BullfrogKen

January 5, 2011, 09:34 PM

I did a quick search here, but didn't see much discussion on this book except for passing references. I thought I'd do a little in depth write-up here.

I got this book for myself as a Christmas present. A colleague recommended it to me. He retired from the PA State Ballistics Crime lab a few years ago, and told me, “If you don’t think it’s worth every penny, I’ll buy it back from you.” Well, I’m keeping it. Bryan Litz is brilliant.

What a tremendous body of work by a truly gifted scholar. Litz is gifted not only in his intellect and ability to understand the science, but also with a great knack for explaining the science to guys like me. I'm weak at higher math and statistical modeling, yet I can easily grasp the concepts he's explaining.

On page one, in bold letters he writes: My objective is to help the average shooter improve their performance thru a better understanding of the science behind shooting.

He does just that in very easily understood methods. He takes often mysterious and arcane concepts, makes them understandable, and gives you the essence of just what you need to know to improve your shooting. For the student of the discipline looking for more meat, he also provides any formula behind the problem and teaches the inquisitive student how to use the formula.

Throughout the book Litz follows the practice of -

describing the problem

setting up an example problem with a real world bullet and velocity

uses very simple, yet accurate approximations to solve the problem in small steps

shows you how to input the variable in your ballistic program

THEN provides a "for all the physics geeks" section of solutions for anyone inclined to work the math out for himself.

He provides a free software program with the book. It's unique in that all the formulae and calcs are set up to use the G7 projectile as the standard instead of being limited to the G1 projectile. I knew there was a great deal of criticism of many current ballistic software programs from shooters in the discipline. Even the bullet makers' published Ballistic Coefficients receive criticism as not quite accurate. And some of the data tables I created using a ballistic calculator for myself would often be off at longer ranges. I just never knew exactly why.

He explains why this is - it's because the industry is using a G1 standard projectile, which is shaped nothing like a low drag bullet used in long range shooting, to describe a given bullet's B.C.

This is what the G1 Standard Projectile looks like. Most company's product literature use this standard to describe the B.C.'s of their low drag rifle bullets. But since this bullet both looks and performs nothing like a low drag, long range bullet, the published B.C.'s don't quite work well.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=133427&stc=1&d=1294280334

To compensate, a series of additional calculations are necessary to correct an error that compounds the closer the bullet approaches the transition from supersonic to subsonic. The error starts somewhere around 2,000 fps and peaks as the bullet slows down close to the speed of sound.

This is the shape of the G7 Standard Projectile. Doesn't this look a whole lot more like the kinds of bullets we use for long range shooting? Of course it does, and a B.C. referenced off this shape doesn't contain those compounding errors.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=133428&stc=1&d=1294280340

What this means in practical terms is when we use a G7 B.C., in a program set up to accept G7 data, the data tables it produces correlate to real world shooting on the range with extreme accuracy.

In the last section of his book he's done the effort of calculating and restating B.C.'s based upon the streamlined G7 standard projectile for over 175 modern long range bullets. He's covered 8 calibers in 6 of the most popular brands. Moreover - he field tested each one to confirm the results of the program were accurate.

This kid has made a tremendous contribution to advancing the science of long range shooting. And it's a very generous contribution at that. The methods he describes using to test and evaluate the G7 B.C.'s must have been enormously expensive. This is an invaluable addition to the long range shooter’s library.

I got this book for myself as a Christmas present. A colleague recommended it to me. He retired from the PA State Ballistics Crime lab a few years ago, and told me, “If you don’t think it’s worth every penny, I’ll buy it back from you.” Well, I’m keeping it. Bryan Litz is brilliant.

What a tremendous body of work by a truly gifted scholar. Litz is gifted not only in his intellect and ability to understand the science, but also with a great knack for explaining the science to guys like me. I'm weak at higher math and statistical modeling, yet I can easily grasp the concepts he's explaining.

On page one, in bold letters he writes: My objective is to help the average shooter improve their performance thru a better understanding of the science behind shooting.

He does just that in very easily understood methods. He takes often mysterious and arcane concepts, makes them understandable, and gives you the essence of just what you need to know to improve your shooting. For the student of the discipline looking for more meat, he also provides any formula behind the problem and teaches the inquisitive student how to use the formula.

Throughout the book Litz follows the practice of -

describing the problem

setting up an example problem with a real world bullet and velocity

uses very simple, yet accurate approximations to solve the problem in small steps

shows you how to input the variable in your ballistic program

THEN provides a "for all the physics geeks" section of solutions for anyone inclined to work the math out for himself.

He provides a free software program with the book. It's unique in that all the formulae and calcs are set up to use the G7 projectile as the standard instead of being limited to the G1 projectile. I knew there was a great deal of criticism of many current ballistic software programs from shooters in the discipline. Even the bullet makers' published Ballistic Coefficients receive criticism as not quite accurate. And some of the data tables I created using a ballistic calculator for myself would often be off at longer ranges. I just never knew exactly why.

He explains why this is - it's because the industry is using a G1 standard projectile, which is shaped nothing like a low drag bullet used in long range shooting, to describe a given bullet's B.C.

This is what the G1 Standard Projectile looks like. Most company's product literature use this standard to describe the B.C.'s of their low drag rifle bullets. But since this bullet both looks and performs nothing like a low drag, long range bullet, the published B.C.'s don't quite work well.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=133427&stc=1&d=1294280334

To compensate, a series of additional calculations are necessary to correct an error that compounds the closer the bullet approaches the transition from supersonic to subsonic. The error starts somewhere around 2,000 fps and peaks as the bullet slows down close to the speed of sound.

This is the shape of the G7 Standard Projectile. Doesn't this look a whole lot more like the kinds of bullets we use for long range shooting? Of course it does, and a B.C. referenced off this shape doesn't contain those compounding errors.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=133428&stc=1&d=1294280340

What this means in practical terms is when we use a G7 B.C., in a program set up to accept G7 data, the data tables it produces correlate to real world shooting on the range with extreme accuracy.

In the last section of his book he's done the effort of calculating and restating B.C.'s based upon the streamlined G7 standard projectile for over 175 modern long range bullets. He's covered 8 calibers in 6 of the most popular brands. Moreover - he field tested each one to confirm the results of the program were accurate.

This kid has made a tremendous contribution to advancing the science of long range shooting. And it's a very generous contribution at that. The methods he describes using to test and evaluate the G7 B.C.'s must have been enormously expensive. This is an invaluable addition to the long range shooter’s library.