Archive for the ‘Rifle Ammo Data Sheets’ Category

.50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG) Data sheet for Sniper Operations

July 11, 2012

Just the mention of a .50 cal sniper rifle conjures up the imagination of 2500-meter kills on human targets. We need to be honest, routine kills at those extreme ranges are rare and unique. Yes, there are occasional accounts of human targets being hit at extreme ranges (everyone has heard of the Canadian shot at 2400+ meters), but these are not the norm, and we always fail to hear how many times targets at those ranges were missed prior to and after those confirmed hits. The main purpose for the big .50 sniper rifles is to engage hard targets at extreme range, much like the British SAS used Barrett M82A1’s to engage Scud missile launchers in the first Gulf War. In this realm, the .50 excels. When you consider the cost, size and weight (usually over 30 lbs) of the rifle as well as the ammo, it becomes difficult to justify designating the .50 solely as an anti-personnel rifle. The recoil and report of the rifle are two other drawbacks to the big .50’s that prevent it from being employed as a serious everyday sniper rifle. Stalks are not much fun and a hot exfiltration becomes a very physically demanding activity. But put that 30lb rifle a few hundred meters behind the lines in a defensive position, and you can really cause some havoc, or have a designated SPR team take one out hunting for hard targets. There is great accuracy potential with the new crop of rifles and ammo, but there is a lack of Match grade ammo available to military snipers. There are a few civilian ammo makers that do load match ammo for .50, but beyond Special Operations, none of the main line forces have access to it.

Recommendation: For military extreme long range anti-hard target and occasional anti-personnel purposes the .50 BMG is a good choice. This cartridge is not recommended for close range Law Enforcement use unless penetrating armored barriers.

Military Applications
Note: We have selected two different 50 BMG loads to demonstrate here. The Hornady 750gr AMAX bullet has become popular with its very high ballistic coefficient and is typically the choice for extreme ranges beyond 1500 meters. We also included the HSM T-50 773gr Solid Lathe turned bullet as this load makes an excellent long range choice combined with good penetration due to the solid bullet construction. There are other specialized rounds such as the Raufoss and Depleted Uranium tipped rounds that can be considered for anti-material armor penetration, though accuracy is not as good.


  • AMAX = Hornady 750gr AMAX at 2820fps
  • T50 =  HSM 773gr T-50 Solid at 2650fps


Bullet Drop (Inches)

100y 91m 200y 183m 300y 275m 400y 366m 500y 458m 600y 549m 700y 641m 800y 732m 900y 824m 1000y 915m 1100y 1007m 1200y 1098m 1300y 1189m 1400y 1280m 1500y 1372m
AMAX +23.9 +44.6 +60.4 +70.8 +75.6 +74.4 +66.7 +52.1 +30.0 Zero -38.6 -86.4 -144.1 -212.4 -292.3
T50 +27.3 +50.9 +68.8 +80.7 +86.2 +84.8 +76.0 +59.4 +34.2 Zero -44.0 -98.6 -164.5 -242.7 -334.1

Energy (Muzzle – AMAZ – 13241Ft-Lbs., T50 – 12051)

AMAX 12429 11659 10929 10235 9574 8947 8354 7793 7262 6761 6288 5843 5423 5027 4656
T50 11305 10596 9920 9278 8670 8095 7550 7036 6550 6092 5659 5252 4869 4514 4185

Wind Drift (Inches) 10 mph Crosswind

AMAX 0.3 1.2 2.8 5.0 7.9 11.6 16.0 21.3 27.4 34.4 42.4 51.3 61.3 72.4 84.6
T50 0.3 1.3 3.0 5.4 8.5 12.5 17.3 23.0 29.6 37.2 45.8 55.5 66.4 78.4 91.6

8.60x70mm (.338 Lapua Magnum) Sniper Round Ballistic Data File

June 7, 2012

The .338 Lapua Magnum (Lapua for short) has now been around for a while in the sniper community, but it does have the distinction of being the first cartridge designed specifically for sniping. The 338 Lapua was developed back in 1983 but it wasn’t until the later 1990’s that it gained in popularity and started to become more widely used. The cartridge was designed to arrive at 1000 meters with enough energy to penetrate 5 layers of military body armor and still make the kill. The effective range of this cartridge is over 1 mile (1609 meters) in the right shooting conditions as has been demonstrated in recent conflicts with confirmed kills in excess of 2000 meters. Realistically, 1500 meters is within the range of a trained sniper. This cartridge is based off of the .416 Rigby Case, necked down to .338 caliber, and is designed primarily as a military extreme range anti-personnel round and there really is no Law Enforcement applications, unless you need a super penetrating round for either armored vehicles or barricaded suspects. There are not a lot of rifles chambered for the .338 Lapua but the list continues to grow. The availability of match ammo has also grown to where there are a handful of manufacturers making good match grade ammo. The recoil of these heavier extreme range cartridges, such as the 338 Lapua, can be high so a good muzzle brake is required.

Recommendation: For military extreme long range anti-personnel purposes the .338 Lapua is an excellent choice. This cartridge is not recommended for close range Law Enforcement use.

Military Applications
Note: We have selected three different 338 Lapua loads to demonstrate here. The 300gr loads have become more popular and typically is the choice for extreme ranges beyond 1500 meters where the extra weight and high BC start to make a bigger difference. But for the 300gr bullets, a 1:10″ twist will be needed. We included the Blackhills 300gr, the Lapua 250gr and the HSM 230gr T-50. These three loads cover a wide spectrum of missions and capabilities and all tend to be very accurate.

  • BH300 = Sierra Match King 300gr at 2800fps
  • Lapua250 = 250gr Lapua Scenar at 2970fps
  • HSM230 = 230gr T-50 Solid at 3137fps

Bullet Drop (Inches)

100y 91m 200y 183m 300y 275m 400y 366m 500y 458m 600y 549m 700y 641m 800y 732m 900y 824m 1000y 915m 1100y 1007m 1200y 1098m 1300y 1189m 1400y 1280m 1500y 1372m
BH300 +27.1 +50.8 +69.3 +81.9 +88.3 +87.6 +79.3 +62.6 +36.5 Zero -48.0 -108.8 -183.9 -274.8 -383.5
Lapua250 +25.4 +48.0 +65.7 +78.2 +84.7 +84.5 +77.0 +61.1 +35.9 Zero -47.9 -109.6 -186.8 -281.7 -396.7
HSM230 +22.3 +42.2 +57.8 +68.7 +74.4 +74.2 +67.5 +53.5 +31.4 Zero -41.8 -95.4 -162.5 -244.9 -344.6

Energy (Muzzle – BH300 – 5222Ft-Lbs., Lapua250 – 4896, HSM230 – 5025)

BH300 4787 4383 4006 3654 3325 3019 2737 2476 2235 2012 1807 1623 1458 1310 1180
Lapua250 4443 4022 3621 3252 2912 2602 2319 2058 1818 1601 1408 1239 1090 963 856
HSM230 4569 4148 3758 3384 3041 2724 2435 2171 1929 1704 1501 1321 1162 1022 902

Wind Drift (Inches) 10 mph Crosswind

BH300 0.4 1.7 3.9 7.0 11.3 16.6 23.1 31.0 40.2 51.0 63.3 77.4 93.3 111.1 130.9
Lapua250 0.4 1.8 4.1 7.6 12.2 18.1 25.5 34.3 44.8 57.1 71.4 87.9 106.6 127.7 151.2
HSM230 0.4 1.6 3.8 6.9 11.2 16.6 23.2 31.3 40.8 52.0 65.0 80.0 97.0 116.4 138.0

.300 Winchester Magnum Data Sheet

May 12, 2012
A lot of new things have happened with the 300 Win Mag over the past few years. The US Army has made a major push to adopt it for their new versions of the M24 SWS and as such a new emphasis was placed on making it an effective cartridge for 1500 meter engagements. The 300 WM is an outstanding cartridge for military sniping, but as you might imagine, it offers a lot of power and penetration, which limits its role in Law Enforcement. The Secret Service does use the .300 WM, but they’re situation is rare and unique and they do not typically have to be concerned with hostage situations. They just need to insure that the possible assassin is stopped, and the .300 WM is a good caliber to do that. The .300 WM is also a great round for going through media in order to hit the target. With the new heavier loads the .300 is very capable of extending well past 1000 meters reliably. One big criticism of the .300 WM is the amount of recoil that the round produces and how hard it is on barrels. Yes, it can punish the shooter but with heavy tactical rifles and even potentially the use of effective muzzlebrakes the recoil can be managed. Proper training can help as well.Recommendation: The .300 WM is high recommended for military use, but not so for Law Enforcement use. If a suitable round can be found that limits over-penetration, the .300 WM could be a very flexible cartridge, even offering good armor penetration with the right ammo selection.

Military Applications
Note: We have selected two loads here, the A191 which is the same as the Federal Match .300 WM 190gr and the new Mk248 Mod1 220gr load. The A191 has been around for a long time now and has been very effective over the years. The new heavier Mk248 is a more recent development designed specifically for longer range engagements.

  • A191 = 190grSierra Match King at 2900fps
  • Mk248Mod1 = 220grSierra Match King at 2830fps

Bullet Drop (Inches)

100y 91m 200y 183m 300y 275m 400y 366m 500y 458m 600y 549m 700y 641m 800y 732m 900y 824m 1000y 915m 1100y 1007m 1200y 1098m
A191 +20.6 +38.1 +50.2 +56.3 +55.4 +46.6 +28.6 Zero -41.1 -96.6 -169.1 -261.3
Mk248Mod1 +20.2 +37.1 +48.6 +54.2 +52.9 +44.2 +26.9 Zero -37.8 -88.0 -152.4 -233.0

Energy (Muzzle – A191 – 3547Ft-Lbs., Mk248Mod1 – 3912)

A191 3134 2760 2423 2118 1845 1598 1378 1183 1013 867 744 644
Mk248Mod1 3519 3159 2828 2525 2249 1996 1766 1557 1368 1199 1050 921

Wind Drift (Inches) 10 mph Crosswind

A191 0.6 2.4 5.5 10.0 16.2 24.2 34.1 46.2 60.8 78.0 98.1 121.1
Mk248Mod1 0.5 2.0 4.7 8.6 13.9 20.6 28.8 38.8 50.7 64.6 80.8 99.4
Law Enforcement ApplicationsNote: We have chosen two rounds that could be possible candidates for Law Enforcement use, and while the accuracy and ballistics performance of the two rounds is good, we have over penetration concerns about both the loads. Please ensure proper tests are executed to investigate the penetration potential of these rounds and insure that they will fit the needs of your department. Always insure there is a good backstop behind the target if the shot must be made.

  • HSM 168gr = HSM 168gr HPBT Sierra Match King at 3150fps
  • Win ETip = Winchester 150gr ETip at 3260 fps

Bullet Drop (Inches)

50y 46m 100y 91m 200y 183m 300y 275m
HSM 168gr -0.3 Zero -2.5 -9.7
Win ETip -0.3 Zero -2.2 -8.8

Energy (Muzzle: HSM 168gr=3701 Ft-Lbs. Win ETip=3539)

HSM 168gr 3453 3220 2792 2408
Win ETip 3308 3090 2690 2333

Wind Drift (Inches) 10mph Crosswind

HSM 168gr 0.1 0.6 2.4 5.7
Win ETip 0.1 0.6 2.3 5.3

7.62x63mm (.30-06 Springfield)

March 23, 2012

The 30-06 Springfield served as the United States primary sniper round from WWI up through the first have of the Vietnam conflict when finally both the US Army and USMC standardized on the 7.62x51mm NATO. The ought-six offers good ballistics and served as an outstanding sniper round while in service. The use of the 30-06 for Law Enforcement needs to be carefully considered due to possible over penetration, but with the selection of the right ammunition it could be very capable in this capacity.  There are not a lot of factory made sniper grade weapons chambered in the .30-06, which is somewhat of a mystery as it is still a popular cartridge. It falls in between the .308 Win and the .300 Win Mag. and there has always been match grade ammunition produced by Federal and now there are several other loads available from other manufacturers. Some of these newer loads include heavier bullets where the 30-06 seems to come into its own.   I personally think this is a very capable military sniping cartridge, as it offers better ballistics then the .308 but yet does not punish the shooter or rifle like the .300 Win Mag does.

Recommendations: The .30-06 is highly recommended for military applications, but perhaps not so much for Law Enforcement use without proper research to find a good rapidly expanding load that may work well.

Military ApplicationsNote:We have chosen the HSM 175gr Match load for military use over the Federal 168gr due to the better bullet design of the 175gr Sierra Match King for long range use. This load could use another 50fps but as it is it is adequate. We have also listed the HSM 190gr SMK which is another excellent, and perhaps preferred load to the 175gr.

  • HSM 175gr = HSM Match – .30-06 175gr Sierra Match King at 2650fps
  • HSM 190gr = HSM Match -30.06 190gr  Sierra Match King at 2600fps

Bullet Drop (Inches)

100y 91m 200y 183m 300y 275m 400y 366m 500y 458m 600y 549m 700y 641m 800y 732m 900y 824m 1000y 915m
HSM 175gr +17.5 +29.4 +34.6 +32.3 +21.7 Zero -33.5 -80.6 -145.5 -229.7
HSM 190gr +17.4 +29.0 +33.9 +31.5 +20.9 Zero -32.4 -77.0 -136.3 -214.0

Energy (Muzzle – HSM 175gr – 2730Ft-Lbs.,  HSM 190gr – 2853)

HSM 175gr 2381 2069 1791 1542 1321 1129 962 818 699 601
HSM 190gr 2528 2234 1968 1727 1508 1315 1144 993 861 751

Wind Drift (Inches) 10 mph Crosswind

HSM 175gr 0.7 2.8 6.7 12.3 19.7 29.8 42.2 57.0 75.1 96.0
HSM 190gr 0.6 2.5 6.0 10.8 17.3 26.1 37.0 49.8 65.0 83.1

Law Enforcement ApplicationsNote: For law enforecement use you will want to reduce the penetration and mazimize the energy transfer. This can be done with a rapid expanding bullet and the ballistic tips and amax bullets tend to work well here. The 150gr ballistic tip round loaded by Federal could work well here to help reduced penetration. Some tests will need to be performed to see if penetration and excess fragmentation will be acceptible. It is highly recommended to test shooting through glass also, as the b-tip has a thin case that will probably strip when passing through glass. A Federal 165 and 180gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw round is available and would probably make a great glass busting round, but with high penetration if the bullet stays intact. Of course, accuracy tests will need to be done as well to see if it meets criteria. There are other brands that have similar bullets that can be substituted if accuracy levels are not met.

Federal Premium .30-06 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tip at 2910fps

Bullet Drop (Inches)

50y 46m 100y 91m 200y 183m 300y 275m
150gr BallTip -0.2 Zero -3.3 -12.2

Energy (Muzzle: 2820 Ft-Lbs.)

150gr BallTip N/A 2420 2070 1760

Wind Drift (Inches) 10mph Crosswind

150gr BallTip N/A 0.7 2.9 6.8