2 "Train of thoughts" arising in ELR

THEIS

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Hi,

So it appears there are 2 different "train of thoughts" arising in our modern day ELR world, so I figured a thread to discuss them could be nice :)

On one hand we have the "No replacement for Displacement" train; in which they are going to larger diameter and/or heavier for caliber projectiles.
On the other hand we have the "Speed Kills" train; in which they are going to smaller diameter projectiles in larger cases and/or light for caliber projectiles.

The first train seems to be focused on the larger and/or heavier for caliber projectiles allow them to see impacts down range better.
The second train seems to be focused on getting projectile through the flight path as fast as possible to reduce the effects of environmental conditions in relation to time of flight.

So which train are you following or riding :)

Sincerely,
Theis
 
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diverdon

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First off, I'm not interested in shooting beyond a mile, so my opinion matters little in this discussion.

Many years ago an old timer gave me an explanation of BC's that I think was probably correct though my google skills do not provide evidence. I was told that a one inch lead ball had a BC of one. Bigger balls or better shapes had higher BC's Smaller balls and worse shapes had lower.

So for two bullets of the same shape and density/construction but of different sizes the larger will have a higher BC. So in each case one must find a cartridge that will push the bullet to a MV sufficient to achieve a trajectory that can accurately reach the target.

In the case of my desire to be able to engage targets up to one mile, good combinations of bullets and cartridges are available from .260 up. As we get toward the .50 end of the spectrum it gets much easier to read the wind.
 
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jbailey

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Theis,
do you have examples cartridges/projectiles representing the two trains, displacement and speed?
just so we understand the two a bit better...
thanks
 

Milo 2.5

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Both paths have their merits, I'm not going to give an opinion as I've never shot past 2100 yards.

I think until a shoot like the 2K in MT where 10-12 can shoot at once, and run 30-36 shooters through a distance in an hour or so, it'll all be inconclusive. What worked at 8am, may not at 1:30pm and so on, conditions can change by the minute.
 

THEIS

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Hi,

@jbailey
It seems most of the "Displacement" train are going to heavy for caliber projectiles of 416 variety. They seem to be moving from the faster 375 varieties. Or going to SUPER heavy 375 weights in the 400+ grains.

As to the "Speed" train is going down in weight for caliber projectiles of 375 and 338 variety and/or increasing cartridge size. AKA the 375/BMG, 338/460, 338/Orca.

Of course this is very diluted and broad examples but I think you can better see the picture.

Sincerely,
Theis
 
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Apnea

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This may show that's I should be sitting at the kids table, but what is the equation for kinetic energy loss of a projectile traveling through air? For example energy is directly proportional to mass and the square of velocity. Is there a similarly straightforward relationship between these parameters and energy bleed during flight?

Given the choice between a small projectile that leaves the barrel at 4,000 fps and impacts at 2,000 fps, and a larger projectile that leaves at 2,800 fps and impacts at 2,400 fps, I am guessing the path of the slower projectile might be easier to accurately model, although longer time of flight means more importance in calling the wind.

I think the projectile selections probably depend on how people think they can improve the predictability of the shot: a more consistent monolithic bullet for BC, faster for a shorter TOF, or some other way of matching up the solver's arc and that of the real projectile (perhaps slow and heavy if my postulation above holds water). It seems like a secondary consideration of impact energy comes up in the need to be able to spot impacts.

The rationale of selecting one approach over the other is interesting considering we are reasonably constrained in what we can do in terms of size and cost.
 
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wildcats

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I think the 33XC with a bullet weighing around 340 gr or heavier can still play at 2 k .
Spotting the hits and reading the wind would be the challenge.
 
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lash

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This may show that's I should be sitting at the kids table, but what is the equation for kinetic energy loss of a projectile traveling through air? For example energy is directly proportional to mass and the square of velocity. Is there a similarly straightforward relationship between these parameters and energy bleed during flight?

Given the choice between a small projectile that leaves the barrel at 4,000 fps and impacts at 2,000 fps, and a larger projectile that leaves at 2,800 fps and impacts at 2,400 fps, I am guessing the path of the slower projectile might be easier to accurately model, although longer time of flight means more importance in calling the wind.

I think the projectile selections probably depend on how people think they can improve the predictability of the shot: a more consistent monolithic bullet for BC, faster for a shorter TOF, or some other way of matching up the solver's arc and that of the real projectile (perhaps slow and heavy if my postulation above holds water). It seems like a secondary consideration of impact energy comes up in the need to be able to spot impacts.

The rationale of selecting one approach over the other is interesting considering we are reasonably constrained in what we can do in terms of size and cost.
A point you make here regarding the rapid speed and energy loss of lighter faster projectiles is important. Most of us know that no matter how fast I start the bullet, at ELR distances the higher bc heavy projectiles will eventually overcome.

Of course this whole subject, while maybe fun to debate, leaves out so many other considerations as to be almost moot. At true ELR distances, even the fastest of the lighter projectiles will likely have to transition at least into and through transonic speeds. This then can end up being the deciding factor in some cases. How well does that bullet transition?
 
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THEIS

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Of course this whole subject, while maybe fun to debate, leaves out so many other considerations as to be almost moot.
Hi,
Absolutely :)
My thought to type attention span is nowhere near long enough to put all the variables such as projectile design, projectile alloy, goal/mission of each specific ELR outcome per person, does shooter constantly shoot at different locations/environments/etc, desired primer usage, desired propellant usage, barrel life, etc etc etc.

But IMO these 2 train of thoughts are the 2 biggest factors that people in and/or thinking of getting into ELR are looking at right now. Granted each of those 2 thought processes have their attributes, negatives, issues, reasoning's, idiosyncrasies, etc that require one to dive way deeper into the subject in order to reach THEIR desired goals and intentions.

There is no way in this thread that we can discuss these thoughts down to a level in which we come out with 1 is better than the other type of resolution :) but we can get an understanding of why each of us chose the train we do.

Sincerely,
Theis
 
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W54/XM-388

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There might be a third more rare train and that would be those that want their round to get to it's ELR target with plenty of energy remaining to do useful "work".
 
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THEIS

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Hi,

For example lets run the numbers of the following:

(Speed Train lol) Warner Flatline 361gr .375 with G1 of .961 (Doppler verified at 2790fps) but run numbers at 4000fps MV.

(Displacement Train lol) Cutting Edge 472gr .416 with G1 of .870 with a 3000fps MV. (IF someone has a verified MV for that projectile please advise)

Sincerely,
Theis
 
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Quickshot

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I think the answer depends on the ROE. The toughest requirement was 10 rounds in 5 minutes. I ran a 338 at 3600 FPS and the dispersion noticeably increased after 6 or 7 rounds. At 2500y plus; it’s hard to compensate for that. I’ve since settled on a 375 cal at 3000 FPS. Consistency makes it easier to improve.

So, I’m going watch for the most efficient rounds to emerge.

Cheers,
 

Milepost

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Depends on what your definition of ELR is.... Is it 1 mile, 2000 yards or 2miles? Are you shooting for tactical/military, comp match, or just shooting rocks from your LR hunting rig?

But to answer your question I think the answer is actually a little of both. That is why the 416's are getting popular. The bullet selections are good along with new faster twist rate barrels but the availability of slow powders & good brass are holding them back. Still, It does seem to be swinging to the direction of using the BMG case. As they say "There is no replacement for displacement"

Now, keep in mind that the size, weight and $$$ when going to the BMG case is also a big factor ownership. Also, just finding a place to shoot a BMG size rifle can be real challenge. Most ranges won't let one shoot anything bigger than the usual hunting calibers. Loading equipment is also unique to the BMG cases. It's big , heavy and also way expensive...That is a BIG + for choosing a Lapua or even a CT.

Going big does have it's advantages in ELR:

1) Easier to see your hits and then make corrections.
2) Larger calibers allow for better BC numbers and less wind drift.

IMO You always want as much speed as possible at the target end regardless of what caliber you shoot. You try to keep the bullet above the sonic region as long as possible and then try to find a combo that will have it transition well to subsonic. Any combination that gives a consistent and predictable ballistic curve shot after shot and puts the bullet on target is what matters. Sometimes speed will get you there and sometimes it is going to be a bigger, longer and heavier high BC bullet that is needed.

Shooting for the King of 2 miles requires a very special platform or system and the .416 should dominate at that range. I think if you plan to shoot at 2 Km or less then the fast 338's thru 375's could perform just as well.
 
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jbailey

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Hi,

For example lets run the numbers of the following:

(Speed Train lol) Warner Flatline 361gr .375 with G1 of .961 (Doppler verified at 2790fps) but run numbers at 4000fps MV.

(Displacement Train lol) Cutting Edge 472gr .416 with G1 of .870 with a 3000fps MV. (IF someone has a verified MV for that projectile please advise)

Sincerely,
Theis
4000fps MV? Seriously getting that fast?
How would a bullet with a much higher BC and a MUCH faster MV not eat up the slower, less efficient bullet in every scenario? Seeing impacts will not be a major difference, as the SPEED train is going to have a massive leg up on energy everywhere.

If those are the correct numbers, I don't think DISPLACEMENT is even close to SPEED.
 

THEIS

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Hi,

@jbailey
Klaus reached a higher MV than that with his Mach IV wildcat decades ago :)

The 375/BMG wildcat(s) are being revived right now due better projectile designs, alloy and more temp stable propellants. GRANTED propellants are the weak link in this wildcat but it can be worked out. Well barrel life is the weakest link but....who cares lol.
Yes that is correct MV.

Here is reamer I used but throated for longer, modern monolithics.
375x50 BMG IMP (002).jpeg

Sincerely,
Theis
 

Milepost

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Hi,

For example lets run the numbers of the following:

(Speed Train lol) Warner Flatline 361gr .375 with G1 of .961 (Doppler verified at 2790fps) but run numbers at 4000fps MV.

(Displacement Train lol) Cutting Edge 472gr .416 with G1 of .870 with a 3000fps MV. (IF someone has a verified MV for that projectile please advise)

Sincerely,
Theis
Don't forget the Lehigh 494 gr .416". The BC is 1.138 G1. I don't think it will transition thru the transonic well. Maybe D. Tubbs nose ring would help
 
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THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
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Don't forget the Lehigh 494 gr .416". The BC is 1.138 G1. I don't think it will transition thru the transonic well. Maybe D. Tubbs nose ring would help
Hi,
What MV are they getting? Probably around 2850fps?
Sincerely,
Theis
 

Laseredge

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Truth be told, at this point we almost need to define ELR as 1200-2400 yds, and EELR beyond 2400 yds.
ELR is achievable with a super magnums .338LM or a .300NM to name a few. EELR is way more of a custom proposition. With my limited experience, I choose BC over speed.
 

Milepost

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Hi,
What MV are they getting? Probably around 2850fps?
Sincerely,
Theis
I've got a Lilja 39" 9 twist on order so testing is on hold. (Stock barrel is a 13 twist) I will also try to test the new Flatline .416's if they are available at that time.
I'm considering running an improved Barrett with about 8% more capacity. I'm thinking I'll see around 3150 fps or better.

Robert Brantley shot the 500gr CE out of a 39" barrel at between 3100-3150fps

Let's not forget Randy Powell and his 460 Steyr pushing 560 gr bullets @ 3200 fps from a 36" barrel.
 
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Esoteric Junkie

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There will be more 460's on the line this coming year. The 560's work well at 3250-3300fps and 605's at 3150-3200fps. The 560gr can be shot a little faster than 3300fps but 3250 gets the job done pretty good. 40" tubes with faster twists than the standard 14" in the HS-460.
EJ
 

Skookum

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I would choose BC over speed. In my experience, more BC is much more forgiving down range. A bit of extra speed, unless it is a substantial gain, doesn't seem to help all that much with wind down range.

My current rig is pushing 300 grain Bergers at 3150fps. I am grouping five of them under 3 MOA on a good day at 2,400yds. My flight time is right at 4 seconds. I would take and extra 50 G7 BC points over another 200 fps in a heartbeat. As soon as I burn out this barrel with the Bergers I'll be transitioning to the solids to accomplish that very thing.
 
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McCrazy

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I think in every case, we see that a high BC and predictability in winds *at long distance for the caliber* is king. This has played out time and time again using 69 or 77 grain projectiles in the .223 instead of 40 gr. Using 140+ grain projectiles instead of 123 gr. in the 6.5s. Using 210 or higher projectiles in the .30 cal Magnums instead of 190 gr and lighter. I emphasize *at long distance for the caliber* because a light for caliber 300WM will still trump a heavy for caliber .223 at 800 yards, for example.

High BC beats speed *when you are pushing the range limits of that caliber* as long as you are not so heavy for caliber that the case can't push the projectile effectively (such as launching a 230 gr Berger with a .308 Win.).

The fast and light guys give up ultimate long distance hit capability in order to gain an advantage over the heavier projectiles at short to intermediate ranges.

What I think is really going on with the 2 trains of thought is acceptance of impracticality and cost. If you want to shoot with some semblance of a reasonable budget or have a rifle that is somewhat man-portable and practical, you will end up in the fast and light camp to a degree.

The guys going full-retard on the heavy and high BC methodology will end up with expensive, custom actions/projectile/barrels/brass/stocks etc. in a "rifle" that takes several guys to carry from the truck to the firing line and back. The calibers will be at least the .416 if not a .50 of some sort or even larger. We had a member on here I was in contact with a few years ago who was making a rifle designed to shoot a proprietary cartridge that was 20mm brass necked down to fit a .50 cal projectile. Take the concept far enough and you will eventually have artillery pieces with butt stocks and triggers attached to them doing EEEELR.
 
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Fig

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I don't have any ELR rigs. I have a half dozen varmint rigs pushing .22s beyond 4,000 FPS. They're medium range only cartridges. Start moving up in bullets and you add range even if the velocity isn't screaming.

They're very flat up close (out to say 500yds), but they get pushed around by wind badly, and once the velocity drops off (happens fast) not only do they drop fast, but they have zero power.

Forced to choose one extreme I'll take the big pill and the rainbow trajectory. There's a reason that .45-70 dominated the American West for so long.
 
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Dirty D

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...As to the "Speed" train is going down in weight for caliber projectiles of 375 and 338 variety and/or increasing cartridge size. AKA the 375/BMG, 338/460, 338/Orca...

Sincerely,
Theis
I may be wrong on this but if you are in conditions (tall grass and wet soil) where you can’t see splash from a 300gr 338 you probably won’t see splash from any of the larger rounds discussed.
 
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Rudy Gonsior

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Base off my ELR experience and specifically being a participant in Ko2M last year, I feel that the at distances out to 2000-2400ish, the lighter projectiles coming out of cartridges like the .338’s or .375’s can hold their own against some of the heavy hitters like the .416 or .460. They have an advantage of less recoil but still produce enough energy down range to spot impacts and misses easily. Their TOF compared the larger round is still within about 10th of a second or so and wind drift isn't crazy different. However beyond that threshold, I feel like those high displacement rounds really start pulling away.

If someone runs the AB analytics of a .375 CE 400gr. Lazer @3050 vs. a .416 CE 500gr. Lazer @3150 out at the 2 mile mark, I’d be curious to see the actual predicted hit probability but I can tell you what I saw during Ko2M while spotting the .375s vs the .416s during the finals. Beyond somebody making a major mistake, it quickly became apparent that the teams running .416s had an edge. We managed to get Duncan Davis on the 2 mile target with a .375 but just watching the .416s, the advantage was evident that .416 was perceivably a ballistic superior choice. When you tie that together with Brantley’s approaches and techniques, that team was untouchable.
 

THEIS

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Hi,

@Rudy Gonsior

Good Job to you and your KO2M Team!

The issue with comparing your 375 and 416 example is that both are on the Displacement train as neither are offsetting anything with their MVs :)
The 375 cartridge just was not designed for that heavy of projectile. At that point you might as well as open the case back up and run the original case diameter for the 408. That weight 375 projectile takes away most of the benefits of the 375 design over the original 408 design.

Now put that 400gr 375 into an improved 416B cartridge and run those MV numbers :)

Sincerely,
Theis
 

Rudy Gonsior

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Theis,

I suppose you’re right, both those projectiles are on the heavy end in relation to the cartridge perspectively. I guess I was looking at the term “displacement” solely from the concept of overall mass and it’s advantages of raising that threshold of remaining energy down range, even when BC’s and MV’s are only within a few points

I remember someone asking Paul Phillips why he chose to shoot .416 instead of whatever flavor .375 the rest of AB was running. He said something to the effect of “Because I wanted to have a chance at winning, Lol!”.

I guess any which way you cut it you can count me in the “displacement “ camp.
 

steve123

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I'm wondering how fast the throats would erode and the barrel life would be with those 4000 fps 375's??!! I mean how on earth could you keep a load in tune??

I have less trust in a projectile the longer it gets too! That might be part of why the 416 came on top vs the 375.
 

oneshot.onehit

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Running a 400 grain 375 in a improved 416 or custom 50 yields a bullet running in the 3361 fps to 3400 fps range which in turns yields some impressive BCs and extended range staying super sonic. But the cost of that is Day one 15 rounds in 9 minutes or less and then the finale with 15 rounds in 10 minutes = 108 thou of throat erosion on the barrel from pushing a hot rod and getting it hot. Staying in an accuracy node with 108 thou erosion and demanding the 1/4 min accuracy goes down the tube fast and starts to yield vertical dispersion. There needs to be a balance in speed and mass weight that results in a barrel that will at least get you through a season and give you the best preformance possible.

I know I was fighting some up draft effects from the winds on the mountain side in the finale but I also knew the erosion was a contributing factor, next year we will have a larger bore for the gasses and un burnt powder to get through without as much damage to the barrel.

You can take these hot rods and have a great time with them if you’re a recreational shooter plinking a few rounds here and there but when you have to hit multiple targets and under a time restraint you need to have a balance in mass and speed.

Cheers
Oneshot
JH
 
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Kickin45

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I’m a fan of both. Love shooting 300wm but am also in the middle of building a .224 Valkyrie bolt for the same reasons, but my shoulder will stay on my body longer.
 

THEIS

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You can take these hot rods and have a great time with them if you’re a recreational shooter plinking a few rounds here and there but when you have to hit multiple targets and under a time restraint you need to have a balance in mass and speed.

Cheers
Oneshot
JH
Hi,

Or we as an industry have to get serious in regards to some of the polymer/tungsten projectiles or even a synthetic polymer coating for projectiles.

Here is a 220gr polymer/tungsten .308 that is same "footprint" size of a 175gr.....solves the super long length for weight problem AND helps with barrel life :)
Just scale it up to the big bore calibers!!

20171219_211808.jpg

Sincerely,
Theis
 

CJS-6.5

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So I know what I don't know...but I know that at 1 mile my hits definitely increase with the 300 vs the 6.5. I would think that would hold true to a 300 to a 416 as well.
 

jbailey

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Hi,

Or we as an industry have to get serious in regards to some of the polymer/tungsten projectiles or even a synthetic polymer coating for projectiles.
Theis-
where can we get information on this polymer/tungsten projectile? is someone commercializing it or attempting to? Clearly lots of IP (intellectual property, read patents) at play here. This sectional density plus the super high form factors coming out of Warner Tool would be absolute game changers.
thanks
 

Dan Warner

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We are always messing around with that stuff in hopes that it can be done right. The problem in this industry is that platers make all kinds of crazy promises and fail miserably when it comes to the details. "Sure, we can do that, it will be amazing". Yup, you did it, but its 2x as thick as you said it would be and I cannot fit it into my chamber, never mind test pressure. Platers also never assume responsibility for their work, so if the parts are ruined, the PO originator eats it.
We are attacking this from several fronts, most of witch have been discussed here on the Hide in several different threads. Those fronts include, obviously the plating potential, projectile construction, barrel material, and subsequently powder choices and availability.
 

W54/XM-388

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Hi,
Or we as an industry have to get serious in regards to some of the polymer/tungsten projectiles or even a synthetic polymer coating for projectiles.
Here is a 220gr polymer/tungsten .308 that is same "footprint" size of a 175gr.....solves the super long length for weight problem AND helps with barrel life :)
Just scale it up to the big bore calibers!!
Sincerely,
Theis
Are those available for purchase yet? I'd be interested to see if they would wind up making the barrel life in a .300 PRC a fair bit longer. The 220gr is just about the perfect weight also.
 

Milepost

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I don't think that we would ever see the use of tungsten in bullets for the civilian world due to its toxic properties. However, it does have a place in the military for high priority mission specific targets.

Tungsten core bullets would also likely destroy the steel target backstops.

----------------------------------------------------------

As far as using polymer coatings reducing barrel wear? Since most of the damage is from throat erosion due to extreme heat I can't see it helping much but it would make barrel cleaning a breeze!

There is also the legality side. The use of slick polymer plated bullets could defeat the body armor worn by police.
 
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W54/XM-388

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There is also the legality side. The use of slick polymer plated bullets could defeat the body armor worn by police.
Not a concern with rifle bullets, only a legalistic issue (thanks to stupid 80's Hollywood/MSM hysteria) with handgun bullets.
Any of the ELR type rifle or long range hunting bullets is sailing straight thorough body armor as well as plates.

I don't think that we would ever see the use of tungsten in bullets for the civilian world due to its toxic properties. .
I think you might be confusing that with another specialized round using a heavier metal.
While tungsten can be toxic, you really have to be unlucky to have an issue with it. It is widely used in everything from light bulbs to metalworking.
You would have a more realistic chance of being poisoned by the lead in standard bullets.
 

j-huskey

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So, THEIS, the third train, trying to get up the hill, is the median bullet weight, bc, and speed, that doesnt erode the bore so bad the barrel takes a dump in the competition.
That leaves out the really overbore barrel burners that give the speed bc edge.
And it challenges the slower heavier units working at the edge of their performance envelope.

It makes the 416 worthy of further development for a man portable rifle for this purpose.
(I'm still working on the 375ct with high bc solids to find my limit there, b4 I jump way off in the deep end and like neck a 14.5 down to .50...😎😎😎😎, no... no....)

My vote is more development with the 416 on the median train.
 

Ric O'shay

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In the near term, it would seem that bullet design is the opportunity to improve stabilization. New bullet composition, perhaps combinations of material, including coatings, reducing drag inducing elements like cannelures and rifling marks, and shaping the bullet to improve further on the boat tail design to reduce drag coefficient.

All of these factors can benefit both the displacement and velocity camps.

In the near future, the current development of smooth bore, laser guided self stabilizing projectiles are fun to read about , but remain beyond practical.
Interesting to think though in several generations, small arms may move away from spin stabilized bullets. From a recreational shooters perspective how fun would it be to have a computer guide your projectile into the target? Not very.
 
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