Posted on: December 11, 20152
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 apologize in advance, I’m not a spreadsheet pro- deal with the lack of aesthetics):
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.
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. 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.
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, let’s look at the other 4 rifles:
Yep, you’re seeing that right and we were just as impressed when we saw the results print out. Every single rifle registered 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 barrel, 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:
Fairly impressive results, but how does that translate to accuracy? As I stated before, velocity data is one of the key deterministic variables of external ballistics. They will compound with other variables to produce your shot group. Many shooters in the industry blow this off, because they don’t think it matters much. But, then they spent $1,200 on a sub MOA rifle, and another $600-$1,200 on quality optics, because it doesn’t matter, right? EVERYTHING MATTERS. Remember, change in drop from velocity will compound with the accuracy of the barrel, consistency of your sight placement, marksmanship fundamentals, and other external ballistics variables to produce your shot group. Don’t let your equipment add unnecessarily to the error you will induce to your shot group the second you wrap your meat-grippers around that rifle.
Here are some more aesthetically pleasing charts of the average changes in FPS and %:
Here is a chart, referencing Gun #2 and translating the velocities to inches of drop at 300yds.
What this is showing is that this shooter’s lowest point of impact raised by 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 -.6″ or 33.33%.
Gun #2 had fairly average results in our group, here’s Gun #3:
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 numbers on that. I’d like to see how many rounds this treatment lasts, and see a treatment schedule recommended. I would 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 note, 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, but give it a try yourself.