The James Ambrose Award is presented periodically to recognize, in the opinion of the Small Arms Division Executive Board, an Industrial Firm that has made outstanding contributions to the field of small arms systems. Arrow Tech (and its dedicated engineering staff) was chosen for the 2019 Ambrose Award.
Arrow Tech broke the ballistics code on flight characteristics, both internally and externally, but few knew who they were. It was a well-guarded secret that a few companies used. Today, every major DoD agency and the majority of ammo manufacturers seek out Arrow Tech’s expertise. Arrow Tech created a program that has evolved into the state-of-the-art software for ammo and weapon companies use—that program is called PRODAS, Projectiles, Rocket, Ordnance Design Analysis System.
Once used primarily for medium and large projectiles, they are now the go-to company for small calibers starting at .177. Bottom line: you can now design a single- or multiple-piece projectile, load the powder of your choice, add the cartridge case with the chamber and barrel characteristics and launch it. The program will model and simulate this selection and predict the outcome before you cut the first chip. The award sponsor teamed with them to work the M&S on the barrel twist effort for the USMC M40A6 sniper rifle. The M&S coupled with radar data confirmed that 1:8 was the optimum configuration of the barrel and the AB39 7.62mm ammo.
The PRODAS software was the first program available to quickly reduce radar tracking data so engineers, scientists and designers had tangible results to improve their products. PRODAS analysis of radar tracks of the M855A1 projectile confirmed that the components were rotating independently of each other.
Arrow Tech is a small company with few, but all highly dedicated, employees. Hence the reason for the presentation of the Ambrose award—it’s not one individual—it’s a team. A majority of the small arms ammo and weapon manufacturers use their products. So do locations like the U.S. Army at Picatinny and Crane-NSWC. You can run a simple analysis or something as complicated as a 6 DOF (degrees of freedom) simulation. In short, Arrow Tech has provided, in response to the need of the DoD, government, end users and other industry OEMs, a product that has very actively changed the way they all work on ballistics design—in a very positive manner.