June 15th, 2019

Go Big This Summer — As in Fifty Caliber Big

50 BMG cartridge FCSA

34th Annual Fifty Caliber Championship Coming Soon
The 34th Annual Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FCSA) 1000/600 Yard World Championship will be held July 4, 5 and 6, 2019 at the Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico, a beautiful facility. The FCSA Championship takes place right after the 2019 King of 2 Miles event, running June 29 – July 1, 2019.


Match Information | Match Registration | Photo Gallery

Fifty Caliber shooter association fcsa national championship raton whittington NM new mexico
Looking downrange at the 1000-yard line. Note the fan and air hose for cooling the barrel.


Competitor’s POV perspective from a FCSA Match. Note the mirage.

By James Patterson
This article first appeared in Sinclair International’s Reloading Press Blog

For a number of years I drooled over every .50 BMG caliber rifle that I came across, I read every article I could find and determined that ‘Someday’ I was going to have one. Well I finally took the plunge and in 2002 I purchased my first ‘Big 50’. Almost immediately I joined the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FCSA) and I have since come to immensely enjoy shooting this challenging cartridge and associating with some of the best people on earth.

Dierks 50 BMG Light Class

FCSA Founded in 1985
FCSA Fifty Caliber ShootersThe FCSA, started in 1985, is an international organization with members in 22 countries. Headquartered in Monroe, Utah, the FCSA has a membership of approximately 4000. While the FCSA provides a service to military and law enforcement with research and instruction as well as an active liaison in both communities, the primary charter of the FCSA is the promotion of the sporting use of the 50 BMG cartridge and its wildcat derivatives. It has been the FCSA and its members who have lead the way in refining .50-caliber cartridges, rifles, and 1000-yard plus shooting know-how. Members enjoy a quarterly magazine, a suppliers directory, an active website with great photo galleries, and access to literally the best repository of 50 BMG information on the planet. If you are interested in Mr. John Browning’s big 50, you should seriously consider joining the FCSA.

Fifty Caliber shooter association fcsa national championship raton whittington NM new mexico
This interesting .50 Cal rig features a liquid-cooled barrel and unusual scope mounting arrangement.

While all aspects of the 50 BMG are promoted by the FCSA, the primary sport is 1000-yard competition. In 2010, there were 16 separate official matches scheduled across the USA, and many more ‘fun-shoots’. This sport is an incredible mix of the science, skill, and art of extreme long range accuracy. I had been actively shooting rifles and hunting for well over 40 years and had always considered myself a “rifle man”. But I had no idea of the learning curve that [faced me] when I first joined the FCSA.

FCSA 50-caliber shooting association

Historically, 1000-yard shooting has been primarily a benchrest activity but in the past several years we have seen a tremendous interest in ‘Hunter Class’ competition; this is shot prone using a bipod. This form of long range match shooting is excellent preparation for long range hunting. The required skill set [for ultra-long-range hunting] is guaranteed to humble even the most experienced rifleman.

FCSA 50 caliber Fifty Cal world championships

Cost of Big-Bore Shooting
Is owning and shooting a 50 BMG caliber rifle expensive? Relatively speaking yes, but one must put it into perspective. Rifles may run from $2500 to $8000, maybe even more for a top of the line custom rifle. A premium long-range scope will set you back $1800 to $3500. And while excellent .50 BMG commercial ammo is available, it runs $5 to $6 per round! Most serious shooters start reloading for the rifle as soon as practical, not only for the economics of reloading but also for the ability to fine tune custom ammo for their specific rifle. It’s a very rare match that is won shooting commercial ammo.

BAT 50 BMG Action

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June 10th, 2019

Rimfire Shooting at 1000 Yards — 9-Year-Old Hits Target!

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Here’s a feel-good story. ELR ace Paul Phillips took his 9-year-old daughter Addison to the range this past weekend, to try shooting at 1000 yards. Guess what, Addison got hits at 1000! That’s impressive enough, but get this, Addison made those shots with a .22 LR rimfire rifle! Yes a .22 LR will fly that far — but it took a whopping 342 MOA of elevation and five seconds of flight time.

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Paul says: “So proud of my 9-year-old making impact at 1000 yards with her .22 rimfire. My 82-year-old dad also got hits at 1000. Amazing!” Paul adds: “My daughter is very excited to get into shooting sports. The .22 ELR game is very fun for her especially shooting suppressed subsonic. It helps her to learn the fundamentals without flinching.” After her success at 1000 yards, the little lady then made multiple hits on a silhouette at 322 yards (see below).

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

After Addison checked the ELR box at 1000 yards, she tried a 322-yard steel silhouette target. No problem — after many hits in the center, she put three into the top without any misses. This little girl can shoot!

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

The rifle features a Vudoo Gun Works rimfire action bedded in McMillan A6 stock by Alex Sitman. The barrel is a 20″ Bartlein, fitted with a GSL Technologies suppressor (see second photo above). On top is a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm F2 scope fitted with a TACOM Charlie TARAC prism system that provides +800 MOA beyond the scope’s internal elevation. The rifle rested on a Phoenix Precision bipod. The ammo was Lapua Center-X subsonic, running 1090 FPS at the muzzle. Paul notes: “The 22 GSL silencer had no noticeable point of impact shift. It actually shot better groups with it on.”

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Addison’s impressive shooting was done at the Marksmanship Training Center in Lake City, Michigan. This veteran-owned shooting facility is a very scenic venue as you can see:

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Ballistics Prediction Was Nearly Perfect
The Applied Ballistics solution was within one MOA at 1000 yards. 1000 yards required 342 MOA up from the 100-yard zero. Flight time was over 5 seconds! MV was 1090 FPS. The target was a 6′ x 6′ F-Class frame, covered with white paper. That’s roughly 7 MOA, equivalent to about 3.5″ at 50 yards.

Comments from Facebook Fans (and Bryan Litz)

It’s in her genes — Brian R.

Like father like daughter! — Daryll B.

Dang! And I thought my son hitting at 400 was good! — George W.

Most people I know including myself did not believe that the .22 LR genuinely flew that far (despite the warning labels). — Robert S.

Applied Ballistics was within 1 MOA on a 342 MOA solution. We’ll have to tighten that up. — Bryan Litz

All in the Family — Three Generations
Along with Addison, father Paul Phillips and grandfather Rusty Phillips (right) all took shots at 1000 yards, and all three generations of Phillips got hits. The threesome took a total of 145 shots at 1000 yards and impacted 13 times. Paul observed: “We hit almost 1 in 10 shots [with] lots of close misses. Believe it or not, most were due to elevation not wind. There were 3-5 mph winds from 3-9 o’clock. To help see hits, John Droelle was spotting for us in the 1000-yard pits.”

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

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May 24th, 2019

ELR Shooting at Raton, New Mexico — Out to 1.55 Miles

Team Global Precision Raton New Mexico NM FCSA ELR Mile long range Whittington Center Derek Rodgers Mark Lonsdale .416 Barrett

While 100/200 yard benchrest competitors have been drilling tiny groups at the Kelbly Super Shoot this week, other folks, with MUCH bigger rifles, have been shooting at very long range in Raton, New Mexico.

This week the NRA Whittington Center at Raton hosts the Fifty Caliber Shooting Association (FCSA) annual Extreme Long Range (ELR) Record Match. Some of the most talented long-range shooters on the planet are there, including past King of Two Miles Derek Rodgers, along with his Team Global Precision team-mates Mark Lonsdale and Paul Phillips.

Team Global Precision Raton New Mexico NM FCSA ELR Mile long range Whittington Center Derek Rodgers Mark Lonsdale .416 Barrett

Here is Mark preparing to shoot on the first day of the FCSA 1.5 Mile ELR Match with Paul and Derek spotting and calling wind. The cold bore 10″ gong was at 1,040 yards and all three men nailed it. From there the six steel targets ranged from 1,180 yards, up the side of the mountains, to over 2,600 yards.

Team Global Precision Raton New Mexico NM FCSA ELR Mile long range Whittington Center Derek Rodgers Mark Lonsdale .416 Barrett
Site of Day 1 for the FCSA ELR match at Raton, NM. Targets at 2,300, 2,585, and 2,725 yards. Weather cleared up but wind was brutal.

Team Global Precision Raton New Mexico NM FCSA ELR Mile long range Whittington Center Derek Rodgers Mark Lonsdale .416 BarrettAfter Day 1 of the FCSA 1.5 Mile ELR match, Derek was in 2nd place, Mark in 3rd, and Paul in 5th. Mark reported: “Today we had winds gusting well over 15 mph from 6 o’clock, but as they hit the base of the mountains, they created an updraft that caused shots out past 2,000 yards to go high. But just when you had that wind doped, it would switch to a gusting 9 o’clock (left to right) pushing bullets 20 feet to the right. A very challenging day but good practice for Ko2M next month.”

These gents are shooting big rigs with jumbo-sized cartridges. Mark is campaigning a .416 Barrett with Cutting Edge Bullets. Below is his ELR rifle, which features jumbo BAT action, Bartlein barrel (with brake), McMillan stock, and Nightforce scope. Mark posted: “Getting the .416 Barrett ready to shoot in the FCSA 1.5 Mile ELR Match. Weather is definitely warmer than yesterday’s match but wind is howling today.”

Team Global Precision Raton New Mexico NM FCSA ELR Mile long range Whittington Center Derek Rodgers Mark Lonsdale .416 Barrett

TECH TIP — Barrel Life in the ELR Game

Mark Lonsdale posted this interesting commentary on barrel life in the ELR game: “How long a barrel lasts has a lot to do with how hot you run your loads and resultant chamber pressures, but it can also be poor cleaning technique. That said, if you are into ELR or long range precision shooting, and you shoot a lot, you need to think of match-grade barrels as a consumable item — just like the tires on your car. You change your tires when they show excessive wear, so you change your barrel when the accuracy drops off. Similarly, you buy tires that best suit your needs, street or off-road, so you buy a barrel that meets your requirements for weight, accuracy and muzzle velocity.”

Team Global Precision Raton New Mexico NM FCSA ELR Mile long range Whittington Center Derek Rodgers Mark Lonsdale .416 Barrett

“Accuracy is also subjective based on the needs of the shooter. Hunting big game does not require the same pin-point accuracy as long range varmint hunting, and having fun at local club matches does not require the same accuracy as aspiring to be a national champion. With accuracy comes cost, but when compared to the cost of ELR ammo in .338, .375 or .416, a new barrel is actually an affordable consumable. Just remember, ‘the only good rifle is an accurate rifle’.”

Team Global Precision Raton New Mexico NM FCSA ELR Mile long range Whittington Center Derek Rodgers Mark Lonsdale .416 Barrett

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April 22nd, 2019

ELR Euro-Style — King of 2 Miles in France 2019

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

The King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event has gone global. This past weekend, in France, talented long-range marksmen competed at the first-ever Euro version of K02M. The King of 2 Miles in France was conducted April 20-22, 2019 at Camp de Canjuers, a French military zone in Southern France, west of the city of Nice.

The Finals targets were placed at 2657, 3038, and 3576 yards. The longest distance is a bit more than two statute miles (2.0318 miles to be precise), so this was a genuine two-mile competition. During the Finals, conditions were extremely tough, with heavy winds. Hitting the Finals first target (at 2657 yards) on a cold bore proved impossible for most of the shooters. But French shooter (and new King) Bruno Put prevailed, scoring two hits at 2657, and one each at 3038 and 3576.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
K02M in France winner Bruno Put (center) with his match-winning rifle. We are told this is chambered in .375 Snipe-Tac, a .408 CheyTac case necked down to .375 caliber and shoulder blown out to 35°.

King of 2 Miles France Results:
King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
Click chart photo above to see large version.

Frenchman Bruno Put Wins K02M France
Hail to the King! We congratulate Bruno Put, the new King of 2 Miles in France. Bruno dominated the Finals, scoring hits at all three distances to finish with 25,368 points. He got two hits at 2657 and one each at 3038 and 3576. We are told Bruno was shooting a .375 Snipe-Tac rifle with Warner 361gr Flatline bullets in Peterson brass (according to sources). Conditions were challenging and Bruno was the only finals competitor to score hits at 3038 yards and 3576 yards. Paul Phillips got one hit at 2657 yards, but no other competitor (except Bruno) managed ANY hits in the Finals. K02M founder Eduardo reported: “We had very difficult conditions with fish-tailing winds that complicated hugely the shooting. But even in these conditions Bruno Put was able to reach the 2 miles target.”

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
Benjamin San Marco during qualifying stages at Camp de Canjuers. Photo by Target Shooter Magazine.

For those who’ve attended the North American K02M at Raton, New Mexico, there was a familiar face in France — Paul Phillips of the Global Precision Group and Team Applied Ballistics. Paul finished second overall, with a Finals score of 19,954 points.

Paul was shooting on the three-man Team BCM squad with two Italians, Gian Molina, and Gianfranco Zanoni. The trio did great in the prelims, placing first (Molina), third (Phillips), and fifth (Zanoni). All three team members made the Finals — a very impressive collective performance. Their final places were Phillips 2nd overall, Molina 3rd, and Zanoni 6th.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

Paul reported: “After a long day of shooting, the top ten qualifiers [moved on to] the Finals. Due to inclement weather rolling in, [match directors held] all qualifiers in one day. The wind was pretty much a tail wind all day which benefited the faster shooters greatly.”

Many leading companies have helped Paul Phillips and his team: Applied Ballistics LLC, Bartlein Barrels, Barrett, BAT Machine, Bullet Central, CROSSTAC, Cutting Edge Bullets, Edgewood Bags, Garmin, Holland’s, Kryptek, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Nightforce Optics, Peterson Cartridge Co., Vihtavuori Powders.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
March Scopes Europe and GS Precision products on display. Target Shooter Magazine photo.

Camp de Canjuers in France

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April 19th, 2019

Big Berger Bullets for U.S. Military Sniper Program and ELR

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Berger Match Solids are now government-endorsed. The U.S. military has selected Berger’s .375 caliber ELR Match Solid Bullet for the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) program (Phase 2). The ESSO program is a U.S. government project to develop a high performance, extreme long-range sniper weapon system built on a bolt-action, magazine-fed platform.

For ESSO, .375-cal Berger solids are loaded into the .375 EnABELR (Engineered by Applied Ballistics for Extreme Long Range) cartridge. This was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package that mag-feeds well.

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Bryan Litz, Berger’s Chief Ballistician said: “The .375 caliber Berger ELR Match Solid Bullets were optimized for use in the ESSO project, which requires high performance and reliability over many rounds in adverse conditions. In addition to meeting the needs of our US military, the Berger Match Solids provide proven, match winning performance for the ELR competition shooter as well.”

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

ELR Match Solid Bullets drive state-of-the-art ESSO weapon systems. The EnABELR is designed to reliably engage targets at distances out to 2500 meters.

Table 1 below presents basic load data for the .375 EnABELR. Considering the Berger .375 Cal 379gr and 407gr solid bullets were developed in conjunction with the EnABELR case, load data is provided to achieve certain landmark velocities with these bullets, for a range of suitable powders. According to Applied Ballistics, with a 30″ barrel, “the .375 EnABELR can safely push the Berger 379gr Solid to 2900 fps, and the Berger 407gr Solid to 2800 fps.”

Table 1 — .375 EnABLER Load Data
Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Table 2 — .375 EnABELR Comparative Velocities
Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Applied Ballistics notes that: “These are conservative, baseline velocities. Higher velocities are possible but the above performance is safely achievable well within pressure limits of the cartridge. Note the performance of the .375 EnABELR is driven by the high BC Berger Solid bullets. If the .375 CheyTac were loaded with the same bullets, the performance would be about the same. ”

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

About Berger Bullets
Berger manufactures precision projectiles and match-grade ammunition for Target, Hunting and Tactical applications in Mesa, AZ. Berger is part of the Capstone Precision Group, the exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Bergerbullets.com.

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April 14th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Corbin Shell’s ELR Record-Setting .416 Barrett

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Today’s Sunday GunDay story features Corbin Shell’s remarkable, record-setting .416 Barrett. With a 40″ Krieger barrel secured in a massive barrel block, this is definitely a big boomer!

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Last month, Forum member Corbin Shell set a new Extreme Long Range (ELR) record. With no sighters or warm-up shots, Corbin put three (3) shots on a 36″ x 36″ steel plate at 2118 yards, establishing a new Cold Bore ELR World Record. The range was verified with three rangefinders and witnessed by 20+ awestruck shooters. Applied Ballistics reports: “There is a new official ELR World Record. 2118 yards. 3 for 3 cold bore.” This was also recognized as a record by the FCSA (Fifty Caliber Shooting Association).*

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

This record was set at the ELR Southeast Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia, on March 2, 2019. The World Record attempt was made in compliance with all ELR Central Rules.

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron
Corbin Shell (on right) stands next to Joe Burdick, match director. That’s three hits on 36″ x 36″ plate.

ELR Ain’t Cheap — $6.55 Cost per Shot
Corbin told us: “Each round fired cost approximately $6.55. The breakdown is as follows: bullet $3.05, powder $0.80, primer $0.50, cartridge case $1.00 (based on five firings), barrel wear $1.20 per shot based on 1000 rounds of barrel life. Hitting steel at distance: PRICELESS!”

ELR Record .416 Barrett Rifle Components

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Action: BAT .50 caliber EX, multi-flat, with hard coat finish, extra CheyTac bolt.
Barrel: Krieger cut-rifled, .416 caliber, 40″ finish length, 1:9″ twist.
Barrel Block: Doyle Anglin Dixie Gunworks, integral Picatinny rail.
Muzzle Brake: Ryan Pierce 5-port magnum.
Stock: Designed and fabricated by Doyle Anglin, Dixie Gunworks. Obeche laminate, Indian Blanket color scheme. 48″ long excluding butt hardware.
Butt and Cheekpiece Hardware: Master Class/Alex Sitman, extended rods.
Scope: Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA reticle item #25127. 100 MOA elevation/windage.
Bipod: Duplin Rifles by Clint Cooper. Weight: One pound, 2 ounces.
Gunsmith: Rifle builder was Doyle Anglin, Dixie Gunworks, Winder, GA.

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

ELR Record .416 Barrett Load

Projectiles: Cutting Edge Bullets 550gr Lazers
Powder: Vihtavuori 20n29
Primers: RWS Large
Cartridge Brass: Barrett .416

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

If you want to learn more about this record-setting rifle, Corbin has prepared a 6-page project history describing all the components and explaining how the rifle was constructed. This Build Document also contains a wealth of information about loading for the .416 Barrett cartridge.

Conditions During Record:
Corbin tells us: “This was shot in Blakely, Georgia at the Arena Training Facility in good Ole dense Southern air. Here are the atmospheric conditions when I shot: 70 degree temperature, 29.70-29.80 inches of mercury, 82% humidity, 1211 Density Altitude (DA).”

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Corbin noted that the unique barrel block with rail helps with ELR Optics: “This custom-made barrel block is drilled length wise to reduce weight. It incorporates an integral Picatinny rail which… facilitates mounting of … the Tacom Charlie/Delta TARAC prism system, without the need to bridge mount.” Charlie/Delta TARAC units effectively offset the view that comes into the scope, providing up to 625 MOA elevation.

ELR Cold Bore Shot Record Rules
Congratulations to the new ELR World Record Holder Corbin Shell. The record now stands at 2118 yards. This record was shot under a very specific set of rules established by ELR Central and industry leaders. For more ELR record information, go to ELRCentral.com. All ELR World Record results can be seen on the ELR Central’sEvent Results Page.


* Prior to Corbin Shell’s GA record, David Tubb shot a 2200-yard, 3-shot group that has been recognized as a FCSA record. However, because David had made a same-day attempt, within minutes, with a different rifle, this did not comply with the ELR Central Rules. So, at this time only Corbin Shell is recognized as the ELR Central World Record Holder.

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January 11th, 2019

New .375 Caliber ELR Solid Projectiles from Berger Bullets

Berger bullets elr solid copper .375 caliber vld bullet new

This is BIG news for the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game. Berger Bullets will offer a line of SOLID bullets in .375 caliber. You read that right — these will be the first-ever large diameter Berger projectiles manufactured from a solid copper alloy. Most conventional bullets feature a jacket over a metal core, typically lead alloy. These new Berger solids are lathe-turned from solid copper alloy — shaped with precision into perfect aerodynamic profiles. The new Berger ELR solids boast a long, VLD shape with ultra-high Ballistic Coefficients. The new .375 caliber Berger ELR solids will be offered in two bullet weights: 379 grains and 407 grains.

The prototype 400gr version of this solid bullet was extensively tested at 2400 yards (above). It remained supersonic at that distance, a remarkable 1.36 miles. Berger will now offer two production versions, 379gr and 407gr, based on this successful prototype, further optimized. Here is Berger’s official release:

Berger Bullets proudly announces the New Extreme Long Range (ELR) Match Solid Projectile line, beginning with .375 caliber 379 grain and 407 grain offerings.

Extreme Long-Range shooting to distances of two miles and beyond has taken the firearms community by storm. With much of its roots developed from elite military sniper and Special Forces rifle training, ELR enthusiasts are utilizing highly innovative rifle and ammunition technology to engage targets at distances previously unheard of. Berger has taken the lead pioneering ELR, similar to how it’s dominated all other long-range rifle disciplines.

Berger Bullets chief ballistician Bryan Litz states: “Our new ELR Solid Match Bullets provide both competition shooters and Mil/LE forces a long-range solid projectile like no other. Its highly-optimized VLD ogive design and lathe-turned solid copper construction provide a ballistic advantage that is unmatched by any conventional-style bullet.”

Berger .375 Caliber Bullet is a Winner
Berger’s .375 caliber solid bullet design has already been proven in competition. At the 2018 World Longest Shot Challenge (WLSC), Team Applied Ballistics used the prototype .375 Cal ELR solid with great results. The new .375 caliber monolithic Berger bullet designed by Bryan Litz was used by the first and second place finishers in the “above .338 caliber” class. The prototype .375 Cal solid performed great, and the ultra-high BC was confirmed. READ WLSC Story HERE.

Advanced Doppler Radar was used to confirm Ballistics Data for the new Berger .375-Caliber Solids:
Berger monolithic solid bullet .375 caliber VLD copper lathe-turned projectile

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 8 Comments »
January 8th, 2019

NEW Products + SHOT Show Coverage in Shooting Industry Mag

SHOT Show Exhibitor List Map 2019 Guide New Product

You’ll find lots of notable new products in Shooting Industry’s January 2019 issue. This 108-page issue is filled with timely articles ranging from marketing insights and SHOT Show 2019 coverage to tips for success in the new year. The January issue also includes Part II of the 2019 New Product Showcase. January’s 30-page New Product Showcase features over 150 products from 115 brands. Here are some highlights from the Product Showcase:

Steyr’s Monobloc — Barrel and Action are one piece of steel. Impressive engineering, but what happens when your barrel wears out?

SHOT Show Exhibitor List Map 2019 Guide New Product

Berger has new 6mm Creedmoor Ammo plus new .375-Caliber bullets for ELR shooters:

SHOT Show Exhibitor List Map 2019 Guide New Product

Lyman has a great new Case Trimmer with speed control and carbide cutter:

SHOT Show Exhibitor List Map 2019 Guide New Product

New Brass from Jagemann and BOG “DeathGrip” Clamping Tactical Tripod:

SHOT Show Exhibitor List Map 2019 Guide New Product

New Generation Mantis — Accelerometer and software tracks your muzzle movement:

SHOT Show Exhibitor List Map 2019 Guide New Product

Have a LONG F-Class Rifle or a PRS rig with suppressor? This nice case will hold your rig:

SHOT Show Exhibitor List Map 2019 Guide New Product

MORE SHOT Show Coverage

Shooting Industry’s January Issue has extensive SHOT Show coverage, including the comprehensive Exhibitors Guide, SHOT Show Auction info, plus a sizable pullout map in the printed editions.

SHOT Show Exhibitor List Map 2019 Guide New Product

READ MORE — All recent issues of Shooting Industry magazine can be accessed for free at www.shootingindustry.com/digital-version. Have a comment after reading the issue? Send the SI team an email at comments [at] shootingindustry.com.

Feature story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

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October 23rd, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 3rd, 2018

Paul Phillips Wins NRA Extreme Long Range Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Images courtesy Tactiholics (Facebook).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 3 Comments »
July 19th, 2018

Wilkinson Dominates in Score at .50 Caliber FCSA Championships

Walter Wilkinson .50 BMG fifty caliber FCSA Raton New Mexico Whittington Center Steyr HS .50

Retired Army Special Forces Sgt. Maj. Walter Wilkinson won two of the four individual 1,000-yard Score titles — for Light Gun and Hunter Classes — at the recent Fifty Caliber Shooters’ Association (FCSA) 2018 World Championships. In addition to his two individual score titles*, Wilkinson was also a member of the winning 4-shooter team.

The FCSA World Championships were held July 5-7, 2018 at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico. There were shooters from Australia, Great Britain, Spain and the USA in attendance. The FCSA 1000-yard matches have four classes: Light Gun, Heavy Gun, Unlimited, and Hunter. In the first three classes, the rifles are normally shot from a machine rest off the bench. Hunter Class requires the shooter to fire from the ground with a bipod. And that’s how Wilkinson shot all his relays…

Steyr HS .50 BMG FCSA

Remarkably, Wilkinson, who shot his near-“box stock” Steyr HS .50 equipped with factory bipod from the ground in the prone position, posted the FCSA Championships’ highest score, beating out shooters in the Light Gun, Heavy Gun, and even Unlimited Classes.

Beating the Benchresters — While Shooting Prone from Bipod
Wilkinson, a Gunsite instructor from Edgewood, NM, shot a two-day total of 290-10X for the Hunter Score, and his Light Gun Score total of 291-7X was the highest of any shooter in any class — most of whom were firing custom-built rifles from mechanical rests atop concrete benches. Wilkinson also placed fourth overall in the 2-Gun Aggregate, which factors both scores and average group sizes from both classes. Wilksonson’s score wins marks his third FCSA victory in the Hunter Class with his Steyr HS .50 since his first win in 2012, and this year he notched his first Light Gun Score World Title.

Walter Wilkinson .50 BMG fifty caliber FCSA Raton New Mexico Whittington Center Steyr HS .50

The Wicked Whittington Range at Raton
Nestled at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Whittington Center’s 1,000-yard range has notoriously tricky winds, especially in the afternoons. On the first day, Wilkinson shot on the afternoon relays. As usual, switching and swirling winds proved to be a formidable foe for all shooters. Wind coming from behind the shooters was switching from 4 O’clock to 8 O’clock and back again, often changing within seconds. Wilkinson was able to very quickly make wind judgments and adjust his hold accordingly. “I couldn’t do anything wrong,” Wilkinson said. “It was like every time the wind changed, I knew exactly where to hold, and the bullets just kept going where I wanted them to.

Walter Wilkinson FCSA .50 BMG fifty caliber

Walter Wilkinson FCSA .50 BMG fifty caliber
Photo courtesy Brett Berger.

Holding Off Right and Left for the Cycling Wind
“The highlights of the day were the last two strings of fire in Hunter Class during Relay 4″, Wilkinson explained. “I shot a 50-2X with a 9.8-inch group and a 49-2X with a 7.9-inch group. The Ten-Ring is right at 1.15 MOA, and when you keep them all in that, it says something about your rifle and your load. During both of those two strings, I changed from holding on the right side of the target to the left side during the string.”

Wilkinson’s .50 Delivered Quarter-MOA Groups During Load Testing
Wilkonson’ Steyr .50-Cal has always been an accurate rig. Back in 2012, when Wilkinson developing loads, the big rig showed outstanding accuracy: “As I was working up a load for the HS.50, I shot groups that amazed me. I was getting groups of 0.214 MOA at 220 yards, and I didn’t know what to think. All the bullets were going in the same hole, and it was like ‘Wow, I’ve really got a rifle that can shoot here’. That stunned Wilkinson: “With my [military] experience with the performance of the same .50 BMG cartridge overseas, I didn’t expect that kind of accuracy out of it.”

FCSA 50 caliber Fifty Cal world championships

Cost of Big-Bore Shooting
Is owning and shooting a 50 BMG caliber rifle expensive? Relatively speaking yes, but one must put it into perspective. Rifles may run from $2500 to $6000, maybe even more for a top of the line custom rifle. (Current MSRP for the Steyr H2 .50 is $5910.00). A premium long-range scope will set you back $1500 to $3000. And while excellent commercial ammo is available, it runs $3 to $5 per round! Most serious shooters start reloading for the rifle as soon as practical, not only for the economics of reloading but also for the ability to fine tune custom ammo for their specific rifle. It’s a very rare match that is won shooting commercial ammo.

*Wilkinson’s FCSA trophies state “Hunter Class Score World Champion” and “Light Class Score World Champion”. NOTE the FCSA also recognizes, for each class, a World Champion for Group size, AND a World Champion for combined Group and Score (Aggregate). Plus there are Championship Trophies for Two-Gun. This gets a little confusing. With other Disciplines there is only ONE World Champion per class, generally the competitor who has the best combination of Group Size and Score.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 1 Comment »
July 6th, 2018

2018 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) Highlights Report

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

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

King 2 miles 2018 raton new mexico

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

King 2 miles 2018 raton new mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

derek rodgers ko2m beast

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

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

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

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 11 Comments »
May 14th, 2018

Beast for the King — Reigning King of 2 Miles Gets .416 Barrett

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Current F-TR World Champion Derek Rodgers is also the reigning King of 2 Miles champ, so he knows something about Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting. While Derek won his KO2M title at Raton shooting the .375 CheyTac cartridge, Derek decided that something even bigger was in order. This season, Derek will be shooting a .416 Barrett. Last week we showcased his impressive .416 Barrett ammo, with massive Cutting Edge bullets.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Now we can show the Big Rig that will deliver those .416-caliber projectiles. This monster weighs 40+ pounds and sports a 40″ Bartlein barrel — more length for more velocity. Derek’s new ELR rifle features a McMillan Beast 2 stock, BAT EX action, and Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm scope. Derek explained why he moved up to a bigger caliber: “I built a new rifle with the anticipation of seeing impacts easier. It was not just a larger caliber being more effective on hitting ELR targets, but rather hoping that a missed shot would have a much larger impact. Impacts beyond a mile become harder to see due to terrain and vegetation. So any added dust or splash erupting from the earth is a decisive benefit over an equally-accurate smaller caliber.” Here is Derek’s full report on his new .416 Barrett rifle.

Derek Rodgers Campaigns a .416 Barrett

Report by Derek Rodgers
Cartridge Choice — I chose a standard .416 Barrett cartridge as it allows for bullets up to and slightly exceeding 550 grains. It really does bridge the gap between the .375 variants and a 50 BMG. There are several great solid ELR bullet options from manufactures like Cutting Edge that range from 475-550 grains. These offer a variety of extremely high BC options for barrels that have different twist rates. Most loads will utilize the slowest burn rate powders commercially available. Good options are Vihtavuori 20N29, RL50, H50BMG and other powders with a similar burn rate.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Shooting the .416 — Tamer than Expected
An initial observation is that the rifle is very controllable and feels much like a larger F-TR gun. The rifle weighs 40+ pounds, balanced and stays on target very well. The recoil is manageable and linear. This seems to give a straight rearward impulse that does not affect positioning. This allows for quick repositioning into battery and faster follow-up shots.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Rifle Details — BAT EX Action, Bartlein 40″ Barrel, McMillan Beast 2 Stock
Derek’s .416 Barrett ELR Rig features a BAT EX action with a Bix N’ Andy trigger. Out front is a gigantic 40” long, 1:9″-twist Bartlein barrel fitted with a Terminator T5 muzzle brake. The handsome McMillan Beast 2 stock combines a lower center of gravity design with a higher butt location. Given that high butt geometry, McMillan cleverly fitted the higher buttpad with a port allowing the cleaning rod to pass through (see photo below). On top is a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm scope in NF rings on a +60 MOA rail, with Holland 34mm bubble level. The stock is supported by a Phoenix bipod and rests in an Edgewood bag designed for the McMillan Xit F-TR stock.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Note the extended Buttpad height. That helps with recoil in prone position. This McMillan Beast 2 stock includes a pass-through hole for the cleaning rod.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Gunsmithing by Blake Barrel and Rifle in Arizona
Derek’s rifle was built and chambered by Bryan Blake of Blake Barrel and Rifle in Phoenix, Arizona. The chambering was done with a Manson Precision reamer. Derek explains: “Bryan and his family have been in the machine shop business for several generations and have the expertise and equipment to handle larger barrel diameters associated with F-Class to ELR type rigs. I tried to consider all angles and potential pitfalls that might occur during the building process. However, Bryan added his own touches to make the project his own. He truly created a work of art and supplied a turn-key rifle that is meticulously built from the inside out and looks as great as the tolerances it holds.”

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

.416 Barrett Derek Rodgers Action

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
May 13th, 2018

Trijicon 5-50x56mm Long Range Scope — New and Powerful

Trijicon 5-50x56 scope accupower March Nightforce 10 times zoom long range optic new

At the 2018 NRA Show in Dallas last week, Trijicon unveiled a notable new scope that should interest Benchrest shooters and Long-Range competitors. The all-new Trijicon AccuPower 5-50x56mm Long Range Scope offers an impressive ten times zoom range, plus an illuminated reticle. This RS50 Series Second Focal Plane scope with 34mm main tube is offered in both MOA and MIL systems. The MOA version features 1/8 MOA clicks plus a reticle with 1 MOA subtensions at 40X power. The MIL version has 1/20 Milrad click values and a ranging style reticle with wind hold dot system. Both MOA and MIL versions have a full 100 MOA of elevation travel.

New Trijicon 5-50x56mm Scope Revealed at NRA Show in Dallas:

Credit Erik Cortina for providing this video.

With a $2700 MSRP, we expect Trijicon’s new 5-50X scope to have a “street price” of about $2400. That lines up with the NightForce 15-55x52mm Competition, now priced at $2352.00 on Amazon.

CLICK HERE for Trijicon Brochure with Full 5-50x56mm Specs »

The new Trijicon 5-50x56mm (RS50 Series) scope boasts some nice features. Employing extra-low dispersion glass, the scope offers high light transmission with minimal chromatic aberration. The magnification control lever can be moved to two different positions to suit the operator. Both MOA and MIL reticle styles are illuminated with 5 red and 5 green user-selectable brightness settings.

We hope to get our hands on one of these new Trijicon 5-50X scopes soon for testing. We’ll let you know how it stacks up against other high-magnification zoom scopes, such as the Vortex 10-60x52mm Golden Eagle, the Nightforce 15-55x52mm, and the March 5-50x56mm.

Trijicon 5-50x56 scope accupower March Nightforce 10 times zoom long range optic new

Trijicon 5-50x56 scope accupower March Nightforce 10 times zoom long range optic new

Please note, along with this 5-50x56mm scope, Trijicon has also introduced a 4.5-30x56mm RS30 Series scope. This 4.5-30X optic will be offered in both First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane versions. SEE AccuPower Scope Brochure.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. Video and Trijicon Brochure from Erik Cortina.
Permalink New Product, News, Optics 4 Comments »
April 25th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

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

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

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

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

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

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

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

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

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

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

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

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

Permalink News, Tactical 2 Comments »
April 8th, 2018

David Tubb Builds ELR Adaptive Target Rifle for Chase Stroud

David Tubb Adaptive Target Trifle ELR World Record Chase Stroud

Shown above is David Tubb, the legendary 11-time National High Power Champion, posing with a very serious rifle used in the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game. David has jumped into the Extreme Long Range discipline in a very big way, producing a .375-caliber, long-barreled ELR version of his famous Tubb rifle, called the Adaptive Target Rifle (ATR). A version of this rifle, piloted by David’s son-in-law Nate Stallter, set the current ELR World Record in January 2018. See video below for a full report.

David Tubb Adaptive Target Trifle ELR World Record Chase Stroud

This video shows Team TUBB setting a new ELR World Record of 2011 Yards using the Tubb Adaptive Target Rifle in .375 CheyTac. Nate Stallter nailed three shots at over one mile — 1768 yards. Then Nate broke his own record, going 3 for 3 at 2011 yards. ELR Central hosted this match, held at the Front Sight gun range, Pahrump, NV on January 21, 2018.

David Tubb will Be Working with Chase Stroud
David has been working with Chase Stroud, a talented young Texan who has competed in tactical rifle competitions and worked with Team Applied Ballistics on ELR projects. Chase has long respected Tubb’s shooting ability as well as his design/engineering talent in developing successful rifle platforms, such as the ground-breaking Tubb 2000.

David Tubb Adaptive Target Trifle ELR World Record Chase Stroud

Recently, Chase had the opportunity to shoot long range with David Tubb. David crafted a left-hand ATR rifle for Chase who will be working with David in the future. Posting on Facebook, Stroud wrote:

“Growing up as a kid I taught myself to shoot long distance from David’s videos. David Tubb was my idol then and still is now. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would share the line with him much less get to represent his product in the long range community. A literal dream come true for me….

David Tubb Adaptive Target Trifle ELR World Record Chase Stroud

Yesterday we shot some video for the new Tubb ATR system. After pressing him for years he made me a [left-hand ATR] and it shot unreal using his absolute ammo. I thank you … David. It’s time to get some practice under my belt and start shooting again…”

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March 9th, 2018

March Releases New Genesis ELR Scope with 400 MOA Elevation

march genesis ELR 400 moa scope optic
CLICK HERE to see full screen version with much larger print. SEE BIG PHOTO.

March Scopes (from DEON in Japan) has unveiled a remarkable new riflescope, the likes of which has never been seen before. The new Genesis ELR Scope has more elevation travel than has ever been packed into a scope before — 400 Minutes of Angle. That’s four or even five times as much as most other optics. This will allow the Genesis to get you on target, with no special external mounts, at three miles with a .416 magnum cartridge*.

CLICK HERE for March Genesis 6-60x56mm Brochure PDF »

For other popular cartridges/calibers, this is the range you can shoot and still have sufficient elevation travel with the Genesis. This is with the built-in elevation alone, no need for adjustable mounts, tilting rails, or prism systems:

.224 Cal to 2450 yards** | .308 Win to 2950 yards | .338 Lapua Magnum to 4000 yards

Take a good look — we bet you’ve never seen anything like this before (Big PHOTO). The new Genesis was unveiled at the IWA trade show in Germany this morning. The video below shows the Genesis being unveiled by Mr. Fumio Shimizu of Deon Optics and UK/Euro Distributor Gary Costello. Thanks to Vince Bottomley of TargetShooter.co.uk for the report from IWA.


NOTE: Click the Speaker Icon to hear audio.

How Much? Global Price for the March Genesis isn’t finalized yet, but March USA just took the first order at $5000.00 USD, without accessories. March expects to start shipping in four (4) months.

Claimed to be effective up to three miles with popular large, magnum ELR cartridges, the New Genesis sets a new benchmark in the Optics field. This won’t be cheap — posting on Facebook, a March representative said the the price is “still to be determined” but will be “approximately $5000 to $6000″. One of our Forum members just placed the first order in North America, and was told the base price (without accessories) was $5000.00 plus $50.00 shipping.

march genesis ELR 400 moa scope optic

The All New March Genesis 6-60x50mm ELR Rifle Scope

The new March Genesis represents a revolution in scope technology/design — the dawn of a new era for ELR (extreme long range) shooting. The Genesis concept began in late 2016 when a group of world-class shooters asked for a scope that could be used effectively at ranges of two miles and beyond…

The chief engineers of DEON Optical Design took on the challenge and produced several prototype designs, tested extensively on three continents. Eventually DEON produced a truly ground-breaking optic — a new beginning in scope design.
 The Genesis ELR rifle scope offers up to 400 MOA of elevation, which will allow the shooter to shoot from 10 yards out to 3 miles*.

The unique design of the Genesis allows the shooter to always see through the central part of the lens, producing clarity, definition, and minimal chromatic aberration. This holds true even on 400 MOA! On other scopes, when the extremes of elevation are used, you won’t get the same performance — you may seen distortion and darkening. Also incorporated into Genesis is the proven DEON ‘High Master’ lens system — super ED lenses with high-refractive glass offering very high resolution and natural colour right to the edge of the image.


March Genesis 6-60x56mm Specifications:

– 400 MOA of total elevation travel with Zero-set feature (300 up, 100 down)
— 6-60X Power First Focal Plane (Highest FFP zoom ratio and magnification sold)
— 150 MOA of total windage travel (75 MOA left and right)
— 50 MOA per turn, 1/4 MOA clicks

— Wide-angle eyepiece with 25 degrees apparent field of view
— Eye relief 67-82mm and exit pupil 3.3mm at 6X to 0.93mm
 at 60X
— Six-step illumination module with on/off clicks
— Integral Picatinny mounting-points on the main frame.
— High Master ED lens system with 56mm objective.

— Side-Focus Parallax from 10 yards to infinity.
— FMA-MT MOA-based Reticle for ELR (MIL-based reticle coming later)
— 
Central gimble system and slider bearings with main frame (worldwide patents pending)

— Weight 1.5 Kg

_________
* March says there is 3 mile range with a “.416 Cheytac”. Well, there is a recognized .416 Barrett cartridge and a .408 Cheytac. March says the .416 Cheytac is a “special wildcat … developed due to licensing needs for Norway.”

** March lists “.224 Cal”. We assume this refers to the .223 Remington cartridge, but it could be something completely different, such as a 22 Nosler, or .224 Valkyrie.

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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)

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February 6th, 2018

Weakside Bolt Placement — The Competitive Advantages

left port McMillan Rifle

Most bolt-action rifle shooters work the bolt with their trigger-pulling hand. This is because most rifles sold to right-handed shooters come with right-side bolts, while “lefty” rifles come with left-side bolts. This “standard” configuration requires the shooter to take his dominant, trigger-pulling hand off the stock to cycle the bolt, then re-position his hand on the stock, and “re-claim” the trigger. Often the shooter must lift or move his head to work the bolt, and that also requires him to re-establish his cheek weld after each and every shot. Not good.

This really doesn’t make much sense for precision shooting with fore-end support*. There is a better way. If you leave your trigger hand in position and work the bolt (and feed rounds) with the opposite hand, then you don’t need to shift grip and head position with each shot. All this requires is a weakside-placed bolt, i.e. a left bolt for a right-handed shooter or a right bolt for a left-handed shooter. The video below shows a “Lefty” working a right bolt. Note how efficient this is:

As our friend Boyd Allen explains: “If you think about it, if you are going to work with a factory action where your options are left bolt and left port or right bolt and right port, and you are building a rifle that will only be shot from a rest, using the left/left for a RH shooter or using a right/right for a LH shooter works better than the conventional configuration”.

Shoot Like a Champ and Work the Bolt with Your Weakside Hand
Derek Rodgers, the current F-TR World Champion, the reigning King of 2 Miles, and the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up. Yep, Derek shoots right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. He pulls the trigger with his right index finger, while working the left-side bolt with his left (weakside) hand. This allows him to stay in position, and maintain his cheekweld. He places his right hand on the grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.

Current King of 2 Miles (and F-TR World Champion) Derek Rodgers
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

This is the rifle with which Derek won the 2013 F-TR National Championship.
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

*For true standing, off-hand shooting (whether in competition or on a hunt), a conventional strongside bolt placement makes sense, since the non-dominant arm must support the front of the rifle all the time. When shooting from bipod or rest, it’s a different story.

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