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March 28th, 2011

New .308 Win (175gr) Tactical Ammo from Applied Ballistics

Applied Balllistics LLC, run by Bryan Litz, has just released new .308 Winchester Tactical Ammunition. This new ammo employs a brand-new 175gr “Tactical OTM” bullet from Berger Bullets. This new projectile is unique in that it was designed to “fly right” even at transonic and subsonic speeds. The new 175gr bullets are loaded to magazine length (2.800″) in new Lapua brass, so the ammo will fit all popular detachable box magazines in tactical bolt guns and gas guns. Bryan recommends a 1:13″ (or faster) twist barrel.

Applied Ballistics Tactical Ammo

New Tactical Ammo Has Individually-Weighed Charges and Low ES
Unlike most “factory ammo”, Bryan’s new Tactical Ammo features individually weighed charges. That’s right — the charge for each and every round is weighed before it goes in the case. As a result, the new ammo typically delivers Muzzle Velocity (MV) Standard Deviation (SD) under 10 FPS (for 10 shots). That’s a low number, on a par with quality handloads. Bryan has shot this ammo at 1000 yards through a LaRue OBR AR10-type rifle. The ammo shot under one MOA at 1000 yards. Another benefit of the weighed charges is that this allows the use of high-quality extruded (stick) powders. The stick powders are known to deliver great accuracy while being consistent through a wide temperature range.

Berger’s NEW .30 Caliber 175gr Tactical OTM Bullet
This bullet was designed by Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz specifically to optimize performance of the M118LR class of ammunition. The design objectives were to maximize BC while staying within the 2.800” COAL for magazine feeding, and the requirement for the bullet to remain stable through transonic speeds. All of these design objectives were achieved, according to Bryan. The bullet has a length-tolerant tangent ogive shape, so it is less sensitive to seating depth than secant-ogive bullets.

The BC of this bullet is 7% higher than the 175 grain Sierra MatchKing currently used in most M118LR ammunition, and 2% higher than the Hornady 178 grain option. The average G1 BC of the Berger 175gr Tactical bullet is 0.510 from 3000 to 1500 fps. The G7 BC is 0.259, and is a more accurate representation of this bullets performance over a wide range of speeds. (CLICK HERE to read about G1 vs. G7 BC.)

Applied Ballistics Tactical Ammo

The Berger 175gr Tactical OTM bullet requires a minimum twist rate of 1:13″ to be stable from the muzzle. Transonic stability was verified from a 20″-barreled LaRue OBR with a 1:11.25″ twist.

Early Tests Show Bullet Shoots GreatReport by Robert Whitley
Robert Whitley got a box of early-run 175gr Tactical bullets. He says they shoot great in his own handloads: “I just received some of the new Berger .30 cal 175gr Tactical OTM (Open Tip Match) bullets. Wow — what great bullets for the .308 Winchester! I did some range testing and these things really shoot! As you can see below, I had a 5-shot group around 0.2″ and, then, shooting prone, I produced a 20-shot group that just tore out the X-Ring.” (NOTE: these targets were shot with Robert’s handloads, not the Applied Ballistics pre-loaded ammo.)

Applied Ballistics Tactical Ammo

While the words “Open Tip Match” might lead one to believe it has a large open tip, this BTHP bullet actually has a small meplat. Robert suspects that, for this bullet’s potential tactical and military applications, it was felt the words “hollow point” should be avoided in favor of “open tip”.

Bullets Are Positioned Optimally When Loaded at 2.800″ Mag Length
These bullets were also made to be loaded at magazine feeding length in the .308 Winchester (2.800″ OAL). Robert reports: “When loaded at a 2.800″ OAL length, the bullets sit perfectly in the neck of the .308 Winchester, with the full bearing surface of the bullet up in the neck of the case, and the junction of the boat tail and bearing surface of the bullet just forward of the junction of the neck and shoulder of the case.”

If you are going to shoot these bullets and expect them to be supersonic the whole way, a 1:13″ or faster twist is recommended, and if you are going to run them at velocities where they might be subsonic/transonic, Bryan confirmed they’ll work in 1:11.25″ twist barrels. Robert notes that his company, AR-X Enterprises, carries 1:11.25″ twist Bartlein .30 Cal barrels as a regularly-stocked item in both the M24/M40/Rem Tactical contour and the Remington Heavy Varmint/Sendero contour.

Whitley concludes “This is a great offering by Berger Bullets”. While the bullets can be purchased through Berger or Berger’s dealers, the new Applied Ballistics’ loaded ammo should be ordered through Bryan’s website. The price is $40 (plus shipping) for 20 rounds.

CLICK HERE to order through the Applied Ballistics secure shopping cart.

Disclosure: Applied Ballistics LLC advertises Bryan Litz’s Ballisitics Book on this site.

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March 28th, 2011

Hornady’s Superformance Ammo Wins IWA Award

Hornady Manufacturing recently received the coveted “Golden Keiler 2010 Jager (Hunter) Award” for Hornady’s innovative Superformance® ammunition. The award was presented at the 2011 IWA & Outdoor Classics show in Nuremberg, Germany. “It is an honor to have been selected to receive this award,” said Jason Hornady, a Vice President of Hornady.

Superformance ammo, now offered in 20+ calibers, features custom-blended powders tailored for particular cartridge and bullet combinations. Some of these blends consist of regularly available powders, but Hornady actually commissioned some new custom propellents that are not available to the general public. First introduced in 2009, Superformance ammunition was created to deliver extra speed. In some cartridge types, Superformance ammo runs as much as 200 fps faster than conventional factory ammunition loaded with the same bullets. You can usually count on getting at least 100 fps additional speed compared to factory ammo from from Federal, Remington, and Winchester.

How does Hornady deliver such high speeds with its Superformance ammo? That is explained in detail in’s 2009 Interview with Dave Emary, Hornady’s Senior Ballistician. Emery identified five main factors that yield the enhanced performance:

  • Superformance ammo uses advanced new Ball Powders (not yet for sale).
  • The powders are BLENDED, with different “recipes” for different cartridges.
  • The new powders maintain high-energy longer in barrel (like Reloder 17).
  • The new powders burn almost completely, reducing ejecta, for less exit pressure, and less felt recoil.
  • Superformance ball propellants pack very densely, so more grains of powder can fit inside a case, compared to typical extruded stick powders.
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March 28th, 2011

New Kestrel 4500 NV Weather Meter with Horus Ballistics Solver

Horus ATrag Ballistics software is now embedded in Kestrel 4500 NV Pocket Weather Trackers, eliminating the need for a PDA. Since the ballistics software is built into the Kestrel unit, environmental data automatically flows from the Kestrel side to the ATrag solver for accurate and instant ballistics solutions. You don’t have to punch in wind speed, temp, or air pressure — that’s all done automatically. The 4500 NV Weather Tracker is IP67 waterproof and MIL-STD-810F rugged. MSRP for the Kestrel with Horus Ballistics is $619.00 (non-Bluetooth).

Features of Horus ATrag
By integrating ATrag capabilities, you can now go to the field with just one device for weather AND Ballistics, eliminating the need to carry a separate PDA or smartphone. Along with a ballistics solver, ATrag includes an extensive gun list, customizable targets, and truing capability. Truing takes your factual data and models an accurate outcome of bullet drop, rather than a predictive one.

The new unit allows users to load and customize multiple guns and rounds from the extensive proprietary Horus database. You can create up to six targets, each customized for location, distance, direction, declination and winds. The Kestrel meter will meter wind velocity and direction, and, using its built-in digital compass, it will give the bearing to the targets. Once these parameters are set, the Kestrel meter takes over — tracking the current met data and automatically updating the firing solution. The Horus ATrag software even compensates for coriolis and spin drift at extreme long range.

When you switch out of Ballistics mode, you still have all the capabilities of a 4500 NV unit which can measure: speed and direction, temperature, humidity, heat stress, barometric pressure, altitude, density altitude, crosswind and more.

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