General Service Update
I started BallisticXLR really out of pure self interest. I was working on an invention; a gizmo for military applications, and needed to know how external ballistics worked deep in the guts so I could create some computer software that did ballistics calculations as part of the overall thing that gizmo did. At the same time, I’m not a software developer by trade (I’m a system administrator for large Linux/UNIX installations) so I needed some way to systematize the ballistics and anatomize the bits so I could figure out how to set up the code architecture. Doing it in a spreadsheet was an easy way to systematize each of the bits and a great way to learn it all.
I didn’t plan on releasing any part of BallisticXLR as an Excel spreadsheet for general public use. Dr. Pejsa and Russ Ring had already released its predecessor and despite the bigass bug in it, it worked. I actually used that spreadsheet as the basis to create mine… after fixing the bigass bug in it. Hey, I’m no physicist but I am a computer geek and I know more math than the average college graduate. Fixing the bug came down to a hunch, a test and I was done. I’d guessed right the first time. Hey, blind squirrels and nuts right?
When I found TiborasaurusRex’s Sniper 101 series it discussed the really fine points of ballistics. Particularly, the stuff that doesn’t even matter in the real world and and the stuff that very much does were both addressed. TiborasaurusRex was using a table design he’d pinched from Dean Michealis who literally wrote the book on .50Cal Hard Target Interdiction. Rex’s real contribution was to explain some basics and terminology and then to have users go to jbmballistics.com and generate some numbers and then to copy/paste those into his spreadsheet layout. I saw that and nearly puked. It was very clear that this troglodyte TiborasaurusRex sure knew his stuff behind his guns in edited video footage but didn’t know a damned thing about computers (which he freely admits) or how unintelligent the average person actually is capable of being even if they’re normally very smart (which he also freely admits).
Not only did it require using JBM which, while full featured, is as complicated as the insides of an automatic transmission but to compound things, nobody could do it and they kept asking the most ludicrously stupid questions. The Sniper101 series almost died in its adolescence because Rex’s system was at the time simply damned near impossible for the newbie to use. I decided to put out a couple demo versions of BallisticXLR which took about 100 hours and gave copies to Rex. Rex promptly went cuckoo for cocoa puffs and started sending people to my channel immediately. What I’d done to elicit this response is add the back end math and automated everything so it was really easy to fill out inputs and get results. Easy enough that newbies could make a good fist of doing it without asking irritating questions. It also got people to stop bugging Rex so much and to start bugging me. So he got to pawn off his problem on me. So what? I volunteered right?
Seeing that Rex’s people were benefiting from the work I put in and having transferred further development of the original gizmo that brought me down this path to another party, I decided to really make something of BallisticXLR. I’ve now put about 5000 hours of my time into it and my helper in Belgium has put in a few hundred of his own. At this point I’ve released over 150 versions including patches and bug fixes across 8 major versions. And, every single one has always been free to download and users provided with free personalized email based support. Sadly, this is not a tenable situation in the long term. In order to deal with the amount of time and money it costs me to run BallisticXLR I need to introduce a fee structure.
The download for version 8.31 is currently still free but version 9.1 has not been released yet and may be released as a paid product with a license cost. The cost for the download, if any, is still under consideration.
Additionally, while support services have historically been free I have no choice but to introduce a fee structure for support services. There will be 3 levels of support: Gold, Silver, Bronze. Gold is limited phone support (3x incidents per 12 months) plus unlimited requests with a 24hr response time to email support. Silver is up to 10x requests per year to email support w/ 24 hour response time. Bronze is limited to 2x requests per year to email support w/ 72hr response time. You will be able to purchase a support entitlement at my website soon. Fee structures are as follows: Gold $200/yr. Silver $100/year. Bronze $50/year. This new fee based support will go live very soon. I’m trying to stall that as long as possible.
Version 9 Dropping
I’ve finally nailed down the last details to implement velocity regime banding for ballistic coefficients. This deals much better with G1 ballistics as the BC will degrade with velocity. Continually changing BC’s need to be dealt with in the drops and drifts or you’ll hit low and wide respectively.
Some companies like Sierra publish velocity regime specific BC data which Version 9 of BallisticXLR can now use. The differences won’t be seen really at close range but as you start getting to proper long range applications of fire the smallest differences start to mean a lot. Anyone that shoots into the transonic zone from over mach 2 will certainly find some benefit there. In addition to the banded BC’s I’ve shrunk the file size dramatically, fixed all of the little conditional formatting, reduced to single decimal precision in many places, eliminated the “#VALUE” and “######” errors, added all kinds of error handling in the back end and made oodles of subtle improvements that help to make cleaner and easier to read the stuff it prints out. It’s much faster now, less error prone, easier to use, more flexible, more accurate and smaller. It’s also now working either fully or partially in Libre Office and Google Sheets (Google Sheets is ridiculously slow though) so there’s even options for using it with non-Microsoft application software.
It’s really hard to communicate the amount of effort that went into this latest, possibly final, version. 12 to 16 hours a day for days at a time. When doing these big upgrades I can’t even focus on my day job. I have to give 100% to the spreadsheet or mistakes get made. I wasn’t the only one to put in the work either. My Belgian volunteer assistant, Wouter, put in quite a number of days of effort there too and he doesn’t get paid either which is another situation I can’t let stand. His contributions have been huge and there needs to be some reward for that.
Prices for my indestructible printed materials have gone up substantially to keep up with materials costs. When I started the media cost around 60 cents a page and printing a page cost about $2 in toner and printer life. Nowadays it’s teetering very close to $1:page for the media and it’s up to over $3:page in printer wear and toner. Keep in mind I don’t often just get to print 1 copy. Tiny defects in printing getting QC’d out mean that I burn about 1.4 printed pages per page actually delivered. The reject rate is high because I’m picky. Add to that the cost of handling, packaging and shipping (another ~5 bucks) and it starts to be a losing proposition quickly. When I started I made about 10 bucks a kit for my time (about an hour per kit) after shipping. At the old price with my current costs though, I lose 10 cents a page before I even package or ship the thing. Each kit loses me a few bucks. The old cost of $55 for a 10-page B-FEDS kit has therefore gone up to $75. That amounts to a compensation of ~$14/hr for my time and paying for the hard costs of materials and shipping. I didn’t increase the price because I wanted to make money. I increased it because I can’t afford to lose that much.
People being the cheap ass bastards that they are, I expect that the changes I’m making will be the death knell for BallisticXLR. If everything goes as I predict then there will be no more orders for any of my products and I’ll shut down next year as a result. If I’m wrong in my pessimism and people are willing to pay too little and get too much then it might last a bit longer. Anyone that ponies up for licensed products will continue to get the support they paid for even if I shut it down. I just won’t accept new customers in such a case. So, I hope you all continue to support the work that I’ve done and continue to do but I don’t expect squat and I’m planning for either contingency. I would simply ask you a question, “Did BallisticXLR and/or Meccastreisand help make you a more successful shooter?” and if so, consider making a contribution (see donate links on my youtube channel) or purchasing some of my products/services and supporting my efforts in that way.
We had a really good weekend in the end but it started pretty rough.
Initial equipment check went well, only a couple of loose screws and everyone’s equipment was definitely of the sort we recommend: Scopes known for solid tracking, rifles with heavy profile barrels, no semi-autos, suppressors in use, good quality rings and bipods, etc… Some guns were factory Savage and Remington others were full or semi-custom. People with pieces of kit that weren’t vetted properly as field ready definitely found out but those were few and far between with one glaring exception.
Optics, optics, optics. You know even the best optics have little niggly problems or complete failures occasionally. That’s manufacturing in the modern age. That makes our recommendations for more affordable optics something we take very seriously. Folks with funding limits that are not orbit level high get legitimately pissed off when we point at something reasonably priced and they buy it and it fails right out of the gate. Same goes for those with more substantial reserves of disposable cash. I’ll omit for now spilling the beans on the details of which scopes failed and/or how they failed with one funny exception because we’re working with the manufacturers to verify the issue sources so they can take any steps necessary without needlessly harming their brand. Often the way a manufacturer finds out about an issue even existing is through feedback and we’re giving it to them constructively.
So, what kinds of failures did we see? Turret tracking consistency issues on high and low end optics that were definitely not due to loose turret caps, over torqued cap screws or other simple issues were the most infuriating. Failure to hold zero was another. Click value discrepancies were another that was more common than last time and I attribute that to the very wide assortment of optics this time around. The first class was extremely heavy with top end IOR Valdada Crusader and Recon models, this time there was everything you could think of on the line. More sample variety means we see more performance variety.
We were able to take care of all of the problems in one way or another. If we could get a good zero we’d shift the shooter to using hold-off aiming instead of dialing which works extremely well within the confines of 1000yrds. For the cases of shifting/wandering zero we simply replaced the optic or the entire weapon system. One failure, on my own Dodger Dog Gun, was particularly frustrating and is pretty funny in hindsight given that I’m the one that checked out my own rifle. One of the little pinch screws that holds the windage turret cap to the center post so clicks register had decided to go walkabout and I didn’t notice. That led to a comedy of errors of sorts.
I did notice that I couldn’t get a zero that was useful. Part of that though was the ammo I tossed together for this was meant for me to use for fireforming the last of my .243win to .243Ackley, not for a student to use. Well, a student needed it and couldn’t get enough of any one kind of ammo at WalMart to do the class meaning they needed what I brought. So, I dutifully loaned it and they complained that it didn’t shoot right. I tried but the best group I could get was over 5 inches at 100yrds. 55 grain Varmageddon pills at 3800fps from an 8 twist barrel I guess was a little much on the spin and they were going everywhere. So, Dodger Dog Gun got pulled back and my brand new US Optics B-17 was the butt of many jokes. I replaced the B-17 with a spare SWFA 16x42mm SS but zeroing was a non-starter since it wouldn’t group. I got home and looked at my B-17 and noticed the missing screw right away, grabbed a spare from my box of spare shit and it’s working fine now. Dammit. Sorry about that Shinobi. I really wanted you to be able to use that gun.
Beyond the equipment issues we really put the psychological, intellectual and physical pressure on for this group of students. The last group did so well that we didn’t think we were challenging people quite enough so we stepped it up just one notch. A little less time and a little more drill complexity and difficulty. We got what we wanted. Students were under just enough pressure that they’d start gradually losing the fundamentals with predictable results and we’d have to re-focus them. It got continuously easier for them to self-diagnose and correct for their glitches though. So it worked. They really internalized things and by the third day when we were in full on testing mode they performed beyond any reasonable expectation. Day 1 was a lot of grinding through bigger form and equipment issues at 100yrds to get their groups tight enough that long range would work. Day 2 refined their form and got them focusing against distractions and using DOPE properly so long range hits were in the 60% zone but most misses were wind call related. Day 3 was super high pressure and despite that hits during the most challenging drills were over 80% with misses being wind calls mostly with a very few form issues which students immediately identified, copped to and corrected. They all went from a mix of confidence on the surface with an unsure center to knowing that they were field viable marksmen (Ok Xena, and markswoman) who didn’t need our help anymore to hit 1000yrds. Them chickadees done left the nest.
These students really expected a lot of themselves and you could totally sense the frustration when they didn’t perform to their expectations right off the bat or even after a good whack of instruction. Folks have to realize, expectations need to be aligned with universal reality. You don’t attend training to show me or you how good you are. You come there for me to show you how much you have to learn that I have to teach and then for me to go ahead and teach you as much of that material as I can as thoroughly as possible in the time available.
I see a lot of folks online saying they need to train before coming to one of our classes. That’s simply insane. You need to get your gear in order, twist your expectations knob to “don’t know shit but ready to learn” and come to a course and watch your skill set bloom. We’ll teach you to shoot groups if you need to learn that. We’ll teach you trigger control if you need to learn that. We’ll teach you whatever you need to know to become a viable rifle marksman and nobody’s going to point or look down on you. They’ll probably look at you with admiration. Showing up knowing squat and having the courage to be taught and to learn under pressure is something we all actually find pretty inspiring. Anyone looking askance at such an act of courage probably lacks that courage themselves.
Class 002: You were all amazing and impressive. I couldn’t be happier with every single shooter out there. Some of you have contacted me lamenting your performance. I can’t imagine thinking like that being sane because I’m personally impressed with every single one of you. I know how challenging that training was and I don’t think I’d have done any better than any of you. That was exactly the point of it, to be extremely challenging. If it’s a real challenge for me as an experienced long range and competitive shooter then it’s going to be serious training for you, not piddle farting around burning a buck-fifty with each trigger pull for nothing. If it’s easy for me then it’s just rehearsing which does nothing to improve performance. I would feel pretty guilty about providing training to people for money that I wouldn’t want to personally spend my time and hard earned money doing.
As an aside: Some of the students reported being a tad unnerved by being physically touched and having appendages and body parts moved around by someone else to get them into a correct position. Well, think of it this way: Those that were so treated had already completely failed at figuring it out after being shown a number of times without physical contact. Continuing to teach those students that way would be like teaching a pig to sing. It’d waste my time and annoy the pig. So, the odd person being unnerved once means they didn’t want us to have to do it a second time and so started to manage their body position and alignment properly from then on. For those people: You’re welcome for burning that into your head and if it unnerved you: Suck it up buttercup. Being gentle with you, dancing around your personal hangups and generally molly coddling you in any way won’t make you a better shooter. If I wanted you to be in your comfort zone I would have done a video and not stepped into the field with you. You don’t learn to change you while you are in your comfort zone. If body position matters and you’re screwing it up then sometimes your instructors need to alter your body position, which means they’ll have to touch you. They’re not molesting you so deal with it like a big kid and move on. The reason our students progress so far so fast is that we train you like grown ups. This isn’t Disneyland, it’s a rifle range. We’re not building happy places, we’re building viable rifleman.
If you don’t think you’re ready, you are. If you think you’re ready, you need to reset your mindset to learn from demonstrate. If you’re not an alumnus or haven’t signed up for training: What the hell are you waiting for?
YouTube’s ever deepening efforts to estrange an entire half of their customer base has decided to continue and even get more aggressive about demonitizing and even deleting videos. This practice has continued so vigorously that it’s hit my own little obscure channel. Every day another video has the advertising revenue cut. It’s not like I made much from the video views and I certainly never made a dime of profit from the website or selling my ballistics data kits. Actually I took a huge loss on the whole thing but the ad revenue did trickle in a little here and there and now it’s basically gone. That wouldn’t be so bad but even searching for my exact username, channel content, etc… has become unreliable meaning that without the word getting spread the work I do won’t have anybody finding out they can use it and it will die slowly on the vine.
So, in an attempt to truncate the probability of that slow death happening I’ve started a Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/BallisticXLR) in the hopes that my user base might see their way to helping me continue to make this product, and more importantly the support services, 100% free to the masses. I don’t want to ask for patronage but at this point it’s very hard to keep pumping money into it at such a high rate. If I could break even I would be elated but anything helps right now.
I’ve taken up with Rex Defense and RexReviews.com with YouTube personality TiborasaurusRex as a precision rifle instructor and ballistics instructor for the organization generally and specifically at our long range precision rifle training seminars and live fire courses (see the training tab on http://rexreviews.org for details). That’s not a paying gig at this point though, I hope it might become one. The company needs to get its feet under it before that’ll be a real possibility. If you would like to get your mindset, skills, tactics and gear squared away so you will know you’ll be able to make whatever long range shot you need to make come and train with us. It’s intense training for sure.
On the new stuff front, I’ve released some big upgrades to BallisticXLR and BallisticPRS and will be continuing to release minor updates to expand on those new features. There’s a BDC generator in BallisticXLR now along with a 3×5″ sized hasty DOPE card and in BallisticPRS I’ve deployed a whole set of new 3×5″ data cards from 200-990yrd/m at 500ft density altitude increments for several thousand feet of DA’s and will be releasing slow updates until all of the -4K to +11k foot DA zones in 500ft increments will be deployed soon. I’ve fixed formatting, updated labels, fixed the Extended Data tab’s 5mph winds and added all of the new ELD-M bullets to the projectile database. I’ve released to limited distribution an entirely new version of the spreadsheet called BallisticDLR (Dynamic Long Range) which is meant to be used on a computer to characterize multiple guns, multiple loads, and to provide extremely highly automated firing solutions. It’s best for those that are highly experienced and is really optimized for research and development purposes more than hunting or tactical or competitive pursuits.
Get ready for a lot more videos and more frequent updates to my channel as well as to the spreadsheets. I’ve got a busy month on tap with a lot of content that will come out of it and next year is looking to be especially exciting.
I guess when you’re brought up by a baby raping shit-pile you may just end up messed up right out of the gate. Do we hold this crime against Jerry first and against Jeff second because little Jeffy raped little girls and his dad diddled little boys, likely including Jeff? Or do we take a phenomenological view and hold each’s actions against the actual actor without regard to the crimes of the other? Personally I see this is a family that’s malfunctioning at such a systemic level that it’s not really repairable. There’s nothing left for these shitwads on our planet.
The piece of human excrement pictured above went all gay sex on a bunch of little boys. He not only raped them but physically injured them. His son (pictured below) did it to little girls and we can only assume that human physiology being what it is that physical damage may have been mitigated. That doesn’t stop what he did being just as reprehensible but at least we can say about the little girls that it could have been worse. Yes, it’s poor succor at best but it’s something.
Perhaps Best Korea has the treatment that that needs applied here. 3 generations sequestered into the torture camps. Make sure their bloodline dies out and that it dies out in excruciating and unending agony. We don’t need their kind on our planet after all.
Well, that amounts to vengeance. It’s not justice. So while I’d love to advocate for the most brutal and horrific punishment to be meted out against the entire Sandusky clan at the hands of vigilance committees, I’ll pull back from that with the intellectual acknowledgement that this is precisely what we put government in place to deal with. I’d also note that the maybe 3 years he’ll do is not just woefully inadequate but a furtherance of the crime committed to those little girls.
Fuck the Sandusky clan. Nope… don’t fuck ’em. Burn Jerry and Jeffery at the stake. Or, leave them in prison for a while. I hear kid rapists are treated to a special fishing trip in prison and that other prisoners take a special interest in making sure they have just the right kind of day. Every day.
The Rex Reviews Project with generous sponsorship from Box to Bench Precision (makers of one of the most useful new targets to hit the market in years) will be giving away a new Savage 10FCP-SR rifle in 6.5 Creedmore at the RX18 Long Range Seminar later this month in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Tickets for the rifle contest are only $50 each. The rifle package is over a $1200 value.
The Savage 10FCP-SR comes fully equipped. It’s already been supplied with a SWFA 10×42 Super Sniper mil/mil scope and a Harris 6-9″ notch leg swiveling bipod and sighted in for zero and a box test and tall target test run against the optic. This is a ready to rock and roll setup! The rifle is currently being characterized with easily available retail match grade ammunition against a Box2Bench target. Once completed the resultant data is going to be sent to yours truly and used to generate a custom set of ballistic firing tables. I’ll then print out a full B-Feds kit that will be included in the package.
Want your chance at this rifle? Register to attend RX18 at https://rexreviews.org (click on the training button) and when you arrive at the seminar, buy yourself a raffle ticket or two. Or ten. Or 20, or, you know, whatever.
We’re going to have an epic seminar this time. We’ve got Vortex Optics, US Optics, McMillan, Huber Concepts and more coming out with gear to fondle and information to absorb and maybe some really special surprises. Don’t forget about the ever-present special guests we don’t announce until the day of.
If you want to attend the upcoming California Live Fire course you must have attended an RX17 or RX18 event for automatic admittance (within course capacity limits).
CitizenV is a longtime friend of mine but in all the time we’ve known each other this is the first time I’ve gotten her to the range. She grew up in the USSR and had never fired a rifle before this day and wanted to try her hand at long range precision shooting. I figured if TiborasaurusRex can take a brand new shooter and get them up to speed then I can do it too.
Here CitizenV is taking rifle shots from 200meters to 900 yards and she makes it a hit every fun loving time. We honestly weren’t expecting her to make the really long range hits but she did it anyway to make sure nobody doubts her ever again. The first shot in the video was the 1st shot she’d ever fired from a rifle. After that she took aim at the 300m, 385m and 500m targets and had ’em ringing shot after shot. There is one shot there that’s not on film. She mistook me saying to shoot at the pig near the number 3 and shot the number itself instead. That was a hit but not the hit we were wanting. The other footage is nearly uncut and only sacrifices some really tasteless jokes, cuss words and me wiping the sweat from my noggin dozens of times. It was 95 degrees in the shade that day. Didn’t bother CitizenV but it did bother me. My old bones don’t like the heat.
I gave CitizenV about 10 minutes of intensive verbal training before putting her behind a rifle and then actively coached her. By paying attention to and applying the fundamentals of marksmanship and ballistics she was able to reliably put bullets on steel. It’s true what they say, women make better students of rifle craft. Don’t worry guys, I’ll train you too.
If you want the kind of knowledgeable, high quality instruction that can have you hitting at long range your first time out from a team with a proven record of getting novice shooters up to speed quickly, check out the Sniper101 series by TiborasaurusRex (https://www.youtube.com/user/Tiborasa…) and then sign up for an RX17 long range seminar and a live fire course.
http://www.rexreviews.org for training
For your Halloween enjoyment.