Video credit: Ben Titus
Video Credit: Ben Titus
SAWKET™ is an interface that is compatible with M-LOK® accessories and available as aluminum inserts to intlet into rifle stocks. The interface consists of a pocket, sized to accept the locating bosses of M-LOK®, and a threaded hole to accommodate the standard screw size used with the M-LOK® accessories. The forend inserts provide a clean appearance and strong connection. The inserts are less prone to bending and deformation from repetitive use or misuse of the standard M-LOK® T-nuts.
The SAWKET™ inserts allow the user to quickly convert the rifle for various uses by attaching Picatinny or Arca-Swiss dovetail rails to the forend, along with other M-LOK® accessories. Our line consists of various lengths of universal fit forend inserts that can be inlet into the bottom or side of the forend and secured by fasteners and t-nuts installed in the stock. Low-profile compatible Arca-Swiss/RRS dovetail rails accompany the inserts. The SAWKET™ inserts may then quickly and cleanly accept picatinny and Arca-Swiss dovetail sections to attach a bipod or tripod. Side rails may be utilized as an attachment point for accessory electronics and optics, along with add-on weights.
SAWKET™ insert install in a composite stock
SAWKET™ Side inserts for the JAE-700 Chassis
Video Credit: Joe Faulkner
Check out the training tab above and come be a part of our 2019 training season.
Video Credit: Bobby Foster
It is time again for change. Mrs. Sawtooth's time in Washington and the Army comes to an end. Our family has decided to head to Utah for civilian life, the move in June/July. We are excited about the future, although the move and leaving our friends in Washington will be tough.
Much of the Winter and Spring business activity will focus on our training classes, developing some new products, and getting set up for the move. Anybody that has been to the shop lately might get a laugh out of what that last part is about... (keep an eye on the Yard Sale).
Sawtooth Rifles aims to get through the transition as seamlessly as possible. From past shop moves we know that most of the unknowns are on the landing end, and getting spindles turning again takes time. The goal is to make the move without rifle builds pending and then start fresh without a wait list. To that end, the plan for rifle builds is as follows:
Phase 1: Beginning Jan 1, we will not accept new rifle builds until we have a really good idea of where we will be on the wait list by Spring. We aim to reduce the administrative time involved in new projects to allow for completion of existing projects. If you have been directed to this article as a response to a rifle build inquiry, please understand the need and accept our sincere apology.
Phase 2: Once we have rifle builds caught up (estimated March/April for projects not held up by parts) we will accept select projects that we can get done within days, not months. These projects will be limited to re-barrels and builds based on custom actions and chassis from parts on hand or quickly obtainable. (The days of blueprinting Remingtons and "yeah, I can make that stock work I guess" may be over for good.)
Phase 3: Back to work in Utah, ASAP!
Note: This article is under development. Judge accordingly...
The mechanical limit of long range shooting is essentially the furthest distance you could shoot in a given atmosphere by dialing the elevation turret to the end of its travel. Sure, you could shoot further by dialing to this point and then using recital holdover or even further by dialing, adding all of the recital holdover, and then adding Kentucky windage but this is beyond the limitation of the optic's internal mechanism.
It is often of value, or at least entertaining to determine what the mechanical limit of a long range rifle system would be. If you are paying for and traveling to an extended range class or match, you better do your homework ahead of time and be sure that the equipment you are showing up with is up to the challenge. Older generation scopes of higher magnification with 1" or even 30mm tubes can be limiting when it comes to long range shooting.
Every factor of ballistics comes into play for this determination, so explore the variables. Usually a cartridge is already selected and the scope is mounted, but you can investigate different projectiles to see if one would serve better than the other. In extended range shooting, we are often beyond the distance where a trajectory comparison would show where a slower but higher BC bullet has less drop than a slightly lower BC but faster launching lighter bullet.
For this analysis, we will use the mechanics of one of the Sawtooth Rifles training rental rifles with a Nightforce ATACR F1 5-25x56 riflescope shooting Hornaday 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition with the 140 ELD Match bullet launching at 2780 fps. The optic's specifications of interest are:
Total internal elevation adjustment range (per Nightforce specifications) : 120 MOA or 35 Mrad
Scope base cant: 20 MOA or 5.8 Mrad
There are two ways to go about determining the mechanical limit of a scopes internal adjustment. The most accurate method would be to dial the turret from the zero condition to the end of it's travel in the up direction, while keeping track of revolutions.
We can also use math if the above method is not feasible, or when using this concept to make decisions prior to purchasing an optic or scope mount. For this analysis, we will use the math approach. By doing this, we assume that the adjustment range used to zero the rifle is insignificant, but in reality we are using some of the elevation adjustment to get zeroed.
Using the math approach, we simply divide the total elevation range in two, the usable "up" portion and the wasted "down" portion and then account for the elevation gained by mounting it on a canted base. For the Nightforce ATACR F1 above, the math goes as follows:
1/2 of total internal elevation adjustment = 60 MOA or 17.5 Mrad
elevation gained from 20 moa canted mount = 20 MOA or 5.8 Mrad
total usable "up" elevation adjustment range = 80 MOA or 23.3 Mrad
By comparing this limit to our ballistics from the "Getting to know the Shooter ballistics app" blog post, we have a good estimate on what our mechanical limitation in that atmosphere would be. In Figure 1, you can see that our mechanical limit of long range shooting would be found at approximately 1975 yards by finding where 23.3 Mrad would be in the Path column, just past the transonic distance. We can also see that using another 5 mils of reticle holdover would get us to 28.8 Mrad, and to almost 2200 yards. Although, this is beyond what we are calling the mechanical limitation.
In summary, it is very easy to compare the mechanical limitation of an optic to your ballistics to determine how far you can shoot. This can be a decision factor when purchasing an optic or selecting scope mounts. Perhaps an optic decision could be based off of function instead of emotion or brand recognition.
There happens to be an optic in the stable at Sawtooth Rifles that was purchased for the science of shooting as far as possible while retaining a 100 yard zero. This particular scope is a fixed 16x56mm from IOR with a 35mm tube. It boasts 150 MOA of internal adjustment range, and when mounted on a custom made 60 MOA base, we get 135 MOA (39 mrad) of usable "up" travel which would get us right to the top of that solution chart in Figure 1. When mounted on the .338 Edge, it is entertaining!
© 2018. Sawtooth Rifles LLC, all rights reserved.
Note: This article is still being developed. Judge accordingly...
The Shooter ballistics application is a powerful ballistics calculator for mobile devices . It is a very useful tool at a bargain price. It is used during our training classes to create commonality amongst our students and this article is offered as a way to get started with using the app before our classes.
The app Shooter can be found in the App Store or Play Store from your mobile device. Once the app is downloaded and opened, the following information should get the rifleman off to a good start on setting preferences and creating a profile for the rifle and ammunition.
As with all computing, "garbage in equals garbage out" holds true. The app will give you a solution no matter what inputs you give it. It is important to understand what the inputs are and how they relate to your particular rifle. The Shooter manual linked at the bottom of the article has a great write up on what each parameter is. Inputting environmental conditions is as important as knowing which bullet you shoot. If you are shooting in Wyoming but your app still thinks you are at home in Texas, you are likely going to miss your target. With a data signal to the device, atmospheric conditions can be downloaded within the Shooter app from a nearby weather station, likely an airport. In many cases in the western landscape, the closest weather station may be many miles away. This data is better than what your app remembers from your last shooting session, but getting data for your AO from a handheld weather meter, such as a Kestrel, is far better. You can input this weather data manually or possibly take advantage of a Bluetooth connection between the mobile device and the weather meter. Setting up this connection takes some reading in the weather meter manual and Shooter reference materials.
Using environmental data from the weather station or hand held meter necessitates an understanding of how the air pressure is reported. Air pressure is reported as either Station Pressure or Barometric Pressure. Station Pressure is an absolute pressure, while Barometric Pressure has been referenced to sea level conditions. Using Barometric pressure for ballistics requires knowing the altitude on site. Station pressure is a better input to ballistics calculators because knowing the altitude is not necessary. A further explanation is available on the Applied Ballistics site, available at the link at the bottom of the article. The important part of this air pressure discussion is knowing what you have and telling the calculator what you are using. Android: If using Station Pressure from your Kestrel handheld weather meter, you need to tell the Shooter app that "pressure is absolute" in the preferences.
Density Altitude (DA) is another parameter to study. In short, DA is a parameter that is a combination of air pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. Using DA makes communications cleaner and less prone to error as we only have one input instead of three if entering data manually. It is recommended to select "Use Density Altitude" in the preferences. DA can be thought of as the air density factor that the bullet sees.
After downloading and starting the app, a good first step is to set up the options in the preferences. For iPhone users, access the app preferences by tapping on the iPhone "settings" app and scroll down to and tap on the Shooter app in the list. Android users have access to the settings screen from within the Shooter app by tapping on the menu button on the upper right hand corner of the main screen.
Recommended preference setting changes from default:
The preferences parameters can be investigated in the Shooter manual linked at the bottom of this article.
To build a profile for our "Sawtooth Demo1" rifle and the 6.5 Creedmoor Hornady ammunition, follow these steps
1. Add a firearm
2. Enter "Sawtooth Demo1 6.5 Creedmoor" as the rifle name, then continue with the following properties and save the rifle profile. Keep this rifle saved on your list for use in our classes.
3. Add an ammunition profile to the firearm.
4. Select "Manually" then enter "140 ELD-Match Hornaday" as the bullet name and continue with the following properties. Save the bullet profile.
5. Select the ammuntion
6. Enter field and atmospheric conditions, then calculate a solution.
In the solution mode, the solution can be viewed as a heads up display (HUD), chart, or graph. You can toggle between the views and each view has a menu option. Explore the menu to see the capabilities of the calculator. In the HUD, the menu opens a Range Calculator (calculator to calculate distance to targe based on target size and an angular measurement taken with the reticle), a tool to find the look angle using the devices sensors, and the option to switch between wind and lead inputs. In the table view, the menu includes the option to switch between showing wind drift and lead, as well as a feature to send the chart as an email. In the graph view, the menu allows to toggle between bullet path and wind drift. There is also a button that allows comparing bullets by adding multiples to the graph. The compared bullets have to be under the same firearm (a "shooter hack" for comparing different cartridges is shown later).
To edit a profile for a firearm or ammunition
To add your firearm, or firearms to the ballistics calculator, follow the above steps and add your firearm. You will need to find or measure the parameters needed. These parameters can most likely be found in your rifle and scopes manufacturers catalog or website. Sight Height can be measured as the distance from the center of the bore to the center of the scope tube. This measurement should be taken with care but is not all that critical. A number within 1/16th of an inch will serve our purposes. Until we prove otherwise, leave the Elevation and Windage Correction Facotrs as 1.0.
To add your ammunition, you can select your bullet from the bullet library if possible. Some newer projectiles are not listed, such as the 140 ELD-M we used above during the time of this writing. If you need to enter you projectile parameters manually, the bullet manufacturers list ballistic coefficients and usually the length. The length can be measured with calipers on a component bullet if that dimension can not be found. Be sure to match the Drag Model to the Ballistic Coefficient numbers found. Muzzle velocity should be measured with your ammunition and rifle using a chronograph in the weather you will be shooting in. If you are not able to get your muzzle velocity, an educated guess from the ammunition manufacturer or reloading manual will serve the purposes of experimenting with ballistics but will fail you in long range shooting.
Shooter website - http://www.shooterapp.net/
Shooter manual - http://www.shooterapp.net/manual.php
Applied Ballistics: Barometric Pressure vs. Station Pressure - http://appliedballisticsllc.com/ufaqs/barometric-pressure-vs-station-pressure/
© 2018. Sawtooth Rifles LLC, all rights reserved.