February 11th, 2018

Berger SW Nationals 2018 — Hail the Champions

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Today was the final day of the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Two 1000-yard individual matches were scheduled. But the weather gods did not cooperate. Sunday matches were cancelled due to high, gusty winds from the North-Northeast that made it very difficult to handle the large, wood target frames. With concern for the safety of pit workers, match organizers waited until 10:00 am, then canceled the matches. It was a disappointment for some, but all the competitors still enjoyed a great week at Ben Avery.

With the cancellation of Sunday matches, the three individual champions — Sling Division, F-TR, and F-Open have been decided based on the Friday and Saturday results. We congratulate the three new Champions: Bob Sebold (F-Open), Phillip Kelley Jr. (F-TR), and Allen Thomas (Sling).

Top Five Overall – F-Open
Bob Sebold, 843-49X
Keith Glasscock, 843-38X
Jay Christopherson, 841-45X
Stephen Potter, 841-37X
James Crofts, 841-34X
Top Five Overall – F-TR
Phillip Kelley Jr., 838-35X
Ellis Berry, 837-42X
Niklas Montin, 836-35X
Peter Johns, 835-36X
Edward Shelley, 832-33X
Top Five Overall – Sling
Allen Thomas, 844-37X
Oliver Milanovic, 843-45X
Trudie Fay, 842-32X
Nancy Tompkins, 840-43X
Angus McLeod, 840-43X

Team matches concluded yesterday, Saturday. In team competition, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden won the F-Open Division, while Team McMillan finished first in F-TR Division. In the Sling Division, Team USA National Hayes topped the field. Congratulations to the winning teams.

View Complete SWN Match Results on McMillan Facebook Page »

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Berger SW Nationals

Wicked Winds on Saturday Challenged Competitors
Saturday’s weather was not kind to shooters. Along with cloudy skies came wind — lots of it. The wind was veering, and gusty — with significant changes in velocity. It was hard to predict the cycles — if they could be called that. Erratic was more like it. Many shots were out in the 7 and 8 rings. One champion-level shooter told us: “That was ugly — I got my clock cleaned”. Another shooter said “I ran out of paper to hold off”. At one point, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden (LBB) waited over 30 minutes to take a shot, hoping to get into a steady condition. The patience paid off. Team LBB shooter Jay Christopherson’s final shot (after the long wait) was a 10.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Above is a view from a spotting scope during the 1000-Yard Team Match on Saturday. During the course of the day, there were many 7s and 8s showing on the targets. One competitor said “the wind was so bad, I was holding off the frame”.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Team Lapua/Brux/Berger shot great in tough conditions on Saturday to win the F-Open Team competition. Second from left is Jay Chistopherson, AccurateShooter.com’s System Administrator. When he’s not shooting, Jay works hard to keep our Shooter’s Forum and content sites running smoothly.

The team announced: “Team Lapua-Brux-Borden pulled off a major win today at Berger SW Natinols. Conditions were very challenging but our wind coach was able to keep up with the conditions. Our rifles shot very flat which allowed us to rack up points and Xs. We have a great team and amazing sponsors: Lapua, Brux Barrels, Borden Actions, Cerus Rifleworks. Team members: Jay Christopherson, Eric Cortina, Steve Harp, Tod Hendricks, Pat Scully, and Bob Sebold. Notably, Bob Sebold also won the 2018 Berger SWN Individual F-Open title, making him a double champion.

Eliseo Tubegun with Nightforce Competition scope. These versatile rifle chassis systems are produced by Competition Machine in Cottonwood, Arizona.
2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZ

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

There couldn’t be a match without the dedication of the folks who work the pits. At the Berger SWN, competitors did pit duty, ferried by trailers, and there were also some volunteers.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

They say behind every successful man is a good woman. Derek Rodgers, current F-TR World Champion, is no exception. His wife Hope Rodgers was on hand throughout the SWN to cheer on her husband.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

For many sling shooters, the Berger SWN is the second most important event of the year, right after the NRA Championships, held at Camp Perry (OH) and (now) Camp Atterbury (IN). Check out those patches.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Industry Report — Berger, Lapua and Capstone Precision Group

Last year Berger Bullets was acquired by the Nammo Lapua Group. Berger Bullets, along with Lapua Products, SK Ammo, and Vihtavuori Powder, are now distributed in the USA by the Capstone Precision Group. Berger will continue to offer its full line of bullets, plus Berger-branded Ammunition (formerly ABM Ammo). Likewise Lapua will continue to offer its superb caftridge brass, plus Lapua’s full line of bullets and loaded Ammunition. In this video, Capstone’s Director Bill Gravatt explains how Capstone is working to expand the availability of Lapua and Berger products. In addition, Eric Stecker explains how Berger Bullets can increase production significantly, now that Berger is operating in the large Nammo/Lapua facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Today is the last day of the Berger Southwest Nationals. After the cancellation of Sunday’s 1000-yard matches due to high winds, this year’s 2018 SWN concluded with the Award Presentations. We watched as scores of medals — along with heaps of cash and Berger bullets — were handed out. AccurateShooter.com also awarded prestigious Corinthian awards to Nancy Tompkins (Sling) and Rick Jensen (F-Class).

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Team McMillan was the top-performing F-TR squad at the Berger SW Nationals. The team includes many former members of the all-conquering Team Sinclair.

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

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February 13th, 2017

Berger Southwest Nationals — 2017 Match Wrap-Up

Berger SW Nationals Final Report Match Results

The 2017 Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) are now history. This was a great match, with extremely close competition, and record-setting scores. For the first few days, conditions were very mild. That allowed the “top guns” to shoot “cleans” and even set a few new National records. In individual competition, there were familiar faces among the Top Ten, but also some rising stars. In the F-Open and Sling team events, two new squads topped some of the experienced “all-star” teams. Overall it was a great match — one of the most tightly contested ever. Even with 400 competitors, everything ran smoothly. For those who attended the 2017 Berger SW Nationals, this has been a truly memorable week at Ben Avery. F-Open and F-TR Final Results Posted HERE.


This is our final Berger SW Nationals video for 2017, with interviews with the three class winners: John Whidden (Sling), David Gosnell (F-Open), Donald Erpenbach (F-TR).

Top Five Competitors in Each Class
SLING
John Whidden, 1248-84X
Adrian Harris, 1243-74X
Allen Thomas, 1242-65X
Justin Skaret, 1242-59X
Erik Rhode, 1241-59X
F-OPEN
David Gosnell, 1247-84X
Jay Christopherson, 1246-74X
Keith Glasscock, 1245-79X
Pat Scully, 1243-71X
Dan Bramley, 1243-70X
F-TR
Donald Erpenbach, 1230-53X
James Crofts, 1225-43X
Alan Barnhart, 1224-32X
Ian Klemm, 1222-55X
Bryan Litz, 1222-49X

Bryan Litz congratulates Sling winner John Whidden. John is reigning National Long Range Rifle Champion.
North by Southwest

Below are SWN F-Open Champion David Gosnell (left) and F-TR Winner Donald Erpenbach (right).
North by Southwest

Record-Setting Performances in 2017
This year Ben Avery conditions were very good — calm mornings, and little wind in the afternoons for the first three days. With the very calm Day 1-3 conditions, we witnessed some spectacular individual and team performances. Lester Bruno shot a brilliant 200-23X at 600 Yards, setting a new National record. Ian Klemm set a new 60-shot, 600-yard National record of 599-38X. The Cluster Ducks set a new National F-Open Team Record for 800/900/1000 yards with their 1789-100X Score. And the talented North-by-Southwest F-TR squad set both a National Record and an overall SWN match record.

The North-by-Southwest team won the 2017 SWN F-TR team event in fine fashion, setting new National and range records in the process.

North by Southwest

And here is Team Longshots, winner of the F-Open Team Title. Individual F-Open Champ David Gosnell is at far right. The winning Sling Team was Scotland Thistle.

North by Southwest

Forum Admin Finishes a Very Close Second in F-Open
Hats off to AccurateShooter.com’s very own Systems Admin, Jay Christopherson. A talented tech expert, Jay runs our web servers and manages our Forum software. His skills and dedication keep the Forum running smoothly, even as we approach 35,000 members. Jay shot a brilliant match at Ben Avery this week, finishing second in F-Open, just one point behind F-Open winner David Gosnell. We’re proud of Jay, and we want to recognize his achievement. It’s interesting to note that Jay shot the entire match with the new SEB Mini rest, and he was using a Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle scope. Here’s a short video of Jay shooting his .284 Win rifle on Saturday.

Berger SW Nationals Final Report Match Results

The show’s over — it’s time to pack up the gear and head on home. We’re already looking forward to the 2018 Berger SWN. See you next year!

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery

Big News for Berger Bullets

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery

Big news in the Industry is that Berger Bullets is becoming part of the Nammo Group, parent of Lapua, Vihtavuori, SK and other companies. This major acquisition will combine Nammo’s resources and advanced engineering with Berger’s match-winning bullet designs and strong focus on competition. Yes, you can expect to see factory-loaded ammunition with Berger projectiles and premium Lapua brass. To learn more about the big Berger/Nammo deal, watch this interview with Berger President Erik Stecker.

Eric Stecker, Berger’s President, says the exact timing of the move has not yet been set, nor has the location been chosen. Arizona is high on the list of potential sites, but Berger is considering other states as well. Once the new factory location is determined, Eric says he expects the move to be completed “by December 2018 at the latest”.

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January 5th, 2017

Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group — How This Benefits Shooters

Berger Joins Nammo group Lapua Vihtavuori

Berger Bullets is becoming part of the Nammo Group, joining Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK Ammo. This is big news, as it combines one of America’s leading bullet-makers with a major global enterprise that produces superior loaded ammunition, powder, bullets, and brass. This is potentially a boon for shooters as Nammo’s resources will help Berger increase production capacity, expand its line of products (including loaded ammunition), develop new bullet types, and invest in new, advanced machinery that should increase output and efficiency. In addition, we do expect to see new lines of loaded ammo combining Lapua brass with Berger match bullets. That combo will be tough to beat. Overall, this is a very positive development for Berger which will be able to call upon Nammo’s engineering expertise and advanced production technologies. It’s also a great thing for shooters, who can expect improved availability of the most popular Berger projectiles.

Berger Joins Nammo group Lapua VihtavuoriBerger Will Be Leaving California
As part of the acquisition of Berger Bullets by the Nammo Group, Berger plans to relocate its operations, moving its factory from the current Fullerton, California location. Berger will definitely be leaving California in the future.

Eric Stecker, Berger’s President, says the exact timing of the move has not yet been set, nor has the location been chosen. Arizona is high on the list of potential sites, but Berger is considering other states as well. Once the new factory location is determined, Eric says he expects the move to be completed “by December 2018 at the latest”.

In this exclusive AccurateShooter.com interview, Berger President Eric Stecker talks about Nammo’s acquisition of Berger Bullets and explains how that will bring about important positive changes, including increased production capability.

Notice from Berger Bullets

We take great pride and tremendous pleasure in announcing that Berger Bullets has joined forces with the Nammo Group. This Norwegian/Finnish corporation control many premium brands including Lapua (Brass, Bullets, Ammo), Vihtavuori Powder, and SK Rimfire Ammunition.

The joining of Berger Bullets with these world renowned, premium brands ushers in a new era of quality, performance and product availability for the discerning shooter. Today, under the Nammo Group ownership, we join three other companies that share a strong passion and commitment to precision shooting performance. We are very excited to join forces with these premium quality brands, which are committed to precision and quality.

Nammo Resources Will Help Berger Grow
The Nammo Group brings to Berger Bullets a level of support that is rivaled by few and bested by none. Nammo will support us in many areas including production capability expansion, advanced engineering, innovative product development, and the opportunity to share technology between all of these top quality brands.

Our immediate goal is to significantly improve the availability of Berger products. Throughout our history the demand for Berger Bullets has exceeded our capacity even as we’ve grown our output capabilities numerous multiples over the last few decades. Our first obligation to our customers is to improve the availability while we remain committed to our highest level of quality in the industry. Much of what has made Berger Bullets successful will remain unchanged. Bryan Litz is developing more great bullets for Berger and our technicians will still be answering your emails and calls.

Our website will remain at www.BergerBullets.com and all methods of contacts will remain the same for now. As we run across any changes, we’ll make sure we keep you updated on our website and through emails. So please, keep your information current on your email subscription and we promise to keep you posted.

Berger Joins Nammo group Lapua Vihtavuori

The Nammo Group, www.Nammo.com, supplies high performance products to the aerospace & defense industry. Its core businesses are military and commercial ammunition; shoulder-fired systems; rocket motors; and demilitarization services. Nammo has 2,100 employees located in 12 countries.
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December 2nd, 2015

Applied Ballistics Hosts First-Ever Ballistics Seminar

Applied Ballistics Seminar Michigan Bryan Litz Eric Stecker Shooting Class

Applied Ballistics LLC will offer its first-ever Ballistics Seminar early next year in Tustin, Michigan. This two-day seminar will feature Ballistician Bryan Litz and other experts including Eric Stecker, President of Berger Bullets, and Ray Gross, Captain of the U.S. F-TR Rifle Team. Bryan, the primary speaker, will present material from his books, the Applied Ballistics Lab, and his experience shooting in various disciplines. Bryan recently won both the Mid-Range and Long-Range F-TR National Championships. Bryan will be assisted by Nick Vitalbo, Owner of nVisti Tactical Innovations and lead engineer for Applied Ballistics. The seminar, held February 29 through March 1, 2016, will include classroom sessions followed by live fire demonstrations with sophisticated instrumentation.

Ballistics Seminar Topics

  • Trajectory Basics – zeroing, point blank range, danger space, incline shooting.
  • Wind – Mechanism of wind deflection, reading the wind, wind strategies, wind sensing gear.
  • Secondary Effects – Spin drift, Coriolis, aerodynamic jump.
  • Bullet Drag Modeling/Ballistic Coefficient – Definitions, testing, use.
  • Bullet Stability – Basic gyroscopic stability, transonic stability, limit cycle yaw.
  • Ballistic Solvers – How they work, best practices, demos.
  • Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) Analysis – How to determine and improve hit percentage.
  • Optics and Laser Technology — State of the Art.

The seminar costs $500.00. But consider this — each seminar participant will receive the entire library of Applied Ballistics books and DVDs, valued at $234.75, PLUS a free copy of Applied Ballistics Analytics software, valued at $200.00. So you will be getting nearly $435.00 worth of books, DVDs, and software. In addition, a DVD of the seminar will be mailed to each attendee after the seminar concludes.

Bryan Litz explains: “Subjects will be introduced from an academic-first, principles perspective. Once the scientific basis for the material is established, the ideas are further demonstrated with examples from instrumented live fire. We explain the science, and then present examples of the principles in action. You’ll leave with an understanding of the subject matter, as well as a knowledge of how to apply it in the real world.” To learn more about the Ballistics Seminar, read this AccurateShooter Forum Thread.

Early Bird Special — Save $100.00
If you register before the end of December, 2015, you’ll receive $100.00 off the regular $500 registration fee. This $400.00 Early Bird Special price can be secured by registering through the Applied Ballistics online store.

Applied Ballistics Seminar Michigan Bryan Litz Eric Stecker Shooting Class

The two-day seminar will be held at the Kettunen Center in Tustin Michigan. Lodging costs range from $115-$240 (all-inclusive). This price includes three meals each day, and starts at 3:00 pm the day before the seminar, and goes to breakfast the morning after the seminar concludes. Contact the Kettunen Center directly to reserve accommodations.

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February 13th, 2015

Team Match at Berger Southwest Nationals

Thursday at the Berger Southwest Nationals was Team Match day. Teams of sling shooters as well as F-TR and F-Open marksmen competed at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Conditions on Thursday (Feb. 12) were much better than on Wednesday (Feb. 11) when strong, fish-tailing winds created big problems for the shooters. For the Thursday Team Match, the winds were variable, but generally the mirage was a good indicator of speed, and the flags were showing the angles. The wind coaches for the teams told us that the conditions “were quite readable”.

Here is AccurateShooter.com’s video wrap-up of the Team Match on Thursday. F-TR shooters should watch carefully — Ray Gross, captain of the F-TR USA Team. talks about the latest equipment used by the top shooters. In addition, Ray announced a Team Try-Out Session on Monday February 16, 2015.

In team competition, the shooter relies on his coach and spotter.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

This could be the most beautiful F-Open rifle we’ve ever seen. Look at the figure in that wood.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Nancy Tompkins dials wind for Anette Wachter (aka “30 Cal Gal”).
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Matt Schwartzkopf excels despite lacking two lower legs. He works as a range manager at Ben Avery.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Tube-gun chassis-maker Gary Eliseo shot in the Sling Division. His company, Competition Machine, is now based in Cottonwood, Arizona.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Dan Polabel’s F-TR Rifle with Flex Bipod.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

Walt Berger enjoyed the Team Match. “Seems like the wind’s a bit better today” he joked.
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

It was just a warm, beautiful day at Ben Avery….
Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Walt Berger

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September 17th, 2012

Berger Releases SAAMI-Compliant ‘Classic Hunter’ Hybrids

Berger Classic Hybrid Hunting BulletsBerger Bullets has announced a new series of “Classic Hunter” Hybrid bullets designed to fit and feed in magazines and perform well in barrels with SAAMI standard chambers. Berger’s Eric Stecker explains: “For the first time in Berger’s history we’ve purposefully designed Hybrid-shaped hunting bullets that comply with the restrictive dimensional standards set by SAAMI. We did this so that hunters can shoot ammo loaded with Berger Hunting bullets in their factory rifles while feeding through a magazine.”

Berger came up with a new hunting bullet design because SAAMI standard dimensions significantly limit the length of the nose (negatively affecting external ballistics performance) in two ways. First, the length from the end of the neck to the tip of the bullet of SAAMI standard ammo is typically so short that to make an ogive that will allow bearing surface to be forward of the neck it must be blunt and therefore have a low BC. The other way SAAMI limits nose length is by specifying longer throat lengths than are optimal. Stecker notes: “When you have a long throat, the nose can’t be too long or the jump to the rifling is considerable. This is typically bad for precision and accuracy. So what you end up with is stubby nose bullets with low BC and poor external ballistics performance.”

To overcome SAAMI-imposed design contraints, Berger’s Bryan Litz designed Hybrid hunting bullets with noses short enough to conform to SAAMI dimensional standards. These bullets should be popular among those who hunt with factory rifles and feed their ammo through a magazine. The bullets use a dual-curve ogive design. As you move forward along the bearing surface, the ogive curve starts as a tangent tangent curve (which is forgiving of seating depth). As you continue forward on the nose the tangent curve transitions into a secant curve. Secant ogives are known to be more efficient in the wind (VLD bullets are pure secant ogives).

Berger Classic Hunting HybridWhen you combine these two shapes you get the best of both worlds (less sensitivity to seating depth differences and improved external ballistics performance). Since these new Berger Classic Hunter bullets must have a nose length that is short enough to comply with SAAMI standards we get the most external ballistics performance possible by making the nose with Bryan’s Hybrid design.

Eric Stecker is enthusiastic about the new Hybrid Hunting Bullets: “We know that this bullet design works [well] because we tested it not only in media but also on game. I took these bullets with me to New Zealand to test them on several animals of various sizes and at various ranges. I know from firsthand experience that hunters who try this bullet in the field will be happy that they did.”

Berger Classic Hunting Hybrid

Berger Classic Hunting Hybrid

Product Tip by EdLongrange. Product Photos by Robert Whitley, 6mmAR.com.
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August 28th, 2012

Berger Bullets Reloading Manual Officially Released

Berger 2012 Reloading ManualBerger Bullets just announced the completion of the first-ever Berger Bullets Reloading Manual (1st Ed.). This $29.00, 829-page manual will be available to the public starting in October, 2012. Eric Stecker notes: “Our team worked very hard to create a thorough manual which gives the shooter everything they come to expect from a reloading manual, along with several extra items we hope the shooters will find interesting and useful. We spent a considerable amount of time putting together loads for seventy-one different cartridges. The majority of powders used to develop the loads for each cartridge were selected due to the fact that they result in 90% or higher fill ratio. It is generally believed that powders which have a fill ratio over 90% will perform best in a given case, since the powder will not be moving around as much in the case.”

The new Berger Manual includes many informative technical articles. Noted Editor John Barsness tackles the subject of Lot to Lot Powder Variations with skill and experience. He provides the shooter with a much greater understanding of why loading manuals do not list the same loads from manual to manual, yet are more consistent than shooters might think. Other technical sections written by Ballistician Bryan Litz include: G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients, Form Factor: A Useful Analysis Tool, and The Effects of Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) and Cartridge Base to Ogive (CBTO).

With new rifle shooters in mind, the manual also spotlights ten different types of rifle-shooting activities, each explained by an expert in that discipline/activity. Among these ten activity-focus segments, Short Range Benchrest is covered by Walt Berger, High Power and Across the Course Competition is explained by Sherri Jo Gallagher, while Nancy Tompkins wrote the Palma, Long Range & Fullbore segment. Precision Hunting is covered by John Burns.

Berger Reloading ManualThere are several other informational sections that will enhance readers’ understanding of reloading techniques and the shooting sports. This includes everything from Handloading Basics for new and novice shooters, to an article on Statistics for Handloading for more advanced shooters looking to better understand their work processes and thereby improve their results on the target.

Another interesting feature in the Manual is a profile of company founder Walt Berger. This segment, tracking back to 1920s and 1930s, explains how Walt overcame great odds and built a successful enterprise when almost everyone around him was convinced he would fail.

Overall, this book represents a massive amount of work by numerous individuals over many years. Eric Stecker explains: “One of the reasons it took so long to complete this manual is because we wanted to include as much good information as we could provide. It is my opinion that we have succeeded in this effort and I am proud that we are ready to provide a quality loading manual which will help rifle shooters at all levels.”

Collector-Edition Signed Copies Available for Pre-Order
The retail price is $29.00. Berger is accepting pre-orders for the Reloading Manuals, which will begin shipping in October. The first 3,000 manuals have been signed by Walt Berger, Eric Stecker, Bryan Litz and Michelle Gallagher. Bryan Litz tells us: “Walt, Eric, Michelle and I spent many hours last week signing 3,000 copies of the book. We went through many boxes of Sharpies… it was quite the task!” To place an advance book order, call 714-447-5422 or CLICK HERE for Berger’s Online Shopping Cart.

Berger Bullets Reloading Manual

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February 28th, 2012

Berger’s New 6mm "Column" Bullet for Short-Range Benchrest

Berger Bullets has released a new 6mm (.243 caliber) bullet for short-range (100-300 yards) benchrest applications. The new bullet (shown below right), is called the “6mm BR Column”. This name does not mean the bullet is designed just for the 6mm BR cartridge. Rather it is designed for all 6mm short-range benchrest (BR) rifles, most of which are 6 PPCs (for group shooting at least). The “Column” in the name comes from the fact that Berger has optimized the height of the lead core column inside the bullet. Testing revealed that bullets which had very uniform core column heights shot more accurately and were also easier to tune. Does the new “Column” bullet work? Well, noted benchrest shooter Lou Murdica has already used them to win a Two Gun Agg in Florida against “big name” competition. Thankfully, you won’t have to wait long to try these bullets out — Berger says the new 6mm BR ‘Column’ projectiles will be available in mid-March, 2012. Call Berger at (714) 447-5422 to order.

Berger 6mm BR column bullet

Bullet Characteristics — Accurate and Easy to Tune
Berger’s Ballistician and lead bullet designer Bryan Litz says this new ‘Column’ bullet should be less sensitive to seating depth: “We worked very hard to produce a bullet that has a wider ‘tuning window’ for peak accuracy. This means there may be several seating depths where it shoots well. We also expect that it can shoot well at different speed nodes, but this will be dependent on your barrel.” The estimated G1 BC for these bullets is 0.277. The meplat is 0.062″, typical of benchrest bullets in this weight class. There is a small pressure ring in the bullet. Recommended twist rate is 1:13.5″ but the bullet should stabilize in a 1:14″ twist-rate barrel.

Berger’s Eric Stecker tells us: “There have been benchrest bullets in the past which were well-known for achieving consistently small groups over a wide tune range in many rifles and loads. One example of this was the Euber bullet. The seemingly ‘magical’ performance of these bullets has been attributed to special dies, stars aligning, owl feathers, or some other unknown influence. However, Bryan Litz has found that there are specific mass balance and aerodynamic properties which allow a bullet to mitigate dispersion and shoot precisely over a wide range of imperfect launch dynamics.”

Dispersion Mitigation in Bullet Design — Bryan Litz Explains
Bryan LitzThe science of dispersion-mitigating bullets is understood, but until now, no one has ever deliberately designed a bullet that has these specific attributes. There have been other bullets which have accidentally achieved the partial effect and the resulting bullets became very well known. Three key things are required to develop an effective dispersion-mitigating bullet:

1. The knowledge required to design a dispersion mitigating bullet.  
2. A bullet-maker with the ability to fabricate the design precisely.
3. The means by which to test the bullets extensively to determine optimal configuration.

Berger’s 6mm ‘Column’ bullet is specifically designed to mitigate the component of dispersion related to alignment. Variables related to bullet/bore axis alignment include tight necks, turning necks, bullet jump, chamber concentricity, powder charge, and so on. These are all variables which will be less critical for the new Berger 6mm ‘Column’ bullet.

To be realistic, these new bullets only mitigate dispersion effects related to axis alignment, NOT aiming error, wind deflection, or poor shooting.

Four Years of Prototype Testing
Yields Superior Bullet Design

Using his knowledge of design factors that mitigate (reduce) dispersion, Berger’s bullet designer Bryan Litz went to work creating a bullet design that had a wide, forgiving tune range. This means that the bullet shoots well with a wide variety of loads and seating depths. Bryan came up with three different shapes. Then for each of these three bullet profiles, Berger tested three different core column heights to identify the truly optimal design. Over the next four years, Lou Murdica shot thousands of test rounds in the data capture phase of the project. When testing concluded, one bullet proved to be head and shoulders above the others in its ability to shoot well at the widest variety of loads and seating depths.

The prototype bullet design that shot best in Berger’s tests has entered production as the new Berger 6mm BR ‘Column’. You’ll notice that there is no listed weight. Berger doesn’t list weight because Berger learned that the bullet’s mass is not as important as the overall balance of the bullet, which is achieved with a specific internal lead column height. Due to slight variations in copper and lead material batches, one lot may weigh 64.8 gr while another lot might weigh 65.1 grains or 64.6 grains. Berger says: “So long as the column of lead is the correct height to achieve the desired balance” the bullets should perform, no matter what the average weight of a given lot of ‘Column’ bullets may be. That said, when loading for a match, you’ll want to load all your ammo with bullets from the same lot.

Berger is now accepting orders for the new 6mm BR ‘Column’ bullets. The first lots should be available around March 16, 2012. Call Berger at (714) 447-5422 for pricing info or to place an order.

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