Let me say that when we get requests to review equipment we frequently get no return response when we tell how we do our reviews. We are VERY up front with our "If we LIKE IT we'll say so but if we DON'T like it we'll say that too." This is one item that I must say I DO like!
Well where do I start - you may have seen this product advertised in Tactical Shooter and other "trade" journals. When Lou contacted me to review his product I had to admit I had seen them advertised and had not really paid much attention to them. But this was about to change quickly! From here on out let me do some quoting from the four (4) page Instructions that come with the Ballisticard system as they explain most of this MUCH better than I can! My comments will come towards the end.
The Ballisticard System is available in five (5) different models - Hunter, Varmint, Tactical, Scout and Rimfire. This is a heavy laminated, color-coded, three-card data system. The Green card is calculated for the ammunition manufacturer's specified velocity (unless we have provided you with a custom calculation for your specifications). The Blue and Red cards are calculated at 100fps slower and faster, respectively, to help compensate for temperature extremes, which can affect powders and subsequently velocities. ... If you cannot chronograph your ammunition, in your shooting conditions, exclusive use of the Green card is recommended.
These are the basic guidelines that come with the system. The instructions go on to talk about using the system with different elevations, shooting up/down, wind drift and moving target leads. On the back of the last page FAQ are addressed. The system is available in everything from .22LR Federal Classic to .375 H&H Federal Premium, 300 gr. Nosler Partition and on and on and on!! As for what they offer in a tactical form - .223, .308 (both the 168's and the 175 MK's) and .300 Win. Mag. in two different loadings. Ranges go from a 300 yd max. with a 100 yd zero in 25 yd increments to a 1,000 yd range with a 600 yd zero in 100 yd increments! You just need to contact them for what is available!!!
The photo at the top shows the system that is "recommended" for Law Enforcement in an urban setting. It is for the .308 Federal 168 gr. Sierra Match @ 2600 fps and is calculated to a range of 300 yds. in 25 yd increments with a 100 yd zero. Photo two here is exactly the same bullet and load but to 500 yds. in 50 yd increments. As you can see these cards are very crisp, clean and easy to read - even for my old bi-focalled eyes!
OK, OK, OK OK, but do they WORK??? In a single word - YES. However before I go on I will reprint a warning from Ballisticard - It is the responsibility of the customer to properly zero their rifle and test this product to their complete satisfaction, BEFORE (my emphasis) using it in actual hunting or tactical situations. Every effort is made to provide the best information possible. However, we have no control over the shooter's knowledge, skills, equipment or ability to comprehend and apply the data we provide. Complete instructions are provided. Read them and test your equipment!
The first Sunday in May was the first no wind day we've had in a while and I really wanted to do some testing of various equipment I've had for a while. My Remington 700 VS in .308 has had enough rounds through it so I know how it is going to shoot. So with Ballisticard in hand I prepared to put rounds downrange. Now my handloads are within 50 fps average of Federal GM308M so here goes. Zero confirmed at 100 yds and the come-up as stated by the GREEN Ballisticard for 200 yds was 9 clicks. My own ballistic program for my load says come-up is 8.3 clicks so close enough. Ballisticard was dead on at 200 yds! Now as the long distance range was in use I wasn't able to go beyond 200 yds BUT, I figure I'd get out the 100 foot tape measure and see with the shorter distances. Playing with the Ballisticard come-ups at measured distances between 50 and 200 yds I was never more than a 1/4 inch off! If I was I would re-shoot and it was usually ME not the data.
Do I recommend this system -YES - WITH the qualifications I and Ballisticard mention above. Will I continue to use this system - YES! I really want to try this to 1,000 yds!
Lou Schwiebert, owner of Ballisticard Systems, is a recently retired law enforcement officer and was a SWAT sniper, trained at Camp Pendleton and the F.B.I. Academy at Quantico.
can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 74
Atascadero, California 93423