We reference research and data collected by Bryan Litz and the guys at Applied Ballistics, LLC. often on AccuracyTech. I always try to do it without giving away what they’ve spent many long hours and who knows how much money to collect. Today’s article is a book report of sorts on their newest offering, Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2! For those of you wondering whether or not it’s a worthwhile read I can tell you from the get go, it’s well worth the money. I’ll try to discuss some of what’s in the book and my impressions without giving anything away!
Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting
The second in the Applied Ballistics series of “Modern Advancements” titles where the guys at AB take a “mythbusters” approach to some common topics of discussion in the precision shooting world. One such topic was the whole, “some bullets group poorly at shorter distances and take time to go to sleep before they group well,” belief. I’ve heard this before but I’d never really experienced it myself. It was interesting and impressive the lengths the AB Team went in order to try to validate or invalidate this belief. They put a lot of rounds down range and came up with some interesting conclusions. There may be some substance to bullets grouping better at longer distances, but perhaps not for the reasons you think!
The rangefinder testing was of large interest to me, personally. While I already have an excellent rangefinder I’m exploring the notion of slaving it to my spotting scope and purchasing a second rangefinder for use at matches or simple trips to the the range. There’s some really cutting edge stuff in this section of the book. The team who put Modern Advancements in Long Range Shoot Vol 2 together explored how some of the marketing used to promote rangefinders can be misleading, and how there’s a lack of an objective standard set of tests to classify performance.
They went to great lengths to come up with a series of testing criteria and then run several well known and several hyped (some overhyped) rangefinders through their series of tests. You then have a very standardized and objective charts and results presented to you. I can tell you some rangefinders that get a lot of hype and charge a real premium for their rangefinders didn’t do so well. I can tell you that there are some very affordable and excellent value for cost rangefinders that did very well. I can also tell you some of the units you would expect to be top performers (Vectronix) landed where you would have expected.
There was a very neat set of tests done by Cal Zant of Precision Rifle Blog on barrels. Specifically do different contours, flutes, and materials like carbon fiber make a difference with regard to accuracy? This testing was very good about addressing the whole, “do barrels lose accuracy as they heat up?” question. It was interesting to read how he set up the tests. It was more interesting to read the results. I will say it was somewhat surprising in a couple ways. Particularly I was interested to read about the effects of fluting a barrel with regard to accuracy and heat shedding. I also thought the carbon fiber barrels were interesting because his results both confirmed and dispelled what I thought the results would be.
How’s that possible, you might ask!? Well, were multiple brands represented in the testing. Some barrels performed as I’d expected they would and probably weren’t worth the extra cost. Then I was surprised to see that other barrels employing different takes on the same technology (Carbon Fiber) actually did see some real benefits over the regular steel barrels. In order to judge whether the extra cost, or performance, of the different barrels and contours are worth it to you I suppose you will have to pick up a copy yourself!
Some other topics that were in the book but I’m not going to go into great detail on were as follows. Bullet pointing and trimming and it’s effects on ballistic coefficient of the bullets getting the treatment. Methods of powder measurement and their effects on ammo consistency. Flash hole deburring and neck tension and their effects on ammo consistency. There was also information on powder fill ratio of cases and even a very extensive test on 22LR ammunition! They were even able to use measured BCs of 22LR ammo to calculate a firing solution for a hit on steel at 300 yards! That’s a long poke for a 22LR!
I don’t intend for this article to seem like a tease or a way to get you to buy the book. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to give you a real taste of what’s in the Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Vol 2 without violating the copyright on the book and giving away for free what these guys really worked hard to produce. You can buy a copy on Amazon or directly from the Applied Ballistics LLC website! I do recommend the book to any serious long range shooter. Particularly one looking at purchasing a rangefinder or considering different barrel options on a build. There are many additional topics covered and all are worth a read. This book is written with the average guy in mind and isn’t real heavy on physics or math that’s going to have you reaching for a bottle of aspirin!