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 23rd, 2018

Angular Measurement — Mil vs. MOA — What You Need to Know

Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series
Visit PrecisionRifleBlog.com for a discussion of MIL vs. MOA.

Many guys getting started in long range shooting are confused about what kind of scope they should buy — specifically whether it should have MIL-based clicks or MOA-based clicks. Before you can make that decision, you need to understand the terminology. This article, with a video by Bryan Litz, explains MILS and MOA so you can choose the right type of scope for your intended application.

This March-FX 5-40x56mm Tactical FFP scope features 0.05 MIL Clicks.
Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series

You probably know that MOA stands for “Minute of Angle” (or more precisely “minute of arc”), but could you define the terms “Milrad” or “MIL”? In his latest video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballitics explains MOA and MILs (short for “milliradians”). Bryan defines those terms and explains how they are used. One MOA is an angular measurement (1/60th of one degree) that subtends 1.047″ at 100 yards. One MIL (i.e. one milliradian) subtends 1/10th meter at 100 meters; that means that 0.1 Mil is one centimeter (1 cm) at 100 meters. Is one angular measurement system better than another? Not necessarily… Bryan explains that Mildot scopes may be handy for ranging, but scopes with MOA-based clicks work just fine for precision work at known distances. Also because one MOA is almost exactly one inch at 100 yards, the MOA system is convenient for expressing a rifle’s accuracy. By common parlance, a “half-MOA” rifle can shoot groups that are 1/2-inch (or smaller) at 100 yards.

What is a “Minute” of Angle?
When talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA (four clicks on a 1/4-MOA scope). That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by an MOA subtension increases with the distance.

one MOA minute of angle diagram

MIL vs. MOA for Target Ranging
MIL or MOA — which angular measuring system is better for target ranging (and hold-offs)? In a recent article on his PrecisionRifleBlog.com website, Cal Zant tackles that question. Analyzing the pros and cons of each, Zant concludes that both systems work well, provided you have compatible click values on your scope. Zant does note that a 1/4 MOA division is “slightly more precise” than 1/10th mil, but that’s really not a big deal: “Technically, 1/4 MOA clicks provide a little finer adjustments than 1/10 MIL. This difference is very slight… it only equates to 0.1″ difference in adjustments at 100 yards or 1″ at 1,000 yards[.]” Zant adds that, in practical terms, both 1/4-MOA clicks and 1/10th-MIL clicks work well in the field: “Most shooters agree that 1/4 MOA or 1/10 MIL are both right around that sweet spot.”

READ MIL vs. MOA Cal Zant Article.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
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 15th, 2018

Shooting on a Spinning Planet — The Coriolis Effect

Whittington Coriolis Effect
Photo by Dustin Ellermann at Whittington Center Range.

The Coriolis Effect comes into play with extreme long-range shots like this (2100 yards at Raton, NM). The rotation of the earth actually moves the target a small distance (in space) during the long duration of the bullet’s flight.

Coriolis Effect Bryan Litz Applied BallisticsWhen you’re out at the range, the Earth seems very stable. But it is actually a big sphere zooming through space while spinning around its axis, one complete turn every 24 hours. The rotation of the earth can create problems for extreme long-range shooters. During extended bullet flight times, the rotation of the planet causes an apparent deflection of the bullet path over very long distances. This is the ballistics manifestation of the Coriolis Effect.

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics discusses explains the Coriolis Effect in his Ballistics Books and Seminars. Bryan notes that Coriolis is “a very subtle effect. People like to make more of it than it is because it seems mysterious.” In most common shooting situations inside 1K, Coriolis is not important. At 1000 yards, the Effect represents less than one click (for most cartridge types). Even well past 1000 yards, in windy conditions, the Coriolis Effect may well be “lost in the noise”. But in very calm conditions, when shooting at extreme ranges, Bryan says you can benefit from adjusting your ballistics solution for Coriolis.

Bryan explains: “The Coriolis Effect… has to do with the spin of the earth. You are basically shooting from one point to another on a rotating sphere, in an inertial reference frame. The consequence of that is that, if the flight time of the bullet gets significantly long, the bullet can have an apparent drift from its intended target. The amount [of apparent drift] is very small — it depends on your latitude and azimuth of fire on the planet.”

Coriolis Effect Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Coriolis is a very subtle effect. With typical bullet BCs and velocities, you must get to at least 1000 yards before Coriolis amounts to even one click. Accordingly, Bryan advises: “Coriolis Effect is NOT something to think about on moving targets, it is NOT something to think about in high, uncertain wind environments because there are variables that are dominating your uncertainty picture, and the Coriolis will distract you more than the correction is worth.”

“Where you could think about Coriolis, and have it be a major impact on your hit percentage, is if you are shooting at extended range, at relatively small targets, in low-wind conditions. Where you know your muzzle velocity and BC very well, [and there are] pristine conditions, that’s where you’re going to see Coriolis creep in. You’ll receive more refinement and accuracy in your ballistics solutions if you account for Coriolis on those types of shots. But in most practical long-range shooting situations, Coriolis is NOT important. What IS important is to understand is when you should think about it and when you shouldn’t, i.e. when applying it will matter and when it won’t.”

The Coriolis Effect — General Physics
The Coriolis Effect is the apparent deflection of moving objects when the motion is described relative to a rotating reference frame. The Coriolis force acts in a direction perpendicular to the rotation axis and to the velocity of the body in the rotating frame and is proportional to the object’s speed in the rotating frame.

A commonly encountered rotating reference frame is the Earth. The Coriolis effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth and the inertia of the mass experiencing the effect. Because the Earth completes only one rotation per day, the Coriolis force is quite small, and its effects generally become noticeable only for motions occurring over large distances and long periods of time. This force causes moving objects on the surface of the Earth to be deflected to the right (with respect to the direction of travel) in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The horizontal deflection effect is greater near the poles and smallest at the equator, since the rate of change in the diameter of the circles of latitude when travelling north or south, increases the closer the object is to the poles. (Source: Wikipedia)

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 3 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 »
February 8th, 2018

How Changes in Cartridge OAL Can Alter Pressure and Velocity

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridge

Figure 1. When the bullet is seated farther out of the case, there is more volume available for powder. This enables the cartridge to generate higher muzzle velocity with the same pressure.

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridgeEffects Of Cartridge Over All Length (COAL) And Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) – Part 1
by Bryan Litz for Berger Bullets.
Many shooters are not aware of the dramatic effects that bullet seating depth can have on the pressure and velocity generated by a rifle cartridge. Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) is also a variable that can be used to fine-tune accuracy. It’s also an important consideration for rifles that need to feed rounds through a magazine. In this article, we’ll explore the various effects of COAL, and what choices a shooter can make to maximize the effectiveness of their hand loads.

Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI)
Most loading manuals (including the Berger Manual), present loading data according to SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) standards. SAAMI provides max pressure, COAL and many other specifications for commercial cartridges so that rifle makers, ammo makers, and hand loaders can standardize their products so they all work together. As we’ll see later in this article, these SAAMI standards are in many cases outdated and can dramatically restrict the performance potential of a cartridge.

Bullet seating depth is an important variable in the accuracy equation. In many cases, the SAAMI-specified COAL is shorter than what a hand loader wants to load their rounds to for accuracy purposes. In the case where a hand loader seats the bullets longer than SAAMI specified COAL, there are some internal ballistic effects that take place which are important to understand.

Effects of Seating Depth / COAL on Pressure and Velocity
The primary effect of loading a cartridge long is that it leaves more internal volume inside the cartridge. This extra internal volume has a well known effect; for a given powder charge, there will be less pressure and less velocity produced because of the extra empty space. Another way to look at this is you have to use more powder to achieve the same pressure and velocity when the bullet is seated out long. In fact, the extra powder you can add to a cartridge with the bullet seated long will allow you to achieve greater velocity at the same pressure than a cartridge with a bullet seated short.

When you think about it, it makes good sense. After all, when you seat the bullet out longer and leave more internal case volume for powder, you’re effectively making the cartridge into a bigger cartridge by increasing the size of the combustion chamber. Figure 1 illustrates the extra volume that’s available for powder when the bullet is seated out long.

Before concluding that it’s a good idea to start seating your bullets longer than SAAMI spec length, there are a few things to consider.

Geometry of a Chamber Throat
The chamber in a rifle will have a certain throat length which will dictate how long a bullet can be loaded. The throat is the forward portion of the chamber that has no rifling. The portion of the bullet’s bearing surface that projects out of the case occupies the throat (see Figure 2).

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridge

The length of the throat determines how much of the bullet can stick out of the case. When a cartridge is chambered and the bullet encounters the beginning of the rifling, known as the lands, it’s met with hard resistance. This COAL marks the maximum length that a bullet can be seated. When a bullet is seated out to contact the lands, its initial forward motion during ignition is immediately resisted by an engraving force.

Seating a bullet against the lands causes pressures to be elevated noticeably higher than if the bullet were seated just a few thousandths of an inch off the lands.

A very common practice in precision reloading is to establish the COAL for a bullet that’s seated to touch the lands. This is a reference length that the hand loader works from when searching for the optimal seating depth for precision. Many times, the best seating depth is with the bullet touching or very near the lands. However, in some rifles, the best seating depth might be 0.100″ or more off the lands. This is simply a variable the hand loader uses to tune the precision of a rifle.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article with More Info

Article sourced by EdLongrange. We welcome tips from readers.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
January 25th, 2018

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficient Models — What You Need to Know

G1 G7 BC drag models

Over the past 12 months, this article was one of the TOP TEN most-read Daily Bulletin features. We’re reprising it today for those who may have missed it the first time. The above diagram comes from a TiborasurasRex YouTube Video comparing G1 and G7 BC models. CLICK HERE to watch the video.

The better, up-to-date ballistics programs let you select either G1 or G7 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) values when calculating a trajectory. The ballistic coefficient (BC) of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. You’ve probably seen that G7 values are numerically lower than G1 values for the same bullet (typically). But that doesn’t mean you should select a G1 value simply because it is higher.

Some readers are not quite sure about the difference between G1 and G7 models. One forum member wrote us: “I went on the JBM Ballistics website to use the web-based Trajectory Calculator and when I got to the part that gives you a choice to choose between G1 and G7 BC, I was stumped. What determines how, or which one to use?”

The simple answer is the G1 value normally works better for shorter flat-based bullets, while the G7 value should work better for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients — Which Is Right for You?
G1 and G7 refer both refer to aerodynamic drag models based on particular “standard projectile” shapes. The G1 shape looks like a flat-based bullet. The G7 shape is quite different, and better approximates the geometry of a modern long-range bullet. So, when choosing your drag model, G1 is preferrable for flat-based bullets, while G7 is ordinarily a “better fit” for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 G7 Ballistic coefficients

Drag Models — G7 is better than G1 for Long-Range Bullets
Many ballistics programs still offer only the default G1 drag model. Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, believes the G7 standard is preferrable for long-range, low-drag bullets: “Part of the reason there is so much ‘slop’ in advertised BCs is because they’re referenced to the G1 standard which is very speed sensitive. The G7 standard is more appropriate for long range bullets. Here’s the results of my testing on two low-drag, long-range boat-tail bullets, so you can see how the G1 and G7 Ballistic coefficients compare:

G1 BCs, averaged between 1500 fps and 3000 fps:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.659 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.645 lb/in²

The reason the BC for the JLK is less is mostly because the meplat was significantly larger on the particular lot that I tested (0.075″ vs 0.059″; see attached drawings).

For bullets like these, it’s much better to use the G7 standard. The following BCs are referenced to the G7 standard, and are constant for all speeds.

G7 BCs:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.337 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.330 lb/in²

Many modern ballistics programs, including the free online JBM Ballistics Program, are able to use BCs referenced to G7 standards. When available, these BCs are more appropriate for long range bullets, according to Bryan.

[Editor’s NOTE: BCs are normally reported simply as an 0.XXX number. The lb/in² tag applies to all BCs, but is commonly left off for simplicity.]

Permalink News No Comments »
January 24th, 2018

SHOT Show Day One — People and Products

SHOT Show 2018 David Tubb Bryan Litz ELR AMP Annealing Sierra Bullets

We had a great time on Day One of SHOT show. We saw some amazing products, including a remarkable upgrade to the Annealing Made Perfect system — a computer-controlled automated case feeder. We met with legendary Champions Carl Bernosky and David Tubb. David’s son-in-law Nate Stallter recently set a World Record at the first-ever ELR Challenge match, hitting 3 of 3 shots at 2011 yards with no sighters. We also attended a seminar with Bryan Litz and saw a host of new rifles and pistols which we will showcase in the next few days.

New ELR World Record Holder Nate Stallter with David Tubb
We met with Nate Stallter, the young marksman who dominated the first-ever ELR Record match held January 21, 2018 in Nevada. Shooting a Tubb LR rifle chambered for the .375 CheyTac cartridge, Nate went 3 for 3 at 2011 yards, after doing the same at one mile. Nate’s spotter was his father-in-law David Tubb, 11-time National High Power Champion. We recorded a long interview with Nate and David that provides many interesting insights into the ELR game.

SHOT Show 2018 ELR AMP Sierra Bullets Kelly McMillan Best stock fiberglass

AMP Induction Annealer — New Automated Power Feeding System
The micro-processor controlled AMP Annealer, already the most advanced personal annealing system on the planet, is now even better. The Annealing Made Perfect team of Alex (father) and Matt (son) Findlay showcased the new automated case-feeding option for AMP owners. This can load brass from a hopper, completely processing each case in about 10 seconds. We filmed video we’ll run in a follow-up story. There is also an important new software upgrade that allows AMP owners to precisely determine the right setting for their brass.

SHOT Show 2018 ELR AMP Annealing Made Perfect

Kelly McMillan Shows Off ‘The Beast’
At the McMillan Stocks booth, we met with Company President Kelly McMillan. We talked about the growing popularity of Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting. Kelly showed us the stock McMillan has developed for the ELR discipline, fittingly named ‘The Beast 2′. This is a very long stock designed to tame the recoil of big cartridges like the .375 CheyTac and .338 Lapua Magnum.

SHOT Show 2018 ELR AMP Sierra Bullets Kelly McMillan Best stock fiberglass

TargetVision Offers New High-Rez and 2-Mile TargetCam Systems
We talked at length with Clay Rhoden, the talented young owner of TargetVision, producers of the most highly-rated target cam systems on the market. Clay showed us his best $899 high-end systems, the UltraHD targetcam, along with the new Extreme Long Range product rated for two miles. TargetVision, which outputs WiFi signal directly to your smartphone or tablet, is the official Target Camera of the U.S. F-TR Rifle team.

SHOT Show 2018 ELR targetvision clay Rhoden

Litz Talks Kestrels and ELR
At the Kestrel booth, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics, along with firearms trainer Todd Hodnett, gave a short seminar on Kestrel features/capabilities, ballistics, and bullet design. We asked Bryan “Should competitive shooters tip their bullets?” He answered “It depends…”. Bryan explained that if the bullets are very uniform, with small meplats out of the box, the benefits of tipping may not be so obvious.

SHOT Show 2018 David Tubb Bryan Litz ELR AMP Annealing Sierra Bullets

Wheelguns Galore at the Smith & Wesson Booth
No SHOT Show experience would be complete without a stop at the Smith & Wesson booth. There were some new Performance Center revolvers on display. The long-barreled wheelguns in the foreground below are chambered for the mighty 500 S&W Magnum cartridge.

SHOT Show 2018 David Tubb Bryan Litz ELR AMP Annealing Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets Has New High-BC MatchKings
We visited the Sierra Bullets booth to pick up samples of the new High-BC 95gr .224 MatchKing and 150gr 6.5mm MatchKing. While there we spotted this stunning F-Class rig decked out in Sierra Green livery. This beautiful rifle was crafted by Kelbly’s. It has a Panda action and a stunning green, metal-flake paint finish.

SHOT Show 2018 David Tubb Bryan Litz ELR AMP Annealing Sierra Bullets

Peterson Brass Showcases New Cartridge Brass
Peterson Cartridge Company showcased a quartet of new brass products that will enter production later this year. Peterson is expanding its line of American-made cartridge brass to include 6mm Creedmoor (both large and small primer), 6XC (both large and small primer), .270 WSM, and .300 WSM. We like the availability of 6XC in with a small primer pocket option. This should be very popular with the PRS crowd. Peterson’s .270 and .300 Win Short Mag brass gives hunters and target shooters new options.

SHOT Show 2018 Peterson Brass

New Faster-Reacting Electronic Muffs from Howard Leight
We wanted to take home these new Howard Light electronic muffs with advanced, faster internal circuitry. Offered in a variety of colors, the new Impact Sport Bolt muffs offer a lighting-fast 0.5 millisecond reaction time, plus improved digital sound compression and wind noise reduction. These new muffs carry a 22 db total noise reduction rating (NRR).

SHOT Show 2018 Peterson Brass

Permalink Handguns, New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
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 15th, 2017

ELR Central Establishes Extreme Long Range Record Standards

Extreme Long Range ELR Central competition World Record Nevada January 2018

The King of 2 Miles event, and other Extreme Long Range (ELR) competitions, have spurred great interest in ultra-long-range shooting. The challenge of making the “longest shot ever” can be compelling. Some shooters have recently claimed World Records for mind-blowingly extreme distances. But you can’t have meaningful records without uniform, accepted standards. If you take 100 shots to hit a target at 3 miles, is that really a record — or just dumb luck? And if you hit the target just once after trying for hours — it that really worth bragging about?

ELR Central, an organization founded by Bryan Litz and his Applied Ballistics Team, hopes to promulgate new standards under which an ELR World Record can be established. Multiple hits will be required, with a uniform 36″x 36″ target size. No longer will shooters be able to claim a world record if they hit a barn door with a single shot. Under ELR Central’s proposed standards, in order to set a World Record, the shooter must place three consecutive rounds on a 36″ target with no sighters. As Kelly McMillan notes: “Now THAT is a record people can aspire to break.” On Facebook, one wag asked: “You mean we can’t walk in a hit with 32 sighters and claim it?” To which Kelly replied: “Though that seems pretty common — NO!”

ELR Central explains: “ELR shooting is the pinnacle of small arms precision shooting and so it’s natural that record setting is a big part of ELR shooting. Historically, world records for ‘longest shots’ have not been formally defined. As of 2017, ELR Central has published a set of guidelines and standards by which official world records can be established.”

CLICK HERE for ELR World Record Competition Rules »

Extreme Long Range ELR Central competition World Record Nevada January 2018


Coming Soon: ELR Record Competition in Nevada, 1/21/2018

To help establish its new standards for ELR World Records, ELR Central will host a competitive ELR World Record Event on January 21, 2018 at the Front Sight Firearms Training Facility near Pahrump, Nevada.

Extreme Long Range ELR Central competition World Record Nevada January 2018

Next month, ELR Central will host its first-ever ELR World Record Event. ELR shooters can showcase their skills in an organized, 3 for 3, on-the-record competition. Targets will be placed from 1500 to 2500+ yards. Shooters will have 3 shots, starting from a cold bore to attempt a World Record. This event is open to the public, and free to spectators. Registration is $50 per shooter. Contact Kathy.Barnhart [at] appliedballisticsllc.com for more information.

Big Rigs prevail in the ELR game. Here is the massive barreled action for
Paul Phillips’s latest ELR rifle, which boasts a 38″-long tube.

Paul Phillips elr barreled action

Heavy, high-BC bullets are best for ELR competition. Derek Rodgers won the
2017 K02M Event shooting a .375 Cheytac with 400gr Cutting Edge Bullets.

Derek Rodgers K02M king two miles Raton .375 Cheytac

Permalink News 16 Comments »
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 3 Comments »
October 29th, 2017

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters

Shooting Sports USA

The digital archives of Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) features an Expert Forum on Wind Reading. This outstanding article on wind reading starts off with a section by ballistics guru Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting. Then four of the greatest American shooters in history share their personal wind wisdom. Lanny Basham (Olympic Gold Medalist, author, Winning in the Wind), Nancy Tompkins (Past National HP Champion, author, Prone and Long-Range Rifle Shooting), David Tubb (11-Time Camp Perry National Champion), and Lones Wigger (Olympic Hall of Fame) all offer practical wind-reading lessons learned during their shooting careers.

CLICK HERE for Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Archive

CLICK HERE to Download Article Issue in Printable PDF Format.

Whether you shoot paper at Perry or prairie dogs in the Dakotas, this is a certified “must-read” resource on reading the wind. Here is a sample selection from the article:

Shooting Sports USA



Visit www.SSUSA.org

Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) has a modern, mobile-friendly website with tons of great content. Log on to www.ssusa.org. There you’ll find current news stories as well as popular articles from the SSUSA archives. The SSUSA website also includes match reports, gear reviews, reloading advice, plus expert marksmanship tips from the USAMU.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills 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 16th, 2017

Bullet Pointing 101 — How to Point Match Bullet Tips

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Tech Tip by Doc Beech, Applied Ballistics Support Team
I am going to hit on some key points when it comes to bullet pointing. How much pointing and trimming needed is going to depend on the bullet itself. Specifically how bad the bullets are to begin with. Starting out with better-quality projectiles such as Bergers is going to mean two things. First that you don’t need to do as much correction to the meplat, but also that the improvement is going to be less. NOTE: We recommend you DO NOT POINT hunting bullets. Pointing can affect terminal performance in a bad way.

NOTE the change in the bullet tip shape and hollowpoint size after pointing:
Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Don’t Over-Point Your Bullets
What is important here is that you never want to over-point. It is far better to be safe, and under-point, rather than over-point and crush the tips even the slightest bit. To quote Bryan Litz exactly: “Best practice is to leave a tiny air gap in the tip so you’re sure not to compress the metal together which will result in crushing. Most of the gain in pointing is taking the bullet tip down to this point. Going a little further doesn’t show on target”. So in essence you are only bringing the tip down a small amount… and you want to make sure you leave an air gap at the tip.

Salazar Whidden Bullet Pointer system

Also keep in mind, bullet pointing is one of those procedures with variable returns. If you only shoot at 100-200 yards, bullet pointing will likely not benefit you. To see the benefits, which can run from 2 to 10% (possibly more with poorly designed bullets), you need be shooting at long range. Bryan says: “Typically, with pointing, you’ll see 3-4% increase in BC on average. If the nose is long and pointy (VLD shape) with a large meplat, that’s where pointing has the biggest effect; up to 8% or 10%. If the meplat is tight on a short tangent nose, the increase can be as small as 1 or 2%.” For example, If you point a Berger .308-caliber 185gr Juggernaut expect to only get a 2% increase in BC.

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Should You Trim after Pointing?
Sometimes you can see tiny imperfections after pointing, but to say you “need” to trim after pointing is to say that the small imperfections make a difference. Bryan Litz advises: “If your goal is to make bullets that fly uniformly at the highest levels, it may not be necessary to trim them.” In fact Bryan states: “I’ve never trimmed a bullet tip, before or after pointing”. So in the end it is up to you to decide.

Pointing is Easy with the Right Tools
The process of pointing in itself is very simple. It takes about as much effort to point bullets as it does to seat bullets. We are simply making the air gap on the tip of the bullet ever-so smaller. Don’t rush the job — go slow. Use smooth and steady pressure on the press when pointing bullets. You don’t want to trap air in the die and damage the bullet tip. You can use most any press, with a caliber-specific sleeve and correct die insert. The Whidden pointing die has a micrometer top so making adjustments is very easy.

Bryan Litz actually helped design the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System, so you can order the Pointing Die and Inserts directly from Applied Ballistics. Just make sure that you pick up the correct caliber sleeve(s) and appropriate insert(s). As sold by Applied Ballistics, the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System comes with the die, one tipping insert, and one caliber-specific sleeve. To see which insert(s) you need for your bullet type(s), click this link:

LINK: Whidden Gunworks Pointing Die Insert Selection Chart

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 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 26th, 2017

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 News 1 Comment »
August 18th, 2017

F-Class Team Worlds: USA Wins F-TR, Australia Wins F-Open

F-TR F T/R Canada Connaught Ranges F-Class Team World Championship
Photo Credits Laura Perry(top) and Kelly McMillan (bottom)

The 2017 F-Class World Championships wrapped up August 17 with the final day of Team competition. Over the past two days, 8-shooter squads competed in the major international challenge match while 4-shooter teams vied for honor in the Rutland match. Team USA F-TR stole the show with a stirring come-from-behind victory over a very strong Australia F-TR squad. Not to be denied, Aussie F-Open shooters countered America’s F-TR success with a solid win for Australia in the 8-shooter F-Open match. It was Deja Vu… this result was a replay of the 2013 Worlds, where Team USA won the F-TR Team Title, while Team Australia won F-Open.

CLICK HERE for full 2017 F-Class World Championships Team and Individual Results

F-TR World Champions: Team USA, Richardson Trophy — Score: 3400-264V
PERRY, LAURA, AL — 419v31
DROELLE, JOHN, MI — 418v27
BARNHART, ALAN, MI — 433v36
HOGG, TRACY, NC — 424v31
KLEMM, IAN, WI — 426v39
RODGERS, DEREK, NM — 435v39
RORER, JEFFREY, NC — 429v35
POHLABEL, DANIEL, OH — 416v26
GROSS, RAYMOND, MI
HARDIN, CARLTON, GA
PHILLIPS, PAUL, MI
LENTZ, DANIEL, WI
LITZ, BRYAN, MI
FULMER, SCOTT, NY
REEVE, KENT, NC
BOYER, DOUGLAS, MI

F-Open World Champions: Team Australia, Farquharson Trophy — Score: 3511-342V
DAVIES, ROD — 441v45
CARTER, PETER — 437v37
LARSEN, PETER — 442v38
LOBERT, MARTY — 437v43
POHL, ADAM — 440v48
BRAUND, STUART — 431v39
BUNYAN, BRETT — 440v40
NUGENT, TIM — 443v52
MCGOWAN, CRAIG
BRAUND, RICHARD
WAITES, MICHAEL
LAZARUS, STEVE
REID, JOSH
FERRARA, BEN
TILLACK, LOWELL
DOBSON, DAVID

Team USA — Three-time World Champions deliver a come-from-behind win at the 900 meter line.
F-TR F T/R Canada Connaught Ranges F-Class Team World Championship

Along with winning F-Open, the Aussies did well in the 8-man F-TR competition, finishing second overall with a score of 3394-237V, six points behind Team USA F-TR (3400-264V). Third in F-TR was Team South Africa, with 3376-250V.

Rutland F-Class World Championship

Team Canada (3506-346V) finished second in F-Open, while Team USA (F-Open) finished third with the interesting score of 3500-350V (that’s not a misprint). We believe Calvin Waldner of Canada had the top individual F-Open score for the match — 444-51V.

The F-TR Team Battle — It Paid to Wait
The top two F-TR squads, Team USA and Team Australia, followed very different strategies. The Australians got off to a quick start, while the Americans waited… and waited … and waited. Being patient and waiting for more readable and stable wind conditions proved a winning strategy for the Yanks who overcame a 9-point deficit to finish with a six-point margin as time closed down in the firing period.

Team USA Captain Ray Gross reports: “The match came down to the last yard line. The Australians were up 11 points to start the day and the Canadians were 6 points behind. We made up 2 points at 700m and shot even with the Australians at 800m, leaving us 9 points down going into the final 900m stage.

The Aussies chose to start shooting right away in what looked liked easy conditions and we waited, hoping for better. While we waited the team stayed focused and ready. Luck was on our side, it calmed down and the shooters and coaches performed flawlessly, making up the nine points and finally pulling ahead in the last few minutes of the match.

We were the last team on the line shooting and everyone was behind us watching. After two days of very close competition, the match was not decided until our last two shooters. Our last shooter started with only 12 minutes left in the match and he finished his string of 15 shots in about five minutes. He only dropped two points giving us a six point victory.

We were so focused on delivering our best performance that we weren’t sure how the other teams had finished. After the last shot the Australian captain came over and congratulated me. They had been watching our score after they had finished and knew that we had won the match. Our gritty determination had paid off and it had been one of the most exciting matches that I’ve ever been a part of. Everyone on the team should be proud that they did not let our slim chances discourage them going into that last yard line. They stayed focused and each delivered a top performance.”

American F-Open Squads Dominate 4-Shooter Rutland Match

In the F-Open Rutland competition for 4-shooter teams, American squads dominated, taking the top 4 places. Team USA Blue (1758-177V) won the Rutland title, edging Spindle Shooters by a slim one-point margin. In third place was Team USA Red followed by the Texas State Rifle Association team.

Rutland F-Class World Championship

Rutland F-Class World Championship

In F-TR Rutland competition, Team “Da Bulls” secured a very convincing win. Da Bulls’ 1709-131V score was a full 14 points ahead of Team KP Ballistics. This was sort of an American victory… though Da Bulls did have one Canadian “ringer” on the squad, Stephen Ireland of Toronto. Runner-up KP Ballistics was just the opposite — KP had all Canadian members except one Yank, Wade Fillingame of New Hampshire.

Rutland F-Class World Championship
Above Team Da Bulls member James Crofts waives “good-bye” from the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The next F-Class World Championships will be held in South Africa in 2021. ICFRA Web Page for 2021 FCWC.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News 2 Comments »
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 »
August 15th, 2017

Individual Champions Crowned at F-Class Worlds in Canada

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Hail the new F-Class World Champions: Australian Rod Davies (F-Open) and the USA’s Derek Rodgers (F-TR). The 2017 F-Class Individual World Championships event was memorable — with thunderstorms, tight competition, and wicked winds on the final day. On Day 1, Saturday 8/12/17, only one 700m relay was completed before a massive storm front dropped a deluge. Conditions prior to that were good, with dozens of competitors shooting “clean” — one competitor lamented “I didn’t drop a point but ended up way down the standings on V-Count…”

After one yardage, the FCWC was halted on Saturday (Day 1) by a massive thunderstorm.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers
Sebastian Lambang photo

F-TR — The King of 2 Miles vs. The Newly-Crowned Canadian Champ
The F-TR event couldn’t have been closer — this went down to the wire. American Derek Rodgers scored 473-36V to win the title on V-Count over Canadia Kevin Chou (473-31V). Kevin is a very tough man to beat on his home range in Ontario. At this same venue, Kevin recently won Canada’s F-TR National Championship, his second F-TR Canadian National title in a row.

This has been a great summer for Rodgers. Last month Derek won the King of 2 Miles competition in Raton, NM. But the World Championship F-TR win didn’t come easy. Not by a long shot. This was a tough, come-from-behind win for Derek. After Day 1, which was halted by rain, Derek was in 77th position. On Day 2, he had climbed to 17th. He moved all the way to the top of the podium on the third and final day by shooting brilliantly in very tough conditions.

Derek told us: “The wind was changing very rapidly on Monday (Day 3). There were radical changes. It was blowing left to right, but there were rapid velocity changes. You might move from holding at the edge of the black ring on the left, then over to the 2 ring on the right from shot to shot.” Derek noted that the match was “pair fire” so you had to wait up to 45 seconds for your partner to shoot. “That means you couldn’t shoot fast. You had to watch the conditions very carefully — watch those big canvas flags and the mirage.” Derek said the mirage was “huge in Canada… but it looks different than what I’m used to in the American Southwest. The mirage off grass is different.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Many observers had counted Rodgers out when he stood in 17th place after Day 2, but he mastered the tough conditions to move up in the standings as others were dropping points in bunches. Derek said that starting in 17th might have been a blessing in disguise: “Starting 17th, I didn’t feel any pressure on the last day. Once I got the wind ‘roped’ on that last day, it was actually fun. I nailed a bunch of Vs, and that’s what carried me to victory.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

F-Open World Champion Rod Davies (Australia) Receives the Milcun Shield Trophy
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers
Jenni Hausler photo.

Australian Captures F-Open Title with a Powerful Performance
In F-Open, the story was all Rod Davies, the talented Australian. He shot strong and steady throughout the match, to top the field with a 489-41V score. Finishing second was the UK’s Paul Sandie (485-38V), while another Australian, Adam Pohl, took third with 482-38V. Those Aussies do know how to shoot off grass in windy conditions. Five of the top 15 F-Open shooters were from Down Under. The top American was Jim Murphy in fourth place, followed by Erik Cortina in fifth.

Tough Conditions on Day Three
Erik Cortina told us that conditions were very tough on the last day. Wind velocities were changing unpredictably — with disastrous results for some shooters dropped 10 points or more. Somehow, in those rapidly changing winds, Eric nailed the top Aggregate for the last day, out-shooting the field: “I was lucky enough that conditions were very tough on the last day and that I was able to read the conditions good enough to win the Aggregate for the day. I moved up from 27th to 5th (overall) in one day. There were close to 200 of the best F-Open shooters in the World competing at this match, what an amazing experience to share the range with such an outstanding group of people.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

2017 FCWC relays were conducted with Pair Firing, with each shooter alternating shot by shot. Here are Mark Fairbairn (Australia) and Matt Schwartzkopf (USA) on the right. Sebastian Lambang photo.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

YOUNG GUNS: At the 2017 FCWC the first-ever Under 25 World Champions were crowned: Mitchell Fitzpatrick (F-TR) and Rhys Ireland (F-Open). Rhys also won the 2017 Canadian National F-Open Championship last week. Mitchell is a past KO2M winner.

The young pit crew members did a great job. Sebastian Lambang photo.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Team Matches Come Next
There is a lay day today, August 15th, after which the Team Competition phase of the F-Class World Championships commence. We can expect a tough battle among the top teams: Australia, Canada, Great Britain/UK, South Africa, and the USA. Here is the schedule/course of fire for the Team Matches:

    FCWC Team Competition
    Wednesday, August 16: 2+15 @ 700m, 2+15 @ 800m, 2+15 @ 900m
    Thursday, August 17: 2+15 @ 700m, 2+15 @ 800m , 2+15 @ 900m
    Prize Giving and Closing Ceremonies
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August 12th, 2017

ICFRA F-Class World Championships Commence in Canada

FCWC F-Class World Championships

The F-Class World Championships (FCWC) commence today at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We wish good luck to all the competitors. Based on the conditions at the recent Canadian F-Class National Championships, conditions could be challenging.

F-Class World Championships EVENT SCHEDULE:
Friday, August 11 (REST DAY – RANGE CLOSED)
Competitor Check-In for FCWC; Rifle Inspection; International Teams Reception
Saturday, August 12: Opening Ceremonies; ICFRA FCWC (Individual)
Sunday, August 13: ICFRA FCWC (Individual)
Monday, August 14: ICFRA FCWC (Individual); Awards Prize Giving
Tuesday, August 15: TEAM PRACTICE DAY
Wednesday, August 16: ICFRA FCWC (Teams)
Thursday, August 17: ICFRA FCWC (Teams): Awards Prize Giving & Closing Ceremonies

Tips for Success at the F-Class Worlds — #1, Avoid Train Wrecks

As an assist to all the competitors, we’re repeating an article by Bryan Litz, which many have found very helpful — how to avoid “Train Wrecks” at major championships.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

When you have a major, critical problem at a shooting match, i.e. a “train wreck”, this can be the end of your weekend. In this article, Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz talks about “train wrecks” — the big disasters (such as equipment failures) that can ruin a whole match. A recent USA F-TR Champion, Bryan illustrates the types of “train wrecks” that commonly befall competitors, and he explains how to avoid these “unmitigated disasters”.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballisticsTrain Wrecks (and How to Avoid Them)
by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC.

Success in long range competition depends on many things. Those who aspire to be competitive are usually detail-oriented, and focused on all the small things that might give them an edge. Unfortunately it’s common for shooters lose sight of the big picture — missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.

Consistency is one of the universal principles of successful shooting. The tournament champion is the shooter with the highest average performance over several days, often times not winning a single match. While you can win tournaments without an isolated stellar performance, you cannot win tournaments if you have a single train wreck performance. And this is why it’s important for the detail-oriented shooter to keep an eye out for potential “big picture” problems that can derail the train of success!

Train wrecks can be defined differently by shooters of various skill levels and categories. Anything from problems causing a miss, to problems causing a 3/4-MOA shift in wind zero can manifest as a train wreck, depending on the kind of shooting you’re doing.

Below is a list of common Shooting Match Train Wrecks, and suggestions for avoiding them.

1. Cross-Firing. The fastest and most common way to destroy your score (and any hopes of winning a tournament) is to cross-fire. The cure is obviously basic awareness of your target number on each shot, but you can stack the odds in your favor if you’re smart. For sling shooters, establish your Natural Point of Aim (NPA) and monitor that it doesn’t shift during your course of fire. If you’re doing this right, you’ll always come back on your target naturally, without deliberately checking each time. You should be doing this anyway, but avoiding cross-fires is another incentive for monitoring this important fundamental. In F-Class shooting, pay attention to how the rifle recoils, and where the crosshairs settle. If the crosshairs always settle to the right, either make an adjustment to your bipod, hold, or simply make sure to move back each shot. Also consider your scope. Running super high magnification can leave the number board out of the scope’s field view. That can really increase the risk of cross-firing.

2. Equipment Failure. There are a wide variety of equipment failures you may encounter at a match, from loose sight fasteners, to broken bipods, to high-round-count barrels that that suddenly “go south” (just to mention a few possibilities). Mechanical components can and do fail. The best policy is to put some thought into what the critical failure points are, monitor wear of these parts, and have spares ready. This is where an ounce of prevention can prevent a ton of train wreck. On this note, if you like running hot loads, consider whether that extra 20 fps is worth blowing up a bullet (10 points), sticking a bolt (DNF), or worse yet, causing injury to yourself or someone nearby.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

3. Scoring/Pit Malfunction. Although not related to your shooting technique, doing things to insure you get at least fair treatment from your scorer and pit puller is a good idea. Try to meet the others on your target so they can associate a face with the shooter for whom they’re pulling. If you learn your scorer is a Democrat, it’s probably best not to tell Obama jokes before you go for record. If your pit puller is elderly, it may be unwise to shoot very rapidly and risk a shot being missed (by the pit worker), or having to call for a mark. Slowing down a second or two between shots might prevent a 5-minute delay and possibly an undeserved miss.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics4. Wind Issues. Tricky winds derail many trains. A lot can be written about wind strategies, but here’s a simple tip about how to take the edge off a worse case scenario. You don’t have to start blazing away on the command of “Commence fire”. If the wind is blowing like a bastard when your time starts, just wait! You’re allotted 30 minutes to fire your string in long range slow fire. With average pit service, it might take you 10 minutes if you hustle, less in F-Class. Point being, you have about three times longer than you need. So let everyone else shoot through the storm and look for a window (or windows) of time which are not so adverse. Of course this is a risk, conditions might get worse if you wait. This is where judgment comes in. Just know you have options for managing time and keep an eye on the clock. Saving rounds in a slow fire match is a costly and embarrassing train wreck.

5. Mind Your Physical Health. While traveling for shooting matches, most shooters break their normal patterns of diet, sleep, alcohol consumption, etc. These disruptions to the norm can have detrimental effects on your body and your ability to shoot and even think clearly. If you’re used to an indoor job and eating salads in air-conditioned break rooms and you travel to a week-long rifle match which keeps you on your feet all day in 90-degree heat and high humidity, while eating greasy restaurant food, drinking beer and getting little sleep, then you might as well plan on daily train wrecks. If the match is four hours away, rather than leaving at 3:00 am and drinking five cups of coffee on the morning drive, arrive the night before and get a good night’s sleep.”

Keep focused on the important stuff. You never want to lose sight of the big picture. Keep the important, common sense things in mind as well as the minutia of meplat trimming, weighing powder to the kernel, and cleaning your barrel ’til it’s squeaky clean. Remember, all the little enhancements can’t make up for one big train wreck!

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