The bullet for long range shooting

For ultra long range precision target shooting with high-powered rifles and military sniping, radically designed very-low-drag (VLD) bullets are available that are generally produced out of rods of mono-metal alloys on CNC controlled lathes. The driving force behind these projectiles is the wish to enhance the practical maximum effective range beyond normal standards. To achieve this, the bullets have to be very long and normal cartridge overall lengths often have to be exceeded. Common rifling twist rates also often have to be tightened to stabilize very long projectiles. Such commercially nonexistent cartridges are termed “wildcats”. The use of a wildcat based (ultra) long-range cartridge demands the use of a custom or customized rifle with an appropriately cut chamber and a fast-twist bore.

Very-low-drag bullets were primarily a small arms ballistics development of the 1980s–1990s, driven by shooters’ desire for bullets that will give a higher degree of accuracy and kinetic efficiency, especially at extended ranges. To achieve this, the projectile must minimize air resistance in flight. The demand has been greatest from target shooters, including benchrest competitors, but hunters have also benefited. Most VLD bullets are used in rifles.

By increasing the bullet’s ballistic coefficient, the bullet decelerates less rapidly. This flattens the projectile’s trajectory somewhat and also remarkably decreases the lateral drift caused by crosswinds. The higher velocity at impact thus delivers more kinetic energy.

The development of VLD bullets has focused on the following main factors:

1-The production of bullets with concentric and coincident centers of form and centres of mass
bullet design incorporating a secant ogive, tangent ogive, Von Kármán ogive or Sears-Haack profile in the bullet’s nose area.
2-The use of carefully tapered bullet heels, or boat-tails.
3-A cavity or hollow in the bullet nose (hollow point) to shift the projectile’s centre of gravity rearwards.

The resulting projectile should be very “slippery” (well streamlined) for easier passage through the air. Consistency in bullet production, allied to consistency in the assembly of cartridges (quality control) should give excellent shot-to-shot consistency.

210gr Berger VLD

VLD bullet

The principles of bullet design and flight are classically set out in Mann, F.W.: The Bullet’s Flight from Powder to Target: Ballistics of Small Arms (1942 and other reprints).

Alloys like copper nickel, tellurium copper and brass are used for turning these projectiles on precision CNC lathes. Producing accurate bullets this way is not easy or inexpensive. To guarantee consistency and thus accuracy, professional quality control during and after production is mandatory.


  • charles meyer

    do you know of any web sites to obtain .375 chey-tac cnc solids?

  • Sean

    Here are a couple of websites to get you started
    Lehigh Bullets & Design
    GS Custom Bullets

    If you need more info or websites let me know.

  • MrSottobanco

    On another website, there was a mention of Germans creating projectiles with a “Sears-Haack” body. The link didn’t work. Are you familiar with any re-loader that has done experimentation in this area?