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Warner Flat Line Bullets

Flat Line Bullets: Hands-On Tests & The 4700 Yard Shot

A few months ago, I introduced Flat Line Bullets (view post) designed by Josh Kunz and made by the Warner Tool Company (WTC). These new monolithic, lathe-turned bullets claimed some crazy-high Ballistic Coefficients (BC). BC defines how efficiently a bullet is able to cut through air and retain its velocity down-range. If you’ve been shooting long-range for any length of time, you know BC is one of the most important performance metrics for a bullet … and you’re also well-aware of how common it is for manufacturers to bloat the BC numbers they advertise. So everyone was anxious to know, are the BCs for the Flat Line Bullet true? Well, I tested them myself, and am anxious to share the results.

I also got some insider information on some new bullets they’ve been working on, which were recently shot out to 4,700 yards! Yep, you read that correctly. The longest confirmed shot these guys were aware of was to 3,650 meters (4,041 yards) … so that is a 16% leap in range. I’ll cover more details on that in this post as well.

Are Those Crazy BC Claims Legit?

The published BC’s on the new Flat Line Bullets are substantially higher than any other bullets available in the same weights. So I started by testing by the BC’s. That is what is so attractive about these new bullet designs, so if they weren’t realistic … I knew this would be a short test.

My BC Test For The 155gr Flat Line Bullet

To measure BC, I conducted a well-instrumented bullet drop test using their 155gr 30 caliber bullet on targets at 1000 yards and 1220 yards. If the BC data is correct, then the bullet should just be approaching transonic flight at 1,220 yards, meaning that is where it has slowed to approximately 1.2 mach and may start to become less predictable. Therefore that is the ideal range to true the ballistics to.

Testing Flat Line Bullets BC Out To 1220 Yards

Here are the factors I controlled to calculate the BC as accurately as I possibly could:

  • I used a Remington MSR rifle that I’ve personally proven to be capable of sub-1/2 MOA precision. The barrel featured a 1:10 (recommended twist for 155gr Flat Line bullet), and had just over 100 rounds down the tube when I did this test.
  • I started with a perfect zero on the scope, which was confirmed at 100 yards with the same ammo just 15 minutes before I shot at long-range.
  • I used a US Optics ER-25 5-25×58 scope that was proven to have 100% true and accurate mechanical adjustments, which I showed on my tactical scope field test.
  • Ranges to those targets were taken with multiple high-end rangefinders back when I did my rangefinder field test, including a $23,000 rangefinder from Vectronix.
  • I recorded the muzzle velocity of every shot using a LabRadar Doppler radar, which is accurate to at least 0.1% (amazing piece of hardware that tracks the bullet velocity at multiple points out to 100 yards).
  • My handloaded ammo produced very consistent muzzle velocities, with the 3 confirmation shots at 1,220 yards measuring 3109 fps, 3107 fps, and 3104 fps.
  • I used a properly calibrated Applied Ballistics Kestrel to capture all the environmentals, and used the integrated Applied Ballistics physics engine to calculate the adjustments for those distances.

After all that, I recorded hits with 5.9 mils of adjustment at 1000 yards and between 8.4 and 8.5 mils at 1220 yards. 8.4 mils of adjustment gave me a POI a little low relative to my point of aim, and 8.5 mils of adjustment gave me a POI that was just slightly high. So I’d estimate the true adjustment to be close to 8.47 mils. Because the other factors were known with a relatively high level of certainty, I was then able to adjust the G7 BC on the Kestrel to see what it would have to be to align with the actual hits.

The BC I found in my test was within 2% of the advertised BC! For the 155gr bullet, they advertise an average G7 BC of 0.285 for velocities from 3000 to 1500 fps, which fits the majority of the flight during my test, because the remaining velocity at 1,220 yards was 1,543 fps according to the Applied Ballistics engine. Using the advertised BC would have resulted in an 8.3 mil adjustment at 1,220 yards. But when I tweaked the BC to 0.278, it aligned with my actual hits at both 1000 yards and 1220 yards.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a cumulative error/uncertainty of 1-2% in this testing method, because there are so many factors that play into external ballistics. I’ll also be the first to admit there could have been some error in my hold on those long-range targets. I did try my best to control/measure as many factors as I reasonably could. At least in my opinion, I believe this confirms the advertised BC for the 155gr Flat Line bullet.

Bryan Litz’s Test for The 180gr Flat Line Bullet

Back in November, Bryan Litz published a report with his results from testing the 180gr Flat Line Bullet. Bryan has collected more real-world BC’s than any other person in history, and his results are considered by many to be the gold standard. Here are some highlights from his test:

“We got the Warner Flat Line 30 cal. 180 grain FTR bullets tested for BC. We shot them from two barrels: 1:8 308 Win 24″ barrel, avg. MV ~2300 fps, and a 1:9 300 Win Mag 26” barrel at 2950 fps. These were both ‘nominal’ loads, not pushing pressure limits. Normalized results of both barrels for the average speed band 3000-1500 fps.

Results for G7 BC’s are: 0.341 and 0.342; nearly identical for the two barrels. Both cases produced SG’s over 1.5, so I’ve got confidence in the results being accurate.

Warner Tool Co. advertises G1 and G7 BC’s for two different velocity bands: 3000-100 fps and 3500-1500 fps. I’ll focus on the 3500-1500 fps band, as taking it to 100 fps can highly skew an average. WTC advertised performance for the 3500-1500 fps band is 0.348. If I calculate the G7 BC for the same band as WTC (3500-1500 fps) based on my testing, it’s 0.347.

In essence, when BC is averaged for common velocity bands, my measurements are nearly identical to the WTC advertised performance of this bullet.”

Bryan goes on in the full report to compare performance of the Warner Tool Company Flat Line Bullet with Berger 200gr Target Hybrid and the Berger 215 gr Target Hybrid, and quantifies the impact those would likely have on score in FTR matches. He then closes with this conclusion:

“As you can see, the result of the BC, MV, and wind performance on score is such that the WTC Flat Line bullet is definitely a contender among the other options currently being used to win FTR matches. This analysis focused only on the performance aspect. Precision/grouping/recoil/shoot-ability is another issue which hasn’t been fully explored yet. As more of these bullets fly downrange, I’m sure a clear picture will form as to their suitability for FTR competition in general.”

BC Conclusions

While we clearly didn’t test every bullet and scenario, two completely independent tests indicate that Warner Tool Company is not being optimistic with their published BC’s. On the contrary, WTC seems to be more accurate than many other manufacturers’ published BC’s.

What About Precision?

There seem to be many skeptics when it comes to monolithic bullets and precision. Honestly, I’m not sure if I can satisfy those guys, but I thought I’d provide as much info as I could when it comes to precision.

First, I personally went out and shot several 5 shot groups at 100 yards. I will be the first to admit, I’m not a benchrest shooter. I’m a tactical/practical shooter, so my groups don’t accurately represent what the bullets are capable of. But, I did get several ragged holes at 100 yards. There are a couple examples of my groups below. These were fired with a custom 308 bolt-action rifle, but it didn’t have any special type of barrel or rifling. It sported a Medium Palma contour barrel from Hawk Hill Custom featuring 4 groove rifling with a 1:10 twist.

Five Shot Groups With 155gr Flat Line Bullets

But, don’t take my word for it. Instead, let’s turn to a more decorated precision rifleman: Brigadier General Eddie Newman shot rifles competitively during his entire 36 year Army career. Since his retirement in 2001, Eddie has specialized in long range rifle shooting at national and international levels. In addition to regularly taking home trophies at Camp Perry, Eddie is also a respected rifle instructor for military and civilian shooters. Here is Eddie’s report after using the Warner Flat Line Bullets:

“I was able to test and evaluate the Warner Flat Line bullets from a trigger pullers perspective while competing at Camp Perry in the NRA Long Range Championships, the U.S. Full Bore Championships and the ICFRA World Range Championships. The 155 Flat Liners that I shot were superior to any other bullets being shot in competition and performed exactly as advertised.

In competition I shot three different bullets; the Sierra 2155, Berger 155.5 and the Warner 155 Flat Line. During four of the matches I alternated bullets every other shot to see what effect this would have on bullet performance. I shot the APA Quad lock that was barreled by WTC throughout all competitions. The Berger “Triple Nickel” shot big groups out of the 10 twist barrel probably because I was jumping them .055″, although the 2155’s shot great out of the same barrel with the same jump. The Flat Liners shot like a magnum compared to current Palma bullets which gave me a psychological boost while shooting them. While comparing shots on target during a match, when I was blown out for a mid-ring 4, most others had a 3 or 2, confirming ballistic superiority.[Eddie’s description of the target rings is referencing the international competition 5-V target, not the US standard 10-X target.] Alternating bullets and powders seemed to have no effect and barrel clean-up was always very easy with no copper or roughness evident after minimal cleaning. At 900 yards Flat Liners shot a full 7 MOA lower than 2155’s and at 1000 yards they shot 4 MOA lower than Triple Nickels traveling at 3025 fps.

Performance indicators and results are difficult to quantify in a rifle match, however in a big shoot like the WLRC the picture becomes clear by the end of shooting. The first three matches were “pony” because of good conditions and you could not afford to drop a point. The last three matches were what I would term “Varsity Shooting”, here you had to employ the correct tactics or get burned badly, which is what happened to many good shooters. Through the combination of using superior ballistics, and making fewer mistakes than most, I was able to finish in the top 10% of all shooters, 40th place overall. I consider this to be proof positive that the Flat Liners are the “real deal” and not just merely numbers on paper. I was 13th USA shooter in the aggregate.

The legality of using Flat Liners in ICFRA matches seems to be in question. UK shooters, when questioned by me were “firm” that Flat Liners were not legal for any ICFRA competition. USA and Aussie shooters had no idea one way or the other. I believe some politicking will be required to bring pressure to bear on the ICFRA council so they will come out in support of the new projectiles. Factors such as the negative environmental impact of lead and embracing new technologies cannot be ignored for long. Was it in violation of ICFR rules to use Flat Liners during the WLRC? They did examine one of my cartridges but I think they only weighted it. If the ICFRA council gets pushed into a corner on this issue right now by a complaint alleging a rules violation, I believe they would rule against Flat Liners. For this reason I do recommend that members of the international shooting community, National Governing Bodies or NRA, who favor using the new technology bullets be contacted to make this an agenda item for the next council meeting. I believe the next council meeting is when they set the rules for 2019 in Trentham, NZ. Time to call in markers?

I will have to add that I used both the NRA UR and USA Fullbore Championships for testing, evaluation and train up for the WLRC. Given the time constraints I had no other choice. I was very impressed as to how easy it was to work up a very accurate load for the Flat Lines.”

Eddie clearly believes the Flat Line bullets live up to the hype. But there are a lot of skeptics out there that have heard huge claims from monolithic bullets before, only to see them struggle to perform at the top levels of precision. Unfortunately, I can’t provide any conclusive answers, and I’ll simply have to reiterate Bryan’s point that precision/grouping/shoot-ability hasn’t been fully explored yet. While I did test their BC, a true precision test would require hundreds if not thousands of rounds down range and I don’t have the time or budget for that. Having said all that, it would be hard to argue with the performance Eddie achieved with Flat Liners in the ICFRA World Range Championships. Unlike previous monolithic bullet designs, Eddie seems to have already provided strong evidence that these can perform at the highest levels.

The Price

Lots of guys have asked about the price, which is available on Warner-Tool.com. But here are the prices for the Warner Flat Line Bullets for informational purposes, at the time this was written:

  • 30 Cal. 155gr Palma = $65 (Box of 50 bullets)
  • 30 Cal. 180gr FTR = $70 (Box of 50 bullets)
  • 30 Cal. 198gr = $75 (Box of 50 bullets)
  • 338 Cal. 255gr LRBT = $86 (Box of 50 bullets)

So price is a down side. These bullets are more expensive than traditional jacketed bullets. It looks like Berger 30 Cal. 155gr Hybrids are currently selling for around $53, so these would be 23% more expensive. They certainly aren’t something that you’d go plink around at the range with, and they’re probably more expensive than some guys are willing to pay. But there likely is a market for guys who’d be willing to pay a more for a boost in ballistic performance. The question is just how much more are you willing to pay? And please don’t feel like there is a one-size-fits-all answer to the “Is it worth it?” question. Something is worth it if the benefit exceeds the cost … to you. If it’s worth it largely depends on what money means to you. We all come from different circumstances.

Okay … More On That 4700 Yard Shot!

50 West Armory Guns and GunsmithingJon O’Neill has been aggressively pursuing the dream of pushing what a shoulder-fired rifle is capable of for more than a decade. Jon is the owner of 50 West Armory, a gun shop in Chantilly, VA that also offers gunsmithing services. But it’s much more than a dream to Jon. Over the past several years, he attempted to partner with multiple companies in the firearms world to devise a rifle/cartridge/bullet combination capable of ridiculous distance. All of that means work that is very custom, which means very, very expensive. At this point the endeavor has cost him over $250,000.

Along the way, Jon experienced multiple setbacks and failures. A few of those were either dangerous enough or frustrating enough to cause most people to sideline the project, but Jon O’Neill either has supernatural passion and drive, or he’s incredibly stubborn and a little crazy. Like so many innovators in history, it may be a little of both!

When Jon first contacted Josh Kunz about this project 5+ year ago, Josh quickly dismissed him because at the time Jon didn’t have the ATF exemption showing they could legally work on a project that might considered a “destructive device.” But a couple years later, Jon did get that exemption, and teamed up with Warner Tool Company and Josh to try to turn the dream into reality.

Jon had already designed a cartridge and rifle, and over the past few months, Josh designed a new bullet that maximizes BC and accuracy potential, and addressed the issues the other manufacturers and bullet designers couldn’t.

“The 14.9” Cartridge & Flat Line Bullets

Cartridge Comparison 338 Lapua, 50 BMG, 20mm VulcanJon and Josh decided to name this new cartridge “The 14.9”, which is wildcat cartridge based off a 20mm Vulcan case (20x102mm). As Josh was telling me about this cartridge, I asked what powder he used that was slow enough. The powder with the slowest burn rate I was familiar with was something like Hodgdon’s 50 BMG powder. Josh said if they’d have used that powder, the gun may have exploded catastrophically, because it’s burn rate was still way too fast. Glad I’m not the engineer behind this project! They ended using “a proprietary blend of canon powders” for this new cartridge to get the desired burn rate and pressures. Josh said one pound of powder would load less than 20 rounds. That would mean there is over 350 grains of powder in a single round!

Here is a couple photos to give you some perspective for the size of this round:

Comparison of 14.9mm with 9mm

For the bullet, Josh designed a scaled up version of the 30 caliber and 338 caliber Flat Line Bullets they released last year. It was WAY scaled up. Where the 338 caliber Flat Line bullet weighs 255 grains, the 14.9mm bullet weighs 1,460 grains. That is more than 5 times as big! The bullet has a diameter of 14.9mm, which is 0.587 inches. A 50 BMG has a typical bullet diameter of 0.510 inches, so the 14.9 has a 15% larger diameter than a 50 BMG. Josh said he learned a lot through the design and testing process for this large projectile, which he’ll now be able to apply to smaller caliber bullets.

Weighing Flat Line Bullet on Sartorius Scale

The G7 BC of this bullet is 0.880! That is more than a 100% increase in BC over the leading 338 caliber bullet, and a 70% increase in BC over the leading 50 caliber bullet. Now that is a leap in ballistics!

Just to be clear, 0.880 is the G7 BC and not the G1 BC. G1 and G7 are two different methods of calculating ballistics. G1 is the old system for measuring BC and is suitable for flat based bullets, but many bullet manufacturers use this coefficient for boat tail bullets as well. G7 is an updated equation and the better system for measuring a ballistic coefficient of modern boat tailed bullets. Many of you probably know that, but here is some extra-credit trivia you might appreciate: the 1460gr bullet actually best fits the G2 standard projectile. It is such a departure from the standard shape/size of most bullets, that Josh says the G2 method (a far less common standard for shoulder-fired rifles) is actually more appropriate.

BulletG7 BCG1 BC
Warner 338 cal. 255gr Flat Line0.4000.814
Berger 338 cal. 300gr Hybrid*0.4170.812
Hornady 50 cal. 750gr A-Max*0.5080.991
Warner 14.9mm 1430gr Flat Line0.880NA

*Note: The Berger and Hornady BC’s shown are from Bryan Litz’s latest bullet reference book. It includes real-world, measured BC’s for 400 different bullets.

One problem these guys ran into was that some ballistic engines either don’t allow you to enter a BC that high, or they won’t calculate distances that far. That’s what I call a “champagne problem.” When you have a problem like that, you break out the champagne. It definitely makes you feel like you’re in uncharted territory.

Ballistics Engine Error - Range Too Far

The photo below shows the relative size of the components compared to a $100 bill. Jon and Josh said the $100 bill was fitting, because that is about what it costs to shoot one round out of the 14.9!

14.9 Case and 1460gr WTC Flat Line Bullet

Using their proprietary blend of cannon powders, the 14.9 cartridge was able to launch the 1460gr bullet at 3250 fps!

The Rifle

The rifle they used is highly custom. As they were telling me about going out and firing it, I asked the same thing you may be thinking: “What in the world is the recoil like on that thing?” Josh gave me the generic answer everyone uses to describe any big bore cartridge: “It’s about like a 12 gauge shotgun.” I have to admit, my first thought was “Yeah … right.” I was certainly skeptical of that assessment, but it turns out the rifle weighs just over 100 pounds before optics. After optics, it weighs just a little more over a 100 pounds. 😉 That heavy weight can drastically reduce felt recoil, and likely makes it manageable … maybe similar to a 12 gauge shotgun!

Jon Oneill Of 50 West Armory Hauling The 14.9 Rifle

The rifle is a based on a magazine-fed, tube-style chassis from Anzio Ironworks. For the scope, they used a Nightforce BEAST 5-25×56 on an ERA-TAC mount featuring 70 MOA of adjustable cant. That huge amount of cant allows them to make use of more of the scopes internal adjustment range, and when you’re shooting to the distances these guys are after you need all the adjustment you can get.

Side View of 14.9 Rifle

Behind Rifle

The Shot

There aren’t a lot of places where a rifle like The 14.9 can stretch out to what it’s really capable of. These guys gathered in a valley out in the desert, and began by shooting at 2300 yards. They had a chronograph setup at that distance, because the real goal of this outing was to gather ballistics data for this new bullet. They also zeroed the scope at 2300 yards. Here is a quick video of when they were trying to get dialed in. Ballistician Josh Kunz is behind the rifle.

After they’d collected some ballistics data, they decided to stretch it out a little further. First they shot at 2400 yards, then they back way up to 4245 yards, and finally 4700 yards. The ranges were measured using a Vectronix rangefinder. For the further distances, they had to range from the shooting position to a vehicle about half-way to the target, and then range from the vehicle to the target to get the total distance. They also double-checked the ranges using GPS. At 4700 yards, the guys ran out of room, because they were backed as far as they could go on the opposite side of the valley. So they were limited to just 2.67 miles! (Another “champagne problem!”)

View From Target To Shooting Position

This particular outing was primarily for proof of concept and to gather ballistics data, and not to set any official records. So they didn’t shoot for confirmed hits on a particular size target. They simply piled up a few rocks and set out an old propane tank for a point of reference for aiming. You can see a couple of the bullet impacts in the photo below. Even though they only had a 3mph full-value wind, Josh said he still had to hold well off target to account for it, because of the huge amount of time the wind had to affect the trajectory of the bullet. The time of flight to 4700 yards was 7 seconds! It then took another 13 seconds for the sound to travel back to the shooter’s position, so 20 seconds elapsed between when the rifle was fired and the impact was heard. That’s almost enough time to go out and get a cup of coffee!

Shots In The Sand 4700 Yards

Josh said when they shot at 4,245 yards, their target was a creosote bush that measured 42″ across and was 36″ tall, and they recovered bullets that had passed through that target and splashed into the sand behind it. That target would be just under 1 MOA at that distance.

The two guys below, Randy Morgan (left) and Josh Kunz (right), constitute the inaugural members of the 4700 yard club!

Josh Kunz and Randy Morgan - The 4700 Yard Club

Jon and Josh were very excited about the results they saw on this outing, and they believe there are a few advancements they can make over the next couple months. “We are planning another trip to shoot 5400+ yards. We have a location picked, and we are working out the supporting details for chronographs, load data, and changes to propellant and ignition to increase the consistency.  There is a lot of testing we want to do before we make another attempt,” explains Josh Kunz.

When I asked Jon and Josh how far they thought was possible, they both smiled and said they’re not sure. Josh said the bullet still had a significant amount of velocity left at 4700 yards, so they don’t feel like they’ve even started pushing what the cartridge and bullet are capable of. While it may be wishful thinking, they weren’t sure a 5 digit number is out of reach. Wow! Don’t we live in a fun time in history to be able to do stuff like this?! I can’t wait to hear how this develops and what other ways the Flat Line bullets shake things up in the near future.

For more info on Flat Line bullets, visit Warner-Tool.com.

About Cal

Cal Zant is the shooter/author behind PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about. Cal has an engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and the ability to present technical information in an unbiased and straight-forward fashion. For more info, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

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44 comments

  1. Great read! How can one demo the “14.9” 🙂

    • Hey, I want to know the same thing! I’d definitely pay $100 for a chance to shoot that thing to 5000 yards! 😉

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • Did you see the muzzle blast from that rifle? The case on the left almost blew over, not the hard case but the case next to it. The blast and the recoil were not from a 12 gauge Shotgun, it was like nothing I’ve never seen. You can tell that it set back the shooter several inches, WOW! Did anyone record the muzzle blast in DB? Amazing, 4700 yards, i can’t see that far.

      • Yeah … I haven’t calculated the recoil on that yet, but it’d be pretty straight forward. It does look to be massive. I still want in!

  2. I’ve been waiting patiently for a review of the Flatline bullets ever sense they came out. Really well done. You have access to some lovely toys. The last part of the article was amazing insanity. I loved every part of it.

    • Thanks! I’ve been trying to get this published for a while, but ran into a few rifle-related issues for the precision part of the test that hung me up. Then they told me about the 4700 yard at SHOT Show a few weeks ago, and I knew I had to include that in the content too. It is pretty insane for sure! Its fun to see what those guys are working on. Glad you enjoyed the content.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  3. Yes!! I’ve been waiting for this article!! Thanks in advance for all the research and getting this published!!

  4. Holy hell, that’s a far poke and a half!! Thank you for the write-up Cal, I gotta ask, what was the length of the barrel on that MSR and was that 155gr load showing any pressure signs? Seriously considering buying a 308 now to run these or maybe a 7mm-08 to run the 150s Josh has been working on (testing is showing around a .65 G1 from what he has told me, close enough to equality it’s like adding 300fps to a 180gr Berger Hybrid load) simply awesome!

    • Adam, that’s a great question. The 308 barrel on the MSR didn’t have a fast enough twist to stabilize the 155gr Flat Line bullets. The 308 barrel had a 1:11.25 twist, and they recommend a 1:10 twist for that bullet. Fortunately, the MSR has a 300 WM barrel with a 1:10 twist. So I just loaded it way down to the velocities that Warner Tool Company told me they were getting with the 155gr bullet with 308 rifles. Essentially the bullet is still exiting the muzzle at similar velocities and twist to a 308, but I was loading it in a 300 WM cartridge … at least that’s what I did for the BC test.

      For the precision groups at 100 yards, Josh Kunz ended up sending me his personal 308 rifle. It’s the same one he used at the competitions at Camp Perry a few months ago. He also sent me his handloaded ammo for that test too. His ammo produced muzzle velocities of 3043 fps from that rifle, and there were no signs of pressure. I’m not sure how much hotter you could run it before you saw signs of pressure, but I just know I didn’t notice any at that MV.

      Yeah, that 7mm bullet sounds pretty awesome. I’m a huge fan of the 7mm. It has such an awesome range relative to the recoil you have to endure. I’ve shot my 7mm Rem Mag out to 1 mile on multiple occasions. I wonder what kind of range I could get with those 150gr Flat Line bullets?! I’ll probably have to try them out.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  5. These arms are bare

    You said the labradar only tracks out to 100 yards, is that true? Under your factors used to calculate bc.

    • Great question! I’m actually at the 1st Annual Applied Ballistics Seminar in Michigan today and tomorrow, and Bryan Litz talked about measuring BC’s today in a session … and specifically talked about trying to do that with a LabRadar. So you’re timing is impeccable. I can put my new found knowledge to use! The short answer is no, not even if you tried to use 2 LabRadars with one downrange. With BC, you are trying to measure the decay in muzzle velocity, and it just doesn’t change enough over the first 100 yards to provide good enough resolution to calculate BC. And there are far more complicated problems when it comes to putting another unit downrange. Bryan talked to the inventor of the LabRadar, and he was adiment that it couldn’t be used to measure BC’s like that, because that was Bryan’s first thought when he heard about this new device. If the system is downrange, it won’t be able to catch the exact moment when the bullet passes. The first measurement might come when it’s right beside the unit or 3 foot in front of it … and that is enough to skew any BC measurement. The LabRadar is EXACT at measuring muzzle velocity, which is what it is designed to do … but it can’t be used to measure BC (other than measuring the initial muzzle velocity, like how I’ve used it here).

      Thanks,
      Cal

  6. Maybe I haven’t had enough coffee yet today, but there’s something I don’t understand:

    “At 900 yards Flat Liners shot a full 7 MOA lower than 2155’s and at 1000 yards they shot 4 MOA lower than Triple Nickels traveling at 3025 fps.”

    If the Flat Liners shot lower, wouldn’t their BC be less?

    • Hey, Jeff. I thought the same thing when I read that. It would make more sense in my head to say it differently, but Eddie was definitely saying it was 4 MOA “flatter” or it required 4 MOA less correction applied to the sights. I do agree it’s confusing. I considered rewording it, but didn’t want to change his words.

      It actually does help to know someone else thought that sounded funny! Glad to know it wasn’t just me!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  7. This is crazy. 4700 yards? Not even pushing the limit of the cartridge? What a time to be alive. Please keep us updated on this project!!!

    • Yep, that’s what they said. It seems like 4700 yards is already nearing transonic range, based on my calculations … so I’m very skeptical that they’ll be able to stretch to 5 digits, but 5000 yards definitely seems plausible. We’ll see. It is fun to see stuff like this.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  8. Hi, great review. Would love to test them, unfortunately it looks like shipping outside the US is not possible 🙁

    • Yeah, Christian. You got me on that. That’s too bad. Maybe that will change in the future, because I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be able to ship them internationally. There is nothing that revolutionary about these that the shipping should be restricted … at least I don’t think. They just might not have all the necessary paperwork or infrastructure setup. I guess that sucks for now at least.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  9. I seriously cant wrap my head around how crazy that 4700 yd shot is. The magnitude of this advancement in bullet design is crazy. I actually live 30-40 minutes from 50 West Armory, do you know if they are looking at getting help on the project?

    • Hey, Adith. I agree that distance is pretty unreal. The cartridge and bullet design are both pretty radical, and apparently combined they are capable of some serious distance.

      That’s crazy you live so close to them. I’m not sure if they’re looking for looking for help or not. You might call Jon there at 50 West Armory and ask. He’s been working on this for a long time, so he might appreciate some help.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  10. KING MOIRA, MISS

    Today at 9:10 AM

    Hi

    Following recent consultation with the NRANZ we are in agreement to prohibit the use of monolithic/monometallic bullets at Seddon Range. The Range Standing Orders for the NRANZ are to be amended in due course to clearly reflect this.

    Should a U.S manufacturer require an official statement they need to approach the NZDF directly.

    Kind regards

    Moira

    Moira King

    Health and Safety Specialist

    Trentham Military Camp

    Tel +64 4 527-5418 / DTel 347-7418

    E: moira.king@nzdf.mil.nz

    “Health and Safety is a team responsibility”

    • Whoa. Not sure what that means, because I’m not part of the Palma/F-Class competition world. After a quick Google it looks like NRANZ is the National Rifle Association of New Zealand, and the Seddon Range is set to be the location of the 2019 Long Range World Championships that Eddie was referring to. … So are you saying they ruled against using them in that competition?

      Sorry, I’m just not familiar with that world of competition … so I just want to clarify.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  11. Ok lets put a Vortex Viper on a Howitzer and call it a tactical rifle. Just kidding, but really how useful is this beyond proving it can be done?

    • I’m with you, Eric! I have no idea how practical this is. Actually … it isn’t practical … at all. But it is fun to see how far you can shoot. It’ll be more interesting if/when the guys are able to zero in and hit some actual targets repeatably and on-command at these long distances. But I doubt if you’ll see Ruger or Accuracy International rolling any of these out into production! … Maybe Barrett or CheyTac! This definitely won’t become the next big thing. I just enjoyed hearing the them tell me the story when I was a SHOT Show a few weeks ago, so I thought my readers might enjoy hearing about it. It’s certainly not practical. But I like where you’re going with the Vortex Viper and the Howitzer! 😉

      Thanks,
      Cal

  12. cal of 1 moa at 4245 yards = 44.43 inches or 3 feet 8 inch. WOW!

    Did they or will they find the energy at impact? I would hate to be the receiving end of that one.

    Another article that makes me want to more to West Texas.

    • Yeah, James. That is pretty crazy. Josh told me if the MV and BC were correct it, at 4500 yards it would have been carrying 6,000 ft·lbs of energy. For comparison, a 45 ACP pistol at point blank range would have about 500 ft·lbs of energy. Wowza!

      And while I would have loved to claim this shot for Texas, it actually happened in another state. But … West Texas is still the place to be for long range shooting. It’s barren and flat, so no hills or trees get in the way of long range shooting! The wind blows like crazy EVERY day, so that is good for training too! That’s actually why renowned sniper instructor, Todd Hodnett, does much of his training at his home here in West Texas. He says there isn’t a better place to train shooters how to shoot in the wind than West Texas! Although I’ve yet to figure it out. 😉

      Thanks,
      Cal

  13. WOW… Just wow.
    Thanks for the clarification on the “Eddie was definitely saying it was 4 MOA “flatter” “.
    Why did they choose to have a rounded shoulder on the brass?

    • You bet, Dunc. I’m not sure about the shoulder. I thought the same thing, and think I even asked them about that … but honestly I can’t remember what the response was. I know Weatherby thought that was a superior design, but I’ve noticed there aren’t many new cartridges that still do that. Honestly, cartridge design for something this big may go by different rules. It is soooo much bigger than the typical cartridge designs I’m used to dealing with, I’m just not sure which design principles translate to this size cartridge and which don’t.

      Maybe Jon or Josh will chime in and enlighten us. Good question, though.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  14. So, we got everything about the 155Flatline except the cost. If it is significantly higher than the Berger 155.5 then I’m out unless someone else is buying my bullets.

    • Hey, John. All their prices are listed on the website, but a couple guys have asked … so I went back and added a section on price. Please see that new section in the text for more info, or visit their website at Warner-Tool.com.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  15. To reiterate what was stated in the comments on the first article, Import/Export is all set to go. The only thing we need is enough interest from the International market. Essentially, it will take a large quantity order to justify the expenses of the license in order to achieve this. Thus, a group or individual will need to order roughly 50 to 100K for us to initiate the Export license. This does not mean that they have to all ship at once, as delivery can be staggered over a one or two year period. Simply means that the PO must reflect the entire order.

    As to Mitchell’s post from the NZ people, I believe he is trying to draw attention to the idiocy and politics involved in some aspects of the competitive game. Many ranges have banned solid projectiles based on inaccurate science to benefit their own agendas. Reasons like there are ‘dangers from ricochets’ and that ‘copper is a danger to livestock’ just don’t cut it anymore. These solids have proven themselves to be as good as or better than anything else on the market accuracy wise and still have more energy down range than most jacketed bullets. And how is it that a jacketed bullet is any less dangerous to livestock than a solid copper projectile? Copper from the jacket is still present!

    I do not wish to use this as a platform for this nonsensical issue that does indeed need to be address; simply not the right venue, but I thought is wise to validate Mitchell’s post for those that do not understand.

    Thanks,
    Dan

  16. I should also point out that there is an alternative to the usually required larger quantity orders for Import/Export. A company called Reloading International has figured out a way to handle smaller orders for the individual. They are able to procure bullets from us and sell/ship/export directly to the individual in foreign countries. As soon as I figure it out, we will be doing the same thing. But for now contact Addison (addison@reloadinginternational.com) and he will get you squared away.

    • Thanks for the info, Dan!

      • Cal-
        I’d like to publicly thank you for your efforts on this article. It is indeed a great read and truly positive exposure for these bullets. Clearly you have spent a great deal of time on this; much more than I would have expected. I tip my hat to you sir.

        Thanks,
        Dan

      • You bet! Yeah, all of my projects tend to take more time than expected. I have a hard time leaving well enough alone! It’s a character flaw. I just try to publish the info I’d like to know if I were a reader. Hopefully it helps other shooters make informed decisions.

        Thanks,
        Cal

  17. Possibly I missed it but looked fairly hard.

    1. What specifically were they shooting at and actually hit at 4700? The “propane tank” shown appears well under 18″ across. Sitting on the ground at 4700 yards, in coloration quite similar to the surrounding terrain, I cannot imagine that it was anywhere near identifiable with a 25X scope – as in for establishing a point of aim. Also, no “damage” pic for what ever was hit.
    2. How many shots did they take at 4700 before hitting the target.

    BTW, I put the numbers in the JBM Trajectory (Drift) calculator and did not generate an error. Either JBM has fixed an issue (they are very prompt in making the very rare fixes) or there was another problem in the data set.

    • Great questions.

      1) “This particular outing was primarily for proof of concept and to gather ballistics data, and not to set any official records. So they didn’t shoot for confirmed hits on a particular size target. They simply piled up a few rocks and set out an old propane tank for a point of reference for aiming.” You can see in the photo some of the bullet splashes, but I’m not sure if they actually hit the propane tank or not. They were really just trying to measure bullet velocities and determine drop at those ranges. All of this is very preliminary. As far as I know, that was the first time they’d ever fired that bullet … so they needed to gather some real-world data on it. That’s all this outing was. And I heard they weren’t big fans of using that scope. I agree that it seems like the zoom would limit what you’d be able to see, but I’ve never actually shot to that distance … so I’m not sure if you could use it effectively or not. I have personally shot to 2228 yards with a 25x scope and it wasn’t a problem at all, but I realize these distances are much further.

      2) I’m not sure how many shots they took at 4700 yards. With ZERO data on the bullet before that day … I’d imagine it would take a while to get on, but I don’t know that. It’s definitely different when you are in the design phase of the projectile than when you or me go out with our commercial bullets with good BC and muzzle velocity data.

      I guess I’m glad I got a screenshot of the error on JBM then. They may have fixed it. When I tried it out, it wouldn’t allow you to enter distances beyond 4000 yards. I did notice the Applied Ballistics engine does allow you to enter all the data.

      Thanks,
      Cal

    • All-

      Regarding the magnification, shots fired, and other questions:

      Including the stability checks at 2400, shots at4245 and 4700+ I fired a Sun total of 17 rounds.

      7 at 2400
      5 at 4245
      – shot 1 was 4 moa low and 3 moa right in the reticle
      shot 2 was on level and appx 2 moa right
      shots 3-5 were so close to the target that I did not correct and fired 3 in a row. At least 1 passed through the target bush and two others had strikes so close that it was not possible to distinguish if they would have not a same sized paper bullseye or not. The strikes were appx 40″ apart total.

      The shots at 4700+ were
      2 to get close enough to see impact
      3more on approximately on level chasing the wind.

      Given the high cost per round I stopped shooting because the fun was Not necessarily accomplishing anything except burning money into noise and satisfying a cave man urge for “BOOM!”

      Most of the shooting was actually done below 25x because I needed more elevation to hold than the scope could provide with the field expedient zero. The base was only set to +50moa and the scope was out of travel by about 25moa. I dialed back to hold easier

      In the exceptionally dry, cool winter desert about that day across the valley there was no mirage. It also helped we were not shooting right along ground level and could get up s little to help with any ground level mirage.

      I understand the incredulity but that is how it was done. Under poor visibility conditions it would be near impossible.

      Remember, thousands of shooters engage targets at 1000yd and hold X ring and10 ring groups with iron sights in service rifle and Palma. Having a scope at 18-20x shooting 4-5x farther is far from impossible it even unreasonable.

      The bullet strike can be seen with the naked eye at that distance Under the right conditions because of the immense sand puff thrown at impact. It is discernable and thankfully I have been blessed with exceptional eyesight. At 2400 everyone there was watching impacts with the naked eye.

    • Some additional response, sorry to split them out…

      Regarding shots at 5 figure distances. With the current configuration of cartridge and projectile I dont think it is possible except through the current technique used with smaller rifles living bullets for hundreds or thousands of yards past sonic barrier. More realistically a new cartridge and projectile to support such am attempt would have to be developed. That is so far Doreen the road to be nothing more than a pups dream right now.

      More realistically we feel the current projectile and cartridge combination is viable to approximately 5700-6000yards with some development on propellant and ignition.

      Past that distance will almost assuredly require a new projectile configuration and more velocity.

  18. Hey cal! …..thanks for all the awesome! Outstanding research you share with us! ……most people that do any where near the research you do are all hush about it..and won’t share anything. …!….one? I have for you. ..have you tried alco bullets? …..he claims some ridonklous BC’s on some of his aluminum tipped bullets.

    • Hey, Heber. I’m glad you find this helpful. I’m all about sharing info with anyone who’s interested. A few have suggested that I introduce subscriptions to the website to help fund the tests, but I’m all about giving the info away to help as many people as I can.

      I haven’t heard about Alco bullets. I do know it’s difficult to make tipped bullets balanced (i.e. center of mass in center of form), so I’d be skeptical of precision on those … But that doesn’t mean Alco hasn’t figured out a really consistent way to manufacturer them. Historically, tipped bullets have just proven to be less consistent and precise than hollow points, just due to inherent complexities in the manufacturing processes. But as manufacturing processes improve, and they are by leaps and bounds right now, then maybe we can find a way to make designs like that work. We’ll have to wait and see. I appreciate the heads up!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  19. thanx for the writeup, Cal. Very well done. They could charge for tickets to visit such an electric moment.

  20. 4,700 yards is damned impressive, that’s for sure. But at 100 lbs, I think we’re starting to blur the line between “rifle” and “artillery” 🙂

  21. Finally we have updated the website with acoustically tested BC numbers. We have added the new 7mm 151g and the .375 caliber 361g bullets. We are taking orders for these now as we ramp into production. Pricing is on the website.