NASA Bullet Report

A number of us had an outstanding time down at the Arizona BPCR Longrange Winter Nationals put on by Steve Rhoades and his crew.  You guys and gals that like or what to give BPCR LR a try this is the only match not to miss next year.


There were several shooters at the match shooting the NASA bullet.  The name of the bullet was coined by the ever imaginative Klaus “The Nat Champ” Schattlatner.  That sure sounds more interesting than “mono-groove” which is what I’ve been calling the design the past 6 or so years.  One of these days I’ll write an article for “The BPCR News” detailing how the design evolved during the research and development process that focused on GG effects and efficient GG design.


Anyway, two of the guys shooting the NASA at the AZ LR match were Klaus and Dennis Wiley.  Klaus was shooting the NASA I version, mold made by Mike Lewis and Dennis was shooting the NASA II version that Bernie of Old West Bullet Moulds made.  The only design difference is the length of the grease groove.  There are several manufacturing implementation differences that will be listed in the bullet specs.  The NASA I’s GG is 0.200” long and the NASA II’s is 0.250” long as per the design specs.  I’ve been given samples of both bullets to test for longrange average BC once the system is completed.


Klaus did very well in the match posting two excellent match scores of 262/300 and 242/300 for a total match score of 504.  That put Klaus into first Expert and 5th overall in a very tough crowd of competitors.  Way to go K!  Dennis also did very well with a bit of trouble at 1,000-yards both days.  Going from 800 yards to 900 yards requires more skill at coaching and places more demands on the load and shooter.  Going from 900 yards to 1,000 yards is way off the Richter Scale in difficulty.  The distance differences are the same but the difficulty factor is treble when going to 1,000 yards from 900 yards.


This was a “Coach’s” match.  If you didn’t have a topnotch coach (read “wind reader”) you were toast and at 1,000 yards you were treble toasted especially on Sunday.  More than a few were in low dungeon trying to figure out what the heck to tell their shooter to do.  Mind you, Saturday’s 1,000-yard relays were no walk in the proverbial park either but Sunday’s was extra “special”.  Fish-tailing tailwinds gusting from 6 to over 20 mph are a real nightmare especially when both the mirage and flags are lying big-time.


The first NASA bullet was made by Steve Brooks back about 2.5 years ago for a 12-twist 38-70.  It showed superior trajectory and reduced wind deflection during that phase of lube-groove design research, development and testing.  More GG design and testing is currently being done after a few years of shooting grooveless bullets.  A new GG concept is currently undergoing research, development and testing, but it will be a while before solid results can be reported.  Very thin preliminary testing shows promise, more latter on that.


The two NASA bullets used at the AZ LR match have the following specs:



NASA I (Klaus' by Mike Lewis):

Weigh: 545 grains

Length: 1.45”

Meplat: 0.24”

Ogive Radius: 5.2 calibers

Nose Length: 0.690”

Boreride Diameter: 0.450”

Boreride Length: 0.300”

Driving Band Length: 0.140”

Driving Band Diameter: 0.458”

Grease Groove Length: 0.200”

Grease Groove Depth: 0.020”

Base Band Length: 0.150”

Base Band Diameter: 0.458”




NASA II (Dennis' by Bernie Rowles):

Weigh: 543 grains

Length: 1.450”

Meplat: 0.23”

Ogive Radius: 7.8 calibers

Nose Length: 0.89”

Boreride Diameter: 0.450”

Boreride Length: 0.100”

Driving Band Length: 0.100”

Driving Band Diameter: 0.4570”

Grease Groove Length: 0.250”

Grease Groove Depth: 0.020”

Base Band Length: 0.100”

Base Band Diameter: 0.460”



As was reported above both Klaus and Dennis shot very well with their versions of the NASA bullet.  Bernie at Old West Bullet Moulds is making a 40-caliber version tuned to 16-twist barrels for those of you that have a hankering to try this style of bullet.  The 40-cal bullet will be 1.375” long so it will be optimally stable in the 16-twist 40-cals.  A buddy of mine, DrDogFace AKA Barky AKA Mark R. has a 38-cal version of the NASA bullet, mold by Paul Jones.  Paul has made a number of NASA design molds for me and others over the past few years.


Below is a picture of the NASA bullet that Klaus and Dennis used.





          Dennis' NASA II            Klaus' NASA I



Dan Theodore

March, 2005