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

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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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August 11th, 2017

Kevin Chou, Rhys Ireland, and USA Teams Win Canadian National F-Class Championships

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

The 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships have concluded. As the event preceded the 2017 F-Class World Championship (in the same venue) by a few days, many of the world’s best F-Class shooters were on hand at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario. Competition was fierce — as were the winds at times. The challenging conditions gave shooters a good test in preparation for the FCWC which gets underway in earnest on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

All 2017 CDN F-Class Nationals Individual Results | All 2017 CDN F-Class Nationals Team Results

Kevin Chou Wins Second Straight F-TR Canadian Title
Canada’s Kevin Chou (Aurora, ON) shot great to win the F-TR match with a strong 426v30 score. This made was two wins in a row for Kevin, who also took the F-TR Title in 2016. Two Yanks completed the podium, with Jeff Rorer (420v25) taking second place, and Robby Burton (418v25) placing third.

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

Rhys Ireland Wins F-Open Canadian Championship
The F-Open Championship was a tightly-fought match that went down to the wire. Rhys Ireland won the Individual F-Open Championship with a 434v30. Just one point behind at 433v39 was Australia’s Rod Davies. Third, again just one point back, was Canadian Barry Price (433v30).

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

Team USA (Litz) Wins F-TR Team Championship
American F-TR Teams managed a clean sweep of the top three places in the 4-shooter LUM Team Match. Team USA Litz secured the team victory with a 875v71 score. Finishing second in F-TR was USA Team Swartzkopf (871v74), followed by Team USA Hardin (870v72).

Who can explain the lines and dots on this shot tracking chart used by Bryan Litz?
Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

F-TR Team USA (Litz) members (alphabetically) Douglas Boyer, Robby Burton, Dan Lentz, Monte Milanuk; Bryan Litz (head coach), Stan Pate (asst.)
Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

Team USA (Nancy) Wins F-Open Team Title
The F-Open 4-shooter Team Competition was also dominated by American squads which finished first and second. Winning F-Open Gold, with a score of 888v98, was Team USA (Nancy), coached by Nancy Tompkins, America’s “First Lady of Shooting”. Finishing second was Team USA (Walker) with 887v100, followed by the Canadian F-Open Team at 887v90.

F-Open Team USA (Nancy) was packed with talent. Shooters were: Shiraz Balolia, Ken Dickerman, James Laney, and Pat Scully. Another American deserves mention, John Myers of the Texas F-Open Team. We believe John’s 225v27 was the high score for the team match, and he was the only competitor to shoot “clean”, not dropping a point.

Sebastian Lambang, inventor/builder of SEB Rests, competed in the Canadian Championships. Over half the competitors used SEB rests — Joy-Pods for F-TR and NEOs and MINIs for F-Open.

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario SEB Lambang sebastian

Conditions were windy and challenging at the 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships. Will the strong winds continue for the F-Class World Championships (FCWC) starting tomorrow, August 12, 2017. Only the wind gods know for sure. Good luck to all the FCWC competitors from all nations!

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario

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July 7th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Derek Rodgers K02M-Winning Hardware and Ammunition

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

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

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

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

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

INTERVIEW with DEREK RODGERS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonus Video — Interview with David Tubb at KO2M

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

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

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

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July 6th, 2017

Training for Long Range Shooting

Bryan Litz Video Long Range Training

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

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

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

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

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

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

Bryan Litz Tips

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July 5th, 2017

How to Point Bullets — Whidden Bullet Pointing Tool Review

whidden bullet pointing die system kit
Jason Baney photo from Whidden Bullet Pointing Die Review.

Gear Review by GS Arizona

This article originally appeared in the Rifleman’s Journal website.
Many of you have doubtlessly read Bryan Litz’s articles in our Daily Bulletin 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 and a talented gunsmith 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.

It 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 second photo above 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.

This YouTube Video Shows the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die in Action

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 $220.00 (with one insert). Additional die inserts are $42.00 each. Extra caliber sleeves are also $42.00. You can purchase directly from Whidden Gunworks, or from Sinclair International.

Whidden Bullet pointer tool

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June 20th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hybrid bullet

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

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

Bryan Litz Explains Hybrid Design and Optimal Hybrid Seating Depths

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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June 6th, 2017

Extreme Long Range Training — Rockin’ Two Miles at Raton

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum
Shooter behind the .375 Lethal Magnum. Check out the size of that suppressor!

Two-Mile ELR Training
ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal MagnumThe Applied Ballistics ELR Team spent the weekend at the NRA Whittington Center in New Mexico training for the upcoming King of 2 Miles event. Former USAMU coach Emil Praslick III was on hand to help with wind calls. The results were impressive — all team members had confirmed hits at 2.05 miles on a 36″x36″ steel target. Bryan Litz even had a 3-shot group that measured 17.5″ x 22″. That’s under 0.6 MOA!

Most guys would be happy with 0.6 MOA at 300 yards. Bryan did it at 3611 yards, shooting Paul Phillips’s .375 Lethal Magnum. When you consider all the variables involved (bullet BC variance, shot velocity variance, wind changes during flight, Coriolis effect etc.), that’s phenomenal.

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Paul Phillips
Just got done shooting two days in New Mexico with Recoil Magazine and the Applied Ballistics ELR team. We learned a lot and had great success. Every team member made impacts on target at 2 miles. The best 3-shot group at 3611 yards (2.05 miles) was shot by Bryan Litz with my 375 Lethal Mag. The group measured 17.5 inches tall by 22 inches wide with Cutting Edge bullets. We also had Recoil’s David Merrill shoot at two miles and was laying them in there like a true pro. We had three team members make impacts on the 36-inch plate at two miles within just three attempts in a mock competition. I also increased my personal longest shot by hitting only 15 inches right of center at 3611 yards. 2.05 miles. I did it with a GSL Technology Copperhead Silencer.

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Emil Praslick
I participated in the Extreme Long Range training with the Applied Ballistics team at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. All team members had confirmed hits at 2.1 miles. Components and hardware suppliers included: Berger Bullets, Cutting Edge Bullets, Nightforce Optics, Kestrel, FLIR Systems.

Q: At that distance (2.1 miles), how much do spin drift and the Coriolis effect impact bullet trajectories?

Praslick: At 3613 yards we had to adjust about 1.5 MOA/56″ of Coriolis (up), and 5 MOA/~190″ of right spin drift adjustment. You’d have to come down if facing East. The planet rotates counter-clockwise (from above), so your target would be falling away from you.

Here is a 3-round group at 1898 yards (1.08 Miles) shot with factory ABM Ammo .338 Lapua Magnum loaded with 300 grain Berger Bullets Hybrids. That’s sub-MOA elevation. (The guy calling wind didn’t do too bad, either.)

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Bryan Litz
Learning is my favorite part of new ventures and we learned a LOT this weekend shooting extreme range in New Mexico. I connected on a second round hit on a 3-foot square target at 2 miles in simulated match conditions under coaches Emil Praslick and Paul Phillips. In fact all five of our team shooters got on at 2 miles. The Applied Ballistics Extreme Long Range team is in good shape for the King of 2 Miles match later this month, and there is still so much to LEARN!

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

You need serious equipment for shooting beyond two miles. Who can identify this high-tech hardware?
ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 11 Comments »
June 3rd, 2017

The Wind Hack — Quick Way to Calculate Crosswind Deflection

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

Applied Ballistics Wind Hack

Any long range shooter knows that wind is our ultimate nemesis. The best ways of overcoming wind are to measure what we can and use computers to calculate deflection. The Applied Ballistics Kestrel is a great tool for this. As good as our tools may be, we don’t always have them at our fingertips, or they break, batteries go dead, and so on. In these cases, it’s nice to have a simple way of estimating wind based on known variables. There are numerous wind formulas of various complexity.

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

The Applied Ballistics (AB) Wind Hack is about the simplest way to get a rough wind solution. Here it is: You simply add 2 to the first digit of your G7 BC, and divide your drop by this number to get the 10 mph crosswind deflection. For example, suppose you’re shooting a .308 caliber 175-grain bullet with a G7 BC of 0.260 at 1000 yards, and your drop is 37 MOA. For a G7 BC of 0.260, your “wind number” is 2+2=4. So your 10 mph wind deflection is your drop (37 MOA) divided by your “wind number” (4) = 9.25 MOA. This is really close to the actual 9.37 MOA calculated by the ballistic software.

WIND HACK Formula

10 mph Cross Wind Deflection = Drop (in MOA) divided by (G7 BC 1st Digit + 2)

Give the AB wind hack a try to see how it works with your ballistics!

Some Caveats: Your drop number has to be from a 100-yard zero. This wind hack is most accurate for supersonic flight. Within supersonic range, accuracy is typically better than +/-6″. You can easily scale the 10 mph crosswind deflection by the actual wind speed. Wind direction has to be scaled by the cosine of the angle.

Permalink News 3 Comments »
June 1st, 2017

Long Range Shooting: Video Series with Bryan Litz

Bryan Litz Video Long Range large caliber rifles

Getting started in long-range shooting? Need some pointers on gun set-up and hardware options? Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics has created a helpful series of videos for the NSSF covering long range shooting. Bryan, a past F-TR Long-Range National Champion and Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets, knows his stuff. His Applied Ballistics squad was the winning team at the 2016 King of 2 Miles event. Here are four (4) videos, each covering a topic of interest for long-range shooters. Running 3-4 minutes each, these videos can help you get started, and invest wisely when acquiring your next long-range rifle, scope, and accessories.

Long Range Precision — The Keys to Success

TIP for Plotting Long Range Trajectories: You want to know the true, actual ballistic coefficients of your loads. The BCs listed by manufacturers for their projectiles may be somewhat unreliable — the real BC could be higher or lower (and BC can change with velocity). That can result in problems at longer distances. Using sophisticated equipment, Applied Ballistics has measured true BCs for hundreds of projectiles. Plugging these verified numbers into your Ballistics App can improve your hit percentage at long range.

Tools of Choice — Purpose-Built Long Range Rifles

TIP for Choosing a Rifle: When you’re selecting a rifle for long range shooting, it’s important to understand your application and objectives. The applications for long-range shooting can be very refined. You have to select all the details of your application to select the correct rifle. Here are two examples — a semi-auto AR-platform rifle with scope and a bolt-action Fullbore (Palma) rifle with aperture sights. There are many other long range disciplines — F-TR for example. The F-TR rig uses a bipod and rear bag and a scope. To be competitive, a modern F-TR rig should shoot well under half-MOA.

Equipment Advice — Upgrading Your Hardware

TIP for Upgrading Your Rifle: At some point factory rifle owners will recognize weak links in the equipment chain. You can run that factory rifle for quite some time, but the barrel is eventually what’s going to hold you back. The twist-rate may not be high enough to stabilize the high-BC bullets. So the first thing you’re going to want to upgrade is the barrel. You want to get a fast twist-rate barrel with a chamber that is optimized for the bullet you’ll be shooting. A good-quality, custom barrel will be easier to clean, and it will improve the overall accuracy and precision of your shooting.

Big Boomers — Large-Caliber Rifles for Long Range

TIP for Shooting Hard-Recoiling Rifles: Bryan Litz defines “Large Caliber” as .338 caliber and bigger. These rifles can shoot heavy bullets with high BCs. However there are some trade-offs. It can be hard to maintain good fundamentals of marksmanship (trigger control, sight alignment) when you’re fighting heavy recoil and burning 100+ grains of powder. You’re dealing with the challenges that high energy brings. You want a muzzle brake with any cartridge .338 or above. Also, when considering lathe-turned solid bullets, remember that these typically have less sectional density compared to lead-cored bullets with similar profiles. This affects ballistics as well as recoil energy.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
May 15th, 2017

New Website for Extreme Long Range — ELR Central

Extreme Long Range ELR Central Bryan Litz website Ballistics

There’s a new home on the web for Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooters. Bryan Litz and Applied Ballistics recently launched ELR Central, a new website dedicated to ultra-long-range shooting*. This new site will offer a wide variety of information. Bryan Litz explains: “The most visible element of ELR Central will be a website which will serve to publish and promote all ELR shooting events going on across the country. Although owned and operated by Applied Ballistics, ELR Central will rely heavily on input from the community in order to best serve the sport as a whole.” Along with the ELR Central website, Applied Ballistics has launched a new ELR Central Facebook page.

Content Available on ELR Central
The ELR Central website will eventually offer a comprehensive library of information and activity reports. Bryan and his team plans to build out the website to include all the following:

1. Map of ELR ranges across the USA.
2. List of ELR events with links to the Match Directors’ pages.
3. Technical information and articles for the ELR community.
4. Match results/reports, including equipment lists where available.
5. Analysis of what equipment and shooters are doing well in ELR.
6. Links to other ELR shooting resources such as forums and websites.

Extreme Long Range ELR Central Bryan Litz website Ballistics
On 5/13/17, the Applied Ballistics ELR Team had a successful practice at 3161 Yards (1.8 miles). Bryan Litz reports: “The main goal … was to test how the Berger and Cutting Edge bullets traveled through transonic and subsonic speeds. We all made several hits on target and several within 1 MOA of center.”

IVEY adjustable scope rings with 50 Mil travel are offered in 30mm, 34mm, 35mm, and 40mm sizes.
IVEY adjustable scope rings Extreme Long Range ELR Central Bryan Litz website Ballistics

ELR Central MGM Targets Steel Applied BallisticsStandardized ELR Targets
Another goal of ELR Central is to develop standardized ELR targetry. Bryan explains: “In competitive rifle shooting, standardization of targetry is important. Applied Ballistics, through ELR Central, will provide steel targets to organizations wishing to run ELR matches and/or record-setting events. No one would be required to use these standard targets, we’re simply providing resources to help promote promote some consistency.” The initial standard target, produced by MGM Targets, will be a steel square, 3 feet (36″) per side.

ELR Central is Not A Rule-Making Entity
Bryan was quick to explain that ELR Central is not a governing body, but rather it was created to help advance the sport (and science) of shooting at very long distances, one mile and beyond: “The concept of ELR Central is a result of the ongoing discussions about standardizing ELR matches, records, targets, and more. Although ELR Central will not be enforcing these details, there is a measure of organization which we feel is appropriate, would benefit the sport, and that we are willing to provide. ELR Central is NOT a governing or sanctioning body. We do not have nor seek the authority to dictate how matches are run. For anyone who asks, we can advise on best practices, and what’s generally working, but we’re not here to tell anyone what to do nor how to do it.”


More Information on ELR Competition, per ELR Researcher:

(1) By consensus of the parties involved in the ELR meetings held at SHOT this year, and notwithstanding the names and descriptions of certain “ELR” web sub-forums, “ELR” has been defined as “beyond 1500 yards”.
(2) ELR Central-recognized “ELR” events require that more than one-half of targets must be beyond 1500 yards. Where all criteria are not met an event may be promoted as having “ELR components”.
(3) “ELR Central has published a set of guidelines and standards by which official world records can be established.” CLICK HERE for guidelines/standards.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
May 4th, 2017

Get Most Popular Ballistics App for iOS at Half Price

Ballistic AE Moble App Ballistics Program solver JBM iphone, iPod, iPad

Ballistic AE Moble App Ballistics Program solver JBM iphone, iPod, iPadNeed a top-notch Ballistics App for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod? Start with Ballistic AE, the number 1 (i.e. most installed) App for iOS systems. Ballistics AE (Advanced Edition) is the most popular iOS ballistics program for many good reasons. Full-featured and easy to use, Ballistics AE has been refined over many years, and it supplies rock-solid solutions derived from JBM Ballistics solver (created by James B. Millard). Unlike some other Apps, Ballistics AE is STABLE on iPhones (with various OS levels). What’s cool is that Ballistics AE is now on sale for $14.99, 50% off the regular $29.99 price.

We’ve used the Ballistic AE program on an iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPad, and it performed well. Here are some of the features we liked:

  • 1. Mirrors output from online version of JBM Ballistics we often use for initial calculations.
  • 2. Controls are simple to use and (mostly) intuitive.
  • 3. Handy comparison feature lets you compare ballistics for different projectiles side by side.
  • 4. Advanced Wind Kit allows you to account for complex wind situations.
  • 5. Projectile and BC Database is very comprehensive.
  • 6. Software is regularly updated to match Apple OS changes.

Ballistic-AE for iPhone, iPad, iPod, $14.99 (Sale) | Ballistic for iPad, $14.99 (Sale)

Ballistic AE Moble App Ballistics Program solver JBM iphone, iPod, iPad

Comprehensive Projectile Info and BCs
Ballistics AE has very complete data libraries. The program includes 5,000 projectiles, factory loads, military loads, and performance data points from leading manufacturers, military testing, and performance testing.

Ballistic Coefficient libraries include the latest commercial BC data, plus Applied Ballistics’ (Bryan Litz) custom G7 BCs, plus G7 military coefficients from Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

Ballistic AE Moble App Ballistics Program solver JBM iphone, iPod, iPad

These Videos Explain How to Set Up and Use Ballistic AE:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »