New match grade ammunition for 6.5 Creedmoor and .260 Remington

While the 6.5 Creedmoor continues to increase in popularity in competitive shooting, there is also a growing demand for a match solution for .260 Remington. Lapua has risen to the occasion and presents new factory-loaded cartridges designed to conquer the market and outperfom the competition at ranges up to 1,000 m/yds and even beyond.

The rounds are loaded with the 8,8 gram / 136 grain Scenar-L bullet. Introduced in 2013, it has ever since become a staple midrange and long range match projectile in 6.5 mm applications.

Both calibers are C.I.P. approved. Even if the .260 Rem. cartridge has a slightly shorter max overall length compared to the 6.5 Creedmoor round, it still performs similar to the latter in terms of muzzle velocity and hit accuracy. The biggest difference between the two is that the 6.5 Creedmoor case is Small Rifle Primer while the .260 Rem. has a Large Rifle Primer pocket.

If you are looking for a podium finish in PRS, silhouette or other accuracy disciplines, Lapua’s new match grade rounds are guaranteed to help you reach your peak potential. These cartridges will also meet the high demands of Military / Law Enforcement professionals.

The new Lapua cartridges will be hitting the markets in the summer of 2021. Flight Trajectory data coming soon!
Lapua Ballistics tips: Spin drift adjustment

(For the previous Lapua Ballistics tips, click here for the Lapua Ballistics Tips page)

What is Spin Drift?

Spin drift (or gyroscopic drift) causes the bullet to drift slightly horizontally at long shooting distances. The direction of the drift is the same as the barrel twist rotation, i.e. in your typical right-handed rifle it is in the right hand direction. Spin drift is caused by aerodynamics forcing the bullet tip to turn slightly in the direction of rotation as the bullet tip follows its curved flight path. This rotation of the bullet is very small, usually less than 0.1 degrees, but because it affects the entire flight path, it moves the bullet slightly in the direction of the spin.

The magnitude of the spin drift is most affected by the spin rate, bullet length and flight time (bullet velocity), to a lesser extent also by air density.

How to adjust Spin Drift in Lapua Ballistics

The Spin Drift correction can be turned off in the Manage Rifle Cartridge data menu under the current weapon profile (Sight-In settings), but we recommend that you select ‘On’ and then leave it as is. In extreme long range shooting (500 m/yds and up), you can fine-tune the spin drift magnitude to match the exact spin drift tested in practice with your firearm and cartridge combination. However, this precise determination of the actual spin drift is very difficult, because the effect of even a very small wind gust is usually many times larger than the magnitude of the spin drift. Therefore, using the factory setting usually gives the most reliable result.

Lapua Ballistics Spin Drift adjustment

Our next tip will feature how to build your own reticle. Stay tuned!

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The story of .338 Lapua Magnum, pt 1

In this two-part feature, we share the background behind the legendary .338 Lapua Magnum and how it came to be a cartridge from Finland, even though the idea was born on another continent.

The .338 Lapua Magnum caliber originates back almost forty years to 1982, when the .338/416 cartridge was developed for the United States military purposes. Officially, the project was to develop a target rifle and cartridge for 1000 yards, but in reality the purpose was more likely to develop a 1500 meter sniper rifle.

The .300 Winchester Magnum and other commercial cartridges did not meet penetration requirements, so the search for a heavier caliber with better ballistics was on. The result was a new wildcat cartridge that was originally formed from a necked down .378 Weatherby Magnum case, and finally from the .416 Rigby case. The new cartridge was known as the .338/416 or 8.58×71.

Lapua finished development of the first bullets and cases for the .338/416 cartridge in 1985. Its first .338 caliber projectile was the B408, which in 1985 looked more like a D46 bullet on steroids than the Lock Base type currently produced.

In 1986, the .338/416 cartridge with a Lapua bullet and case won the 1,000 yard navy rifle competition in Quantico, Virginia. In spite of that, the U.S. military selection criteria went in a different direction. At that point, Lapua was left more or less alone with the new caliber cartridge, still management decided to continue product development. This resulted in specifying the measurements, and the cartridge was named the .338 Lapua Magnum. The .338 Lapua Magnum was slightly different than the original .338/416 case. Case and chamber dimensions were modified, along with the interior structure of the case to withstand higher chamber pressures than the .338/416 design. The .338 Lapua Magnum had arrived.

Continued in part 2!

Lapua Ballistics Tips: Stability Estimation

(Click here for the Lapua Ballistics Tips page and previous tips)

Some basics about bullet accuracy and stability estimation

Stability is an essential part of bullet accuracy. Stability is affected by several factors, the most important factors being barrel twist rate and the length of the projectile. To a lesser degree it is also affected by the bullet shape, velocity and environmental conditions. You can estimate bullet stability during the flight path with the stability estimator function in Lapua Ballistics. In this article, we will explain bullet stability to a high detail and how to use Lapua Ballistics as a tool to understand it.

What is barrel twist rate?

Twist rate is defined as the length of one full turn of the bullet (360 degrees) in inches or millimeters in the barrel. E.g. 1:10” means that the bullet makes one full turn over the distance of 10 inches. You can measure the twist rate of your rifle barrel by marking e.g. a cleaning rod with a flag made of adhesive tape, and measuring the distance where the flag rotates 360 degrees. Make sure that the cleaning rod follows exactly the lands in the barrel.

What happens if the bullet is too long compared to the twist rate?

If the bullet is too long compared to the twist rate, it will be unstable and may start to wobble or even turn completely crosswise. For the shooter, this translates as poor accuracy and oval or ”keyhole” shaped holes in the paper target. An overstabilized projectile does not follow exactly the trajectory of the curved flight path but flies slightly nose up. Technically speaking, the axis of the bullet does not follow the tangent of the trajectory. This increases the air drag and shortens the flight range. An unnecessary high rotation speed also intensifies the adverse effect of smaller shape and symmetry defects of the projectile.

Lapua Ballistics Bullet stabilization explained

How to increase bullet stability

The stability of a bullet can be increased by the following factors (roughly in the order of importance):

  1. Tighter (shorter) twist rate of the barrel
  2. Shorter bullet
  3. High altitude (lower air density)
  4. High temperature (lower air density)
  5. Low air pressure (lower air density)
  6. High humidity (lower air density. Yes, water vapor is less dense than air!)

Lower air density means less aerodynamic forces affecting the bullet so it remains stable easier.

Stability estimation – the theory

Traditionally, bullet stability is estimated by using quite simple equations like the Miller and Greenhill equations. Lapua Ballistics estimates the bullet stability by using both dynamic stability ’Sd’ and gyroscopic stability ’Sg’ during the full bullet trajectory. The value of the stability calculator is more in comparing different combinations with each other (twist rate, bullet to be used, muzzle velocity, environmental conditions, etc.) than trying to say simply if a bullet is stable or unstable.

Gyroscopic stability Sg means the ability of a rotating object to resist the change of its rotating axis. Sg is quite easy to calculate and its value at the muzzle has to be absolutely over 1.0 for a bullet to be stable. In practice some safety margin is needed there so the recommended minimum value is 1.4. Values clearly over 2.0 are unnecessary high because an overstabilized bullet has higher air drag due to the ”nose up” flight position and is more critical to small imperfections in the bullet shape and symmetry. Gyroscopic stability increases with flight time/distance because the rotational speed of the bullet does not decrease as fast as the forward velocity.

Dynamic stability Sd means the ability of the bullet to decrease a wobbling motion caused by an internal or external effect. In a dynamically stable bullet, the wobbling decreases with the time/distance and in a dynamically unstable bullet the wobbling increases with the time. Sd is much more difficult to evaluate than Sg and it needs 6 DOF calculations. Lapua Ballistics is one of the very few ballistics software solutions that is capable of utilizing this and possibly the only one completely free of charge. Most software are capable of estimating stability only by Sg which is usually reasonable good enough for short distances but not to long distances and to the transonic region – where Sd is the main factor for stability. The vertical axis of the stability curve expresses Sg and the horizontal axis Sd. The favorable stability region is expressed as light blue but high quality bullets often retain the stability also in the dark blue region.

Dynamic stability is affected by e.g. the bullet length and shape and the positions and distance between the center of mass (cm) and the center of pressure (cp). The distance between cm and cp is very important because it defines the aerodynamic moment vector that tries to turn the bullet crosswise. Air density is also important, the stability is better in a higher altitude and warm weather. The grooves (made by the lands in the barrel) on the bullet surface slightly affect the dynamic stability and decelerate the rotating speed faster compared to a smooth surface. Dynamic stability is usually the problem only at long distances and in the transonic region.

Stability is not an ON/OFF phenomenon, so Sg and Sd basically describe the tendency or risk for unstability. For that reason the graph in Lapua Ballistics is not black and white but light/dark blue. The bullet can fly – and often does – fly stable and accurate also far inside the dark blue region. As a rule of thumb, we can say that at the later (number of 100 m/yds markers) and in the more upper direction the line exits the light blue region, the better the bullet can resist external forces trying to make the bullet wobble, meaning that the stability and accuracy potential is better.

How to read the stability calculator in Lapua Ballistics

Simple guide for ensuring bullet stability

  1. The target for the gyroscopic stability value Sg at the muzzle is between 1.4 and 1.8. Never go below 1.2 and avoid values clearly over 2.0. This is a good guide for both short range and long range bullets. For most shooters this is enough and in that case, you don’t have to worry about the dynamic stability Sd.
  2. When you shoot long (over 600 m/yds) and extremely long (over 1 km/mi) ranges, you also need to pay attention to the dynamic stability. The stability curve should turn as late as possible (no. of distance markers) and only a little to the left. If the curve turns 90 degrees to the left it means a higher risk of unstability than if the curve turns only 45 degrees to the left. The stability curve of high BC long range bullets always turn clearly to the left.
  3. Long and sharp-nosed VLD bullets (Very Low Drag) may be problematic in the transonic region. Shorter projectiles tackle this problem easier but on the other hand they reach the transonic region earlier because of a lower BC. Transonic region stability can be improved by a tighter twist rate but this may have other undesired effects to the accuracy in general.

Example of bullet stability estimation in Lapua Ballistics:

Lapua Ballistics Stability Estimation 1

  • Gyroscopic stability Sg is expressed on the y-axis (0 – 5).
  • Dynamic stability Sd is expressed on the x-axis (-1 – +3).
  • Maximum values are expressed also as numerical values in the top left corner (here Sd = 0,2 and Sg = 2,6).
  • On the line, there are markers at each 100 m/yds starting from 0 m/yds but the line is actually calculated and shown in 10 m/yds intervals.
  • The safe stability region is expressed as a light blue area. In the dark blue region the risk for unstability is increased but it doesn’t mean that the bullet is unstable. Only the bullet ability to correct external disturbances (e.g. flurry or transonic area disruption) is reduced.
  • Gyroscopic stability at the muzzle (0 m/yds, first marker) should be at least over 1.0 (red line) and preferable over 1.4 (yellow line).
  • Gyroscopic stability increases with the distance (here 1.7 -> 2.6) because the bullet retains its rotational speed better than forward velocity.
  • Dynamic stability starts to weaken after 200 m/yds but in this case it is not dramatic and the bullet remains in the safe region up to 600 m/yds.

Effect of twist rate in .308 Win, example:

Lapua Ballistics Stability Estimation 308 Win

In this graph you can see the effect of the twist rate to gyroscopic and dynamic stability in a .308 Win. rifle with the 10,85 g / 167 gr GB422 Scenar bullet. This OTM bullet is mainly designed for short and medium ranges – up to about 600 m/yds.

  • The 1:14” twist rate (red curve) is too slow (i.e. long) for this combination. Gyroscopic stability at the muzzle is too low (first red dot) ca. 1.0. There is a high risk for the bullet to be unstable already at the muzzle.
  • The 1:12” twist rate (blue curve) is appropriate for this combination. Gyroscopic stability at the muzzle (first blue dot) is good, ca 1.4. The bullet travels the first 500 m/yds in a safe region and does not turn strongly left even after 500 m/yds. The bullet has good presumption to fly stable and accurate to long ranges.
  • The 1:10” twist rate (gray curve) is slightly too fast for this combination. Gyroscopic stability at the muzzle (beginning of gray curve) is slightly too high, ca. 2.0, but the bullet likely works fine and shoots accurate. But the bullet is spinning unnecessary fast and may be susceptible to adverse effects of small imperfections in shape or symmetry. A good combination, but maybe not the optimal one.
  • The exact Sg and Sd values can be seen in the trajectory table if Sg and Sd are selected as columns to be visible.
  • Please note that the software may calculate the stability values for longer distances than the shooting distance so the last marker may not be the actual shooting distance.
  • This feature is available only for Lapua bullets and cartridges because the details of bullet structures (e.g. moments of inertia, center of gravity, etc.) are not available for other bullets.

Effect of twist rate in .338 Lapua Magnum, example:

Lapua-Ballistics-Stability-Estimation-4

In this graph you can see the effect of twist rate to gyroscopic and dynamic stability in a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle with the 19,44 g / 300 gr GB528 Scenar OTM bullet.

  • The 1:12” twist rate (red curve) is too slow (long) for this combination. Gyroscopic stability at the muzzle is too low (first red dot), ca. 1.0. There is a high risk for the bullet to be unstable already at the muzzle. This combination is known to be in the limit of appropriate function – sometimes it works, but usually not.
  • The 1:10” twist rate (blue curve) is appropriate for this combination. Gyroscopic stability at the muzzle (first blue dot) is good, ca. 1.5. The bullet travels the first 800 m/yds in a safe region. Even when it exits the safe region at 800 m/yds, this bullet is well known for extremely good accuracy up to 1 500 m/yds and over. It is typical for all long high B.C. bullets that the Sd turns strongly to the left and exits the safe region.

How bullet length affects the stability

Lapua Ballistics Stability Estimation Lapua-Ballistics-Stability-Estimation

In this graph you can see the effect of bullet length to gyroscopic and dynamic stability in a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle with a 1:10” twist rate.

  • The shorter 250 gr GB488 Scenar (red graph) retains its stability better than longer 300 gr GB528 Scenar (blue graph), but reaches the transonic region a little earlier than the ballistically better 300 gr bullet. You can compare differences in bullet velocity and energy in their respective graphs and trajectory table.
  • If you can see a clear wave pattern in the trajectory curves, it is also an indication of potential instability. The most likely reason for this is a too slow (long) twist rate that doesn’t stabilise the bullet but allows for it to wobble from side to side or even turn crosswise. In this case, shoot paper targets to check that the holes are round and the accuracy is good enough for your purpose.

Extreme examples

Lapua-Ballistics-Stability-Estimation

In this graph you can see two .222 Rem. caliber bullets, both shot with a 1:14” twist rate rifle.

  • The .222 Rem is designed for short 55 gr FMJ-bullets (red curve). Even if the gyroscopic stability is dangerously low in the beginning (ca. 1.0), it increases rapidly and this short flat base bullet is not susceptible to wobbling. This combination is in practise a well-proven small game cartridge.
  • The 69 gr Scenar bullet (blue curve) is much too long for this twist rate. Gyroscopic stability starts from a very low value and also the dynamic stability starts to weaken significantly immediately. This bullet will likely not be stabilized at all and the accuracy potential is very low and likely the holes in a paper target are oval – even at 100 m/yds.

Temporary loss of stability

Lapua-Ballistics-Stability-Estimation

In this graph you can see a temporary loss of stability at a distance of 650 – 850 m/yds with a 6 mm 90 gr GB543 Scenar bullet. In this case the projectile reaches the transonic area at the distance of 700 m. Stability will revert soon after that and the bullet likely continues a stable flight without a loss of accuracy. This is also helped by the high gyroscopic stability value of over 3.5.

 

Lapua Ballistics 6 DOF is the only free of charge consumer software capable for these kind of studies. For those interested to understand the theory behind bullet stability even further, we recommend the following reading:

  • McCoy, R. Modern Exterior Ballistics, the Launch and Flight Dynamics of Symmetric Projectiles. Schiffer Publishing, 1999
  • Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics For Long Range Shooting 3rd Edition
  • Sailaranta, T. Studies on Unmanned Atmospheric Flight. Doctoral Thesis. Aalto-University, Helsinki, Finland.

Our next tip will feature the use of spin drift adjustment. Stay tuned!

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New 300 Winchester Magnum factory-loaded cartridges by Lapua

New .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges for hunters and target shooters

For 2021, Lapua offers three new cartridges for .300 Winchester Magnum. The .300 Win Mag. is known for its extreme versatility and as such it’s a great cartridge option for hunters, target shooters, military and law enforcement departments alike. Lapua is happy to offer two new options for hunters and one for target shooters.

Hunting cartridges with significant stopping power

As the .300 Win Mag. is known for its accuracy, hunters have found the cartridge to be an effective all-around choice for various types of game and hunting conditions. Most firearms manufacturers chamber for this caliber and there are numerous rifle options to choose from. With the new .300 Win Mag. Lapua case we now also offer two new factory-loaded hunting cartridges:

  • .300 Win Mag. loaded with the 11,0 gram / 170 grain Naturalis bullet and
  • .300 Win Mag. loaded with the 12,0 gram / 185 grain SP MEGA bullet.

Both cartridges offer something for every hunter. A fan favorite for many years, the traditional MEGA is a lead core, mechanically bonded, soft point hunting projectile. The third generation Lapua Naturalis bullet with its special valve design offers a completely lead-free option with that perfect mushrooming effect. With muzzle velocities that enable extremely straight flight trajectories, these rounds are an obvious choice for long range hunting or for situations that demand significant stopping power.

Long range target accuracy with Lapua Scenar

For the demanding target shooters, long range enthusiasts and tactical units, Lapua offers the perfect cartridge option: the  .300 Win Mag. with the 12,0 g / 185 gr OTM Scenar bullet.
This round offers accuracy and power well beyond 1,000 meters/yards with the Scenar projectile staying supersonic. The unique design of the 185 grain Scenar (GB432) together with the short case neck and relatively short C.I.P cartridge specs create an undeniably powerful combination for long range target shooting. With a high quality powder and a muzzle velocity of 930 m/s or 3051 fps, this cartridge is destined to become the number one choice for any long range shooters demanding peak accuracy.

All three Lapua cartridges will be hitting the markets in the spring of 2021.

Go to the .300 Win Mag cartridge page for trajectory information here

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Lapua Ballistics tips: How to export trajectory tables to excel

Lapua Ballistics tips: How to export trajectory tables to excel

(For the previous Lapua Ballistics tips, click here for the Lapua Ballistics Tips page)

A trajectory table in printed form can come in handy on many occasions, eg. when hunting or if you want to compare trajectory data on your computer. With Lapua Ballistics, you can export trajectory tables in a printable format. In this tip, we will tell you how to generate a table and export it to Excel.

A few tips for exporting a trajectory table to Excel:

  • Consider the distances for which you want to create a trajectory table. We recommend creating a table including only the necessary data.
  • Select the cartridge profile you are using.
  • Update the weather conditions to match the conditions for which you want to generate the table.
  • The trajectory table exported to Excel contains all the calculations made by Lapua Ballistics within the given distances. Note that your Excel views may look slightly different depending on version and operating system.
  • The exported Excel file contains a considerable amount of calculated data. The visuality of the table and how to display the information is up to the user.
  • NOTE! To be able to export the .csv file to your email, you need to have an email address registered to your phone’s own standard email app.

How to export trajectory tables to excel in Lapua Ballistics, step-by-step instruction

Step 1: Choosing the data you want to export

  • First, pick the weapon/cartridge combo you want to use.  In this example, we’re exporting a trajectory table for the profile FMJ 308 Win.
  • Next, since you’re going to be taking into account the expected weather conditions, go to the Calculator view and tap “Get current weather”
  • You know that the shortest possible shooting distance is 50 meters and the longest is 350 meters, and you want to generate a trajectory table in 25 meter increments. Swipe to the second to last calculator view “Trajectory table” and add the said distances. Tap “Calculate”.

Lapua Ballistics tips export to excel pic 1

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Lapua Ballistics tips export to excel pic 3

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Step 2: Share the trajectory table to your registered email

  • The flight path table calculated on the basis of the previously provided data looks like the enclosed image.
  • To export the trajectory table to Excel you need to share it to your own e-mail. First tap the “Share” symbol at the top and then tap ‘Email’.
  • The Ballistics app should now open the phone’s email app with the table enclosed as a .csv file. Next, send the email to the preferred address (e.g. to yourself).
  • NOTE! To be able to export the .csv file to your email, you need to have your phone’s own standard email app in use.

Lapua Ballistics tips export data to excel pic 4

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Step 3: Export the trajectory table from your email to your computer and open in Excel

Next, save the LapuaBallistics.csv file from your email to your own computer to a folder of your choice.

Lapua Ballistics tips export data to excel pic 5

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After that, open an empty workbook in Excel, and in the toolbar go to Data (→ Get External Data) → From Text. Choose the LapuaBallistics.csv file from the location you saved it to on your computer. Excel now opens the Text Import Wizard. Click Next, which takes you to Step 2 of 3. Choose ’Comma’ as your delimiter → click Next → Finish.

Lapua Ballistics tips export data to excel pic 6

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After this, your Lapua Ballistics calculation with the given distances will open in Excel. The trajectory table is at the top of the table, other properties can be seen at the bottom. You can pick the information you want and display it in the way you prefer.

Lapua Ballistics tips export data to excel pic 7

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…And you’re done!

Our next tip will feature the use of stability estimation. Stay tuned!

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Happy Holidays!

We wish you Happy Holidays and a Fantastic New Year 2021!

Lapua Ballistics tips: How to compare data in Lapua Ballistics

Lapua Ballistics tips: How to compare data in Lapua Ballistics

(For the previous Lapua Ballistics tips go to the Lapua Ballistics Tips page)

Lapua Ballistics offers you the opportunity to compare data for three different cartridges or bullets in the ballistic calculator.

You can use comparison data for your cartridges or bullets, for example to compare trajectories or impact velocity and / or impact energy in different hunting situations. You can also use the cartridge/projectile comparison to determine the best Point-blank Range (PBR) and to estimate stability. In addition, you can share the picture and information via email or other possible communication applications on your phone.

You can easily compare data in the Ballistics app for the following ballistics calculation features:

– Elevation

– Windage

– Velocity

– Energy

– Point-blank Range

– Trajectory

– Velocity / distance

– Energy / distance

– Stability estimation

How to compare data in Lapua Ballistics, step-by-step instruction

All these features are accessible in the lower views of the Calculator mode in the Ballistics app. In the comparison created, you can clearly see the differences between the 3 bullets / cartridges you have chosen in the same graphic.

    1. First, select the first Lapua cartridge from the Rifle / Cartridge Data menu, and check that the basic settings are correct. For example, you can set the desired muzzle velocity for the cartridge / bullet.
    2. Next, go to the Calculation mode, and swipe to the third lower view and tap to expand.
    3. Select as comparison item(s) either a custom cartridge you’ve created, or a factory-loaded Lapua cartridge from the drop-down menu. You can compare up to three items.
    4. Expand the lower view of the Calculator screen and swipe right to quickly and easily view the comparison data separated by different colors (here in red and blue).

Lapua Ballistics Cartridge settings view

Step 1. Go to cartridge settings and set eg. muzzle velocity (Sight-In V0 value) and other basic values for your cartridge/bullet of choice. (Tap image to expand.)

Lapua Ballistics expand lower view to compare cartridges

Steps 2 and 3. Open the Calculator and swipe to the third lower view and tap to expand. Choose the cartridges / bullets you want to compare. (Tap image to expand.)

Lapua Ballistics view lower views to compare data.

Step 4. Swipe right in the expanded view to quickly and easily view the comparison data separated by different colors. (Tap image to expand.)

You can also pick just one cartridge / bullet and compare different muzzle velocities, weather conditions and twist rates for that cartridge by copying it in the Manage Rifle/ Cartridge Data menu and changing the desired settings for the copied items.Next time, we’ll look at how to export trajectory tables to excel!

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