October 10th, 2018

Shooting Superstars Go Antelope Hunting in New Mexico

Derek Rodgers Paul Phillips Kelly McMillan fiberglass stock hunting hunt hunter antelope New Mexico .338 Lapua .308 Win
The Three Amigos in New Mexico (L to R): Kelly McMillan, Paul Phillips, Derek Rodgers.

This isn’t your typical hunting story, because these aren’t your typical hunters. Derek Rodgers is the current F-TR World Champion, and past King of Two Miles. Paul Phillips was a member of the Silver Medal-winning F-TR Team McMillan at the 2018 Nationals. Paul also shoots with Team Applied Ballistics in ELR competition. The third hunter, Kelly McMillan, needs no introduction. The respected owner of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Kelly has been a leading figure in the gun industry for years. He also supports many top rifle shooting teams.

Derek Rodgers Paul Phillips Kelly McMillan fiberglass stock hunting hunt hunter antelope New Mexico .338 Lapua .308 Win

This talented trio recently got together for a very successful hunt in New Mexico, Derek’s home turf. All three men bagged an impressive Antelope, with Paul Phillips dropping the biggest buck of all. Derek made the longest shot, hitting his buck at an impressive 510 yards, verified by laser rangefinder.

Paul Phillips posted: “Our New Mexico Antelope hunt with Kelly McMillan and Derek Rodgers was a success. To hunt with these two icons was definitely on my bucket list. I shot my buck at 389 yards in an 18-mph wind through a barbed wire fence. It may be a possible Boone and Crockett trophy buck, measuring 84 3/8 inches.”

Derek nailed his Antelope at 510 yards with a .308 Win fitted with a GSL Technology suppressor. As dusk approached, despite blustery wind and rain, Kelly dropped the third Antelope with a great 230-yard shot from a broken tree crotch. Paul noted: “All three bucks had their own challenges and funny story. All three hunts required team work with stalking, communication. For all three shots we used Applied Ballistics LLC solutions with our Kestrels for data.” The three men used all top-quality products including McMillan stocks, Bartlein barrels, Stiller actions, Berger bullets, and Nightforce scopes.

Derek Rodgers Paul Phillips Kelly McMillan fiberglass stock hunting hunt hunter antelope New Mexico .338 Lapua .308 Win

Derek Rodgers Paul Phillips Kelly McMillan fiberglass stock hunting hunt hunter antelope New Mexico .338 Lapua .308 Win

For long-range hunting you need to have your drops absolutely “spot-on”. Paul posted: “When you do a 30-45 minute stalk… you need to have all your ballistics perfect or they get away. We were glad that we had a practice day before the hunt to confirm our zeros and verify our ballistics.”

Derek Rodgers Paul Phillips Kelly McMillan fiberglass stock hunting hunt hunter antelope New Mexico .338 Lapua .308 Win

Kelly notes: “Paul Phillips scored this nice 80+” buck in New Mexico. It was Paul’s first antelope.” The .338 LM rifle featured a Stiller TAC338 action, Bartlein 20″ barrel, McMillan A5 Stock, and Nightforce ATACR scope. In the Facebook video, Paul talks about making the shot, directly into the wind.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting No 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 »
January 22nd, 2018

First ELR Central Long Range Record Match in Nevada

ELR Long Range Record Match Pahrump Nevada Front Sight

On 1/21/18, new World Records were set under ELR Central rules for verified, consecutive three-shot string without sighters. Competitors started from cold bore, no sighters or ranging shots allowed. That’s a tough standard. In fact the first 12 shooters failed to put three shots on target at 1500 yards before Paul Phillips took his turn. Paul, Lucky number 13, placed all three of his shots on the 36″ x 36″ plate, claiming a first-ever record. Later that afternoon, John Armstrong duplicated that feat, also putting three shots on target at 1500 with no sighters.

Nate .375 CheyTac Tubb Rifle Stallter ELR record

But the best performances of all came later. Nate Stallter, shooting a .375 CheyTac, nailed his three shots at over one mile — 1768 yards. But it gets better — Nate broke his own record later in the afternoon, going 3 for 3 at 2011 yards.

David Tubb posted: “Congratulations to my son-in-law, Nate. Today he won the ELR Central World Record competition. This competition allows two separate attempts (spaced four hours apart) and consists of three cold bore shots each time. He took 3 shots and had 3 hits at 1768 yards in the morning and then beat his own record in the afternoon with 3 shots and 3 hits at 2011 yards after the wind had become trickier.”

Stallter used the new Tubb Adaptive Target Rifle (Tubb Gun) with a Dynamic Targeting Reticle and Tubb T7T two-stage trigger. He was shooting the .375 Cheytac with a 364gr Warner flatline bullet that has a patent pending Nose Ring modification in a Schneider 1:7″ twist barrel. Three of the Tubb Rifles are shown below. Note the long barrels.

ELR World Record Nate Statler 2011 yards 1768 yards one mile Tubb Gun Warner Bullet .375 CheyTac

As we explained, this was a tough challenge. Competitors started with a cold bore, with no sighters alowed — that makes it especially tough.

Watch this video to hear the record-setting shooters describe their equipment — chambering, action, stock, barrel, bipod, and optics. No the video is not sideways! Nearly all this video is correct, horizontal orientation. Click triangle to start correct format.

None of the competitors had shot these kind of distances at this facility, the Front Sight Firearms Training Center in Pahrump, Nevada. And the “no sighters” rule really added to the difficulty — witness the fact that the first 12 shooters failed to put three consecutive hits on a square yard of steel at 1500. Here are the three record-setting shooters:

1. Paul Phillips, 1500 yards (first record) | 2. John Armstrong, 1500 yards (tied record)

3. Nate Stallter, 1768 yards (new record) | 4. Nate Stallter, 2011 Yards (World Record)

Those who understand the challenge were impressed …

Andy McNeill observed: “I’ve shot targets further too, but I didn’t go 3 for 3 with no sighters. These hit cold bore and then two consecutive follow-up shots at specific target sizes. This is what a record should be. Not I hit a target at X distance once after slinging lead at it all day.”

Jacob Scobell liked the match format: “Love that this is intentional, consecutive impacts with a fixed size target and not just a statistical probability of hitting the broad side of a barn with unlimited shots. Excellent to see a standard being set.

Now will all of these other supposed ‘world record holders’ step up and enter this competition? Sure some guy who can impact upon demand beyond 4000 yards would cake walk this right? A registered event with multiple shooters means put up or shut up.”

Permalink Competition, News 12 Comments »
December 15th, 2017

ELR Central Establishes Extreme Long Range Record Standards

Extreme Long Range ELR Central competition World Record Nevada January 2018

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

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

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

CLICK HERE for ELR World Record Competition Rules »

Extreme Long Range ELR Central competition World Record Nevada January 2018


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

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

Extreme Long Range ELR Central competition World Record Nevada January 2018

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

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

Paul Phillips elr barreled action

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

Derek Rodgers K02M king two miles Raton .375 Cheytac

Permalink News 16 Comments »
July 23rd, 2017

First-Ever NRA Extreme Long Range One-Mile Match

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell
Photos by Sheri Judd. See more on Sheri’s Facebook Page.

The first-ever NRA Extreme Long Range (ELR) Match took place this past week at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. Also labeled the “One-Mile Match”, this inaugural event ran as a side-match between the NRA’s Mid Range and Long Range Championships at Atterbury. The event drew many of the nation’s top marksmen, including multi-time National High Power and LR Champion David Tubb, recent F-TR National Champion Bryan Litz, and 2016 KO2M winner Mitchell Fitzpatrick.

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

It was a tightly-fought match. Showing exceptional skills (along with great rifles and ultra-accurate ammo), both Corbin Shell and Team Applied Ballistics’ Mitchell Fitzpatrick were perfect for 15 shots — making every shot at 1400, then 1575, and finally 1788 yards (1.016 miles). With the score tied, a 1000-yard target center (bullseye) was set on a target backer at 1988 yards (1.13 miles). Mitchell hit the target, but sadly Corbin had his first miss of the match. With that 1988-yard hit, Mitchell went down in the history books as the first-ever NRA ELR Champion. Winning at Extreme Long Range is nothing new for Mitchell, who was the winner of last year’s King of 2 Miles match in Raton, NM.

Mitchel posted: “We pulled off the win by shooting clean, never missing a shot! It was a great event and I look forward to competing in the coming years. They are trying to extend the facility to make it a 2400-yard match. With the NRA having such a rich competitive shooting history… I am beyond honored to have won the inaugural NRA ELR match. As ELR grows … it will be awesome to look back and know we were in at the ground level. Also, it should be noted that my extractor broke on the second shot at 1788 yards, and I ended up having to fire the last thre shots while extracting my cases with a cleaning rod from the muzzle end…”

Overall Standings NRA ELR One-Mile Match
1. Mitchell Fitzpatrick
2. Corbin Shell
3. Randy Pike
4. Paul Phillips
5. Dan Pohlabel
6. M. White
7. Rusty Phillips
8. Kent Reeve
9. Bryan Litz
10. David Tubb

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Corbin’s Big Rig Built for Extreme Long Range
Runner-Up Corbin Shell was shooting his impressive .338 Lapua Magnum Improved barrel-block rifle, originally built for the KO2M event. It performed superbly in Indiana. This rifle was showcased here on AccurateShooter last month. READ Corbin Shell .338 LM Story.

Corbin Shell .338 Lapua Magnum LM improved

Corbin Shell .338 Lapua Magnum LM improved

ELR TECH — Confirming Hits at a Mile (and Beyond)
Confirming hits at extreme yardages is a challenge. With a conventional spotting scope you can see a target swinging but it is very difficult to see actual impact at extreme ranges. For this match, wireless remote TV cameras were placed near each of the targets down range. These fed video signals to monitors and tablet computers, allowing scorers to confirm hits on steel. In addition to the Targetvision target cam systems, GSL Technology had a drone to get aerial footage and augment streaming video coverage on Facebook. Sheri Judd, NRA ELR Match Manager, also captured some great still images of the event, including the images you see in this article.

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Like Father, Like Son — Rusty and Paul Phillips

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

The NRA ELR match was a family affair for the Phillips clan. Paul Phillips shot with his father Rusty. The elder Phillips, at the ripe young age of 80, had multiple hits at one mile, earning his official “One Mile Club Certificate”. You can see Rusty shooting in the video below. Paul says: “I had a great day shooting with my dad at the inaugural NRA ELR match. My dad went four for five at 1 mile (1788 yards) on a 36″ plate and earned his One Mile Club membership. This was his first competitive match ever shot at 80 years old and he finished 7th overall! Bryan Litz and myself help keep him centered up.” Paul and his father Rusty used GSL .375 Lethal Mag Copperhead Suppressor and the .338 Lapua Copperhead.

Rusty Phillips, at 80 years, shot 4 for 5 at 1788 yards (1.016 miles) to earn his One Mile Club Certificate. Congratulations Rusty!

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 8 Comments »
June 6th, 2017

Extreme Long Range Training — Rockin’ Two Miles at Raton

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

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

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

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

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

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

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

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

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

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

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

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

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 11 Comments »
March 5th, 2017

Big Boomer Load Dev — .375 Caliber 400 Grainers at 3290 FPS

.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics
Serious ammo — .375 Lethal Magnum rounds loaded with 400gr Cutting Edge Lazer bullets. One wag posted “They look like SCUD missiles.”

In the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game, great ballistics are paramount, but you also need excellent accuracy. The top ELR shooters campaign large-caliber rifles that boast truly remarkable accuracy, considering the massive cartridges they’re shooting (with 160+ grains of powder). These big boomers, such as the .375 Lethal Magnum shown above, can really hammer.

The winner of the 2016 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event was Mitchell Fitzpatrick, shooting a .375 Lethal Mag cartridge, as part of Team Applied Ballistics. Another member of that squad, Paul Phillips, is also campaigning a new rifle chambered for the .375 Lethal Magnum. Paul was recently doing load development for his new beast, which features a McMillan stock, Nightforce scope, and Phoenix Bipod. Among his barrels for this rig is a massive, 38″-long Bartlein.

.375 lethal magnum

“I had a great time today doing load development at Applied Ballistics LLC laboratory with Bryan Litz, Bill Litz, and Mitchell Fitzpatrick. I was testing loads for my .375 Lethal Mag built by Lethal Precision Arms LLC. The last several test groups were sub half-min at 300 yards. Next testing is at 1800 yards.” — Paul Phillips

For this test, Paul’s load featured 400gr Cutting Edge Lazer bullets launched at a blistering 3290 FPS with Hodgdon H50BMG powder. Looks like Paul got his load dialed in “good and proper”. He fired a 0.9″ group at 300 yards, and the Oehler System 88 chronograph showed a very low Extreme Spread (ES) of just 5 FPS. That’s impressive even for just three shots.

A little snow on the ground can’t stop the Applied Ballistics testing team…
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Look carefully and you’ll find the powder charge weight — a bit more than you’d load in a 6PPC…
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Bryan Litz inspects the .375-caliber barrel with bore-scope.
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 7 Comments »
October 12th, 2016

Paul Phillips’ Really Big Rifle for Really Long Range…

.375 Cheytac Bartlein KO2M ELR Extreme long range Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips Reports:

“Here is a sneak peak of my new barreled action for ELR. Compliments of Lethal Precision Arms. This Bartlein barrel is chambered in .375 Lethal Magnum. This massive cartridge will be launching the 405 grain Berger solids with a BC of 1.09 @ 3200+ FPS. The 38″ barrel is screwed on to a two-inch round .50 Cal Action from BAT Machine. This barreled action weighs 35 pounds and is approximately 48 inches long as shown in the photo. Yes that’s 35 pounds NOT counting stock, scope, muzzle brake, and bipod.

This barreled action is now being sent to McMillan Group International for custom in-letting and a custom Big Mac Stock optimized for Extreme Long Range. Stay tuned for more progress on this new ELR Beast for the next King of 2 Miles competition.”

Our buddy Paul Phillips is an outstanding shooter who has competed with the U.S. National Team and is currently a member of the U.S. Rifle Team F-TR. Paul has been interested in extreme long-range (ELR) shooting for quite some time, but the King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event this fall at Raton, NM really brought things into focus for Paul. A member of the K02M-winning Applied Ballistics squad, Paul now knows exactly what kind of hardware (and cartridge) it takes to win at two miles (and beyond). Now he’s ready for more, and he’s building a very special (and very big) rifle.

After his experience at the King of 2 Miles event, Paul decided he needed his own world-class rifle for the ultra-long-range game. For this rifle, Paul acquired a massive BAT action and a ginormous Bartlein barrel, finished at 38 inches. The .375 Lethal Magnum chambering is wildcat that starts with the 585 Hubel Express (HE) case, adapted for a Cheytac boltface. This jumbo cartridge can propel 405gr Berger solids at 3200+ FPS. The G1 BC of these prototype solids is a stunning 1.09. Note: Berger has no current plans to market this .375-caliber solid bullet — it is still in the prototype stage.

.375 Cheytac Bartlein KO2M ELR Extreme long range Paul Phillips

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing 9 Comments »
July 24th, 2016

Phillips Video Shows Highlights of King of Two Miles Competition

Mitchell Fitzpatrick Team Applied Ballistics King of Two 2 Miles KO2M long range .375 Berger Bullets Kelly McMillan

Extreme Long Range — 2477 Yards
Notably, two Applied Ballistics team shooters made hits at 2477 yards. Just how far is that? Take a look at the photo above — that shows the location of the 2477-yard target with the firing line in the far distance. Now THAT is truly long range!

By Paul Phillips
I wanted to share a video that I made. This was from the King of 2 Miles event held recently in Raton, New Mexico. I was fortunate enough to be apart of an amazing team with Bryan Litz and Mitchell Fitzpatrick. We had some awesome sponsors: Berger Bullets, Nightforce Optics, McMillan Group International, Lethal Precision Arms LLC and Applied Ballistics LLC. Team Applied Ballistics took First, Second, and Fourth places out of 38 teams in this competition. Our Team highlight was working together to make first-round hits on a 24×36 inch plate at 1.4 miles. With me as coach, both Mitchell and Bryan made their first-round hits at 1.4 miles (2477 yards to be exact).

Video Shows Team Accomplishing Hits at 2477 Yards in Raton, NM

This event has been a personal goal of mine for a long time and I wanted to thank Bryan Litz and Mitchell Fitzpatrick for having me on the team. I call them quiet professionals. I also wanted to thank Kelly McMillan for sponsoring our team and being involved. Kelly has been an amazing sponsor and advocate for shooting sports and providing stocks and rifles for our military snipers for the past 40 years. I can’t forget to thank Ian Klemm for loaning me his Vortex Spotting scope with the MOA milling reticle. It worked great and was very fast to make corrections along with good glass.

Mitchell Fitzpatrick Team Applied Ballistics King of Two 2 Miles KO2M long range .375 Berger Bullets Kelly McMillan

Mitchell Fitzpatrick won the KO2M finals to earn the title “King of Two Miles”. He had a dominant performance shooting a .375 Lethal Precision Arms LLC rifle loaded with prototype solid 400gr Berger bullets. Mitchell built this rifle himself using a McMillan A5 Super Mag stock. Note: Berger has no current plans to market this .375-caliber bullet — it is still in the prototype stage.

Editor: Paul Phillips asked to make a special dedication, remembering a family member: “My brother Daniel Phillips passed away with brain cancer last year and this event was one that he wanted to video for me. I know he is smiling in heaven.”

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
September 29th, 2015

2015 F-Class Nationals At Ben Avery Coming Soon

F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona
Here’s 2014 F-TR National Champion James Crofts, with his PR&T-built rig.

Are you ready? The 2015 F-Class Nationals event is just three weeks away. The combined mid-range and long-range F-Class National Championships will be held October 23 – 31, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.

CLICK HERE for 2015 F-Class National Championships Program and Entry Form.

For 2015, the Nationals will include both Mid-Range and Long-Range competitions. The NRA F-Class Mid Range National Championship will be held 23-27 October 2015. The F-Class Long Range National Championship then runs from October 27 through 31. The competition consists of two different Divisions: F- Open and F-TR (Target Rifle). Each Division is made up of five different Categories: High Master, Master, Expert, Sharpshooter and Marksman. There will also be a series of four-person team matches. The event is limited to 320 competitors maximum. All matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility outside Phoenix.

You’ll see some serious hardware on the firing line at Ben Avery. Here’s a modern F-Open rig with a handsome maple stock. The gun, belonging to David Mann of Texas, shoots as good as it looks.

F-Class Nationals 2015 Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona AZ

Under Two Inches at 500 Yards
To be competitive at the Nationals, one needs a tack-driving rifle and an ultra-accurate load. Shown below is one of Paul Phillips’s F-TR load development targets at 500 yards. The total 5-shot group size is under two inches. Impressive. That’s with 200gr Bergers, Varget powder, and large primer Lapua brass. Paul tell us: “The X-Ring is 5 inches at 1000 yards (equivalent to 2.5 inches at 500). We strive to be all in the X-Ring. However, wind is the big obstacle. A gust of wind can move you 1-2 feet away.”

Fall foliage F-TR F/TR Nationals Paul Phillips .308 Win F-Class Phoenix 2014

F-Class National Championship Registration and Deadlines
Competitors must submit the official Registration & Entry Form (include NRA Membership ID#). Entries MUST be accompanied by check, money order or NRA Points. Make Check payable to Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club.

Fees are $375.00 for both Mid-Range and Long-Range matches (combined), or $200 for just one match only (either Mid-Range or Long-Range). Team Matches cost $60 per entry.

Mail Entry Forms and checks to:
Middleton Tompkins
P.O. Box 11684
Prescott, AZ 86304.
Phone: (928) 776-8576.

Entry Deadline: The deadline for entries is 6:00 PM Monday, 12 October 2015. Entries after this time are considered late entries and may be accepted to fill vacancies on existing relays only. An additional $20.00 will be charged for late entries, on top of the basic fees.

2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Nightforce

2014 F-Class Nationals Photos copyright Nightforce Optics, used with permission.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
June 27th, 2015

New F-TR Stock from McMillan

McMillan Fiberglass Stock F-Class F/tr F-TR Derek Rodgers Sinclair

McMillan has developed a new stock for F-TR competition. The front half is like a prone stock while the rear section has a straight underside (toe) section for smooth tracking in the rear bag. This stock appears to be designed for hard-holding, with a vertical grip and a fairly tall adjustable cheekpiece. The stock weighs just five pounds complete with adjusting hardware, so F-TR rigs built with this new stock should “make weight” easily. (The F-TR limit is 8.25kg or 18.188 pounds including bipod.)

Paul Phillips of Team Sinclair revealed the new McMillan stock on his Facebook page. Paul reports: “McMillan has been a leader in the industry for 40 years. I can’t thank the McMillan family enough for all they have done for our Military, Law Enforcement and Competitive shooting communities. Kelly McMillan and Team Sinclair worked together on what stock profile and features would be the best for FTR competition and this is what came out of the oven. Kelly also came up with some strong, super-light hardware that put the entire weight of the finished stock after bedding at 5 pounds even.

After Alex Sitman from Masterclass Stocks bedded my new stock, he told me that this new stock design is a true work of art and will fill a huge void in F-TR. Derek Rodgers set the current 1000-Yard F-TR record, 200-12X, with a McMillan prone-style stock. Team Sinclair holds the current 1000-Yard Team Record, 792-38X, and McMillan also contributed to that. McMillan [helps sponsor] the USA F-TR Team and Team Sinclair. Team USA will also be using these stocks in the upcoming 2017 World Championships hosted in Ottawa, Canada.”

Making Weight in F-TR — Every Ounce Counts

One Facebook reader asked why the new F-TR stock was so light. Here is Paul’s response:

Question: Paul, 5 pounds seems a little light. My Anschutz [stock] is heavier. Wouldn’t you want a heavier stock for stability, particularly for long range shooting?

Answer: It’s a fine line making an 18.18-pound weight limit. We need longer barrels to get the velocity to push 185- and 200-grain bullets. We also have a scope and bipod that add weight. It’s a balancing act. As I mentioned before, the current National record is with the same weight McMillan prone stock, just different profile. It works.

Permalink Competition, New Product No Comments »
October 29th, 2013

Extreme Long-Range Accuracy — Making the Mile Shot

As a member of the World Champion Team USA F/TR squad, Paul Phillips regularly competes (and wins) at 1000 yards. Paul is also a long-range hunter. Here’s his story about developing his ultimate long-range hunting rifle. Chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum, this rig is accurate out to 1800 yards.

The Long-Range Challenge By Paul Phillips
Being an avid big game rifle hunter, my goal was to build the most accurate long-range hunting rifle possible that would still be light enough to carry. My thought was to use the same type of high-quality components as what I used on my US F/TR Team Rifle, except in a bigger caliber — a caliber that would have plenty of knock-down power at very long ranges. After extensive research, including both ballistic data analysis, as well as discussion with top gunsmiths and champion long-range shooters, I chose the .338 Lapua Magnum. My past experience from being a member of a USMC Scout Sniper Platoon and a shooting member of two World Champion U.S. F-Class F/TR teams, I knew that this rifle was more than capable of performing the task. After establishing that the rifle had half-MOA accuracy at 600 yards, we wanted to see how far the rifle could maintain sub-MOA accuracy, to see what the cartridge and rifle could achieve. Could this gun shoot sub-MOA at a mile? That was our challenge.

Paul Phillips .338 Lapua Magnum rifle one mile Brux Barrel McMillan A5 stock

Rifle Components and Gunsmithing
My rifle was built on a Stiller Tac-338 single-shot action. It has a 30″, 1:10″-twist Brux barrel, a McMillan A-5 stock with Magnum fill, a Sinclair Bipod, and a Remington X-Mark trigger set at two pounds. The rifle wears a Nightforce NXS 8-32x56mm scope in Nightforce rings on a +40 MOA rail. I chose David Tooley to install the barrel, custom brake, apply a Cerakote dark earth finish and bed the stock. After speaking with Mr. Tooley in great length, I chose his no-neck-turn match .338 Lapua chamber specifically designed for the 300 grain Berger Bullet. This rifle weighs 17 pounds and, with the muzzle brake, it recoils like a standard .308 Winchester.

Paul Phillips .338 Lapua Magnum rifle one mile Brux Barrel McMillan A5 stock

Load Development and Accuracy Testing
I used the 600-yard range at the Midland County Sportsman’s Club. If I was going to have any chance of hitting small targets at a mile, I would need to find a load that could produce half-minute (0.5 MOA) or better accuracy. I found an accurate load that gave me consistent half-minute groups that chronographed at 2825 FPS. My load consisted of Lapua brass, Federal 215M Primer, Alliant Reloder 25, and Berger 300gr Hybrid OTM bullet. With the Berger 300-grainer’s listed 0.419 G7 BC, this load would be good enough to reach 1880 yards before going subsonic. This load’s calculated energy at one mile is 960 ft/pounds. This is similar to a .44 magnum pistol round at point-blank range.

Paul Phillips .338 Lapua Magnum rifle one mile Brux Barrel McMillan A5 stock

With my +40 MOA scope rail, my 100-yard zero ended up with the elevation at the bottom of the tube and the windage just 2 MOA left of center. This left a full 65 Minutes of Elevation — enough to get out to 1800 yards. This gave me the capability to aim and shoot from 100 yards to 1800 yards with a projectile that is still supersonic at 1800.

Hitting a 10″ Balloon at One Mile
For a one-mile target, I chose a balloon inflated to 10″ in diameter. The balloon would be a challenging, reactive target that would show up well on video. I teamed up with a fellow long-range shooter, John Droelle and friend Justin Fargo to attempt this feat. Using my known 600-yard Zero, my ballistics program showed my come-up for 1783 yards to be 53 MOA. After two sighters that measured 4 inches apart, I adjusted up one minute from my spotter shot and nailed my 10″ balloon at one mile. This video was recorded with my iPhone attached to my 25-power Kowa spotting scope, so it may seem a lot closer than it really is. Below is a video of the shot. Needless to say I achieved my goal and was very excited.

Watch Hit on 10″-Diameter Balloon at One Mile with .338 Lapua Magnum

After my balloon shot, I let my friend Justin Fargo, a novice shooter, try his skills. Justin told me that he had never shot past 100 yards using a common deer rifle. Surprisingly, Justin not only kept all his shots under 1 MOA, he hit the 9-inch white circle in the middle of the target. This bullet hole measured only 4.3 inches from the center of where he was aiming. Truly amazing! The target below shows Justin’s shots at one mile. Note that All the hits are located within the 24-inch black circle.

Paul Phillips .338 Lapua Magnum rifle one mile Brux Barrel McMillan A5 stock

What I Learned — With the Right Equipment, Even a Novice Can Make Hits at a Mile
The above results demonstrate that even a novice shooter with a high-quality, custom rifle and match-grade ammo can make extreme long range shots with great accuracy. It is very important to understand the ballistics of the bullet and the effect of wind drift to make precision, first-shot hits on your target. It is also important that you know your target, backstop and beyond when making these shots. To date, I have shot approximately 40 shots at a mile in calm conditions while averaging 3-shot groups between ½ to 1 MOA (1 MOA is about 18.5″ at that distance). My next experiment is to see how well these bullets perform traveling at subsonic speeds out to 1.5 – 2 miles. Stay tuned!

Special thanks to the following people that helped out with this project: Geoff Esterline, David Tooley, Dick Davis, John Droelle, Ray Gross and Bryan Litz.

Editor’s Comment: The point of this article is to show the kind of accuracy a precision rifle system can achieve, consistently, at extreme long range. Though this rifle will do duty as a hunting arm, Phillips is not advocating that a .338 LM be used to harvest animals at the full limit of its supersonic range. Because winds are hard to predict at extreme long range in a hunting situation, Phillips cautions that the practical distance at which he would shoot game with a rig like this is much, much shorter.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 9 Comments »