Patents Assigned to Superior Ballistics, Inc.

In March 2022, McPherson, Wanninger, and custom handloading tool guru, Ken Markle, were awarded a patent that covers the ultimate bullet-seating die. This die establishes a new state-of-the-art for any serious shooter interested in best accuracy in any application using fixed cartridges.

As we move forward finding a manufacturer to make these sophisticated dies, we will, eventually, add more details here.

For now, I (McPherson) will note that this die will seat all long-range target-style bullets used in any given load with nominally identical bullet-to-rifling jump. It will do so, regardless of vagaries in bullet ogive, bullet seating force, case shoulder and body springiness during bullet seating, etc. This die, literally, addresses every problem with bullet seating that heretofore had resulted in round-to-round variations in bullet-to-rifling jump. And, such variations are a major issue in the accuracy potential of any ammunition that is carefully tuned to give best accuracy in a specific rifle.

These variations were often significant. For example, I once tested this in the 6.5-284. I used the exceptionally uniform Norma 130-grain Diamond Line match bullets and the exceptionally uniform first production run of Norma 6.5-284 cases. Using the very best seating die made at the time to seat those bullets, round-to-round variations in bullet-to-rifling jump of up to 4/1000-inch occurred when seating the bullets on a significantly compressed propellant charge. As such, groups were near ¾-MOA; but, when I sorted the resulting rounds into sets with less than 1/1000-inch variation in bullet-to-rifling jump, resulting groups were uniformly less than ¼-MOA!

This will be the most expensive bullet-seating die ever made. And, it will be worth every penny to all serious target shooters and to factory-ammunition producers that are interested in making the best possible factory loads.

More later.

Cordially Yours,

M.L. (Mic) McPherson


Firearm cartridge and case-less chamber
Patent number: 7086336
Abstract: A firearm cartridge has a case configured with a relatively straight-walled portion and a shoulder portion for housing a quantity of propellant. The case further includes a neck for retaining a bullet. The straight-walled portion defines a base cavity having an interior base diameter. The interior base diameter is approximately twice or more the neck diameter. The diameter ratios of the base and neck optimize combustion efficiency to reduce heat and acceleration losses. The cartridge body cavity is sized and configured to contain a sufficient quantity of propellant such that igniting the propellant causes formation of a propellant plug having a diameter that is approximately the diameter of the bullet, and wherein the propellant plug shears free from unburned propellant that is disposed adjacent the relatively straight-walled body portion.
Type: Grant
Filed: January 15, 2004
Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
Assignee: Superior Ballistics, Inc.
Inventors: Robert B. Smalley, Jr., Michael McPherson


Passive coatings and improved configurations for gun cartridges, solid rockets, and caseless ammunition
Patent number: 6832556
Abstract: Passive coatings accelerate burning at interfaces between rapidly burning propellants and thermally conductive or endothermic inert surfaces. The coatings, useful in firearm cartridges, firearm chambers, and solid rocket motors, reflect infrared energy from the combustion gases to reduce heat loss to the case or chamber and to accelerate ignition of the propellant. The reflective coating has a thermal breakdown temperature higher than the propellant ignition temperature. Firearm cartridges and chambers may have radial shoulder configuration that focuses a shockwave below a bullet base to reduce heat loss to the bullet and support bullet retention in the neck for a longer period of time.
Type: Grant
Filed: October 30, 2002
Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
Assignee: Superior Ballistics, Inc.
Inventor: Robert B. Smalley, Jr.


Firearm cartridge and case-less chamber
Patent number: 6523475
Abstract: A firearm cartridge has a case configured with a straight-walled portion and a radial shoulder for housing a propellant. The case further includes a neck for retaining a bullet. The straight-walled portion defines a base cavity having an interior base diameter. The interior base diameter is approximately twice or more the neck diameter. The diameter ratios of the base and neck optimize combustion efficiency to reduce heat and acceleration losses. The radial shoulder focuses a shockwave below a bullet base to reduce heat loss to the bullet and support bullet retention in the neck for a longer period of time. A thermally insulating coating is utilized to reduce heat loss to the case or chamber and accelerate ignition of the propellant.
Type: Grant
Filed: September 4, 2001
Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
Assignee: Superior Ballistics, Inc.
Inventors: Robert B. Smalley, Jr., Michael L. McPherson