Proving Accuracy w/ Chronograph Tests


A little while ago, Modern Spartan Systems shot me an email about their products. Before speaking on the phone, I did my due diligence and dug into them. I’ll admit, some of the claims they were making threw up some red flags for me, mainly the claim that it tightens shot groups. I didn’t see any really convincing test data to properly back up the claim. I kept digging around and watched their videos. The closest thing to a scientific test I saw was their video of the Timken Bearing Test. The test was pretty impressive, but I was still a bit wary of the accuracy claims. So, when I finally spoke to them on the phone, I agreed to properly test the claim in an upcoming Basic Tactical Rifle course. The Basic Tactical Rifle course I teach was a great fit for the testing, because we spend time on the chronograph and grouping-­? so measuring results would be easy.

I’m not a bench rest shooter, and I did not feel in our application, that measuring shot group size would be an honest metric. The shot group size would naturally decrease throughout the course as we worked on skills. Grouping size contained too many non-­?deterministic variables to reliably test. For this reason, I focused on provable data. While more consistent velocity alone doesn’t necessarily mean better accuracy, consistent velocity is a key deterministic variable of external ballistics and does directly translate to bullet (gravity) drop when combined with other deterministic variables. Just wanted to throw that in there before the peanut gallery chimes in.

I asked all the students to clean their bores before they showed up so we could get clean results. I used an Oehler 35p chronograph. The Oehler 35p is an industry standard chronograph, which has 2 stop screen channels and compared velocities between the two to ensure there is not an error.

Day 1

We shot a string through the Oehler, without the oil, to establish velocity numbers and select a good zero distance on each rifle. We continued our training for the rest of the day without issues (we did find one rifle’s T-­?1 sight had the worst parallax movement I have ever seen past 50yds in a red dot sight, but that is another story) Students were told to clean their bores again that night and show up clean the next day.

Day 2

Early that morning I was notified we were -­?1 student as one got a sectional cleaning rod and multiple patches stuck. (Stop using Otis origami patches, use one square in your caliber and pull, don’t push from chamber to barrel. If it takes more effort than you can exert without spilling your beer (don’t judge-­? you know you do this), stop and lightly tap it out the way it came with a mallet).

On arrival, we followed the initial treatment protocol.

  1. We ran a patch wet with Accuracy Oil through each bore a few times.
  2. We then fired a 10 round group @ 100yds.
  3. After checking targets, we re-­?treated all barrels, running a patch wet with Accuracy oil through each bore a few times.
  4. We then fired a 10 round group @ 100yds.
  5. After checking targets, we re-­treated all barrels, running a patch wet with Accuracy oil through each bore a few times.
  6. We then fired a 10 round group @ 100yds.
  7. After checking targets, we re-­treated all barrels, running a patch wet with Accuracy oil through each bore a few times.
  8. We then fired a 10 round group @ 100yds.
  9. After checking targets, we re-­treated all barrels, running a patch wet with Accuracy oil through each bore a few times.
  10. We then fired a 10 round group @ 100yds.
  11. All rifles were then chronographed

To summarize-­ we cleaned, then treated, then fired 5 x 10rd groups, treating between each group, then recorded data.

Everyone in the class was pretty amazed by the results. Every shooter gained velocity, decreased their standard deviation, and drastically decreased their extreme velocity spread.  

Just in case you may not be familiar with chronograph data or it’s meaning, let me define the terms as the Oehler 35p captures them:

  • Highest Velocity -­ simply, the fastest value collected.
  • Lowest Velocity -­ simply, the lowest value collected.
  • Extreme Velocity Spread -­ this is the simple difference between the highest and lowest value collected.
  • Mean Velocity -­ This is the average of the data collected.

Standard Deviation-­ this value describes the uniformity. The value is represented like this: +/-­? 18fps. This value means that, based on the data collected, at least 2/3rd of the rounds you fire will be within 18fps of the average velocity (the actual math behind calculating this will make your head hurt, just trust me here).

The Hard Numbers

RIFLES (ALL AR-15 SERIES)
SPECS
AMMO
Gun 1
Colt 16" - 1/7
XM193
Gun 2
Barnes Tactical 16" 1/7
XM855
Gun 3
LWRC - SPR 16" 1/7
55 gr PMC FMJ-BT
Gun 4
Noveske SBR 12.5" 1/7
XM193
Gun 5
JP 16" 1/8
55 gr Hornady

Now, Let’s have a look at the equipment used. Below is a chart of the rifles and the ammo they used, each ammo type was from the same lot, respectively

I liked that we had a good spread of brands and ammo, so we could rule out values only being consistent to one type or brand.


WEATHER DATA
DAY 1
DAY 2
TEMPERATURE
61.3 F
71.4 F
HUMIDITY
79%
85%
PRESSURE
30.19 IN
29.96 IN

Here is the weather condition from the two days at the time of measurement for each day. No huge differences that would drastically alter the results.

Now, let's get down to it.

GUN 1 16.1", XM193
CLEAN BORE
TREATED BORE
CHANGE
% CHANGE
HIGHEST VELOCITY
3073
3102
29
0.94%
LOWEST VELOCITY
2997
3041
44
1.47%
EXTREME VELOCITY SPREAD
76
61
-15
-19.74%
MEAN VELOCITY
3049
3080
31
1.02%
STANDARD DEVIATION
24
20
20
-16.67%

Here is Gun #1’s results and I’ll break down the numbers

The “Clean Bore” column represents the data from Day 1, which was untreated with the Accuracy Oil, the “Treated Bore” is from Day 2 after the treatment steps were finished.

  • We can see right away that the Highest Velocity and the Lowest Velocity both increased.
  • We also see that the Extreme spread decreased, which is great.
  • The Mean Velocity increased.
  • The Standard Deviation decreased.

All of these numbers are improvements, indicating the Accuracy Oil works. -4 on a standard deviation may not sound like much but it is.

Now that we’ve broken down the results, lets look at the other 4 rifles:


GUN 2 16.1", XM855
CLEAN BORE
TREATED BORE
CHANGE
% CHANGE
HIGHEST VELOCITY
2899
2939
40
1.38%
LOWEST VELOCITY
2800
2871
71
2.54%
EXTREME VELOCITY SPREAD
99
68
-31
-31.31%
MEAN VELOCITY
2850
2904
54
1.89%
STANDARD DEVIATION
28
23
-5
-17.86%

Gun 2 – 16.1?, XM855


GUN 3 16" PMC 55 GR FMJ-BT
CLEAN BORE
TREATED BORE
CHANGE
% CHANGE
HIGHEST VELOCITY
2955
2947
-8
-0.27%
LOWEST VELOCITY
2802
2890
88
3.14%
EXTREME VELOCITY SPREAD
153
57
-96
-62.75%
MEAN VELOCITY
2865
2911
46
1.61%
STANDARD DEVIATION
45
17
-28
-62.22%

Gun 3 – 16?, PMC 55 gr FMJ-BT

GUN 4 12.9", XM193
CLEAN BORE
TREATED BORE
CHANGE
% CHANGE
HIGHEST VELOCITY
2876
2911
35
1.22%
LOWEST VELOCITY
2762
2833
71
2.57%
EXTREME VELOCITY SPREAD
114
78
-36
-21.58%
MEAN VELOCITY
2816
2871
55
1.95%
STANDARD DEVIATION
31
26
-5
-16.13%

Gun 4 – 12.9?, XM193


GUN5 16", 55 GR HORNADY
CLEAN BORE
TREATED BORE
CHANGE
% CHANGE
HIGHEST VELOCITY
3115
3100
-15
-0.48%
LOWEST VELOCITY
3020
3054
34
1.13%
EXTREME VELOCITY SPREAD
95
46
-49
-51.58%
MEAN VELOCITY
3069
3079
10
0.33%
STANDARD DEVIATION
25
-13
12
-48.00%

Gun 5 – 16?, 55 gr Hornady

Yep, you’re seeing that right and we were just as impressed when we saw the results print out. Every single rifle register improvements across the board-regardless of rifle manufacturer and ammo type.

Some rifles recorded results that were FAR more drastic than others, but that could also be explained by barrel condition. The manufacturer claims the oil bonds with the inside of the area, creating a smoother surface – decreasing friction. So, if that is correct, then a barrel with more imperfections could show more improvements than a barrel in better condition. The results on Gun #3 are an example of this.

Now, let’s see an average of all the guns:


AVERAGE CHANGE
FPS CHANGE
% CHANGE
HIGHEST VELOCITY
16.20
0.56%
LOWEST VELOCITY
61.60
2.17%
EXTREME VELOCITY SPREAD
-45.40
-39.39%
MEAN VELOCITY
39.20
1.36%
STANDARD DEVIATION
-10.80
-38.18%

Average Change

Here is a chart, referencing Gun #2 and translating the velocities to inches of drop at 300 yards.


GUN 2 16" XM855
UNTREATED DROP @ 300 YARDS
TREATED DROP @ 300 YARDS
CHANGE
% CHANGE
HIGHEST VELOCITY
-27.0
-26.30
0.70
-2.59%
LOWEST VELOCITY
-28.80
-27.50
1.30
-4.51%
EXTREME VELOCITY SPREAD
1.80
1.20
-0.60
-33.33%
MEAN VELOCITY
27.90
-26.90
1.00
-3.58%

GUN 2 – 16.1?, XM855 – DROP @ 300 YDS

What this is showing is that this shooter’s lowest point of impact raised y 1.3? and his average point of impact by 1?. This means that his rifle is now shooting flatter out to 300yds. If you customize your zero distance, that 1.3? gain can help a lot in balancing how high your round is above your line of sight between 100 – 200yds and how low it is at 300yds.

The Extreme Velocity Spread section shows the difference, in inches, of the high and low velocity rounds. This translates to a difference in shot group size (yes, other external ballistic factors will affect this as well). So, untreated we had a 1.8? size and treated we had a 1.2? size a change of -0.6? or 33.33%.

Gun #2 had fairly average results in our group, here’s Gun #3:


GUN 3 16.1", XM855
UNTREATED DROP @ 300 YARDS
TREATED DROP @ 300 YARDS
CHANGE
% CHANGE
HIGHEST VELOCITY
-27.40
-27.60
0.20
-0.73%
LOWEST VELOCITY
-30.30
-28.60
1.70
-4.51%
EXTREME VELOCITY SPREAD
2.9
1
-1.90
-33.33%
MEAN VELOCITY
-29.10
-28.20
0.90
-3.09%

GUN 3 – 16.1?, XM855 – DROP @ 300 YDS


GUN 3 – 16.1?, XM855 – DROP @ 300 YDS

So, Gun #3 had its lowest drop pushed up 1.7? and its average drop pushed up .9?. The big story with this rifle is the extreme spread. Before treatment, the velocities indicted a drop spread of 2.9?, after treatment it shrunk to 1?. I’d take a decrease in shot group size due to drop spread of 1.9? any day.

Conclusion

The product works with regards to its muzzle velocity claims, get this stuff in your barrel now. I still want to see better and more extensive testing. If this oil is decreasing friction to this extent, we should see a very noticeable increase in barrel life. I want to see number on that. I’d like to see how many rounds this treatment lasts, and see a treatment schedule recommended. I’d like to see some testing on how it performs in the upper receiver beyond “it feels great”. Until that happens, I can’t recommend that guys who pull triggers doing jobs where their lives depend on it put this on their bolt. But, I will absolutely recommend getting this oil in your barrel today.

On a side not, before this course I used their Carbon Destroyer on my bolt. I had a decent amount of carbon plating on it. I let the product soak in it while I cleaned my bore. Almost all the carbon came off with an all-purpose brush. Sorry I didn’t get any pictures of the before and after, give it a try yourself.