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September 25th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: .416 Barrett for King of 2 Miles Competition

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Today we feature a big-caliber rifle used for the most prestigious Extreme Long Range (ELR) competition, the King of 2 Miles. This rifle was built for Derek Rodgers, a talented shooter with amazing credentials. An F-TR World Champion, Derek is the only shooter to have won the F-Open USA National Championship AND the F-TR USA National Championship. Derek also won the 2017 King of 2 Miles competition. Last Sunday GunDay we featured the 33XC rifle used by Clay Rhoden to capture the inaugural American King of 1 Mile competition. That story was quite popular, so this Sunday we offer an even more powerful rig, Derek’s .416 Barrett with a massive 40″ barrel.

Derek Rodgers won the King of 2 Miles competition in 2017, so he knows all about Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting. While Derek won his 2017 KO2M title shooting the .375 CheyTac cartridge, Derek decided that something even bigger was in order. So Derek commissioned this impressive ELR rifle chambered for the jumbo .416 Barrett cartridge. This big round drives heavy Cutting Edge solid bullets from 475 to 550 grains in weight.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Here’s the Big Rig that delivers those .416-caliber projectiles. This monster rifle weighs 40+ pounds and sports a 40″ Bartlein barrel — more length for more velocity. Derek’s ELR rifle features a McMillan Beast 2 stock, BAT EX action, and Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm scope. Derek explained why he moved up to a bigger caliber: “I built a new rifle with the anticipation of seeing impacts easier. It was not just a larger caliber being more effective on hitting ELR targets, but rather hoping that a missed shot would have a much larger impact. Impacts beyond a mile become harder to see due to terrain and vegetation. So any added dust or splash erupting from the earth is a decisive benefit over an equally-accurate smaller caliber.” Here is Derek’s full report on his .416 Barrett rifle.

Derek Rodgers Campaigns a .416 Barrett

Report by Derek Rodgers
Cartridge Choice — I chose a standard .416 Barrett cartridge as it allows for bullets up to and slightly exceeding 550 grains. It really does bridge the gap between the .375 variants and a 50 BMG. There are several great solid ELR bullet options from manufactures like Cutting Edge that range from 475-550 grains. These offer a variety of extremely high BC options for barrels that have different twist rates. Most loads will utilize the slowest burn rate powders commercially available. Good options are Vihtavuori 20N29, RL50, H50BMG and other powders with a similar burn rate.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Shooting the .416 — Tamer than Expected
An initial observation is that the rifle is very controllable and feels much like a larger F-TR gun. The rifle weighs 40+ pounds, balanced and stays on target very well. The recoil is manageable and linear. This seems to give a straight rearward impulse that does not affect positioning. This allows for quick repositioning into battery and faster follow-up shots.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

.416 Barrett
Image courtesy ELR competitor Corbin Shell.

Rifle Details — BAT EX Action, Bartlein 40″ Barrel, McMillan Beast 2 Stock
Derek’s .416 Barrett ELR Rig features a BAT EX action with a Bix’N Andy trigger. Out front is a gigantic 40″ long, 1:9″-twist Bartlein barrel fitted with a Terminator T5 muzzle brake. The handsome McMillan Beast 2 stock combines a lower center of gravity design with a higher butt location. Given that high butt geometry, McMillan cleverly fitted the higher buttpad with a port allowing the cleaning rod to pass through (see photo below). On top is a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm scope in NF rings on a +60 MOA rail, with Holland 34mm bubble level. The stock is supported by a Phoenix bipod and rests in an Edgewood bag designed for the McMillan Xit F-TR stock.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Note the extended Buttpad height. That helps with recoil in prone position. This McMillan Beast 2 stock includes a pass-through hole for the cleaning rod.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Derek Rodgers Wins 2017 Ko2M with 3368-Yard Hit
Back in 2017, Derek Rodgers won the King of 2 Miles Competition at Raton, New Mexico. Derek, shooting with Team Applied Ballistics, was the first KO2M marksman in history to hit the target at the maximum 3368-yard (1.91 mile) distance. Here’s that historic shot:

At the 2017 K02M, with his McMillan-stocked .375 CheyTac rifle, Derek shot brilliantly from the start. He was perfect — without a miss — at the first three yardages: 1543, 1722, and 1888. He had some misses at 1953 and 2667 yards, but then he out-shot all competitors at 3028 yards, going two for five. No other shooter managed a single hit at 3028 yards. Then it all came down to the big one — the last (and greatest) challenge, the target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles). Derek nailed it… and the celebrations began.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico
Here’s Derek with his 2017 Ko2M-winning .375 CheyTac rifle. Now he’s stepped up in bore size.

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

Gunsmithing by Blake Barrel and Rifle in Arizona
Derek’s rifle was built and chambered by Bryan Blake of Blake Barrel and Rifle in Phoenix, Arizona. The chambering was done with a Manson Precision reamer. Derek explains: “Bryan and his family have been in the machine shop business for several generations and have the expertise and equipment to handle larger barrel diameters associated with F-Class to ELR-type rigs. I tried to consider all angles and potential pitfalls that might occur during the building process. However, Bryan added his own touches to make the project his own. He truly created a work of art and supplied a turn-key rifle that is meticulously built from the inside out and looks as great as the tolerances it holds.”

Derek Rodgers .416 Barrett ELR KO2M king of 2 miles Beast 2 McMillan stock Nightforce ATACR scope extreme long range New Mexico

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July 12th, 2022

NRA National Matches Commence at Camp Atterbury, Indiana

Camp Atterbury 2022 nra national championships

The 2022 NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, commenced Monday, July 11th, with the opening ceremony and the start of the High Power Rifle OTC National Championship. Held since 2017 at Camp Atterbury, a National Guard training facility, the 2022 NRA National Matches will continue through August 7, 2022. The photo above shows Denise Loring of Camp Valor Outdoors shooting on Day 1 of the High Power Rifle Championship.

Shooting Sports USA reports: “Opening the competition this year at Camp Atterbury was Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb, NRA First Vice President Willes K. Lee, NRA Second Vice President David Coy, and Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association President and new NRA Board Member Charlie Hiltunen. Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb had the honor of firing the ceremonial first shot. She was shooting an AR-15 with a Compass Lake upper, Geissele trigger and Nightforce optic. For the first time, the first shot for the NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury was fired on an electronic target.”

Camp Atterbury 2022 nra national championships

CLICK HERE for full 2022 NRA National Matches schedule. You can also follow the action this summer at Camp Atterbury by subscribing to Shooting Sports USA’s free Insider Newsletter.

2022 NRA National Matches Schedule at Camp Atterbury:

High Power OTC (Across the Course): July 10–15, 2022

High Power Mid-Range: July 16–21, 2022

Precision Pistol: July 17–23, 2022

High Power Long-Range: July 24–29, 2022

Smallbore 3-Position: July 25–29, 2022

Smallbore Prone: July 30 – August 7, 2022

Extreme Long-Range (ELR): August 5–7, 2022

Camp Atterbury 2022 nra national championships

Here’s a competitor’s first-hand video of 2018 High Power Championship at Camp Atterbury:

NRA Second Vice President David Coy, who will compete at Camp Atterbury during the Precision Pistol National Championships next week, thanked everyone who worked to support this event. David noted: “We as Americans are inherently competitive… This competition is an outgrowth of the original purpose of the NRA to teach marksmanship.”

Camp atterbury indiana satellite map

Lodging Options at Camp Atterbury — Summer 2022
There are several housing options at Camp Atterbury. The most convenient are on-base, with Camp Atterbury offering hotel-style buildings with suites, along with standard rooms, and ‘open military squad bay’-style quarters available by reservation. Camp Atterbury also offers a limited number of RV spots, plus the MWR campground and cabins. NOTE: Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not the NRA.

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June 10th, 2022

2022 NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury — Full Schedule

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

The NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury Indiana are just a month away. The first event, the National High Power Rifle Matches, begins with Competitor Orientation on July 10, 2022. Then, after the Opening ceremony, the fun begins with Team Matches on July 11th. There is still time to register for one or more of the events. CLICK HERE to register.

GET Official 113-page NRA National Matches Program PDF »

Use the NRA Competition Registration Portal to sign up for these events:

National High Power Matches
July 10-29, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

PROGRAM
July 10 Packet Pick Up/Orientation
July 11 Team Matches
July 12-15 Across the Course (XTC)
July 16 Mid-Range Packet Pick Up & Squadded Practice
July 19 Mid-Range Team July 17-18 / 20-21 MR Course
July 24 Long Range Packet Pick Up
July 25-27 Long Range
July 26-27 Team Matches
July 28 Palma Individual Match
July 29 Palma Team

National Pistol Championships
July 17-23, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

PROGRAM
July 17 Registration
July 18 Un-squadded Practice
July 19 Revolver / .22 EIC
July 20 Prelim
July 21 .22
July 22 Center Fire
July 23 .45

National Smallbore Championships
July 25 – August 7, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

PROGRAM
July 25 3P Registration
July 26-27 3P Metric
July 28-29 3P Conventional
July 30 Prone Registration / Practice
July 31 – August 1 Conventional Prone Iron
August 2 Team/Spc Team
August 3 Pershing/Goodwill
August 4-5 Conventional Prone Any
August 6-7 Metric Prone

NRA Extreme
Long Range Championship
August 5-7, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

PROGRAM
August 5 Registration
August 6-7 Extreme Long Range

CLICK HERE to View Full Screen CALENDAR PDF »

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

Camp Atterbury covered rifle range

The new covered range at Camp Atterbury was a big hit in 2021 during the Precision Pistol and Smallbore Rifle Championships. This was built with the help of the State of Indiana, Indiana National Guard, the NRA, and the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association.

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June 9th, 2022

Big Presses for Jumbo-Sized Cartridges Used in the ELR Game

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

In the ELR game, particularly the King of 2 Miles (KO2M), it’s “go big or go home”. The top shooters run large-capacity cartridges that push large-caliber, ultra-high BC bullets at very high velocities. Bullets launched by cartridges such as the .416 Barrett can sustain supersonic velocities at Extreme Long Ranges — and that’s what it takes to win. The .416 Barrett can launch a 550-grain solid bullet at 3000+ FPS.

.416 Barrett cartridge ELR .50 BMG RCBS press
Photo from ELR Competitor Corbin Shell.

2018 and 2019 Kings of 2 Miles Loaded on RCBS Presses
So how do you load jumbo cartridges such as the .416 Barrett? It takes a big, heavy, super-strong reloading press. We’ve learned that two recent King of 2 Miles champions, Paul Phillips (2019) and Robert Brantley (2018) both loaded their KO2M ammo on RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG presses. Phillips loaded .416 Barrett ammo, while Brantley loaded a similar .416 MCS cartridge.

In 2018, Robert Brantley topped the field using his custom .416 MCS cartridge. Then in 2019, Paul Phillips won the K02M competition shooting a .416 Barrett, with Brantley a close second. Both Phillips and Brantley use the RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG single stage press kit and RCBS .416 Barrett dies to hand-load for extreme long-range. “My ammo has been much more consistent after switching to the RCBS press and dies,” remarked Phillips, who runs the Global Precision Group. Brantley said he uses RCBS products for most of his reloading needs — from the dies and AmmoMaster, to the ChargeMaster and Brass Boss. His custom .416 MCS loads launch a 550-grain bullet more than 3,100 fps.

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

Loading with RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG Press
This video shows reloading with the RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG press. While this video shows .50 BMG cases being loaded, the principles are the same for loading the .416 Barrett cartridge or other big rounds. Big cases need big presses!

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May 25th, 2022

Curtis Roman Sets ELR Cold Bore 3-Shot Record at 2472 Yards

ELR Cold Bore World record Curtis Roman 2472 yards

Here’s a really impressive feat of marksmanship and rifle accuracy. Starting with a cold bore, i.e. no sighters and no warm-up shots right before the string, Curtis Roman made 3 hits in a row at 1.404 MILES (2472 yards). The hits were on a steel target 3-foot square (36″x36″). To put things in perspective, one MOA at 2472 yards spans 25.88 inches. Looking at the target, his three shots were very close to 1 MOA.

Sterling Precision and Applied Ballistics shooter Curtis Roman set a new FCSA Extreme Long Range (ELR) Cold Bore Record on Sunday, May 22, 2022, at the Spring Canyon ELR Match at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. At this match, Curtis was able to make 3 consecutive impacts at 2472 yards, starting with a cold bore. This feat was witnessed by fellow competitors. Through his spotting and wind-reading skills, Roman’s teammate David Lindsey played a key role in setting this new Cold Bore ELR World Record.

Curtis was shooting a Sterling Precision-built .416 Stroker with 500 grain Cutting Edge Lazer bullets. The ballistics solution for the 2472-yard distance was calculated by a Kestrel 5700X with Applied Ballistics using Doppler radar data.

This video shows Curtis Roman at the 2021 KO2M event at the Whittington Center last year:

Rules of Extreme Long Range Competition
ELR Cold Bore World record Curtis Roman 2472 yardsThere are various rule sets for different ELR events at different venues. However the Extreme Long Range Shooting Organization (ELRSO) has created a set of standardized rules with the goal of running ELR matches under uniform guidelines. Here are some highlights of the ELRSO Rules for Extreme Long Range Competition:

Any caliber of rifle up to and including .50 CAL can be shot at any ELRSO Unlimited event. Eligible rifles must be .50 caliber or smaller.

Rifle, as ready to fire with all equipment attached, may not exceed (50 lbs. Heavy) or (25 lbs. Light), scales will be required at each match to verify weight compliance.

Attached Bipods for the front rest, and rear bag or pad for rear support will be the only rest systems permitted. No mechanical rests, mono-pods are allowed.

Bipod must be rigid and may only have two points of contact with the ground and one point of attachment to the rifle. Distance between feet may not exceed 20 inches.

Weight of all equipment must be brought to firing line in a single trip. No additional weight may be added to the rifle [after] weigh-in.

No electronic data gathering equipment, flags or wind data references permitted forward of the firing line.

No electronic communication will be permitted between the shooter, or spotter, and any other person.

Range Distance Requirements
Light Class – Minimum distance for initial target will be no less than 1,000 yards. Maximum distance for final target will be no more than 1,800 yards. Range must be capable of extending to 1,800 yards to host an ELRSO Limited Class match.

Heavy Class – Minimum distance for initial target will be no less than 1,400 yards. Maximum distance for final target will be no less than 2,600 yards, and no more than 3,600 yards. Range must be capable of extending to a minimum of 2,600 yards to host an ELRSO Unlimited Class match.

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October 12th, 2021

Nightforce Wedge Prism: +50 or +100 MOA Elevation for ELR

Nightforce Wedge Prism optic ELR Elevation device

In our most recent Sunday GunDay story featuring 2021 QUEEN of 2 Miles Lindsey Paul, we provided a full equipment list for Lindsey’s winning .375 CheyTac rifle. Readers noted that this big rig was equipped with a Nightforce Wedge Prism mounted forward of the riflescope. Lindsey used the Wedge Prism on her two most distant targets in the KO2M finals, which were placed at 3166 (1.8 miles) and 3520 yards (2 miles). Readers were curious about the Wedge Prism and wondered how to get one.

Nightforce Wedge Prism KO2M lindsey Paul 2021

Basically the device, which is offered in +50 MOA and +100 MOA versions, allows a major increase in elevation over what is available by cranking the elevation knob on the scope. Even with an angled rail offering +40 MOA elevation, few, if any, conventional scopes have enough elevation to put the reticle on targets two miles away. The Nightforce Wedge Prism is the answer. The Wedge Prism optically shifts the incoming image to the scope, effectively augmenting the scope’s vertical elevation travel.

Nightforce Wedge Prism — Gain Elevation for ELR Shooting

The Nightforce Wedge Prism is offered in two variants, 50 MOA or 100 MOA, that install forward of the riflescope to increase the effective elevation travel. The Wedge Prism optically shifts the incoming image to the riflescope by a precise elevation value, which directly adds to the available elevation travel within the riflescope. The Wedge Prism is designed to work optimally with 56mm front objectives. Nightforce says you can position two Wedge Prisms in parallel for maximum effect — up to 200 MOA total. These NF Wedge Prisms are pricey — MSRP is $990.00 for either the 50 MOA or 100 MOA version. However EuroOptic does currently have 50 MOA Demo models for $769.00.

Nightforce Wedge Prism optic ELR Elevation device

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September 28th, 2021

King of 2 Miles Event Kicks Off in Raton, New Mexico

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

The 2021 King of 2 Miles ELR competition officially commenced yesterday at the Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. This unique event, the “Olympics” of Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting, attracts many of the best marksmen on the planet, campaigning rifles capable of mind-blowing accuracy at extreme distances. The bullet, barrel, and optics technology on display was impressive — as was the amazing marksmanship. Ryan Cheney is leading the KO2M Qualifications after Day 1&2, shooting perfect 3-for-3s without a miss at 1692, 2097, and 2376 yards, and getting one hit at the most distant 2550-yard target. SEE Day One and Two Results.

Here are some of the cartridges used in ELR Competition. With these high-capacity cartridges, many competitors are using ultra-precision lathe-turned solid bullets.

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range
Big ELR Cartridges left to right: .460 Steyr, .416 Barrett, .375 CheyTac, 33XC, .338 Lapua Magnum, and .300 Remington Ultra Magnum.

Top Results in 2021 Qualifications
Here are the sixteen highest-scoring shooters at the 2021 KO2M match, after two days of qualifications. The Top 16 advance to the Finals tomorrow.

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Watch K02M Run from 2019 with 360-degree Views
Here is Bryan Litz Shooting K02M in 2019. NOTE, you can slide left/right to get a 360-degree view of the firing line — give it a try! View on Facebook, if 360° movie does not appear on your device.

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Here are Target Distances and Angles
Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Paul PhillipsPaul Phillips, 2019 K02M Champion, posted: “I’m very happy with Clay Rhoden with Longshot Cameras and James Devoglaer with KVR Ranch. They performed very well today in qualifications. They hit every plate out to 2550 yards [after the cold bore target]. [This was] their first time at King of 2 Miles!”

Shown below is the ammunition Paul Phillips loaded for his Global Precision Group team using Cutting Edge lathe-turned bullets:

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Applied Ballistics Brings High-Tech Gear to the KO2M Competition
The Applied Ballistics Team arrived early in Raton to do testing with their high-tech Doppler Radar equipment. This can provide very precise custom ballistics profiles for the ELR rifles. When you’re shooting at these extreme ranges, your come-up tables have to be perfect.

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

“Goooooood Moooooorning New Mexico! It’s a BEAUTIFUL day on the range! We’re setting up the Mobile Lab on the Cooper Range at the NRA Whittington Center and we’ll be hanging out in this gorgeous place.”

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range
Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

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September 6th, 2020

Sunday Gunday: .375 CheyTac ELR Rig and Cartridge Info

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock Beast Terminator Muzzle Brake SG Precision

NOTE: The .375 CheyTac is a proprietary cartridge of CheyTac USA. CheyTac® is a registered trademark. CheyTac® bullets, brass, and ammunition are offered by CheyTac USA, which also produces a variety of high-quality firearms for civilian and military use. See all CheyTac® products at CheyTac.com.

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock

This Extreme Long Range (“ELR”) rifle features a massive BAT “L” Round Action, McMillan Beast Stock, 38″ Bartlein 1:7″-twist Barrel, T5 Terminator Muzzle Brake, R.A.D. Recoil Reduction unit, and a customized Cheek Riser. The “Beast” stock name is appropriate — this rifle weighs a massive 38 pounds. Including the T5 brake, the finished barrel, chambered in .375 CheyTac, is 44″ long! All the work was done by Hall-of-Fame shooter and gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzales, of S.G. Precision LLC in San Antonio, Texas. If you want a rifle like this, Speedy says the lead time is 6-9 months. CONTACT SPEEDY, or call (210) 368-9010, or (972) 672-6630.

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock Beast Terminator Muzzle Brake SG Precision

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock Beast Terminator Muzzle Brake SG Precision

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock Beast Terminator Muzzle Brake SG Precision
Speedy milled vents in the fore-end. He told us “when you’re burning 150+ grains of powder you need all the ventilation you can get to help reduce the barrel heat.”

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock Beast Terminator Muzzle Brake SG Precision
There are many good brakes out there, then there’s the “TERMINATOR”! — Speedy

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock Beast Terminator Muzzle Brake SG Precision
The Phoenix Bipod employs a lowering modification.

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock Beast Terminator Muzzle Brake SG Precision

.375 Cheytac Extreme long range rifle ELR BAT Action McMillan Stock Beast Terminator Muzzle Brake SG Precision

About the .375 CheyTac Cartridge

Peterson .375 Cartridge Brass Cheytac K02M

Some of the most successful ELR cartridges are based on the CheyTac family, including the .375 CheyTac (9.5×77) and .408 CheyTac (10.36 x 77). This .375 Cheytac cartridge has proven to be tough and accurate. And it is capable of winning — our friend Derek Rodgers won the 2017 King of 2 Miles (K02M) event shooting a .375 CheyTac (9.5×77).

.375 CheyTac — K02M-Winning, World-Beating Cartridge

Derek Rodgers is the 2017 King of 2 Miles. He is also the first-ever human to ever hit the maximum distance target target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles). His cartridge choice? The .375 CheyTac. Derek ran Cutting Edge Bullets in Peterson brass with Hodgdon H50BMG powder.

Q: Why did you choose the .375 CheyTac cartridge?

Derek: When I was asked to join the Applied Ballistics Team, I needed to get an ELR rifle built in a short period of time. I was under a very tight time schedule to get the project complete. In an effort to eliminate variables, I decided to keep things standard and as simple as possible. I chose the .375 CheyTac for the ease of getting components. The larger rifles are more difficult to get components quickly and I felt like the .375 CheyTac had enough attributes to be competitive at ELR distances.

.375 Cheytac Derek Rodgers KO2M King 2 miles

.375 Cheytac Derek Rodgers KO2M King 2 miles

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
June 24th, 2020

Go Big or Go Home — Reloading .416 Barrett with 50 BMG Press

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

In the ELR game, particularly the King of 2 Miles (KO2M), it’s “go big or go home”. The top shooters run large-capacity cartridges that push large-caliber, ultra-high BC bullets at very high velocities. Bullets launched by cartridges such as the .416 Barrett can sustain supersonic velocities at Extreme Long Ranges — and that’s what it takes to win. The .416 Barrett can launch a 550-grain solid bullet at 3000+ FPS.

.416 Barrett cartridge ELR .50 BMG RCBS press
Photo from ELR Competitor Corbin Shell.

2018 and 2019 Kings of 2 Miles Loaded on RCBS Presses
So how do you load jumbo cartridges such as the .416 Barrett? It takes a big, heavy, super-strong reloading press. We’ve learned that the last two Kings of 2 Miles, Paul Phillips (2019) and Robert Brantley (2019) both loaded their KO2M ammo on RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG presses. Phillips loaded .416 Barrett ammo, while Brantley loaded custom .416 MCS rounds.

In 2018, Robert Brantley topped the field using his custom .416 MCS loads perfected on the AmmoMaster .50 BMG Press. This year, Brantley took a close second to 2019 KO2M winner Paul Phillips. Both Phillips and Brantley use the AmmoMaster .50 BMG single stage press kit and RCBS .416 Barrett dies to hand-load for extreme long-range. “My ammo has been much more consistent after switching to the RCBS press and dies,” remarked Phillips, who runs the Global Precision Group. Brantley said he uses RCBS products for most of his reloading needs — from the dies and AmmoMaster, to the ChargeMaster and Brass Boss. His custom .416 MCS loads launch a 550-grain bullet more than 3,100 fps.

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

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May 31st, 2020

ELR with $99 Rifle — Hitting Steel at 2240 Yards with Iron Sights!

World Record Iron Sights K31 Buffalo bison Utah
World Record Iron Sights K31 Buffalo bison Utah
Magnified 8X view looking down-range at buffalo target.

Could You Hit a Steel Buffalo at 2240 Yards (1.27 miles) … with Iron Sights?

Impossible as that may seem, that’s exactly what Ernie Jimenez did some years back at the North Springs Shooting Range in Price, Utah (elevation 5,627′). Shooting a milsurp Swiss K31 rifle chambered for the 7.5×55 Swiss round, Jimenez placed four hits on a three-foot-high, bison-shaped steel target placed a staggering 2240 yards from the firing line. Not bad for a rifle which Jimenez acquired many years ago for just $99.00. Of course he did have plenty of misses along the way (and Ernie even managed to hit the plate shielding his camera).

This video is set to start half-way through, when the shooter starts making hits:

The whole process was recorded on video and posted on YouTube. The Long-Range Shooters of Utah say this is an official Guinness World Record for longest shot with iron sights. We can’t confirm that, but it still is an impressive feat. Jimenez had to compensate for a huge amount of bullet drop. His K31’s long-range military sights helped but he still had to aim well over the pink bison. To see how far that target is, watch the video at 14:30 — a camera at the firing line zooms all the way back until the bison is nothing but a tiny dot. The photo below show the target at 8X magnification, but it’s still barely visible.

Here’s the unmagnified, “naked-eye” view from the firing line. Can you see a pink buffalo at all?
World Record Iron Sights K31 Buffalo bison Utah

Bullet Dropped Over 400 Feet along its Trajectory
To roughly gauge the bullet drop, we took a 7.5x55mm Swiss load from the Hodgdon Reloading Center. With max “book” load of H4350, a 168gr Sierra HPBT has a muzzle velocity of 2524 FPS. According to JBM Ballistics, that bullet will drop over 400 feet during its flight. That’s lot of hold-over! Assuming a 100-yard zero, 59° temp, and 5,600′ altitude, JBM calculates that the drop to 2250 yards is a stunning 210.9 MOA — that’s 4969.9 inches, or 414.15 feet!

World Record Iron Sights K31 Buffalo bison Utah

In the first part of the video, shooter Ernie Jimenez talks about his hand-loads and his K31 rifle. Here is an example of the distinctive straight-pull K31 (Karabiner Model 1931). Image courtesy AIM Surplus.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
January 12th, 2020

Sunday Gunday: Buell’s Beast — .375 CheyTac for ELR

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35
Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35

Buell’s Beast with Massive 35 Inch Barrel
A few seasons back, Our friend Darrell Buell built a new Beast — a monster 64-inch-long .375 CheyTac that weighs more than 70 pounds! Designed for ultra-long-range shooting (two miles and beyond), this beast represents the state-of-the-art in extreme long-range rifles. NOTE: to see more details, click the two images above to open Full-Screen Photos.

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35

Darrell reports: “This rifle is pretty much purpose-built to shoot 2+ miles extremely accurately. It is a .375 CheyTac (lengthened) built on a BAT 2.5″ action. The custom 35″, 1:10″-twist Brux barrel is a fat, 2″-diameter ‘straight taper’ with fluting. A custom 5″-long muzzle brake is fitted at the end. All barreled action work was done by R.W. Snyder Custom Rifles. The stock was created to fit the build by PDC Custom, and the massive muzzle brake as well.” The “bridge” at the end may look like a barrel block, but it’s not — the barrel completely free-floats. (The Picatinny rail on top of the bridge allows use of an overhanging bipod as an alternative to the JoyPod).

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35
Darrell has lots of elevation on tap: “With 150 MOA in the Ivey rings, another 20 MOA in the scope rail, 55 MOA in the Nightforce Competition scope, and 10 MOA in the FCR-1 reticle, there’s an impressive +235 MOA available.”

Counter-Weighted SEB Joy-Pod Up Front
The bipod Darrell will be using for his ELR sessions and the ‘King of 2 Miles’ match is a custom counter-weighted JoyPod crafted by Seb Lambang. With the counter-weight, Darrell says his monster 70-lb gun “adjusts as smoothly as an F-T/R rig”. The glass is a Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition scope carried in Ivey +150 MOA rings, which in turn are mounted to a +20 MOA BAT scope rail. Darrell says: “It’s been a heck of a couple months, getting this monster built in time, thanks particularly to Southern Cerakote, which turned it around in less than 24 hours.”

Buell’s Beast runs 350gr solid bullets at approximately 3250 fps. Check out the massive .375 CheyTac cartridge compared to a .308 Winchester:

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35

Darrell Buell ELR Rifle .376 Cheytac BAT Action 35

Bipod F-Class F-TR Sebastian Lambang PodPad Joystick Joypod

This one-of-a-kind “JoyPod” was produced by Seb Lambang specifically for Buell’s big .375 CheyTac rifle. Darrell needed a JoyPod that wouldn’t sink under a heavy load. Seb explains: “This is the world’s first JoyPod equipped with an adjustable counterweight, to balance his 75-lb gun. I did some experiments and put some weights ranging up to 60+ lbs on the top, and I found that the joystick action works like a regular one….it’s smooth, light, and precise. In addition, the counterweight can be bent down to not interfere with the bottom of the barrel. The counterweight is secured into the front center shaft by a thumb screw, and there is a tightly fitted pivotal joint on the counterweight to allow angle adjustment.”

Darrell is happy with his customized coaxial bipod: “In addition to the adjustable counterweight system on the front, this JoyPod comes with a longer, solid joystick. These additions will make for extremely smooth, precise adjustments, even if the rifle weighs in at 75 pounds or more. Not including the counterweight, the actual structure of this bipod weighs in at a mere 1.09 pounds — exactly what the standard JoyPod weighs. It is extremely strong, however. Seb has pictures of himself standing on the pod … and he weighs 150 pounds!”

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April 9th, 2018

Applied Ballistics Secures $1.3 Million U.S. Defense Contract

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

We want to congratulate Bryan Litz and his talented team at Applied Ballistics LLC. We have followed Bryan’s career as a bullet designer, ballistician, author, software product developer, and ELR pioneer. His team leads the world in advancing the science of long range shooting. And it looks like all the hard work has paid off — Applied Ballistics has secured a major contract to develop extreme long-range sniper capability for the U.S. Military.

Applied Ballistics LLC, a Michigan-based tech company, has been awarded a $1,300,000 contract by the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) to execute Phase 1 of the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) project.

Phase 1 of the ESSO project is focused on advancing the predictive capabilities of modern ballistic solvers by performing Doppler radar measurement and modeling of current service rounds at Extreme Long Range (ELR) as a function of gyroscopic stability, and refining the models of secondary ballistic effects such as spin rate decay and spin drift at ELR. Phase 1 will conclude with the ballistic modeling enhancements being integrated into the existing Applied Ballistics ecosystem of electronic devices which are currently deployed by numerous U.S. and allied armed forces around the world. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in late 2018.

Phase 2 of the ESSO project is a potential follow on (2019) that focuses on the development and fielding of an advanced ELR sniper rifle system designed to drastically increase first-round hit probability at ELR on man-sized targets. The Applied Ballistics Weapons Division is currently conducting research and development on weapons platforms, as well as new cartridge and bullet options, that will maximize ELR ballistic performance from lightweight, practical, magazine-fed systems.

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

Bryan Litz, owner of Applied Ballistics LLC, said: “Our team of Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Science Engineers, and Technicians will apply our combined experience including years of testing and competing in ELR Shooting to the successful completion of the ESSO program objectives. This means extending the maximum effective range of U.S. and allied snipers, achieving decisive overmatch on the battlefield. I can’t imagine a better application of Applied Ballistics’ collective efforts.”

Applied Ballistics has developed ballistics software for mobile Apps. AB’s software has been integrated into numerous products including Kestrels, Laser Rangefinders, and “Smart” optics.

Applied Ballistics LLC CTTSO Extreme Sniper Strike Operations ESSO

Applied Ballistics Seminar in Utah, June 2-3, 2018

Applied Ballistics will offer a Ballistics Seminar June 2 and 3, 2018 at the Snowbird Cliff Lodge, Salt Lake City, Utah. This will include two full days of instruction with lectures plus Q&A sessions. The $625 cost of the seminar includes all 5 AB books, both AB DVD sets, AB Analytics, and Swag Bag.

CLICK HERE to Register. NOTE: Through April 17th, get $100 Off with discount code ABSEM100.

About Applied Ballistics, LLC:
Applied Ballistics’ mission is to be a complete and unbiased source of external ballistics information for long range shooters. We believe in the scientific method and promote mastery through understanding of the fundamentals. The results of our work are passed on to the government and shooting communities through clear and helpful instructional materials, as well as easy-to-use ballistic software running on many products.

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February 15th, 2018

Shooting on a Spinning Planet — The Coriolis Effect

Whittington Coriolis Effect
Photo by Dustin Ellermann at Whittington Center Range.

The Coriolis Effect comes into play with extreme long-range shots like this (2100 yards at Raton, NM). The rotation of the earth actually moves the target a small distance (in space) during the long duration of the bullet’s flight.

Coriolis Effect Bryan Litz Applied BallisticsWhen you’re out at the range, the Earth seems very stable. But it is actually a big sphere zooming through space while spinning around its axis, one complete turn every 24 hours. The rotation of the earth can create problems for extreme long-range shooters. During extended bullet flight times, the rotation of the planet causes an apparent deflection of the bullet path over very long distances. This is the ballistics manifestation of the Coriolis Effect.

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics discusses explains the Coriolis Effect in his Ballistics Books and Seminars. Bryan notes that Coriolis is “a very subtle effect. People like to make more of it than it is because it seems mysterious.” In most common shooting situations inside 1K, Coriolis is not important. At 1000 yards, the Effect represents less than one click (for most cartridge types). Even well past 1000 yards, in windy conditions, the Coriolis Effect may well be “lost in the noise”. But in very calm conditions, when shooting at extreme ranges, Bryan says you can benefit from adjusting your ballistics solution for Coriolis.

Bryan explains: “The Coriolis Effect… has to do with the spin of the earth. You are basically shooting from one point to another on a rotating sphere, in an inertial reference frame. The consequence of that is that, if the flight time of the bullet gets significantly long, the bullet can have an apparent drift from its intended target. The amount [of apparent drift] is very small — it depends on your latitude and azimuth of fire on the planet.”

Coriolis Effect Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Coriolis is a very subtle effect. With typical bullet BCs and velocities, you must get to at least 1000 yards before Coriolis amounts to even one click. Accordingly, Bryan advises: “Coriolis Effect is NOT something to think about on moving targets, it is NOT something to think about in high, uncertain wind environments because there are variables that are dominating your uncertainty picture, and the Coriolis will distract you more than the correction is worth.”

“Where you could think about Coriolis, and have it be a major impact on your hit percentage, is if you are shooting at extended range, at relatively small targets, in low-wind conditions. Where you know your muzzle velocity and BC very well, [and there are] pristine conditions, that’s where you’re going to see Coriolis creep in. You’ll receive more refinement and accuracy in your ballistics solutions if you account for Coriolis on those types of shots. But in most practical long-range shooting situations, Coriolis is NOT important. What IS important is to understand is when you should think about it and when you shouldn’t, i.e. when applying it will matter and when it won’t.”

The Coriolis Effect — General Physics
The Coriolis Effect is the apparent deflection of moving objects when the motion is described relative to a rotating reference frame. The Coriolis force acts in a direction perpendicular to the rotation axis and to the velocity of the body in the rotating frame and is proportional to the object’s speed in the rotating frame.

A commonly encountered rotating reference frame is the Earth. The Coriolis effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth and the inertia of the mass experiencing the effect. Because the Earth completes only one rotation per day, the Coriolis force is quite small, and its effects generally become noticeable only for motions occurring over large distances and long periods of time. This force causes moving objects on the surface of the Earth to be deflected to the right (with respect to the direction of travel) in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The horizontal deflection effect is greater near the poles and smallest at the equator, since the rate of change in the diameter of the circles of latitude when travelling north or south, increases the closer the object is to the poles. (Source: Wikipedia)

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
November 7th, 2017

Beyond Software: Applied Ballistics Gets into the Gun Business

Applied Ballistics Weapon Division ELR Rifle System Doppler Radar Long Range

First there were books, then Videos/DVDs, then Ballistic Apps, then Seminars, and now Applied Ballistics is moving into the gun-building business. Founded by Ballistics guru Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics LLC has been a world leader in the science of ballistics for the shooting sports. Now Applied Ballistics is using its expertise to produce complete rifle systems capable of world-beating Extreme Long Range performance.

Applied Ballistics Weapons Division Will Offer Complete Tactical ELR System
Applied Ballistics Weapons Division (ABWD) states: “We have the capability to build you a custom rifle, with ammo matched for that system. We can test the ammo and rifle combination over Radar in the lab. ABWD [will be] offering a complete system, with a CDM specific to that rifle. The first rifles are purpose built for 2500+ yard engagements.”

CLICK HERE: AppliedBallisticsWeaponsDivision.com

Based on the “teaser” video above, ABWD will offer a complete rifle system featuring Nightforce riflescope, ELR optical prism, laser rangefinder, Kestrel wind meter, and ammo that has been tuned for the rifle and trajectory-verified with Doppler Radar. This promises a “turn-key” system with sub-MOA 1000-yard accuracy plus hit capability at ranges out to 2500+ yards.

Applied Ballistics Weapon Division ELR Rifle System Doppler Radar Long Range

One Facebook reader asked: “Will you focus your rifle builds to just Extreme Long Range or will you be doing PRS-style type rifles as well?

AB states: “We are starting out with this ELR system, but will be offering more systems in the near future, as well as custom rifle builds. Stay tuned as the ABWD website should be up soon!”

Website: http://appliedballisticsweaponsdivision.com

Many Questions about ABWD’s New Products:
Of course, like our readers, we have many questions about this new project:

1. What cartridge types will be available in ABWD Rifles?
2. What companies will supply the rifle actions and chassis systems?
3. Who will supply the barrels and what are length/chambering options?
4. Will ABWD rifle systems be offered to the general public (vs. military/LEO)?
5. When will the first ABWD rifle systems be available?

And last but not least…

6. What will these ABWD ELR Rifles cost, both by themselves and as a complete package (with solvers, LRFs, optics etc.)?

News Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
September 5th, 2017

Extreme Long Range — New ELR DVD from Applied Ballistics

Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

Team Applied Ballistics will soon release a new DVD on the science, skills, and strategy required for successful Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting. The new DVD features a reality-style documentary following Team Applied Ballistics in the 2017 King Of 2 Mile (KO2M) competition. Team AB has now won this prestigious event two years in a row. Team shooter Mitchell Fitzpatrick won the KO2M title in 2016, followed by team-mate Derek Rodgers in 2017.

Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

Bryan Litz tells us: “Applied Ballistics is proud to announce the release of our latest DVD: ELR Shooting With Applied Ballistics. With lessons learned from our successful 2016 KO2M campaign, you can see how the AB ELR team developed our equipment and approach through practice and careful analysis. Learn the essential elements of ELR competition from the top team in the sport.”

This documentary, filmed over the course of a year, shows Team Applied Ballistics preparing for, and competing in, the 2017 KO2M match. This presentation includes interviews from all Team AB members, along with tips on ELR shooting. Pre-Order the ELR DVD and Save $5.00 (Pre-Order Price $19.95)

2017 K02M Match-Winning Performance on Video
The video below shows Team Applied Ballistics shooter Derek Rodgers winning the 2017 King of 2 Miles event. This excellent video combines firing line and target-cam views. You can see the strings-of-fire at 2667 and 3028 yards. Then Watch Derek, after four misses, hit the last target with his fifth (and final) round! That plate was set at a mind-numbing 3368 yards (1.91 miles). Derek had Paul Phillips as a spotter and Emil Praslick as a wind coach — a very powerful team and it showed.

ELR K02M 2017 derek rodgers

» READ ELR Story on Shooting Sports USA

If you want to learn more about ELR shooting and how team Applied Ballistics achieves great results in ELR competition, we recommend an excellent article just released byShooting Sports USA. SSUSA’s Editor John Parker interviewed Team Applied Ballistics members Bryan Litz and Paul Phillips. Both men said that successful Extreme Long Range shooting requires solid team-work.

Bryan Litz (center) conferring with Team AB members Emil Praslick (L) and Doc Beech (R).
Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

Paul Phillips explained: “ELR is very difficult. It requires a great shooter with 1/2-MOA accuracy, a really good wind coach and spotter to see impacts, trace and the ability to quickly negotiate and engage the targets. It’s one fluid team working together.”

Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics founder, concurred: “Of all the various precision rifle disciplines, ELR shooting is particularly suited to a team approach. All aspects of ELR shooting are both highly challenging as well as critical to success. One individual is typically not able to stay on top of all the variables effectively enough to hit targets at extreme ranges all by themselves.”

Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

Litz says superior wind-reading skills are vital in the ELR game: “One of the important challenges of hitting targets at long range is reading the wind. All the shooters on our team can read wind, but when we’re shooting a match, we put our strongest wind-reader in this position for all shooters. Emil Praslick is arguably the best in the world at putting a number on the wind. He’s got a well-rehearsed process that works in all scenarios. When Emil isn’t available, someone else on our team will apply his process and focus specifically on the wind.”

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