I stopped by the Lapua booth at the 2017 SHOT Show strictly to snap the photo above. That’s a real life piece of Lapua’s new small rifle primered 6.5 Creedmoor brass. I most definitely cherished my time with that piece of brass after their man on the ground, Kevin Thomas, told me that the first run of 1 million pieces of brass was already bought up and purchased. More is on the way in case you’re hungry for it, but there was no timeline on when you could expect to see it.

Before I left, Kevin wanted me to get the short pitch on Lapua’s newly released ballistic calculator for iOS and Android platforms. “Another ballistic calculator?!?!”, I said. Yes indeed. According to Kevin, what sets this apart from other calculators (basically all of them that use the Applied Ballistics engine) is the usage of the 6DOF Ballistic model which Lapua claims makes it the most accurate ballistic app on the market.

6DOF stands for the six degrees of freedom calculation method that Wikipedia tells me has been limited to professional organizations to this point as it requires a heavy investment in modeling for drag coefficients and a pretty decent amount of horsepower from the computer doing the solving. Lapua seems to have solved for that and distributed it as a free (!!!) ballistic app for iPhones and Android.

I downloaded the app and played around with it a bit after I returned from SHOT, though I have yet to actually deliver a bullet to a target using the app. This is for two reasons. First, it is only set up to model Lapua bullets, not surprising given the investment required to put together the models 6DOF uses. The second, and more important reason is that I don’t currently have any Lapua bullets on hand, though I’ve asked Kevin very nicely to remedy that issue.

In playing around with the app, a few things have become apparent. First, Lapua should have paid their experience designer a bit more as the app is kind of clunky to use, especially for rifle/load management. That said, it’s my only complaint with the app. Lapua’s app brings a lot of “paid” features to the table like temperature based velocity calibration, moving target and Coriolis calculations, as well as the ability to build a custom reticle in either MOA or mil in case you want to hold off for elevation and windage. Overall, the package seems to line up with what an Applied Ballistics driven calculator would tell me to do, but I look forward to actually using it before I take a strong stand on whether one is better than the other. Stay tuned.

8 Responses to Lapua Introduces Ballistic Calculator – SHOT Show 2017

  1. Words don’t even begin to express how awesome this is!

    Small rifle primer is how the Creedmoor should have been built from the beginning. It’s a better case design than the 260, and with the stronger case head now it will also be capable of better velocities than the 260 and better factory support.

    Only bummer will be waiting for it to show up in stock.

    • What is the advantage of a small rifle primer? I am truly curious….the only thing I see is having to sort brass one other way. I don’t reload for this caliber, but I know I hate having to sort 45 acp brass and thow the small pistol primed stuff.

      • I don’t know if this carries over to pistols as much but for rifles the advantages are several.

        First, if you care about consistency (low muzzle velocity variations), you ideally want to have the coolest primer (smallest explosion) that will still provide 100%reliable ignition. For something like a 6.5 Creedmoor where charges are rarely greater than 40-41grs this can be accomplished with a small rifle primer. your benefits will be lower standard deviation and extreme spread on muzzle velocity.

        Second, the smaller primer is a smaller hole cut in the case head = less material removed so the case head is stronger and can theoretically handle higher pressures. You don’t have to look far to find real world evidence of this. The 6.5x47L is nearly identical to the 6.5 Creedmoor except it runs small rifle primers and so it has a SAMMI max pressure several thousand PSI higher than the 6.5 Creedmoor and 260rem which means that it attains equal or higher velocity than those when hand loaded. The advantage of the Creedmoor are way better factory support as far as loaded ammo and factory chambered rifles. On average it does give up 100fps or so to the larger 260, but has a better case design allowing ideal seating depth for the 140gr class bullets in a magazine fed rifle. Presumably with the change to small rifle primer, handloaders will be able to negate that velocity advantage too.

        • Lapua introduced small-primer .308 brass several years ago at the request of the US Palma team. Palma shooters are shooting targets at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards, and they have to use rifles chambered in unmodified service-rifle chambers – ie, 7.62×51 or 5.56×45. The rifles must have iron sights.

          Well, they found out that the small BR primers in their .308 brass got them higher scores.

          As you said, what you’re seeking is lower SD’s on the MV and tighter min/max velocities, which will reduce vertical stringing at distance.

          Besides the smaller primers and the smaller flash hole, there’s also the issue of a more uniform flash hole. I know several competitors (I do this as well) who make all their flash holes (in large or small primer brass) uniform with a tool. Uniform flash holes leads to more uniform ignition.

          The other thing that goes right along with small BR primers and uniform flash holes is making sure that that firing pin is dead-nuts on center, and the firing pin hits with uniform force & protrusion every single time. This is why BR and other accuracy competitors will spend money to have their firing pins bushed, and new firing pins put into their bolts.

  2. Wonder if hornady will follow suit regarding moving to small primer?

    Unless Lapua somehow patented (design patent maybe), trademarked, etc to prevent such a thing?

  3. Why don’t you enter the same load data in the Lapua calculator and another, then see if how many mrad of elevation/windage the two calculators differ by at various shooting distances?
    I can say from experience that the Shooter android app (which uses Litz’s calculations) is spot on for SMK 175gr .308s at 1km+, which is well into the transsonic range for a .308 Win. I doubt the perfect adjustment for that distance is more that 0.1mrad off the Litz adjustment. The Lapua calculator might come up with an ideal adjustment that’s a few microrad better, but it then has to apply it to a scale with discrete 0.1 mrad (100 urad) steps for most scopes.

  4. How bout some 284Win and 6 Dasher brass. And so they let someone buy up a million piece production run to resell it at 100% markup. Gee thanx.

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