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March 25th, 2010

Is Military Fired Brass Being Reduced to Scrap Metal Again?

Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, has revealed that once-fired military brass is being converted into scrap metal rather than being sold in reloadable condition with revenues going to the U.S. Treasury. The destruction or mutilation of once-fired brass runs contrary to the efforts of Congressional leaders to ensure that fired military brass be resold rather than destroyed. Marbut claims that once-fired brass is now being destroyed as the result of “sweetheart side deals with installation commanders that [are] being aggressively promoted by ATK.”

Military Cartridge Brass

According to Marbut, ATK/Alliant Techsystems has encouraged military base commanders to sell their used cartridge brass directly to ATK. The brass is then demilled and rendered down to scrap metal for use in ATK’s future new cartridge production. Marbut states: “ATK even provides portable equipment to demil tons of cartridge cases at the military installations, destroying the brass for reloading purposes. Because the destroyed cartridge case brass is not suitable for reloading, it cannot command a price driven by auction for the highest-value use of reloading. Military installation commanders sell the Alliant-destroyed brass to ATK at a private, non-auction, special price. Commanders are willing to accept the reduced price because the sale proceeds go to the commanders’ discretionary accounts and not back to the U.S. Treasury via Government Liquidations.”

As a result of this reported arrangement between military commanders and ATK, Marbut believes, millions of used military cartridge cases, which otherwise could enter the commercial market for surplus brass, are being destroyed rather than sold at auction for fair value. In a time when there are still acute shortages of reloading components, this reduces the supply of reloadable brass, while depriving the U.S. Treasury of sales proceeds. Marbut calls for Congressional action to stop the “sweetheart deals” and ensure that “expended military brass of civilian-usable calibers generated domestically goes through the public auction process.” Marbut believes that “will benefit the U.S. Treasury, America’s gun owners, and the adequacy of the ammunition marketplace.”

CLICK HERE to read full story: Military Cartridge Brass Destruction 2010 – Round 2

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 9 Comments »
March 25th, 2010

New Ballistics App for Android OS Smart-Phones

SHOOTER Android Ballistics programBryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, informed us that sophisticated new ballistics software is now available for Android OS phones. While there are ballistics programs that run on iPhones, as well as programs for Palm or Windows PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), Bryan believes that the new Ballistics App, called SHOOTER, is the first such program for Android operating system (OS) products — such as Motorola’s Droid phone and Google’s new Nexus phone.

Bryan explained: “The SHOOTER App can be found in the Google marketplace by searching for ‘Ballistics’. I became interested in this program when I got my Android phone. There are several good programs out there for iPhones and PDAs. But SHOOTER is the first program I know of for Android. In my opinion, it won’t be topped by anything else. If you have an Android smartphone, I highly recommend checking out this application. The program is easy to install and run. Outputs are available as a single-shot solution or as a table. There is a ‘Lite’ version of SHOOTER that you can download for free, and the ‘full’ version is $9.99.”

CLICK HERE for SHOOTER Android OS Ballistics Program.
CLICK HERE for SHOOTER LITE Android OS Ballistics Program.

The new “Shooter” Program for Android OS has an impressive list of features:

  • G1 and G7 BC capability, with the option to input ‘velocity banded’ BCs.
  • Angle Compensation (Up or Down Angle can be measured using the built-in inclinometer).
  • Bullet Library which includes Litz-measured “true” BCs.
  • Rifle and ammo profiles (for storing load info for all your guns).
  • Atmosphere effects (pressure, temp, and humidity).
  • Spin drift (requires bullet length and twist rate inputs).
  • Coriolis effect (works best with GPS-equipped Android phones).

Bryan revealed: “I was heavily involved in the development of this program and can vouch for the accuracy of the solution. The actual solver is very similar to the one used in my programs and in the JBM online Ballistics Program. SHOOTER’s calculations normally match my numbers and JBM’s numbers within round-off error (0.1″ at 1000 yards).”

Single-Distance Ballistics Solution Multi-Distance Ballistics Table

Permalink New Product, News 10 Comments »
March 25th, 2010

Zeiss Dropped from Patent Lawsuit But Leupold and Burris Patent Litigation Continues

Leupold Burris PatentLeupold & Stevens, Inc. has dropped its lawsuit against Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc. for patent infringement. The lawsuit originally alleged that Zeiss, Burris, and Bushnell infringed Leupold & Stevens’ patent for True Ballistic Range (TBR®) technology. With Zeiss out, the action will proceed against Burris and Bushnell only.

While Zeiss products do allow users to input ballistic groups and display holdover values at specific yardages, it has been determined that they do not incorporate an inclinometer to compensate for uphill/downhill shot angles. Therefore, they do not infringe on US Patent Number 7,654,029 owned by Leupold & Stevens, Inc.

Bushnell Sues Leupold Claiming Infringement of ARC Patents
Leupold’s patent infringement suit will continue against Bushnell and Burris. But Bushnell Inc. has its own patent infringement action against Leupold & Stevens. In February, Bushnell filed suit alleging that Leupold infringed on Bushnell’s U.S. patents for Angle Range Compensation (ARC) and Rain Mode laser-rangefinder technology. Bushnell’s ARC and Leupold’s True Ballistic Range (TBR) are competing technologies. The courts will have to resolve whether both ARC and TBR patents can co-exist.

Leupold Burris Patent

Permalink News, Optics 1 Comment »