Ops Recon

‘‘"No law ever written has stopped any robber, rapist, or killer, like cold blue steel in the hands of their last intended victim." ~W.Emerson Wright’’

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Location: United States

Just another amateur 3-gunner trying to better himself.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I knew I chose wisely

Online forums are a great place to have your questions answered and to brain storm with everyone else on whatever topic you like. I found this little tidbit from the forums.


Gunsmith to the Gods

Finally it has arrived \:D , I have 30,000 rounds available right now, another 30,000 will deliver next month.

Specs, 139 Lapua Scenar at 2820 FPS (24" barreled test rifle)
OAL is 2.820, Remington Brass.

Price $535 per 500 $225 per 200 Single boxes are $23 each
+ Shipping (About $8-12 a case)
Call Tracy to order (816) 221-1844
Email George
George Gardner, G.A. Precision

Well holy crap! A buck a round for match ammo instead of 5 bucks or more? That does it for me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thought about it some more

As of late I've been thinking of an AR10 based 260 rem out of a 20 inch barrel.
Now some of you may be saying "why limit yourself to a 20 inch barrel"?
Well there is the weight and size constraint I placed on this system. But the ballistics of the 260 rem would still bust loads of ass out of a 20 inch barrel. Anything out of an ar15 would be hard pressed to keep up with that.

I have been thinking about stock and handguard selections. There is reasoning behind that as well. The stock must be collapsible. Having it this way saves on weight, and length obviously. the hanguard must be either a ARMS S.I.R or a PRI with a full length rail. Reason being they are the only intergrated solutions for mounting a long scope. Now you might be thinking what about a extended rail or a larue mount. Aint no Larue mount for what I'm mounting!

Oh! And about the whole AR10 thing. I know a bolt action would be loads lighter but a thought hit me. The system must be semi auto. If this was bolt action then there would be no discussion and I would be building a 338 lapua mag. But we're building a runner here. A quick setup and takedown rifle with flat ballistics and fast sight picture. Last thing I need is to do the math on something I could snap shoot. And if I miss......... well.... thats what the semi auto is for. A quick adjustment and pull of the trigger and the deed is done. Plus the 338lapua mag would cost 4 dollars a mistake. Not too great when your running and gunning. More details as they arise.

I think I got a winner here!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The search continues

Surfing through's 50 cal forum I read through a few threads of one guy called "Triggerfifty". He had a few interesting tidbits in my search. One of his posts set the caliber range for the system. From now on I'm setting the range from.......

.308 win
.338 lapua mag

Why do I limit myself to that? Size and weight! There will be no 50bmg..... at all! Not even a ultra light weight upper for the ar15. Its not gonna happen. Well I'm getting off track. Now what Triggerfifty posted is what I'm going to post here. No Links here, just straight facts.

The beginning or the explanation behind the 338 vs. 408 vs. 50 BMG issue is explained in part, by my response to an individual asking about why I suggest a .338 Lapua over the .408 CheyTac for long range sniping. More will follow. Readers should know that I am a former owner and member of the 408 team. Specifically i was responsible for the development of military weapons systems and direct development of the CheyTac Advanced Ballistic Computer (ABC). I have since departed from that company, but feel the professional shooting community needs to understand the real issue behind the .408 gun system. Yes, it has the potential to be the best cutting edge long range gun, within certain boundries. SOE's website will continue to post these revelations about the .408 as I believe current company owners mislead potential military clients as to the capability of the .408. I will not stand for this and have the knowledge base to point out the differences on paper and on application. Any questions concerning this topic, please feel free to write me. Thanks for reading.

There are many "urban legends" of sniping, methods and techniques that have not been vetted in an operational environment, etc. These range from bad operational methods, to plain methods of cleaning that are not accurate or are misrepresented. It has been one of my long missions to dispel many of these myths: Here is only a couple.

1. Sweets cannot be left in a rifle barrel but for a few minutes, it will destroy the barrel. NOT TRUE. That formula ceased to exist in the early 60s. Routinely I will load a barrel full of sweets after removing carbon buildup, and poor out the excess Sweets and leave the barrel sit as long as overnight, then push a patch through the barrel, getting a huge blob of blue. The copper residue chemically reduced.

2. WD40 will harm your barrel, NOT TRUE.

3. Only push a brush the same direction as the bullet travels, NOT TRUE. This has nothing to do with anything.

Many times, “golden rules” or “urban legends” are generated out of an observed single event. Someone left Sweets in a barrel for days and days, it dried out, and the barrel rusted. That propagated into a rule of never leaving Sweets in a rifle barrel for a long period. When one trains dozens of sniper students in a years time, trends appear or don’t appear that are indicators of certain events. For example, the M-24 has shown to be far more durable than the M40A1 – M40A3 series rifles over the years. It is easier to maintain in the field, and in my own observations, the M24 is more accurate gun for gun.

Okay, on to your specific questions (338 vs. 408). I am one of the original owners and partners in Cheytac, the builders of the .408. My job specifically was the field testing and development of the platforms for military use. I shot the groups that the guns in those days were capable of. Over the years, a couple of partners left Cheytac because of bad management and personality issues. I left originally in 2003, and again in 2005, after a stint as a consultant to work on their semi-automatic gun, and their .308 SASS semi auto sniper backup gun. After working those systems for a few months, I tried to tell them the guns needed a major re-engineering, that they would never work in their current design. They were incredibly accurate, but could not function well. These were due to engineering flaws in the design of the recoil and ammunition feed mechanisms of both guns, as well as their gas systems.

The .408 is a great cartridge, but the "management" now makes claims that they cannot substantiate. I say this as a direct observation as well as seeing the impact of their misrepresentations on the US military. We are at war, and for the sake of money, I will not be a part of any of their type of management. CheyTac doesn’t have the internal talent or engineering brains they used to have. Those people have left, and now they have marketing guys, with no knowledge of the these systems or how to develop them.

Why the .338 Lapua is better. In combat sniping, the ability to strike a target at great range is more about the ability to address environmental and meteorological factors than it is the gun. The .408 without computer support is no better at 2000 yards than a 50 or a 338 Lapua. It is guess work for any of those guns. The above things are intangibles, here is real data:

Bullets and the cartridge make all the difference. The .338 270 gr. Lost River Ballistic Technologies J40 match bullet is the best .338 bullet in the world. It has a 2000 yard supersonic range in a gun that can push it to 2850 fps. (At this point, I’d advise against the AI .338 Lap Mag, it's the least capable of any of the guns out there, but they have great marketing guys and good brochures). The 250 gr. Scenar Lapua bullet only has a super sonic range of 1600 meters at 3000 fps.

At 2000 yards, the flight time for a 750 gr. AMAX out of a .50 and flight time is 3.6 seconds. Velocity at 2000 yards for the AMAX is 1153 fps, just barely supersonic. This means the projectile at 2000 yards moves about 3.8” for every 1 millisecond of time and range.

At 2000 yards, the flight time for a 338 Lapua at 2900 fps (their best speed) and the flight time is 3.4 seconds. Velocity at 2000 yards for the 270 gr. LRBT J40 round is 1159 fps, also, just barely supersonic. This means the projectile at 2000 yards moves about 4.1” for every 1 millisecond of time and range.

At 2000 yards, the flight time for a 408 CheyTac shooting the 419 gr. at 2900 fps and the flight time is 3.5 seconds. Velocity at 2000 yards for the 419 gr. LRBT J40 round is 1213 fps, also, just barely supersonic, but a little better. This means the projectile at 2000 yards moves about 4.4” for every 1 millisecond of time and range.


750 GR. .50 BMG AMAX @ 2000 yards, projectile is 1153 fps and covers 3.8” for 1 millisecond of flight.

338 Lapua 270 gr. LRBT J40 @ 2000 yards, projectile is 1159 fps and covers 3.4” for 1 millisecond of flight.

.408 CheyTac 419 gr. J40/M40 @ 2000 yards,, projectile is 1213 fps (a little better but statistically and tactically insignificant) and covers 4.4” for 1 millisecond of flight time.

The reality is that at that range, none have any advantage and a flight time of 3+ seconds is too long for any realistic shot on a non-material target. As a professional shooter, I would challenge any CheyTac shooter to a head to head shoot against a .50 BMG shooting AMAX and any .338 Lapua shooting the 270 gr. LRBT bullet.

With the above things in mind. The .408 suffers the following real world disadvantages.

.408 vs. .338 on weight = you can get a .338 Lapua in at 17 lbs easy. Lightest weight for a .408 repeater is 26 lbs. They do make a single shot rifle that they can get down to about 17 lbs, but recoil management is a serious issue. You can make a gun too light to be good with it.

.408 vs. .338 on cost. = You can have a .338 Lapua from H&S Precision for 2100.00 in their HTR rifle. Dakota Arms, which is a very fine rifle, is 4400.00. The .408 M200 military gun from Cheytac is 12,000.00. (If they sold you one, right now, they like to claim military only, but no military is buying any.

On Tactical edge. The .408 can go a little farther supersonic, but both guns real world range is 2000 yards based on supersonic speed. The realistic max flight time for any shot is about 2.5 seconds. This is around 1500 meters for all three gun platforms.

At that speed, all three mentioned are about the same for flight time. 2.5 seconds for the 338 Lapua, 2.5 seconds for the 408 CheyTac and 2.6 seconds for the .50 / AMAX combination. I would challenge anyone to point out the edge of one of those cartridges vs. the other. .408 looses on weight, cost, and factory work on the guns, non-standard parts, etc. All things compared, cost, precision, range, flight time, etc., the .338 Lapua is the easy winner.

The .408 had the advantage, but Cheytac burned that away by changing a gun in ways they knew nothing about. They lost velocity over the original guns, which were all at 3050 fps and had a real advantage.

On my recommendation for a tactical 1500 meter gun is the .338 Lapua. Prairie Gun Works of Canada, Dakota Arms, one built by McBros, H&S Precision, personally, I build my own. I would use a Prairie Gun Works Timberwolf action, a Lawton barrel (made to my specs), a McMillan A5 stock. Install a cantilever metal block system instead of a conventional bedding job, put a suppressor on it, and use a Schmidt & Bender PII Marksman sight with 100 MOA of elevation, expensive, but nice. That setup will smoke a .408 all day long. The trick is you'll have to use the 270 gr. LRBT J40 match bullet, or you won't have the supersonic range the .408 has. If you use the 250 gr. Lapua Scenar bullet, you loose 400 yards of supersonic range and the .338 Lapua drops out of the race against the .50 AMAX setup and the .408 CheyTac.

I've been in the special operations sniping community on the operations side, training side and material development side. I shot the very first .338 Lapua when it was called the .338/.416 back in 1987 and have been seeing it mature since then. It's time now. I believe the .338 Lapua will be the new hot sniping round. It's been adopted in England, Canada, turkey, and several other countries as the standard sniping round. I think there will always be .308 guns; you couldn't run a training program on .338s alone. Barrels would not survive the heat generated by excessive shooting.

The more interesting setup is the .375/.408, using a LRBT built .375 projectile with a .930 G1 ballistic co-efficient at a speed of 3250 fps. Those are serious numbers.

Well thats it. Thats my max, and I don't even think I would ever reach as far up as a 338 lapua in a lightweight, compact sniper system.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The search for the ultimate sniper system.

I've been talking a lot with my buddy about caliber selection and such. Also about what platform would be best for this "ultimate" cartridge. Weight is one concern. Along with portability, recoil, immediate and long term cost, and tons of other considerations.

So how do I start? I thought what are the end requirements for the system meaning what do I intend to do with it. Maybe a short list is in order.

1. Easily carry able by one person.
2. Light enough to run with. gun AND gear.
3. Cost effective in terms of ammo. cuz ya still gotta practice.
4. small drop and drift.
5. defeats armor. I'll explain why later.

Now this is not a complete list. But as time goes by i'll be adding small tidbits of info to this to see what fleshes out. Now another thing I wanted to do was compile a list of possible scenario's where the system would come into play. Keep in mind that I look at this through a civilians perspective. Police and military will come into play as I add them.

Keep in mind these scenario's will probably never happen but how else can I start without throwing some BS out there.

1. The riots have hit my part of town! ..... yes "again". And now its 3 am and all hell has broken loose in my neighborhood. I look out the window of my second story room and see vandals trying to break into a buddy's house a block away. I grab the rifle and take aim.

Now I know I left a lot out of that one. Like how do I know they are "unfriendly's"? Well this is one. I'm not saying its perfect but I have no real instances to go with

2. The Riots continue. 2pm I walk to the main street to run to the market to try and salvage some grub for me and my own. I look down the main street and see a group of baddies, fully armed and armored, walking down the street along side a slow moving convoy of cars, shooting whatever they see move, throwing Molotov's at the buildings they pass (wow! what an imagination). They are about 3 street lights away and closing. I find a good position to engage and take aim.

Holy crap! I should be writing books!!!!! But anyway these are what-ifs. And they are a hell of a lot better that the stupid zombie crap i've been seeing on the forums. SHTF my ass!!!

Well then the start of this is out there. In the coming .. months i'll be scouring the net, asking guys at the range, and asking some industry peoples about this. Whatever I come up with I'll post. Please leave your thoughts on this matter. Calibers, platforms, scenario's, comments, and critiques are all welcome.