindle format or Nook format. To access these FREE articles, select the “Recreational” or “Professional” tabs on the top of the Applied Ballistics home page, then choose the “Articles” link from the pull-down menu. Bryan Litz tells us: “We recently updated our website and we’ve included a number of free articles about bullet design, long-range ballistics, and aspects of WEZ analysis. You don’t need an eReader for these — just download the PDF versions.”

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January 6th, 2014

New Applied Ballistics Site Has Ballistics Calculator and More…

Applied Ballistics LLC has launched a completely updated website with many new features including an archive of FREE articles plus a full-featured online ballistics calculator. If you are interested in precision shooting, you should visit the “new and improved” Applied Ballistics website. Browse through the new content and try out the advanced Ballistics Calculator.

bullet data files

NEW Online Ballistics Calculator
There are many free online ballistics calculators, but the new Applied Ballistics web utility goes far beyond other web-based options. Bryan Litz states: “No ballistic solution can be more accurate than its inputs”. Accordingly, Applied Ballistics offers the most reliable BC data available — a built-in library of measured G1 and G7 BCs for over 200 bullets. The Online Ballistics Calculator also allows you to “offload” your results for use in the field in two ways. First, you can save a file for transfer to an Applied Ballistics Kestrel. (This process is supported with a ‘save profile’ option from the output page.) Alternatively, you can send the ballistics profile to Accuracy First DG to have a whiz wheel created.

bullet data files

The Online Ballistics Calculator has many “advanced” features. For example, you can enter sight scale factors to account for scopes which don’t track perfectly true, and also zero offsets which allows you to compensate for imperfect zeros. In addition, this is the first online ballistics program to provide dynamic WEZ (Weapon Employment Zone) analysis. This WEZ feature gives users the ability to calculate hit percentage on targets at a variety of ranges (and in various environments).

Bullet Data Files
The new website provides a number of detailed bullet data files. These data files include geometric dimensions, drag/BC data at multiple velocities, and detailed stability maps. The information is based on direct measurements and live fire testing conducted by Applied Ballistics.

bullet data files

Digital Media
The new Applied Ballistics website features a “digital library” of authoritative articles in PDF and eReader (Kindle, Nook) formats. You can download these FREE articles by clicking on the “Recreational” and “Professional” tabs at the top of Applied Ballistics Home Page, and then selecting “Recreational Articles” or “Professional Articles” from the pull-down menus.

Sample Ballistics Article
Gyroscopic (Spin) Drift and Coriolis Effect
Most long range shooters are aware of the effects of gravity, air resistance (drag), and wind vectors on their bullets’ trajectory. Gravity, drag, and wind are the major forces acting on a bullet in flight, but they’re not the only forces. In this article, Bryan Litz explains some of the more subtle forces that influence a bullet’s flight.

Sample Professional Article
300 Winchester Magnum vs. 338 Lapua Magnum WEZ Analysis
The specific intent of this Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) report is to compare the ballistic performance of the 300 Winchester Magnum to the 338 Lapua Magnum with several available ammunition types. Understanding how these weapons compare in terms of hit percentage is important in the context of modern military applications.

Special Projects
Applied Ballistics is involved in some advanced, special projects. The new website showcases some of these high end ballistics solutions. Bryan Litz notes: “We have an active ballistics laboratory, highly capable contractors and industry partners who all contribute to provide practical and accurate solutions for a range of recreational and professional applications.”

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December 29th, 2013

Bryan Litz Talks — How to Get Best Results with Berger Hybrids

2013 SHOT Show Las VegasSHOT Show 2014 kicks off in two weeks in Las Vegas. While at SHOT Show next month, we plan to get the “inside scoop” on new bullet designs from Berger, Hornady, Lapua, Nosler and Sierra.

At SHOT Show 2012 we chatted with Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz about Berger’s popular line of Hybrid bullets. Berger now offers a wide range of Hybrids in multiple calibers and weights. In fact, for .30-Caliber shooters, Berger now offers seven different Hybrid match bullets, with weights from 155 grains up to 230 grains. Two .338-caliber OTM Tactical Hybrids were introduced in 2012 (a 250-grainer and a 300-grainer).

Bryan tells us: “The hybrid design is Berger’s solution to the age old problem of precision vs. ease of use. This design is making life easier for handloaders as well as providing opportunities for commercial ammo loaders who need to offer a high performance round that also shoots precisely in many rifles with various chamber/throat configurations.”

For those not familiar with Hybrid bullets, the Hybrid design blends two common bullet nose shapes on the front section of the bullet (from the tip to the start of the bearing surface). Most of the curved section of the bullet has a Secant (VLD-style) ogive for low drag. This then blends in a Tangent-style ogive curve further back, where the bullet first contacts the rifling. The Tangent section makes seating depth less critical to accuracy, so the Hybrid bullet can shoot well through a range of seating depths, even though it has a very high Ballistic Coefficient (BC).

In the video we asked Bryan for recommended seating depths for 7mm and .30-Caliber Hybrid bullets. Bryan advises that, as a starting point, Hybrid bullets be seated .015″ (fifteen thousandths) off the lands in most barrels. Watch the video for more tips how to optimize your loads with Hybrid bullets.

Berger Hybrid Bullet

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November 20th, 2013

Ogive No Jive — Litz Explains Tangent, Secant, and Hybrid Ogives

Secant and Tangent Ogive Bryan LitzIn discussions of ballistics, you’ll see references to “tangent” and “secant” bullet shapes. We know that, 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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November 4th, 2013

Save $10.00 on Applied Ballistics Orders Over $25.00

Ten bucks off an order of $25.00 or more? Now that’s a deal. Applied Ballistics LLC is making this limited-time one-week special offer as a way of thanking its Facebook followers. Bryan Litz explains: “To show our appreciation and celebrate reaching 2,500 likes, we are offering everyone $10 off your entire purchase of $25 or more. This offer is good today (November 4, 2013) through Sunday, November 10, 2013.” To get your onetime discount, simply enter offer Code ‘FBLike’ when shopping via the Applied Ballistics Webstore. NOTE: You do NOT need to be registered with Facebook to qualify for the ten-dollar discount. This deal is for everybody. Can’t complain about that.

Applied ballistics discount sale dvd book kestrel

Applied ballistics discount sale dvd book kestrel

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October 24th, 2013

Software Update for Applied Ballistics Kestrel Weather Meter

Kestrel Weather meter wind gauge software update Bryan Litz applied ballisticsThe Applied Ballistics Kestrel 4500 Shooters’ Weather Meter has a new software upgrade available. You will find instructions for connecting and upgrading your Kestrel 4500 at this link:

CLICK HERE for Applied Ballistics
Kestrel Software Upgrade

Read Comments on Sniper’s Hide Forum
Also, there is a thread on the Snipers Hide Forum in which Applied Ballistics and Kestrel Pro Staff are responding to questions/issues related to use of the Applied Ballistics Kestrels.

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC wants to express appreciation for Kestrel users who have posted input: “Thanks to the users who provided valuable feedback that was used to make the product better.”

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October 16th, 2013

Litz Battles Rain and Cold To Film ‘Putting Rounds on Target’

bryan litz dvd putting rounds on target

bryan litz dvd putting rounds on targetAs you may know already, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC has produced an excellent 3-Disc DVD set entitled Putting Rounds on Target. When one views the end result one can forget the hard work and tribulations that go into making such a production. Sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate when the crew is out at the range.

Bryan tells us:

“Filming for ‘Putting Rounds on Target’ proved to be a bit more challenging then we had expected. For this segment in the third disk, we packed up and set up everything over half a dozen times to keep the camera and shooting equipment dry as the sun played Peek-a-boo behind rain clouds. The chilled temperatures, required a lot of hot coffee, but the lack of restrooms made for a long day. In the end, it was totally worth it!

Watch Trailer Video of Putting Rounds on Target DVD Set

bryan litz dvd putting rounds on target

bryan litz dvd putting rounds on target

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October 14th, 2013

Whidden Gunworks Bullet Pointing Die System

Gear Review by German Salazar

This article originally appeared in German Salazar’s Rifleman’s Journal website.
Many of you have doubtlessly read Bryan Litz’s articles in Precision Shooting and on his Applied Ballistics website about various current long-range bullets. Bryan’s work carries a great deal of weight in the world of ballistics, so his comments (and mathematical proofs) regarding the benefits of bullet pointing certainly caught my attention. Bullet pointing, like meplat trimming, is an effort to reduce the ballistic inconsistency created by the somewhat jagged tip of the jacket where the bullet forming dies bring it to a point in the manufacturing process. Of course, we could eliminate this problem altogether by shooting closed-tip, open-base bullets like the Lapua D46, but that merely shifts the jacket problem to the other end of the bullet.

Whidden Bullet pointer tool

In any event, hollow point bullets rule the accuracy world today, so John Whidden, multi-time National Long Range Champion at Camp Perry and a talented gunsmith and designer to boot, came up with a very handy tool to let us make those hollow points pointier. Let’s have a look at John’s tool and see how it works.

Whidden Bullet pointer tool

The Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System uses a Forster bullet seating die body as its basic structure and that’s a good choice given the quality machining Forster does on these. The real heart of the tool comes in two parts: the caliber sleeve and the pointing die that fits inside the sleeve. In fact, to point up different caliber bullets, you only need to change the caliber sleeve, everything else remains the same. The last item is the bullet base that slips into a standard .308 shellholder and supports the bullet as it goes into the die body.

Whidden Pointing dieIt took me less than five minutes to get everything set up, including changing the caliber sleeve from 6mm to .30 caliber. John’s instruction sheets are well illustrated and clearly written; you should have no problem getting up and running.

Pointing the bullets is as easy as sizing a piece of brass. You can see in the top photo the difference between a few pointed bullets and a few un-pointed ones. The innermost pointed bullet in the picture was my first attempt and I adjusted the die a little after that, you can see that the others are closed a little more. John even includes a couple of sample bullets so that you can see one done right and one done wrong. That is a nice addition that can help you achieve the desired results.

I think Bryan’s work supports the validity of this concept and John’s tool puts it into practice in a simple-to-use manner that makes it just about impossible to do any damage to the bullet. I have shot pointed bullets in various calibers at many matches now. Pointing is not a “miracle cure”, but I believe that pointing bullet tips can produce long-range accuracy gains, through reduced vertical dispersion, for many popular types of match bullets. The Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System retails for $210.00 (with one insert). Additional die inserts are $40.00 each. Extra caliber sleeves are also $40.00. You can purchase directly from Whidden Gunworks, or from Sinclair International.

Whidden Bullet pointer tool

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August 7th, 2013

A Birthday Shout-Out to Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics

Bryan Litz birthdayWe want to say “Happy Birthday” to Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC. Bryan came to earth from Planet Krypton on August 7, 1979, making him a ripe old 34 years of age today. (One more year and he’s over the hill).

In an industry where many products are conceived and marketed by folks who spend more time on the golf course than the shooting range, it’s reassuring to know that there are still guys like Bryan who shoot what they sell, and who put in the trigger-time to acquire (and maintain) world-class shooting skills. Bryan, who actually worked as a rocket scientist before founding Applied Ballistics, is one of the nation’s leading long-range sling shooters — with the trophies to prove it. As well, the bullets Bryan designed for Berger bullets, particularly the Berger Hybrids, are helping competitive shooters around the world shoot higher scores and win more matches.

Bryan Litz birthday

Palma Match from a Shooter’s Perspective
For those of you who haven’t seen it before, here is a “shooter’s POV” video of Bryan shooting an 800-yard Palma match. In the video Bryan shoots a 149-12X over a 15-shot string. NOTE: This video was speeded up in editing to keep it to a reasonable length.

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July 26th, 2013

New Kestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meters Are Shipping

AccurateShooter Applied Ballistics KestrelKestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meters with integrated Applied Ballistics software are finally shipping. Bryan Litz, founder of Applied Ballistics LLC, reports: “Long range shooting just got a little easier. We are pleased to announce that the Applied Ballistics Kestrels have arrived! They are now available for immediate shipment. Pre-orders will ship today.” To order, follow this link for the Applied Ballistics Store.

These Kestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meters include a full-featured ballistics solver and databases of bullets so you can accurately plot trajectories. The Applied Ballistics software accesses the environmental data (wind speed, humidity, altitude etc.) recorded by the Kestrel to provide a more precise trajectory.

AccurateShooter Applied Ballistics Kestrel

Features of Kestrel 4500 with Applied Ballistics Software
With integrated Applied Ballistics software, Kestrel users are now able to select from either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients (BC) when calculating a trajectory. The new Kestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meter also offers the very extensive “Litz”-measured BC library of over 225 bullets. In addition to these features, users can “train” the software to match a specific rifle based on observed impacts at long range with the ballistics calibration feature. With more accurate BC data, shooters are empowered to make more precise trajectory calculations. The new Kestrel Shooter’s Weather Meter can also receive data from wind sensor arrays designed and sold by Applied Ballistics. Like all Kestrels, the Shooter’s Weather Meter is IP67 waterproof and ruggedized to MIL-STD-810F standards.

Every Kestrel meter is pocket-sized, rugged, accurate, waterproof, easy-to-use, and backed by an industry-leading, five-year warranty.

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July 23rd, 2013

Over-Stabilization of Bullets — Why Is Too Much Spin a Problem?

spinning bullet stabilizationOn the Applied Ballistics Facebook page, Ballistician Bryan Litz regularly offers a “Tuesday Trivia” question about ballistics. Today’s brain-teaser is a true/false question about bullet stabilization. On shooting forums you often find heated arguments about “over-stabilization”. Bryan wants readers to consider the issue of over-stabilization and answer a challenge question…

Is This Statement TRUE or FALSE?

“The problem with ‘over-stabilizing’ a bullet (by shooting it from an excessively fast twist rate) is that the bullet will fly ‘nose high’ on a long range shot. The nose-high orientation induces extra drag and reduces the effective BC of the bullet.”

True or False, and WHY?

Click the “Post Comment” link below to post your reply (and explain your reasoning).

Bullet Movement in Flight — More Complicated Than You May Think
Bullets do not follow a laser beam-like, perfectly straight line to the target, nor does the nose of the bullet always point exactly at the point of aim. Multiple forces are in effect that may cause the bullet to yaw (rotate side to side around its axis), tilt nose-up (pitch), or precess (like a spinning top) in flight. These effects (in exaggerated form) are shown below:

spinning bullet stabilization

Yaw refers to movement of the nose of the bullet away from the line of flight. Precession is a change in the orientation of the rotational axis of a rotating body. It can be defined as a change in direction of the rotation axis in which the second Euler angle (nutation) is constant. In physics, there are two types of precession: torque-free and torque-induced. Nutation refers to small circular movement at the bullet tip.

Diagram from the University of Utah Health Sciences Library Firearm Ballistics Tutorial
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