Version 10.5 Released!

Thanks to my good friend KVK and user TurboF for pointing out some embarrassing errors so I could fix them. That comes as a patched minor version update. Version 10.5 is a patch release with fixes for MV, Secondary Data and other very minor tweaks. This is not a significant update but you might as well upgrade anyway. It’s free, right! Click the link below to download.


BallisticXLR 10.5 Download



Sale! BallisticXLR Ultra-Light Shooting Bag Fill

It’s here! It’s gear! Get used to it!

This is without a doubt the lightest material which is truly appropriate for shooting bag fill that’s available anywhere in the world. Cut the weight of your shooting support bags from several pounds to just a few ounces. We’re bringing it to you at a substantial savings.

3.5mm spheroid shape
Great Lock-In
Superior Shape Conformance
Slightly Compressible
Dust Free
Mold Resistant
Super Durable
~1lbs per cubic foot.

USA only! No international sales.

1 Liter BallisticXLR Ultra-Lite Bag Fill $10 shipped Buy It Now

4 Liters BallisticXLR Ultra-Lite Bag Fill $35 shipped Buy It Now

Shipping is via United States Postal Service.

Note: 1L is about enough for 1 toe support bag. 4L is approximately enough for 1 medium pillow. 8L is enough for 1 medium pillow + 3-4 toe bags. All boxes are filled with just a little bit extra just in case.

BallisticXLR’s New Ultra-Light Shooting Bag Fill

Do you have a shooting bag that’s just too darned heavy? I used to. Now I only have extremely light weight bags but, I didn’t have to sacrifice anything of performance to get that. My new filler media weighs less than 1lbs per cubic foot. It’s also impervious to every solvent I can find, doesn’t absorb water and is low dust. I get great lock-in and shape conformity but without each bag weighing 3lbs. The 3 bag set below weighs just under 1/2lbs COMBINED.

Excited? Want some? Comment below.

From Practical To Prank-tical – The Evolution Of The Hot Dog Gun

The rifle I initially called Project Gabriel has gone by many other names over its life. Most people currently refer to it as “The Hot Dog Gun”. The nicknames it gets are representative of the external appearance and are mostly arrived at through references made by other people who’ve seen it. The “project” name stays with the receiver forever and never changes so the rifle is still “Project Gabriel” even though the nickname might change occasionally. At least every time I change barrels anyway.

The poor thing has gone through many iterations of appearance. I suspect many of you will do or have done or are in the process of going through the same iterative appearance and accessory changing on one of your rifles even if for different reasons. I maintain finishes on my rifles that are appropriate to what I want the finish to do, not necessarily what I want the rifle to do. If I want it to merely protect the metal then whatever finish it came in is usually OK. What about those times when I want the appearance of the rifle to do more than protect the metal/wood/plastic from the sun / water / etc…? Well, then I am likely to get creative about things.

Black plastic non-accustock and as unimpressive looking as you can get.

Many years ago when I first got the Savage 10FP-SR it was bone stock. I traded into it for a well used Browning BAR in 7mm Remington Magnum. The barrel on that rifle had been treated to a very little bit of target shooting so it hadn’t been burned up and I quite liked it because it really soaked up the recoil from 7mm RemMag full power hunting loads. The rifle itself was 1.5-2MOA rifle on its best day so it wasn’t a tack driver. It was a decent deer killer. As much as I liked it, I had stopped hunting in California almost as soon as I’d picked up the BAR. It only saw a couple trips with me. I’d gotten the BAR on trade for God only knows what; I certainly don’t recall. The BAR was no longer the rifle I needed so it went out and the Savage 10FPSR that would be known by so many names came in the door. When I got it it was bone stock. It didn’t even have scope mounts included in the trade.

The first thing I did was to paint the stock in a light desert sand color and drop a 20MOA rail, a home-made Kydex cheek piece, a SWFA 16x42mm Super Sniper scope and a Barret M468 muzzle brake that I’d opened up the spout on to .330″ from .308″. It was suitable enough to get out and get shooting but it was not soft shooting by any stretch. The brake was only minimally effective.  It was meant as a brake for Barret M4’s in 6.8SPC and I doubt it did much there. My modification let it work on a .308Win until I could afford a decent JP Enterprises Tactical Brake.

The special lady of a good friend ponied up to Project Gabriel in a Caldwell Lead Sled. She was absolutely hammering 500m targets with it immediately. She’s from East Africa and had never thought of firearms as recreation. In her country there were no recreational uses of guns to speak of and she was quite enamored with the sport when she found out it was possible to shoot for fun.

At about the same time as the picture above was taken, I had 3x US Optics ST-10 10x37mm scopes on the way as well as an MDT LSS chassis and some Magpul bits for the butt and pistol grip. The rifle was then taken to the 2015 California State Championships for Metallic Silhouette and I competed with it. This is exactly the wrong combo for that sport. Most people were using much lighter recoiling cartridges than a .308Win with 168’s at 2700fps. Fast 6mm’s and 6.5mm’s were already ruling the roost. I did not lose as I had expected to. I came in 2nd to last which I was excited about being as that was my first match shooting offhand at long range. Here’s a little video excerpt from that match. I was the only guy with a tactical rifle and you can see it kicking the snot out of me.

Right after that match I went and got myself an MDT LSS stock chassis and put together the core configuration that the rifle still has to this day. In addition to the LSS I put a Magpul MOE grip and Magpul MOE butt stock and cheek riser on it and went with Accurate Mag steel 10rd magazines. It had started to take on a “tacti-cool” appearance which I wasn’t necessarily avoiding. In fact, I wanted it to be tacti-cool because who didn’t at the time. Now we had what could be called the optimal .308 combination for a rugged, reliable, accurate and deadly package for prone and obstacle shooting (but not offhand) that’s more or less limited to somewhere near 1000yrds of useful range. At the time hitting a 2MOA target 1000yrds was still considered to be nearly unobtanium by the masses. People had a strange idea of how far that actually is and seemingly figured it was on the Moon.

Add an LSS chassis with Magpul furniture and a US Optics ST-10 and it starts looking like a serious business rifle. The Burris Signature Series rings put the 20MOA in so the 20MOA rail got pulled off.

When a little money came my way by virtue of me quitting my job which cashed out my saved up vacation pay, I used some of the money to upgrade my scope to a US Optics ER-25 which turned out to be a major fiasco. US Optics reputation for optical quality, durability and dead-nuts click values were legendary. It’s ability to execute on their quality standards was, however, not quite so legendary. When you got a good one, it was a work of art. When you didn’t it was an expensive disappointment and an expensive shipping/insurance hassle that should never have happened.

Re-Add the 20MOA rail, the 3/4″ MOE cheek riser and an ER-25 optic. The optic was a disappointment in quality control and it was simply enormous. I still love USO scopes but not that specific USO scope.

US Optics had just been sold and before the sale of the company they squirted OODLES of ER-25’s out of the door which were not all up to USO’s quality standards. I sent mine back 3 times before they got it right and then I said, “Screw it!” and ditched the ER-25 it for a Vortex Razor 2 4.5-27x56mm.

What ever happened to the .308Win barrel that came on the gun? It’s sitting on a shelf with a bunch of other barrels sticking out like a sore thumb. This Texas coral snake pattern was an experiment to see if the concept could work in Cerakote. It worked out well enough with rattle can that I got a similar pattern, a Sonoran coral snake pattern, done in Cerakote on my .223 Mossberg MVP.

At the same time as the scope upgrade I’d decided that .308’s kick too hard for PRS competition, for me at least, and so I ordered a new 26″ barrel from Black Hole Weapons in .243 Ackley Improved and stuck a JP Enterprises tactical brake on it. No recoil in that combo despite running 115gr DTAC’s out at 3200fps. You could put the butt stock on your nose and fire it and not get a bloody nose. The Razor was really quite good in almost every way. Almost. The turret knobs attach with pinch screws that you’re not supposed to over-tighten but which if you don’t get tight enough will eventually work themselves loose. There’s a fine line between the two in my experience. It happened to me in a match and at the bench and that was enough to cause me to rethink my choice in optics. I decided that since new stuff was only disappointing me that I’d drop back to some older models of optic which had proven themselves.

Hot Dog Gun before it was even painted. Getting some early long range testing done. The Vortex Razor 2 was MOSTLY great. You can see the Cerakote’d Mossberg MVP .223 with Sonoran coral snake pattern on the barrel and its own Vortex Razor 2 3-18x50mm. Both Razors have since been replaced by SN3 US Optics 3.8-22x’s

At the same time, I was noticing that a lot of competitors had their rifles in LSS stocks in flat dark earth color and it was getting hard to tell them apart. As well, I wanted to do what we’d done in metallic silhouette competition which was to set up a garishly finished rifle which would accomplish the dual purpose of being very distinctive and getting inside the heads of other competitors. The more garish the better as it would have the other shooters spinning criticism of my rifle in their heads instead of focusing on the match. It is a strategy that has worked well for years and is not entirely uncommon. So, enter the Dodger Dog / Hot Dog gun. I gave it a paint job that looked like a hot dog with mustard and relish on a bun. It proved very effective in being easy as hell to spot on a rack full of otherwise similarly set up rifles.

The Hot Dog Gun’s barreled action next to the spare .308Win barrel and the partially painted stock. The Hot Dog got a lot of attention at matches and nobody ever confused it with their rifle.

While I was at it I had also set up my Mossberg MVP .223 as a Sonoran Coral Snake and my .308Win barrel got painted to resemble a Texas Coral Snake. All of the above had many other competitors commenting snidely which was the goal. They stopped talking when their scores were getting beaten by the scores coming out of The Hot Dog Gun. They were even more surprised when one of my students borrowed my rifle and had me call all of his drops, drifts and holds and he won the match. No, I’m not the best shooter in the world. I’m a better spotter than I am a shooter. I am however a very consistently decent shooter and when I’m on the firing line I find it very easy to be tightly focused. Other competitors mind game in their own ways and I don’t complain. So when I mind game other competitors via a garish and silly paint job, they reciprocate and respond with humor, good will and a desire to beat me. Which means, I’m in their head. Mission accomplished.

Gabriel in back with .243AI barrel and Razor 2 optic. Mossberg MVP .223 in front with coral snake barrel and Razor 2 optic.

I ran the Hot Dog Gun for about 2 years which was the life span of my .243AI barrel. After 1500 rounds it got pulled so that I didn’t have a surprise during a match. It still shoots well but the throat has gotten quite long and it likes to toss a flyer now and then now. In the last 2 years I also started using BipodEXT from Accuracy Solutions to extend my bipod location forward of my muzzle for greater stability. Boy that really worked! During the last year or so I finally found a US Optics SN3 3.8-22x58mm scope that had all the coolest options on it: MTC (more tactile clicks at 1mil intervals), objective parallax adjustment, CAPRC reticle, sunshade with ARD, mil/mil, EREK knob, red illumination and a 34mm tube. I also got 2 other 3.8-22x’s with 44mm objectives, 1 in MOA with a 35mm tube and 1 in mils with a 34mm tube. My US Optics collection was finally full and the rifle got a XLR Industries Tactical butt stock as well as being switched to Accu-Tac bipods from Harris bipods.

Pro PRS shooter Nico Detour seemed to approve of the Hot Dog Gun.

I’ve set up my latest barrel in a new chambering, 6XC, with a tight neck custom chamber. The new barrel is installed and this time sports no brake. Brakes are just loud when your rifle barely recoils to begin with. With the new barrel comes a new paint job. I’d thought about doing a My Little Pony theme but in the end it really didn’t work so the idea perished. Oh what to do for a concept. Google to the rescue.

I’m not into comic books, I’m unaware of the difference between Marvel and DC. I do gather there’s a difference, I just don’t know or care to know what it is. Nor even have I seen much of the movies or TV series’ that have been made to capitalize on the whole genre. What I do know and like is that those comic book heroes and anti-heroes usually are armed and they’re armed with creatively designed and garishly finished weapons. I only needed to pick one. I thought about Punisher but that’s been played out. I Google’d and Google’d looking for themes and found out that I am not forward looking, exceedingly visually creative or prone to coming up with original ideas so I had to adapt from inspiring ideas that already exist. Deadpool seemed like a good theme to go with. It’s basically graffiti and red paint on a black substrate so it’s easy to pull off and if it gets scuffed that will only add to the effect.

So here is where we have arrived. I’ve still yet to do any of the graffiti but I have a set of ideas, including “chimichanga” that will add accents here and there. On the upside, the scope being black really worked and didn’t need any accent paint. I don’t paint my US Optics scopes. 😉

Comment below and tell us what you think!


Sit Down and STUDY or You Get the Belt Again!

When I was a kid and you had trouble paying attention, your teacher or parent would swat the living shit out of you and you’d start paying attention. A few such whippins and your ability to cause trouble is mitigated by your inability to stop crying.

Later on, someone with a much bloodier heart than my parent’s or teacher’s discovered Ritalin and its kin and decided that long term amphetamine addiction was a better alternative for kids with discipline problems and some some smarty pants coined the diagnosis of ADHD to legitimize handing children what is basically the same “speed” that’s popular with truckers and students. I can’t even comprehend the kind of evil mind it takes to think that’s a good idea. Apparently the whole addicting your kids to drugs thing and the nasty side effects that long term use of amphetamines come with; psychosis, crippline paranoia, paranoid schizophrenia, etc…, were getting so onerous in the effort required and the severity of long trm side effects that medical science has finally decided do what we old guys said they should do in the beginning. El.ectrocute the little shits

If your little snowflake can’t pay attention, don’t beat them. Don’t addict them. Zap their damned brain with electricity using an implant. It’s like a taser that you can’t see coming. Perfect for controlling young minds seeking someone, anyone to trust and connect with. These new internal tasers are vastly superior to the old “don’t tase me bro” crap heaps that cops carry around. Why? You can activate it remotely. It’s impossible to remove without surgery. It’s drug free. It’s still pretty fucking insane in it’s own right. It’s effects are mild enough to not get you life in prison for torture of a minor. There’s no scarring of the skin or damage to internal organs that might lead to people assuming that it constitutes torture despite the name being changed. It does not solve the problem that your little brat shit machine is poorly behaved because you’re a shit parent. It does what everything else we’ve tried does. It hides the real problem behind an even bigger and more complicated and expensive problem that’s entirely mysterious in terms of long term side effects.

Good job guys. Keep it up. Remember that the problem we’re solving here is partly, “Little jimmy just doesn’t seem to be paying attention and I personally, as his teacher, find that super annoying because it’s not good for my metrics.” and partly, “My son little Jimmy sure needs better parenting than I’ve ever provided him. Perhaps I should take a class in parenting or even just early childhood education or child psychology.”

But, that’d be too hard.

BallisticXLR YouTube Channel Re-Launch

I had to pull down most of my videos for legal reasons. That’s a long story that comes down to a combination of liberals, the most dickheaded members of a couple forums and jealous wannabes who’ve never won a competition in their life. We’ll be getting fresh content up regularly. For now, enjoy the little I’ve been able to restore.

Found – The Casing From the Shot That Belled My Glock 21 Barrel

Funny story in places. Sad in others. Stupid in some. We’ll start with picture time and then move on to story time. I’m sure that’s how you all would prefer it.
Juicy primer flattening + primer flow into the firing pin / striker channel. Doesn’t look so bad right?
Who’s got a big Buddha belly? Oh yes. You’ve got a big Buddha belly.
Coach decided to crank out a few thousand .45ACP loads after our last casting party. Fine enough. So he goes to work and cranks out 4K rounds. His .45’s have been very uniform and 100% reliable, if a little smoky. When we shoot pistols we’ll usually go through 1-2k rounds in a day between us. Coach failed to notice 1 critically important thing while loading. Occasionally the powder charge bar on the Dillon 550 would fail to return to battery to pick up another charge. That could have been sorted out by weighing finished rounds except that we’re using lubricated cast bullets and mixed brass.
A month or two goes by and we make it out to the range and do some combat oriented drills which means rapid fire and double taps are the norm. So we’re shooting, we’re shooting, we run out of ammo after draining a full .50cal ammo can of .45ACP and then we go home. After a day or so I pull out my Glock G21 from the safe to give it a thorough swabbing out and notice a black ring in my bore just in front of the chamber during a visual inspection.
I thought it might be a lead ring since I’m shooting cast lead in a Glock barrel or a carbon ring due to the extreme dirtiness of our loads but it didn’t come out after a vigorous brush cleaning or even show signs of change. Then I punched a patch down the barrel and it went in snug in the chamber tight in the throat, hotdog in a hallway just after the throat about where that black ring was, and tight as a drum the rest of the way. Then I looked at my barrel’s exterior more closely. It was belled about 1/2″ in front of the chamber for about 1/4″ of distance and just severely enough to be barely visible to the naked eye (about .030 diametric difference).
Ok, well, I figured it’d happen sooner or later shooting cast bullets from a factory glock barrel. So I bought a new aftermarket barrel with conventional rifling that would be ok with long term use of cast lead. I also shot another 500 rounds through the old damaged glock barrel while waiting for the new one to arrive. It worked just fine. I knew it would because there’s no saying that the round that belled the barrel was the last one I shot.
What happened? Well, a week or 2 ago I got a call from Coach and he’s going on and on about having found “the case”. I’m like, “What case?” and he fills me in that he’s 100% certain that THIS case is the one that was fired when my barrel was damaged. I was skeptical. How did you pick that one out of the 2000+ that we’d recently emptied?
Well, it was pretty easy and it actually tells us a neat story that goes like this:
1. Coach loads his 1911 with ammo.
2. Coach fires some shots and gets a fail to fire and ejects a loaded round onto the ground and walks back to the mag loading area.
3. I load my Glock with ammo, walk to the firing line and shoot most of my mag but the last round fails to fire so I eject it. I then notice what I think is my round on the ground with a bullet in the case and figure, “Oh, last one didn’t go off, maybe a light primer strike or shallow seated primer. One more tap on the cap and it might just fire.” and so I pick up the round and drop it into my Glock, slam the slide home & pull the trigger it goes bang.
4. I load another mag and keep shooting.
What happened was when Coach hit the primer on that round it was probably shallow seated and finished seating with coach’s hammer fall but didn’t go off and coach flopped it onto the ground and walked away. I went to the same spot Coach was at to shoot and when I got a click-no-bang and then saw a loaded round on the ground and assumed it was mine and stuffed it into my gun, I failed entirely to realize that there might be a bullet stuck some distance down my bore or to have noticed the empty case I ejected earlier being empty despite no bang happening. That should have made it clear to me but I was a fool.
When I picked up that fateful round and fired it the bullet left the case mouth’s grip and entered the bore only to slam into the back end of the previous bullet. The air trapped between them became an incompressable fluid and when pressure was sufficient it belled my barrel before both bullets took the opportunity to leave the muzzle. My mag didn’t blow out, I didn’t notice any real recoil change, the gun kept working.
I’ve had a case blow in this gun before. That was from repeated loading with stout loads. This one was from multiple levels of bad idea compounding each other. I’m just surprised the barrel didn’t go full banana and cause a catastrophic self-disassembly of the entire pistol.
The 2 primer hits on the brass and the bit that flowed into the striker channel being rectangular while there was also a round firing pin strike is a dead giveaway for a double primer strike. Note to self. If the ammo is on the ground, leave it on the ground.