Review: Overview-BallisticsArc

BallisticsArc

Yesterday I received my GeoBallistics WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter . It’s a new product that sticks to the budget friendly side of measuring important environmental data. It will measure wind speed, temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity. The GeoBallistic WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter uses a software called BallisticsArc that is available for both android and apple users. Today I want to give a brief overview of the BallisticsArc app as it uses all of the data from the WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter to complete an environmentally correct firing solution.

BallisticsArc Rifle Page

The first page you are brought to when you open up the BallisticsArc app is the Rifle page. This is where you are going to input the information about your rifle and ammunition. As with any ballistic program make sure to check your work. Bad data in will result in bad data out. BallisticsArc

If you are using the free version of the app you will not be able to delete the sample rifle. I have the premium version and have deleted the sample rifle and have replaced it with my rifle data. The data it asks for is shown below. BallisticsArc

Skipping over the bullet information you will need to input information about your rifle. The sight height, zero range, twist rate, and velocity of the bullet are all required. If you have an elevation or windage offset you will also need to provide that information in the appropriate places.

Geoballistic Overlays

Next you will set up a list of parameters in the GeoBallistic Overlay section.

The first one is your vital size overlay. This will give you the maximum range in which you can hit a target of a specified size without dialing or using any hold overs.

Next you can set an energy threshold which will tell you when your bullet has reached a specified ft-lbs of energy. Both the vital size and energy threshold overlay are useful to hunters who want to know the maximum distance they can use their zero to take game without adjustment and the maximum distance they can ethically take a shot.

Finally we can program in a velocity thresholds. This threshold can be set at a set velocity and will normally be used to indicate that our bullet has gone transonic. This is generally regarded as the maximum effective range of the bullet however many experienced shooters can and will shoot past this distance.

Ballisticsarc Bullet Library and Manual bullet additional features

The first thing you will want to do is find the bullet that you are shooting from the rifle. If you intend to shoot multiple different bullets from the rifle you will need to make multiple profiles of the same rifle with the different bullets. The app uses the JBM bullet library and has a majority of bullets available, however if the bullet you intend to shoot is not listed you will need to manually add the bullet information. The bullet library allows you to select caliber and even bullet weight to narrow down your list of choices. BallisticsArc

BallisticsArc
Bullet Weight Menu
BallisticsArc
Manual Bullet information Screen

BallisticsArc Weather Page

The next page after all of your rifle and bullet data has been saved is the weather page. If you are not using their WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter to collect this data this is where you will manually input the environmental information. The app will use you local internet connection and the compass in your phone to find the information needed. You also have the ability to manually enter this information if you so choose.

BallisticsArc
BallisticsArc Weather Page
Weather page: online weather

The bottom section of the weather page is the online weather section. If you click reload you will provided with a list of weather stations in your area. If you select a weather station it will then populate all the information from that site as well the time the data was last refreshed at the weather station. Once this has been done you can click either use button to use that information for a ballistic solution.

BallisticsArc
Weather Station Selection

Below I selected the Penn Yan weather station and imported the data into the fields above.

BallisticsArc
Penn Yan Weater Station Data
Weather Page: wind and atmosphere

You can also manually input the wind and atmospheric information if you choose. The blue compass next to the direction (deg) field will allow you to use your phones compass. In order to get a correct reading stand in the direction the wind is coming and point your phone into the wind and click the compass. Pictured below is the proper way to point your phone. This will also come into play when finding the shot angle and shot bearing in other features of the app.

BallisticsArc Hardware Page

If you have the GeoBallistics WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter you can bypass the weather page and get everything you need at your location. I will be covering the weather meter in part 2 of this review at a later date.

BallisticsArc
Hardware Page

Once your weather meter is paired it will start giving you real-time data. With your device facing the direction of the wind and the WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter facing back first into the wind (front facing towards you) you can then hit take sample. I used a 5 second interval and below is the information I got. By selecting the use button the wind speed, direction, and density altitude will now be used in your firing solution.

BallisticsArc
Live Data

BallisticsArc Chart Page

Once you have the environmental factors covered you can move on to getting a firing solution. Clicking the blue button next to the location line will use gps on your phone to get your location. Next you will point your phone at the target and click the angle button. This is best done behind the rifle while aiming at your target and will get you your shot angle. Next click the compass button to get your shot bearing. This will complete the data needed to apply the wind speed and direction into a firing solution.

Chart Page

In the chart above you will notice that there are 3 lines that are outlined. These are you GeoBallistics Overlays. The first gray overlay is the maximum distance for your vital size inputs. The red outline is you energy threshold. This is the distance at which your round is at the minimum ft-lbs of energy you input. Finally the yellow outline corresponds to your velocity threshold. This is the point where your bullet will drop below the velocity that you input.

BallisticsArc Map Page

Next up is a page that will allow you to find your location and map out targets or known points. Using a google earth overlay you can get a bird’s eye view of what is around you. You can drop a pin for your location as well as target. You can also connect the dots with a GeoBallistics Overlay showing you your preset thresholds. This information will give you the distance to your target and the corrections for them. It will also tell you the corrections and distances for each of your thresholds.

Map Page
Target Range
Max Vital Range
Energy Threshold
Velocity Threshold

BallisticsArc: Competition Page

One of the most attractive parts of the premium BallisticsArc app is the Competition page. You are able to set up stages and targets before hand. Before running the stage all you need to do is collect environmental information from the WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter and it will give you all the information you need to dial or hold for each target on that stage.

Competition Page

When entering in the targets you will follow the same steps as the chart page. This includes location, shot angle, shot bearing, and finally the specific range to the target you are loading. You can save range cards and access them at any time. Once all the information has been added and the environmental data input you will get a firing solution for each target.

Competition Mode: Firing Solutions

Stay tuned for part two of this review. I will be testing the GeoBallistics WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter against a weather station to ensure that it is giving accurate data. Part 3 will be coming soon after that where I run the firing solutions against the Applied Ballistics program to see which is more accurate with their firing solutions.

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New Shooters 101: Reading your Reticle

Reticle

 

 

If you prefer MOA or Mil the most important thing is understanding what your reticle has to offer. When we effectively use every feature our reticle has to offer we can get rounds down range faster. Your scope should come with a manual explaining all the features it has. Some scopes have a lot more to offer than others. Today I am going to cover a reticle I have a lot of experience with. The Leupold TMR.

 

New Shooters 101: Reading your Reticle- Leupold TMR

Chances are your reticle has a lot more to offer then using just applying proper hold overs. Before you head out to the range it is always a good idea to study and learn your reticle. Most if not all manufacturers will send the necessary information to better understand your reticle with the scope. Below is a picture of the Leupold TMR reticle. The information provided came with the scope and is also available online.

Reticle

New shooters 101: reading your reticle- spacing

One of the most important things to understand is how your reticle is set up to work. For example the older mil dot reticles produced my Leupold have a .2 Mil dot space 1 mil apart from the center line of the dots. Newer reticles like the TMR have smaller lines to make holding over easier. The TMR reticle has a smaller .15 Mil wide has mark at every .5 Mil and a larger .4 mil wide hash mark at every mil. If you look closely the TMR reticle also has .2 mil hash marks at the outer edges of the reticle between 4 and 5 mils. This allows you to compensate for hold overs with a higher level of accuracy. This also gives you more information to properly range a target width or height in mils to find its unknown distance.

Reticle

I use a Leupold Mark 4 ER/T 4.5-14x M5 rifle scope. As you can see in the photo below the fine lines and center aperture is dependant on the magnification range of your optic. All the fine lines of my reticle are .04 mils thick and the center aperture is .10 mil x .10 mil. Knowing everything possible about the spacing of your reticle will make you more effective on the range.

Reticle

 

New shooters 101: reading your reticle- range estimation

Many new reticles are featuring a quick and easy to use range estimation tool that is built into the reticle. If your reticle doesn’t have a separate range finding feature do not worry. Just like any Mil or MOA scope we can use the reticle like a ruler to range known objects at unknown distances. Most scope manufactures will give you some basic guidelines on how to use their optics for range finding. Below is the example for the Leupold TMR reticle. Reticle

The TMR reticle shows and example of ranging a 1 yard target from 500 yards to 1000 yards with a higher degree of accuracy. Understanding how your reticle is set up will allow you to more accurately range known targets at unknown distances. Understanding how mils work will also let you use the reticle to range any target size that you want.

New shooters 101: reading your reticle- conclusion

In comparison to other newer designs on the market today the TMR reticle produced by Leupold is very easy to understand. New reticles like the Horus Vision Tremor 3 have wind dots that can compensate for set wind hold overs. These types of systems require a ballistic calculator to figure out what that wind dot will represent in mph. The value of your wind dots will change as you dial for elevation.  Below are a few examples of more complicated systems showing why understanding ever feature of your reticle is important.

Reticle
Vortex EBR-2C
Horus Vision H59
Horus Vision Tremor 3

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Preparing for Practical Precision: Working with what you have

Precision

I don’t have an unlimited income. I am sure many of you are in the same boat. As much as I would love to order up a brand new custom-built rifle with the newest and best of everything I can’t. Much like my entry-level rifle build I want to get into practical precision shooting without breaking the bank. Today we will be covering what I have and how I am going about working with what I have.

When I had my rifle built I did not have practical precision style matches in mind. What I ordered and what I received was what I wanted at the time. A general purpose rifle with good glass able to get me out to 1000 yards. Fast forward to today and a lot has changed. By end of spring or early summer I will be hosting a practical precision style match up here in New York. I have a lot of work to do to facilitate that. There will be future articles covering my journey with this match more in-depth.

PREPARING FOR PRACTICAL PRECISION: THE RIFLE

I have a 22″ factory Remington 700 chambered in 308 Winchester. It was built for me by Sniper Central. I did a review on the build process as well as all the parts that I selected when I ordered the rifle. You can find that review here. Below is my rifle as received without any modifications.

Precision

stock choices

One of the things I talked about in my review of the rifle that I did not care for was the stock. While I liked the fit and finish of the stock and added the detachable bottom metal as a part of my build I found the comb lacking. I also did not care for the grip angle. I had originally wanted this rifle in a Magpul hunter stock, but the time of my order and the release date of the Magpul stock where at almost the same time and they were much harder to get, so I compromised and settled on the M40A1 style stock above.

By selling the stock and bottom metal I was able to swap out the stock with the Magpul Hunter 700. While not the best stock on the market it fits what I need it to do at a fraction of the price of others. I was able to adjust the cheek riser to have a more consistent and correct sight picture in multiple different positions. Something that the M40 style stock was lacking. It also corrected the grip angle issue that I had.

There are hundreds of choices of chassis systems and stocks out there today. Instead of spending the money for a brand new rifle maybe a new stock can make the difference. The market is flooded with choices and many are cost-effective. For a DBM style stock on a budget I would recommend the Magpul Hunter. You can adjust the length of pull and the cheek riser height to better fit your body and shooting style.

Preparing for Practical Precision: The Caliber

More and more manufacturers are building their rifles in calibers that previously involved a custom rifle being built or your local gunsmith swapping out your barrel. Some of these calibers have their roots set in practical precision style shooting. Had I known then what I know now I would probably be shooting a 6mm or 6.5mm caliber. The ballistic performance of the rounds are simply better. They shoot a higher BC bullet that is flatter shooting and bucks the wind better. So how can I make do with my 308 until its ready for a new barrel?

Twist rate

One thing i never have to worry about is finding ammunition to feed my 308 on the factory side of things. However with that being said knowing what ammunition will properly stabilize in your twist rate is very important. I said my Remington 700 is a factory action and barrel cut down to 22″. The twist rate is also a factory 1:12. If you are still buying a 308 after this article, please learn from me. 1:12 can be a little finicky with the bullets it likes to stabilize.

Using the Applied Ballistics Tool Box and the spin doctor I can calculate what bullets will or will not stabilize. A Sierra 175 grain SMK traveling at 2650 FPS gets the green light for complete stability.

Taking a look at another popular offering we have a Hornady 178 grain BTHP. In a 1:12 twist at the same 2650 FPS it only hits marginal stability.

Knowing which bullets will stabilize is going to be a key factor to getting the most out of your rifle. If you drive a car that calls for premium gas would you try running just regular unleaded in it?

Ballistics and Ammunition

Getting to best performance out of the rifles we have is critical. Some companies make quality ammunition that will serve you well in any caliber rifle. If you don’t reload these options might be all that is available to you. However matching a reload to your rifle through a proper load development is going to be the best way to improve the accuracy of your rifle.

Today I want to take about factory available ammunition and the course I am taking in regards to that. I will be comparing 3 different loads. Federal Gold Medal Match 175 grain SMK, Federal Gold Medal Match 168 Grain SMK, and ABM Ammo 155.5 Grain Berger Match Fullbore target. All 3 bullet choices will fully stabilize in my rifle.

All data will be out to 1200 yards with a DA of 0. 10 MPH cross winds at 90°.

Federal gold metal match 175 grain smk

Pushing the 175 grain SMK at 2600 FPS at the muzzle.

Precision

Federal gold metal match 168 grain smk

Pushing the 168 grain SMK at 2650 FPS at the muzzle. Precision

Abm ammo 155.5 grain match fullbore target

Pushing the 155.5 grain match fullbore target bullet at 2800 FPS at the muzzle.

Ballistic overview
Precision
Bullet Drop
Precision
Wind drift

So what load am I choosing? I am going with the 155.5 Berger Match Fullbore Target from ABM. I intend to reload the 155.5 grain bullet, however would like to test the ammunition to have a factory load to fall back on. The 155.5 has the least amount of drop and the same amount of wind drift as the 175 grain SMK at 1200 yards.

Something to consider that I have run into while researching the ABM ammunition is the COL (Cartridge Overall Length). This load was developed for Palma style shooters and has a COL of 2.920″. It will not fit in unmodified ACIS or Magpul ACIS PMAG. Alpha Industries and Manufacturing has a solution. Their Gen 2 Alpha mag accepts up to a 2.965″ COL allowing me to feed the ABM ammo from a magazine.

PREPARING FOR PRACTICAL PRECISION: RECOIL

Being able to spot your hits and misses is a critical part of practical precision shooting. Being able to have a fast follow-up shot to a miss or a hit is equally as important. At the time of my build I opted to leave out a threaded barrel. I can’t for the life of me tell you why I did this, but I did. I have noticed that it is not as easy to spot my own shots as well as I would like.

You might be in better shape then I. Maybe you don’t have a muzzle break but your rifle has a threaded barrel. There are a lot of options out there and some work better than others. Posted below is a calculation of the recoil my rifle produces.  

My 12 pound rifle firing a 155.5 Berger Match Fullbore Target at 2800 FPS produces 11.09 ft lbs of recoil energy. So how can I tame that down to make follow-up shots and spotting easier? I found a clamp on muzzle break manufactured by Witt Machine. They go the extra mile and require two measurements of your barrel. One at the muzzle and one exactly 1 1/2 inches from the muzzle. They then make their break machined to your exact rifle barrel.

Witt Machine

They post an impressive 60% minimum in recoil reduction. Assuming that the muzzle break reduces felt recoil by 40% my Remington 700 recoil would be brought down to 6.65 ft lbs of recoil energy. This would put my 308 rifle on par with a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle weighing the same as my rifle without a muzzle break.

I will be ordering the ABM ammo, Alpha Mag gen 2, and the Witt clamp on break shortly. Stay tuned for more articles and reviews.

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Review: Lymen Digital Powder Scale (DPS) 5 First Look

Cailber

Well after years of use my Lymen DPS 2 finally died on me last week. Talk about a disappointment going out to load up some ammo and your trusty scale won’t turn on. So I did the only thing that I could and ordered the DPS 5. I did consider the DPS 6 but it was lacking a few features and the only advantage it had over the DPS 5 was size. Since I was replacing a DPS 2 on my bench size wasn’t an issue and I would rather have more memory to store different loads.

Lymen

Lymen Digtial Powder Scale 5

 

Lymen DPS 5 First Impressions

My first impression when it arrived was the new touchscreen display looks good and will be easier to keep clean. The button layout is almost identical to the DPS 2 but on an LCD display instead of actual buttons.

Lymen

Lymen DPS 5 Set Up

Setup was very simple! Just plug it in and put the powder hopper on then wait for it to warm up. This is one of my favorite improvements over the DPS 2`s 30 minute warm up time. The DPS 5 only takes 3 minutes to warm up. That’s 27 mintutes of time savings everytime you go to reload!

 

Lymen dps 5: speed

The speed that the powder drops also seems to be somewhat faster as well. However what really sets DPS 5 is the auto repeat function. While the DPS 2 would save your charge data you would have to manually start the process. With the DPS 5 auto repeat all you have to do is set the powder pan back on the scale and it will throw your next charge for you.

Lymen DPS 5: Accuracy

The scale is accurate to 1/10th of grain or 1/70,000th of a pound just like the DPS 2. I have noticed that the DPS 5 throws a lot more charges that are 1/10th of a grain off then the DPS 2 did. I am very disappointed about that but I suppose it comes with the faster powder throws. What I don’t understand is that the charges that are off are always 1/10th of a grain light so you would think it could add the extra 1/10th of a grain to give the correct charge.

Lymen dps 5: final thoughts

Overall I am very happy with the DPS 5 and think it is an improvement over the DPS 2. I would definitely recommend the DPS 5 to anyone looking for an automatic powder dispenser. However I would like to see them improve the accuracy of the powder throw.

LymenLymenLymen

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Stay tuned on our upcoming reviews on Sarge’s Shooting BagsRifles Only Bungee Sling, and The Pig Skin Barricade Pad from Shadow Tech, LLC.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection

Cailber

Picking the right cartridge is as important as matching your rifle and equipment to the shooting you intend to do. Knowing the maximum distance you intend to shoot and the type of target or targets you intend to shoot is a great place to start. Other considerations include ammunition availability. If you buy a wildcat cartridge and don’t reload it might be hard to find ammunition to feed your rifle. Some cartridges carry a more diverse bullet selection then others.

What we will be looking at today is the terminal ballistics of common rounds, recoil, and availability of ammunition. The cartridges we will be covering today are 223 Remington, 243 Winchester, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, 260 Remington, 7mm-08 Remington, 7mm Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum, 308 Winchester, 300 Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum, 300 Winchester Magnum, 300 Remington Ultra Magnum, and 338 Lapua Magnum.

All information for comparison will be provided from the 10th Edition Hornady reloading manual. All velocities are based off of max load. Barrel length will be provided. All ballistics data is run on Applied Ballistics Mobile at a 0 DA and 10 MPH crosswind from 90°.

All recoil data is provided by www.shooterscalculator.com. Rifle weight will be set to a consistent 15 LBS. This data does not account for recoil reduction devices such as brakes or suppressors.

Ammunition prices are taken from www.midwayusa.com listing the lowest and highest price of ammunition.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection .223 Remington/ 5.56x45mm NATO

When looking at rifle calibers the .223 or 5.56×45 is an excellent example of a multipurpose cartridge. It has been used in multiple wars, has a place with LEO, varmint hunters, medium game hunters, Competition shooters, and long-range marksmen.

Terminal ballistics: 223 Remington

The 223 Remington can be loaded with bullets weighing in at as little as 30 grain all the way up to 90 grain. Some of the most popular loads being the 55 grain, 60 grain, and  75 grain bullets.

55 GR v-max-26″ barrel

Caliber

60 GR v-max-26″ barrel

Caliber

75 gr bthp match-20″ barrel

Caliber

.223 Remington  ballistics overview
Caliber
.223 Bullet Drop
Cailber
.223 Wind Drift

Recoil: 223 Remington

Caliber

Ammunition Cost: .223 Remington

A quick search of the internet brings up a wide variety of available ammo. The least expensive being Tulas 55 GR FMJ at $5.99 for a box of 20. The most expensive is Lapua Scenar 69 Grain HPBT and a box of 50 can be yours for $89.99. There are 136 different types of ammunition available on Midway.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection-243 Winchester

The .243 Winchester is another great example of a general purpose cartridge. When loaded with smaller bullets the .243 makes a great varmint rifle. Heavier bullets make it a great medium game hunting rifle. The .243 is also a great round to be used in practical precision and other shooting competitions because of its high BC 6mm bullet.

Terminal Ballistics: 243 Winchester

The 243 Winchester can we loaded with bullets weighing as little as 58 grains all the way up to 115 grains. The most popular bullets loaded into the 243 Winchester are the 58 grain, 75 grain, and the 105 grain.

55 grain v-max-24″ barrel

Caliber

75 Grain v-max-24″ barrel

Caliber

105 grain bthp match-24″ barrel

Caliber

243 Winchester ballistics overview
Caliber
.243 Bullet Drop
Caliber
.243 Wind Drift

Recoil: 243 Winchester

Caliber

Ammunition Cost: 243 Winchester

The cheapest ammo shows a box of 20 rounds of 90 grain soft point from Prvi Pargizan at $16.29. If you don’t reload and want to sling some high BC 6mm rounds down range to go the distance there is an option for you as well. Copper Creek Cartridge Company is offering 20 rounds of Berger 105 grain hybrid loaded ammo for $38.99. This ammo is unlikely to be on the shelf at your local Cabelas however. There are 53 different types of ammunition available on Midway and 3 different match grade loads available from Copper Creek Cartridge Company.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection-6.5 Grendel

The 6.5 Grendel has been growing in popularity since it was designed by Bill Alexander in 2002. The 6.5 Grendel upgrades the normal ballistics of a AR15 to shoot the higher BC 6.5mm bullets. It effectively extends the range of an AR15 platform rifle and brings more energy to target at farther distances. The 6.5 Grenel is an excellent varmint and medium game rifle and shines in competition shooting where AR15 style rifles are used.

Terminal ballistics: 6.5 Grendel

The 6.5 Grendel can be loaded with bullets from 95 grain up to 130 grain. Popular offers are 100 grain, 123 grain, and 130 grain bullets.

100 GR Amax-18″ barrel

Caliber

123 GR A-MAX-18″ barrel

Caliber

130 gr eldm-18″ barrel

Caliber

6.5 grendel ballistic overview
Caliber
6.5 Grendel bullet drop
Caliber
6.5 Grendel wind Drift

 

Recoil: 6.5 Grendel

 

Caliber

Ammunition Cost: 6.5 Grendel

The 6.5 Grendel doesn’t have as large of a selection from manufacturers as other calibers. Midway has 9 results for 6.5 Grendel. The cheapest ammo available is going to be Hornadys new Black ammunition line. 20 rounds of 123 Grain ELD Match loaded ammunition runs $19.79. The most expensive is Alexander Arms ammunition loaded with a 120 Grain Nosler Ballistic Tip. $32.99 gets you a box of 20.

New Shooter 101: Cartridge Selection 6.5 Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very well-balanced round. Designed for practical precision it also makes an excellent varmint and medium game hunting round. 6.5 Creedmoor shoots high BC bullets with a flatter trajectory and less wind drift then other short action calibers. It is a light recoiling round which makes it ideal for faster follow-up shots and spotting your own hits or misses.

Terminal Ballistics: 6.5 Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor can fire bullets weighing from as little as 95 grains up to 160 grains. The most popular bullets are 123 grain, 130 grain, and 140 grain.

123 grain a-max-24″ barrel

Caliber

130 grain eldm-24″ barrel

Caliber

140 grain eldm-24″ barrel

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6.5 creedmoor ballistics overview
Caliber
6.5 Creedmoor Bullet drop
Caliber
6.5 Creedmoor Wind Drift

Recoil: 6.5 Creedmoor

Caliber

Ammunition Cost: 6.5 Creedmoor

Hornady’s 129 GR American White Tail ammunition is the cheapest listed on Midway coming in at $17.99 for a box of 20. The most expensive is Noslers Match Grade 140 GR custom competition HPBT and $40.99 gets you a box of 20. Copper Creek Cartridge Company also has 4 6.5 Creedmoor offerings available at around a dollar less a box than the Nosler. Midway has 21 results for 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition and for more specialized ammunition Copper Creek Cartridge Company has 13 loads available in 6.5 Creedmoor.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection- 260 Remington

260 Remington was the 6.5mm cartridge of choice prior to 6.5 Creedmoor hitting the main stream and gaining popularity. Both carteidges have similar benefits and reports of the 260 Remington being able to push the lighter bullets faster than that of the 6.5 Creedmoor. According to Hornady’s 10TH Edition Reloading Manual the velocity of the 260 Remington is approximately 100 FPS slower than the 6.5 Creedmoor when shooting the same bullet. 260 Remington also benefits from the high BC of the 6.5mm bullets and the low recoil making it an excellent choice for hunters and practical precision shooters.

Terminal Ballistics: 260 Remington

The 260 Remington can fire bullets as small as 95 grain up to 160 grain. The most popular offerings are the same as the 6.5 Creedmoor. 123 grain, 130 grain, and 140 grain.

123 grain a-max-24″ barrel

Caliber

130 Grain eldm-24″ barrel

Caliber

140 grain eldm-24″ barrel

Caliber

260 Remington ballistics overview
Caliber
260 Bullet drop
Caliber
260 wind drift

Recoil: 260 Remington

Cailber

Ammunition Cost: 260 Remington

Midway lists the least expensive 260 Remington ammunition at $25.99. This is 20 rounds of Hornady 130 gr ELD Match ammunition. The most expensive comes in at $59.99 for a box of 20 rounds. This is Nosler 140 gr Partition Spitzer ammunition. Midway has 17 different types of ammunition available for 260 Remington and Copper Creek Cartridge Company carry 5 specialized loads for the caliber as well.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection 7mm-08 Remington

The 7mm-08 Remington is an excellent medium game hunting round. It was designed in the 1980s when Remington necked down a 308 Winchester brass to accept 7mm bullets. The 7mm-08 Remington has excellent terminal ballistics and also makes a suitable long range caliber. If recoil can be managed effectively enough to spot your hits or misses it can be used for competition shooting.

Terminal Ballistics: 7mm-08 Remington

The 7mm-08 Remington can fire bullets as light as 120 grains up to 180 grains. Most factory ammunition is not loaded with the heavier bullets that carry a high BC that makes 7mm-08 Remington shine.

The most popular bullets used when reloading the 7mm-08 Remington for performance are the 150 grain, 162 grain, and 175 grain bullets.

150 Grain Eld-x-24″ barrel

Caliber

162 grain eldm-24″ barrel

175 grain eld-x-24″ barrel

7mm-08 Remington Ballistics overview
7mm-08 bullet drop
7mm-08 Wind Drift

Recoil: 7mm-08 Remington

Ammunition Cost: 7mm-08 Remington

Like I stated in the overview of 7mm-08 Remington most of the factory ammunition available is 150 grain or less. Hornady does offer their excellent 150 grain ELD-X hunting round in factory ammunition. The least expensive ammo is Prvi Partizan 140 grain soft point ammo. It cost $18.89 for a box of 20. The most expensive is Barnes triple shot x-bullet 140 grain ammunition at $53.99. Midway lists 31 different types of ammunition available for the caliber.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection- 7MM Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum (SAUM)

The 7mm SAUM is a favorite hunting cartridge for those looking to get the extra distance and power of a magnum in a short action, light, and easy to handle rifle. It offers impressive gains over its non magnum competition and is a favorite round for medium to large game world-wide.

Terminal Ballistics: 7mm REMINGTON SAUM

The 7mm Remington SAUM can shoot ammo as small as 120 grain up to 180 grain. The most popular loads for hunters are the same as the 7mm-08 Remington 150 grain, 162 grain and 175/180 grain.

150 grain eld-X-24″ barrel

162 grain eldm-24″ barrel

175 grain elD-x-24″ barrel

7mm Remington SAum Ballistic overview
7mm SAUM bullet drop

Recoil: 7mm REMINGTON SAUM

Ammunition Cost: 7mm Remington SAUM

The 7mm Remington SAUM has very limited ammunition available by way of factory ammunition. Midway only has 4 types listed on their site. Nosler Trophy Grade Ammunition 160 grain Accubond being the cheapest at $63.99 for a box of 20. The most expensive is Nosler Custom Ammunition 160 grain Partition Spitzer at $68.99 for a box of 20.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection 308 Winchester

Another highly versatile round. The .308 is the old work horse of the long-range community. It has more diversity in bullet choices then other falter flying rounds and is still used by hunters, military, and law enforcement officers around the world. It is a highly effective varmint and medium game round and is used by practical precision shooters in the tactical division.

Terminal Ballistics: 308 Winchester

The 308 Winchester can shoot bullets weighing as little as 110 grain up to 220 grain. The most popular bullets for the 308 Winchester are 155 grain, 165/8 grain and 175/8 grain.

155 grain bthp match-22″ barrel

168 grain eldm-22″ barrel

178 grain eldm-22″ barrel
308 Winchester ballistic overview
308 bullet drop
308 wind drift?

Recoil: 308 Winchester

Ammunition Cost: 308 Winchester

308 Winchester has been around a while and there is a lot of ammo out there for it. The cheapest ammo available is Tula FMJ 150 gr at $8.99 for a box of 20. The most expensive is Nosler Trophy Grade 168 grain AccuBond Long Range ammo at $55.99 for a box of 20. Midway has a large selection of 138 different types of ammunition available for the 308 Winchester. For more specialized ammunition if you do not reload ABM Ammo and Copper Creek Cartridge Company both have limited offerings in the caliber.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection-300 Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum  (SAUM)

Much like the 7mm Remington SAUM the 300 Remington SAUM is another excellent hunting round. It takes a standard .30 cal bullet and shoots them at velocities close to that of a 300 Winchester Magnum. The 300 Remington SAUM is a great hunting caliber on most game.

Terminal Ballistics: 300 Remington SAUM

The 300 Remington SAUM can fire any .30 caliber bullet from 110 grain up to 230 grain. The most popular bullets used in the 300 Remington SAUM are very similar to that of the .308. 155 grain, 168 grain, and 178 grain bullets while some may prefer to shoot heavier bullets.

155 grain bthp match-24″ barrel
168 grain eldm-24″ barrel
178 grain eldm-24″ barrel
300 Remington saum ballistic overview
300 SAUM bullet drop
300 SAUM bullet drop

Recoil: 300 Remington SAUM

Ammunition Cost: 300 Remington SAUM

Nosler Trophy Grade Ammunition 180 Grain Partition Spitzer is the cheapest ammunition in the 300 Remington SAUM. $57.99 for a box of 20 rounds. The most expensive is Nosler Custom Ammunition 180 Grain E-Tip Lead-Free at $68.99 for a box of 20. Midway lists 10 different types of ammunition available for the caliber.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection 300 Winchester Magnum

An all time favorite hunting cartridge that has seen use for competitions as well as military service. The 300 Winchester Magnum is a very versatile round at extended ranges.

Terminal Ballistics: 300 Winchester Magnum

Much like the 300 Remington SAUM the 300 Winchester Magnum can fire any 30 caliber bullet from 110 grain up to 225 grain. Most hunters and extended long-range shooters choose a 150-220 grain bullet. The most popular being 178 grain, 200 grain, and 220 grain.

178 grain Eldm-25″ barrel

200 Grain Eld-x-25″ barrel

220 grain eld-x-25″ barrel

300 Winchester magnum ballistic overview
300 WM Bullet Drop
300 Win Mag wind Drift

Recoil: 300 Winchester Magnum

Ammunition Cost: 300 Winchester Magnum

The 300 Winchester Magnum is a favorite hunting round all over North America and the world. Ammunition is plentiful at most local gun shops. Prvi Partizan 180 Grain Soft Point takes the prize for lowest price at $22.49 for a box of 20. The most expensive is Nosler Custom Ammunition 165 Grain Partition at $71.99 for a box of 20. There are 85 different types of ammunition available on Midway.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection 300 Remington Ultra Magnum (RUM)

The 300 RUM is the Remington entry into the 300 magnum world. It boasts impressive gains of around 200 FPS more than the 300 Winchester Magnum firing the same bullet. Another flat shooting magnum caliber that has it place of extended range hunts and big game across the world.

Terminal Ballistics: 300 RUM

The 300 RUM can use bullets from 110 grain up to 230 grain. The most popular bullets being 178 grain, 200 gr and the 225 gr bullets.

178 grain eld-x-26″ barrel

200 grain eld-x-26″ barrel

225 grain eld-x-26″ bARREL

300 RUM Ballistics Overview
300 RUM Bullet drop
300 RUM Wind Drift

Recoil: 300 RUM

Ammunition Cost: 300 RUM

HSM GameKing Ammunition 165 Grain Sierra GameKing Soft Point Boat Tail is the cheapest listed at $49.46 for a box of 20. Nosler Custom Ammunition 150 Grain AccuBond Spitzer takes the most expensive at $87.99 for a box of 20. Midway lists 25 different types of ammunition available for the caliber.

New Shooters 101: Cartridge Selection 338 Lapua Magnum

The 338 Lapua Magnum was introduced in 1987 and soon became a favorite with military units needing extended long-range take down power without the weight of a 50 cal. It is also a favorite round for extended long-range shooting and hunting. The 338 Lapua Magnum is the only true ELR caliber covered by this article today.

Terminal Ballistics: 338 Lapua Magnum

The 338 Lapua Magnum can fire bullets from 185 grain up to 300 grain. The most popular offerings rom Hornday being 225 grain, 250 grain, and 285 grain.

235 grain sst-27.17″ barrel

250 grain bthp match-27.17″ barrel

285 eld match-27.17″ barrel

338 Lapua Magnum ballistic overview
338 Lapua bullet drop
338 Lapua Wind drift

 

Recoil: 338 Lapua Magnum

Ammunition Cost: 338 Lapua Magnum

Midway has 31 types of .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition available on their website. The cheapest is Sellier & Bellot 250 Grain SMK at $30.99 for a box of 10. The most expensive is Federal Premium Gold Medal Ammunition 250 Grain Sierra MatchKing Hollow Point Boat Tail at $117.99 for a box of 20.

Which cartridge is right for you?

Well that really depends. You can use the information above to find that out. Not all cartridges are created equal. Reloading is beneficial in most cases and sometimes necessary to get the best performance out of the cartridge you choose. Matching the range you intend to shoot, the purpose you intend to use the rifle for at that range, as well as amount you are looking to spend on ammunition will help you make a better choice in cartridge selection.

 

Stay tuned for our next article diving back into reloading by reviewing the Lyman Gen 5 Touch Screen Powder Scale and Dispenser.

As always like and follow our page LRS Precision, LLC Facebook page and come join our LRS community at  Long Range Shooters Facebook Group.

 

New Shooter 101: Purpose

Purpose Setting up your equipment and rifle depends on a lot on what you intend to do with it. The intended purpose will drive how your rifle is set up and gear you need. A lot of new shooters seem to dive right in. They purchase an off the shelf rifle that is within their price range. Is it the best rifle for the purpose? Maybe. Was it the only option at the store? Possibly. Will it work? We all hope so. No one wants to buy something that they regret. So how can we ensure that we are getting what we need before purchasing our rifle and gear? We can define the intended purpose and research from there.

New shooter 101: purpose what do you want to use your rifle for?

Before running off and buying a rifle define its use. What do you want to use the rifle for? Will it be used for hunting? Extended long-range shooting? Practical precision matches?  Benchrest shooting? Are you looking for that jack of all trades? What ranges are you looking to shoot from? Make a list of what is important to you. Some factors to consider are weight, barrel contour, stocks or chassis systems, twist rates, and barrel length.

New shooter 101: Weight

Have you ever heard the saying that ounces lead to pounds and pounds lead to pain? If you are making a long trip on foot while hunting a 25 pound rifle isn’t the most ideal choice. However if you are competing in a bench rest competition a heavy rifle might be just what you are looking for. Everything you add to your rifle is increasing weight. Some optics weigh considerably more than other choices on the market. Same thing with the contour of your barrel. If you do not intend to shoot multiple strings and are not worried about a POI shift as your barrel heats up you don’t need the thickest (heaviest) contour available.

Setting up your rifle is a very obtainable balancing act. For example with the new carbon fiber stocks on the market you can get that heavy barrel while still keeping weight down. The same applies to scopes and bipods. There is an option to fit every shooter out there. Set a maximum and minimum weight limit for your build. You can always swap scopes, bipods, and stocks down the road.

New Shooters 101: Twist rate

Knowing your twist rate can save you a lot of time and even reduce some stress. Knowing what weight and type of bullets you intend to shoot will help you properly select a twist rate that will stabilize those bullets. I’ve seen a fair number of new shooters buy their first rifle and a box of ammo who have been unable to get good groupings or make shots at extended ranges. While the majority of people will simply write it off to being new fo the hobby it could also be a compatibility issue with the rifle and the ammo they are trying to shoot. Spend the extra time to find out if the ammunition you want to shoot or reload is going to work in the twist rate of the rifle you intend to purchase. Asking the question after the fact won’t do you much good.

New shooters 101: barrel length

Does barrel length matter? Will my 20″ .308 shoot out to 1000 yards? How will it affect my accuracy?

Yes barrel length matters, but it matters most to the shooter and what you intend to do with your rifle. There is a reason that palma shooters have 30 inch tubes on their guns. They want to get every last drop of velocity they can. However plenty of folks have made shots out to 1000 yards and farther with short barrels and their accuracy was not effected. Their bullet drop was. If you are okay with dialing a little more elevation to get he bullet there then the length of the barrel is nothing more than a personal preference.

New shooters 101: stocks and chassis systems

A lot of new rifles are being pushed to market in a chassis system while some are still using traditional rifle stocks. What it all comes down to is personal preference as well as ergonomics. There are some really good stocks and chassis systems out there. There are also some that have terrible ergonomics. See if you can find a friend with the rifle you intend to go buy in the stock or chassis system you like before buying it. You can always make adjustments or change out the stock/Chassis System if you don’t like it, but avoiding that step the first time around will only save you money.

Stay tuned for the next New Shooters 101 article on caliber selection as well as the next installment of Preparing for Practical Precision where we will talk about some gear that will be reviewed here as well.

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