August 24th, 2015

Whittington Ultra-Long Range — Ringing Steel at 2100 Yards

Dustin Ellermann NRA Whittington Mile Shot Long Range

Many of us dream of taking and making a shot at one mile (1760 yards). Well Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann pushed the envelope even farther during a recent ultra-long-range session at the NRA’s Whittington Center in New Mexico. On his Facebook page, Dustin wrote: “I earned the ‘One Mile+ Shot’ mancard this week with 1MOA Solutions. We reached out to 2,100 yards with the Barrett M99 .50 BMG out in the hills of the Whittington Center. You can see the target area marked in the center of the photo. This is a locked-down mountain range, with 30,000 acres.”

Bullet flight time was 3.7 seconds, drop was 94 MOA, velocity at target was only 1,100 fps. The 7,500′ elevation and a 5 degree down-slope helped the ballistics. Dustin reports: “About six seconds after impact you would hear the ‘ding’.” [Editor’s note: Yes it really takes roughly six seconds for sound to travel 2100 yards. The speed of sound at 7500′ elevation* is 1053.61 fps, or roughly 351.20 yards per second. The distance-to-target of 2100 yards divided by 351.2 works out to a 5.98 second time delay.]

One of Dustin’s friends commented: “We rarely think about what the bullet does after it exits, but seeing the 60% drop in velocity [over the trajectory] and how long it was actually in flight (3.7 seconds) makes these types of shots so amazing! Congrats to you making the One Mile + club!”

Dustin Ellermann NRA Whittington Mile Shot Long Range

*This is with temperature corrected -30° F below standard at sea level.

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April 20th, 2015

Darrell Does 2500 Yards — With a .338 Allen Magnum

What cartridge would your chose to hit targets at long range … extremely long range, as in 2500 yards? Well, for ace competitive shooter Darrell Buell, the answer is the .338 Allen Magnum, a .408 Cheytac necked down to .338. This “super-sized” cartridge flings .338-caliber, 300-grain Berger Hybrid bullets at 3450 fps. That delivers some impressive ballistics at ultra-long range. Darrell got to “test-drive” a .338 Allen Magnum rifle at 2500 yards (1.42 miles) while teaching a Long-Range Seminar at the Legion Operator Training Group (OTG) Facility in Blakely, Georgia.* The rifle belonged to Christopher Sykes.

.338 Allen Cheytac Cheyenne Tactical long range shooting cartridge Kirby Allen Mile Shot

Shown below is the 338 Allen Magnum (AM) next to a .308 Winchester round loaded to an extremely long OAL. The .338 Allen Magnum is a wildcat based off the .408 Cheytac (Cheyenne Tactical) parent case. The cartridge’s inventor, Kirby Allen, states: “The .338 Allen Magnum, when loaded with a 300gr SMK, offers a legit 500 to 600 FPS velocity advantage over the 338 Lapua Magnum”.

.338 Allen Cheytac Cheyenne Tactical long range shooting cartridge Kirby Allen Mile Shot

Darrell says: “Yeah, it’s a beast [but] with that brake, it kicks less than my .308 competition rifle. It’s got more energy at 2500 yards than a .45 ACP has at the muzzle. The .338 Allen cartridges are standing next to the SEB Joy-pod, along with a standard .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge. With the excellent muzzle brake on the .338 Allen, I could spot my own hits with just the slightest twitch of the joystick. The rifle was not particularly heavy, consequently the pod would hold the crosshairs where you left them without a hand on the joystick.”

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tactical 8 Comments »
March 3rd, 2015

Texas Triumph: 3600-Yard Shot with .375 CheyTac

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

They say “things are bigger in Texas”. Well shots are longer too. In this video, a shooter successfully hits a 1-MOA target at 3600 yards with a .375 CheyTac rifle. That required plenty of elevation to compensate for the bullet’s drop over its 2.045 mile trajectory. The shooter, Jim Spinella of New Jersey, needed a whopping 60.2 Mils of elevation (26.8 in rail, 22.6 in turret, 10.8 hold-over). Jim had to wait a long time to confirm the hit — with the metal gong situated more than than 2 miles from the firing line, it took the bullet 7.2 seconds to hit the target.

Big 350gr Bullets with a Wicked BC
The 3600-yard hit was made with CheyTac factory ammo using 350gr CNC-turned bullets. Spinella was impressed: “The ammo chronographed out at 3080 fps with velocity differences at no more the 7 fps, which was outstanding. We found the true BC over 3600 yards to average 0.810 (G1)”.

NOTE: You see three shots in the video, but Spinella took many more before a hit was achieved: “We peppered the 2 MOA area around the target with a couple of dozen rounds. We hit the rack the target is hanging on twice. This was a fun experience, and we took a lot of data away from it. We put a lot of work and planning into this in order to be in position to be lucky. So many things are ridiculously magnified at that distance. Every 1 mph change in wind [moves the bullet] about 6 feet. As the barrel heats up the velocity changes with it [and] 10 fps velocity differences, shot to shot, are almost 5 feet.”

This ultra-long-range adventure took place last September at the FTW Ranch in Texas. Spinella worked with a team of experts from Hill Country Rifles, builders of the custom .375 CheyTac rifle, to achieve a 3600-yard shot on a 36” round steel target. Hitting a target at 2.045 miles is no mean feat. That 36″ gong represents slightly less than 1 MOA at that range. A lot can happen to send a bullet off target during a 7.2 second flight.

Rifle: Hill Country Rifles custom .375 Cheytac,
Stiller Precision action, 29″ Krieger barrel
Optics: Schmidt & Bender 5-25X56mm PM-2 scope
Actual Measured Distance: 3606.41 Yards
Target: 36″ circular steel plate

Altitude: 2000 feet
Temp: 70 degrees
Elevation: 60.2 mil
Windage: 3.5 mil left

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

CheyTac Caliber Comparison — .375 vs. .408
The shooter, Jim Spinella, prefers the .375 CheyTac to its .408-caliber Big Brother: “I shoot both the .408 and .375. Both are great ELR rounds and will get you out there a long way. In my experience, the .375 will get you out there a little bit further. My preference is the .375 Cheytac over the .408. This has nothing really to do with external ballistics. It has to do with fouling. My .408 will go from stellar accuracy to terrible between 40 and 45 rounds. It happens that quickly and accuracy returns after cleaning the barrel. I have never experienced this with the .375. After 100 rounds there is minimal copper fouling with the .375, but I clean around this round count. I don’t know why there is heavy cooper fouling in the .408, but it is common to this round and other shooters who shoot it regularly. That said, I lightly clean the .408 using Wipeout and go back to having fun with it after about 30 minutes.”

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