Over the past couple months, I’ve been working with a lot of scary smart engineers on my muzzle brake field test. One who has given me a lot of great input is Josh Kunz, whose professional background is in Aerospace Engineering. Josh recently told me about a new line of bullets he’s been working on, which have the potential to be one of the biggest leap in ballistics in recent history. The product is being unveiled this week at rifle competitions at Camp Perry. In fact, some of the bullets are being shot in competitions for the first time today!
So I wanted to briefly interrupt my series on the muzzle brake field test results for a first look at these exciting new bullets. But, let me start from the beginning …
Who’s Making These Bullets?
Warner Tool Company (WTC) is renowned for making the finest iron sights in precision shooting. “If you take a tour around the Internet you’ll find that several companies make rear sights suitable for long range prone shooting, but the model that comes up as recommended is almost universally one of the Warner Tool Company units,” says Damon Cali of Bison Ballistics. Warner sights are considered THE gold standard, and are used by most competitive rifle shooters for high power, Palma, and other long-range competitions. Some manufacturers have tried to duplicate the Warner sight over the years, but none have been able to match the ridiculously tight tolerances and precise machining the WTC has become known for.
Alan Warner is the Founder/President of WTC, and runs the company with his partner, Dan Warner. Alan started the company after he and his son started shooting competitively. Alan is also a respected rifle builder, and has even been the armorer of the US Palma Team.
Josh Kunz is an Aerospace Engineer, and a sharp one at that. He is also deeply passionate about precision rifles, and a long-range competitive shooter himself. Josh has been working on an idea he had about extremely low drag, lathe-turned, solid bullets. He did much of his design and prototyping using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate supersonic air flow around the bullets. This allowed him to make small tweaks to his design and get immediate feedback on how those impact the drag of the bullet in flight. His background in the aerospace industry obviously helped on that front. But Josh was smart enough to know he needed someone with the precision machining expertise like WTC to transform his CAD models into reality.
Alan Warner explains, “Josh is the brains behind this. He is the one who came up with the design and did all the computational flow modeling … and I know how to make them. And together, we’re going to revolutionize the market.”
Flat Line Bullets
“These new bullets beat everything out there, even at the highest levels of competition, by 20%.” – Alan Warner, Warner Tool Company
That doesn’t seem to be an overstatement, based on the Ballistic Coefficients (BC) WTC has published on this new line of bullets. BC is measurement of how efficiently a bullet is able to cut through air, and the higher the BC, the better the bullet will be at retaining its velocity and the better performance you can expect downrange. These bullets have ridiculously high BC’s for their weight. Warner & Kunz are currently focusing on 30 caliber bullet designs, plus one 338 bullet design. Here are the details on what they’ve branded their “Flat Line” series of bullets:
|3000-1500 fps||3500-1500 fps|
|G1 BC||G7 BC||G1 BC||G7 BC|
Here is what Warner Tool Company says about the new bullets in their product flyer:
Flat Line projectiles provide several benefits simultaneously:
- Much higher BC when compared with projectiles in its weight class
- Higher velocities when compared with projectiles in its weight class
- Much higher velocity when compared with projectiles of similar BC
The combination of which makes them unbeatable in a shot to shot comparison.
Flat Line projectiles fly as fast as the next lower weight class of bullets, but have a BC of the next higher weight class. The 155.5gr 30 caliber bullet has the velocity of a 125-135gr bullet and has the BC of a 185-200gr bullet. The 255.5gr 338 caliber bullet has the velocity of a 225gr bullet and the BC of the 300gr bullet.
Wow. Those are bold claims, but the potential for extremely aerodynamic lathe-turned solids has always been there. Companies like Barnes Bullets, Cutting Edge, and others have turned solid bullets for years. The machining constraints of traditional jacketed bullets are different from lathe-turned solids, and it seems to have taken the partnership of a sharp aerospace engineer and world-class machinist to unleash the full potential of extremely low drag solid bullets.
In national and international matches where the level of competition is exceedingly high and just a few shots can separate the world champion on the podium from an average performance, these new bullets have the potential to offer a measurable advantage. Warner believes “this is the next wave where technology is taking the sport.”
Let’s look at the individual bullets they’ve unveiled, and see how they stack up to other popular bullets:
155.5gr Palma Flat Line 30 Caliber Bullet
Palma matches specifically require competitors to use 155gr bullets, so any advancements in those bullets can have dramatic effects on that community of precision shooters. The new Flat Line 155.5gr Palma bullet has the potential to be disruptive. Here is how the G1 BC WTC published compares to other 155gr bullets, as well as a few aerodynamic bullets that are even heavier:
That is a substantial improvement over all existing 155gr bullets. WTC says “The 155.5gr 30 caliber bullet has the velocity of a 125-135gr bullet and has the BC of a 185-200gr bullet.” The only downside is this bullet is very long and won’t fit in a standard 308 magazine.
I thought it’d be interesting to run a WEZ analysis on this new 155gr Flat Line bullet and the current highest BC bullet, the Berger 155gr Hybrid. Both were run with a muzzle velocity of 2970 fps, which German Salazar says is “fairly normal for a 155gr Palma load.” If you aren’t familiar with WEZ analysis, please check out this article. Here are the results of the analysis:
You can see the new bullet increases your hit probability on a 20” target at 1000 yards by 9%. That may not sound like a lot … but it is! If you’re firing 15 shots, a 9% improvement would be 1.35 shots. So based on this WEZ analysis, you’d expect to average at least one more shot (out of a string of 15) to land inside that 20” circle if you were using the new Flat Line 155gr Palma bullet.
175gr FTR Flat Line 30 Caliber Bullet
This 175gr Flat Line bullet is designed to fit in a 300 Win Mag magazine, and WTC says it has a BC that is much higher than Berger’s 200gr Hybrid. It even challenges Berger’s 7mm 180gr Hybrid, with slightly less weight and in a 30 caliber.
Kunz says they’ve been able to push this new 175gr bullet out of a 300 Win Mag with a 26” barrel at a blazing 3430 fps!
I ran some ballistics for comparison. Applied Ballistics Munitions produces 300 Win Mag ammo loaded with a 230gr Berger Hybrid, and they say it has a muzzle velocity of 2850 fps out of a 26” barrel. That is one hot load! I ran that data using the JBM Ballistic Engine, and it looks like our bullet would go transonic (velocity drops below 1.2 mach) at 1475 yards.
Then I ran ballistics for this new 175gr Flat Line bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3430 fps, and in that scenario, our bullet wouldn’t go transonic until 1760 yards … exactly 1 mile. That means this bullet would provide a 20% improvement in the effective range of the 300 Win Mag. That’s no small improvement!
200gr Flat Line 30 Caliber Bullet
And the crown of the 30 caliber line is a 200gr bullet they’ve designed, which they say has a higher BC than the famous Berger 230gr Hybrid … with 30gr less weight.
This bullet in a large magnum like the 300 Norma Mag or 300 RUM could potentially shoot like a laser to ranges previously reserved for 375 or 408 caliber rifles, like the popular CheyTac models.
255.5gr LRBT Flat Line 338 Caliber Bullet
Finally, WTC is working on a 338 bullet that can deliver the same BC as the legendary Berger 300gr Hybrid, but with the velocity of a 250gr bullet.
In fact, WTC claims “The 255.5gr 338 caliber bullet has the velocity of a 225gr bullet and the BC of the 300gr bullet.” Josh said they were able to get a muzzle velocity of 3300 fps out of a 338 Lapua using the 255.5gr Flat Line bullet. You should run those ballistics! It is pretty unbelievable what you’d be able to do with a shoulder-fired weapon. 😉 It is a game-changer.
Warner currently (as of 7/29) has an introductory offer for these bullets, but this pricing is subject to change. These prices are for a box of 50 bullets.
- 30 Cal 155gn = $62.50
- 30 Cal 175gn = $67.50
- 30 Cal 200gn = $72.50
- 338 Cal 255gn = $82.50
See the Warner Tool Company website the most up-to-date pricing, or to place an order.
At this point, only a few people have been fortunate enough to see these new bullets in action, so we’ll have to wait and see how they deliver on the claims. But they’ve certainly got the attention of some of the best shooters in the country. If Josh and Alan are able to deliver this kind of performance improvement, we may need to brace ourselves for the impact this could have on the industry. This could be one of the biggest jumps in ballistics in recent history. Large advancements in bullets tend to really impact what cartridges are popular among precision shooters, so I’m excited to see how this shakes things up over the next year or two.
I hope to personally test some of these bullets in the near future, and you guys will be the first to know how they do in the field. So stay tuned!