June 23rd, 2021

How Muzzle Velocity Changes with Different Barrel Twist Rates

applied Ballistics Barrel Twist rate velocity testing test bryan Litz
Many barrel-makers mark the twist rate and bore dimensions on their barrel blanks.

Does muzzle velocity change with faster or slower barrel twist rates? Absolutely, but much less than you might think. Faster twist rates do slow down bullets somewhat, but the speed loss is NOT that significant. With Bartlein .308 Win barrels of identical length and contour, a 1:12″-twist barrel was only 8 fps faster than a 1:8″-twist barrel. That was the result of testing by Applied Ballistics.

The Applied Ballistics team tested six (6) same-length/same-contour Bartlein barrels to observe how twist rate might affect muzzle velocity. This unique, multi-barrel test is featured in the book Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Vol. 1. That book includes other fascinating field tests, including a comprehensive chronograph comparison.

applied Ballistics Barrel Twist rate velocity testing test bryan Litz

applied Ballistics Barrel Twist rate velocity testing test bryan Litz
Barrel Twist Rate vs. Velocity — What Tests Reveal
by Bryan Litz
When considering barrel twist rates, it’s a common belief that faster twist rates will reduce muzzle velocity. The thinking is that the faster twist rate will resist forward motion of the bullet and slow it down. There are anecdotal accounts of this, such as when someone replaces a barrel of one brand/twist with a different brand and twist and observes a different muzzle velocity. But how do you know the twist rate is what affected muzzle velocity and not the barrel finish, or bore/groove dimensions? Did you use the same chronograph to measure velocity from both barrels? Do you really trust your chronograph?

Summary of Test Results
After all the smoke cleared, we found that muzzle velocity correlates to twist rate at the average rate of approximately 1.33 FPS per inch of twist. In other words, your velocity is reduced by about 5 FPS if you go from a 1:12″ twist to a 1:8″ twist. — Bryan Litz

Savage Test Rifle with Six Bartlein Barrels
Barrel Twist Rate Velocity Modern Advancements Book Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Most shooters don’t have access to the equipment required to fully explore questions like this. These are exactly the kinds of things we examine in the book Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Vol. 1. In that book, we present experiments conducted in the Applied Ballistics lab. Some of those experiments took on a “Myth Buster” tone as we sought to confirm (or deny) popular pre-conceptions. For example, here’s how we approached the question of barrel twist and muzzle velocity.

Six .308 Win Barrels from Bartlein — All Shot from the Same Rifle
We acquired six (6) barrels from the same manufacturer (Bartlein), all the same length and contour, and all chambered with the same reamer (SAAMI spec .308 Winchester). All these barrels were fitted to the same Savage Precision Target action, and fired from the same stock, and bench set-up. Common ammo was fired from all six barrels having different twist rates and rifling configurations. In this way, we’re truly able to compare what effect the actual twist rate has on muzzle velocity with a reasonable degree of confidence.

Prior to live fire testing, we explored the theoretical basis of the project, doing the physics. In this case, an energy balance is presented which predicts how much velocity you should expect to lose for a bullet that’s got a little more rotational energy from the faster twist. In the case of the .30 caliber 175 grain bullets, the math predicts a loss of 1.25 fps per inch-unit of barrel twist (e.g. a 1:8″ twist is predicted to be 1.25 fps slower than a 1:9″ twist).

Barrel Twist Rate Velocity Modern Advancements Book Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Above, data shows relationship between Twist Rate and Muzzle Velocity (MV) for various barrel twist rates and rifling types. From fast to slow, the three 1:10″ twist barrels are: 5R (canted land), 5 Groove, 5 Groove left-hand twist.

We proceeded with testing all 6 barrels, with twist rates from 1:8″ to 1:12″. After all the smoke cleared, we found that muzzle velocity correlates to twist rate at the average rate of approximately 1.33 fps per inch of twist. In other words, your velocity is reduced by about 5 fps if you go from a 1:12″ twist to a 1:8″ twist. [Editor: That’s an average for all the lengths tested. The actual variance between 1:12″ and 1:8″ here was 8 FPS.] In this case the math prediction was pretty close, and we have to remember that there’s always uncertainty in the live fire results. Uncertainty is always considered in terms of what conclusions the results can actually support with confidence.

Barrel Twist Rate Velocity Modern Advancements Book Bryan Litz Applied BallisticsThis is just a brief synopsis of a single test case. The coverage of twist rates in Modern Advancements in Long-Range Shooting Vol. 1 is more detailed, with multiple live fire tests. Results are extrapolated for other calibers and bullet weights. Needless to say, the question of “how twist rate affects muzzle velocity” is fully answered.

Other chapters in the book’s twist rate section include:
· Stability and Drag — Supersonic
· Stability and Drag — Transonic
· Spin Rate Decay
· Effect of Twist rate on Precision

Other sections of the book include: Modern Rifles, Scopes, and Bullets as well as Advancements in Predictive Modeling. This book is sold through the Applied Ballistics online store. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting is also available as an eBook in Amazon Kindle format.

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June 15th, 2021

.375 Enabler — Extreme Ammo for Extreme Long Range (ELR)

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

The .375 EnABELR Cartridge — Big and Fast

The .375 EnABELR cartridge is slightly shorter than a .375 CheyTac so it allows the round to mag-feed. Applied Ballistics is currently using brass made by Peterson. The .375 EnABELR has achieved impressive velocities — 2990 FPS — with prototype Berger 379-grain solid bullets fired from a 1:7″-twist 30″ barrel. Applied Ballistics may also test 1:8″-twist and 1:9″-twist barrels. READ Bullet Testing Report.

The .375 EnABELR cartridge was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package: “The problem with the .375 CheyTac is that, when loaded with the highest performance .375 caliber bullets (379-407 gr Berger Solids, and the 400-425 grain Cutting Edge Lazers) the round is not magazine feed-able in any action that’s sized for CheyTac cartridges.

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

“Knowing the .375 CheyTac produced substantial performance, and that it was just too long for magazine feeding, made it easy to converge on a design for the .375 EnABELR. We just had to make the case short enough to achieve magazine length with the desired bullets, while adding a little more diameter to keep the case capacity similar to the .375 CheyTac. The resulting basic shape is quite similar in proportions to the successful .338 Norma Magnum Cartridge which, interestingly, was selected as the cartridge for General Dynamics Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG).”

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense
Here is Mitchell Fitzpatrick, shooting the 375 EnABELR in an ELR Competition.

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 8th, 2021

Wind Wizardry — How to Use a Kestrel Correctly

Kestrel Wind Meter Direction Vane Applied Ballistics

A lot of folks use a Kestrel Wind Meter every time at the range. That’s a good thing. However, many Kestrel owners may not be employing the Kestrel properly when seeking wind direction.

A Kestrel Wind Meter will record wind speed with its impeller wheel. However, to get the most accurate wind velocity reading, you need to have your Kestrel properly aligned with the wind direction. To find wind direction, first orient the Kestrel so that the impeller runs at minimal speed (or stops), and only then turn the BACK of the Kestrel into the wind direction. Do NOT simply rotate the Kestrel’s back panel looking for the highest wind speed reading — that’s not the correct method for finding wind direction. Rotate the side of the Kestrel into the wind first, aiming for minimal impeller movement. The correct procedure is explained below by the experts at Applied Ballistics.

How to Find the Wind Direction with a Kestrel Wind Meter

Here is the correct way to determine wind direction with a Kestrel wind meter when you have no environmental aids — no other tools than a Kestrel. (NOTE: To determine wind direction, a mounted Wind Vane is the most effective tool, but you can also look at flags, blowing grass, or even the lanyard on your Kestrel).

Step 1: Find the wind’s general direction.

Step 2: Rotate the Wind Meter 90 degrees, so that the wind is impacting the side (and not the back) of the wind meter, while still being able to see the impeller.

Step 3: Fine-tune the direction until the impeller drastically slows, or comes to a complete stop (a complete stop is preferred). If the impeller won’t come to a complete stop, find the direction which has the lowest impact on the impeller.

Step 4: Turn the BACK of the Kestrel towards the direction from which the wind is blowing. Then press the capture button, and record your wind speed.

Do NOT simply point the Kestrel’s back into the wind until you get the highest wind speed — that’s not the correct method.

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March 18th, 2021

Get Smart — Read FREE Applied Ballistics TECH Articles

Want to improve your understanding of Ballistics, Bullet Design, Bullet Pointing, and other shooting-related tech topics? Well here’s a treasure trove of gun expertise. Applied Ballistics offers dozens of FREE tech articles on its website. Curious about Coriolis? — You’ll find answers. Want to understand the difference between G1 and G7 BC? — There’s an article about that.

“Doc” Beech, technical support specialist at Applied Ballistics says these articles can help shooters working with ballistics programs: “One of the biggest issues I have seen is the misunderstanding… about a bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) and what it really means. Several papers on ballistic coefficient are available for shooters to review on the website.”

Credit Shooting Sports USA Editor John Parker for finding this great resource. John writes: “Our friends at Applied Ballistics have a real gold mine of articles on the science of accurate shooting on their website. This is a fantastic source for precision shooting information[.] Topics presented are wide-ranging — from ballistic coefficients to bullet analysis.”

READ All Applied Ballistics Articles HERE »

Here are six (6) of our favorite Applied Ballistics articles, available for FREE to read online. There are dozens more, all available on the Applied Ballistics Education Webpage. After Clicking link, select Plus (+) Symbol for “White Papers”, then navigate with L/R arrows.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
February 8th, 2021

Confirm Your Scope Clicks with Tall Target Test

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition (or on a long-range hunt). While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation.

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact. If, for example, your point of impact is 33 inches, then you are getting more than the stated MOA with each click (assuming the target is positioned at exactly 100 yards).

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

How to Perform the Tall Target Test
The tall target test determines if your scope is giving you the proper amount of adjustment. For example, when you dial 30 MOA, are you really getting 30 MOA, or are you getting 28.5 or 31.2 MOA? The only way to be sure is to verify, don’t take it for granted! Knowing your scopes true click values insures that you can accurately apply a ballistic solution. In fact, many perceived inaccuracies of long range ballistics solutions are actually caused by the scopes not applying the intended adjustment. In order to verify your scope’s true movement and calculate a correction factor, follow the steps in the Tall Target Worksheet. This worksheet takes you thru the ‘calibration process’ including measuring true range to target and actual POI shift for a given scope adjustment.


CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Tall Target Worksheet (PDF) »

NOTE: When doing this test, don’t go for the maximum possible elevation. Do NOT max out the elevation knob, running it to the top stop. Bryan Litz explains: “It’s good to avoid the extremes of adjustment when doing the tall target test. I don’t know how much different the clicks would be at the edges, but they are not the same.”

Tall Target Test For Milrad Scopes with B2B Target

Box Bench precision sniper's hide Precision Rifle Tall Target milrad mils

This Precision Rifle Network video shows how to do a scope-tracking test using the pre-printed Sniper’s Hide Tall Target from Box to Bench Precision (B2B). With the primary line divisions in MILs, this printed target is perfect for Milliradian scopes. From bottom of the vertical line to the top there are 10 mils (36 inches) of travel. The markings are high contrast to make the testing easier.

In this video, there are some very helpful tips on setting up the target frame correctly and making sure the Tall Target is perfectly vertical. A plumb line can help. In this video the vertical tracking of a Burris XTR III 5.5-30x56mm scope is tested. Actual testing begins at 7:20 time-mark. The Precision Rifle Network has many other informative videos, with a new video released every week.

Should You Perform a WIDE Target Test Too?
What about testing your windage clicks the same way, with a WIDE target test? Bryan Litz says that’s not really necessary: “The wide target test isn’t as important for a couple reasons. First, you typically don’t dial nearly as much wind as you do elevation. Second, your dialed windage is a guess to begin with; a moving average that’s different for every shot. Whereas you stand to gain a lot by nailing vertical down to the click, the same is not true of windage. If there’s a 5% error in your scope’s windage tracking, you’d never know it.”

Scope Tall Test level calibrationVerifying Scope Level With Tall Target Test
Bryan says: “While setting up your Tall Target Test, you should also verify that your scope level is mounted and aligned properly. This is critical to insuring that you’ll have a long range horizontal zero when you dial on a bunch of elevation for long range shots. This is a requirement for all kinds of long range shooting. Without a properly-mounted scope level (verified on a Tall Target), you really can’t guarantee your horizontal zero at long range.”

NOTE: For ‘known-distance’ competition, this is the only mandatory part of the tall target test, since slight variations in elevation click-values are not that important once you’re centered “on target” at a known distance.

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December 19th, 2020

FREE Tech Articles from Applied Ballistics — Worth Reading

Want to improve your understanding of Ballistics, Bullet Design, Bullet Pointing, and other shooting-related tech topics? Well here’s a treasure trove of gun expertise. Applied Ballistics offers dozens of FREE tech articles on its website. Curious about Coriolis? — You’ll find answers. Want to understand the difference between G1 and G7 BC? — There’s an article about that.

“Doc” Beech, technical support specialist at Applied Ballistics says these articles can help shooters working with ballistics programs: “One of the biggest issues I have seen is the misunderstanding… about a bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) and what it really means. Several papers on ballistic coefficient are available for shooters to review on the website.”

Credit Shooting Sports USA Editor John Parker for finding this great resource. John writes: “Our friends at Applied Ballistics have a real gold mine of articles on the science of accurate shooting on their website. This is a fantastic source for precision shooting information[.] Topics presented are wide-ranging — from ballistic coefficients to bullet analysis.”

READ All Applied Ballistics Articles HERE »

Here are six (6) of our favorite Applied Ballistics articles, available for FREE to read online. There are dozens more, all available on the Applied Ballistics Education Webpage. After Clicking link, select Plus (+) Symbol for “White Papers”, then navigate with L/R arrows.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 27th, 2020

Ten Great Books for Serious Shooters — Holiday Shopping List

Gun firearms books christmas gifts reader guide book resource paperback hardcover

Christmas is less than a month away, and today, Black Friday, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Books have always been popular holiday gifts. If you haven’t completed your holiday shopping, here are some recommended titles that should please the serious shooters and firearms enthusiasts on your shopping list. For shooting clubs, books also make great end-of-season member awards. Most of us would rather have a useful book than one more piece of wood to toss in a box in the closet. Check out these rwn titles — for yourself or your shooting buddies.

Here Are TEN BOOKS Recommended for Serious Shooters:

Modern Advancements in LR Shooting, Vol. II
by Bryan Litz, $27.99 (Kindle), $45.93 (Hardcover)

If you’re a serious long-range shooter, consider adding this book to your library. Relying on extensive ballistics testing, Modern Advancements Volume II is a great successor to Volume I that contains some fascinating research results. UK gun writer Laurie Holland notes: “Volume II of the Modern Advancements series is as fascinating as Volume I and if anything even more valuable given a series of ‘mythbusters’ tests including: case fill-ratio, primer flash-hole uniforming, neck tension, annealing, and much more. The work also addresses that perennial discussion of a bullet ‘going to sleep’ and shooting smaller groups (in MOA) at longer distances than 100 yards.” The amount of testing done for this Volume II work, with a staggering amount of rounds sent downrange, makes this book unique among shooting resources. There is a ton of “hard science” in this book — not just opinions.

Nancy Tompkins Long Range book Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting
by Nancy Tompkins, $45.00, (Hardcover, 2d Edition).

Nancy Tompkins is one of the greatest long-range shooters in American history. She has won five National Long-range Championships. Tompkins’ treatise is a must-read for serious Palma, F-Class, and High Power shooters. The revised Second edition includes F-Class equipment and techniques, and newly updated information. Color pictures. Topics include Mental & Physical training, Reading Wind & Mirage Shooting Fundamentals, International Competition, and Loading for Long Range. Nancy Tompkins is a 4-time winner of the National Long Range Championships, and has won countless other major events. Nancy has been on six Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

Miller Cunningham Wind Book The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters
by Linda Miller & Keith Cunningham, $14.99 (Kindle), $22.45 (Hardback).

The new, 2020 Edition of The Wind Book was released a few months ago. The updates make this very helpful 144-page book even better. The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters by Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham, first published in 2007, is a very informative resource. But you don’t have to take our word for it. If you click this link, you can read book excerpts on Amazon.com. This lets you preview the first few chapters, and see some illustrations. Other books cover wind reading in a broader discussion of ballistics or long-range shooting. But the Miller & Cunningham book is ALL about wind reading from cover to cover, and that is its strength. The book focuses on real world skills that can help you accurately gauge wind angle, wind velocity, and wind cycles. Readers have praised the book, earning it 93% 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest Long Range Shooting Handbook
by Ryan Cleckner, $9.99 (Kindle), $9.99 (Softcover),

Ryan Cleckner is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. Now Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in Cleckner’s popular NSSF video series. The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Top-Grade Ammo
by Glen Zediker, $33.49 (Softcover)

Sadly, Glen Zediker passed away on 10/1/2020. He will be missed. His Top-Grade Ammo book is a great resource for all hand-loaders — beginners through advanced. Released in 2016, this 314-page guide covers every aspect of the reloading process — component sorting, priming, sizing, bullet seating and more. With 430 photos, Top-Grade Ammo is a richly-illustrated, step-by-step guide to producing high-quality handloads. Unlike many reloading books, Top-Grade Ammo is current and up-to-date, so it covers modern practices and the latest precision reloading tools. While Zediker focuses on producing match-grade ammo for competition, this book will also help novice reloaders on a budget. This book features a special “lay-flat” binding so it’s easy to use as a benchtop reference. To view Chapter List and sample pages visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Practical Shooter’s Guide
by Marcus Blanchard, $9.99 (Kindle), $19.99 (Softcover)

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest The Book of Rifle Accuracy
by Tony Boyer, $42.50 (Hardcover).

Tony Boyer, the most successful shooter in the history of short-range benchrest competition, shares many of his match-winning tips in this 323-page book. The book covers all aspect of the benchrest discipline: loading, windflags, rest set-up, addressing the rifle, and match strategies. This is a high-quality publication, filled with valuable insights. Every serious benchrest shooter should read Tony’s book. Boyer has dominated registered benchrest in a fashion that will never be duplicated, having amassed 142 U.S. Benchrest Hall of Fame points. The next closest shooter, Allie Euber, has 47 Hall of Fame points. This handsome, full-color book is 323 pages long, with color photos or color illustrations on nearly every page.

David Tubb High Power Rifle The Rifle Shooter
by G. David Tubb, $26.00 (Softcover)

This book by 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb focuses on position shooting and High Power disciplines. Section One covers fundamentals: position points, natural point of aim, breathing, triggering mechanics and follow-through, sling selection and use, getting started, getting better, avoiding obstacles. Section Two covers mechanics of offhand, sitting, and prone positions. Section Three covers shooting skills, including wind reading and mental preparation. Section Four covers the technical side of shooting, with extensive discussions of rifle design, load development, reloading barrel maintenance, and rifle fitting. We consider this book a “must-read” for any sling shooter, and there is plenty of good advice for F-Class shooters too.

Cartridges of World 16th Edition Cartridges of the World (16th Edition)
by W. Todd Woddard, $19.49 (Kindle), $26.49 (Softcover)

Cartridges of the World (16th Edition, 2019), belongs in every serious gun guy’s library. This massive 680-page reference contains illustrations and basic load data for over 1500 cartridges. If you load for a wide variety of cartridges, or are a cartridge collector, this book is a “must-have” resource. The latest edition includes 50 new cartridges and boasts 1500+ photos. The 16th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes cartridge specs, plus tech articles on Cartridge identification, SAAMI guidelines, wildcatting, and new cartridge design trends. In scope and level of detail, Cartridges of the World is the most complete cartridge reference guide in print. Cartridges of the World now includes a full-color section with feature articles.

Bullseye Midnd Raymond Prior Creedmoor Sports Bullseye Mind
(Mental Toughness for Sport Shooting)
by Dr. Raymond Prior, $17.95 (Softcover).

Having a Bullseye Mind means thinking in ways that create confidence and consistency, even under pressure. A “must-read” for competitive shooters, Bullseye Mind is a mental training book written specifically for the shooting sports. The book is well-organized, with handy highlighted lists and key “talking points”. Each chapter concludes with examples from a world-class shooters such as: Matt Emmons, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist; Vincent Hancock, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist; Jamie Corkish, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist; Petra Zublasing, 2014 World Champion/ISSF Shooter of the Year; and Nicco Campriani, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2010 World Champion. This book has earned rave reviews from competitive shooters who found it really helped their “Mental Game”. One recent purchaser states: “This book is as though you had a coach in your back pocket…”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
October 31st, 2020

Smart Tips for Using Kestrel with Applied Ballistics Software

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

Kestrel wind and weather meters are often regarded as the best on the market — for good reason. Here are a series of three videos by F-Class John that show how the Kestrel 5700 with Elite Ballistics works with Applied Ballistics APP software and Link connection.

This Part I Video starts with a basic Kestrel Anemometer (blue case, 00:00-00:40) wind meter. Then reviewer F-Class John looks at the “smart” Kestrel 5700 with Elite Ballistics. John explains the many features of the Kestrel 5700 and how it holds a powerful ballistics calculator in the convenient, easy-to-tote Kestrel package. With Elite Ballistics, once you enter data about your bullets, velocity, zero, and rifle, the Kestrel can calculate come-ups and wind corrections. If you don’t yet own a Kestrel, we highly recommend you watch this series of videos that explains advanced Kestrel features in detail.

This Part II Video shows the key features of the advanced software APP used by the Kestrel 5700 unit with Elite Ballistics. The Kestrel 5700 can “talk” to a mobile device that runs the Applied Ballistics software APP that contains bullet databases and allows you to enter key information such as muzzle velocity, bullet BC, zero distance, velocity, wind, and environmental factors (altitude, temperature etc.). There are also gun-specific factors such as scope height over bore and barrel twist rate. The video also explains how “range cards” are created and how to view them with your Elite Ballistics-enabled Kestrel. John notes: “The APP is great because you don’t have to fiddle with the Kestrel’s buttons. It’s much easier to enter data and change settings with the APP.”

This Part III video shows how to determine true wind direction by aligning the SIDE of the unit into the wind. You essentially want to set the unit 90 degrees to the wind direction so the impeller runs as slowly as possible. Then, after you set your target distance (See 3:03), the unit can give you precise come-ups for your intended target (10.28 MOA for 559 yards here). The Kestrel then calculates the cross-wind correction as well (See 3:12).

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, the video author may receive a small commission. This helps support F-Class John’s YouTube channel and allows him to continue to make videos like this.

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August 24th, 2020

Are Your Bullets Spinning Fast Enough? Use Twist Rate Calculator

Berger twist rate calculator

Berger twist rate calculatorBerger Twist-Rate Stability Calculator
On the Berger Bullets website you’ll find a handy Twist-Rate Stability Calculator that predicts your gyroscopic stability factor (SG) based on mulitiple variables: velocity, bullet length, bullet weight, barrel twist rate, ambient temperature, and altitude. This cool tool tells you if your chosen bullet will really stabilize in your barrel.


CLICK HERE to Go to TWIST RATE CALCULATOR PAGE »

How to Use Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator
Using the Twist Rate Calculator is simple. Just enter the bullet DIAMETER (e.g. .264), bullet WEIGHT (in grains), and bullet overall LENGTH (in inches). On its website, Berger conveniently provides this info for all its bullet types. For other brands, we suggest you weigh three examples of your chosen bullet, and also measure the length on three samples. Then use the average weight and length of the three. To calculate bullet stability, simply enter your bullet data (along with observed Muzzle Velocity, outside Temperature, and Altitude) and click “Calculate SG”. Try different twist rate numbers (and recalculate) until you get an SG value of 1.4 (or higher).

Gyroscopic Stability (SG) and Twist Rate
Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator provides a predicted stability value called “SG” (for “Gyroscopic Stability”). This indicates the Gyroscopic Stability applied to the bullet by spin. This number is derived from the basic equation: SG = (rigidity of the spinning mass)/(overturning aerodynamic torque).

Berger twist rate calculator

If you have an SG under 1.0, your bullet is predicted not to stabilize. If you have between 1.0 and 1.1 SG, your bullet may or may not stabilize. If you have an SG greater than 1.1, your bullet should stabilize under optimal conditions, but stabilization might not be adequate when temperature, altitude, or other variables are less-than-optimal. That’s why Berger normally recommends at least 1.5 SG to get out of the “Marginal Stability” zone.

In his book Applied Ballistics For Long-Range Shooting, Bryan Litz (Berger Ballistician) recommends at least a 1.4 SG rating when selecting a barrel twist for a particular bullet. This gives you a safety margin for shooting under various conditions, such as higher or lower altitudes or temperatures.

Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 20th, 2020

Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistics Weather Meter Review with Videos

Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistics Weather Meter Review App Applied Ballistics

Every serious, long-range shooter needs a modern, accurate wind meter. And the higher-level Kestrel Wind Meters include a sophisticated ballistics engine that can calculate drops and wind-holds at any distance. These “smart” Kestrels can communicate (via Bluetooth) with a powerful App on your mobile device(s). For this exclusive review, our Editor F-Class John field tests the Kestrel 5700 Elite Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics, and explains its many impressive features. This unit offers great functionality for a $699.00 MSRP. Shop at KestrelBallistics.com or Amazon.com. For this article, F-Class John has created THREE (3) videos which are well worth watching.

Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistics Review, Video Part 1

Kestrel 5700 Elite — Field Test and Evaluation

by F-Class John
In order to make accurate shots at long range, whether in the desert knocking down steel at a mile or shooting paper at 1000 yards, you need to know and understand the effects of your environment (wind, temperature etc.), along with your bullet’s ballistics. Traditionally, shooters gauge wind speed/angle with a wind meter and then input the data into a ballistic program on a mobile device. That program then produces a firing solution after calculating bullet drop and wind drift. While this method works, it can be time-consuming and cumbersome, and there’s always the potential for error when transposing the information from wind meter to mobile device.

Enter the Kestrel 5700 Elite Applied Ballistics with Kestrel LiNK. This all-in-one unit allows for incredibly accurate firing solutions by using a variety of measurements such as average, head, and cross winds as well as other atmospheric conditions which are then analyzed by built-in Applied Ballistics software. This yields ultra-accurate results from a handheld unit that easily fits in your pocket. Describing the 5700 Elite can be a little difficult. Yes, it is an anemometer at its core, but it is also a complete weather station, a ballistic calculator, and a target card creator.

Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistics Weather Meter Review App Applied Ballistics

The Kestrel 5700 Elite’s own menu has three Mode options: Weather, Easy, and Ballistics. The Weather Mode option (great on its own) features the ability to measure altitude, barometric pressure, crosswind, density altitude, dew point temperature, headwind/tailwind, heat stress index, relative humidity, station pressure, temperature, wet bulb temperature, wind chill, wind direction and wind speed/air speed. These readings are available both on the screen by themselves or grouped three at a time. Access is quick and easy with readings updating constantly so you always have the most accurate information at hand.

In addition to Weather Mode, the Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistics boasts two other Modes, EASY and BALLISTICS. NOTE — before using Easy Mode or Ballistic Mode I recommend creating gun profiles and bullet profiles in the Kestrel directly or through the Kestrel App. This is easy, as the Kestrel Ballistics App connects directly to any LiNK-enabled Kestrel unit. After the initial startup you’ll want to begin with Gun Profile Management tab. This tab allows you to enter both your gun information as well as your loads. The Elite allows up to 30 gun profiles to be created. Notably, the Elite’s included Applied Ballistics software constantly updates bullet profiles. In fact, during my testing, new bullet profiles were added twice. So I was assured I had the most up-to-date bullet choices when creating load profiles.

Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballitics Review, Video Part 2

Along with gun profiles, the Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistics allows you to create 10 separate Target Profiles. This can be done a couple different ways. The first is Easy Mode — a great option for those want to get a firing solution but don’t need or want to enter a lot of information. It allows you to set up your target range (distance), target data (wind, direction, etc), and choose your rifle profile. Other variables are muzzle velocity, compass, and latitude. Easy Mode allows you to enter the most vital information without feeling overwhelmed, yet Easy Mode still provides for a very accurate solution.

Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistics Review, Video Part 3

Switching from Easy Mode to Ballistics Mode provides even more options. These include setting up your target (target angle, target speed, wind direction, and more), wind input, gun profile, environment (temp, barometric pressure, altimeter humidity, etc.), target cards, and range cards (with fixed distances). You also get full access to the Applied Ballistics calculator as well as your ability to manage gun profiles. The target card is a really great feature for multi-target disciplines such as PRS where you may be able to range targets ahead of time. The target card allows you to enter any 10 exact distances and the Applied Ballistics software will calculate solutions for all of them in an easy-to-access chart. This is a great feature that can save you time and improve scores.

Kestrel 5700 Elite Ballistics Weather Meter Review App Applied Ballistics

The Kestrel 5700 Elite’s associated Applied Ballistics software offers additional advanced functionality. For example you can calculate the actual BC of your bullet and adjust for transonic bullet flight. Once you get the hang of how to use these additional features, they really make you realize how powerful this tiny unit is. The App is configured for easy data entry and it even has the classic Snake game as a fun hidden feature in the “About” section of the menu.

SUMMARY — Outstanding Handheld Device with Full Ballistics Functionality
The Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics demonstrated that it is truly the most feature-packed handheld weather meter/ballistic calculator available on the market today. In fact, after several weeks of testing I feel there were still more minor features that I could have used to get even more information about my ammo, firing solutions, and environment. If you’re a technology-driven shooter looking for the ultimate Weather/Ballistics tool at the range, the Kestrel 5700 Elite is for you. This is an outstanding product.

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July 15th, 2020

Great Video Series with Bryan Litz Explains Long Range Shooting

Bryan Litz Elements Long Range Shooting NSSF Ballistics Coeffecient Atmospherics

Want to learn more about Long Range Shooting? Check out the “Elements of Long Range Shooting” videos from the National Shooting Sport Foundation (NSSF). In this multi-part series, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics covers a variety of topics of interest to precision shooters. Today we feature three of these videos. There are five other videos in this series. Watch the entire 8-video “Elements of Long Range Shooting” series on the NSSF YouTube Channel.

Litz NSSF Video Elements long range shooting Raton NM ELR

Atmospherics and Density Altitude

Bryan Litz explains: “An important element in calculating an accurate firing solution for long-range shooting is understanding the effects of atmospherics on a projectile.” Atmospherics include air pressure, air temperature, and humidity. Bryan notes: “Temperature, pressure, and humidity all affect the air density… that the bullet is flying through. You can combine all those factors into one variable called ‘Density Altitude’.” Density Altitude is used by the ballistic solver to account for air density variables that affect bullet flight.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficients

A bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) basically expresses how well the bullet flies through the air. Higher BC bullets have less aerodynamic drag than lower BC projectiles. You will see BCs listed as either G1 and G7 numbers. These correspond to different bullet shape models. Generally speaking, the G7 model works better for the long, boat-tail bullets used for long-range shooting. Notably, a bullet’s drag is NOT constant in flight. The true BC can vary over the course of the trajectory as the bullet velocity degrades. In other words, “BC is dynamic”. That said, you can make very accurate drop charts using the BCs provided by major bullet-makers, as plugged into solvers. However, long-range competitors may want to record “real world” drop numbers at various distances. For example, we’ve seen trajectories be higher than predicted at 500 yards, yet lower than predicted at 1000.

Ballistics Solvers — Many Options

Bryan Litz observes: “When we talk about the elements of long range shooting, obviously a very important element is a getting a fire solution, using a ballistic solver. There are a lot of ballistic solvers out there… Applied Ballistics has smartphone Apps. Applied Ballistics has integrated the ballistic solver directly into a Kestral, and the same solver runs (manually) on the Accuracy Solutions Wiz-Wheel. The point is, if it is an Applied Ballistics device it is running the same solutions across the board.”

About Bryan Litz
Bryan began his career as a rocket scientist, quite literally. He then started Applied Ballistics, the leading company focusing on ballistics science for rifle shooting. A past F-TR Long-Range National Champion and Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets, knows his stuff. His Applied Ballistics squad was the winning team at the 2017 King of 2 Miles event, and Applied Ballistics recently received a major U.S. defense contract to to execute Phase 1 of the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) project.

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June 20th, 2020

Precision Rifle Expo Will Be Held in September 2020

Precision rifle expo 2020 Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia

Yes, there WILL be a Precision Rifle Expo in 2020! With the economy reopening, event organizers have confirmed that the popular gathering WILL take place in September. This year, the PRE will be held September 26-27, 2020, at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia. Registration is now open.

The Precision Rifle Expo (PRE) has opened registration for its 3rd annual, 2-day event featuring top brands in the tactical/precision rifle market. Manufacturers will showcase actions, optics, ammo, reloading equipment, stocks, chassis, electronics, supporting equipment (bags and tripods), rifles, triggers, suppressors, and much more. There will be training sessions on precision handloading, wind reading, marksmanship, ballistic devices, and PRS competition.

The event will continue to offer hands-on instruction plus demonstration of rifle systems at long range, along with displays from 50+ important companies. At last year’s event exhibitors included Applied Ballistics, AMP Annealing, MPA, Vudoo Gunworks as well as many action builders and optics manufacturers.

Precision rifle expo 2020 Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia
Attendee Registration for Event
Attendees may register now for the 2020 PRE. Pre-registration is $35 with onsite registration at $50. Pre-registrants will not receive a ticket and are asked to proceed to the Check-In Tent where a wrist band will be provided for admission. This year, attendees will not have to pre-register for any of the classes. Classes will be posted on the website and at the event.

PRE organizers state: “2020 promises attendees an outstanding opportunity to access the exhibitor tent, attend multiple education classes taught by leading names in the precision rifle category, and various range experiences. Novices and professionals, competitors, and industry experts, all converge on one of the Country’s premier shooting facilities to learn from each other and test their skills[.]”

Here is a video covering last year’s event:

Exhibitor Companies Can Still Register with the 2020 Precision Rifle Expo
Would you like to exhibit your company’s products at the 2020 PRE? There are still Exhibitor spaces available. Contact Phil Cashin at 770-401-3572 or precisionrifleexpo@gmail.com for more info or to reserve your exhibit space.

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres with Ranges out to 2100m

arena training facility Georgia

The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.

At the 2018 EXPO, Long-Range Clinics were held on the 1000-yard Range:
arena training facility Georgia Precision Rifle expo

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February 4th, 2020

How to Avoid a Train Wreck at Berger SW Nationals This Week

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

The 2020 Berger Southwest Nationals kicks off 2/5/2020 at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, AZ. The big event starts with a 600-yard Mid-Range Match. Many of the nation’s most talented F-Class and sling shooters will be there. But no matter what your skill level, it is still possible to make major mistakes that can spoil the day and/or put you out of the running for the entire match. This article aims to help competitors avoid the big errors/oversights/failures, aka “train wrecks”, that can ruin a match.

Berger SW Nationals mid-range match
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Berger SW Nationals mid-range match

In any shooting competition, you must try to avoid major screw-ups that can ruin your day (or your match). In this article, past F-TR National Mid-Range and Long Range Champion Bryan Litz talks about “Train Wrecks”, i.e. those big disasters (such as equipment failures) that can ruin a whole match. Bryan illustrates the types of “train wrecks” that commonly befall competitors, and he explains how to avoid these “unmitigated disasters”.

Urban Dictionary “Train Wreck” Definition: “A total @#$&! disaster … the kind that makes you want to shake your head.”

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballisticsTrain Wrecks (and How to Avoid Them)
by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC

Success in long range competition depends on many things. Those who aspire to be competitive are usually detail-oriented, and focused on all the small things that might give them an edge. Unfortunately it’s common for shooters lose sight of the big picture — missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.

Consistency is one of the universal principles of successful shooting. The tournament champion is the shooter with the highest average performance over several days, often times not winning a single match. While you can win tournaments without an isolated stellar performance, you cannot win tournaments if you have a single train wreck performance. And this is why it’s important for the detail-oriented shooter to keep an eye out for potential “big picture” problems that can derail the train of success!

Train wrecks can be defined differently by shooters of various skill levels and categories. Anything from problems causing a miss, to problems causing a 3/4-MOA shift in wind zero can manifest as a train wreck, depending on the kind of shooting you’re doing.

Berger SW Nationals Train Wreck Bryan Litz

Below is a list of common Shooting Match Train Wrecks, and suggestions for avoiding them.

1. Cross-Firing. The fastest and most common way to destroy your score (and any hopes of winning a tournament) is to cross-fire. The cure is obviously basic awareness of your target number on each shot, but you can stack the odds in your favor if you’re smart. For sling shooters, establish your Natural Point of Aim (NPA) and monitor that it doesn’t shift during your course of fire. If you’re doing this right, you’ll always come back on your target naturally, without deliberately checking each time. You should be doing this anyway, but avoiding cross-fires is another incentive for monitoring this important fundamental. In F-Class shooting, pay attention to how the rifle recoils, and where the crosshairs settle. If the crosshairs always settle to the right, either make an adjustment to your bipod, hold, or simply make sure to move back each shot. Also consider your scope. Running super high magnification can leave the number board out of the scope’s field view. That can really increase the risk of cross-firing.

2. Equipment Failure. There are a wide variety of equipment failures you may encounter at a match, from loose sight fasteners, to broken bipods, to high-round-count barrels that that suddenly “go south” (just to mention a few possibilities). Mechanical components can and do fail. The best policy is to put some thought into what the critical failure points are, monitor wear of these parts, and have spares ready. This is where an ounce of prevention can prevent a ton of train wreck. On this note, if you like running hot loads, consider whether that extra 20 fps is worth blowing up a bullet (10 points), sticking a bolt (DNF), or worse yet, causing injury to yourself or someone nearby.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

3. Scoring/Pit Malfunction. Although not related to your shooting technique, doing things to insure you get at least fair treatment from your scorer and pit puller is a good idea. Try to meet the others on your target so they can associate a face with the shooter for whom they’re pulling. If you learn your scorer is a Democrat, it’s probably best not to tell Obama jokes before you go for record. If your pit puller is elderly, it may be unwise to shoot very rapidly and risk a shot being missed (by the pit worker), or having to call for a mark. Slowing down a second or two between shots might prevent a 5-minute delay and possibly an undeserved miss.

Berger SW Nationals
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics4. Wind Issues. Tricky winds derail many trains. A lot can be written about wind strategies, but here’s a simple tip about how to take the edge off a worse case scenario. You don’t have to start blazing away on the command of “Commence fire”. If the wind is blowing like a bastard when your time starts, just wait! You’re allotted 30 minutes to fire your string in long range slow fire. With average pit service, it might take you 10 minutes if you hustle, less in F-Class. Point being, you have about three times longer than you need. So let everyone else shoot through the storm and look for a window (or windows) of time which are not so adverse. Of course this is a risk, conditions might get worse if you wait. This is where judgment comes in. Just know you have options for managing time and keep an eye on the clock. Saving rounds in a slow fire match is a costly and embarrassing train wreck.

5. Mind Your Physical Health. While traveling for shooting matches, most shooters break their normal patterns of diet, sleep, alcohol consumption, etc. These disruptions to the norm can have detrimental effects on your body and your ability to shoot and even think clearly. If you’re used to an indoor job and eating salads in air-conditioned break rooms and you travel to a week-long rifle match which keeps you on your feet all day in 90-degree heat and high humidity, while eating greasy restaurant food, drinking beer and getting little sleep, then you might as well plan on daily train wrecks. If the match is four hours away, rather than leaving at 3:00 am and drinking five cups of coffee on the morning drive, arrive the night before and get a good night’s sleep.”

Keep focused on the important stuff. You never want to lose sight of the big picture. Keep the important, common sense things in mind as well as the minutia of meplat trimming, weighing powder to the kernel, and cleaning your barrel ’til it’s squeaky clean. Remember, all the little enhancements can’t make up for one big train wreck!

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January 18th, 2020

Accuracy Vs. Precision — They Are Not the Same Thing

Applied Ballistics Accuracy Precision
This image is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2.

The next time a shooter comes up to you at the range, and says: “My rifle shoots one-third MOA all day long”, challenge him to put a first-round hit on a 1/2 MOA plate at 1000 yards. There’s a difference between shooting small groups at close range (Precision) and “on-target” Accuracy at long range.

Article by Applied Ballistics, LLC
Just how much better is a 0.5 MOA rifle vs. a 1 MOA rifle? Is it worth chasing quarter-MOA if you have half-MOA rifle? This is an important question. If you look across Facebook you will find scores of shooters posting 1/3-MOA or 1/4-MOA shot groups [usually at 100 yards]. Some of those guys are spending countless hours trying to chase that golden quarter-MOA group.

Don’t take this statement the wrong way, having a good, consistent rifle is a key to success. But accuracy is extremely important to long range shooting. Having a precision (0.5 MOA) rifle, but not having put the time in to practice accuracy (hitting a 0.5 MOA plate first shot at 1000 yards) is counter-productive. [Editor: By this, we mean that you can have a rifle capable of shooting small groups at 100 yards, but you won’t see that gun’s full potential unless you can practice and perfect the skills of long-range shooting. Successful long range shooting demands more than precision alone.]

What if, your goal was to produce 5-shot, sub-half-MOA groups at 1000 yards instead of 100 yards? Think about how much more you would be including in the learning process, especially that all-important factor: managing the wind! Here is a good article that talks about Precision vs. Accuracy: Hitting Targets at Long Range.

This is not intended to say that precision is not important; rather it is intended to show that balance is important. You can use WEZ to do your own studies on this very subject, and it might be surprising to the shooter just how much you don’t gain by chasing precision over accuracy. Two books which cover this subject really well are Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting and Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Vol 2.

Here’s a stunning combination of Precision (small group) WITH accuracy (centered on target). Yep that’s ten shots at 1000 yards, all in the middle of the target:
Scott Nix Dasher Record

Video Demonstrates Amazing 1000-Yard Accuracy AND Precision

Watch the video. You can see the group form up, shot by shot. It’s pretty amazing. Scott’s first shot (at the 45-second mark of the video) was right in the X-Ring, and four of Scott’s first five shots were Xs. That’s drilling them!

Comments

“Accuracy with precision is the route for me. It is not an either/or game. If I have a precision rifle (0.25 MOA or less) and I practice to be accurate, then high scores will be the result — Jim Borden

“I would agree for PRS, hunting, and to a certain extent F-Class. However, for 1000-yard IBS benchrest competition, 0.5 MOA groups in good conditions will almost always loose the relay.” — James B

“Another thought is that [at 1000 yards] a 1 MOA gun with single-digit standard deviations [may] out shoot a 0.5 MOA rifle with standard deviations of 20+ fps.” — Beard Owens

“Both… you need both: Accuracy AND Precision. I competed in varmint matches — we shot small silhouettes at 600 yards. I started with a factory .260 Rem rifle that was 0.8 MOA on a good day. I typically hit 8-9 of 20 targets, but rarely nailed the small chickens — which had a hit zone just 4″ in diameter. I then started using a semi-custom 6mmBR rifle that could reliably deliver 1/4 MOA at 100 yards (honest). My hit count on the silhouettes zoomed to 15-18, and suddenly the chickens were going down. In that game — small targets at 600 yards — there was no substitute for precision.” — Paul McM

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August 5th, 2019

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Maiden Voyage to Texas

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR

The folks at Applied Ballistics have a new toy — a large trailer filled with all the latest and greatest tech gear for testing long-range ballistics. Bryan Litz reported: “The maiden voyage for the AB Mobile Lab in Texas this week was a huge success! We look forward to supporting more long range shooting events.” Mitchell Fitzpatrick was there in the Lone Star state with fellow Applied Ballistics staffer Christopher Palka. The Applied Ballistics team will be trailering the Mobile Lab to Indiana where it will be on hand for the NRA National Championships at Camp Atterbury this month.

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR
Ten rifles, heaps of cables, huge Doppler Radar unit, military-grade Laser RFs on tripods, spare barrels, safety gear — all ready for action in Texas.

About the Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab

Q: What is the basic purpose of the Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab?

Mitchell Fitzpatrick: The Mobile Lab allows us to effectively carry out ballistics testing in the field and at events. It has most of the capabilities of our normal lab, but on wheels.

Q: What hardware and electronics are carried in the Mobile Lab? What are its capabilities?

Bryan Litz: The Mobile Lab will transport most everything that’s in the main lab including the Doppler radar. This rig is new and we haven’t fully outfitted it yet. The load-outs will be somewhat flexible depending on the venue we are supporting.

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR
The three rifles on the left are Barrett MRADS, $6000-$6154 MSRP, before optics.

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR

Applied Ballistics Texas Mobile Lab Trailer doppler radar Barrett ELR

NOTE to Readers — Check back at the end of the day. We will have more technical information from Bryan Litz and the Applied Ballistics team…

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
July 28th, 2019

Jumbo $275.00 Magazine for .375 EnABELR Cartridge

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defenseThe .375 EnABELR cartridge was developed to offer magazine feeding capabilities with the highest-BC solid bullets available. Applied Ballistics observes: “The best magazine is one that retains the cartridge shoulder and doesn’t allow the tip of the bullet to impact the front of the magazine during recoil.” Cadex Defense has designed magazines that fit Cadex’s bottom metal and chassis for the EnABELR line of cartridges which allows for maximum magazine fed performance. These mags are beautifully made, but they will be very EXPENSIVE. Expect to pay about $275 per magazine — what the Cadex 375/408 CheyTac magazine currently costs (Product Code: MAG4300, USD $273.95).

Q: Is this different than Cadex’s regular CheyTac magazine?

A: Mitchell Fitzpatrick of Applied Ballistics Weapons Division replied: “Yes, the ribs that retain the shoulder are moved back to hold the case back and prevent the bullet tip from hitting the front of the magazine. We had been playing with inserts welded into place, which worked great, but dedicated mags directly from Cadex was the ultimate goal.”

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense
Here is Mitchell Fitzpatrick, shooting the 375 EnABELR in an ELR Competition.

“CADEX and Applied Ballistics. Two companies taking ELR seriously and trying to get that last 1-2% of performance out of the system. Keep up the good work!” — Mark N.

The .375 EnABELR Cartridge — Big and Fast

The .375 EnABELR cartridge is slightly shorter than a .375 CheyTac so it allows the round to mag-feed. Applied Ballistics is currently using brass made by Peterson. The .375 EnABELR has achieved impressive velocities — 2990 FPS — with prototype Berger 379-grain solid bullets fired from a 1:7″-twist 30″ barrel. Applied Ballistics may also test 1:8″-twist and 1:9″-twist barrels. READ Bullet Testing Report.

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

The .375 EnABELR cartridge was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package: “The problem with the .375 CheyTac is that, when loaded with the highest performance .375 caliber bullets (379-407 gr Berger Solids, and the 400-425 grain Cutting Edge Lazers) the round is not magazine feed-able in any action that’s sized for CheyTac cartridges.

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

“Knowing the .375 CheyTac produced substantial performance, and that it was just too long for magazine feeding, made it easy to converge on a design for the .375 EnABELR. We just had to make the case short enough to achieve magazine length with the desired bullets, while adding a little more diameter to keep the case capacity similar to the .375 CheyTac. The resulting basic shape is quite similar in proportions to the successful .338 Norma Magnum Cartridge which, interestingly, was selected as the cartridge for General Dynamics Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG).”

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July 12th, 2019

Shooting Brain Trust — Wind Wisdom of Emil Praslick III

Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Wind Reading Zero direction speed windy

Emil Praslick III is widely recognized as one of the greatest wind wizards on the planet — a master at identifying wind value and direction, and predicting wind cycles. As coach of the USAMU and top civilian teams, Emil has helped win many high-level championships. In the three videos we feature today, Emil, who works with Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori) and Team Applied Ballistics, explains how to determine wind direction and velocity using a variety of indicators. Praslick, now retired from the U.S. Army, was an 18-time National and 2-time World Champion coach with the USAMU.

Video ONE: Wind Theory Basics — Understanding “Wind Values”

In this video from UltimateReloader.com, Emil explains the basics of modern wind theory. To properly understand the effect of the wind you need to know both the velocity of the wind and its angle. The combination of those variables translates to the wind value. Emil also explains that the wind value may not be constant — it can cycle both in speed and velocity. Emil also explains some of the environmental conditions such as mirage that can reveal wind conditions.

Emil Praslick III Berger SWN Wind calling reading

Video TWO: Determining the Direction of the Wind

Key Point in Video — Find the Boil
Emil explains how to determine wind direction using optic. The method is to use spotting scope, riflescope, or binoculars to look for the “Boil” — the condition in mirage when the light waves rising straight up. The wind will generate that straight-up, vertical boil in your optics when it is blowing directly at you, or directly from your rear. To identify this, traverse your scope or optics until you see the boil running straight up. When you see that vertical boil, the direction your optic is pointing is aligned with the wind flow (either blowing towards you or from directly behind you).

Video THREE: The No Wind Zero Setting

In this second video, Emil defines the “No-Wind Zero”, and explains why competitive shooters must understand the no-wind zero and have their sights or optics set for a no-wind zero starting point before heading to a match. In order to hit your target, after determining wind speed and direction, says Emil, “you have to have your scope setting dialed to ‘no wind zero’ first.”

Emil Praslick III KO2M

Coach of Champions — Emil Praslick III
SFC Emil Praslick III, (U.S. Army, retired) works with Berger Bullets and Applied Ballistics. Emil served as the Head Coach of the U.S. National Long Range Rifle Team and Head Coach of the USAMU for several years. Teams coached by Emil have won 33 Inter-Service Rifle Championships. On top of that, teams he coached set 18 National records and 2 World Records. Overall, in the role of coach, Praslick can be credited with the most team wins of any coach in U.S. Military history.

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July 2nd, 2019

Paul Phillips Crowned 2019 King of 2 Miles in New Mexico

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Hail the King — Paul Phillips wears crown as the new 2019 King of Two Miles.

Paul Phillips, Captain of Team Global Precision Group (GPG), is the 2019 King of 2 Miles. Hail the new King! Paul won the event with a score of 48350, beating runner-up Robert Brantley who scored 46306. Fellow GPG shooter and 2017 K02M winner Derek Rodgers finished third with 38747. Phillips secured his K02M crown with good shooting in Raton, NM on both Day 1 and Day 2. On the final day, Paul had two hits at 2728 yards and one at 3166 yards. No competitor scored more than one hit at 3166 yards (1.799 miles), and no competitor scored even a single hit at the farthest target, placed at 3525 yards (2.0028 miles). So the actual 2-Mile target was never hit during the event.

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Here are the target locations and yardages for K02M Day 2 Finals.

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Team GPG members Derek Rodgers, Paul Phillips (center), and Mark Lonsdale with KO2M-winning rifle, K02M Trophy, $5000 Winner’s Prize from McMillan, and Nightforce Certificate.

Team Global Precision Dominates with Three of Top Four Places
Team Global Precision Group was top team overall with Paul Phillips in First Place, Derek Rodgers in Third, and Mark Lonsdale in Fourth. Team GPG, in its first world-level match together, dominated the field of 80 of the best ELR shooters in the world. First, Third, and Fourth — that’s mighty impressive gentlemen!

2019 KO2M Top 20 Results. Click on the table to see full-screen version:
Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

Paul Phillips, who recently competed in the European K02M match in France, gave credit to his sponsors and team-mates: “Team GPG is honored to be … King of 2 Mile Champions. I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be carried around on the King chair. I am humbled to be added to the list of great shooters that have been crowned before me.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

Paul added: “Big shout-out to all our sponsors, the match organizers, Eduardo, FCSA, and the volunteers who work so hard to make these ELR matches a major success. We’ll definitely be back in 2020!”

“Paul Phillips your win in this match is yet another example of the value of hard work paying off. I can honestly say that I don’t know anyone who works harder at ELR competition and promotion than you do. You deserve this win!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics

Equipment List for .416 Barrett 2019 KO2M-Winning Rifle

Paul’s massive KO2M rig features a BAT EX .50-Cal action with a 38″ Bartlein 1:9″-twist 5R barrel chambered for the standard .416 Barrett cartridge. The stock is a McMillan Beast One model. To tame recoil, Paul runs a T5 Terminator muzzle brake. The scope is a Nightforce 7-35x56mm ATACR F1 with MOAR Reticle. Up front is a Phoenix Precision Bipod, with an Edgewood Mini-Gator Bag in the rear. Paul is running a Bix’N Andy Comp Trigger with a 4-ounce, single-stage pull.

The complete rifle weighs 40 pounds. Bartlein did the .416 Barrett chambering using a Dave Manson reamer. Alex Sitman bedded the action in the McMillan stock as he did for the other GPG rifles. In fact, all three Team GPG rifles are essentially identical.

Load Details: Standard .416 Barrett cartridge, running .416 Caliber 550gr solid Cutting Edge Bullets at 3000 fps. The powder is Vihtavuori 20N29 ignited by RWS .50 Caliber primers. The cartridge brass is Barrett brand, produced by RUAG.

Support Gear: Ballistics are calculated with Applied Ballistics Software using velocity data from a LabRadar chronograph. Swarovski provided Team GPG with two big BTX 95 binocular spotting scopes. Phillips says “these BTX 95s really help us follow trace, spot impacts, and get on target quickly.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR
Here are Team Applied Ballistics competitors at the 2019 KO2M event in Raton, NM. Applied Ballistics’ Mitchell Fitzpatrick posted: “[There were] some unique challenges this year, but I managed to finish in 5th place running a sub-25 pound rifle. That’s the result of a lot of our ESSO research.”

$5000 KO2M Winner’s Prize from McMillan Fiberglass Stocks

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips McMillan Litz ELR

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is a strong supporter of the shooting sports. Here Kelly McMillan presents Paul Phillips with a $5,000 check from McMillan Fiberglass Stocks for winning the 2019 King of 2 Mile while shooting a McMillan stock. Teammates Derek Rodgers and Mark Lonsdale also used McMillan stocks in the 2019 K02M Finals. Along with the McMillan check, Paul Phillips received $5000 from Nightforce Optics, and $1200 from Cutting Edge Bullets. Paul told us he will divide all the winnings with his team-mates because: “I won with my team — we won together.”

Ko2m king two miles raton whittington center New Mexico Paul Phillips Derek Love Team Manners Litz ELR
Derek Love competed with Team Manners Composite Stocks and took many photos. You’ll find some great 2019 K02M images on Derek’s Facebook Page.

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June 15th, 2019

Get FREE Bryan Litz Book with $100 Bullets Order at Graf’s

Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free book
This is just one example. This deal works with ANY Lapua bullets purchased from Grafs.com. You can mix and match, as long as you buy at least $100 worth of Lapua bullets.

Lapua makes great bullets. Bryan Litz writes great books. And now you can get both with this special promotion from Graf & Sons. Here’s the deal — if you buy at least $100.00 worth of Lapua bullets at Grafs.com, you’ll get a free Applied Ballistics book authored by Bryan Litz.

You can mix and match any types of Lapua bullets — as long as the bullet order totals $100.00 or more. The book may be one of various Litz titles, such as Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting or Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets. NOTE: You do NOT get to pick the book title — you get what’s available. You want to move quickly on this deal — books are limited to supply on hand.

If you order now, you can get the bullets to shoot, and give the book to Dad for a late Father’s Day gift.

Lapua Bullets — Accuracy & Consistency
Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free bookIf you haven’t tried Lapua bullets yet you should. The Scenar-L bullets we have tested have proven extremely consistent in weight and base-to-ogive measurement.

And they shoot. We have a couple rifles that prefer Scenars over all other match bullets we have tried. We have won club matches with the 6mm Scenar-L 105s in a 6mmBR, while the 6.5mm 123gr Scenar and 136gr Scenar-L work superbly in our 6.5 Creedmoors.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
June 6th, 2019

Bryan Litz Wins Prestigious NDIA Hathcock Award

Bryan Litz Carlos hathcock NDIA National Defense Industrial Association award winner 2019

Applied Ballistics, LLC is proud to announce that its founder and owner Bryan Litz, has received the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) 2019 Carlos N. Hathcock II Award. Bryan was given this honor on June 4, 2019 at the NDIA Forum in Virginia.

The Hathcock Award honors an individual who, in the opinion of the Small Arms Committee Executive Board, has made significant contributions in operational employment and tactics of small arms weapons systems which have impacted the readiness and capabilities of the U.S. military or law enforcement.

Bryan Litz Carlos hathcock NDIA National Defense Industrial Association award winner 2019
Not just a brilliant ballistics expert, Bryan Litz is also a Championship-winning marksman.

Litz’s contributions to the U.S. Military include his numerous publications to help snipers understand complex external ballistic problems, promoting the advanced G7 ballistics model vs. the older G1 drag model, and developing Applied Ballistics solvers for Kestrel weather meters and other devices in widespread use by snipers for the U.S. Military and NATO allies. Bryan is also a frequent speaker at DoD forums and conducts ballistic seminars across the country.

Bryan Litz Carlos hathcock NDIA National Defense Industrial Association award winner 2019

Bryan stated: “It is truly humbling and deeply gratifying that my work has value to our nation’s Armed Forces. Being selected for the Hathcock award is the highest honor I’ve received in my career.”

Bryan received the award on June 4, at the NDIA 2019 Armament Systems Forum in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Past winners of the Hathcock Award include Todd Hodnett, Buford Boone, and SGM Pete Gould (U.S. Army Retired).

Bryan Litz Carlos hathcock NDIA National Defense Industrial Association award winner 2019

Bryan Litz helped develop global-leading ballistics solutions for civilian and military marksmen. Now Applied Ballistics solvers are integrated into Kestrel Weather Meters as well as advanced electro-optical devices. Bryan also helped create the successful Applied Ballistics APPs for iOS and Android smartphones.

Permalink News, Tactical 2 Comments »